27th Jul 2009, 15:36

I own a 2001 Mazda Tribute ES with 160,000K

Bought it used back in 2005. Has been a good car until recently it started giving me problems with the front brakes. When I'm making a right hand turn going down a slope or hill and my foot is on the break, the break starts vibrating and making this electrical buzzing noise that sounds like if the brakes are going to fail, sounds really scary! it doesn't do it all the time that's why it's been hard for the mechanic to pin point what the problem is, he's checked the brakes thoroughly but he can't find anything! should I change mechanic or change cars?? has anyone experienced this problem before?

Thanks for any replies!

28th Sep 2009, 20:40

2001 Tribute.

First mistaken was on the day we purchased it new. We believed the MPG rating on the sticker. We also didn't question why the salesguy immediate turned the radio on loud before we took it out for a test drive. We found out later how much road noise is present in the cab when the radio is not blaring to cover the noise up.

My wife and I liked the size and design. Actually I think the car has great proportions.

6 months after we purchased the car, a fan belt pulley popped off. The car jerked and we lost steering and brakes. They decided to also replace the rack and pinion steering system at the same time. Then the transmission failed --- never found out why --- which the dealer replaced, and then there were the engine dying issues when decelerating --- which also cause power steering and brakes to go out.

I concur with almost every other issue mentioned in these blogs, because they have all happened during the 160K miles we've put on this car.

I'm disappointed to hear that 2002's also had a lot of similar problems. The first set of brakes only lasted 40K. The second set 120k so far. catalytic converter failure -- YES! Injectors and rotors --- YES! Inside door handles breaking -- that too! Ha!, but the back door hinge hasn't failed yet... so I guess there's more humiliation to come.

Yes, on the rough engine, tranny shifting issues. And the list goes on.

25th Dec 2009, 15:08

"Danger Will Robinson Danger Danger"

Re: 2001 Tribute ES.

This piece of crap is one of the most poorly engineered vehicles I have ever come across. Do your homework before you buy one, unless you want to do the following:

Replace your tranny... $3000 ($2000 + $1000 Labor)

Alternator replacement...$500 ($150 + $350 Labor)

Catalytic converter issues caused in part by the IACV failing.

Figure on $500 for each side manifold converters + $175 for the one under the passenger side. Let's not forget the labor...$500. ($1175 + $500)

These Tribute Failures WILL happen. So... If you like to throw your hard earned cash out the window, by all means buy a Mazda Tribute or Ford Escape.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

28th Dec 2009, 15:15

As a 2003 Mazda Tribute owner, I can confidently say that we will NEVER purchase another Mazda again. This vehicle chews up front brake pads and rotors every three years, and at just about three month intervals we have another coil go bad and another $500 down the drain to fix it.

We have already replaced the catalytic converter. We were almost talked into a new transmission by the dealer (it wasn't until I blew up at them that they said it might be something else, which coincidentally it was!) and the check engine light comes on sporadically.

My '95 Chevy Tahoe has seen everything from off-road service to 80mph highway driving to going through two feet of flood water and continues to go strong today with 217,000 miles on it. Apparently Mazda / Ford dropped the proverbial ball on this one.

27th Jan 2010, 13:22

The 2001 Mazda Tribute is a mixed bag of tricks.I'm rolling with 140,000 miles (good maintenance), but it hasn't been pleasant.

I concur with most of the comments, but will add some new issues: Air Conditioning system is pitiful-needs too many recharges; premature transmission failure (approx.80k miles), continued transmission issues with overdrive gear overheating; brakes need too much servicing; factory rims leak air (110k) and last but not least, cracked head gasket/ block at 135k miles.

Overall, the ride quality has been good and the engine is responsive, but the noise from wind resistance is too excessive. The vehicle is just not reliable, and I'm finished with leases also.

3rd Feb 2010, 14:54


My Mazda is 2004 and I am at 168000km.

I had to change the alternator, the manifold and catalytic converter ($1600) and the brakes so often I can't recall how many times.

I had also a problem with the wheel bearings in both wheels in the back, and had to change the suspension in the back.

I now have the transmission problem. At any time if I ask just a little more from the engine, the rpm goes high, but no change in gears and no gain in speed.

I have put so much money into this car since I bought it new, that I most have paid it twice all over... At one point my wife was even considering having a tent put up at the dealership because she was always there.

We also had the spark plug controller (distribute pulse to plugs) changed.

The radio is dead for a long time, started with the display.

It now drinks like crazy and I do about 450km on a full tank of gas.

I WILL NEVER BUY A MAZDA AGAIN IN MY LIFE (READ FORD, MAZDA DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE...) I am serious. My mechanic told me not to fix the transmission and drive like a old man until it dies.. hopefully a year so the money I put on it for the manifold is not a waste... look out for the old man... it is me... driving slow (I am only 35 by the way)...

11th Feb 2010, 15:32

I have a 2001 Mazda Tribute with (160000km), bought it in 04 with 51000km... that next night the air bag charge went off... lucky for me the dealer changed it no charge.. then had problems with air bag light.. it never goes off... sometimes blinks but never off.. had a new steering wheel installed and driver side air bag replaced all on Mazda's dime, but it took 10 trips to the dealer (no joke) and the thing to this day is still on that was 4 years ago.

Next been through 2 rear windshield wipers and need a third one now.

Latest problem: it's eating gas. I've gone through 200km (125 miles) on one tank. It use to be well over twice that, and I've even lighted up on the "lead foot" LOL, but it was also having problems with gear changes... shop changed coil, spark, idle motor/control and wires.. it runs better, but check engine light still on, and airbag light and radiator light still on.

The dealer told me not to worry about the radiator light, it's just a sensor problem, just watch the fluid levels (never had a problem).

But does any one have a suggestion about the excessive gas consumption? Thank you.