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Mazda 626 Transmission Questions



  • platulippeplatulippe Posts: 1
    I had a similar problem with a Chevy 1500 P/U transmisssion. After rebuilding the transmission and experiencing the same problem I found the computer had dislodged from it's mount and had come to rest on the speed sensor wire, cutting a path through the insulation and send a bad signal or shorting it.
    Hope this helps,
  • mick236mick236 Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Mazda 626 LX Auto Trans. My mechanic installed the auto tansmission I bought from a Junk Yard. He filled the trans fluid above the amout shown on the dip stick. Curently it's got too much Trans fliud. My trans problem is this.............thecar will not shift from 4th to 5th gear. Could it be the cause of the problem is too much transmission fluid????? Or might it be the speed sensor control? HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!! :confuse:
  • johnr16johnr16 Posts: 14
    Is your 626 a 2 liter 4 cyl.? If it is ..There is three eights pipe plug in the bottom of the tranny..There is no pan or filter on it..Get it warmed up ..Pull that plug and let it drain...Refill it with 4 guarts of Mobil1 synthetic trans fld..Hopefully this will help..If it improves ..Drain it again after about 500 miles.. The capacity of that tranny is a little less than 8 qrts...If it's going to work at all ..this is the way to go..Be aware that these cars are little more than junk..When Ford bought out Mazda..These abortions are the result of that..They threw a whole bunch of ford probe parts into them. I have a 99 ..Hoping to keep it alive for another year.Then I'm getting a new malibu..Good luck !! :lemon:
  • mick236mick236 Posts: 2
    Thanks John I'm gonna try it and see. I failed to mention that the car ran well for the first 100 miles when the Transmission was installed, and then afterwards it started to get the O/D flashing and then it started to get stuck in 4th. If I ran it hard it would eventually go into 5th but for a short period of time; and return to 4th. Will drain out and put in the Mobil 1 Synth Trans oil.
  • a ford probe transmission will work.
  • The car will drive when cold but once it warms up it want move. I put transmission fluid
    in it, I just had it rebuilt but I put it in neutral coming off a hill and I think the gears were cross, but the car stills move when cold. So, what should I do before I drop it and replace with another?
  • sixssixs Posts: 3
    Hello, been reading about the dreaded Ford, 4-cyl tranny for Mazda. Does my V6 automatic have a filter and can it be serviced? I'd like to have the filter and fluid changed (not flushed) as it seems to possibly be slipping a little bit lately.

  • cdesantiscdesantis Posts: 1
    edited November 2012
    I have a 1998 mazda 626 with an interesting issue. From what I've seen so far recently, I don't know whether its the trans, and/or the computer.
    My transmission seems to be temperature sensitive with relation to the time of year (New Jersey).
    This past summer, the check engine light would come on, then the o/d light would blink on and off, with the transmission reacting accordingly (no od, and I'm driving in third gear with a higher rpm). To remedy this, I'd stop (a hard brake). Then the o/d light went out - the check engine light would stay lit for a while longer before it also went out. Sometimes, I'd have to stop the car, and turn the engine off for only a few seconds to remedy this situation. This senerio played out for what it seemed to be several times a week in the summer heat.
    Now that it's cold outside, the transmission seems to work better - with far fewer interuptions.
    This whole senerio played out earlier today, but it was also 60 degrees outside - unusual for November.
    PS original transmission / 135,000 miles
    any ideas?
  • Julie2316: I know that it has been quite a while since your post :) , but I was wondering if you were ever able to get this fixed. A good friend of mine is a mechanic and was able to fix this problem in my Mazda with a part from Home Depot that cost $.75. Mazda was wanted me to purchase the whole gear mechanism just to fix that one plastic piece!
  • fordianfordian Posts: 1
    its your turn signal switch, had the same problem on my bike. i took the switch a part and cleaned it up.
  • ahotteahotte Posts: 1
    Hi Dave I was wondering what you did to fix the lost retainer? My wifes car is having the same issue but I'm stuck as to how I can fix it without having to replace the entire shift cable. Thank you so much in advance!
  • sstephssteph Posts: 1
    My son's car will only go in reverse. We have changed out the transmission pan and replaced the gasket, there were no shavings in the pan. We also replaced the transmission fluid, put it back together and still will only go in reverse.
    We were told there are two pans by the tow truck driver. I would appreciate any feedback. I am no mechanic, just a mom trying to help her 17 year old figure this out.
  • ssteph:

    I totally feel for you. I own the exact same year and model 626 and I am very familiar with this transmission. I had major problems with it. Most of this car was manufactured and assembled by Mazda. I have found it to be a very reliable and well made car - especially for the price I paid.

