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Mazda 626



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Hello, I just bought a 2000 Mazda 626 ES 4-cylinder automatic today, white with tan leather and factory alloys. It's my second 626; my first was a 1980 10th Anniversary Edition (Mazda's, not the 626). The car has 84k highway miles on it and is in excellent condition inside and out. The only flaw on the exterior is a scrape on the bumper (which the dealer is repainting as part of our deal), and inside everything is good except the turn signal stalk is loose (will be replaced before delivery). I got the dealer to throw in the full 60k servicing, because I talked to the original owner and found out she had not done the 60k service--but did have regular maintenance performed otherwise, e.g. oil changes every 3000 miles. The tires and battery are fresh. The original owner (well, leasee) said she never had any problems with the car except for the turn signal stalk, so I'm crossing my fingers it will be reliable for me for the 1-2 years and 10-15k miles that I intend to own it.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    The dealer should be able to order an owner's manual for you, but it may be expensive. My wife's Subaru came w/o a manual, and we were able to order one at an online Subaru parts dealer for significantly less than what the local dealers wanted. There are some online Mazda parts stores, but I don't know if they have manuals (,

    The other thing to try is, go to the owners section and sign up for that if you haven't already. When I bought my Mazda6 they had a link to it's owner's manual in PDF format once I logged in and entered the VIN of my new car. I was already registered for my 626 before that, but I don't remember if I ever saw a link to a manual for that car.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    With the substandard, Ford supplied POS auto transmission that this car has, you'll need all the finger crossing you can do on this one.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You know, I am puzzled about this tranny issue. I looked up the reliability ratings on the 2000 626 in CR, and it is well above average overall and the auto tranny is above average. I would think there would be more 4 cylinder 626s sold than V6s, so a major problem with the auto tranny on 4 cylinder models would be reflected in CR's rating. Also, here is what Consumer Guide says about the 1998-2002 626 re Trouble Spots:

    Consumer Guide's® Auto Editors have scoured repair bulletins and questioned mechanics to search for commonly occurring problems for a particular vehicle. In some cases we also give possible manufacturer-suggested solutions. In many instances these trouble spots are Technical Service Bulletins posted by the manufacturer, however, we have our own expert looking at additional vehicle problems. arreviewshowall/

    It goes on to list the specific trouble spots and also the recall history. Neither mentions anything about the automatic transmission.

    So could someone point me to the data on the problems with the auto tranny in the 4-cylinder 2000 626? Or is this just people thinking that if it's made by Ford, it must be bad?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "So could someone point me to the data on the problems with the auto tranny in the 4-cylinder 2000 626? Or is this just people thinking that if it's made by Ford, it must be bad?"

    You need to look up the ratings for the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique w/the 4 cylinder motor, it's the same (CD4E) transmission and it's very unreliable. It would seem to me that looking up the Ford/Mercury might be a better sampling, since there were quite a few sold over the course of it's 4 or 5 (95 to 2000?) year run. BTW, I have had three 4 cylinder Contours, two I got rid of-one with 75K on it, the other with 90K on it, both for transmission problems. AND I take care of my cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    OK, I looked up the history on the Contour and Mystique on Consumer Guide, and they noted only one problem with the operation of the automatic tranny, which was that for 1995 models the transmission may go into limp-in mode due to a faulty manual lever position sensor. That was it, and no recalls involving the automatic transmission.

    If the automatic were very unreliable on the Contique, I would think it would rate some mention there--it looks like a pretty comprehensive list.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    My thinking is that if the problem were prevalent on cars like the Mazda 626, Contour, and Mystique, it would be well known enough to be reported in mags that check into just that kind of thing. You could just be one very unlucky Contour buyer for all I know. (One who is a glutton for punishment--you bought another one after a tranny failed. I wouldn't be that forgiving I guess.)

    What years were your three Contours and what were the two with the failed auto trannies? Sometimes automakers make fixes to problems like this, e.g. the DC vans used to have a horrible 4-speed auto tranny, but it improved over time.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "What years were your three Contours and what were the two with the failed auto trannies"

    I had a '96 w/ the Duratec V6 and CD4E -it FAILED. I had a '98-- with the Duratec V6 and CD4E it FAILED. I had a '97 Mystique and it was OK. I don't trust car magazines including consumer reports. Consumer reports is one of the worst.... very biased!

    As far as my motivation is concerned, the motor (v6) was co-designed by Porsche and it was one of THE BEST HANDLING cars on the road at the time. They were often referred as the "poor mans BMW!". It was sold in Europe as the Ford Mondeo and won high praise.

