Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda 626



  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    I don't own a 626, but drove a 2002 LX for two days while my MPV was serviced. I had a 4 banger and felt it was not very refined at all.
    The unit had 13K miles on it and looked to be in good shape. I felt it was noisy and handling and ride was rough. This compares to my 03 MPV 6cyl, granted, and my Toy Camry 4 banger. While 4's are noisy, I found the 02 626 to be noisier than my Camry and not as nice a ride. It just felt small in comparison and rough on the road.
    I like the cute electronic vanes that move back and forth...but that's about it.

    Just my 2 cents. I know the new Mazda 6 is the replacement, and they needed one based on my experience!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I would gladly give up "the cute electronic vanes that move back and forth" for good quality heavy duty axles and CV joints, blemish free alloy wheels, folding outside mirrors, and ABS, and better engineered suspension in general. In fact I would give up the leather seats, sunroof, and the Bose stero as well. Unfortunately it is cheap gimmics like these vanes that make the car attractive to potential buyers at first glance. BTW, I never turn on the oscilating center A/C duct vents on in my car.

    It looks like Mazda finally realized that they cannot compete with the existing 626. Mazda 6 appears to be a much better vehicle. However, some of us who have been sold junk by Mazda will not be lining up to buy the new 6 any time soon.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    he, he, he....I use my "swing" feature to circulate the AC all the time. Since I'm running the car into the ground, I want to take advantage of every button and gizmo the thing has before I take it to the junk heap. My biggest complaints on the 6 is that it is still too low to the ground and hard to get in and out of, and the engine takes on a Chrysler cab forward design, not allowing me to change the oil myself since the engine area is so small. The driver's leg room is poor as well. I am more comforatable in a Neon, than I am in the new 6.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Speaking of Neon, do they still make that vehicle? I know several people who have these cars and without exception, the head gaskets blew on their cars around 45K miles. Appears to be a chronic problem with these cars. You can get a used one really cheap. A good alternative to a used 4 cyl auto 626, I think. Replacing a head gasket is a lot cheaper than replacing an auto transmission...every 45K miles.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    geez, I'll be very happy if I can get 45K out of my 3rd transmission, since that would allow my 626 to last long enough to buy the new Maxx next fall. My second Ford tranny only lasted 7 months. I had to go to 2 Mazda dealers before I could get it replaced. The one dealer was claiming it wasn't the transmission. Yeah, right. As for Chryslers, I see those cars as Venus fly traps. They are so beautifully designed except for under the hood, where it can get awfully scary.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have done this on my V6 at 60K miles but could not find a drain plug on the engine block. Draining the radiator and disconnecting the lower radiator hose will drain only about half of the total coolant capacity. I asked a Mazda mechanic about a drain plug on the engine and he told me something about a plate on the engine block that could be removed to drain the coolant but he recommended against it. Anyway, I used the original Mazda orange long service coolant (about $12 a gallon). I only used about 2 quarts of it because I mixed it 50-50 with two quarts of distilled water.

    Any comments? I do not have the service manual for this car and if I keep it any longer, I will get one. Is there anything revealing in the service manual on this subject? And I think that the coolant replacement should be about 30K miles instead of 60 if all you can drain is half the coolant capacity.
  • 30k seems reasonable to me, even with the orange stuff. Coolant will retain its thermal properties for longer periods, but the additives to protect the cooling system don't last quite as long.

    I haven't heard this about the V6, but the four seems to be somewhat susceptible to air bubbles; if you don't purge the system carefully during coolant replacement, you're inviting a problem.

    (Neons are still in production, though only under the Dodge brand; Plymouth has rung down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible.)
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    I didn't know that the 626 was known as a bad vehicle until I posted my little opinion about my short use of one. I had thought that it was a good unit in comparison to the Camry and Altima...but I've learned a lot here. You folks support my opinion of it being a little rough around the edges. Thanks for enlightening me on this model. Glad I never pursued one in 99 when I bought my Camry 4 banger.

