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Mazda 626



  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    How many miles on your car? Was your car driven a lot on bumpy roads? It seems that just about everything that needs to be done to these cars is labor intensive. I wonder if I will need new struts before I hit 100K miles (I have 62K now). The roads I drive on are quite smooth with very few potholes or bumps.

    I just found out that the 99 V6 needs valve adjustment every 60K miles. They use shims for this purpose so you need special tools and a selection of shims for the job. And if you do not have special feeler gauges you must remove the cams. And to remove the cams you must remove to intake manifold to get off the rear valve cover.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I got my gas filled struts around 70,000 miles. The front ones seemed a bit "weak" to me at the time, and the two rear ones were seeping a little oil, so I decided to remove them all. The roads I drive on are pretty average; a mixture of suburban and city. As for the valves, I have not had that done (86,000 miles) so far. At this point, I am going to donate the car if it even looks at me the wrong way.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Thanks for the reply. I am fast approaching the point of no return with this vehicle as well - either I get rid of it now or drive it until it quits. Once you have about 100K miles on these, you might as well give them away. You are lucky if you get $ 3K for them with that mileage, regardless of condition or year, for that matter. The game dealers play nowadays is that they subtract about 15 cents per mile for mileage over 12K a year (as if it was a leased vehicle). So if you were trading in a three year old ES V6 with 100K miles, you might get $ 1000 for it.
  • white626white626 Posts: 5
    The hesitation sounds very much like what p100 is describing. Just a loss of some horsepower, and acceleration only with a lot of pressure on the pedal. It was getting severe at around 60k miles and we replaced the plugs and it seemed to go away. We haven't done the throtle body cleaning that so many people have discussed yet. Wanted to try DIY things first.

    My keyless remote entry (both of them) broke after the warranty. They wanted about $150 to get a new one and to program it. Maybe I can SuperGlue a loop to it on the back.
  • I've broken two for my 2000 LX. Price is $23 at the dealership - at least, the one nearest me. ('97 and before apparently cost about five times as much.)

    The '98 and '99 have softer suspensions than previous models, and were slammed in the press for comparatively sloppier handling. The 2000, accordingly, received a substantial stiffening (along with a facelift I consider retrograde).

    The maintenance schedule calls for an inspection of valve clearance at 60k. This does mean that the valve cover comes off; it does not necessarily mean that you're going to have to have a lot of work done. And, like anything else, it's a tradeoff; '97 and before used hydraulic lifters that could not be adjusted and occasionally went into serious ticking mode due to oil starvation, which is also not fun.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    If you have a V6, there are two valve covers, four cams, two valve cover gaskets. The intake manifold sits on top of the rear valve cover and must be removed to get the rear valve cover off. And the intake manifold gasket must be replaced. The 4 cylinder engine is certainly more maintenance friendly. Do you need to remove the front engine mount on that one to get the timing belt on and off? Elimination of hydraulic valve adjusters took me by surprise - Mazda never advertised this. I had hydraulic valve lifters in my Protege before and very seldom I had any ticking noise coming from the lifters. I always used Mazda oil filters which supposedly have an anti-drain valve in them to keep oil from draining from the cylinder head when you shut off the engine.
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    Anyone done this? I would like to do it my self. Mine is 2000 626 LX-V6 with discs all around and no ABS. Also which brake fluid works best with these?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have not done this on my 626 yet, but have done it on other vehicles before. You need to use fresh DOT 3 brake fluid. I do not think it matters much which brand, just make sure you buy fresh fluid in a sealed container. Never use brake fluid that has been sitting in an open container for some time because it is hydroscopic (will absorb moisture).