    If you want your tranny to last-change the transmission fluid right away and spend the $100.00 bucks on a after market transmission cooler--it might help it last longer. You are on the down-hill side of the expected transmission life of the CD4E.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Now I am confused again--I thought the problem was only on 4-cylinder 626 models. Are you saying that Ford used a tranny on their V6 that Mazda used only on their 130-hp 4-banger? Or did I misunderstand that this tranny is used only on the 626 I4?

    I leased a '95 Mystique 5-speed for two years so I know what you mean about the handling. I liked that, and the traction control--very rare on a low-priced stick shift car at that time. I thought the rest of the car sucked, however--dumped it after the lease ran out. It was in the shop most of the first six months I owned it for various problems and recalls.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "Now I am confused again--I thought the problem was only on 4-cylinder 626 models. Are you saying that Ford used a tranny on their V6 that Mazda used only on their 130-hp 4-banger?"

    The answer is "YES".
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Well, I think you may have pinpointed the reason for the trouble with the Ford auto tranny on the V6 Contour and Mystique. It is possible that the same problems would not occur with the 4-cylinder 626, since there would be much less stress on the tranny with the lower-powered engine.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    It is obvious that you are looking for some way to exonerate this transmission so you can feel better about buying the Mazda you mentioned.

    Lt me add this: Several years ago I talked to a Mazda tech at a certified Mazda dealership and asked him if the rumors about these transmissions failing are true. He said yes, and confirmed that they were replacing these transissions left and right, often on cars with less than 80K miles.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "He said yes, and confirmed that they were replacing these transmissions left and right, often on cars with less than 80K miles."

    You know I didn't want to beat "that dead horse" but other sources on the internet confirm what you are saying.......

    I wish him luck, and I would add a tranny cooler and change the fluid ASAP!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I feel fine about my Mazda. I am just trying to get the facts here. I don't go by anecdotal evidence about a car because it does not give the complete picture. Here is an example: suppose that there were 1 million '98-'02 626s, and Contiques, made with the Ford auto tranny. (That would be only 90,000 per model year that these vehicles were sold, which seems conservative.) Suppose 1% of the trannies failed prematurely--which means 99% did not fail. That is 10,000 failures. That's a lot of unhappy people to make posts on discussion boards and web sites. People who have a car with a major failure like that are apt to complain about it. (Not too many people take the time to post, "No problems with my car's auto tranny!") But overall, the odds of the tranny not failing would be excellent. Even if you bump the number up to 50,000, or even 100,000 failures, the odds are still heavily in favor of non-failure.

    So if you can find this Mazda tech and ask him how many failed auto trannies he has seen on 2000 MY 4-cylinder 626s with less than 80,000 miles, that would be useful information to me. Otherwise it's just anecdotal.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Let's wait and see just how anectodal it will be for you paying $ 3000 for a new transmission! :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Why would I want to buy a new transmission for a five year old car with 84,000 miles on the clock? At worst, I'd pick up a used one at a junk yard.

    I hope your 626 gives you lots of miles of good service.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    $ 3000 will not buy a new transmission. It costs that much to get a rebuilt one or have one rebuilt. As far as buying a used one from a junk yard, it may last only a few months, and even if they give you a year warranty on it, it is typically on parts only, i.e, they do not pay for labor to install it or remove it from vehicle (and that can be pricey).

    BTW, my Mazda has a 5 speed manual transmsission, doing very well at 135K miles. I am not worried about it failing.
  • joerr2joerr2 Posts: 1
    try replacing the motor motor mount in front of the timing cover. If it has sag in it, the front of the motor drops, putting lots of things out of it's proper alignment. my 98 626 had me thinking the power steering was going bad, but replacing the mount cured all the noises and rough feeling in the steering. Good luck!
  • Hi there. i was wondering if anyone could tell which mazda axle would fit into my 1980 mazda 626? I am hoping for a direct fit without any mods. Does the 1979 RX7 fit directly? Thanks for the help guys.
  • dolbydolby Posts: 1
    This posting reports back on a successful solution. The 1993 Mazda 626 with V6 & 110,000 kilometers would hesitate when trying to accelerate at highway speeds, and idle rough, only when engine was warm. It was known that oil was in the speark-plug wells, both front and rear rockers. There were no Codes to assist diagnosis. Problem solved when both gaskets replaced which necessitates the inlet manifold gasket replacement also, plus changing out all six HT leads. Dated March 2006. Noted that a slight hesitation occurred just before the 5 year Warranty expired, and HT leads replacement was successful back then too. Replacing the rear rocker cover gasket is time-consuming. My repair bills were $90 CAN for diagnosis, and $782 CAN to implement the solution. Hopefully this repair will last for the next 5 years.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I replaced the valve cover gaskets on my 99 626 V6 when I changed the timing belt at 105K miles. I did this work myself, and yes, it is time consuming becuase you ened to remove the intake manifold to get to the rear valve cover. And to remove the intake manifold, you need to unplug practically the entire engine electrical harness, which is attached to the manifold.

