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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • kappskapps Posts: 2
    There are 3 mazda 626's in my family, and we have had little trouble ('94 DX auto, '96 LX auto, and '97 LX std). Recently, the auto trans in the 96 died - locked up and would not move. No previous indication of problems (no leaks or power loss). At 66K miles the warranty was off and it was over 3 years old. I had it towed to the dealer and Mazda offered a rebuilt trans at cost. It still cost me $1000, but could have been $1750. From all the messages about auto transmissions problems, it appears that it is a weak link for 626s. I am wondering if others have seen that Mazda is helping with the cost of auto transmission problems.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The thing is, the dealership isn't expected to repair automatics on site, except for things like seals and gaskets, and maybe the pump. Mazda North American Operations expects the transmission to be replaced if it's anything more complicated than that.

    And, more to the point, kapps and family own three Mazdas. It's definitely in Mazda's best interest to keep them happy; the company might think twice about someone who posts all over the Net that he'll never buy another Mazda, even at gunpoint.

    (Disclosure: I have a Web page which details some of the 626 tranny problems. God only knows what Mazda thinks of that, or what they will do when my own 626 gets towed into the dealership.)
  • overtonoverton Posts: 3
    I hear some of you complaining about rough idle, and then replacing the plug wires and it is fixed. Don't jump so quick as to think that has solved anything. In my 100,000 mile experience with the 2.5 V-6 I can tell you to have your valve cover gaskets replaced about every 30K miles. This engine is notorious for problems in this area. What happens is that they leak oil into the plug wells causing the wires and plugs to go bad and therefore causing rough idle. To see what I am talking about pull the plugs out one at a time and check to see if they are coated with oil, if so there is your problem. The quick fix is to replace the wires, but they will only fail after a while costing more money. The typical cost for this repair is around $400-$500, but your car will run like new. This information only applies to the V-6.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    This is also true of the 2.0-liter Four; however, there's only the single bank of cylinders, so it won't cost quite so much to fix.
  • dougmckeendougmckeen Posts: 2
    I posted earlier that changing the spark plug wires fixed my rough idling. On May 7, Overton posted that it may be the Valve Cover Gaskets. Overton may well be correct. One of my plugs was quite oily when I pulled it. I haven't checked them lately, but I might on the weekend.

    I suppose the trade off is $60 for new wires every X?? years versus $400-500 every 30k miles (2 years for me). Are there any other problems with having bad gaskets?

  • overtonoverton Posts: 3
    In reponse to dougmckeen:

    Here are problems that I have found to be true with bad valve cover gaskets: Rough Idle, & loss of power are the main two, try to imagine your car with two less cylinders. As for keeping on replacing the wires & plugs they go bad shortly after you put them in. Best thing you can do is try and find a mechanic to give you a good deal. Bad part is that to get to the back valve cover gasket on the V-6 you have to take a whole lot of stuff apart, the last mechanic that did mine could not believe how hard it was. Chances are the price will be constant because of this, but I would definatley see a mechanic about this, and also I don't know how many miles(km) you have on your car, but it is very easy to change the timing belt while doing this procedure since the engine is apart anyways, might be worth an extra 50bucks instead of having to pay 250-300 later. If you have anymore questions you can e-mail me at I have been through this procedure so many times, that by the 2nd time I could tell the mechanic exactly what was wrong before he even looks at the car.
  • ilya4ilya4 Posts: 1
    auto trans died.
    I own 97 Mazda 626 97. There only 48k and trans is dead. While car was on a warranty I've heard some rumors about transmission problem Mazda 626 had. I dropped my car for the oil change at dealership in Vienna, VA at inquired about this problem from Service manager. He assured that he never heard about this problem, but suggested to use an innovative transmission service for about $120-130 that changed transmission fluid under the pressure ( technology). So... my transmission is dead and I barely made to the same dealership.
    Their estimation is replace the entire transmission at cost $2,700 + tax.
    Anyone experienced similar problem?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I rather doubt that the flush procedure, if it was done correctly, actually killed the transmission.

    If you have the four-cylinder 626, you have the LA4-EL transmission, which is actually Ford's CD4E, and the old drop-the-pan-and-change-the-filter transmission service doesn't work for it, since it doesn't have a bottom pan to drop; you have to do some serious disassembly to get to the filter. All the more reason to do the flush, I'd say. (I had this done on my '93, which has a different transmission, last year, with no discernible ill effects.)

    Still, if they botched the job, they could have done all manner of damage.
  • sashtonsashton Posts: 1
    Has anyone out the had problems with the "valve lash adjustments?" I do not know what this is, but my mechanic said that they need to be replaced. It causes a clicking noise in the engine. The mechanic says that it has been listed in the OASIS as a problem with the Mazda 626 (I have a 93 with a 2.0L L4FI). Wanted to know if this had anything to do with the valve cover gaskets or the idling problem, which I have had as well.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The infamous Mazda tick. The 2.0 (and some other Mazda engines) have hydraulic lash adjusters; they ostensibly do not require routine maintenance, but they have a tendency to sludge up with age. Before spending the long dollar on new HLAs, see if they will respond to cleaning. At the very least, change the oil and filter, this time with Mazda's OEM filter (which has a trick drainback valve) and a good synthetic oil, and see if it makes any difference in the noise level. This may be peripherally related to idle problems, though probably not to problems with the valve cover gasket (which likely will be changed anyway if you have to get at those HLAs).
  • overtonoverton Posts: 3

