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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    The 2000 626 with a clutch has 44000 trouble free
    miles. The 130 ponies matched to a left leg flexor
    has been a blast to drive and own. We used this site
    for research and comparison and couldn't be happier!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I know somebody who has a 1994(?) 626 ES V6 with a 5 speed manual with about 170K miles on it and running strong. I have a 99 ES V6 5 speed model, which has been less than great, but the engine runs good and after warranty expiration the car has been surprisingly troublefree. However, the resale value is really bad, but that is good news for those buying a used model.
    One advice: Whatever model you buy, stay away from the 4 cylinder automatic version. V6 models have much better auto transmission which is designed and built in Japan.

    Maintenance costs can be rather high because these cars require frequent timing belt replacement (every 60k miles). And 98 and newer models have solid valve lifters which require adjustment every 60k miles. And this job on a V6 model is very time consuming and labor intensive, requiring special tools. Because of this, Mazda dealers charge about $ 525 for timing belt replacement and valve clearance check/adjustment on the V6 model. In addition to this you need to replace platinum plugs and plug wires every 60K miles, which will cost another $ 200. Plus fuel system maintenance. So 60K service on a V6 costs about $ 1000 and this assumes that nothing else goes wrong and no other parts are replaced. If you need EGR circuit cleaning, this can cost several hundred dollars on top of this. To me, these routine service costs appear very high for an entry level compact family sedan.
  • Hello.

    On Jan 5th, 05 I had the water pump replaced on my Mazda 626. After taking the car home and letting it sit a few I noticed a small oil spot underneath the car. I moved the car a couple of feet and let it sit and the exact same shapped oil spot duplicated, so I took my car straight down the mechanic and the owner of the shop said that I have a oil sensor that is leaking "a little" and advised me to pick one up from a Mazda Dealer and he would install it. He said it would be about 15.00.

    When I returned home I checked the oil level and to my surprise it was 2 quarts low! The next day I returned to the shop and the owner had one of his guys spend about 15 minutes under the car while it was jacked up on one side. When he was finished underneath I was told again that the only thing they could see that might be leaking was the sensor he had recommended.

    Very soon after this date the car broke down on the freeway. Interesting enough after about five minutes the car drove fine again. There wasn't so much as even a miss in the timing. However, this happened a couple more times so back to the shop I went as the car cut out again on the freeway and I almost couldn't get it started that time.

    At the end of the day, the owner called me and told me I could pick the car up and said he had replaced the rotor and cap (95.00). I picked the car up the next morning and made it about 2 miles and then was stranded on the freeway. After getting the car back to this shop, the owner says to me "I was going to tell you when you picked up the car that you should only drive it home because of oil contamination. He said it would be another $400.00 because oil was all over including in the spart plug holes. Lots of oil!

    Is there more that the mech. should have done besides the water pump/gasket and two cam seals (and timing belt)? Is it possible their work caused this problem and if so, where should I look first?

  • qxuxaqxuxa Posts: 1
    Hi I have a 1993 mazad 626 and it started jerking to one side when it went into drive gear it doesn't do it in 1st or 2nd just when it shifts into drive any one else having this problem thanks.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Lower Ball Joints
    Mazda 323/MX-3/626/MX-6/Millenia/Protégé 1990-1998

    Except MX-3, 323, Protege and Millenia

    The lower ball joint is an integral part of the lower control and cannot be replaced separately. If the lower ball joint is defective, the entire lower control arm must be replaced.
  • wow! now i`m confused i went to the auto parts store and purchased the ball joint . If what you say is true why didn`t the auto parts tell me the same after i gave them my car specs. i`m going to have to take a look at this problem.
  • Hey, karpher, I feel your pain.

    One of the things one has to do to get to the water pump is get to the timing belt. To get to the timing belt, one has to get the valve cover out of the way. Once you are done and you are about to put everything back together again, you'll need a new valve cover gasket. If you don't put one, oil will splash all over and will get into your spark plugs. It will also leak down into the timing belt housing, and probably saturate the timing belt with oil.

    I tell you this because my 'ex-mechanic' did this (i.e., did not use a new valve cover gasket), and two months later I had the 'check engine light' from hell. It was all due to oil going down the spark plug wells (these engines are DOHC). Check the repair bill and see if he charged you for a new gasket (he probably did use a new water pump gasket, I hope...). But if you see a lot of 'sealant-type' goop around the valve cover gasket (the piece of metal that has the 'MAZDA' imprint on it), chances are he just tried to seal the cover with the old gasket and sealant.

    But that's my guess: He did not use a new gasket, that caused oil to leak (your oil loss) and get into the spark plugs (your car dying down the road).

    But his 'oil pressure sender' problem seems like BS. I mean, was it working fine (i.e., not loosing oil) before you had the water pump replaced? If so, why would it start leaking oil after the water pump was replaced? I have a theory that requires mechanical parts having 'feelings': Maybe it had grown really attached to that water pump, was a very unhappy oil pressure sender after they installed a new one and thrown his old friend into a trash bin, and as retaliation against you it started leaking.

    As I said, not likely...

    Hope this helps,

  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    "To get to the timing belt, one has to get the valve cover out of the way".

    This is not a true statement for a 626 with a V6 engine, Mazda Protege with a DOHC 1.8 l engine. I will not speak for a 4 cyl, 626 but I do not believe that it applies there either.

