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Mazda 626

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  • I am looking at a 626ES to purchase. It has the
    automatic. I have heard that some autos produced
    by Mazda are unreliable and go out early. Is this
    the case with this particular model? 1995 with
    75000 miles, very good condition it seems, and
    drives fine. What can anyone tell me about the
    reliability of these cars and what kind of gas
    mileage can one expect? Thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 95 came standard with the V6, and that tranny is a Mazda unit, which is reliable.

    We have a 95, but it's a stick, though it's been great. In 5 years we've spent only a coupe of hundred on a fuel system service, everything else was regular scheduled maintenance. It's never stranded us, and my wife isn't even interested in trading it in yet.

    In hind sight, we would have purchased the same exact car, no regrets. The Honda and Toyota would have cost several thousand more with the same stuff (leather, moonroof, ABS, alloys, etc).

    -juice
  • The place to be is the Recall Database of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation. (Say that fast three times.)

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recmmy1.cfm

    will get you there; key in "Mazda", "626", and "1998", and the details will appear.
  • teripterip Posts: 3
    Hey, I have the answer to this. Your torque converter is about to die. I have a 95 Mazda 626 that I bought as a program car with 8500 miles on it four years ago. At 50,000 miles, I had the OD off light problem. It was under extended warranty. It took about a month to run all the tests they wanted to do (I had a loaner car for that period), then Mazda replaced the entire tranny.

    If you take overdrive off any time your speed drops below 45 mph, the torque converter will last longer. I know they tell you that you don't have to do it, but I currently have 130,000+ on the car and it's just now beginning to make noise again. Obviously Mazda knows about this, because they really didn't put up a lot of fight about the replacement.

    I put 90 miles a day on my car, mostly state highway driving. It still has plenty of get up and go and the body and interior are holding up well. But it does seem to me to be a bit spendy to maintain. I've replaced the timing belt twice (at 60,000 and 120,000) at a cost of $700 each time. I just had the wiper arm assembly go out, which was another $150. It started out being about $200 every time I took the car in. Now it's up to about $700. I put a lot of miles on it and I do expect it to get more expensive to keep it going. I did not expect to spend so much with a fairly new car.

    I will finally have this paid off in January and will be looking for another car and probably not a Mazda. I'm keeping the car for my husband, who won't put many miles on it. It could last another 10 years with that kind of driving. I wouldn't recommend it, if you have any kind of commute.
  • teripterip Posts: 3
    I guess I should mention the one really good piece of news about the 95 626. The gas mileage is good. You won't go broke trying to keep this on the road. And you can get past those slow moving cars!
  • teripterip Posts: 3
    Sorry to write so many posts in one day, but I'm working my way back through the archives. I had the air sensor go out this year too. (Actually there were two sensors that went out--$300 just for the replacement sensors).

    The sign that you have this problem is poor acceleration going uphill, that is worse on hot days. The car will sound like it's going to die. I was told that the problem being worse in hot weather is a dead giveaway for this problem.

    There is also a lifter noise that I'm told is common in Mazdas. It's a standard lifter ticking noise. It doesn't seem to get any worse and is caused by weak lifters. I'm also due to have the brakes done again. This time I'll need new rotors. And geez, don't deal with those sharks at Sears! I had them tell me, when I took the car in for the first brake work, that I needed the master cylinder changed. They tried to tell me that it was leaking fluid. I had them put everything back together and got out of there as quickly as I could. It just needed new pads.
  • I am in the market for a new car - I have only a few ideas on what I want. #1 - I want to stay under 20k, #2 - I want as many "extras" as I can get, and #3 - I need something in which my 2 sons (both 6' tall) can ride in. I just got back from a Mazda dealer and was very impressed with the Protege and 626. If I don't want to upgrade the 626 to a V6, should I not even consider it and just take the Protege?
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    The wife and I just picked out our FIRST new car.
    I'm a 6' 200lbs guy and I fit nicely in this craft.The 2.0 with the 5-spd moves out quite nicely,but this test was a short run. All those
    problems I read about the tranny I hope won't
    affect our left-leg flexor. We pick up the Free-
    port Green Metallic(who thinksup these colors?)
    baby wednesday. Will let ya know about first
    road trip. Thumbs Up!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    lady: avoid the moonroof, which eats up headroom for those 6 footers. Also, people here say the 4 cylinder's auto tranny is not reliable.

    That makes the choice easy: 626 LX V6. With a rebate you can easily get one for under $20k, I think it's just $19.5k or so at full retail. Paying near invoice will keep you well below your price limit.

    Good luck.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We did this for a few hundred bucks a while back. We replaced all the belts while we were at it. I also wanted to replace the water pump, but the service tech said it was not necessary.

    -juice
  • If you've got the automatic, you probably should treat it to a fresh fill of Dexron. Also, this is about the time CV boots start to deteriorate. Other than that, there's really nothing major that always seems to need attention around this time, besides the usual things you have to check all the time anyway.
  • My son just picked up one yesterday. List Price was $20,895. Deal came through at $18,500. According to my son, he did not have to haggle to get it. Nice car for the money, lots of extras on the ES come standard. However, ABS and side airbags are optional on all 626s.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    ABS and a V6 were standard on our '95 ES.

    Oh, well.