    In response to your valve lasher problem, it is typical. My V-6 ticked like crazy especially when very cold in the morning. My trusty mechanic told me to do the synthetic oil deal, and go with 5-W30 oil, and also cleaning. This helped a great deal, but did not cure the problem. But it is a much more inexpensive alternative. A car of that age you must just live with some things rather than spend a ton of money. You can make the call. Just curious how many miles are on your car? Mine started ticking around 50K and is still doing the same at 94,000. But I don't plan on keeping it forever.
  • ddfddf Posts: 1
    I am dealing with dumping my 94 626 which is sitting in a tranny shop right now. I have been told to expect about 2000.00 repair bill to rebuild the tranny. I have replaced my struts, my o2 sensor twice, and numerous other things to tiring to list. I do not believe I should put any more money into this car and with 60000 miles I am faced with dumping my 5 year old car! Anyone interrested in a class action suit here?
  • levi8levi8 Posts: 1
    I am so glad to have found this place and so glad to know I am not the only one with the mazda problems. I have had 3 mazdas now and I love them but they all have had their own little quirks. My most resent problem is Idling and loss of power. My engine light has been coming on and shuts off itself. I am 3 hours away from the mazda dealer and The mechanics I've been to all have a different story. I have not replaced the timming belt or any of the spark plugs or wires yet. the car is a 626 v6 with 113,000. IT s a 94. does anyone have any suggestions for me.
  • sokwesasokwesa Posts: 2
    One of my cylinders was misfiring so I changed my spark plugs and plug wires. The car is driving better, but it is idling low (between 500 750 RPMs). Does anyone have any idea of why this is? Could it be my fuel njection system?
  • jtuckjtuck Posts: 1
    Where should I start... I have 1996 Mazda 626 LX with about 70,000 miles on it. I've loved my car since the day I bought it but it's been tough. I'm tired of the huge repair bills and the arguments with my extended warranty company. I'm considering selling it and coming to terms with the huge mistake I made when I bought it. I should have bought a Honda like everyone suggested.

    I've been through the normal wear and tear maintenance that all car owners deal with but I've suffered through more than your simple oil change and brake work. Less than a year ago I heard a clicking noise from my engine and ended up spending $1000 having all the valve lifters replaced. Around that time I also noticed an engine light. I had the car checked out and was told it was an 'atmospheric change' that caused it to come on. The second time it happened the mechanic claimed it was some sort of sensor problem. I haven't seen the light since but the fear is still there. I've also been experiencing idle problems. My car runs rough and... to make a long story short... several repairs later and I'm stuck with bad transmission fluid (no one will change it without replacing the whole transmission), horrible shaking at stop lights, and bad rear struts. I've just been told that I owe another $710 for "normal wear and tear" maintenance and I'm sick about it. Anyone want a used 626?

    Do these problems seem normal - am I living in lala land thinking that car ownership should be less aggravating?
  • anu0anu0 Posts: 13
    If anyone knows of a class action lawsuit against Mazda for the automatic transmission failures in the 94 626 and later model years please let me know.

    I'm paying off a $2200 transmission replacment bill on my Master Card.
  • robpurobpu Posts: 1
    My family has owned a total of 5 Mazda's over the years and I currently have a 95' Mazda 626ES V-6 manual...I have never spent more money on maintaining a car since I got this one. I just want to reinforce the problems that occur with the Valve Cover Gaskets. Please have these looked at and changed. I've replaced my sparkplugs, wires, and gaskets 2 times in the last 15,000 miles..This is a definite problem with the V-6. I've also had to buy two new back calipers for my car, 02 sensors (pretty penny), (2) CV Joints because rubber boot wasn't sealed properly (more pretty pennies), and a Max Air Flow sensor (luckily I convinced Mazda to pay for this one, approx. $1000). Not to mention all the normal maintenance issues that come up. Anybody looking at getting a Mazda..please get an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles..I know I will next time.
  • lglaneylglaney Posts: 1
    I'm curious about those of you who think something can be done -- a suit or repurchase by Mazda -- about the transmission problems.

    I just got a quote today for $2,334.96 to replace the trans on my '98 626 LX (automatic, of course). The dealership says it burned out on the inside. It now has 66,000 miles (yes, I drive a lot -- and NEED my car!)

    Particularly frustrating is that at about 24,000, two of my plug wires were completely burned out. I got those replaced under warranty, but no one could figure out why it happened. Shortly thereafter, my blower motor went out -- no wipers, defrost, anything, in the middle of a snowstorm. In my opinion, none of this should have happened/be happening at the mileages I'm talking about. I bought another Mazda because my first -- a '91 Protege DX, 5 sp -- was SO reliable. It took a semi-truck to kill it at 153,000.

    Right now I'm looking for another car, and I don't think it can be a Mazda. I can't find a Protege manual transmission. This is the first AT I've had in over 20 years -- I got tired of popping my knee at 40 yo! -- and I don't think I'll have another one of those, either.

    Can anybody recommend a good, very reliable car, that's within the Protege price range? I can't afford to stay in the 626 class because this has me taking on more debt than I can handle right now. And why or how do folks think this can be put back on Mazda?

    Any ideas appreciated. Thanks
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Have you checked out homepage? You can access it from this page via the icon in the top left corner. You will find links to all kinds of buying advice and car reviews. Then you may want to check out our Smart Shopper conference and some of our other conferences (for example, Sedans) to find ongoing discussions of vehicles that catch your interest.

    If you have any specific maintenance or repair issues on your current vehicle or a new one, then come on back here and talk to us about it.

    Good luck!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • I'm thinking of buying 88-92 626 5spd....
    There is one I'm going to see this weekend. 1991 Mazda 626LX, 4DR, HB, 5spd. The car has 206K (km), but the engine has been replaced 2 months ago with "low km" engine as per owner. He could not explain why the original engine died... He claims that "new" engine has had only 40K on it and it came from salvaged car. He is asking $3995 CAN for it, but might let it go for $3.5K
    I would appreciate any advice on the above. I've read some horror stories about Mazda's AT at but that should not be relevant to this one should it?


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