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Mazda 626



  • I have a 99 ES V6 5-spd and I posted a couple of months earlier about the engine hesitating slightly when excellerating. I thought it went away but then it came back. I had the dealer check it out. Even drove it with the technician to try and show the problem. Of course, the car behaved just fine at that moment. They thought it might be the gas I was using. I've tried different stations, but that does not cure it. I'm going back to the dealer on Monday for an oil change. Hopefully I can have an effective demonstration of the hesitation at that time.

    Maybe someone reading this has experienced the same problem and has a solution I can tell the technician. Basically, it happens when excellerating in 2nd and 3rd gear. The hesitation starts around 2500 rpms and continues to just past 4000 rpms. Right at that point, it stops hesitating as suddenly as switching a light switch. I even hear a slight instantanious change in the engine noice. I don't really notice it in any other gears. Nor do I notice it when I downshift to 2nd or 3rd and then accellerate. It's frustrating because I keep hearing on this post about how quick this car is with the V6. Even edmunds review of the 2000 ES V6 noted how strong the engine pulled from 2000 - 4000 rpms. I sometimes feel that strong pull in that range, but most of the time I feel the hesitation, like something subtle is trying to hold it back and finally breaks it loose just past the 4000 rpm mark. I hope to get this mystery solved, because I could really learn to love this car. Now I'm contemplating on trading her in on something else. I hate to do that because I've already suffered the first year depreciation. In case you are wondering, the car has just over 12,000 miles. I bought it last September.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    As I was cruising down I 34 I got to thinking,
    "What IS the optimum,ie least amount of pollutants+
    best fuel effiencecy,rpms for this Foxmoor honey.
    Cruise was set @ 3K/70mph.Does anyone,like OKcharles,know the most effiecent rpms?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Margo - what a coincidence, we have a 626 and a '98 Forester. Out of curiosity, how did you like the Forester?

    skibry1: the rate of wind resistance increases with the square of speed. Gearing can help, but you'll probably have better mileage at 50mph than you would at 70mph.

    On the other hand, you should keep your engine in it's power band for passing situations, so 3500rpm isn't necessarily bad.

  • I've been reading a lots of Pro and Con comments on the reliability of 626's, which I am thinking of buying. They certainly are designed nicely and the engines seem to work well, but once there seem to be occasional horror stories that one doesn't see with Toyota's or Honda's.

    Anyone have any comments on whether 626's are getting better?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think they've always been pretty good, actually. The exception may be the auto trans on the 4 cylinder models.

    Ours has had only one major service in 5 years, and it was about $400 or so.

    On the other hand, we saved about $6,000 over a similarly equipped Camry when we bought it.

  • kbulmerkbulmer Posts: 1
    I have an 99 ES V6 automatic with the same type of problem there is a small spot where it you described,this problem also cause vibration in the center console of the car. I have just returned from the dealer and they heard the problem and felt the lack of power at the points I mentioned but are unable to fix it.

    So while my car misbehaved at the right time, I am no further ahead!

  • My husband and I are picking up our New 626 LS V6 this weekend. We are just curious, we forgot to ask the dealer, does the car come with one or two remotes? We have looked at so many cars, they all seem a blur now. If you know, please post

  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    For what it's worth, my '97 ES came with two remotes, and 3 keys (2 masters and one valet key). As for what comes with the 00 model, I don't know, but a quick call to the dealer would surely fill you in.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We also got 2 remotes with our 95, though the wife kept both!

  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    Well in our case, I kept both, as my wife is notoriously adept at losing her keys!
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I am in the market looking for a SPORTY sedan ... I've tried the Altima SE and it was not bad .. got as far as placing the offer but couldn't get it at the price I wanted. I stopped by the local Mazda dealership yesterday mainly because of the 2.9% finance incentive (in Toronto) and test drove the 626 LX-V6. Man, WHAT A BLAST to drive!!