    -juice
  • They all do that, and were I more of a devotee of Machiavelli, I'd suggest Mazda does this to make sure you buy the V6 next time - or, at least, the premium sound system.
  • jkrolakjkrolak Posts: 38
    There are two 626 ES models, a 626 ES (with a 130HP 16 valve 4 cylinder) and a separate 626 ES V-6 with more toys and a higher price tag. The 626 ES idles without nary a whimper, your buzzy 4-cylinder must be an older model.
  • There was only one 626 ES model, until 1999 when Mazda started offering the ES trim on the 4 cylinder model. 1998 and before ESs were all V6 models. Mazda also dropped the DX models after the 1998 model year.
  • Which would be really nice with a stick, but this is the only engine/trim level combination where you can't get one. I suppose you could get the LX with the Premium Package, but....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nah, get the V6. Consumer Reports said it was "much better".

    In-line 4 cylinders are naturally unbalanced, hence many use balance shafts. The V6 is naturally smooth, and offers sweet power, while still being very efficient.

    -juice
  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    Agreed. I have a '97 ES 5 spd and there are not enough o's in smooth to describe it. Lots of power, not right off the line, but get it wound up and the car just flies. It is pretty good on gas too, (providing your not hot rodding it around). I get around 23 to 24 mpg city which is about what I got with my previous 2.5L Chrysler 4 banger! I also like the gearing in the 5 speed, it's well matched to the V6. Can easily cruise around town in 5th, (gas saver) and yet also have it revving at the lower end of the power band for effortless highway passing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Quite fast if you just rev the engine a bit.

    It's geared short for acceleration, my only complaint is that 5th gear could be a little taller, or there could be a 6th cruising gear to save gas.

    Minor nit-pick, I know.

    -juice
  • jmazdajmazda Posts: 1
    I was just wondering if anyone has any advice for me purchasing a used mazda. It is a 1991 Mazda with 40,000 miles. Its has a manual transmission and is loaded with a lot of options. I have a choice between that car and others that are similar but, with 80,000+ miles. I was wondering if anyone has had or knows someone that owns a 1990-1992 mazda 626, and if so, has there been any problems since you/they have had the car. I would greatly appreciate any advice from anyone about this.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ours is newer, but we purchased it largely based upon the great reputation of the model years that came before it.

    That should be reliable, just make sure the mileage is accurate. Check the pedals to see if the rubber pads seem too worn for 40k miles.

    -juice
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 87
    It should be reliable. The '89 that I had was in the same redesign (That one ran from '88 to '92). It went to 212k miles with NO PROBLEMS except for 2 major (about $1,000 each) automatic transmission rebuilds. If the one you are considering is an auto, make sure that the reverse gear works and the transmission doesn't slip in the forward gears. If you buy it, I have read that frequent A/T fluid changes (evey 10k miles or so) do wonders for the life of it. (It may last the life of the car with them) Great car.
  • larry886larry886 Posts: 1
    Anybody else have this problem, the tail lights tend to melt the plastic next to the conductor on the bulb itself. The bulb # is 3057LL "Sylvania"
    I beleive the tail light fixture is the problem, not the bulb. I have a Lumina that has the same bulb and no problems and the Malibu has melted the plastic on both sides, left and right tail lights. I have noticed a few Malibu's on the highway with brake lights and turn signals not working. You can fix by scraping melted plastic off the bulb and cleaning the conductor but what a P.I.A. ANYONE ELSE HAVE SAME PROBLEM??
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    700 miles and what a babe.At 6ft I loose a sight
    line from that rear-view mirror not being mounted
    in the darkened portion of the windshield.It took
    about an hour and 2 single-edge razor blades to
    whittle away at that mirror button glue but it's
    raised now and out of my sight line.That flippin'
    black trim piece is another story!What the heck
    is that made from?It's inpervious to blades,heat
    and acetone!Help me! For a head-rest restraint to
    be effective it needs to be elevated to at least
    the top of one's ear.Mine is about 2.5" to low,
    the head-rest not my ear,and should be modified.
    Will get back later. Thumbs Up
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Never had trouble with the lights on our 626, but why ask about a Malibu in a 626 topic?

    -juice
  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    The head restraint thing goes back a while, IIRC it was only an issue on the ES model of previous years, and well documented in the Lemon Aid book. It was something I checked out on the '97 ES I bought last year. At 5'10" the head restraint is for me perhaps a tad too low at its fully extended position. For someone 6+ feet it could be downright dangerous in the event of a rear ender. I'm surprised that not only has mazda NOT done anything about it, but now it seems that more than just one model has the problem.
  • skorolskorol Posts: 11
    I also used to have 1989 Mazda 626, but with 5-spd, and it was a great car. I loved the 2.2L engine, it was so smooth and powerful. I didn't have many problems with that car, only minor ones, and have a lot of good words to say about it. By the way, Mazda I thoguht started making that disign in 1989, and not 1988, as you said in your posts. That engine, however, consumed oil, and I had to put half a quart in every 2 weeks or so, did you experience the same fenomena? Despite that, I never had problems with engine, and considered it to be the best part of the car even with that small oil consumption. Mazda has always been making great cars, especially with manual transmissions.
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 87
    Yeah, it did use oil, but not that much. I know a few people with supposed '88s that look like mine, but when I bought it they had some '88s left over on the lot that were clearly an older body style. On MSN CarPoint it says '88-'92. I really am not quite sure. In retrospect I wish I had gotten the 5 spd.
  • jules226jules226 Posts: 3
    I purchased my used mazda 2 years ago with 30,000 miles on it. One month after the warranty went out my o/d light started to flash. Before I knew it the car was lurking and I barely made it home with the kids in the back. I had the car checked out beforehand and there was no sign of trouble. Had it towed to mazda where there diagnosis was I needed a new trans. They only made me pay $400 to do a 36,000 mile service to it. The trans was over $2,000. Fortunately it has 56,000 miles now but I dont trust it. I'm getting rid of it and buying a nissan van. Defintely get the v6 mine was a 4 and not enough power. Good luck.
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