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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • Good ignition wires are vital on these engines and I found only one brand that works well... NGK... so don't waste your time and $ as I did on other so-called premium wires on your Mazda because they just don't work right, causing power-robbing misfires and stall-outs at low RPMs. Secondly, after owning 2 nearly identical Mazda 626 LX V6 manual cars (1998 and 2000 models) with similar ongoing starting troubles and failed batteries, replacing the starter cured all. For under $100 at the wreckers you can get a good starter (surprisingly easy to install once you get the air intake unit out of the way for access). A good starter cranks the car over much faster and draws far less current from the battery. Before finding the solution to be the starter, both my car's engines cranked over slower when starting and strained the battery. The original starter in the 2000 626 that I drive now finally failed to the point that even a boost would not crank the starter, yet I knew the car was good because a slow roll and popping the clutch in gear with the key "on" got it started easily. Mechanics and parts stores alike gave me the run-around with crap such as my car needing the most expensive premium battery with max cranking amps and/or a higher output alternator (such BS). 3 batteries later I finally found the culprit to be the starter and fortunately a good one from the wreckers was the solution.
  • Rattles and cluncks in the rear supension is probably due the the bushings on each side of the rear stabilizer bar. The rubber bushings get hard and shink with age, making an irritating rattle with every bump or ripple the car drives over. New bushings will cure the noise but a simple solution that might stop the noise for quite some time is to take Vise Grips and squeeze the metal clamps that hold the bushings against the stabilizer bar (hangs low in front of the rear axel). My mechanic simply squashed the clamps so the bushings have less gap to rattle and greatly reduced the noise!
  • I have 2 Mazdas---a 1995 Mazda 626 (I-4 5-Sp) (now-140K miles-bought used in early 2002) and a 1997 626 (I-4 5-spd) (now-190K miles-bought used in 2008). Both WHITE LX models.

    I always tend to pay cash for my cars--no notes/loans/comp Insurance, etc.

    I have put about $10,000 into these 2 cars (including their purchase) over a decade.

    Includes 2 pretty involved accidents for the '95 -a new clutch (complete) and a new tranny.

    I need to put another $3000-$4000 in them for 2012, to keep in good shape. (Struts, Alignment, windshield, tires, body work, timing belt & tensioner, etc, ..and water pump.
    ( I'm definitely in the --Water Pump Better done at Timing belt replacement -camp)
    Thus about 12,000/10 = $1200 a year ( for 2 cars) . Not bad.

    Even at $16,000/11 yrs= $1450 a year (2 cars) My MD Brother (ie. CLICK of the Magliozza Bros.) sez "Buy new" ( Yes,... he of the ..I'll never buy a VW again! (He bought New).) I am of the other view--CLACK.

    For example--"What would a $17,000 NEW CAR in 2002 be worth today"?? (And how much would I really have spent on it over 10 years ?)

    The 1995 626 came home from it's Midwest college 2 weeks ago. ( My College Senior son got the 2003 Passat hand me down-via the MD Uncle--his former personal Money Pit car )

    The 1997 626 heads to the same college this coming Fall with the next Freshman student.

    Mostly, the 626's sit in Dorm parking lots/ Apt complexes and commute a few miles to school, and back to home occasionally. (For Repairs, cash, food, and Laundry--usually)
    About 10,000 total miles each year.
    Insurance is zilch (no comprehensive carried), as are taxes, Plates, etc.

    The 626's have been well maintained (a good reasonable private mechanic). Both get 26/35 + MPG. Both still drive well. (New struts, etc will improve this)

    Due to job changes and the economy, I don't travel as much. Only drive 10k-18k a year. (2011 IRS guideline is 50 cents /mile) I also have more time to tinker, change oil myself, new brake shoes, rotate tires, talk cars with the neighbor, etc.
    I also like driving these damnable cheap, paid for, gas -sipping, Zippy little cars 5-speed cars!
    The sun roof in the 97 is great!

    My daily driver is a V-6 Chrysler LHS. (130K miles) Good shape. I Like the car. 18-28 MPG. A cruiser! I'm ready to park the LHS ....and drive the '95 626.