    Anyway, even the gaskets were expensive: $ 30/piece for the valve cover gaskets, $ 80 for the valve cover bolt sealing washers, and $ 30 for the two intake manifold gaskets. Note that my valve covers were not leaking when I replaced the gaskets, but I figured that they might after 105k miles. If I keep the car I hope not to touch the valve cover gaskets or the timing belt until 210k miles (140K miles or 210,000 km on it now). I change the spark plugs and plug leads every 60k miles. I always use the OEM plugs and leads. Change oil and filter religiously every 3k miles, use Castrol GTX 10W30 and Mazda OEM filters. Cheap insurance, and so far the engine is running like a champ. In fact, it feels stronger than it did when it was new.

    Don't forget to clean out the EGR passages just behind the throttle body in the intake manifold. These passages clog with carbon on these cars after about 100k miles and cause improper EGR circuit operation.(you get a trouble code). Fortunately, the solution is simple cleaning, and usually no need to replace the EGR vavle which is very expensive ($ 360 for the part alone, and a nightmare to get to on the V6 engine).
  • brandnewbrandnew Posts: 5
    the check engine light is on for 2 months. the code is 0171, - bank is too lean. i have replaced fuel filter, spark plug, changed oil and oil filter, flushed engine when I did oil change.

    right now, I filled up with gas #91. the normal use is #87.

    after I changed fuel filter, the check engine light will be on again until 30Km or so. then 3 days later, after the code is cleared by code reader, the light will be on after 5-8 km again. the code is still 0171.

    the gas that I use is still #91.

    I need to get it pass the emission test as my sticker will be expired in May.

    wonder if anything else that I can do to clear the issue?

    would it be possible to pass emission test if I just leave check-engine light on?

  • brandnewbrandnew Posts: 5
    and the mileage is 185,000KM so far
  • brandnewbrandnew Posts: 5
    air filter is also replaced.

    next I will try to clean MAF by TB cleaner.

    I went to Ford's forum and on Ford Expedition, PCV hose was reported to have a hole in a few cases, which causes 0171/0174 . not sure if it will help Mazda 626 as well?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    There is a possibility that you have clogged EGR valve passages in the intake manifold just past the throttle body. These passages cake up with carbon after some time. To clean them, you need to remove the throttle body. With insufficient or nonexistent EGR flow, the mixture will be too lean.

    You cannot pass an emission test with a lit engine check light.
  • brandnewbrandnew Posts: 5
    Thank you very much.

    I cleared the CEL before I went to the garage for emission test. The readings are all in very good range, much below the limit. so I got the sticker renewed. but after a few km later, CEL came up again.

    I will read the book and try to clean them.

    also, last time, I used electronic cleaner to clean MAF sensor. today I just bought a Carb cleaner and will try to clean the sensor again.
  • silkyjsilkyj Posts: 1
    Hey, guys! I have a big problem with my much-driven, much-loved '84 626. The carb squirts major amounts of gas up into the air cleaner, and it's all wet inside. She wants to run, but there's so much gas, I have to hold the pedal down all the way to even make it start. It kind of runs, but not very good. Anybody got any ideas?

  • veerentveerent Posts: 4

    I bought a second hand 1997 Mazda 626 V4 automatic 3 weeks back with 93K miles on it. The engine was doing fine until last week when the engine started to heat up all of a sudden and stopped in the middle of the road. I got it towed to the nearest Mazda dealer. He took a week to diagonize and told me that the compressor is bad and would cost a lot to repair it. So he suggested on changing the engine itself for $2600($900 engine[85K miles] + $1700 labor). Before this problem there was a lot of vibration in the engine during drive (D) and would come down a bit when in N or P. I do not know the cause for that! Can this be one of the reasons for the engine to heat fast and stop abruptly? Is there any other reason for the engine to heat up so fast and stall? Should I get the engine replaced or take it to any other local mechanic? I am student and can't afford to spend a lot on the car right now. Can anyone suggest what needs to be done?
    Any replies will be greatly appreciated.

    :mad: & :cry:
  • hilby6hilby6 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Mazda 626 ES. I love the car but recently in hot weather when in stopped traffic or idling the temp. gauge reads hot and the A/C blows hot air. As soon as traffic starts moving everything goes back to normal. We got the AC relay switch changed out but it hasn't seemed to work. Only happens in hot weather. Any ideas?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Does the cooling fan work? I am assuming it runs only on-demand. I had this kind of problem once with a Civic, and it was traced to an inoperative cooling fan.
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