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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    My mom, a very young 79, has a 94 V6LX purchased new. She doesn't give a hoot about a car as long it starts and gets her from A to B. It has 21k miles (yes, I said 21k), it's clean, never been wrecked, and suits her fine; but, 2 months ago after 8 years of absolutely no trouble, her distributor went out ($300), last month the thermostat had to be replace ($90 labor and $8 in parts), and now she needs a strut replace ($200). I don't work on cars, she certainly doesn't, and she's asking me if it's time for a new car. Any thoughts? Seems to me this would be a great vehicle for someone who can do his own work and maybe time for someone who doesn't to move on.
  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    I spent some money at 60K on my '93 626 and was plenty pissed. However it is now at 95K and has not been too costly since then. I say run it until and if you have tranmission problems (mine is a stick). In fact my 626 is running great and is a blast to drive.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,892
    The fact is, no matter how little you run it, mechanical parts that are 8 years old are bound to show some wear. Is the car garaged? If not, moisture alone is going to do some damage over time. I'm kinda surprised about the struts, but that's about it.

    Oh, ian18, if you're referring to the notorious tranny problems, dardson's mom's car is a V6, so those problems don't apply.

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

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Most of it should be normal. The shocks also surprise me. But shocks may have been more stressed because they also never got a real chance to warm up. Does your area have high humidity?
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    for the opinions......
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    Thanks. The site you mentioned is by far the best auto repair site I have been to...
    Are you satisfied with the Bosch OEM type sensor?
    A friend of mine has problems with the Bosch sensor on his Honda.
  • Apart from a small hiccup right after I replaced the stock O2 sensor with the Bosch (because I hadn't cleared the ECU...), the thing is working fine (i.e., no CEL for 5 days). Someone also mentioned on the board that the Bosch looks sturdier than the stock, and I agree. Although I don't drive the car that much (I fix it and my wife wrecks it, je je). I have a log of miles-per-galon from a month or so ago, and I'll let you know if this improves with time.

    On other topics, has anyone had one of those ATX services in which they connect one of the ATX fluid hoses to a bucket full of clean ATX fluid, and then let the car run until the fluid comes clean on the other end? I saw this service somewhere around town for 80 bucks, and looks like the only way by which you would really get all the old ATX fluid out without taking the tranny apart.

    Also, my next near-future 'manly' project is, after servicing the ATX, installing a tranny cooler. Has anyone done this? How hard is it? Any hints?

    Thanks in advance,

  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    I put in two Bosch O2 sensors around 65K and now have 96K with no problems at all. I did comment some time ago that the Bosch sensors seemed to look like they were better quality than the OEM.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I have seen one of those machines. As a matter of fact, I used to work at Jiffy Lube and use those machines. You are correct, they are the only way to get the fluid out of the torque-converter, tranny lines, cooler (if it has one), etc. without taking the tranny apart. They work pretty slick and if you use enough fluid, you can make the tranny fluid look BRAND NEW. When you just drain the pan, you aren't getting that much fluid out at all, about 40% I think. I highly recommend this service for anyone who has an automatic. I don't even work their anymore, so it isn't like I'm trying to "up-sell" and oil change; your tranny will love it-seriously. Just find a place that you trust, looks clean, etc. and have it done.

    About this O2 sensor deal. I have a 2001 Protege with the same 2.0L as your 626s. It sounds like these engines like to eat O2 sensors. How much are these?
  • NewCar - I got the O2 sensor at Autozone for 64 bucks. It has the OEM connector, so it was easy to do. In my case, with 79K miles, I am sure the sensor was at the end of it's life. However, I had my timming belt changed last year, and the fellow that did it was _VERY_ generous with the silicon sealant. So generous he did not use a valve cover gasket! So, when I took my old O2 sensor out it had a white dusty deposit all over it: Silicone (i.e., sand). I bet this didn't help the critter one bit.

    Thanks also for the info on the tranny flush. I will have it done as soon as I have time (hopefully I will not see my O/D light flashing before that...).

