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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    I looked up reliability reports on and discovered that the 94 626 was the only year that was considered "worse than average" of the 93-97 626's. Is there any particular reason why the 94 over the other models did not fare as well? Aren't they all basically about the same vehicle? Is there a consipiracy against my car? Was Consumer Reports angry with Mazda that year? Will I survive through this disheartening news about my 94? Will I have to increase my medication again?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The only substantial difference between the average '93 and the below-average '94 is that the four-cylinder '94 comes with the CD4E transmission. (CR no longer breaks out I4 and V6 data separately on this model.) The only other change I can think of is the switch to R-134 in the A/C system.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Well, it's not technically a Ford plant. The 626 (and the Mercury Cougar, for now) are built at AutoAlliance, a Ford/Mazda joint venture (previously a Mazda-owned plant, and before that a Ford facility, but we're getting into ancient history here) at Flat Rock, Michigan, southwest of Detroit. Since we're quoting Consumer Reports lately, it's worth noting that the 626 is doing consistently better in CR reliability scores than the Cougar, which suggests that either Mazda's designs or quality-control specs are somewhat superior to Mercury's, despite some common parts (the Cougar uses the CD4E tranny, and while Mazda provides its own engines, some North America-specific emissions gear is sourced from the locals).
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The V6 has a friction gear on the exhaust-side cam, used to reduce noise that may be caused by brief backlash; it may simply be at the end of its adjustment range. It is not an indication of problems, merely an inadequacy in a noise-reduction system. (Julian Bradbury has written up a description here.)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,887
    What year are you looking for?

    You have to remember that you are going to hear more from the few people that have problems than the thousands of people that have no problems. That's true with any car.

    Personally, I've put 38,000 on my 99 LX-V6 automatic and haven't had a single issue. Oil changes is all its had. In my opinion, its the top car in its category. I tried all the others and the 626 is what I liked best.

    However, it really depends on what you're looking for. I found the Camry to be a softer ride. To me, that's bad (I prefer the better handling of a stiffer suspension). But, to somebody else, softer may be preferable. I also felt the 626 was quicker. I know the horsepower numbers don't support that statement, but there's more to it than hp numbers.

    The biggest difference is price. The 626 is less expensive. And I don't believe that's due to build quality, but rather popularity. The Camry is in higher demand and, therefore, commands a higher price, new or used.

    By the by, I just happen to be selling mine. ;)

    Like I said, its a great car for its category. I want to change to something smaller and sportier.

    Good luck with your decision.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • fzkongfzkong Posts: 1
    I am seriously consider buying a used Mazda 626Dx. It's a 95 model, with 80k mileage. Yet it's only priced at $3800. Test drive is OK. However I am little suspicous. Why it's priced so low? Maybe because of its transmission problem? Don't know.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,887
    well, that all depends. Is it the automatic?

    Even if you load that car up on Edmunds (which only shows automatic, A/C, and tape player as options), it comes back with a $3550 trade-in price. And, having an idea that Edmunds is generous on the trade-ins, the seller would probably be looking at around $3K as a trade-in. so, selling it for $3800 on the side doesn't seem all that cheap. Seems to me like that's a fair price for both of you (if its in good shape and everything is mechanically ok, as you suggest).

    If it doesn't have the auto, then its even overpriced.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I have always suspected that, since oxygen sensors tend to last no more than about 80,000 miles on these cars, someone unhappy with actually having to replace the miserable little widget will trade cars at that point rather than go through the process again - perhaps because mechanics (and nonmechanics, such as, well, me) tend to misdiagnose these things until they're blue in the face. Then again, the '95 automatic has OBD II; it should be perfectly obvious when an oxygen sensor goes.
  • patman6patman6 Posts: 1
    I noticed that my oil was very low. After getting my oil changed I decided to change my spark plugs. While doing this I noticed there was oil in at least 4 of the "spark plug access cylinders". The plugs were dry inside the engine, but there was oil on the tops and all over the socket I used. I think I let oil get inside one or more of the plug holes, so when I started it up it runs very rough and the engine light is flashing.
    I imagine I have a gasket problem, but what will happen if oil entered the spark plug holes?
    It's obviously not running on all cylinders. How bad did I flub up?
  • mwaxkremwaxkre Posts: 2
    i'm looking to buy a new 626... 2001
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Did you check the gap on the plugs before installing them? Sounds like you have a plug not firing or 2 plug wires crossed. The CEL code is probably one of the following generic OBD-II diagnostic trouble codes:
    P0300 Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
    P0301 Cylinder 1 Misfire Detected
    P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected
    P0303 Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected
    P0304 Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected
    P0305 Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected
    P0306 Cylinder 6 Misfire Detected

    Getting a small amount of oil into a cylinder is irrelevant. Getting foreign material on a plug tip, having a plug gap closed up, cracking the porcelain insulation on a plug during installation (happens regularly), or crossing 2 plug wires will result in a misfire. In any event, a scan tool is required to access/erase the stored diagnostic trouble codes and turn off the CEL. And it'd be a good idea to have the oil leaks repaired while you're at it.
  • Hi all:
    I have a 1994 Mazda 626, Auto, V4, 93,500 miles.

