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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • This is fairly common after 50-70k miles, and a relatively easy fix. Expect to change the plug wires also.
  • I have a 1999 Mazda 626LX that has a little over 60,000 miles. It broke down on me in the middle of the highway and had to be towed to the dealership. Mazda Corporate is paying the the new transmission that it needs. The dealership is trying to stick me with the labor cost with equal to close to a thousand dollars. Is it unfair for me to request that they reduce the labor cost. It sounds to me that this is a inherent problem with Mazda.
  • whackowhacko Posts: 96
    Making any request to reduce a lower cost for any product or service is never unfair. You are a consumer who wants to spend the least amount possible, but unfortunately the retailer has a completely opposite point of view: They want you to spend the most as possible.

    Ask, and sometimes, you shall receive. Ask not, and chances are, they will not volunteer to give. Ask, and if they say no -- ask again, but try being meaner about it. Sometimes being mean really works. Good-luck.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,427
    I can't believe that its $1000. That seems REALLY high to me for labor. If nothing else, maybe you could call around to non-dealer shops and ask them how much they would charge to swap your tranny if you provided the new one (the one that Mazda is providing). Then again, I'm sure Mazda would fail to cover that transmission since it wouldn't be put in by the dealer. But, how long will they cover it for anyway, even if you let the dealer do it?

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • jules226jules226 Posts: 3
    I really loved my 1995 626. My car showed no signs of transmission problems. It had 36,000 miles when it went out on me. Of course the warranty of 3 years was over 1 month before this happened. Anyway FYI, mazda made a deal with me to replace the transmission and the cost to me would be a 40,000 mile tune up package that they sell. I believe it cost me about 400.00 in the end. I did get rid of it and bought a nissan quest. My boys were getting too big so this was a good reason to dump it. It seems to be a constant problem with the 626. Good Luck
  • I don't know how much it's changed in the past few years, but the book rate on removing/replacing the automatic on my old '93 was 18.1 hours - which comes to just about a thousand bucks at $55 an hour, assuming there is such a thing as a shop that charges only $55 an hour anymore.

    (And no, I didn't actually have this done; I just looked it up.)
  • I sucked it up and paid the money to get my car back today. When I drove it off the lot I drove great. That is until I stopped at the ATM and had to put the car into park for a while. When I did that the car acted as if it was going to shut off. It did not. I drove it back to the dealership after having it only 10 in. I also looked at my bill at this point and saw that the tech. that worked on my car noted that one of my motor mounts was broken and that it jerk hard when is put into reverse. I was not told this when I pick the car up and it was not like this before it was taken to them for repair. I explained this the service advisor. I use the term service advisor loosely. They are only their to help the dealership. I think they finally got tired of me explaining to them that my car did not have this problem before because they told me that the would have to calculate the cost and talk to someone else. They asked that I call them on Monday. I am not sure what they are trying to do to me but they have all of the money that I am going to give them. This repair will have to come from them because as I have stated numerous time before my car did not have this problem when I took it to them. I guess my question after all of that is what do I do now?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,427
    Wow! 18 hours??!! I guess the Mazda is much more difficult to work on. We've done trucks and some other cars (can't think of any right now) in less than a day. We even pulled the tranny out of my Jeep, rebuilt it, and put it back in all in about 10 hours of work (actually about 14 spread over 2 people). It took me about 8 hours or so (by myself) to pull the engine AND transmission out of my Mustang. So, I was just judging based on my personal experience (but none with a Mazda).

    Well, as we know, just as easily as things can improve over time, they can also become far more complicated.

    But, you're right, the book is what they go by when estimating (although, in reality, it could take more or less time). I stand in amazement.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Cramming all the drivetrain components into one end of the car - and the same end where the engine is, yet - complicates repairs to an incredible degree. (Another reason to hope for a rear-wheel drive revival.)
  • Well, they do have to futz with them to get the engine and the transmission separated, so it's not like they can claim they never touched the things.
  • How much do engine mounts cost? That is with parts and labor for a 1998 Mazda 626.
  • Each engine mount has a slightly different configuration, a slightly different price and a slightly different labor rate, but worst-case for a single mount on the 2-liter seems to run about $150 for the part, 1.5 hours or so to install it.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    My Mitchell's Mechanical Labor Estimating Guide lists the following:

    B2000, B2200, GLC, 626......... 3.2
    *Transmission Assembly - Replace..... .6
    *Converter - R&R ........ .1
    *Seal, Front Pump - R&R..... .5
    *Flywheel - R&R........... .2

    Same vehicles, Transmission R&R AND OVERHAUL is 11.8 hours. Which labor guide were you using that quoted 18.1 hours to R&R the trans?
  • I'm using Alldata DIY's reprint of the Mazda service manual, following the "Std." recommendations. (Warranty work, of course, is "faster", or at least paid for at a lower rate.) And by gum, after going back into the material, I discovered that I read off the complete-overhaul column by mistake, not that Mazda dealers would ever do a complete overhaul. :)

    Anyway, the pertinent figure here is 6 hours flat, plus 0.4 if the flywheel has to be replaced also. My apologies for my apparent inability to line up tabular data. (Maybe this is the year I get new glasses after all.)

    I suspect Mitchell's is probably closer to the actual time it takes to R&R one of these units, anyway.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,427
    If it is indeed about 11 hours, then, at $65 an hour (is that the going rate?), it should right around $750. To me, that is quite different than $1,000.

    That's much closer to what I originally thought it should be.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Well, I should be able to live this down starting around message #475. :)
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I thought there might have been a misprint in the labor guide you read. It's been known to happen, and your responses are usually pretty knowledgable.
  • ...this demonstrates the wisdom of always getting a second opinion.

