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Mazda 626



  • i my previous email i meant to say that the car has 115000 miles on it
  • Things I would certainly do after test-driving but before signing the check:

    • If this is an automatic, pull the dipstick and get a look at the fluid. If it's grey or brown or smells burned, walk away.
    • Check all the electricals - make sure they work. Not all of them are easy to fix when they don't.
    • If a little red light on the stereo comes on with the power off and the keys out of the ignition, ask the dealer if he has the antitheft code for it. Otherwise, first time you have to change the battery, the stereo is going to demand this code, and if you don't have it, you go tuneless.
    • Consider bringing in an independent mechanic to look over the car. This will probably cost you $100 or so, but diverting you away from a car that's about to run up six grand in repair bills is well worth it. I yield to no one in my admiration for the '93 626, but not even I would put up with that.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, another round of repairs and $819 later, our 626 is back on the road (new left front hub and wheel bearing). I'm kind of disappointed, to be honest.

    The thing was perfecty reliable for about 5 years, but the last 2 years have brought on $2 grand worth of repairs, and 3 visits to the dealer. Not too happy about that.

    It only has 70k miles too, on a '95 V6/5 speed.

    Oh well, a good car otherwise, but I hope the streak of bad luck has ended.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    OUCH? You are going to have to give up your dealer loyalty at those prices.

    I count about $175 in parts and 2.1hrs of labor. So at $819 that works out to roughly $300/hr for the labor.

    Please restore my dealer confidence and say there is more to it.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Already made that decision. Basically we went back after they had fixed the right front axle boot, thinking it was the same problem again (so it would have been free). Not so, so we got nailed for yet another repair bill.

    I will have to check the invoice, but I think that was it. These are the same guys that charged $220 for an O2 sensor, parts only. On-line I found it at Trussville Mazda for $160, and aftermarket it was $70 at Trak Auto.

    Never again will I go to that dealer.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I forgot about that! that could have been a result of them not torquing the axle properly. Was that on the same side that they did the repair? Now I'm full of curiosity.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No, different side. I was hoping it was the same side, so they'd cover at least part of the costs.

    It lasted for 70k miles, not horrible but less than expected.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    My wheel bearing replaced only due to an accident cost $130.00. How much was yours.

    How much was that wheelhub?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The wife paid for it, so I don't have the actual invoice. I was just quoted the total cost of the job ($819, and that's after a coupon discount). Seems pretty outrageous to me.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    But I got the following services:

    1. CV Axle replacement.
    2. Alignment
    3. 120K Maintenence checkup
    4. Replacement of spark plugs, timing belt, water pump, crankshaft seal, cam seal, and antifreeze.

    I thought the cost was high, but maybe it wasn't so bad.

    I got this mechanic by asking my local dealership if they knew of a mechanic who used to work for them who set up an independent shop. Their referral was excellent.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No, that sounds cheap actually. I think I'll use an independent next time. Good idea.

  • I'm the guy with the '93 626 whos doors wouldn't stay locked but well thanks they lock if I hold in the handle as I lock it so that's all fine except on the driver side, rear door, the door lock nor the power window don't work. At first I thought the window was frozen but that door must have some electrical problem. A bit annoying, gotta make sure no smokers sit on that side since they can't open the window. :)

    Is this likely something simple to fix or expensive to fix?
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    I have a 93 626 also. Few years ago, the power window switches in the driver's door quit working. At first I though it was a faulty switch module. After spending $120 of labor, the tech at the dealer figured out that the pins in the wiring harness which connects the door with the door frame were corroded. He pulled out the corroded pins and replaced them. The harness itself is very expensive to replace as it comes in a set (male and female sides). I am glad the technician was willing to fix it instead of replacing the whole thing.

    The corrosion is probably due to the fact that the car was hit on the driver side and the body shop probably did not do a good job when reinstalling the door after repairing it. The rubber boot was not covering the harness entirely allowing moisture to enter. After the pins were replaced, I used some black silicone to seal the gap and it has been working ever since.
  • I own a 97 ES Auto with 63K on the clock. I'm about to go in and get the timing belt done. Also though, I 've been getting a pretty bad vibration (front wheels throught to the steering wheel) at speeds above 60mph, with it almost disapearing by 80mph. Is this a result of poor wheel balancing or a tire irregularity? The alignment is dead on, and at lower speeds everything tracks fine? Any ideas on what this might be?

    Next item:
    I know that the low profile tires on the car (Eagle GT's - replacements) are going to ride rough, but this car seems feel every bump and imperfection in the road. The car handles confidently, in fact it is one of it's best quality's - but the ride is not well damped in the least. Is there anything obvious I can do for this? I believe the shocks and struts to be in good shape as well.

    Lastly, what maintainence should I be doing at this 63K point besides the timing belt to keep this puppy running for another 60k?

    Thank you in advance for all the advice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We just had the front wheel hub and bearing replaced, and it was producing a sound that went "chunk chunk chunk" and varied with speed.

    Before that we had an axle boot that tore, and the axle grease leaked out and got noisy, too. You can inspect the axle boot visually to see if it's OK.

    It could also be tire/wheel balance, or uneven tire pressue. The latter could also be causing the stiff ride.

  • Rotate the front tires to the back and vice versa and see if it goes away or is substantially changed. If so, you've got a tire/wheel combination a tad out of balance. (It's possible that one tire is out of round, but this is less common; still, if it is, better to have it on the back.)

    Tire pressure is semi-critical on these cars: 35 psi is about as high as I'd go up front, maybe 32 psi for the rear.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    These are recommendations in addition to the recommended schedule in the owners manual. I've found that following these procedures minimizes unnecessary repairs.

    1. If any cam or crankshaft seals are leaking when you change the timing belt also get them replaced. Change at 120K regardless.

    2. If the seals are good, change over to Valvoline Maxlife. Reduces oil consumption, sludge, and specially conditions seals to hopefully last to 120K. My cam and crankshaft seals went at 110K and required duplicate repair. Maxlife is a cheap way to help ensure that they can last.

    3. I always change out the Brake and Power steering fluid every 30,000 miles.

    4. Change transmission fluid every 15K with automatic, and every 30K with manual. Recommend adding Lubegard to preserve transmission integrity, condition seals, reduce acids, and lower operating temperatures. Recommended by my Mazda specialist mechanic.

    5. Check struts for leaks. If they leak replace them immediately.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    If the tire balancing shows them to be in balance, and alignment is correct, in my opinion you need to look at suspension issues.

    Have a mechanic with steering components expertise intensively inspect the following: wheel bearings, control arms, A arm, tie rods, ball joints, struts and strut mounts. One or more components may be worn out. When I bought the car at 60K I had a similar vibration and ignored it for 40 thousand miles. Big mistake. We wore out some non-wearing components like the power control arm on one side. Expensive. Don't wait.

    My Mazda has a much better road feel without jarring when I switched to KYB g/2 struts. The original Struts were leaking. They are softer initially, but really firm up in harsher conditions when needed. I like the ride much better. Responsive, and can feel the road without any jarring.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    I really liked the restoration of power when I spent a little over $100 for a pressurized fuel injector cleaning. I will now do that at least every 60K.
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