    I prefer two man manual bleeding technique. I usually attach a piece of plastic tubing to a caliper bleeder valve and insert it into a bottle partially filled with brake fluid. Have someone in the car push down on the brake pedal and hold it while you open the bleed screw until the brake pedal sinks to the floor (tell them not to pump the pedal) and then close the bleed screw. I generally start with the caliper farthest away from the master cylinder. As you bleed, check the level in the master cylinder often and add fresh fluid as necessary. Repeat this process with the other calipers until you have purged the old fluid out and replaced it with fresh brake fluid. Brake fluid attacks car finish - make sure you wipe it off immediately if it gets on your car paint.
  • edpagan88edpagan88 Posts: 20
    i took the car back to where it was fixed and i took the mechanic and the sales person for a ride.
    they both heard the rattle in the back. the mechanic was puzzled since he replace the struts and checked the strut mounts, replaces the sway bar and checked the bushings and also checked the exhaust. the trunk was emptied and still the rattle persists. the manager is going to call a mazda rep t come look at the car if they can't find it they'll have to give me another car.
    thanks again for your help.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    You shoudn't be suprised by Mazda no longer using hydraulic lifters on a number of their cars. Mazda had terrible well-documented problems with those lifters, specifically with the MPV and 929 3.0 V6, the Miata 1.6 and 1.8, and the 626 2.0. They were all known for loud ticking that sounded like there was something wrong with the engine. Nissan also dropped hydraulic lifters after serious problems with the 2.4 liter four cylinder in the Stanza and early 240sx. Honda doesn't use hydraulic lifters either. Mazda and Nissan should adopt Honda's simple valve adjustment procedure though (you simply turn a screw to change valve clearance. no need to mess with shims).
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    Just wondering does the mazda cars sold in California and other states that require 90K timing belt change have more durable timing belts then the cars sold in rest of the country where change interval is 60K?
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225

    My '00 LX-V6 also has some squeaking in the steering column while turning the wheel, but only when the interior is hot. Haven't challenged the dealer with it yet, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one experiencing it...
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    Just wondering does the mazda cars sold in California and other states that require 90K timing belt change have more durable timing belts then the cars sold in rest of the country where change interval is 60K?
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    I also experienced similar noise but it is inconsitent and it sounds more like rubbing in my car wich is also 2000 LX V6....
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The timing belt replacement interval for CA, NY, MA, RI, and several other states is actually 105,000 miles, with inspection at 60K and 90K miles. This information is in the 99 model owner's manual.
    Somebody asked this question before and I remember reading the response that these belts are the same for all cars.
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    Doesn't that mean that timing belts are designed to last 105K? What are we doing then changing them at 60 instead just inspecting them? What other people on the board think about this issue?

    How do you inspect timing belt on V6?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    You inspect the timing belt by removing the timing belt cover.

    Mazda is not the only company with confusing timing belt replacement guidance. My 95 Nissan V6 pickup also uses a timing belt and the replacement interval is 105,000 miles according to the owner's manual. However, local Nissan service manager I talked to recommended replacement of the belt at 60K. (The belt replacement interval for older V6 models is 60K.) He stated that these belts are all the same. I asked if Nissan would repair my engine for free if the belt broke before 105 K miles. The answer was no because the vehicle was out of warranty. This is an interference engine and if the belt breaks, it will cause about $ 3000 worth of damage to the pistons and the valves. How do you like this response? I have about 76K miles on my truck and I am getting nervous about the timing belt.

     The Mazda 626 V6 is a noninterference engine so there should be no engine damage if the belt breaks. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the four cylinder engine, which is an interference engine.
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    What I wonder then is are there any mazda owners from CA, NY, MA, RI who had their timing belts changed according to the maintenance schedule at 105K.

    Due to the fact that my engine is non interference I think I will try to run beyond 60K. I do have one question: What are the things I should pay attention when inspecting timing belt? In other word what are indicators that is should be replaced?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The inspection criteria are similar to those for the engine drive belts:

    dryrot, cracks, tears, fraying, excessive wear, or any other signs of belt deterioration.
  • I bought 2 remotes for my 99 626 on ebay for 9.99. If you decide to go this route I have the programming instructions for the new remotes and would be glad to share them with you. So you don't have to pay extra to have them programmed. The programming instructions sound a little wacky but by golly it worked.
  • I don't get to check this message board as often as I would like so you can email me directly at:
  • Here are the instructions for programming new remotes. I know they sound wacky, but it really does work.

    1. Sit in the driver's seat, driver's door open, all others closed.
    2. Do this three times: insert key, turn to "on" position, turn to "off" position, remove key.
    3. Push the driver's door ajar switch three times. Car will chime.
    4. Push any button on the 1st remote twice. Car will chime.
    5. Push any button on 2nd remote twice. Car will chime.
    6. Wait three seconds. Press door ajar switch one time. Car will chime.
    7. Remotes are now programmed.

