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Mazda 626



  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    JD Powers' result is an 'initial quality survey' ... I'd think engine and tranny problems are pretty rare within the first 90 days ... but if the panels aren't perfectly aligned, radio doesn't turn on, or power windows don't always work ....then I think I'd be hard pressed to believe the car was carefully put together for it to be reliable in the long run.

    If initial quality doesn't reflect overall long-term reliability, then I guess it's just a coincidence that the top finishers (Honda accord, Toyota Camry all finish in top 50) happen to be 'reliable cars', and most 'unreliable cars' (Neon, VW Golf / Jetta ...) happen to finish in the bottom of the JD Power survey.

    I am sure there are over a hundred surveys out there done by different companies, and some are more accurate, objective, and trustworthy than the others. If J.D Power's initial staisfaction survey and the # of recalls and technical bulletins over the past few years both indicate Korean cars are not that solid initially nor that reliable in the long term, then I guess I'd stay away from them until things get better.

    But hey, that's just me. I'm sure there are other surveys that indicate otherwise and it's up to each to pick which one to believe

  • ignaigna Posts: 4
    Hello all,

    I got a question to those who own 626 LX 2000 with auto transmission.
    Are you experience the same jumpy thing when you press on acceleration pedal? First you press then in a second you car responds and jump ahead?
    Or it does that thing when you drive slowly downhill?
    I am just asking to know whether or not go to a mechanic..

  • ignaigna Posts: 4
    From some posts:

    The ECU (computer) in the car was tuned specifically for 87 AKI
    and, when it encountered the higher octane, got confused and
    didn't manage fuel properly. After talking to my dealer, they said
    said that using a higher octane than the ECU is tuned for can
    actually damage the engine in the long term. Not a happy

    So, remember to check your manual for the proper AKI to use.
    They way I look at it is that if a car company with hundreds of
    thousands of man hours in research tells me to use regular fuel,
    who am I to decide that I need premium? So, unless you're driving
    a performance turbo or supercharged engine, stick with what the
    manual says.

    On a side note... If you insist on running premium fuel, stick with
    it. Switching between premium and regular will confuse the ECU
    as it tries to compensate between the two octane blends. Also,
    doing an ECU reset might help the fuel management system
    "accept" the higher octane. Since dealers don't want consumers
    to know they can reset the ECU, you'll need to find a group of
    enthusiasts to help you with the procedure (each car is a little
    different, but usually involves disconnecting the battery for 8
    hours, reconnect, start the car, idle for 30 minutes and then
    drive at highway speeds for 30 minutes).
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    As far as I know, running high octane level should never damange the car. The ECU has a set timing based on the recommended octane level (which is 89 for 4cyc and 91 for V6 I believe). If a lower octane level of fuel is used, the ECU will retard the timing to avoid knocking, within its dynamic range. So if you use say, 87 fuel on a V6, you may have exceeded the ECU's slowest timing and causes knocking, and this is obviously bad for the engine.

    OTOH, if a higher octane level of fuel is used, as far as I know the ECU does not speed up the timing above its recommended level to extract more performance from the engine. Therefore it wouldn't give you any real advantage, at the same time there shouldn't be any disadvantage...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    JD Power's original list had mistakes, and it was recalled and then later reissued.

    Goes to show you can't trust a single source. Look at several, then talk to owners in a forum like this one.

    Information is power.

  • skorolskorol Posts: 11
    I would love to see the link to JD Powers' data on defects per car. Could you please provide it.


    You said "yeah but those studies don't indicate serious transmission or engine problems."
    They indicate problems, body, problems. Same rules apply to every car, can you understand that? And Koreans did bad. Poor quality Korean cars prove once again they are nothing but POOR QUALITY cars. Besides, why do you think anyone on Mazda forum gives a darn what LA times wrote about Huyndai?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The one I had was the incorrect one, and I've only seen the awards list since them.

    JD Power's site still only has the awards, not all vehicles:

    Mazda is MIA, except the B-series truck, which is a Ford. Kind of bizarre role reversal.

  • genes555genes555 Posts: 10
    hey skorol,

    KOREA is the no.5 automobile producing nation in the world and her cars are proving to be popular all over the world.

    they are showing signs of blossoming.

    i'd rather pay for a $40,000 Hyundai or Daewoo than a $40,000 Toyota or Mercedes because i know i'll be getting my money's worth.

    go check out the Hyundai or Daewoo forums and you will see many happy owners there.

    and by the way hyundai is the world's seventh largest automobile company and they stand behind their products.

    i'm just waiting for a nice six cylinder sports car to hit our shores...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There is no $40k Korean car sold here, at least not yet.

    Hyundai will soon offer the XG300, an Avalon-sized car, but even that should be mid $20's.

    I was disappointed that they never produced the HCD conertible sports car. They sold the Tib instead.

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I think Korean cars can make a lot of sense for buyers on a budget but I can't see why anyone would spend $40k into a Hyndai.

    Your $40k MB is prob still worth $25k-27k or so in 5 years time, while your $40k Hyndai is lucky to be worth $18k ... so with the same initial capital you put into the car, you're getting $7k to $9k less in 5 years!!

    Don't believe me?? Check the depreciation of Korean cars. Prestigious vehicles like MB, BMW, Lexus, are still worth over 55% of their initial value after 5 yrs. Japanese imports are worth a tad over 50%, while reliable domestics are worth a tad under 50%. Korean cars are worth 40-45% ...after 5 yrs.

  • skorolskorol Posts: 11
    You have to be crazy to pay $40K for Huyndai. But this is a Mazda forum, so let the crazy people pay $40K for Huyndai, and let us discuss 15-20K Mazda.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    There were three flavors of this transmission - '87, '88 through '92, and '93 up. Let's hope they got all the parts right on that '91.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Unfortunately, the automatic transmission used in the 4-cyl 626 is not that great of a transmission. However, I can give you some advice for making it last longer and act a little smoother.

