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Mazda 626

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a toughie. If the invoice was $19,200, it cost him $16,950 minus the hold back he'll get later. For Mazda it's 2% of the base MSRP. Let's guesstimate that would be about another $400 bucks or so, so the next cost is $16,550.

    Break it down on paper, and offer the dealer actual cost, no profit, and tell him that's best and final, no nickel and diming. He should not expect to profit from an aging car, but then again he may not be willing to swallow a $1000 loss (your current offer).

    -juice
  • billusbillus Posts: 4
    I saw mention of the need for timing belt replacement. I have a near-perfect '98 626 with 64,000 miles on it. The user's manual quotes 105,000 for the timing belt change if purchased in California. Is the engine slightly different in such cases?

    I leased the car, unfortunately, and have another 9 months to go. So far, the 626 has required near-zero repairs. If I can return it at 75,000 miles in this shape, I'll be impressed indeed.

    If it weren't for having such a high residual ($18K), I'd forego paying the $4K in excess mileage (40,000 miles x .10) and keep the car. Blue Book is for around $10K with 75,000 miles on. It's in perfect condition and runs so quiet in idle that you can't tell it's on. I had no idea a car could be so reliable!

    Once I close the lease, any ideas how likely they'll put the car on the same lot? Any chance they would just sell it to me at the Blue Book cost or Blue Book + mileage overage?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    There aren't any differences. California regulators, however, are persuaded that timing belts, being dimly related to emissions, ought to last 100,000 miles, and Mazda duly changed their recommendation to keep the drones in Sacramento happy. I figure, though, that access to the belt is tricky enough that if you're going to open up the cover to look at it, as Mazda recommends you do at 60k, you may as well go ahead and change it. The consequences of a broken belt on the V6 - I assume this is a V6, since no one would ever accuse the four-cylinder of being quiet at idle - are rather dire.
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    I have a 97 4 cyl. and with a/c off and engine warm at idle speed, it is almost impossible to tell it is running from outside ,about the only indication is the exhaust if outside temp. is cool enough.These engines have hydraulic lifters(HLA)and if oil is changed as per spec.it will remain quiet (dirty oil = noisy lifters). Very pleased with engine in mine , not so pleased with the auto trans. though.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Actually, it's more of a slouch. :)

    So what's wrong with your transmission? (626 engines tend to be sturdy, but some of these slushboxes....)
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Auto trans is not smooth when engaging or shifting as compared to my Toyotas. The Madza(Ford) trans was designed to use a straight Dexron/Mercon fluid where Toyota, Chrysler, and others use friction modified versions of the Dexron fluid (not to be used in Mazda) which allows a designed amt. of slippage. This is only one difference, some also electronically reduce engine timing at shift points to reduce engine power for a smooth shift,ie Lexus and others.Maybe Ford should buy a few Toyota transmissions and copy their ideas??
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm partial to a somewhat firmer shift, perhaps because I spent all those years stirring my own gears in a 5-speed Toyota. Or maybe it's just fear of isolation. :)
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Our Doubleought 626 LX with 5.8K is a dream.
    Thanx,Charles,for that expression. Never heard
    of stickshiftin' coined like that Clever!
  • ediebjoediebjo Posts: 1
    Does the a/t getter better with mileage? The automatic shifting on my 2000 seems to be improving. Does anybody know if the dealer can make any adjustments to improve shifting. Smooth shifting seems to coincide with rpms.
  • billusbillus Posts: 4
    Thanks, Number17, for the advice. BTW, what happens if the timing belt slips/breaks/whatever. Is it kinda like...oops, there goes the engine? It would be great to make it through the end of the lease...

    Regarding the auto. transmission, it does get better over the first 30,000 miles, I've found. The annoying thing (at least on my '98/ES/V6) is when you floor it and performance seems lackluster. Then, when you back off the gas, you hear this GRRRRRRROWWWWWWWWWWL and sudden, intense surge of power, like the engine had to charge up or something. It feels like you have an inline 3-cylinder with a biturbo. If it hits right, you can squeal the tires up to about 85 mph. If it doesn't, you feel like you're driving a Yugo uphill, through snow, with bald tires and a trunk full of lead blocks. I try to either wisely kick off the overdrive (O/D button on the shifter) or downshift to 2nd. Then, there's no problem whatsoever.

