Mazda Tribute Problems, Owners Complaints and Recall Issues

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

The Mazda Tribute is a popular SUV that offered a spacious interior and co-development with the Ford Escape.

However, as a Tribute owner or potential buyer, you might want to be aware of some common problems associated with this vehicle.

A notable issue is transmission failure, which tends to occur around 88,000-95,000 miles and might be a costly fix.

Additionally, you might hear a knocking noise when driving at slow speeds over small bumps, usually caused by bad front sway bar links.

Being aware of these issues can help you make informed decisions when considering purchasing or maintaining a Mazda Tribute.

Mazda Tribute complaints

Common Problems and Complaints

Transmission Issues

One of the major concerns commonly reported by Mazda Tribute owners is transmission failure. This prevalent issue has affected many drivers, with some reaching costly repairs.

As a Mazda Tribute owner, it is essential to keep a close eye on any signs of transmission problems to address any potential issues early on.

Engine Problems

Various engine-related problems have been reported by Tribute owners, raising concerns over the vehicle’s reliability.

Ensure that you perform regular maintenance and inspections on your car’s engine to prevent any further complications. Being proactive about staying on top of potential issues will save you from future headaches.

Ignition System Faults

Another common complaint amongst Mazda Tribute drivers is faults within the vehicle’s ignition system. Misfires or stalling have been reported, especially after cold starts.

To avoid this problem, make sure that your ignition system is in good working order and do not hesitate to consult a professional if you notice any symptoms.

Rust and Leaks

Body and paint issues, including rust and leaks, are also prevalent problems faced by Mazda Tribute owners.

Be mindful of the integrity of your car’s exterior, as paint problems and rust can severely impact its overall appearance and value.

Regularly check for any signs of damage and address them as soon as possible to maintain your Mazda Tribute in the best possible condition.

Though each car’s experience varies, it’s vital to keep track of the potential issues listed above as an owner or potential buyer of a Mazda Tribute.

Comparing the Mazda Tribute with Similar Models

Ford Escape

When comparing the Mazda Tribute to the Ford Escape, you may notice similarities in design and handling, as these vehicles were co-developed by Ford and Mazda.

However, there are notable differences as well. The Ford Escape tends to be more fuel-efficient than the Mazda Tribute, making it an appealing choice for those conscious of gas consumption.

One common issue with the Mazda Tribute is problems with the transmission, whereas this is not as frequent in the Ford Escape.

Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is a newer model from Mazda, and it has several improvements on the older Tribute. The CX-5 is known for its sleek design, better performance, and upgraded technology features.

While the Mazda Tribute had complaints about engine issues, including acceleration problems leading to accidents, the CX-5 has seen improvements in the engine and better overall reliability.

In summary, both the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5 have their own benefits when compared to the Mazda Tribute. It is important to consider factors such as fuel efficiency, reliability, and performance while making your decision.

Tips for Dealing with Mazda Tribute Problems

Repairs and Maintenance

To address common Mazda Tribute problems, ensure you keep up with regular maintenance routines.

Be proactive and make frequent checks on your vehicle, including engine, transmission, and suspension systems. Listen for any unusual noises or squealing sounds and seek professional help if needed.

Recalls and Service Bulletins

Stay informed about recall notices and service bulletins for your Mazda Tribute. Respond promptly to any notifications to avoid potential issues and ensure your vehicle’s safety and longevity.

Remember, being proactive about repairs will help you avoid major problems and keep your Mazda Tribute running smoothly.

Which Mazda Tribute Years Should Be Avoided?

There are a few Mazda Tribute model years which are known for their reliability issues. Based on the information available, it is recommended to avoid the following years: 2001, 2005, and 2011.

The 2001 Mazda Tribute marks the first model year of this vehicle. With it being the first generation, some issues are to be expected.

You might come across problems related to engine and body concerns. Given that it’s the first year of production, it’s common for manufacturers to work out the kinks in later models, so it’s safer to avoid this year.

Moving on, the 2005 Mazda Tribute also has reliability concerns that you should be aware of. Similar engine problems have been reported by owners, and there have been some issues with the transmission as well. It’s a good idea to skip this model year for something more dependable.

Lastly, the 2011 Mazda Tribute is another year to be cautious of. While it may seem more modern, it still carries some risks with engine and body concerns.

As this is the last production year for the Mazda Tribute, better alternatives have emerged since then, such as the Mazda CX-5.

So, when shopping for a Mazda Tribute, it’s best to steer clear of the 2001, 2005, and 2011 model years.

Mazda Tribute Reliability Data and Research

Reliability Survey Results

Based on a reliability survey conducted, the Mazda Tribute has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 10th out of 26 for compact SUVs.

The average annual repair cost for your Mazda Tribute is $523, which means it has lower than average ownership costs.

Brand and Model Comparisons

When comparing Mazda Tribute to other car brands, it stands out as one of the more reliable vehicles on the road.

Tribute owners have reported 208 complaints over 10 model years but still rank it 15th in overall reliability out of 19 Mazda models. However, research also indicates that the 2006 and 2005 models experienced significant engine problems, like misfires and transmission failure.

Keep in mind that your experience may vary, and factors like maintenance and usage can affect your car’s reliability.

Lemon Law and Consumer Resources

Understanding Lemon Laws

Lemon laws offer protection to consumers who purchase defective vehicles. In some cases, manufacturers can be required to buyback the vehicle, furnish you with a new one, or provide cash compensation.

The federal lemon law, also known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, offers additional safeguards.

Car Problem Resources

For Mazda Tribute problems, consider visiting websites like CarComplaints. for a compilation of common issues and their average costs to fix.

You can find important information on cars to avoid and latest problem trends. Additionally, read stories from drivers and check out funny complaints to keep yourself informed and entertained.

Remember, knowing your rights and staying informed about potential problems can empower you when dealing with car issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mazda Tributes known for their reliability?

Mazda Tributes have faced some reliability issues in the past, especially in models produced between 2001-2004, and 2008-2011.

Common problems owners have encountered include engine misfires, oil leaks, and transmission failures. That being said, many owners have experienced dependable performance from their Tributes as well.

What is the typical lifespan for a Mazda Tribute?

The typical lifespan of a Mazda Tribute varies depending on factors such as maintenance, driving conditions, and individual driving habits.

However, with proper care and maintenance, you can expect your Tribute to last anywhere between 150,000 and 200,000 miles.

How many miles can a Mazda Tribute usually last?

Mileage for a Mazda Tribute can greatly depend on the level of care and maintenance given to the vehicle.

Some owners have reported their Tributes lasting well over 200,000 miles, but it is essential to follow your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule and attend to any issues promptly.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Mazda Tribute?

Owning a Mazda Tribute has its pros and cons, depending on your personal preferences and needs. Some advantages include a spacious interior with fold-flat rear seats, good visibility, and the availability of AWD on some models.

However, the Tribute suffers from some common problems like transmission slipping and electrical system issues, which could lead to increased maintenance and repair costs over time.

Why did Mazda stop making the Tribute?

Mazda decided to discontinue the Tribute after the 2011 model year. This decision was made to shift focus towards new, more fuel-efficient vehicles like the Mazda CX-5, which was introduced in 2012.

Although the Tribute had its fans, its issues and overall lack of modern updates contributed to its eventual discontinuation.


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