2001 Mazda Tribute


Car has 94K on it, rear diff is leaking,oil

pan has slight leak, starting to rust a bit underneath, sway bar links need replacement. Dealer said don’t put anymore $$$ into it as it’s not worth it. Cat Convertor known to go at this mileage and cost is about $1k. I would like to get one more winter out of it but I’m a little scared that it will die or need a big $$$ repair before I can trade it and get a little bit out of it. Any suggestions?


It sure sounds like your dealer is trying to sell you a new car.

   Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.


HUH? 94000 and its dead???

i certainly agree that you need to find another mechanic. (not a dealer) i suspect the service advisor was told by the sales manager to find some quick customers to buy a new car.

your car should last for 200000 miles or so.


but you will have to make some normal maintenance visits to a mechanic. (but stay away from the dealership, the’re not honest)


I will actually soon be shopping for smaller SUVs. I always buy used so the ones the depreciate most are on my list. The Tribute/Escape was almost on top. I am amazed that the dealer says the car is no good even before 100KM. How does he know that the cat converter “will” go bad. As far as I know if the engine is well maintained the cat should last the life of the car.


i think you already know the answer to your dilemma.

your car needs normal servicing and work. if you’re used to NOT doing any repairs, then selling the car is an option. if you want to keep for a while, then fix it. (but NOT at a dealership)

it WILL cost a little. (probably equal to two or three months payments).

but then the car will go for another couple of years.

the dealership is trying to scare you into buying a new (used) car.

take it to a local mechanic. try asking a couple of friends where they take their car. ask around at work. look on this web site for mechaniX files, and search by zip code.


the convertor will “go bad” because he can convince you to just sell the tribute, and make higher payments to his dealership. (dishonest)

if your auto is tuned up, and running well, you are right the convertor will last for a couple of hundred K.

BUT you have to do the normal maintenance.

the oil leaks could be as simple as snugging up the valve cover bolts, the rear differential may be a loose plug. BUT unless you take it to a reputable mechanic you’ll NEVER know the truth! the sway bar links are a normal (unfortunately) wear and tear item. but AGAIN go to a reputable shop for a diagnosis.