    Another problem is when it gets confused...accelerate slightly just after it downshifts from 3rd to 2nd and it may shift up and down 2-3 more times...like it's wondering what the heck you're thinking or teasing you.

    As for reliability...ALWAYS starts on the first crank, no squeaks or rattles, feels like a new car, looks incredible after a good washing (paint job outshines forest green BMW's and Mercedes' all the time), handles pretty well when I'm bobbing through the mountain roads around here or dodging potholes on 880. Once in a while, I'll feel the traction control kick in and I get this warm, fuzzy feeling...or I'll do a panic stop and, though I'm about to faint, I note that the car stopped in a perfect straight line, and a short line at that.

    I do believe I'll lease/buy another when my lease is up. Unless there were a 626 convertible or a more hefty engine, maybe a "smarter" transmission, I'm surprisingly happy.
  • ryangaltryangalt Posts: 1
    The characteristics you describe about your auto transmission giving inconsistent performance is exactly why I drive a car with a stick. Some automatics are smarter and/or smoother than others, and the auto's on the newest high performance cars are much better than what we had to choose from in the past, but... The bottom line is that no automatic is as smart as the brain of a skilled driver and they still will not always be right where you need them to be when you need them to be there.

    What an auto is good for is making it easier for you to talk on the cell phone or eat while you are driving. However, unless you are doing one of those things all the time, you would probably really enjoy the 5-speed (it's faster & better MPG). Think about it if you decide to get a new one...
  • Yeap, I agree with you I was displeased with the transmission when I first got my 99 626. But after about 12,000 miles it settled down and now is quiet and responsive. Mine just rolled over 34,000 and I believe it is my favorite car yet. We tend to buy a new car every 24 months, but cant think of one we like better (under $25,000 that is) Highly reccomend this car,quiet & peppy with the 4cyl, auto plus leather seats! If you are on the fence...buy the 626!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Both engines make their power up high, so the manual lets you control where the revs are and therefore return better acceleration.

    I drove the wife's 626 to work this AM, and the power really lights up above 4000rpm.

    -juice
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Can't agreed with you more .... that's exactly the reason I'd take a 5 sp anyday. Mazda's (or Ford's) MT is also defn not one of the smarter ones in the industry. Honda makes more responsive AT and Toyota makes smoother ones. A stick gives you way more control, and one less component that will go wrong.

    And that's what it boiled down to for me- V6+5sp MT. 626 LX-V6 is the best value ... my only other alternative was the Maxima ... which costs way more.


    #17
  • I agree the manual tranny is the way to go! That is one of the main reasons I bought this car. V6 plus MT in a sedan. Seems to be rare these days! My other choice was a Passat, but it was a bit out of my "comfort zone" for payments. Instead, for just under $19,000, I bought a loaded 99 ES V6 5spd. Bought it in September. 9 months and 18k miles later, no major problems. The only problem was the belts did sqealed like a SOB during cold starts shortly after I bought it. The dealer quickly fixed it, but it was rather embarassing when my neighbors would stare at me in my brand new car everytime I started it in the mornings!

    Mike.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Yes I was also considering the Passat .... but the GLX V6+5spMT Passat is way out of the budget though (almost price of an A4!!!), while Passat GLS 1.8T + 5spMT still costs slightly more than 626 LX-V6, and is slightly underpowered. Also, VWs are not known to be too reliable .... Passat seems to be a pleasant exception though.

