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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Well, let me put it this way. Your transmission is designed and built by the same company that designed and built a Ford Pinto. Your transmission came, I believe, from Ford Tempo, which is one step above the Pinto in quality.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    guess what: I offer this option: don't put the money into the car if you cannot afford it, and especially one which has a lousy track record. If you have any available cash on hand, go buy a great used Japanese vehicle (accord, camry). There are tons on the market, and in all different price ranges. I think throwing money into a 626 is like throwing your wallet into the street. Neither option provides a good "return" for you money.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    One option perhaps is to find somebody who can correctly diagnose your transmission problem and perhaps rebuild it for far less than $ 2500. Why does it cost so much to rebuilt this small transmission? It only costs $ 2000 to rebuild an auto transmission on my 83 Mercedes 300 SD. And this is a lot bigger and better auto transmssion, believe me.

    Several years ago I had an auto transmission rebuilt in my 83 Pontiac Boneville. It cost only $ 530, including a rebuilt torque converter. And this transmission was shot, it had no second gear left at all. The work was done a smaller transmission shop with low overhead. Usually these are places that can do the work chaper. I would shop around and see who can come up with a reasonable diagnosis and fix at an acceptable price.
  • I had a 88 Ford Tempo that was a mechanical wonder. Granted it was a manual transmission, but the thing was bulletproof for me for 11 years and 198,000 miles. Got rid of it for the Mazda cuz the wife couldn't drive a stick. The only mechanized things I replaced on that car in all those miles/years was an alternator and a fuel pump. That car must have been made on a day after a bonus check or something cuz nothing ever went wrong. So, some Fords do run well guys.
    Anyways, I will look into having someone rebuild my tranny, but after reading all the horror stories about how after all these folks rebuilt or replace their trannys and have to get them worked on constantly afterwards, I am a lil worried. It's sorta like my fear of chiropractors, once you start you gotta keep going......I am leaning towards trading it in anyways on a SUV i.e. a 4-runner or Exploder since baby #2 is due next month. Might have to keep this thing 4 months yet to pay the loan down to at least it's trade value...hope the force is with me to hold that tranny together long enough.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    626's are generally good cars except if you get an automatic. But that's generally the case with a lot of cars - get a stick, and it will be a better car reliability wise. I can't understand why more people don't buy stick, seeing high number of $$$$ problems with automatics these days.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    That won't fly with some of the people on this board who believe that every manufacturer should be capable of building cars like Honda and Toyota, who must be perfect because we never hear about their problems here (which by some warped form of logic must lead to the conclusion that they don't have any). Yeah, right. Go over to the Accord boards and see how perfect some of the '03 owners feel their cars are right now.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    that's why you should take the information given here for what it is worth: a small handful of knowlegeable people who have a monopoly on this forum (ie, the same people saying the same thing). I always ask people not to believe just me, but go find places where thousands of owners give ratings on their cars. Consumer Reports is one of them. Having researched those other sources, I can say with a straight face that the 626 is NOT a car I and thousands of others would call reliable, and the automatic transmission is NOT the only part that goes wrong with it. While the Honda and Toyota also have their problems (they are machines too), the great majority of people who own Hondas and Toyotas know that they are statistically a bullet proof car.
    As for the Tempo owner, my neighbor had the same experience you did. While the Tempo was not very reliable, there are some who had little to no mechanical problems. I am mystified as to why you two (and others) had such good luck. One normally would chalk it up to good maintenance, but in the case of my 626, all my cars are pampered beyond your wildest dreams; yet this car had failed me at almost every turn of the corner. Last night it was my driver's side door lock cylinder breaking, forcing me to do some fancy repair work. And tonight??????.......stay tuned.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Let me guess: your car started all by itself, put itself in drive and crashed into your neighbor's car.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    he, he, he....No, it was the other way around!!! I need to collect the insurance!!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have about 69K miles on the 99 V6 and I am surprised to see that the rear brake pads are wearing at a faster rate than the front ones. I have at least 50% left on the front ones, but only about 25% on the rear ones. All the brake pads are the original pads. Of course, the rear brakes provide only about 25% of the stopping power, so if the pads were the same size as the front ones, theoretically the rear pads should last much longer. I use the parking brake very seldom . It is possible the the manufacturer makes the rear pads thinner deliberately so they wear out quicker. Any similar experience out there?
  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    Hi all,
    I have a 5spd. Mazda 626 (2.0L), about 240,000 miles, with an annoying problem. Recently I had the timing belt changed and when I left the mechanic the acceleration felt funny. It would not accelerate quickly and merging was downright dangerous. When I started going uphill, the car started losing speed and when I floored it the check engine light came on and the car just stopped accelerating.

