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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • Hi, the pulling was there when we got the car a couple of weeks ago. We also replaced a rear sway bar 'bushing', looks like a dbl tie rod end, four new tires and 3 times on the alignment machine, of course things are somewhat better than before but we still have a ? not really pulling, but a drift, it will go one way without doing anything to the steering wheel, possibly a couple of feet to one side of the road and later a couple of feet in the other direction, its almost like you are sliding on ice. The strut rod bearing are worn and pop when making tight turns but I don't think that is the problem from what I have so far read. I suspect the rack-and-pinion but it is too costly to just replace without knowing for sure if that is the problem. 2 garages have looked at it and havn't seen anything like it and have no idea what is causing it.
    thanks to all in advance, Limbo and Lisa
  • If it has been checked on the alignment machine three times I would like to think they would have spotted any bent suspension pieces. In the rear suspension there are two arms on either side that come out from the center of the car to the rear spindle. It is common for these to get bent from running over something or someone hooking onto them to tow the vehicle. The alignment shop should have seen if these were bent & it would show up as the rear toe in being off badly. It would also show in abnormal tire wear ( edges wearing badly ). You mentioned strut rod bearings, I think you are refering the front upper strut bearings. If they are noisy that means they are worn and can cause some handling problems. When worn badly enough they can cause "memory steer" which means the steering wheel will not return back to center after a turn and keep the car going slightly in the same direction until you turn the other way then the same thing will happen in the opposite direction. This could also be what you are describing. As a start I would recommend you replace the bearings since you know they are worn anyway. Good luck.
  • Hi, thanks for the reply, it may be a good idea to replace those bearings, the odd steering actually happens though when everything is fine, going in a straight line and suddenly shifts in one direction or another, it can happen in curves as well but mostly when heading straight. We really can't afford to blindly replace parts and she is now thinking of just selling it to try and get part of our investment back. Weve only had it about 2 weeks and paid $650 for it plus about $700 in tires parts and labour so far.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I just hit the 160k mile mark the other day in my '99 ES V6. Looks like I will need to replace the struts, front strut upper mount bearings, and several otther things. The car is holding up well. The engine has not lost any of its power, runs and idles very smoothly. And the transmission (5 speed manual) performs fine, no whining or any other strange noises. Nice original paint and no rust yet.
    I am forced to keep driving this car because the resale value is terrible, and with the current mileage the car is more-less worth next to nothing, despite its nice appearance and good driveability.
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    We have a Left-Leg-Flexor also and are looking forward... becoming a member of that special club also.
    p100,you've put all that mileage on yourself have'nt you?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Yes, I am the original owner. Between the '92 Protege LX and this one, I'have driven these two cars almost 300k miles. Both have excellent engines and reliable 5 speed manual transmissions.
  • yvonyvon Posts: 5
    the battery ran out a few times, due to leave the indoor lights on. yesterday morning, the car would not start and the lights on dashboard were not so bright, due to the weak battery. Recharge the battery for one hour and tried to start engine a few times, but no luck. so yesterday I decided to get a new battery and have it installed. then tried to start the engine, it crunked with one "pong" sound, then stop. it can not run. I called a mechanic and i was told, the engine was flooded, due to keep starting the engine. The cylinders have too much gas in. the fuse to gas pump should be disconnected and try to start and empty the gas within the cylinders.
    or push the gas pedal to the bottom and try to start the engine. I did it and the engine started to run at the second start.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    You cannot recharge a completely discharged automotive battery in one hour. At a typical 10 amps charging rate, it takes about 6-8 hours. At 2 amps it will take at least 24 hours. Many battery chargers have a 40-50 amp start mode, which can be used to boost a discharged battery for starting only. Do not charge the battery at this rate though.
  • Ok, Now im kinda new to imports, and very new to mazda's. I have had small ars before. This is a mazda 626 Lx With a Auto Trans. Now, when i just start it up, only one fan works, and the other one turns on for about a second then turns off. And about 3 seconds later it comes back on, then turns off. Also, when just letting it idle in drive, it has a very rough raddle. Now, i could take it to a dealership and get it looked at, or maybe someone here has some idea's. It has almost 90k miles. any more info ya need lemme know... Also, i have taken a few pics and have been tryin to get some great idea's... I have pimped a car or two in my time, and is pulling blanks on this car.
  • Hi, just a follow up to any interested parties, I got tired of the garages not knowing what was wrong so I decided to actually look for myself, it had another bad control arm bushing, a bad ball joint and the strut bearings were put in beneath the bearing plates so they werent doing anything at all. These have been remedied now but I think one of the front sway bar links is causing trouble as it dips badly when turning right but stays level when turning left, there is alot of popping noises coming from that area when turning tight and on uneven roads. Thanks for all the comments, too bad I didn't just jack it up and look at it sooner, it actually drives great now except for the wallowing in those right hand turns.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    These cars have two electric fans. One is a radiator cooling fan, the other is an A/C condenser cooling fan. When you turn your A/C on, both of the fans come on and remain on as long as the A/C compressor clutch stays engaged. When the A/C compressor cycles, the consenser cooling fan will cycle too. When the A/C is not on, only the radiator cooling fan will come on, but only when the coolant sensor detects high enough coolant temperature.

