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Mazda 626



  • jbt21jbt21 Posts: 2
    Well everyone, I just picked up a 98 626 AS (V6 5 spd.) last night. It had 36K on it, black cherry (the deep maroon) in color, with the tan interior. I love it so far. The five speed is a lot of fun, except I got stuck in road construction and that wasn't fun. Anyway I hope I like the car as much in a couple years as I do today.

    I have a couple questions. #1 (Windowphobe, I know you may be able to answer this) Are there any maintenance issues I should now about. Small stubborn things I may be able to prevent just by knowing ahead of time.

    #2) What is the best way to keep the leather seats in good shape?

    #3) Is there any particular wax that anyone suggests, or will any old wax do?

    #4) It has been at least 5 yr since I've had a manual transmission, so I don't know if it's just me or not. When you let off the gas in the lower gears does the car tend to jerk or jolt a little? When I let off, it doesn't seem to decelerate real smoothly at first (this is the best way I can describe it). Like I said I don't know if it's just me or is this common.

    Well everyone, Any comments would be appreciated.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For #4, try easing off the gas. With a manual tranny, practice makes perfect.

    I have a question, though. My wife's V6 has an audible valve clatter when it's cold. We've done the timing belt and the 60k service, but this has me a bit concerned.

    What do you guys think? I'm using 10w30 dino oil right now. Would a different viscosity make a difference?

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    You can try a thinner oil like 5W-20 or try something like Rislone or Marvel in the oil to loosen things up a bit. Other than that, there are probably a few pesky lifters that are sticky until they reach a comfortable temp.

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    The Mazda 2.5L DOHC V6 is particularly known for noisy lifters when the engine is cold, and would be considered normal operation. But, once that sweet engine is warmed up, the clatter should stop and engine should be virtually silent.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It does, so maybe I shouldn't worry about it. You can literally stand next to the car and hear the tap-tap tap-tap tap-tap.

    I would've tried the thinner oil, but summer is about to start.

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    It gets better as you get more familiar with it; every gearbox is slightly different, and there's always a little bit of a learning curve, even if you learned to double-clutch from Roger Penske.

    And do take a look at the tach between shifts. You may find that the needle is moving in unexpected directions, perhaps in response to emissions concerns.

    As with any 626, you should keep your eye on the CV boots, if only because replacing an axle is such a pain. It's not imminent or anything - last one I did was at 85k or so, which is a long way off - but sometimes I wonder if maybe Mazda would have been better off making these things out of cork. :)
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    In general, if the lifter clatter quits in a couple of minutes, it's probably nothing to worry about.
  • eeoreeor Posts: 7
    thanks for your help guys. i think i'll pass.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks windowphobe6. I feel much better now.

  • We have a 93 626 LX bought used over a year ago. Had a freshly rebuilt tranny and the price was right. The thing is loaded down to the factory sunroof. I've had to replace a cv joint and boots, muffler and brake pads but thats about it. I've got a question that I'll get to.

    Ever since we've had the car the engine check light would come on after driving the car for a few km (about the same location from home every time). If we start it in the city and drive slow it takes longer for the check light to come on. I've always had a suspicion that its only one of the sensors acting up, and hoping its not something to do with the tranny rebuild. Car performance is wonderful and does not change when the light comes on so I have not been too worried about it. The tranny rebuild was also well done and shifting is very good.

    However, had this weird thing that happened to the throttle body area of the car. For awhile it seemed the solenoid on the throttle body was toast and the idle speed dropped, the car was rough, etc. My mechanic wanted to replace the whole throttle body (which was way expensive) but I opted for a temporary fix (a bolt to the throttle cable)until I could find a second hand throttle body. Well, after a few months the thing corrected itself and I have not seen this problem again. Weird.

    Is this just a typical 626 electrical problem? Or do I have an erratic throttle or air sensor? Could a loose gas cap lid cause the engine check light to come on? I do seem to have this problem with the button on the gas lid latch sticking and wonder if this should be replaced.

    Other than that just want to say I've owned several types of cars (my other is a 92 MPV) and this 626 amazes me how solid it still is after 250,000 km, even the minor details like trim and floor mats.

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    It is most likely not a transmission issue. (The engine and tranny share the computer, but if there's something tranny-related, the HOLD light usually comes on.)