    I tried a 5sp V6 and despite what Edmund's test report said, I found the gearbox to be ok. It's not Honda great but it's pretty good. At least I didn't miss a gear at all thru my 20min 'spirited' test drive. The clutch is a bit high ... power is smooth and great, lots of torque starting right from 2000rpm .... handling was even better. I expected the 626 to drive like a boat cos it's very sedan-ish looking but man, this is almost the best handling mid-sized sedan I've driven. The only better one is the Passat. I think it's up there with the Accord, and is lightyears better than the Altima SE (despite the racey styling and the supposingly sporty suspension).

    Anyways, I think it's a great deal overall. I don't like the grey interior all that much, nor the sedan-ish styling .... nor the lack of additional features like alarm, heated seats, stnd ABS ... that are usually available on competitiors. But the V6 with a stick in this price range is the whole point. I'm seriously thinking about purchasing it while the 2.9% still lasts.

    One quesiton though- are the 2000's reliable? I thought the prev. generation 626 has not been all that reliable ... has the O2 sensor problem been fixed on the 2000 model?

    Thanks, any info / comment is appreciated.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Stick with the stick, and get the V6. It's reliable and stays as fun as your test drive.

    You're right about price. That Passat you like with a V6 and ES levels of equipment costs several grand more.

  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Our Foxmoor 626 LX 5spd came with 2 remotes and
    three keys.
  • I'm in the market for new (to me) car. I recently saw an ad for 93 626LX w/ 78k. the guy only wants 5200 for it which is in my range. My quandry is, is this a decent price and how reliable/good is this vehicle? Most of the posts that I've come across are for newer (99/00) models. Some input would be very helpful.

    Also, if I do go this route, are there any problems that I can "nip in the bud" while they're still cheap to fix???

  • samzsamz Posts: 4
    I'm also interested in buying a 2000 Mazda 626 V6 either LX or ES. I wonder if anyone can comment on its reliability and also if the car is quiet enough while driving. A dealer in San Jose offers me a price of invoice+$100 including all options for either of the above. Do you guys think it's a good deal? Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The concensus seems to be that you should avoid the automatic/4 cylinder combo, for reliability as well as acceleration. Anything else is a good bet in my book.

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I've driven the car and I'd say the car was very quiet. It's more like Passat quiet than Camry quiet though ... which is good, cos you won't be TOO isolated.

    As per reliability, so from the sound of it the V6 w/stick option (which is what I'll go for) is reliable? So far the followins seem to be the common problems:

    1/ Check engine light flickering, and engine dying all of a sudden.

    2/ O2 sensor problem (causing problem#1?)

    3/ Misaligned panels

    Appreciate if current 99/00 owners can comment on these problems .... I was *really* impressed with my test drive but want to clarify the reliability issue before I place an offer ....

    Thanks a lot
  • Saw your post on the Altima thread. I have a '99 V6 LX Auto tranny. Bought it in september and have 12,000 miles with no problems except a rattle in the door that was fixed by mazda. We have taken several long trips with the only complaint being the lack of comfortable seats for long journeys. We are thinking about buying an MPV now but if we had the need for another sedan we would buy the 626 V6 again. However, I would get a sunroof. Great car for the price.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have a 1999 Protege DX. I was thinking (in a few years, of course) of upgrading to the 626. I want the V6, but don't wanna pay for the premium gas for it! Maybe I could get away with mid-grade??? Anyway, I took my Protege to the dealer for a tranny problem and they couldn't find it either. They said if it were a 626, it would make sense, because those tannys go up all the time. Pretty bad when the mechanic at the dealer tells you that. Anyway, should I go for the 626 ES V-6 about two years down the road or not? Also, can I get away with mid-grade (or regular) fuel for the V6? Thanks in advance. :)
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    (there was actually a thread on this particular topic .... I think it's still there under maintainence ... with 6 responses or so)

    Talking to the sales guy during my test drive (who also drives a 626 LX V6) he said the manual recommends using premium .... but he gets away so far by using mid grade .... he said the service tech's told him the mid-grade's fine.

