Question about 2002 Mazda Tribute

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Total shut down. Will not start. Blown computer.

While driving my car it completely lost power. Had it towed was told it was the computer. Drove it 40 miles, again total power loss on highway. Towed again. Computer blown again. ford cannot fix, so had it towed to NewBern Mazda. They replaced computer and a wire in transmission. Started it up in service bay, blew out the third computer. They now have no idea what to do. They just called me and want to take off alternator and see if it may be over charging and blowing out the computer, even though they have never had this problem before and at my expense. Another 225.00 to guess. I dont know how much i am expected to pay for "guess work". I know it has to be fixed but they need some expert assistance. they told me Mazda technical support had been contacted and they did not know what to do either. Have you ever heard of this?

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  • candyfulcher Jul 16, 2008

    Thanks for your help. The Tribute is still not fixed. It was not the alternator. And yes to your question about the first repair. It was fixed at Morehead City Ford. We called ahead to see if they could work on the Tribute and The technician said yes, because it is the same as a Ford Escape. I have my invoice for 786.69 for computer and labor and he told me it came with a 1 year warranty. Ford Company said they would not honor the Warranty because it is a Mazda that was fixed in a Ford dealership. I got 40 miles in it and broke down on the way home on the highway with no warning. It was very scary and I barely got off of the road. I think the Ford Company is ridiculous and trying to stick it to me with their response. The Technician at the dealership told me he would talk to his parts manager and see what he could do at the dealership. Since Ford Company has washed their hands of the problem I can only hope he can honor the warranty. He has been very nice and helpful, but the bottom line is money and getting my car fixed. It has been 5 weeks today. NewBern Mazda is now looking into the wiring harness. Who knows how much that will cost. Is it common practice for a person to pay for every guess? even if that is not it. I know they are looking into fixing the problem, but I could probably but a new car by the time they get finished. I now have over 2,000 in the vehicle and its not fixed and they are still trying. I can promise you I will never buy a Ford product again, especially if they do not honor the warranty. I probably still won't. Thanks, Candace

  • dogilvie89 Jan 01, 2009

    mine will start but no power, will rev to about 2000 then starts dying. had computer replaced (doing same thing) about 1 year ago.



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Hi Candy!

I have never personally seen the scenario you have described, but it would take severe overcharging OR a very strong voltage spike to blow your computer, so they are on the right track...

As far as the money goes, you should only have had to pay for the first replacement if the work was done by a reputable shop... Did the first repair not come with some sort of warranty? I would strongly suggest that the Ford shop that gave up be asked to either cover the subsequent repairs OR refund what you spent on their NON-repair. You might need to be a little tenacious in your approach on this, and if you are denied at one level, ask to speak to their superiors. If you are persistent, calm, and reasonable, I'm sure you will receive some type of accomodation!

Sorry for your troubles, but hang tough... I'll send a copy of your complaint and my answer to New Bern Mazda for you, and also to Mazda USA. And please don't forget to rate my support: Your rating is my ONLY compensation for providing this assistance!


Posted on Jul 13, 2008

  • Bill Bellomy
    Bill Bellomy Jul 14, 2008


    I heard back from Mazda USA and sent the following:

    Hi Scott,
    Thanks for your interest. I sent this email on behalf of Candy Fulcher who appealed to me for help in my role as a registered expert on the website. FYI, I was at one time a Mazda Technician at a now defunct dealership, Ronnie Stevenson Mazda of Irving, TX, and I purchased the first Mazda sold in Tarrant County, TX from R.D. Ryno Mazda of Ft. Worth (an R-100) and have subsequently owned several rotary Mazdas RX-2's, RX-3's, and a couple of RX-7's.
    This young lady is rightfully upset by the problems and run-arounds she has gotten to date, and I know that y'all have the wherewithal to help her with some form of accomodation, and only ask that you look into the situation and provide what help you can.
    Bill (WildBill) Bellomy

  • Bill Bellomy
    Bill Bellomy Jul 16, 2008


    This really s*cks! Ford OWNS Mazda (If you climb the corporate tree high enough)! And even though the alternator might check to be good, it still might be throwing an intermittent high voltage spike that wouldn't show up on an alternator test, and that is about the only thing that will completely zap an onboard computer... But these guys aren't electronics technicians.... I was one before I ever became a mechanic, and your type of problem was my bread & butter when I had my shop! (I specialized in computer/electronic engine controls/intermittent problems) and I was very good at what I did.

    I'm sorry for your troubles, and I hope you try and go over the head of whoever said no at Ford! Keep climbing the tree and shakin' it, and I think you just might get some results... Good luck and God bless!




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