    Anyway I took it back to my mechanic who thought it was the timing. He adjusted it but the problem persisted. He redid the timing belt and the problem improved but it is still definitely there. At this point he thought it was the catalytic convertor, so I had that checked out. It was'nt.

    I am not sure what to do now because my mechanic has'nt a clue. Gas mileage pretty much sucks down from 450 miles a tank to 350. Anyone got any ideas at all.

  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    sorry to be flippant, but I wish I had your problems. You got 10 years out of a lousy 626, and oodles of miles to boot? I think you should simply smile and move on. You hit the jackpot with this car and got your money out of it. People like me with a much newer 626 and a lot less miles certainly didn't hit the jackpot, but are about to hit the bottle for making such a poor choice in cars. Congrats ece: you should be very happy indeed. Don't throw money after bad. It is time to retire that pony, and find a new race horse.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    When you brought the car back to the mechanic after the timing belt change, "he thought it was the timing". What timing? Ignition timing or the valve timing which would result from incorrect installation of the timing belt?

    My hunch is that he installed the timing belt incorrectly. You said that he corrected the "timing" when you brought the car back, which means that he would have to reposition the timing belt if he meant the valve timing.

    If you install a timing belt correctly, both your valve timing and ignition timing will be the same as they were before the old belt was removed. I changed the timing belt on my 92 Protege LX (1.8 l DOHC engine) at 65 K miles. I did the work myself. The ignition base timing did not change at all and the engine ran perfect for another 60K miles when I sold the car.

    So once again, I think you need to have the timing belt rechecked and also check the base ignition timing. Your mechanic may have tried to compensate for wrong valve timing by advancing the base ignition timing.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    2 mazdas p100??? Shame on you!! He, he, he
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The first one was a great car. Powerful and responsive 1.8 l DOHC engine and I have done almost nothing to it in 7 years/125K miles. Ironically, this is the reason why I bought the 626. The Protege was just too small for my needs. However, the Protege with 125K miles was a better car than this 626 with no miles. In fact, just few months ago some kid was driving my old Protege and passed me. Except for a few dings the old car still looks good and evidently runs good. I figure it has about 200K miles on it now. I should have kept the car. I was in mint condition when I sold it.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    I hear the current protoge is every bit as good. They are coming out with a new version next year I believe.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I read quite a few complaints about the new Protege manual transmission whine which is evidently a design flaw within the transmission itself. Why cant' they leave good things alone? My Protege manual transmission was quiet and troublefree.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    that is a shame. I thought it was a trouble free car. Despite my service manager (who ownes all Chevys and is helping to steer me towards the Maxx) stating that the 6 is the best car he has ever driven, you won't ever see me in a Mazda showroom again
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    I rarely post here but lurk here all the time as I currently share a 626 with my parents. The vehicle is a '98 626 V6 auto.

    Fortunately, our 626 has been pretty good reliability-wise. We've had no problems during the warranty period and just two out of warranty repairs in years 4 & 5 which totalled about $400cdn, not too bad at all.

    p100: Yeah, our stock rear disc pads are wearing faster than the front ones too. Last check was 40% front and 10% rear, so there will be new rear pads going in before winter.

    maxx4me: IMO, and also illustrated with p100's Mazda's, Japanese assembled Mazda's are very good and significantly better than US assembled Mazda's. In fact, I'm getting a Mazda3 (the Protege replacement) in Apr '04.
  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    Thanks for all that great advice but p100, I dont think my mechanic would have a clue what to do next. I really want to repair this car and was wondering what kind of bill I was looking at to get this car fixed at a dealer or anywhere else.

    Maxx4me, your advice is well taken but I love this damn car. Even though I am buying a 2001 IS300 (gonna miss the stick) I want to keep this car because no one's gonna give me what I want for it :)
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