    My Office has a tree lined (sap) , asphalt (hot) parking lot where my car sits in the sun/ snow /thunderstorms/ etc--most of 2-4 days a week. The other day(s) I spend on the road.
    My Attorney peers tend to drive more expensive, shiny cars-- but I'm more like a hobbit, " filling the corners of my 'round stomach".

    I make money most years from billing my mileage ---to easily cover the cost (or via deductions) of the two Mazda's and the LHS.

    The "Click & Clack" acid question is thus: Do you put money into "Older cars" (a/k/a the Money Pit ) to keep them going...or would you prefer to buy a GERMAN Passat with a bad oil pump, sludge, engine failures, re-calls, $$$$ for re-built engines, High Insurance, Loans, etc ??

    In other words---Are Mazda owners just "tinker" type people (Hobbits) who have a frugal personality... and the car is just a logical extension of this quirk of personality ???

    I have been struck by the generosity of the people on these forums--especially those who slap wrenches for a living. They give away tips and advice more freely ....than Old Pete Seeger, gave away songs.

    Impressive bunch of folks, you are !

    Philosophical comments are welcomed.!
  • Iv just bought a 98 Mazda 626, v6, auto trans, and while driving it loses power sometimes, occasionally when it does this it acts like its missing or starving for fuel. Iv had the fuel pump, fuel filter, plugs, and throttle position sensor(used) replaced. and it hasnt helped. There is a gap in the plastic box were air filter goes my boyfriend thinks that could be one posiblilty or the knock sensor. Anybody have similar issues or ideas that can fix this problem? thank you
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Bad plug wires can cause occasional miss, typically on light acceleration, which may be confused with fuel delivery problems. These V6 engines require plug wire replacement about every 100K miles. You can get a set of OEM plug wires from for about $ 75. What goes bad on the plug wires are the long boots that deteriorate from heat.

    Also, you should use premium gas in this car. It gets much better mileage (10% better than with 87 octane) and performs better.
  • Hey fellow Mazda owners,

    Recently my 2002 Mazda had to go the shop for repairs. It has over 150 miles, so I'm used to taking it in once a year for something.

    Over the past year there has been an increasing squeal coming from the engine and I knew something (compressor/water pump/steering pump) was about to go...well it finally did and the belt along with it.

    I took it to a local repair shop and they told me that the timing belt and water pump needed to be replaced, so I consented.

    After the repairs, it ran great for two days and then I began to hear a very low rattle/tapping noise that incrementally got worse over about a two period. I called the shop, took it back, they said that most likely the water pump was bad out of the box...after investigation it was not bad...then they said it was the tensioner...they replaced that and the problem actually got worse.

    Now, while idling it just has a loud clicking/knocking noise that seems to come from either the power steering pump or some other place directly in front of the engine. Keep in mind, it runs fine, just makes noise.

    When I took it back today and complained about it, their 27 year veteran mechanic said he had never heard the noise before but would tear it down and make it right.

    Does anyone have a similar experience...or can you shed some light on the nature of the problem?

    Extremely frustrated,
  • about the "gremlins in the trunk", if you are sure its in the trunk, then idk. but if its in the front, my boots around the CV axle tore open and all the grease came out, so it made the joints creak as I took corners. because it already ruined the joint, I had to replace the axles on the front end. i recommend checking the boots and replace them when they are cracked which are like 20 bucks if you do it urself but 1 axle is about 90 bucks...
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    edited May 2012
    I replaced both my alternator and starter preventively at 250k miles. The originals still worked perfectly, but I was worried that they would eventually fail leaving me stranded. I got rebuilt units form the local Mazda dealer and they have worked great now for over 83k miles. The cost was very reasonable - less than $ 200 for both with my discount. I would not recommend buying used starters or alternators from a junk yard. Rebuilt units sold by Mazda dealers are rebuilt to a higher standard than most other cheaper units form Auto Zone or Discount Auto parts. This means the rebuilders replace nearly all internal components, reusing only the outer case.
  • mazda626atxmazda626atx Posts: 227
    Hi Guys,
    Its been a long trouble free time since my last post here. My wifes 94 626 LXA ATX Air Bag started lighting up last night. It flashes then stops then flashes again. Never stays on solidly.
    Car has 88K miles on it and is in Athens Greece.
    Have the Haynes manual for mazda 626 and Mx 6 and Ford Probe and it shows location of sensor on the tranny tunnel on 95 and later cars, and under the dashborad on earlier models.