    ANyways, you also get better mileage from premium over mid-grade, so you end up paying SLIGHTLY more for gas afterall ... unless you drive A LOT.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Premium is "recommended", not required.

    We're actually running on 87 octane for the past several months, and mileage is unchanged, as is the power.


    PS I stopped buying premium after 5 years on a 93 octane diet still required a fuel system service
  • billusbillus Posts: 4
    I have a '98 Mazda 626, 55000 miles that has been run exclusively on CA-MTBE regular unleaded from Rotten Robbie's gas stations. I've changed oil every 12,000 miles, skipped the 30,000 mile major servicing, but did the 60,000 at 51,000 miles. Other than that, I had the wheels realigned and tires replaced when I ran over a pipe on I-880.

    The car has been incredibly reliable. It stalled once on me, when mashing on the brakes, going uphill, shortly after I purchased it, but never since. When the idle was set a tiny bit too low (before the 60,000 mile servicing), the car did flutter when I had the turn signal on at a stop signal if it was in drive...annoying, but easily fixed.

    I have the ES/V6/automatic, by the way. The Bose stereo is mighty fine with the moonroof rolled back, though I wish it would automatically go to a safe volume when the car is started like my Taurus used to do...scared myself half to death a few times. The paint job is awesome (people still think the car is new), though it looks remarkably like a Honda, BMW or whatever other green car happens to be sitting around...I actually got upset trying to get into my boss' Honda one day and almost broke my key in his lock.

    I drive mostly on the highway, but am frequently in traffic (hey, it's Bay area, California). I get a solid 24 mpg overall.

    Acceleration isn't great when entering the Interstate...UNLESS you pop the "overdrive off" button, then it's like you cracked the whip on a horse. YOWZA, this baby can go! 0-60 takes about 12 seconds, but with O/D off, 10-60 is around 7 seconds with much tire squealing, growling and chest-thumping. I did this one day and found myself going 90 mph very quickly; the tachometer rolled over to 6000 rpm, then settled in just above 3200 rpm. If O/D is on, the car seems to develop torque right about the time when you let go of the gas...whodathunkit, but there's a growl when you back off and a sudden spurt of speed. Where was it when that 18-wheeler was bearing down on me?

    The car looks so mild-mannered the police don't pay too much attention to you...maybe if it were red.

    Toss this car into the curves while on a winding road, it comes back smiling and begging for more.

    The transmission is decidely harsh lately at low speeds (bounces between 1st/2nd)... If I shift it, it's much happier.

    I was rear-ended and walked away with a one-inch rip on the bumper and a displaced moonroof that popped back in.

    Oh, I did have a cooling problem that went away after I changed the coolant. It would heat up, the fan would come on, it would cool forth and so on. Never overheated though.

    I'm looking at a new Jaguar S-V8 to replace my 626 when the lease expires (I was silly to get a 36000 mile lease), but it's hard not to just keep the car. I've spent less than $1000 on maintenance and repair, including 4 new tires when I hit the pipe in the road and oil changes at Jiffy Lube, plus one "60,000 mile major servicing" at Speedee Oil Change. When it comes out of the car wash, it looks so new and shiny, the engine running so quietly I have to check the tach so I don't hit the starter by accident.

    I couldn't be more happy unless it looked like a sports car or were a convertible. Now there's a thought! Make the 626 kinda' like a CLK!
  • The '93 was the first year of the fourth generation of 626, with a new body and a couple of new engines. The automatic is a revised version of Mazda's G4A-EL, now under computer control. (The Ford box much reviled in this forum and others was not installed in a 626 until the '94 model year.) It is decidedly willful, but a stomp on the loud pedal will adjust its attitude, and the little four-cylinder mill doesn't object to fairly high revs. (Torque peaks at 4500 rpm for this year, and horsepower at 5500 rpm; beyond that, the engine mostly processes gasoline into noise, and I've never hit the indicated 6500-rpm redline.) The estimate of 23/31 mpg is actually realizable in real life - the absolute worst I've ever recorded for a tank of gas was 20.8 mpg, and that was in the dead of winter.

