definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
149,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Mazda Tribute body / paint problems

body / paint problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Mazda Tribute:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments

problem #1

May 012013

Tribute ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles


click to see larger images

water leak water leak water leak

I have had so many issues with water damage over the past couple years, which I believe is primarily due to my sunroof drain getting clogged. The most water accumulates In front of and under the passenger seat. however, it also drips along the interior and has caused my leather siding on both doors to peal off and caused tons of mold damage. Water will also drop along a corner or two of the sunroof from the inside even with everything closed. This drips onto my leather passenger seat and sometimes drops on more than that.

Before 2012 (I think around then?) the issue of cleaning my sunroof drain maybe came up 2 or 3 times. Luckily, I had a family member who was available for the rare times when I would mention a couple drops of I water I noticed dropping in the vehicle passenger side and he was able to fix it for me somehow. (Not sure if he used compressed air, a snake, or maybe water from the hose?) Unfortunately, he's not around to help unclog this anymore for me and I've asked about 10 friends or so if they knew what to do or could easily Figure out how to fix it with their hose (I'm in an apartment without access to one)

I've gone to car places asking if they could use the air compressor or something easily to deal with it and it's surprisingly been much more of an inconvenience and hassle than I thought and what everyone told me it would be. Basically, I've got to end up scheduling constant appointments and arrange rides to drop off my car with a mechanic and pick it up. depending on the place I could get to and how long ago it was that I last asked them to unclog it determines how much I'm charged for it. Can range from $35-$75 each time.

This has been happening so frequently (sometimes a week later, two weeks later, or If I'm lucky after a month or two- which is rare now). I don't have the time and money to constantly fix this with my job either. I work when most of the places open could help me with this issue and it's not easy to get transportation to and from the mechanics so I could drop it off.

This results in me having to put up with constant water leaks and I'm afraid The damage could create problems beyond mold and my carpets/leather ruined. Whenever there has been water leaked, my passenger and rear windows don't work and locks too. I try to keep all of the wires that are below the passenger seat as dry as possible but if we have a bad thunderstorm sometimes I can't do anything about it besides put in absorbent towels to help while I may be at work. I had to go out of town for a couple weeks recently and my car had so much water that had leaked and accumulated over the time period where we were getting many flash flood warnings. After cleaning it as best as I could, my engine had an issue and my car wasn't running and sounding right at all. I was only able to go back a few yards in reverse and then pull back into the parking spot because my car was shaking and the engine was making a loud lulling noise. I don't know enough about cars to say whether or not It was like stalling or something but I know it wasn't right and had the check engine light come on as soon as I tested it out driving around near my house that indicated the emissions control system. Does this have anything to do with The water damage do you think? I don't know if it could be related or just from some other problem since this is an older vehicle with many miles on it.

I've tried looking online and researching the issue but it sounds way too complicated for me to do myself. In the process of researching this, I've come across many forums and places where other people have complained about similar leaking problems with Mazda tributes and with the identical Ford Escapes. many people have said they thought it was a sunroof issue but have discovered other reasons for leaks which is what I'm clueless about. I know the drain can get clogged easily as it's pretty narrow, but i don't think it's normal for the problem to occur so often now.

I've asked mechanics about it and brought it up last time I took my car to the Mazda dealer for work that needed to be done and no one has seen anything in particular that would contribute to this water issue. most people I've asked will dismiss the issue and don't really look for any other possible causes for leaks because they immediately tell me it's fine and not a problem as paying for it to get "unclogged" is an easy fix.

Is anyone else having this issue? if maybe replacing the tube would solve the issue then I'd pay for that rather than constantly dealing with soaked floors and wet towels constantly. In the winter all of the water in the car would cause issues with my windows and I'd have to scrape ice off the inside of my windshield!! I've kept damprid containers there and also have a wet vac on hand. I've bought a car cover that I used to use but eventually given up on it as It takes such a long time to get it on and off the car. Its definitely not something you can do with an umbrella so if I don't get soaked in the rain trying to put the cover on for 10-15 minutes then I'll definitely get soaked when I have to take it off. It's all wet and Isn't easy to store back in the car without water getting everywhere.

I also do not touch my sunroof or open it at all just to be sure I don't contribute to the problem. I also NEVER park under trees and am constantly making sure I don't have any leaves on the car at all just to be sure it doesn't get clogged. In the fall I clean out all of the leaves on my windshield and those that get trapped under the hood. Is there anything I could do to prevent this from getting clogged? Heck I'd be willing to use heavy duty duck tape and seal the entire rim of the sun room on top if someone told me that would work well! Let me know if anyone reads this book I just wrote and has any helpful advice for this clueless girl in her 20s who knows nothing about cars!!!! Help!

- , Lexington, KY, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?