    Says not to touch the SRS system bring to a professional. Not going to find one here. Any ideas ?
  • I am considering purchasing a 1993 mazda 626 LX with 72,000 miles on it. The airback light and the HOLD button on panel is flashing, it shifts hard in 1st gear. The current owner had it to a transmission man and he said may be a bit of dirt causing the problem. With everything I have read, it sounds like the transmission may be bad. Other than that, the car runs great and looks great. Has anyone else had this problem? Help please!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Well with a flashing HOLD button (meaning there are trouble codes stored) and an airbag light on, this car sounds like it has more problems than you really want to deal with. This means the airbag will not work in an accident.


  • mazda626atxmazda626atx Posts: 227

    Hi Guys,
    Its been a long trouble free time since my last post here. My wifes 94 626 LXA ATX Air Bag started lighting up last night. It flashes then stops then flashes again. Never stays on solidly.
    Car has 88K miles on it and is in Athens Greece.
    I cleared the codes with the battery disconnect step on brake pedal for 10 seconds trick.
    Brought it to a Mazda guy who tried to run diagnostics on it and it showed no codes.

    It was not flashing when I brought it and now its flashing like crazy He asked me if the I4 is a FS V or FS1 I did not know the answer. The 93 is a Ford EEC IV ignition so I dont think he will ever get any codes.

    Unless the airbags are different from the OBD 1 system the only way I ever got codes in 10 years is the OBD1 jumping wire, and reading check engine light pulses

    Any ideas ?
    Does anyone know what the 1993 626 LXA I 4 engine is . Here is Vin if that will help
    1YVGE22C2 R5204361

    He said when light flashes that means airbag will not open. I am afraid it will open when wife is driving it . Is he correct ?

  • dizzydeedizzydee Posts: 1
    I think the best thing to do is go get it hooked up to a code reader cause I would say it is either or more along the lines of crankshaft position sensor or any one of those sensors or you can also do some of it the old fashion way with the digi meter. but with the money you will fork out on this and that you could have bought yourself a code reader lol. good luck don't know if I helped but that is what I would do.
  • Hello, my mazda recently started reving high when i first hit the gas. it would go up to 3000 rpms when i was just trying to go 40mph and then it would jump down to 2500 and then 2000 and then stay there, i kept driving it then eventually the O/D off light started flashing and then eventually it stopped going into gear. I then got a new transmission and got my car back today and the car runs again but it is still doing the jump in rpm's, the light never came on. Whats the problem? Please help.
  • Had the same problem after i changed my transmission for about 4 months. I did like you, kept driving it on high speed and now it seems okay, I'm not feeling that anymore. I can't say for 100% that it's gone, but just don't have it for now.
  • I logged into this site to verify what my mechanic had told me about the rear end noise on my 99 Mazda 626 LX 6c..... Not only was his assumption matching, but I have learned that I am one of the luckier ones..... my 626 has over 174K miles. I have owned the vehicle almost two years and have only replaced relays that have failed.... And then only because I traveled to hotter weather than in Humboldt that made it noticeable. Wow..... I now need sway bar bushings to stop the noise in the rear.... But be aware, there are good ones out there. I have had all the usual preventative maintenance done, although not necessarily to manufacturer timelines. (I went a year between oil changes, but I don't drive much in Humboldt.) But my Mazda never fails me, and for that I am grateful. Thanks for helping me count my blessings!
  • Hi, one day just starts a strange sound on the main belt section and when driving RPM reaches 2,000 with all gears car starts to falter (choppy), it all ends turning into more than 3,000 rpm. also higher than 3000 RPM strange sound disappears . I already replace ignition leads and spark plugs, can be Something with a crankshaft that he intercept timing belt?
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