    Unfortunately, Ford acquired a controlling interest in Mazda in 1997 and they installed a Ford transmission - model CD4E – in the 626 from 1992 – 2002. It has been notorious for breakdowns and you were/are lucky if you got/get 90k miles out of it. Ford used it in a number of other models and it had problems each time. Google “Ford transmission model CD4E” for more information.

    I bought mine in 2003 with 89k miles and it was a very clean and well maintained one owner vehicle. Immediately after purchasing it, the O/D light began flashing, a signal that occurs when the transmission is failing. When it finally failed, it would only drive forward - there was no reverse. I had it repaired by a national transmission repair chain. (DO NOT DO THIS!) This was an expensive lesson - $2,600?

    National chain franchise transmission shops are notorious for being dishonest and a bad value in my opinion. In my case they “diagnosed” the problem by taking it completely apart, something I did not authorize. After it was in parts, they said it would cost about $2,600 to fix it. Or $360 for the diagnosis and they could put it back together broken. It's up on the rack with the transmission torn out of it. What are you going to do? If you say "no" you're out over $360 (and this was almost ten years ago, I'm sure it’s more now) and then you still have a car that can't drive anywhere and you have to pay to have it towed to another mechanic just to go through the process again. They had me over a barrel and I had them fix it.

    A little over a year later (just after the warranty expired) it started slipping again and failed in the middle of a busy road in heavy traffic. This time I did my homework. The next best option to buying a brand new transmission (and possibly even better) is to purchase a REMANUFACTURED transmission. When they “REPAIR” a transmission, some shops will only do the absolute minimum amount of work that has to be done to get it to work again. To me it seems many simply want to take your money and get you "down the road" hoping you'll sell it or that it will last for the short warranty period they give you. This can also be true for a transmission that has been “REBUILT.” If you are going to keep this car, I believe the only way to go is with a “REMANUFACTURED” transmission.

    A reputable company that remanufactures transmissions will go through a multiple stage process. They will completely disassemble it, thoroughly clean it and inspect every part. They will replace any items that show any amount of unacceptable wear (less than OE standards/tolerances) with new parts. They will replace all “maintenance” items such as gaskets, washers, spacers, springs, rollers, etc. They will check all the service bulletins and notices that have been released by the manufacturer regarding any issues that they have become aware of since the transmission model was put into service. They will perform any parts upgrades that are necessary to address these issues. They will thoroughly test the valve body. Finally, they will test the completed transmission with a dynamometer, a device that simulates real driving pressures and conditions to make sure it operates smoothly and properly at all shift points.

    At a minimum, a properly remanufactured transmission will meet and/or exceed the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) specifications. In some cases is it clearly a superior product over a new original transmission since they can fix the inherent design faults or flaws which were discovered by the original manufacturer after it was put into service. And, they are usually LESS expensive than either a new replacement transmission or a “repaired” or “rebuilt” one.

    So, the second time around I purchased a remanufactured transmission.

    I also took two more steps that I consider to be of vital importance:

    FIRST: I installed a transmission “SHIFT KIT” made by Mister Transmission A shift kit modifies the transmission’s shift timing. Shifting gears will feel “firmer” and not as soft and drawn out. Though it feels firmer when shifting, it is actually much easier on the transmission. The transmission doesn't have to work as hard, it reduces friction, creates less heat and reduces wear and tear on the transmissions components, extending it’s life. You should also get slightly better gas mileage.

    SECOND: I installed a separate transmission oil cooler. A transmission oil cooler is a small radiator that is usually attached to the front of your regular radiator. Hayden Automotive claims that 9 out of 10 transmissions fail due to overheating and that every 20 degree drop in transmission oil temperature can double the life of your transmission.

    The remanufacturer I bought my transmission from said that they would not warranty the CD4E transmission without proof one was installed. They are inexpensive and easy/cheap to install.

    After, the remanufactured transmission was installed, I started having trouble once again about a year later! I purchased another remanufactured transmission. As it turned out, there was nothing wrong with my remanufactured transmission at all. It was perfectly fine. The problem turned out to be the gear position sensor. It was an inexpensive part and I fixed it myself.

    So, as it turns out, I have a remanufactured transmission in storage that I never used (three years ago). I intended to sell it but never did. If you haven’t solved your dilemma already and are interested, let me know and I’ll give you a better deal than you can get anywhere else.

