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Mazda 626



  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    I was reading , in Europe the ratio of M/A
    is 7 to 1.Here it's the opposite!?! Why is
    it our cousins on the other side of the
    Atlantic prefer a clutch? I throughly enjoy
    our left leg flexor,and love to choose the
    rpms.I too am grounded by the Protenzas.
    Here in the Midwest I should be looking for
    better "snowshoes".Any suggestions?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you paid $4/gallon of gas, you'd only buy manuals too! They also put a priority on sporty driving, not comfort, especially since distances tend to be shorter.

    The RE92's are your typical OE compromise. They're quiet and decent in the dry, but that's about it. If you break out a tape measure, and check the width of the tread, it's puny, not even close to 205mm (which is the section width), since the tire bulges out.

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    This is not the first time I've heard 87's and 89's run fine on the 2.5LV6, despite what the owner's manual suggests .... I guess it's fine, as long as you pay attention to it, and switches back to 91+ if you hear knocking .... as expensive as gas is these days, I may give 89 fuel a try as well ...

    M/A ratio - yes I think the outrageous price of fuel in Europe is a big reason why. Friend of mine who's from Europe drove his first car with over 1.5L engine only after he's come over to Canada. To extract any kind of power from a small displacement engine, you really need to control your rev. Then again, our gas price here is slowly creeping up to the european prices .... OUCH!

    Well, at least you don't get those big honking SUV"s with V6 or V8 engines over there .....

  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    Unlikely you will hear knocking as the V6 has a knock sensor connected to the ECM which will in turn retard the timing if detonation is being detected. I'm not sure if you will detect a change in performance though. Call me crazy, but my ES has been fed 91 octane from day one.

    I too chose the the car in part b/c of the 5 speed. I needed room for family, but didn't want to sacrifice the fun to drive factor: which disappears entirely for me in any car with a slushbox. Fortunately, I don't encounter much stop and go traffic, I don't own a cell phone, and I stop the car if I wan't to eat! My wife was a little uncertain about my choice (My last car was a Chrysler with a MT.. 'nuff said.), but once she tried out the light clutch and smooth stick she was sold.

    skibry: Its a little odd talking snow tires in July but FYI I bought a full set of Nokian Hakkapeliita 1's. I have been VERY impressed with these tires. Traction in snow and slush is excellent. Most of the research I did indicated they will outlast the big name (Blizzak, Arctic Alpine) by a considerable amount. Price was comparable though. I got them mounted on a set of steel wheels to preserve my alloys from the horrendous amounts of salt they throw around here in the winter.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    5sp - I have a cellphone but a hand-free kit fixes the problem, and I do get in stop and go rush hr traffic for total of ~ 30-45 min everyday, but then driving a manual in traffic isn't really a hassle to me. It's a second nature, and you don't think about it. Only when I'm in N-1st traffic for over an hr that I start to wish it's a slushbox .... but that wish goes away when I get to do more 'spirited driving' over the wkends or wknights = ) I'd say the only time when I really wish I had a slushbox is when I try to eat on the go .... but that is a very unpleasant experience anyways. Of all the 626's I've seen on the road (and to be honest, there are VERY few of them in Toronto .... ) most of them are actually 4cyc's .... but of the ~25% that are V6's, almost all of them I've seen are manuals. In fact, there are 3 98+ 626's in our parking lot here, and all 3 are V6-5sp's. I guess that shows Mazda sells the car in the niche market of V6+5sp sedan.

    Snowtires - thanks for your input. I have a set of Nokia snow tires at home that i got for free, and I think they are Hakkapeliita (what a name)... so good to know they are good in snow. I had a set of Pirelli P190 before and they're very good in snow and slush as well ... but the tire wore out quickly and after 3 winters I found myself desparate for another set.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We also use 87 octane, no knocking. The manual actually "recommends" premium, but specifies a requirement of at least 87 octane.

    I also got the hands-free kit to be able to continue driving a manual.