    All it takes is a little bit of patience... The reason it feels so jumpy is that the transmission is slow to shift, particularly between park, reverse, neutral, and drive. When you first get in the car, start it up and let it sit in Drive until the engine revs down to a reasonable level (below 1,200rpm). When you put the car into a gear (Drive or Reverse), wait a second until you feel the car jerk slightly. Now the car is in gear and you should be able to gently depress the accelerator. Doing this everytime will keep the whiplash to a minimum and the transmission should last longer. It is especially important when you are backing out of a space and going from Reverse to Drive. That extra second works wonders.

    If you, or anyone here, have any questions or concerns, feel free to e-mail me. Until recently, I sold Mazda's.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It shouldn't make a difference. You probably rarely reach 4th gear in those conditions.

    If it does use 4th, the OD Off button would give you more instantaneous power but less mileage.

  • johnlwjohnlw Posts: 28
    We have had two 626 4 cyl. automatics during the past five years, and in truth have had no significant problems. The car handles well, is roomy inside, and looks great. I would buy another.

    As far as Mazda products go, my brother has a 323 with 170,000 miles (it won't die!), and a neighbor has a Mazda minivan with 150,000 miles. If you like the car, buy it.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Where the heck are you getting such a big trade-in on your Protege? I have a 1999 DX which I owe $16,000 and change on (negative equity from last car got me) and was offered $9700 for it. Help!?!?
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Our Freeport came into our lives at the end
    of Feb.We're about to preform our 2nd oil
    change @ the 5500ml mark.We give nothing
    but high marks for looks,handling,comfort
    (after a few mods)and fuel economy.We are
    definatly looking forward to join that 6
    digit mileage club!
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    People who have no complaints about a car are less likely to pour out their hearts (or other organs) online.

    Actually, I think the worst of the transmission problems are over and done with. Most of them involved the Ford CD4E box, and Ford has made a couple of running changes to the tranny to improve its reliability, the first of which began appearing in, you guessed it, model year 1997. This won't necessarily help someone looking for, say, a '95, but it should improve the odds for someone buying a newer 626.
  • kc_flynnkc_flynn Posts: 45
    How have the 5 speed LX trannies been historically? What about the 1999-2000 models with the 5 speeds?
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I think all the tranny related problems with the 626 was A/T related, especially the 4 cyc A/T transmission which is really a Ford part.

    As far as I know, there's not been any problems with M/T tranny for the 626 for the past few generations.

    My LX V6's M/T has been pretty good in the 2 first months ... coming from a Honda, obviously some adjustments are needed (not as accurate, precise and short as Honda's ... ) but now I'm used to it I have no problem with it at all.

  • My 98 626 lx has 41k miles. What kind of things should I have done to it to prolong the life of my car?
  • I'm thinking of buying 88-92 626 5spd....
    There is one I'm going to see this weekend. 1991 Mazda 626LX, 4DR, HB, 5spd. The car has 206K (km), but the engine has been replaced 2 months ago with "low km" engine as per owner. He could not explain why the original engine died... He claims that "new" engine has had only 40K on it and it came from salvaged car. He is asking $3995 CAN for it, but might let it go for $3.5K
    I would appreciate any advice on the above. I've read some horror stories about Mazda's AT at but that should not be relevant to this one should it?


  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    At 41k, not a whole lot is likely to be worn out just yet. There's a whole raft of services listed in your 626 owner's manual for the 30k point; if you haven't attended to any of them, now's a good time to start. At the very least, you ought to replace the spark plugs, flush the cooling system, have the transmission (if an automatic) serviced, and check the valve cover gasket for teensy leaks - over and above the usual oil and filter change and tire rotation, of course.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Mazda recommends changing it every 60k miles, unless you live in California, in which case they suggest you have it checked at 60k and replaced at 105k. Given the amount of labor it takes to get at the belt, you might as well change it at 60k and be done with it.
  • wakbeigelwakbeigel Posts: 9
    I appreciate the info.
  • wakbeigelwakbeigel Posts: 9
    Hi all, My wife really loves the 626, so we may purchase one in the next few months. Based on all of the gripes I've read, I may spring for the extended warranty. How much should I pay for an extended warranty? Will it fully cover the tranny and lifter problems I've read so much about?
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    It might be worthwhile to find out what kind of warranty Mazda already offers on engine and tranny in where you buy the car ....

    I found out AFTER the purchase that Mazda of Canada offers a 10 yr engine + tranny warranty that covers labour and parts, and starts AFTER your 3 yr bumper to bumper warranty expires. That means you have basically 13 yrs of warranty on your engine and tranny!!!

    Mazda actually offers very good warranty compared to other imports. 3 yrs/ 80,000 km bumper-to-bumper warranty is a lot better than 3yrs/50,000 offered by Honda and Toyota (which is really 2.5 yrs to most ppl), and the 10 yrs warranty on engine and tranny is even better. The problem is, Mazda NEVER does any kind of advertising and I didn't know about it until I've purchased the car ....

    I think Mazda can do a lot better if they let people know about their cars and their services ....

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    But if you have to purchase an extended warranty on a brand new car for peace of mind due to past reliability issues, then I think it's time to check out another kind of car. Don't you???
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I dunno if the way I worded it may be misleading, but the 10 yrs engine + tranny warranty I mentioned are NOT extended warranties. Mazda offers that warranty on any 1999+ Mazda vehicle (excluding trucks) as standard ...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Those warranties were for Canada.

    In the US it's 3/50, also better than Honda or Toyota offer here.

    You can get an on-line quote here:

    Though I also don't think it's necessary.

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