    In conclusion:

    1. You probably bought a good car by Mazda with a bad transmission by Ford.
    2. It is probably shot - sorry (but I'd love to be wrong).
    3. The condition of the car and how much its worth will probably determine if you thinks its a good idea to fix it.
    4. A remanufactured transmission will probably cost you about $1,600 plus shipping ($200 ?, unless you find one locally), plus installation ($300?), so about $2,100. I’d sell you mine for $1,000 so that would make it about $1,500. If the car is in good condition overall, then fix it. If it’s a clunker that’s only worth $1,000 running, then its probably wiser to buy another car.

    I hope this helps
  • Hi there is this clean 2000 626 LX and the owner says it is running awesome and that "transmission was replaced about one year ago." It has 105K miles on it.

    Ok if I bring it to a shop to have them look at it..what wexactly am I looking for and is this a car I should buy or not buy? It is $2500. Well maintained and and running now at least...he did mention something about "shocks" I am not a car person... is this a good thing or a bad thing and what questions do I ask??
  • alanbiogenalanbiogen Posts: 3
    edited September 2013
    This vehicle has struts, not shocks. They are not cheap to replace. It will need new ones by this time. They will dramatically affect the braking, handling and the comfort of the ride. They may even be making a "clunking" noise if any of them are broken or the front strut mounts are broken. If you replace the front struts buy/use struts that come with the strut mounts attached as a single unit. By the time the front struts go out, the mounts usually need replacing to. If you don't, you'll just ruin your new struts and have to get both done again right afterwards.

    If you are not a "car person" the smartest thing you can do when purchasing a car is to hire a mobile inspection service to go to the location of the vehicle and inspect it. They are trained to know what to look for and since they get paid the same amount whether you buy it or not, they will tell you the truth about what they find. They can certainly keep you from being burned.

    You can find them online. I don't know what they charge now but at $100 or even $150, if you really are interested in buying the car, its well worth it. One bad part on a vehicle can cost many times this to repair. I used to wholesale and retail vehicles for a living for about three years and I use them. Either ask the owner if you can take the vehicle to your mechanic and then meet the inspection service off site, or if the owner is not open to that then have the service go to them and make sure you are there when the inspection is done. The inspector will inspect the vehicle for a standard (and quite extensive) list of items that need to be looked at and then he will go over the results of his inspection with you in detail and give you his recommendation afterwards. Its best not to have the owner "hovering" over you when you get the results, you want the inspector to feel free to speak openly with you.

    Be prepared to make an offer afterwards to the owner based on the results.

    For a clean 2000 that runs well, the price sounds fair. However, I would ask for a copy of the receipt for the transmission work. The 4 cyl (2.0 liter) automatic transmission on this vehicle is a notoriously bad one (model CD4E). If he really did REPLACE the transmission with a NEW one, it cost him about that price or more just for that. If he pulled the cheapest one he could find out of a junk yard and is now trying to sell it to recoup a little of his money, don't even think about it. Save yourself the time, heartache and expense of of having to replace the transmission all over again. And yes, chances are it will do so soon in this model.

    Read my previous post on this subject.

    A remanufactured tranny or new is best. "Rebuilt" is a "maybe" depending on who did the work and what was done; it could be a really good tranny or it could be junk. Simply being "repaired" is riskier. In any case, unless they come with a 3 year/45,000 miles or better TRANSFERABLE warranty from a reputable major company with a "satisfaction guaranteed" clause, I'd walk. A junkyard piece is "As Is, Where IS." Reputable companies will give you a warranty. Without a warranty from a company that will be here tomorrow to fix the problem, it doesn't matter how clean it is or what it looks like. If the tranny goes out, you'll have lost what you paid for it.

    Hope this helps.
  • Alanbiogen I am very interested in the CD4E transmission that you have in storage. My wife's 2000 Mazda 626 is having transmission problems and I am needing another transmission to replace the one in her car. The problem in hers is the drive chain is loose and is slipping on the gears. It is our only vehicle and I still owe $1200 on it. My only choice is to buy another transmission or let the car go back to the finance company and try to find another vehicle very quick. I have searched around on prices and the cheapest I have found is $900 plus shipping to SC. If you are still wanting to sale yours please contact me at I am hoping that you are my saving grace and can help get this family back on the road again.
  • becky35becky35 Posts: 1
    edited November 2013
    Hi. I was looking over the Edmund townhall discussion and came across your post. Is your remanufactured automatic cd4e transmission still available? If so and you are planning on selling it:
    1. From what company did you purchase it (and catalog number)?
    2. What sort of warranty is still on it and is the warranty transferable?
    3. Is it necessary to purchase external cooler for warranty validity?
    4. What is your asking price for the transmission? I live in North Carolina

  • Back in May 2013, I had a problem with my '96 Ford Probe aka Mazda 626 falling out of 4th gear while going down the freeway, only to harshly re-engage. It picked the worst possible time since I was trying to get the car to pass a California smog test and after a computer (PCM) reset the car was taking a notoriously long time to recalibrate itself.