    #17
  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    What kind of shoes does the 2000 ES come with? My 97 ES (still) has a set of Michelin XGT H4's which are fantastic on bone dry road, slippery when wet and downright dangerous in the snow. I live in the great white north so I bought a full set of snows and steel rims for my winter driving. Highly recommended! Keeps the fun to drive factor at a maximum all year around.
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 87
    It comes with Bridgestone Potenza RE92s.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Yes V6's come with 205/16R55 RE92 tires, the exact same tires used on the Honda Prelude's. The tires are decent in dry, but are poor in rain, and unacceptable in snow. I'm definitely going for a set of snow tires before winter comes ... On dry surfaces though, the sidewalls are reasonably stiff for sharp turn in, the tires are reasonably quiet and have good braking distance. In rain the good tread pattern accounts for reasonable braking distance, but the tire material is not too grippy its lateral growth is really bad in rain.

    bmclaughlin1 - thanks for your input. 626 ES for 626 ES, I bet you really liked the car eh? = ) Nothing against AT, cos over 95% of family sedans sold are AT's .... but the Mazda AT is especially subpar compared to Honda and Toyota. IMO, on the 626 the MT is a much preferred choice for smoother ride and much better acceleration. OTOH, have you experienced any problems with using 87 fuel?? I think the manual recommends 94 and requires minimum of 91 octane level gas to avoid knocking ...

    Finally CD changer - instead of going for the factory changer I've chosen to go aftermarket path... and my Sony changer (which I inherited from my previous cars) is working great .... it's 8 yrs and counting = )

    #17
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I meant lateral hold, not growth ....
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    I was reading , in Europe the ratio of M/A
    is 7 to 1.Here it's the opposite!?! Why is
    it our cousins on the other side of the
    Atlantic prefer a clutch? I throughly enjoy
    our left leg flexor,and love to choose the
    rpms.I too am grounded by the Protenzas.
    Here in the Midwest I should be looking for
    better "snowshoes".Any suggestions?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you paid $4/gallon of gas, you'd only buy manuals too! They also put a priority on sporty driving, not comfort, especially since distances tend to be shorter.

    The RE92's are your typical OE compromise. They're quiet and decent in the dry, but that's about it. If you break out a tape measure, and check the width of the tread, it's puny, not even close to 205mm (which is the section width), since the tire bulges out.

    -juice
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    This is not the first time I've heard 87's and 89's run fine on the 2.5LV6, despite what the owner's manual suggests .... I guess it's fine, as long as you pay attention to it, and switches back to 91+ if you hear knocking .... as expensive as gas is these days, I may give 89 fuel a try as well ...

    M/A ratio - yes I think the outrageous price of fuel in Europe is a big reason why. Friend of mine who's from Europe drove his first car with over 1.5L engine only after he's come over to Canada. To extract any kind of power from a small displacement engine, you really need to control your rev. Then again, our gas price here is slowly creeping up to the european prices .... OUCH!

    Well, at least you don't get those big honking SUV"s with V6 or V8 engines over there .....

    #17
  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    Unlikely you will hear knocking as the V6 has a knock sensor connected to the ECM which will in turn retard the timing if detonation is being detected. I'm not sure if you will detect a change in performance though. Call me crazy, but my ES has been fed 91 octane from day one.

    I too chose the the car in part b/c of the 5 speed. I needed room for family, but didn't want to sacrifice the fun to drive factor: which disappears entirely for me in any car with a slushbox. Fortunately, I don't encounter much stop and go traffic, I don't own a cell phone, and I stop the car if I wan't to eat! My wife was a little uncertain about my choice (My last car was a Chrysler with a MT.. 'nuff said.), but once she tried out the light clutch and smooth stick she was sold.

    skibry: Its a little odd talking snow tires in July but FYI I bought a full set of Nokian Hakkapeliita 1's. I have been VERY impressed with these tires. Traction in snow and slush is excellent. Most of the research I did indicated they will outlast the big name (Blizzak, Arctic Alpine) by a considerable amount. Price was comparable though. I got them mounted on a set of steel wheels to preserve my alloys from the horrendous amounts of salt they throw around here in the winter.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    5sp - I have a cellphone but a hand-free kit fixes the problem, and I do get in stop and go rush hr traffic for total of ~ 30-45 min everyday, but then driving a manual in traffic isn't really a hassle to me. It's a second nature, and you don't think about it. Only when I'm in N-1st traffic for over an hr that I start to wish it's a slushbox .... but that wish goes away when I get to do more 'spirited driving' over the wkends or wknights = ) I'd say the only time when I really wish I had a slushbox is when I try to eat on the go .... but that is a very unpleasant experience anyways. Of all the 626's I've seen on the road (and to be honest, there are VERY few of them in Toronto .... ) most of them are actually 4cyc's .... but of the ~25% that are V6's, almost all of them I've seen are manuals. In fact, there are 3 98+ 626's in our parking lot here, and all 3 are V6-5sp's. I guess that shows Mazda sells the car in the niche market of V6+5sp sedan.