    Note: Any previous remotes will no longer operate on this vehicle.

    I hope this helps.
  • white626white626 Posts: 5
    Thanks for the instructions, I saw them when checking board after being away for a few days. I think I may have found some on ebay, they are cheap, so I will give them a try.

    My steering noise also happens only when it is warm in the interior. My son says it sounds like a litter of mewling kittens. It is quite annoying, but with the temperature in the 60's now it has been kind of quiet. My warranty is long gone, so I haven't had a dealer check it. There was a post in the problems section, but there didn't seem to be any resolution.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    Since we're finally coming out of winter in my area, I'm getting the annoying steering noise back for the first time in several months (I like the litter of mewing kittens analogy).

    I've got some time left on my warranty, so I'm planning to get the car into the dealership so they can fix the aforementioned "rear-end tapping" sound which is getting worse for me as of late. Perhaps I'll ask them about the steering noise as well.

    I'm also seeing tears in my *third* set of vinyl shift lever/parking brake boots, so I think the dealer and I are going to have words about that too. Those should not be tearing every winter simply because I drive my car in sub-freezing temperatures (I'm now nearly convinced that's the cause). They're either going to give me leather boots or find a way to stop the vinyl ones from tearing, else I'm going to call the regional service rep. looking for a solution. The dealer keeps telling me that he isn't seeing this problem on anyone else's 626, but that's not going to make me go away and stop complaining.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Suggest you get leather boots and knob for your shifter and the parking brake. I have those in my ES V6 and they have not deteriorated at all in four years. And they look really nice. Mine are black and I am not sure what colors they are available in. The ES V6 also has a nice leather wrapped steering wheel that would look good even in a $ 70K car. This is one of the reasons why I bought an ES V6 - the LX V6 model had a cheap looking vinyl steering wheel and even cheaper looking vinyl shifter knob and boot.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    Thanks, p100 - it's good to know that the leather is decent quality. However, I've already tried to get the leather boots as a warranty replacement, with no luck - the dealer tells me the cost difference between the vinyl and leather boots is too great for them to provide that sort of "upgrade" under warranty. I have even offered to make up the cost difference out-of-pocket, but the dealer seems unwilling to oblige - I would have to foot the entire bill. They probably figure I'll go away with my torn vinyl and leave them alone once I'm out of warranty. Perhaps I'll make another pitch for this solution when I go in for my next set of replacement boots. You're absolutely right about the vinyl stuff - it's poor quality.
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    West-Central IL winters can get a bit rough and my
    Doubleought 5spd boots have failed in several places.
    So I can lend credibility to that statement.I'll have
    to look into some leather replacements.Would that ES
    wheel fit our LX?
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    skibry1, are you still under warranty? Let me know how you make out if your car makes it to the dealer before mine.

    My dealer already spilled the beans on the fact that ES (leather) shift/park brake boots can be used on an LX w/vinyl (I think you can also order leather for an LX, no?), so I'd bet that the steering wheels are interchangeable as well. I've removed steering wheels on other vehicles before, and not only are they usually interchangeable between different trim levels of the same model, but many are also compatible with (or even the same as) different models of the same make.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have some minor vibration/roughness problems with my 99 Mazda 626 V6 at high speeds that appears to be comming from the axle CV joints. This vibration comes and goes and is not consistent. It is most pronounced when accelerating hard at high speeds and shows as slight shaking of the hood. I already had the axles replaced under warranty because the vibration was quite annoying at high RPM. The new axles eliminated that problem but after 35K miles they seem to begin to fall apart. I talked to several mechanics and was told that Mazda makes cheap CV joints and that I should not be surprised. Does anybody know of good quality aftermarket axles/CV joints that would fit this car? I am quite annoyed by poor quality of some of the critical parts in this vehicle. This car could be a great vehicle if the manufacturer had some decent quality standards.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    yeah, try getting GKN axles. They make them for a bunch of OEMs. Oh yeah, they make the 626 axles too.
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