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Tuesday I took my 1991 in for a trip checkover, and because I thought the steering was loose. It was not. However, at that time they discovered that the Manual Transmission seals between the tranny and the stick had failed. Levels were checked just last January, and they were just fine.

    However since that time I had lost a pint of fluid. Repaired for $105.00.

    Glad it was checked before the long trip. I wonder how it would have survived 1200 miles through 90 degree deserts.
  • rick95mzrick95mz Posts: 3
    Misery loves company. I've owned my 95 626 since it was 2 years old, and I've had every major complaint that others has posted to this site. Bad O2 sensors, replaced the transmission at 60K miles, rough idle when A/C is on and in drive, etc.

    Now the engine is loud after many quiet years of operation. I just took it to a mechanic and they had to weld 2 large cracks in the exhaust pipe to fix the noise. I guess $85 beats a $700 replacement bill. The mechanic told me the exhaust pipe sits over a protective plate that doesn't let the pipe dissipate the heat correctly and eventually caused the cracks and noise problem. Just thought I'd share and see if others had the same problem.
  • Hey gang,

    We'll, as I said before, the ECU gobblins heard me and decided to torment me again. The CEL is blinking away on my 626 (4 cyl. ATX). However, as I mentioned before, I learned this has a EEC-IV Ford diagnostics thingy, and got the codes myself. Just jumper STI to SIG return with a paper clip, turn the key (but not the engine), and voila! Codes! I get "111" for hard faults (which means nothing is broken at the time of the test), and "181" for the memory codes. Now, 181 in three-digit EEC-IV jargon, according to my little manual, means "Fuel system lean at part throtle Single. Right or Rear HO2S". Now, I don't think I have a rear O2 sensor, right?

    So the question is, what the heck does "181" means on a four-banger with a single O2 sensor? Some posts ago this was said to be MAF, so just in case I'll clean the darn thing again. I know I didn't break it last time because the little filaments were fine...

    Suggestions from any 626 gurus that may have heard of this will be thoroughly appreciated...


    PS: If you you are stuck with a 4cyl 94-95 with ATX, the stupid EEC-IV connectors are right in front of the battery...
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I haven't heard too many tales of this particular event, but I have no reason to think this system is exceptionally sturdy; I had a new muffler welded onto my old '93 at 81k after the old one seemingly disintegrated. Not expensive, but annoying.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I don't think these were being used on the four-cylinders back in '95. MAF sounds plausible enough, though geez, you just cleaned the darn thing, didn't you?
  • rick95mzrick95mz Posts: 3
    I also have a Mazda 626 4 Cyl (1995), I just posted #1053. When they repaired my exhaust pipe, the mechanic warned me that their was a rear/exhaust O2 sensor that may cause the CEL to blink since I repaired my exhaust pipe's leakage.

    So to answer your question, I guess the Mazda 626 has a rear O2 sensor.
  • I think that up to 1995 they have only one. Actually, if you go to or, it will list only one for the 1995 4cyl, and 2 for 1996 and up. In any case, I will crawl under it (actually, I'll have it on a lift) tomorrow and double check.

    Rick, I am also hearing a 'rattle' on acceleration coming from the general vicinity of my exauhst, so maybe I have a similar problem to the one you had. Who knows, maybe I have a hole in the muffler or cat and that is throwing off the ECU.

    As for cleaning the MAF, I did not do the 'spray with carb-cleaner' part. I only blew air from a compressed air can (gently) to dislodge dirt. I wasn't to kin on coating the filaments of the MAF with lubricant (which my carb-cleaner had, or at least it said it had a 'revolutionary product that will lubricate and protect all moving parts of your carburator'...). Anyway, I'll get some 2+2 which has only solvents (pretty nasty ones too) and do the 'full' cleaning. I'll also change the air filter (which pretty much requires you to take the MAF appart...).



    PS: Windowphobe, does your 'call-name' means you are a Mac/Linux fanatic? Good for you!
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I'm not sure if spraying the MAF is such a good idea. You might want to get a professional opinion on that before you kill it.

    BTW, the '95 only has one O2 sensor.
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