    Each fan has its own relay mounted in the engine compartment, just in front of the relay box. You can test each fan motor individually by simply unplugging the fan motor leads and connecting them with alligator clipped leads to a 12 volt battery terminals. If the fan motor starts and runs, the fan is good. If it is good and the fan does not come on with A/C on, it is usually a faulty fan relay.
    Note: these electric fan motors are expensive. I had to replace one fan motor on my car and the lowest price I found on the OEM part was $ 140 for the part alone. I tried aftermarket suppliers, but the motors are different sizes and they could not match it. Relays are relatively cheap: about $20 a piece from your Mazda dealer.

    As for the rough idle, when were the ignition leads changed last? Injectors cleaned?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Of the three alignment settings (toe, camber, caster), it is only caster set improperly which will cause the vehicle to pull to one side. The caster settings on the left and right wheels are not the same to compensate for the road crown. Caster is the angle the wheel axis makes with the vertical toward the front or rear of the vehicle along the long axis (one wheel is ahead of the other wheel when caster is set properly).

    Pulling, or more commonly drifting to one side can also be caused by a faulty front tire. I had this happen to my '99 626 shortly after I bought it. Replacing the front right tire cured the problem without doing anything to the caster settings.
  • I bought my car about 6 months ago.It worked fine untill about 5 days ago.It would cut out when I was doing any where from 40-60 mph then it would decelerate to about 20-30 mph...I even had to pull off the road. Or when I would stop at a stop light my car would die, so i would crank it up. even though it struggled to start back up on the second time it finally worked. So I was driving it to school yesterday ,and i t was fine until I went to pull in the parking spot.Then, it died.It struggled again to restart but it finally worked.Two hours later i went to crank my car and it would not crank at all.
    has anyone else had this problem???? If so can u please tell me what it might be..because I am so concerned
  • I have a '97 626 ES and I recently took it into the mechanic to have the timing belt replaced. He replaced the belt and showed me where the spring had broken so he replaced that also. I had it back for 1 day and suddenly it dropped to 750 rpms, began sputtering, jerking and smoking. I stopped and when I got out I could see that the exhaust system was glowing red hot from the manifold to the rear wheels. Took it back to the mechanic who says the diagnostic says its the crank sensor. He then says crank sensor appears to be fine but a screen on the sensor has some bent and broken teeth :confuse: . He is telling me I must have run over something for the teeth to be bent and broken. I know I didn't run over anything after the timing belt was fixed yesterday...could these teeth have been bent before and suddenly became a problem or did the car skip time for some reason and damage these teeth? I don't want to pay him to fix this because he did a bad job with the timing belt.... :(
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Get a new mechanic! I am almost certain that he is the one who damaged/broke the teeth on the crankshaft sensor pickup wheel. The pickup wheel is mounted ont he back of the harmonic balancer (damper). The damper assembly must be removed to change the timing belt. One needs to use a special harmonic balancer bolt on puller to remove it. If a regular gear puller is used, it will very likely damage the sensor wheel because it will grab the wheel and pull against it. The sensor wheel is a part of the harmonic balancer assembly. The crankshaft sensor by itself is just a magnet with a wire and not expensive the replace. But the harmonic balancer is, and it is most likely a dealer only item.

    So in summary, you did not run over anything to damage the sensor wheel teeth. That would be about impossible! Your "mechanic" is the most likely suspect here for the reasons I just mentioned. I cannot say with absolute certainlty if the pickup wheel is replaceable by itself, but I do not think so. Looks like you will need a new harmonic balancer assembly.

    Note: I replaced the timing belt on my Mazda before and the factory shop manual has a specific warning in it about using a proper harmonic balancer puller in order not to damage the crankshaft sensor wheel teeth.
  • I have a 1990 Mazda 626 with a 2.2l 5 sp manual trans
    I found my way here looking for any answers to my problem I'll explain.
    My car shudders/stutters when a starting out and trying to maintain a constant speed. It "shudders" in all gears while maintaining a constant speed; say 30mph . It is more noticeable in a lower gear and RPM. It completely stops above 3,000 rpm in all gears. I had it checked and it's not the clutch or transmission .I was going to check the fuel filter but am looking for more ideas.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    When was the last time the plug wires were replaced? Plugs? who replaced the spark plugs? It is possible that the porcelain insulators on the plugs are cracked, causing a miss.
  • A general tuneup fixed the issue. Plug wires were bad. I did learn something though. I hadn't known that some Ford Probe parts were interchangeable.I thank the forum for the info. Is there a way to get a list of parts that are the same?
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    How many miles did you run that oem? Did you replace with like?
  • i am having same prob now, if u find a solution please let me know ty kindly
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