    After much research and a full diagnostics check at a good engine performance shop, I learned a few things:
    I had an exhaust leak. Fortunately a smoke test revealed it wasn't a cracked exhaust manifold (apparently they don't make them any more) - instead I found my exhaust pipe had split down both sides at the first major bend below the manifold. I had a family member weld it up.

    My generic O2 sensors had given out even though they were only 2 years old. Replaced the top one. The mechanic at the performance shop told me my primary catalytic converter (ie the "mini" one between the 2 O2 sensors) was out, so I could ignore replacing the downstream O2 sensor as long as my PCM didn't throw a code on it. He told me my main catalytic converter should be able to take up the slack. This got my car through the smog check.

    The transmission kicking turned out to be due to a bad Neutral Safety Switch (NSS) aka Manual Lever Position Switch aka Range Position Switch. Turns out all the information in my repair manual was wrong. My CD4E was updated so that the shift cable runs straight into the transmission and the NSS now sets on top of the transmission and sends the selected transmission gear back to the PCM. It just bolts down - there is no special tool needed to calibrate its position. I cut the old NSS open and found it consists of several tiny spring-loaded contacts which slide along metal tracks. There were short-circuit burns on the contacts. Looks like heat or age had ruined the springs and when my car was running down the freeway, the road vibrations were making the contacts chatter and erroneously telling my PCM that I'd shifted into neutral - at least that was my take on it.

    So fast forward to now. The car has been running good - perhaps the transmission was a little forceful in gear engagements, but not what I'd consider "harsh". I got out onto the freeway and headed to work and the CD4E wouldn't shift from 3rd to 4th. And then it felt like even 3rd was starting to slip. I got off the freeway at the next exit and pulled into a mall parking lot. I barely made it - the transmission didn't want to engage in any gear. But after enough fiddling with shifting through the gears it finally engaged enough for me to get off the road and I had it towed home.

    I had a flashing O/D light at one point. But I didn't know until some later research on the forums that mechanical trans. problems can throw a code that only lasts until the car is turned off.

    The ATF levels were not low. I changed the ATF and found it dark with some fine metal flakes in it - exactly like earlier this year when I changed it. I test drove it around my neighborhood and found it will shift through the low gears just fine while the car is "cold" but then the transmission stops engaging unless I let it set briefly. That seems like a fluid pressure problem. Of course, I suppose there's a good chance the ATX is worn out inside and once it gets hot all the seals are leaking. Or metal flakes have jammed one of the valves or partially blocked ATF from returning from the cooler causing a pressure and/or temperature problem.

    I'm a DIY'er, but after downloading a CD4E repair manual I've decided its too much of an investment in time and tools for me to fix it myself so I need some advice. I estimate the car's Blue Book at $1800 if the transmission was working.

    So do I:
    Cut my losses and sell it to a junk yard? (I might get $400.)
    Try my luck at selling on craigslist to some mechanic that might pay me a little more than salvage?
    Gamble that my problem is in the solenoid body and buy a replacement online for $145 and install it through the side-cover without dropping the entire transmission out and hope that fixes the car well enough that I can sell the car and recoup some of the car's value? (Is this even mechanically feasible?)
    Are there any simple tests I might run that would help me decide? For instance I could run a line pressure test, but if it's high or low then what do I do with that info?
  • so I have a 4 cyl 2000 Mazda 626. From stop with od clicked it will not catch in 1st or second. But if I click od off it drives like normal. What would cause that?  

  • I have a 91 Mazda 626 DX Automatic... it's slipping in 3rd gear and totally missing 4th gear... could the problem be too much tranny fluid?? Or is it something bigger?? Transmission seemed fine and still holds on a hill (doesn't drift backwards)... It used to shift hard from 1st to 2nd but then fluid was added (and it wasn't low, not my doing) and after the fluid was put in it started slipping in 3rd gear and missing 4th gear... Anyone have any ideas??
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