Mazda Tribute Transmission Troubleshooting

by Dianne Christensen-Herman

The Mazda Tribute, first introduced in 2001, has been known to produce transmission problems such as shuddering while driving, erratic shifting, engine overheating and stalling during deceleration. Most of the issues in the Tribute are due to faulty parts. Troubleshooting these problems can help you remedy it before the problem becomes more serious and expensive.

Step 1

Determine if the Tribute is shuddering while you are driving or in-between shifts. This could cause problems with the vehicle's torque converter and transmission. The car may need a transmission system flush to remedy the problem.

Step 2

Notice if your vehicle experiences erratic shifting. The Tribute uses the CD4E transmission, and the shift points are determined by vehicle speed. This can cause erratic shifting and may blow out the water pump gasket from between the engine's gasket and block. The water pump basket will most likely need to be replaced.

Step 3

Watch the temperature gauge to make sure your vehicle is not overheating. Cooling capacity has been a problem with the Tribute and the transmissions may overheat. Installing auxiliary coolers will most likely remedy the problem.

Step 4

Look for engine stalling during deceleration. In 2004, a recall was placed on a transmission part in more than 100,000 Tributes. The power control module is incorrectly calibrated, which causes the engine to stall or choke during deceleration. If you believe your vehicle is experiencing these problems, consult Mazda at 1-800-222-5500, according to Motor Trend's listed recall information.

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