    To get to the timing belt, you remove the drive belts, tensioner pulleys, and the timing belt cover(s). No need to remove the valve cover unless you are replacing the cam oil seals, and do not have an impact wrench to loosen the cam sprocket bolts. Then you remove the valve cover, hold the cam in place by slipping an adjustable wrench over hex portion of each cam and loosen the sprocket bolt. You do the same when retightening the sprocket bolt to spec.

    You really can reuse the old valve cover gasket at least once becuase it is made of moulded rubber and very little sillicone sealant is used on it when assembled at the factory (and only in select locations). If reinstalled correctly, it should not leak if the rubber is still piable and undamaged. However, I do recommend replacing the gasket every time. It is cheap insurance. Also, it is important to replace the rubber sealing washers under the valve cover bolts.
    And follow the mazda shop manual instructions where small amounts of silicone sealant need to be applied. And torque all vavle cover bolts to spec in several increments and correct sequence.

    Water pumps on these cars typically use a moulded O-ring (at least 6 cylinder version does). It should be replaced with each water pump change. There is no need for any silicone sealant on this O-ring. You must be very careful to make sure it does not slip out of the pump housing groove when you bolt the new pump on.
  • p100,

    In the L4 I do believe you need to get the valve cover off. The timing belt cover is a plastic 'spashguard' on the side, but you cannot get to the cam sprockets if you don't remove the cam cover out of the way. There may be a way of avoiding this if you are just changing the water pump, but if you have to take off, and later install, the timing belt it would be tough to do it with the cam cover on.

    In my case, the cam cover gasket that did not get replaced when the timing belt and water pump were replaced had ~70K miles on it. It was extremely hard and brittle when I did change it. As you say, changing it is cheap insurance (I think it was $15).


  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Which year and engine?
  • Alcan,

    Mine's a 95 2.0L with ATX. I don't know how different this engine may be from newer/older L4s. Also, I don't plan to do any of this on my 626. I was just giving some info to a fellow with problems (oil going into spark plug wells, etc., etc.).

    However, and taking the opportunity that alcan is roaming the forum, I need a bit of information regarding the radiator fan circuit on this car. I have the schematics, showing three relays. Do you or anyone else know how they work? I mean, I can see which relay turns on when they get the signal from the PCM, but I don't know how they are wired to the motor (or how the coils/windings of the motors are arranged). Is this three-relay setup one of those serial/parallel arrangements? Apparently relay #1 and #2 give +Vbat to the motor, and relay #3 grounds one of the motor's circuits. Relay #2 and #3 are closed simultaneously by the PCM. Also, I don' know if it's the same PCM signal that closes all three relays (there only one line coming out of the PCM circuit diagram, but two different ones getting to the fan relays). I'm trying to figure out if one of my relays is pooched (sticking closed once it closes for the first time), and this info would be great to know to troubleshoot it.


  • randno1randno1 Posts: 1
    I took the head off my '89 626 (w/Turbo) and had it rebuilt (blown head gasket). It's a 2.2 L4.
    Now I need to reassemble it and get the crankshaft and camshaft lined properly so I can reinstall the timing belt. Can anyone tell me where to put the crankshaft (piston positions), where to put the camshaft pulley, and how to mount the belt so that the timing will be correct?
  • I just recently acquired a used 1987 Mazda 626 and to make a long story short, I need to know how to remove the front wheel bearing so I can change out the lugs the my neighborhood Firestone mech sheared off. I've already removed the entire rotor assembly, but the spindle appears to be one with the bearing.
  • The belt pullies will un-bolt from the crankshaft, and you can see a timing mark on the belt drive gear; This mark should be straight up, pointing to a little mark on the front cover. The cam gear has large markings that will tell you where all the valves are. The "#1" should be straight up as well.
    Make sure all the slack is out of the belt when you tighten the tensioner. Good Luck & God Bless.
  • I have a 1994 Mazda 626 DX (Manual, 4cyl) And I have been having a problem with the engine for several years, that no mechanic that I have taken it to has been able to solve!

    When the problem first surfaced I almost got into an accident. When downshifting to turn a corner, the idle dropped to 0 and the engine stalled, which then took out the power steering! The idle has since been adjusted up, so now it doesn't completely cut out, it just drops really low, flashes the check engine light, and shoots back up. The only thing that I can do to keep this from happening is to shift into neutral and let go of the clutch. When I am stopped and Idling, if the clutch is pressed the Idle bounces up and down, but once I put the gear in neutral and let go of the clutch, it stops bouncing. As soon as I put it back into gear, the bouncing idle returns!

    When the Computer Diagnostic was run, it said that my Mass Air Flow sensor was bad, and I replaced that, but it didn't help. I also had to replace the computer from a different problem, and the distributor (which was done by my local Mazda Dealer) and that didn't solve the problem either. I've been taking it to several mechanics for the past 4 years now and the problem is still there! Has anyone else encountered this problem or have any ideas what I need to do to get rid of it?

  • I had the same thing happen on my 1991 626 DX (engine stall with clutch engaged). It actually turned out to be a crack in the rubber air intake hose. Check between the air filter box and the engine, there may be a crack. If so, duct tape will provide a temporary fix until the intake hose can be repaced.
  • Well, I checked that out, and the hose looks to be in perfect condition. Any other suggestions? Thanks for your help!
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