    I hope my MPV doesn't turn out to be sour grapes. So far it seems pretty refined and well put together...but that's after only 4K miles.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    thanks for making me feel bad tccmn1. If I had half a brain and a little more money, I would be have bought a Camry Wagon (last model year) back in 1996, rather than this fine Ford 626. I too hope you have good luck with your MPV. I really like the current model, even though I don't come close to fitting in the driver seat. Keep sharing your experiences with it. You just might save someone from making a bad choice, or may help them into a great purchase.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I could have bought a brand new 99 base model GXE Nissan Maxima for $1,500 less than I paid for the 99 626 ES V6 (considering all rebates and discounts at the time). The Maxima would have been worth at least $ 1500 more on resale right now, so I essentially lost $ 3K. Not to mention getting an unrefined and uneconomical car with high maintenance requirements.
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Our DoubleOught 626, 130 ponies w/ left-leg-flexor, has been the most trouble free auto we have ever owned. She only has a wee bit over 40K on the odo and has been inside a service bay for preventitve attention....Zoom/Zoom.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    But so could your expensive BMW if you owned one. I've owned a couple bad cars (my wife has one right now, a Taurus), and I do not consider my 626 to be one of them. Seems to me that the negative attitude about this car is spreading a bit too fast here lately, so I'll throw my (positive) opinion of the car out there.

    My '00 LX-V6 (with the manual tranny) has not suffered a major mechanical failure yet, and I'm extremely pleased with it so far. It's no Maxima, but I can't imagine why any 626 owner would even consider comparing those two vehicles. I'm not sure about now, but three years ago, the 626 really compared more with the Altima than the Maxima (although Altima didn't have a V6 at the time). In my opinion there are too many differences between 626 and Maxima for a direct comparison (price being one).

    I too looked at the Maxima GXE when I purchased my 626, but in my area the Nissan dealers couldn't even get close to the price of a 626 (not even the ES-V6). If they had, I would probably be driving a Maxima now, although the 626 did have it beat in the handling department when I test drove back in '00.

    I completely disagree that the 626 is a "bad vehicle", as tccmn1 states. That's an awfully broad statement to make, simply based on a few posts in a message board. Just because a few folks on the board have had a bad experience doesn't mean the 626 is something to avoid. Let's face it, nearly every manufacturer turns out some lemons, even Honda and Toyota. Ok, I agree that one should probably walk away from a recent I4/Ford tranny equipped 626, even if it's real cheap. That doesn't mean the the entire model line is bad.

    At any rate, I for one have had a rather positive experience, and don't regret purchasing the vehicle in the least. It offered me something the Japanese big three and domestic automakers couldn't, with a V6, manual transmission, good handling, and a pretty low price. In addition, it's reliability has been flawless so far.

    I'd also like to mention that with my local Mazda dealer, I was able to obtain a vehicle with no ABS, no electric seat (I HATE electric seats), no leather, no expensive alloy wheels and really no other stupid frivolous options I didn't want to pay for. The Honda and Toyota salesmen laughed when I told them what I wanted (and didn't want). And no, I don't consider the swing vents all that unreasonable to have on the car, although I don't use them much. I mean really, how much extra $$$ do you think those cheesy things could possibly add onto production cost? Furthermore, are you going to bother to fix it when it breaks? Who cares? Now an electric seat, that's something that adds cost and is expensive to fix. Not swing vents.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    slickdog: surely you do not want me to post the entire list of service bulletins on the 93-97 model of 626. It would shut down the Edmunds server. P100, you and I need to go have some beers together. I will sulk over my missed opportunity of buying a Camry wagon, and you the Maxima. mmmmmm beer (8 ^ (l)
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    "Data" is not the plural of "anecdote". Never has been, never will be.
  • bdogg24bdogg24 Posts: 1
    Hello Everyone,