    Snowtires - thanks for your input. I have a set of Nokia snow tires at home that i got for free, and I think they are Hakkapeliita (what a name)... so good to know they are good in snow. I had a set of Pirelli P190 before and they're very good in snow and slush as well ... but the tire wore out quickly and after 3 winters I found myself desparate for another set.

    #17
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We also use 87 octane, no knocking. The manual actually "recommends" premium, but specifies a requirement of at least 87 octane.

    I also got the hands-free kit to be able to continue driving a manual.

    -juice
  • MY WIFE HAS 97 626LX 4CLS WE HAVE TAKEN IT TO THE DEALER THREE TIME CONCERNING THE SAME PROBLEM DEALING WITH THE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION.
    WHEN WE DRIVE IT FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME AT SPEEDS BETWEEN 65-80 THE OVERDRIVE LIGHT STARTS FLASHING AND THE TRANSMISSION STARTS TO SHIFT VERY ROUGHLY. AND THEN THE TACH. AND ODEM. STARTS TO GO CRAZY. BUT AFTER WE STOP DRIVING AND LET THE CAR SIT FOR A WHILE AND STARTS DRIVING FINE.
    HAS ANYONE ELSE EXPERIENCE THIS PROBLEM AND WHAT DID YOU DO TO CORRECT IT?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Vehicle speed sensor, maybe? (And the transmission, deprived of information, drops into its failsafe/limp-home mode.)
  • After reading about all the happy Mazda 626 drivers I feel like my vehicle is an outcast...
    Maybe Mazda 1994 is particularly bad model...
    My engine overheated and needed expensive repairs about a year ago at 44K and now at 51K the "cold-hot" gauge started behaving weird again. When going uphill 65-70 mph in hot weather it moves towards the middle and then OVER which really scares me and I turn AC off in panic, and the gauge comes back but then moves again.
    DO you guys out there feel like driving 70 mph and having an AC for a long time is out of question (somehow overloads the electric system or whatever)? I will take the car to the mechanic of course one of these days...
  • kennethc1kennethc1 Posts: 2
    We bought a 97' Mazda 626 DX brand new. At 3000 miles it had to have a new transmission. At 57000 miles it broke down with us in no where Alabama. The problem with that is we live in GA and were heading to MS on a anniversity trip (the 1st in 8yrs) My husband lost all power and the car jerked something bad until we came to a stop with smoke pouring out of the hood. Thank god for a nice passer by that stopped to help. We were able to get the car started and drive it one mile to a exit. We found a hole in the wall garage. From there we were taken to a Ford dealer to rent a car. This car had to be back by Monday and this was on Friday, we were to be home on Sunday. We ended up renting a total of 3 cars for a total of $800, the tow from AL was $550. We found out that it was the transmission. Well, you guessed it no warrenity. Mazda after a lot of $#@%% picked up the part of the cost of the transmission and we paid for labor and part of the transmission this was $1582. Our car now had 76600 and guess what just got its 4th transmission or 3rd replacement, however you want to look at it. This one only lasted for 19000 miles and 9 months. Thank goodness this time it was covered under the 1yr manf. warr., oh we had to pay for the speedometer gear that went bad so this trip cost me a $65 tow and $240 gear. I have tried to get in touch with someone higher up at Mazda to tell my story to because I feel I should have been reimbursed for everything it cost me the 2nd time around with the transmission $3000. But what I get is NO CUSTOMER SERVICE when I speak to the dealership or call the 1-800 number. I want to send a letter but I want a name to attach to it. I know by reading all of the stories that there are others like me. But does anyone have a name or number so I can speak or write to them. As of July 8th 2000 we are now a proud owner of a 2000 Camry LE. We had to get rid of the car, it has caused us fincial hardship and stress. We never knew what was going to go next and how much was it going to cost. Thanks to MAZDA/FORD we are maxed on the credit card.
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