    I bought this car from a used-car dealer in Jan 2000 (76000 miles). Till last month, it gave me no problems. I used to get oil-changed every 3000 miles. Since last month, the CEL/MIL flashes on and off. It usually happens when I accelerate.

    I took it to a mechanic friend and he recommended some Operations Switch replacement. But when he opened the engine hood, he saw a lot of black-oil sludge deposits. He told me that the previous owner of this vehicle must be pretty irregular with oil-changes. And its a better idea to replace the engine or sell the car. He told me that there is no way he can remove the deposits from the entire engine. And since engine sometimes cannot suck the oil, the CEL/MIL light flashes on for 4-5 seconds.

    So I thought of selling my car before the condition worsens. But it was more practical to get it checked from another auto-center and get the problem diagnosed.
    So Today I took it to the GoodYear Auto-Center.
    They told me that they cannot get the error-code since the CIL/MIL light has to stay-on to pull-up the code. But my car's MIL stays on for 4-5 sec and vanishes. So they advised me to come back when the light stays-on for a longer time so that the computer can store the error code.

    I am confused. I don't know what to do !!! I don't want to wait till the condition worsens.
    Also I have read in this site that 1994 models have transmission problems creeping up.

    Please advise.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,887
    Ok. Well, like I said, I think the Mazda handles better. Its also cheaper. But, if resale value is a major concern, then you may want to go with the Camry. Mazda does not hold its value as well.

    Personally, if I had held out for the 626 ES-V6 with the manual tranny, I wouldn't even be concerned about resale because I wouldn't be selling that car. :)

    good luck.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • Hi all:
    I had described my problem in #512.
    I just went to the dealer and he pulled-up the code. It was code - 181. He tells me that its the air-flow meter which has gone bad.
    He gave me an estimate of 394 $ which includes 250 $ part and 144 $ labor (2hours * 75$/hr).
    Is it possible that I can get the air-flow meter from outside and get it installed by a local mechanic. In any case, I have seen in this site that 1994 Mazda 626 was the worst vehicle. So I have become paranoid and want to sell this car after fixing the problem. So thats why I don't want to waste any more money on this vehicle.

    Please advise me about the Air-Flow meter.
    Where will I get the best bargain and how much labor rate should I pay for it ???

    Final question: Does this problem need immediate attention...or can I delay it for a few weeks ??
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Sometimes these things respond to a little cleaning. The guys at - Ford Probes of this era share powertrains with the 626 - have pretty much scienced out this arcane art. I would definitely check them out before spending the big bucks on a new MAF.
  • wjm1wjm1 Posts: 33
    I was wondering - is there anybody here who haven't had any troubles with his auto tran for say 120K miles. No matter 6 or 4 cyl. 626 from 1993+
    How about that?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Once in a while, I hear about someone who's cracked the 100k barrier, and said someone is usually sweating bullets because of all this tranny brouhaha. There is, according to my correspondence, at least one of these boxes with 150k on it.

    The tranny on my '93 was just fine when I traded it in just shy of 90k.

    The Seriously Reworked CD4Es are still mostly too young to have six digits on the odo.
  • kene32kene32 Posts: 1
    Harry. I have exactly the same problem as you do. Anyways, i have heard from a lot of people that the problem is from a sensor called the (O2 Sensor). I plan on changing mine soon. However, my car has 167,000 miles on it and it's still cruzing. The only problem i have is the Check Engine light that comes on when i start it or some times when i go on the free way and dirve for about 2-5mins. It come off when i come into the city.
    So do not worry your self about the Transmission. I do not think it's the Transmission. Transmission go down because the evil in them wants to act. That Mr. Phily's 1994 Mazda 626's Transmission went down does not mean that yours is going to go down too.
    Think about me that has 167,000 miles in mine and still cruzing. OK. As for me, i will cruse my car till the wheels fall off.
    But Nomore Mazda for me. Am done with them. Reason is not cause they suck. They are great cars and we've had quite a number of them in my family but the problem is the parts are very costly to buy. Am going to ge myself a BMW once i graduate.
    Later for now.
  • Hi guys:

    Today I am going to clean the MAF sensor myself because CEL is flashing on/off. Lets see if I can save 400 $. I found a wonderful link on regarding cleaning the MAF sensor.

    Thanks windowphobe6 for referencing me to this site. I will keep you guys updated.



  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Well, yeah, they're not cheap - this is, after all, a relatively low-volume automaker - but spares for a 3-series BMW aren't exactly blue-light specials, either.

    I do like the idea, though, of Evil Incarnate somehow possessing transmissions. It would certainly explain some of the diagnostic difficulties, and as anyone who saw The Exorcist will remember, fluids are vital. :)
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