Mazda 626 Electrical Issues

d0s4d1d0s4d1 Member Posts: 2
Hi, I'm new to this forum, looking to fix a really nasty problem on my 1999 Mazda 626 and I'm way over my head. I don't have money to take this to the shop, but my headlights are out so I can't drive at night, as a musician that ruins everything! ;) (I'm only up at night!!!!!!)


* right headlight is out

* left headlight flickers

* clicking or buzzing sound coming from the "headlight relay" which is in the main (engine compartment) fuse box

If the car is running you hear a buzzing sound coming from the relay and it flickers really really fast, but if the car is off when you turn on the headlights then it clicks instead of buzzing in that fuse compartment and the headlight flickers about 5-10 times a second in time with the clicking coming from the relay.

I checked the fuses in the main fuse box, and they're all fine. I switched the relay with the horn relay (same type) and the other relay did the same thing, so the relay is ok and it's just getting fed some bad electrocity i thinks. I switched light bulbs and the symptoms remained the same; the lights are not burned out. I also tried unhooking the hazard switch and dimmer from the dash but no effect (a n00b move i'm sure).

At this point, the only things I can see in the Haynes manual's diagrams shows me that it could be a short circuit somewhere in the wiring, (lots of wires to trace unfortunately) or the headlight switch could be bad (mounted on steering column) or maybe the CPU is bad. I don't really know how to test these with my multimeter.

No other systems appear to be affected; other lights work and I can drive the car in the daytime.

I should also mention that I just got done getting a new transmission, and then I took the dash apart and replaced burned out bulbs in the dash and also I rewired a new circuit from the battery through a 30 amp inline fuse and a 10-ga cable through the firewall to a new cigarette lighter receptacle and hard-wired battery chargers for my phones and laptop to that as well. Oh and I installed a new stereo and rewired the speakers. I just pulled out the 30-amp fuse to kill that new cig lighter circuit I had put in and nothing changed, and I'm pretty sure I did that right. Things worked for about a month after all that work I did, and just last night this new issue started.

I'm really over my head. I'm a musician and computer haxx0r and I fix my car when it breaks but I'm kind of a hacker here too and not really sure what I'm doing. I wish I could take this to a shop but I have a feeling it could cost $500 and I'm literally broke, so broke that now I can't go to sit in with some natinoally known musicians tomorrow and the next night because I can't drive and anyway I couldn't pay cover to get into the sessions. so I'm looking for advice to get these headlights working myself! I have plenty of electrical wiring and a multimeter and a soldering iron ;)

can anyone help or point me in the right direction to troubleshoot this? thanks in advance for your help.



  • d0s4d1d0s4d1 Member Posts: 2
    Crew Chief at Green Flag Auto's forums suggested I needed to check the grounds. Lesson to be learned's short version: always check the grounds first.

    Well, it didn't just ground from the light to the frame. But I could tell I had a ground problem since putting an ohm meter between the ground post on the battery and the ground wires showed 55 ohms of resistance for the right light and 12 ohms on the left. That seemed not good to me, even with my limited experience.

    I figured out that the grounds to the headlights are definitely switched. The hot wire is also switched, and determines whether the lights are on at all. Then there is a ground to high beam and a ground to low beam that are switched between to control high versus low, and so I couldn't just ground to the frame.

    So I ran heavy gauge speaker wire (best I had since the other wire I had was 22ga) from the high-beam ground on the left light to the high-beam ground on the right, and the same for the low beams. the headlights now work 100% correctly and everything is ok.

    I have no idea where those grounds eventually end up, since it goes through the switch on the steering column, so I didn't go to the trouble of making sure the rest of that is ok. If the left headlight's grounds fail then they'll go out again. But I'll burn that bridge when I come to it, the one good ground is handling everything just fine.