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Vehicle speed sensor, maybe? (And the transmission, deprived of information, drops into its failsafe/limp-home mode.)
  • After reading about all the happy Mazda 626 drivers I feel like my vehicle is an outcast...
    Maybe Mazda 1994 is particularly bad model...
    My engine overheated and needed expensive repairs about a year ago at 44K and now at 51K the "cold-hot" gauge started behaving weird again. When going uphill 65-70 mph in hot weather it moves towards the middle and then OVER which really scares me and I turn AC off in panic, and the gauge comes back but then moves again.
    DO you guys out there feel like driving 70 mph and having an AC for a long time is out of question (somehow overloads the electric system or whatever)? I will take the car to the mechanic of course one of these days...
  • kennethc1kennethc1 Posts: 2
    We bought a 97' Mazda 626 DX brand new. At 3000 miles it had to have a new transmission. At 57000 miles it broke down with us in no where Alabama. The problem with that is we live in GA and were heading to MS on a anniversity trip (the 1st in 8yrs) My husband lost all power and the car jerked something bad until we came to a stop with smoke pouring out of the hood. Thank god for a nice passer by that stopped to help. We were able to get the car started and drive it one mile to a exit. We found a hole in the wall garage. From there we were taken to a Ford dealer to rent a car. This car had to be back by Monday and this was on Friday, we were to be home on Sunday. We ended up renting a total of 3 cars for a total of $800, the tow from AL was $550. We found out that it was the transmission. Well, you guessed it no warrenity. Mazda after a lot of $#@%% picked up the part of the cost of the transmission and we paid for labor and part of the transmission this was $1582. Our car now had 76600 and guess what just got its 4th transmission or 3rd replacement, however you want to look at it. This one only lasted for 19000 miles and 9 months. Thank goodness this time it was covered under the 1yr manf. warr., oh we had to pay for the speedometer gear that went bad so this trip cost me a $65 tow and $240 gear. I have tried to get in touch with someone higher up at Mazda to tell my story to because I feel I should have been reimbursed for everything it cost me the 2nd time around with the transmission $3000. But what I get is NO CUSTOMER SERVICE when I speak to the dealership or call the 1-800 number. I want to send a letter but I want a name to attach to it. I know by reading all of the stories that there are others like me. But does anyone have a name or number so I can speak or write to them. As of July 8th 2000 we are now a proud owner of a 2000 Camry LE. We had to get rid of the car, it has caused us fincial hardship and stress. We never knew what was going to go next and how much was it going to cost. Thanks to MAZDA/FORD we are maxed on the credit card.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    ..... but if you've done your homework, there's a long history of problems with automatics on the 626 4 cyc models. Almost all 626 4 cyc owners I know have had their transmission rebuilt for once, if not more. So you're not the only unlucky one ... if that makes you feel better.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, but the exact same thing happened to this guy twice! :o)


    PS You can scribble double-posts, just click on the number of your post, then click scribble
  • kennethc1kennethc1 Posts: 2
    See my story #246. The exact same thing happen to us when the 2nd and 3rd transmission went out. Mazda is very much aware of this problem. I don't know how many miles you have on yours so I hope it is still under warranty for you. Your dealership should be able to tell you for sure.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    It sure sounds like you had a lemon .... and I'm sorry to hear about Mazda's post-sale service. I guess that is the last Mazda you'll buy eh? = ) Camry's are nice and extremely reliable vehicles, I'm sure you'll have a much better experience.

    In all fairness there are folks who're on their 3rd A/T tranny in the last 5 yrs .... I can't believe Mazda hasn't got around to fix the AT problem yet and it's 6 yrs and counting. It sounds to me more like a VW story .... = )

    I have a 5sp, and (knock on the wood) from all I've heard the V6 5sp MT is a lot more reliable than the 4cyc AT. Then again, reliability is a lot like a draw from the straw.....

  • barich1barich1 Posts: 48
    In theory, they fixed the AT for 1998 and made modifications throughout 1994-1997. It still isn't up to the level of Mazda's other AT that they use in the V6. But it is more reliable and I would recommend it only in the '98 and later models. Note, however, that I4/AT is apathetically slow.