    I am looking at a 2002 626 4 cylinder auto with around 7500 miles, the dealer is currently a little under the edmunds TMV price around $13,300. I am concerned about the transmission after reading these posts and looked at the maintaince schedule. According to Mazda they first recommended transmission fluid change at 105,000 miles, then every 30,000 after that.
    Did they change to synthetic fluid or did they improve the unit? I am concerned about long term use and thinking of adding an auxillary cooler if I purchase it. Does anyone have any thoughts about the newer 626's transmission's?
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    These fluid change intervals for the auto transmission are rather strange. Why not EVERY 105K miles? Would this suggest that these transmissions might last 210K and more? If I owned one of these auto transmission cars I would probably change the fluid and filter every 30K miles regardless. How can you go wrong with that? Adding an auxiliary cooler could not hurt because excessive heat generation is number one reason for an auto transmission failure.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Speaking of swinging vents, and other gismos, please name one other car company that would delete standard fog lights, traction control system and anti-lock brakes from their identical next year model. Mazda did this with the 99 model 626 ES V6. The 98 ES V6 had all those as standard equipment. Do you think they may have saved a penny or two by doing that? I think that most manufacturers add such features to promote safety at no cost, rather than delete them once they are made standard equipment. Safety first, right?
    Well, at least they did not delete the famous swinging vents. And they added an emergency trunk release button inside the trunk for those who like to travel inside the trunk.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    At least they're suggesting a fluid change; as recently as 2000, the manual was silent on this topic.

    The CD4E has been improving over the years, though it's still not what I'd call bulletproof; p100's suggestion of 30k intervals seems quite reasonable, and I'm doing 15-20k intervals on my 2000 model, partly because they dovetail nicely with my actual driving habits.

    And tacking on an auxiliary cooler is a Good Thing, since overheating is indeed the worst enemy of an automatic.

    If you're thinking of switching to a synthetic - I don't believe Mazda has done so - make sure you flush out all the old ATF first.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    They took a lot of stuff out for the fifth-generation cars: they deleted the crotch vent, the dead pedal, the heater ducting for the rear, the vanity light on the sun visors. They even shaved some expense on the swinging vents; previously, they would stop swinging if the center vents were closed, but the later versions run when the button is pushed, whether the vents are open or not. Even Consumer Reports railed at Mazda for this sort of thing, which is why some of the goodies (though by no means all) were restored for 2000.

    Emergency trunk releases, incidentally, don't have much to do with traveling Sopranos-style; it's one of those Protect The Children schemes. (Like the kids are going to play in the trunk, given the amount of stuff I schlep around in there.)
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I read a number of posts on Dodge Ram pickup truck automatic transmission failures. According to some of these posts Dodge maintenance schedule for these trucks now requires changing transmission fluid and filter every 12,000 miles!!!! Bad transmission history or not, this surely appears excessive. Maybe they are insuring themselves against those who pull 10K lb fifth wheels cross country day after day with these trucks. I wonder if this is a severe duty maintenance schedule or a universal maintenance schedule. There certainly is a big difference between 12K and 105K miles, which is Mazda's first fluid change recommendation.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Guys, I'm not sure where you got the 105k from, but I am going to heed the advice of this earlier post from my friend zoomzoom. Please note paragraph #2: "The factory specified interval of 2yrs/24,000 miles is too long."
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Your link is very informative. So they too are recommending the Dodge schedule of 12000 miles between transmission oil changes. Well, I guess if you get manual transmission you do not have to do any of this. I never changed oil in my 92 Protege LX 5 speed, never had any problems when I sold it with 125K miles.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I did it twice in my old Toyota Celica (1975 GT); the gearbox was still in good shape when I sold the car at 195,000 miles. (I did once lose a third-gear synchro, which I had replaced, which mandated one of those oil changes.)
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I am getting ready to change my manual transmission oil and replace it with Redline MTU 75W90 synthetic oil. I am somewhat concerned about possibility of gearbox axle seals developing a leak as a result of this. The car has 65K miles now. The gearbox oil is still the original oil from the factory, which I assume is not synthetic. Should I be concerned about this? I read somewhere that replacing mineral oil with synthetic oil can cause older seals to leak. Is there some substance to this? Did somebody try this (Redline)oil in a manual gearbox?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Has anybody tried one? Any improvement in fuel economy?