    I swear I will never forget the ground again :)

    Nikki the Invincable :shades:
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Congratulations! ;) Thanks for letting us know what happened.
  • debra6debra6 Member Posts: 1
    My 2001 Mazda 626's thermostat has been fluctuating down to C for the last three days. I noticed it 4 days ago. I turned the car on in the evening (in the 50s out) and the needle sat on C for several miles (longer than ususal) and then slowly came up to just below the half way mark. I looked down several minutes later and it fluctuated down toward the C and then came back up. First thing the next morning I took it to my mechanic. He checked the fluids which were fine and said it was probably an electrical short and as long as it didn't go above the a half way point not to worry. I've had a lot of work done on this car. Most recently replaced the radiator and thermostat and brakes. Today it started doing it again. Anybody have this problem? Could it be something more than just an electrical short?
  • anaknicoleanaknicole Member Posts: 1
    did u ever figure out what happened to your electrical system? i have an 89 mazda 626 and all of the sudden it wont show what my temp is. or how much gas i have or my rpms or if im in drive park reverse. nothing. the only thing it will show is how fast im going. its strange but if you could help it would be greatly appreciated.
  • renemrenem Member Posts: 4
    I have a 1998 Mazda 626


    * right headlight is out

    * left headlight flickers

    * clicking or buzzing sound coming from somewhere

    If the car is running you hear a buzzing sound and it flickers really really fast and the headlight flickers about 5-10 times a second in time with the clicking coming from the relay. It doesn't happen when only the parking lights are on
  • askperryaskperry Member Posts: 21
    I have a 1990 Mazda 626 (still). Whenever I turn on the A/C or turn the steering wheel,

    1. the "charge" light and "rear" light come on.
    2. Power steering is lost.

    After I cleaned the battery terminal, this problem only exist when I turn the steering wheel.

    I get 12V when the engine is off and 13.3V when the engine is on. I've taken the battery and alternator out of the car and had them tested at AutoZone. They are both good.

    Thanks in advance.
  • budbbudb Member Posts: 2
  • budbbudb Member Posts: 2
    I have no shop manuals. Was having to turn on key and wait for 10-15 seconds before car would start, leading me to believe a weak fuel pump had to catch up. Was running fine once started. After a 2 hour drive pulled in to stop and car would no longer start. Had good fire and no fuel. Replaced fuel pump, still will not start. Checked wires from relay to pump, has continuity. You can hear the new pump running but only for a couple of seconds right after operating the starter. Suspect the fuel pump relay or whatever triggers the relay is faulty.

    Is the fuel pump supposed to be running constantly when the ignition is on and the engine is running?

    Any suggestions as to what I should check next? I am considering bypassing the relay if the pump is supposed to operate anytime the ignition is on anyway. Good idea???? Please help
  • packerbacker1packerbacker1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a similar problem bodb. Mine starts sometimes on first try, then other times on 2nd or 3rd try and yet other times, I need to use starting fluid. I've read that some folks needed to replace the distributer (pricey) and others replaced the Crankshaft Positioning Sensor. Good luck
  • d420bakerd420baker Member Posts: 1
    I've got a mazda 1996 626 Lx 4 cylinder. My windsheild is leaking so when it rains it soaks my interior, it leaks from top of windsheild in the middle where a seem was not sealed correctly. well just recently I had my breaks done, not sure if it has anything to do with it. when I start my car it starts fine idles fine reverses fine but as soon as I put it in D(gear) and accelerate my MPH and RPM gauges bobble and my temperature gauge shoots to high on the gauge and then its really hard shifting too
  • jturner94jturner94 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 Mazda 626 4 cyl
    it would start sometimes first try and then sometimes second try and sometimes I had to wait a few minutes and try again, It also cut off a few times while driving and I had to do same . the problem I had to replace the whole distributor it cost a little more than 200.00 but everything works fine now
  • mikeockmikeock Member Posts: 1
    This is really getting to me.
    Today I have to miss a day of work to try to track this error down.

    I have a 2000 Mazda 626 2.0l
    Car started and ran fine.
    I left my house.
    I got 3 miles up the road and noticed my voltage up close to 16. (radar detector is telling me the voltage)
    Then my radar detector threw a high volt warning.
    Car down shifted, check engine light blinked, voltage dropped below 15.5, car shift back to normal and light goes off.
    I turned around as i am 30 min from the closest town. Since it was throwing high volt i was turning everything on that i could think of to try to draw it down.
    I could not go above 40mph.
    As soon as i did the voltage would spike, and down shift, light blink, return to normal, normal shift, light off.

