14th Feb 2010, 18:15

I bought my 2002 Mazda LX with 47,000 miles on it. Ran great until it hit 112,000 miles. Everything mentioned by other owners on this site happened to me as well. Chugging issues.. exhaust totally plugged, replaced back catalytic converter and numerous other parts.. Get it home, put on 500 miles, rear end develops major vibration, more parts.. now all wheel drive engagement light flashes on and off. Tranny is next. Think I'm just going to buy some black tape and cover the light! Don't buy one period.

7th Apr 2010, 09:54

2002 Tribute (before 100k miles) :

- Replaced engine

- Replaced transmission

- Replaced rack

- Replaced cat converters (3 times)

- Replaced alternator (3 times)

- Air bag light (took no less than 7 trips to dealer)

- Replaced side-view mirror due to shaking

- Vinyl peeling off doors

- Windshield seal evaporating

- Moon roof switch sketchy (requires prayer to close)

- Radio display sketchy (requires you to press to see the time/station)

Two very impoverished thumbs DOWN.

14th Jun 2010, 17:03

I hate to hear of all the problems with the Mazda Tribute... I too think I got a pretty good car. I bought my 2004 Tribute in December 03. I only did normal maintenance until about 90K. I then replaced the front brakes and rotors. Just until 220k miles, I had it tuned up for the 2nd time. Now at 228K miles I just had to replace the alternator. I have only spent money for normal maintenance until the alternator went out. Hope my luck continues... I hope to get 270K miles before retiring the vehicle... Still runs great! Zoom zoom!

22nd Jul 2010, 15:56

Wow! Looks like most of the people who have good experiences with their vehicle generally stay away from this site.

No vehicle is perfect, and there is a reason that warranties are for a specific amount of time, and leases include specific mileage.

It it completely unreasonable to expect to drive a vehicle for 10s of thousands of miles or years at a time without having to do some sort of maintenance. And the older the vehicle gets, the more maintenance you should expect.

In 2004, I bought a used 2001 Mazda Tribute LX-4WD with the 3.0L V6 engine. It had about 35K miles on it when I bought it. Living in a small city in South Central Pennsylvania, it has been a great purchase...

This vehicle has Full-Time AWD, switchable to 4WD. For those who didn't expect less-than-ideal fuel mileage - shame on you. I wasn't thrilled about the lower mileage, but after driving this thing for 7 years and experiencing the amazing way it handles in rain, snow or off road, I'm afraid to drive anything without full-time AWD!

Over those 7 years, I have replaced tires twice, brakes (all the way around) once, alternator once, brake booster once, all plugs and coil packs once (spread out over a 2 year period), shifter cable once, control arms once, and replaced the bushing where the water pump output hose connects to the block. Other than tires, not one of the services above cost more than $300. If any of you paid more than that, you should really reconsider who you let work on your vehicle. Also, if your vehicle is out of warranty, or the repair is not a warranty item, you shouldn't take your car to a dealership garage!!!

I saw several comments about a 'chugging' or similar problem that required the driver to hold the gas pedal open to keep the car from stalling out. I had the same problem. It's just the idle air control valve getting jammed up. Take off 2 small screws and the wire harness, and clean it out with some throttle-body cleaner - good as new.

Word to the wise, if you don't have a good, honest friend that is an experienced auto mechanic... find one! Auto repair is one of the biggest rackets there is, and having a friend on the inside is one of the most valuable things you can have.

Almost all the items listed above are normal maintenance items; parts that wear down and/or break over time. My only other advice would be to take your car in for service/inspection regularly. You'd be surprised what a good mechanic can catch in the process of something as simple as an oil change!

27th Sep 2010, 17:22

I bought my 2001 Tribute ES V6 new. I've had a number of the problems others have had.

Transmission gave trouble the day I bought it. The dealer replaced the solenoid pack. The tranny failed at about 20,000 miles and was repaired under warranty.

After that, the driver's door handle broke because a little plastic pin in the handle mechanism broke off.

I've had to replace some struts in the front suspension about three times. The brake rotors must be warped as the pedal goes up and down when I apply the brakes. I've been living with that.

The left rear electric window mechanism has failed (I've propped the glass up with a stick).

The vinyl covering on two door panels came loose at about 155,000 miles (I've glued them back on).

The remote no longer opens the rear door.

The paint has peeled off of part of the roof rack.

I have to fiddle with the rear view mirror control to get the driver side mirror to go up and down.

Still, I was pretty pleased with the car until the transmission failed on a trip at 156,000 miles. Now a $2,000 overhaul is under way.

I've had no engine trouble at all. But I have to fix the tranny to get home. Then I'll sell it as quick as I can, and find something else.

7th Nov 2010, 01:48

Have a 2001 Tribute auto 6. 104K. Not a bit of trouble to date. Changed alternator at 83K, no charge from dealer!! Normal maintenance; tyres etc, but nothing more than expected. Also tow a boat regularly and caravan.

Have a 2002 S type Jaguar also, and have had similar experience.

Only needed new front brake disks, probably my fault for letting them go too far. I suspect a lot of grizzles come as a result of incomplete maintenance and the vehicle reaching its "use by date".

23rd Dec 2010, 08:41

I have a Mazda 2001 Tribute. It has a problem of cold starting in the morning. It starts and goes off.

Please help with suggestions.

4th Jan 2011, 10:30

I own a 2003 Mazda Tribute - just replaced the alternator for the 7th time! We have replaced the alternator 4 times in the past 2 years - ridiculous.

Can't read the radio stations display - have to push and hold it down to see the station but that sometimes doesn't work either.

Have had trouble with the transmission - shifts hard and shakes. Had to clean the transmission fluid twice to get it to stop.

We have 193K on it, but the alternator issue is really turning into a nightmare - won't buy Mazda/Ford again.

4th Jan 2011, 15:16


2001 Tribute ES...

170,000 miles - no real issues.

135,000 from original tires.

60,000 + from brakes each time.

Original struts, shocks, exhaust.

Driver's rear door won't open (almost never used - guessing it's rusted.

Did have one coil go bad - so I replaced all 6 & plugs - but even that was at 100,000 miles...

Hoping to keep it until 300,000.