    This chassis is very tossable; it likes the twisty stuff, something we don't have enough of out here on the prairie grid. The body rolls a bit in tight turns, but you never seem to lose grip unless you're going way too fast.

    There are relatively few issues with the '93. At around 80k, you should have already had one timing-belt change. The CV boots are probably starting to crack; if they're damaged, bite the bullet and get rebuilt axles, which cost scarcely more than proper boot replacement. Minor electrical gremlins occasionally pop up, which can often be blamed on oxygen sensors or plug wires. (Plug wires are startlingly expensive for this car.) So far - I'm at 86k on mine - I've had to replace the idle air control valve, the muffler, and one CV joint, and I have a crack in the mounting for the air tube that will be fixed later this month. And to my great relief, the moonroof doesn't leak.
  • 990501990501 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a '2000 Mazda LX and recieved 2 Keyless remotes, 2 Master Keys, and a valet key. All of this without requesting. Charlie Hillard Mazda-Fort Worth, Texas
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Lena,I too bought an LX.Ours has a left leg flexor.Does yours? This is our very first
    New car.I'm 43 and the wife is 33 and we'll
    have to wait till the winter '01 to get the
    feel of white stuff under the 205 60r 15s.
    Here in Westcentral IL we get alot.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the longer car life claims are a myth.

    Despite buying the costliest name-brand premium fuel for 55k miles, we still needed the fuel system serviced.

    The only thing octane measures is a resistance to pre-ignition (knocking). It doesn't mean better quality gas.

    Perhaps they add detergents and claim miracles, but it may be those miracle-working detergents that clogged our fuel injection system in the first place!

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I'll throw in my 2cents as well ....

    First, on those additives .... I don't think they work. Most manufacturers do not recommend using them.

    2ndly, changing your oil frequently is the KEY to engine longevity .... using Premium gas has little to do with it.

    There are exceptions though - on engines with high compression (like some Honda VTEC engines, or most turbo engines), the higher octane level is required and you should put in premium fuel to avoid knocking.

    Then again, you get slightly better mileage from premium fuel, and it only costs a little bit more. Since the manual recommends it, I don't see why not.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just to be clear, the fuels we used may have had additives in them, but we certainly didn't add any ourselves.

  • emjantamemjantam Posts: 2
    I just cleaned up my car and noticed the tires
    in the rear are in desparate need of replacement.
    I have the a 1993 ES with the V-6. It also has
    the factory alloy wheels on it. I love how quick
    and nimble this car is. My question is how wide
    can I go with the tires. I prefer the widest
    possible. I also understand that these are low
    profile tires and can be rather expensive. Any
    input would be appreciated!
    thanks! mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Going with a wider tire on the stock rims is a concept called Plus Zero.

    You should try to keep the same overall diameter, so you're speedometer is accurate and you don't lose acceleration (bigger tires mean lower gearing, which lowers revs on the highway but hurts acceleration).

    I believe your 93 has 205/55R15 tires, so you could get 225/50R15 tires, which have an almost identical diameter.

    Here's the catch: you have to measure the clearances to make sure the wider tire will fit. Check both the rear suspension, and the front fender clearance with the wheel turned all the way in each direction.

    The 225's will be 20mm wider, or about 10mm towards the inside fender.

    You can also ask a tire shop, but they may try to keep you on the stock size.

    Also keep in mind a wider tire alone will not necessarily improve your handling. You'll actually have more unsprung weight fighting the suspension, and wider tires also increase wind resistance slightly. Just some factors to consider.

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