    This happened for ~1.5-2 miles and then went back to normal and i could accelerate as needed.
    Same symptoms happened when i first bought the car and transmission company told me it was my battery connection. 3 other companies later and i got the transmission replaced and there was nothing for 4 years till now.

    I disconnected my Amp wire, pulled the fuse under the hood, and drove it around to no avail so i am pretty sure it is not the amp wiring causing the issue.

    SO i am assuming i have an electrical issue somewhere... Any ideas?
  • askperryaskperry Member Posts: 21
    This was a bad power steering pump. Replacement wasn't too difficult.
  • spaceboy123spaceboy123 Member Posts: 1
    I have the 89 Mazda 626...and I cant get the thing to fire....changed the distributer..the plugs, the chords...think I have checked pretty much all of the fuses...changed the fuel filter...just about everything...I have even taken it to the mazda dealer...they said that the distributer was I changed it..still nothing

    One day I was driving it and it just dies...then it wont start...sometime later it fired up, then dies it wont start at all...I have been workin on this car for almost 2 years..every mechanic that I now has looked at it, and none of them can figure out why I wont fire...please help!!!!!!!!! :cry:
  • olivercoliverc Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1992 626 mazda, the battery died and replaced it two days ago. Upon replacing it i noticed the warning lights "charge" and "rear" is on. What does this mean? Could this be link to my alternator needing replacement or is it totally different prob? Im suspecting my alternator is gone, cos when my car is on idle i only get 12.9 V?
  • kevlar1106kevlar1106 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with the same year 626. Did you find a solution?
  • motoniwasimotoniwasi Member Posts: 3
    This is a 1989 Maz 626. Switches off when you slow down or stop. Have chaged fuel filter , oil filter , plugs and air filter , oil. Can not fix source of problem. Can any one help?
  • 1994mazdaowner1994mazdaowner Member Posts: 4
    I had 2 problems and fixed one but the other still exists. When my head lites are working, all is fine, but when the head lites go out by themselves, the parking lites are still on, the high beam indicator is on for both high and low beams and the windshield wipers come on without being turned on. when the head lites come back on by themselves, the wipers stop and all is normal.
    I have checked all fuses and do not find a relay for the head lites. I have banged on the fuse box and tapped hard on the wiring coming from the head lites including the main harness. I banged on the head lite switch and ignition switch and nothing seems loose. no wires seem to be loose or plugs to wires everywhere don't appear to be corroded. I banged on bodyparts under the hood, but nothing points to an answer. the lites don't stay on very long before they go out for no reason.
    My next step will be to look for ground wires to see if they are corroded or barely hanging on, but the visible ones didn't react when I banged on them hard.
    Please let me know what you think. Thanks, Mr. B :mad:
  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    edited December 2011
    Your light switch may be defective. These switches have internal sliding contacts and they can malfunction internally without any visible loose wires or corrosion.
  • 1994mazdaowner1994mazdaowner Member Posts: 4
    As stated in my question posted, I was going to investigate the grounds to the headlights. At first I hooked a ground to one of the two thick wires and the headlights came on. Not going any farther for that evening, I just made it a temporary connection. Turned out to be the pos wire to the high beam. I had to make sure not to put the high beams on while driving. Later I went to an auto parts store and they had a manual on my year Mazda, so I looked up the wiring diagram for the headlights and found out that one of the thinner wires, the black with yellow tracer, was the ground for both beams. Being surprised that such a thin wire was the actual ground, I moved the ground wire to the black with yellow tracer and now have everything back to normal. Somewhere there is a plug that takes that black with yellow tracer to ground, but I didn't figure out where. Guess I'll just be happy to have headlights now and will consider that the switch you refer to, is where the ground originates from.
    Thank you for the info. My car runs great now and I will be taking it on a long distance trip to Miami soon. I will have a better chance to look everything over real good in the better climate.
    Thanks again for your help. Sincerely, William Lichvarcik Sr. 216-240-2000
  • antonvsantonvs Member Posts: 1
    i have the same probleme did you solve the probleme and what whas the fault please help
  • 1994mazdaowner1994mazdaowner Member Posts: 4
    I went to advanced auto parts and looked in the book for MAZDA 626 and looked up the ground wire colors in the headlight area. Once i found the ground, I tapped into the ground anbd made another connection to ground on my own. I suggest that you find the ground side of whatever is not working properly and tap into it and touch ground with it and see if that fixes it. GOOD LUCK, Bill
  • mazda626atxmazda626atx Member Posts: 227
    Hi Guys,
    Its been a long trouble free time since my last post here. My wifes 94 626 LXA ATX Air Bag started lighting up last month. It flashes then stops then flashes again. Never stays on solidly.
    Car has 88K miles on it and is in Athens Greece.
    I cleared the codes with the battery disconnect step on brake pedal for 10 seconds trick. This stopeed it from flashing for a day and I
    Brought it to a Mazda guy who tried to run diagnostics on it and it showed no codes.