    I know some of you won't buy a Mazda again, but please let me attempt to change your mind. Mazda makes some of the most fun to drive, reliable cars on the road -- it's just that the 626 4 cyl. AT isn't one of them. The I4/manual and the V6 models, as well as the Protegé, Millenia, Miata, and possibly the MPV are reliable and great fun. Try one of those sometime. Also stay away from the B Series trucks, they are nothing more than Ford Ranger copies. Think "Ford Ranger" and you'll know the reliability of them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's a shame to stop buying Mazdas because you detest a Ford tranny.

    Kind of silly, actually.

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I agree most Mazda's are Fun To Drive, however almost all Mazda's are under-advertised and under-marketted, thus resulting in low sale and poor reputation. The 626 is a perfect example to show this - it has been regarded as one of the sportier mid-sized sedan by all reviews, offers good value, pretty good reliability (except for the 4 cyc AT, which uses a Ford part) and its V6 offers more power than competitors' 4cyc models at ~ the same price, and the best part being you can get it with a 5sp MT. As R&T calls it, the 626 is one of the best kept secret in the mid-sized market. (though R&T intends to keep it that way, leaving 626 yet again out of all comparisons) The Miata is a FTD RWD roadster that offers the true roadster feel, though a little overpriced. The Protege has been selected as the most FTD compact sedan by C&D and finished in top 3 in comparisons by several other major car mags. The MPV .... well who cares about sportiness when you're buying a family van? = )

    Most Mazda's are pretty reliable too, though they may not compare to Honda and Toyota. Here in Canada, Mazda actually offers a more superior warranty than H & T (3 yrs / 80,000km vs 3yrs/50,000 from both manufacturers. Better, Mazda Canada offers a 10 yrs warranty on drivetrain + engine after the 3 yrs b-to-b warranty's expired. I only found out all these AFTER I've purchased the car, another example of how Mazda under-advertises.)

    All in all, I think most Mazda offer sportiness and reliability for very competitive price. (Honda too, except their cars aren't as competitively priced) Every car manufacturer would have lemons every once in a while, but Mazda is still way better than domestics and german cars in that regard.


    PS- btw B-series trucks are nothing more than re-badged Rangers. The Mazda truck department has been 'absorbed' by its big cousin several years ago.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Protoge also got a great review from Consumer Reports. I'd say it's got the best press among compacts right now.

    The warranty Mazda offers here is also better than Honda or Toyota.

    Finally, I don't think the Miata is overpriced, given the competition. And it just beat the new MR2 Spyder in a comparo.

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I think Miata is overpriced for what it is, unless you compare it to the MR Spyder. All Toyota's are overpriced, and the MR Spyder makes no exception.

    The Miata has a MSRP of Cdn$26.9k MSRP, and that price does not include the hard top or other added features. The Honda Prelude, for comparison, is priced at Cdn$27.8k MSRP only. For sports car buyers the Prelude is only $1k more but offer more respectable acceleration, (1.8L engine producing 140hp on the Miata is very mediocre, and producing a 0-60 acceleration in the low 8sec range only. The Prelude is a solid 7.0 sec car), a lot more features like heated seats, heated mirrors, sunroof, CD, keyless entry with alarm .... all of which aren't stnd on the Miata. The Prelude is easily the best handling FWD car ever built, and for a non-professional driver it handles better than the Miata. For what it is, the Prelude offers a lot more performance for the $$. Likewise for the Integra GS-R (though new model is long overdue).

    However, if you HAVE to buy a RWD convertible then Miata has the lowest price tag out there. I still remember when I was still in school Miata's started from Cdn$19k MSRP, which was a very resonable price though most things were options. Its price slowly creeped up as it sales did, and when I could finally afford a new car it was Cdn$24kMSRP, and doesn't even include A/C or hardtop. I eventually bought a del sol VTEC (cos I really wanted a convertible) which costed less and was much quicker in a straight line.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's just it, though. RWD is expensive, as are convertibles.

    Preludes aren't selling well, and Honda may drop or merge that line with the Integra. The Del Sol was already cancelled, yet Mazda continues selling the Miata.

    In reality the S2000 is more of a competitor to the Miata, though at a higher level in both price and performance.

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