Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 5:59 AM
You are in the Ford Escape
What is this discussion about?
Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute, SUV
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#2468 of 4133 Transmission Shudder, PCM Flash and Check Engine Light
May 12, 2004 (1:39 pm)
I think that my problem has finally been resolved after multiple trips to the dealer and a transmission flush. I had a BG transmission flush at a local shop in early April, but the hard upshift and shudder did not get any better. Around the same time I had a recurring problem with the check engine coming on and had this looked at during my 60K service at the dealer. The problem was attributed to a fouled plug and after paying about $200 (in addition to the $450 that I spent for the 60K service) for a set of platinum plugs and the labor to remove the intake and exhaust manifold the car ran much better. I spoke to the service writer about the continuing transmission problem and asked if reprogramming the PCM would have any impact and was told no.
I began to doubt whether this repair was legitimate when the check engine light came on just two days later. I returned to the dealer and they found a problem with the EGR, IAC, or MAF (I forget which one) and they fixed this for free, even though the car is 4K miles and six months out of warranty. Since they had the car for more than a day I questioned if they were just covering for something that they missed last time, but I felt that they were trying to make things right and it didnít cost me any more. I also got a free rental of a GMC Canyon, so it gave me a chance to test drive a potential car for my daughter.
A few weeks later I received a recall notice from Mazda stating that the PCM needed to be reprogrammed to fix a problem that other Tribute/Escape owners were having with their vehicles stalling during deceleration. While I had not experienced this problem, I took advantage of this since reading several message boards I found references to transmission problems like mine being resolved by flashing the PCM. I also had the check engine light come on for a third time which was attributed to a pinched (crimped?) plug wire which was fixed at no charge. Well, after a week the car runs great, with much smoother shifting and no recurrence of the shudder that I felt when the car was in overdrive. I also had a small increase (8%) in gas mileage and look forward to seeing if this improves during a trip to Philadelphia this weekend. I have been getting around 17mpg with local commuting and 23mpg on the highway.
As mentioned previously, if you receive a recall notice from Mazda, the PCM flash is FREE!!!. I don't know, however, if the recall affects every 2001 Tribute, so you may need to check the NHTSA website to verify which VINs are included.
Overall, we still like this car and just hope that the PCM flash has cured the issues that we have been having. With luck the upgrade corrected a bunch of ills that were causing problems.
#2469 of 4133 Leaking Steering Rack
May 14, 2004 (7:26 am)
I was just told by my Mazda dealer that my 02 Tribute with 27k miles needs a new steering rack, the present one is leaking.
I'm kind of dissapointed at having to replace the rack at such a low mileage. They had the rack in stock, but are waiting for a new seat track to come in so they can do both jobs at the same time.
BTW, they did the PCM reflash, even though I wasn't having any problems. Can't say I really feel a difference.
#2470 of 4133 Complaints re: Escape
May 14, 2004 (5:16 pm)
Do you guys think that this list reflects real world? I am surprised that the Escape is fifth worst because it's regarded as one of the best small SUVs. We want to buy an Escape, but such (bad) news scares me.
May 14, 2004 (10:13 pm)
Nope, I think it's just an ad for a law firm.
The complaint index is based on a ratio of the number of complaints for each vehicle to the sales of that vehicle.
The problem with this is that any one can make multiple complaints with the NHTSA, whether you own the car or not. The web site doesn't make it clear whether the dupes have been weeded out and VINs etc. aren't required to be entered when you file a NHTSA complaint.
So I think you have to take the complaint index with the usual grain of salt. Ditto advertising.
May 15, 2004 (9:20 am)
Hmmm...Kimmel and Silverman?
Jimmy and Sarah???
May 21, 2004 (6:36 pm)
That's the lemon law firm that zueslewis was working for, last we heard from him.
[Aside: Where'd he go, and why?]
One of the law firm locations in the linked ad is in my neighborhood, but the sign outside the building has been changed. Appears they're not located there any more.
#2474 of 4133 Go with aftermarket brakes
Jun 16, 2004 (5:53 am)
I recently replaced the rotors abd front brake pads on my '01 Escape XLT 2WD V6 with 51K miles
with aftermarket. I went with the ProStop brand sold at Pep Boys for boh components. The total
cost for parts was ~$110.00 and I had a mechanic
friend do the work with me. The pads are ceramic- enhanced and the rotors are turntable, unlike the Motorcraft brands. Guess what ? After one (1) week no brake dust on the front wheels and stopping power seems as good as before. If I had
gone to the dealer as before, then I'd have paid $300.00 for the parts alone. Definitely worth it to go with aftermarket, though Raybestos and EBC
make pads and rotors at a higher price, I opted to go with the store brand. I paid my mechanic buddy $100.00 for his time, so I still came out
$260.00 ahead of the last front brake job from the dealer. Rear brake shoes have ~50% wear left on them at this point.
Since I changed my spark plugs 50K miles, I've been getting worse gas mileage than before. ~16-17
mpg current in town to 18-19 before. Spark plug
type is correct Motorcraft part, can't figure out why. Truck runs fine after PCM upgrade at dealer,
but plugs were changed after PCM flash. Mechanic
friend seems to think it may be oxygenated fuel for the area/summer months. I pour a bottle of
BG 44K in the gas tank every 5K miles to keep carbon build-up to minimum. Any ideas ?
#2475 of 4133 Re: Go with aftermarket brakes [escapenut #2474]
Jun 17, 2004 (8:34 am)
Did you check the spark plug gap? Maybe the gap is too wide or too narrow.
Jun 17, 2004 (12:27 pm)
When the plugs were changed my mechanic friend gapped the plugs, but I never told him what the
plug gap was until after installation. It is
.054 for the 100K plugs. He couldn't remember
what he set the plugs at, but he thought it was .054. Well, you may be right, I'm going to
pull a front-plug tonight and check the gap.
The three front plugs are easy to get to once the
decorative valve-cover is removed. The three
rear plugs are a pain because you have to remove
the upper/lower intake manifold and replace the
gaskets. The process took about 1-hour because so much plumbing had to be disconnected and
#2477 of 4133 50K Warning: Link Assembly
Jun 21, 2004 (5:19 am)
Just a 'head's-up' concerning a part which may
wear out and start causing underpinning noises,
i.e, clanking at low speed, coming to stops, and going over bumps. Originally thought it may be springs or shocks. However, it turns out to be
a part simply called a 'link-assembly'. It connects to the front strut and front sway bar
parallel to the strut. The units are 'ambi' and and cost $20.15 each from a Ford dealer. Worn bushings and clanking sound are the result.
Since there are no grease-fittings, I tried injecting some grease, which worked for about 1-week, but the noise is back. As I understand, it is not a safety issue but just a
noise annoyance. However, the dealer warned that
when changing the links, my alignment may be affected slightly. Shouldn't be a big deal changing them out though.