    It was not flashing when I brought it, and now 2days leter its flashing like crazy. He asked me if the I4 is a FS V or FS1 I did not know the answer. The 93 is a Ford EEC IV ignition so I dont think he will ever get any codes.

    Unless the airbags are different from the OBD 1 system the only way I ever got codes in 10 years is the OBD1 jumping wire technique, and reading check engine light pulses

    Any ideas ?
    Does anyone know what the 1993 626 LXA I 4 engine is . Here is Vin if that will help
    1YVGE22C2 R5204361

    He said when light flashes that means airbag will not open. I am afraid it will open when wife is driving it . Is he correct ?

    My wifes uncle said that flashing light means a sevice reminder based on age/mileage and mazda can reset it . I thought the battery disconnect would do it but its back so is there any way to reset it , or is it defective for real
  • aftabaftab Member Posts: 1
    somehow my mazda 626 (1996) air bag light turned on and after consulting many electricians and their diagnoses, could not turned off the light. can someone help me that what to do.
  • randy0472randy0472 Member Posts: 2
    I got a 2000 626 lx 2.0 4 cylinder. Last week i was driving down the road and got a battery light on and when i looked under the hood I seen my wire from the positive to the fuse panel on the fire wall came loose and was almost out. I re attached the wire and drove to school that night and then all of a sudden coming home from school the light came on again and I was at about 45 mph coming down the road when i lost all power to my car I coasted to then nearest parking lot and seen the wire was still connected nice and tight. I was able to get the car jumped the next day to get the car home. I took out the alternator and had it tested and it came back as passing 3 times on a variable speed tester. I replaced the ground and positive battery cables in the process case there was a bad spot in the cables. My car is still not working and I checked the battery it is good also. Could the voltage regualtor in the Alternator be faulty? or do I have some other unforseen problem?
  • 1994mazdaowner1994mazdaowner Member Posts: 4
  • saperlipopepsaperlipopep Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2013
    My 2000 Mazda 626 is pissing me off. After the starting once a wile issue, now it's parked because the ignition burns every time i tried to start the car. Flames and smoke from the left side end of the ignition cylinder,(the yellow plastic ring is melting ).
    I don't know if there is a co-relation between the miss-tarting before and the burning i have now. What can be the problem and how to fix ?
  • cobra96cobra96 Member Posts: 1
    did you find the issue and what to do? my car has same issue, cranks over and over no go, i have fuel preasure, all fuses are fine, no spark, but all plugs are good, leads good, got 3 coil packs, all cheacked and work just not on car,

    car worked fine then didnt anymore, it started then died out , would not restart til that evening, then died out again, within 15 20 seconds , then wil just not go again
  • randy0472randy0472 Member Posts: 2
    Turned out it was my alternator. Inside the alternator there is a built in voltage regulator and it was an intermitent problem so after replacing the alternator It worked perfectly.
  • fenix2525fenix2525 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 626 lx my gf drove to the shop the other day to get some stuff and when she came back out the whole system is dead. Now I have nothing not even the idiot lights on the dash. It has a new battery I checked my connections and all good. Is there a fuse or fuse link I'm missing something simple maybe Can anyone help ?
  • Sharon55Sharon55 Selma NCMember Posts: 1
    Left side low beam doesn't work but high beam doesn't right side lights work finry changed the bulb it didn't help . Need some advice on how to fix this please
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Did you mean to write "low beam doesn't work but high beam DOES?"
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