    The '93s, not being OBD II-compliant, aren't that sensitive to gas-cap anomalies. If it's running normally otherwise, I tend to suspect an oxygen sensor on its last legs.
  • neon96neon96 Posts: 1
    My son and daughter just purchased (less then two months old) a used 1994 Mazda 626 with about 70,000 miles on it. Two hours after they drove the car out of the lot the Hold light came on and started "blinking". We took it back to the used car dealer, and they couldn't figure out what is wrong with it. After repeated returns they said they don't have the diagnostic tool for it. We purchased a repair manual on it and it didn't say what the "blinking" Hold light meant. The only thing we found out was that Mazda is owned partially by Ford, and the Haynes repair manual for the Mazda 626 had a Ford Probe on the cover. The actual owners manual says to not drive it or damage will result to the transmission. Boy am I hoping for some good news about this problem. Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Usually a solid light is just a warning, and blinking light is more serious. You should not drive it until it's fixed.

    Obviously, the dealer should take care of it. In many states there is a 30 day warranty, at a minimum.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The solid hold light is similar to the O/D off light in many cars. It just means that it will hold it out of O/D which is not a warning but rather an indicator of the transmission mode. Agreed, the blinking light is a problem.

    FYI neon96, the Probe and 626 were built on the same assembly line at a Mazda/Ford plant in Michigan. The nice thing is that they are mostly Mazda components with the exception of the lovely CD4E slush box.

    Haynes manuals: Not worth their weight in dirt. The factory manual is a much better education and runs from $50-100 at you friendly local dealer.

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    With '94s generally, you should check to see if the speedometer gear has been replaced per Mazda's "Special Service Program". If the speedo is erratic, this is almost certainly the issue.

    The lovely CD4E slushbox was cranky in this year. How was it driving beforehand?
  • pnutboypnutboy Posts: 2
    hello windowphobe6, I am seriously looking at buying a '96 es V6 AUTO TARNS. It has 67k miles. I read much of the posts and saw that
    this car is 4th generations.
    Can I add or tell me the maintenance(of what to expect)

    change timing belt
    valve cover gasket
    water pump?
    plugs & wires
    o2 sen?

    Is there anything I'm missing? The previous owner still has a warranty left until November. The car is in excellent condition. Please tell me what to expect to put into it at this miles and what I may be missing?

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The timing belt, says Mazda, ought to be changed every 60k miles. Water pumps usually last longer than that, but if you run into trouble with yours before 120k, change it and the timing belt at the same time - it saves a lot of duplication of labor.

    Valve-cover gaskets can be left alone unless there's actual leakage - check the spark-plug wells for oil. These are relatively easy to fix, the front bank more so than the rear. And if you do find oil in the plug wells, go ahead and replace the wires.

    Oxygen sensors seldom seem to last beyond about 80k on these cars - and you have two of them working under different conditions, so they won't likely fail simultaneously.

    Keep an eye on your CV boots; they tend to crack after seven or eight years, which allows the joints to deteriorate. Rebuilt axles are fairly inexpensive, but a pain in the neck to install.

    And get the transmission serviced. Mazda has never specified an interval for tranny service for these cars, which, in my view, has contributed substantially to its not-entirely-Ford-induced reputation for dubious transmissions. I wouldn't let any Mazda tranny go 30k miles without a fluid replacement.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi friends,

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    She's a business reporter at the Yomiuri Shimbun, which is the biggest daily paper in Japan with a circulation of 14 million. They are writing a feature story about Japanese automakers' continuing success in expanding production in the U.S. and snatching market share from the Big Three even on their former home turf of light trucks.

    If you fit this description and are willing to be interviewed, please call her directly at 212-582-5827 or e-mail her at As always, you can contact me at if you have any questions.


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    PR Director
  • pnutboypnutboy Posts: 2
    Thanks a whole lot windowphobe6. I will go with you Suggestions list. I fell better knowing what to expect.
  • freds5freds5 Posts: 5
    I have a 1998 626 lx with aboout 63k miles on it. The check engine light came on Friday night. Took to a local sevice center to see what the problem is (the dealer's not open over the weekend). They said the O2 censor is not picking up the oxygen as it is leaving the engine and the fuel/air mixture would be affected. They cleared the codes, so the check engine light would not come on. The part according to them will cost $200-$300 to replace (they did not have the part in stock and said it is dealer only part). They also said a fuel injection treatment may coax the O2 censor to pick up the O2 output correctly. Is this a problem that would be reacurring or is this only one time problem? Does the cost of the part sound reasonable/as well as the fuel injection cleaning? Also, will the dealer be able to fix the problem, since the service center cleared the check engine codes?
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