    Also, I am curious if Millenia Axles would fit the 626 V6. I talked to an axle rebuilt shop and was told that this is possible and that Millenia axles and CV joints are much more heavy duty than those on 626.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    p100, are you saying that traction control and ABS are "no cost" safety features? I can't believe that they wouldn't add to production and warranty cost, because they add complexity to the vehicle. Perhaps omitting those feautures eventually cost Mazda with reduced sales for the model year, but I'm sure they must have saved some money initially. I do agree that safety features should at least be offered as options, though (whether they cost anything extra or not) for those who want or need to have them.

    I've seen the TSB's for 93-97 626's before, and I agree that it's not a good sign (the list for my wife's Taurus is pretty long, too), but it still doesn't mean much in and of itself. Many owners will never experience the problems described in the TSB's. I know someone who owns a '97 which was purchased new, and has had very little trouble with it. For him, it has been a *good car*, certainly not a disaster like yours.

    BTW, I did the switch to the Redline oil in my transaxle last year (but with only 21K miles), and I've been pleased with it. I've also heard that switching to synthetic causing seals to (shrink?) and leak in an engine, but I'm not sure how it would affect a manual transaxle/transmission. Of course on an engine, the seals are under pressure (albeit low) from the oil pump. Manual transaxles/transmissions just bathe themselves in the stuff by splashing it up out of the bottom of the case, and I think the only cause of pressure in there would be the heat, so perhaps the risk of leakage is lower.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    You misunderstood what I said. I said that many manufacturers will add ABS and traction control, and fog lights to their models at no additional cost (to the buyer) in order to boost sales. This does not mean these features do not cost the manufacturer substantial amount of money to incorporate in a vehicle. Mazda did just the opposite here - they deleted the ABS, fog lights, and traction control from the 99 626 ES V6 standard equipment list. If you wanted these features in the 99 model, they would cost about $ 1500 extra. All these safety features were standard on the 98 ES V6 model.

    By the way, my car has not been exactly a nightmare to own because it never left me stranded or cost me much money out of pocket for repairs (warranty covered those), but the satisfaction factor is missing. This car has a potential to be a really good vehicle. Some of the critical parts,however(in my case axles and CV joints)are of substandard quality, which will make any car less than pleasant to drive. And the suspension in general has a rough feel to it. This Mazda is not what I would call a refined vehicle.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Yes, Mazda deleted those features on the 99 model, but they also lowered the base price by about $900. Their thought was that if they lowered the base price of their top line 626 model, more people could afford it and the price would look better compared to the more expensive Accord/Camry/Maxima. It also gave people the option of buying the safety features instead of forcing them to pay for something they didn't want. It sort of made sense because the Maxima, Altima, and Camry didn't have standard anti-lock brakes and traction control at the time. It was unfortunate though that Mazda decided to tease people with all the nice standard features and than made them options the very next year.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Yes, and the game of deleting the standard equipment continued. On later models the standard sunroof on the ES V6 model was deleted and made optional. Mazda always managed to lower the base price by only a fraction of what the deleted equipment would cost if ordered. Somehow I do not see this as advantageous to the customer, who could opt for a lesser equipped LX model if interested in saving money.
    If you look at the Honda Accord line-up, the EX V6 model comes standard with just about every feature, including heated leather seats, ABS, sunroof, 6 air bags, and a 6 CD in dash changer.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    it may be advantageous to compare what it costs to get a similarly equipped vehicle from any manufacturer. Grade designations mean nothing.
Sign In or Register to comment.