    In the meantime, I've been poking around some of the steeper grades in this neck of the woods - contrary to popular belief, Oklahoma is not cookie-sheet flat, at least not around where I live - in an effort to provoke untoward behavior from the CD4E. About the only time I really wanted a two-cog downshift and didn't get it was up a narrow two-laner in front of an M-Class Mercedes in a hurry. The Benz ultimately passed me, a whole 100 yards in front of its turnoff, and I suppose it would have been nice to leave Mr I-Want-My-Slurpee-Now in the dust, but you can't have everything with 130 hp.
  • My transmission with 98,500 miles just had to be replaced. I paid $1800 for a rebuild, $150 shipping, and $270 for installation. This total of $2220 is ridiculous. I am wondering if anyone knows the correct route to go about reimbursement from Mazda. I do have Mazda's consumer affairs CA phone #, and the attorney generals CA phone #, but I would like some suggestions from those of you who were reimbursed. The phone numbers I have may not be correct (I have not tried to make contact yet). In summary, any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,427
    I don't think you have a leg to stand on. Whereas 100,000 isn't great and it sucks that you had to pay for that, it is well past the factory warranty.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • kkidd1kkidd1 Posts: 1
    I have just spent 2800.00 on rebuilt trans(190K) and torque converter and new pressure solinoide. The mechanic inferred that the pressure solinoide was the reason the 1-2 shift was always "hard" and was probably the root cause of the break down of the transmission.These are "layman" terms for that is what I am....and kinda p/o'd. If someone is going to take a run at Mazda I would be interested.
  • I dropped my membership in the Transmissions Should Never Fail Club; the cognitive dissonance was causing my head to spin, and I have enough equilibrium problems already.

    The hard fact remains: It's hard enough to get any compensation from MNAO when the tranny goes at 51,000 miles, though it has been done.

    By all means, pursue whatever remedies you like. I have a great deal of difficulty imagining, however, a court that would rule that a transmission that failed after seven years or a hundred thousand miles is somehow defective.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,427
    Wait a minute. You had 190,000 miles on the tranny before a rebuild? What are YOU complaining about? I mean, at least the last complaint was just under a hundred thousand. But you had almost 200,000! You should be singing the praises of the car!

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • robc69robc69 Posts: 3
    I need some advice. I have a 98 Mazda 626. My lease is over next month and I took it into the dealer and was told the engine is blown. I have had some oil changes but they sludge had built up in the engine and the engine blowing was due to lack of oil changes. They will not even listen to my reasoning and don't want to see my oil change receipts because they where done somewhere else. I really can't afford what they are asking for a new or used engine at least $3000-4000. They refuse to cover it under warranty. And this is all one month before I have to turn in the car. I called Mazda Corporate and they offered no help in the situation. Does anyone have any advise I what I can do in this situation. Anything anyone can tell me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    (Note to Edmund's hosts and other digerati: This replaces an earlier message of mine with the same title which was lost in the last System Glitch®.)

    I guess the real question is "How many oil changes did they think you lacked?" If you followed the schedule in the manual, even if someone else performed the maintenance, their position crumbles like a twenty-year-old radiator hose.

    There's an "Engine Sludge" thread elsewhere in Maintenance & Repair, but it may cast more heat than light on the subject.

    Interestingly, the one thing in Mazda engines you'd think would be most susceptible to damage from sludge - the array of hydraulic valve-lash adjusters - turns out to be absent from the '98 626.
  • Hi,

    I have a '88 626, 240K, running fine, but the A/C has lost gas during the past 3-4 years.

    Looking for a cheap solution for this summer (who knows where this car will be next year) I found an $40 R134 retrofit kit, which seems to be quite easy to use.

    1. However, the fine print of the manual in the kit mentions that it may be necessary to replace other components (like the filter/dryer, or the valve) as well.

    Do you think I really need to do that for my Mazda, or this A/C is compatible with the new gas.

    2. Another thing I cannot understand is that according to the kit application manual I do not need to bleed and evacuate the system. It is OK that it has no more refrigerant, but what about the R12 oil that is probably still in there?


  • bakybaky Posts: 1

    I have a '88 626, 240K, running fine, but the A/C has lost gas during the past 3-4 years.

    Looking for a cheap solution for this summer (who nows where this car will be next year) I found an $40 R134 retrofit kit, which seeems to be quite easy to use.

    1. However, the fine print of the manual in the kit mentions that it may be necessary to replace other components (like the filter/dryer, or the valve) as well.

    Do you think I rally need to do that for my Mazda, or this A/C is compatible with the new gas.

    2. Another thing what I do not understand is that according to the kit application manual I do not need to bleed and evacuate the system. It is OK that it has no more refrigerant, but what about the R12 oil that is probably still in there?


  • robc69robc69 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply. The problem with my situation is that I don't have receipts for all of the oil changes done because some of them were done at a local quick-lube place and they told me they don't have a computer system to pull up my account. My car has been sitting at the mazda dealership for 2 weeks and they won't do anything unless I pay for a new engine, which I don't think is fair. The lease is up in the middle of May and they want thousands for me to turn it in. I really don't know what to do in this situation.
  • wjm1wjm1 Posts: 33
    Do you mean km or miles?
    If you've had 190K miles on the original transmission - you should be damn glad if you ask me...
    By the way - there are lots of oppinions on the 1-2 "kick" shift. Did you have it since the beginning or it started just before the tranny died ?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,031 need legal counsel I think, because right now they have you behind the eight ball and you'll need more weight than what you have on paper. The best you can hope for I think even with an attorney's demand letter (this isn't worth going to court over--not enough money on the table unless you go to small claims without an attorney)...the best you can hope for is some kind of dealer or factory participation, where they split some costs with you.

    But right now they are intimidating you and you need to take a stronger and more rational position. Your current defense is too weak even though your cause may be very just.

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