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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    Call back the five people that called you on your ad and try to sell the darn thing now! Why put off tomorrow what you can do today? Avoid the potential inevitable! What if that tranny goes out within the next three months? What if something else goes out that may cost you more than its worth to fix?

    One thing I've learned about cars is to never fall in love with them. Think of all the millions of cars out there that are much better and more reliable than your 94 626. Interestingly enough, you would probably even "love" them more if you had the opportunity to own them.

    Remember, love is blind.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    Think of all the other cars out there that you could own that aren't near as fun to drive!

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    Does the smell occur all the time, or only when the system is set in "re-circulate" mode. I have a '97 626, V-6. When I set the A/C in re-circulate, their is a bit of a smell, kind of like a damp or moldy smell. When I change to fresh air, the smell goes away.

    I'm not sure what the cause is, just wondering if your situation is similar.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Never seen this offered, even as an option.

    The inside of the A/C system can harbor mold and mildew and other nasty things; after all, it can get cold and damp in there. :)

    You might spritz some Lysol through the exterior vents (under the wipers) while the system is running (not in recirc mode!) and get it flowing through the system. One application is seldom enough, but you gotta start somewhere.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Desire, however, doesn't care one way or another. :)
  • z88z88 Posts: 5
    Thanks all for your comments! This smell does not occur all the times. Mold and mildew in the system could be the problem. I will try Windowphobe's suggestion to see how it works.

  • Hi guys:
    Finally I have made up my mind...I am selling it off and buying a new Accord Ex V6.
    It was a difficult decision (financially) but what the heck...I am atleast gonna use this Accord for the next 10 years...
    I have already placed an advertisement in the local newspaper but I have put a price tag of 4800$ on it...And now I have realized that its too high...I am gonna call the newspaper guys and change this 4800$ to 4300$ ??? What do u guys suggest ??? The Edmund's Value is 3800$ for private party and 3300$ for a trade-in.
    Will I get any calls for it ???

  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    GBROZEN: You're absolutely right. The 626 is a great handling car and is very fun to drive. But nonetheless, it's still considered a problematic car that's expensive to fix (the parts are especially expensive compared to other imports). I'd rather have a less fun car to drive that's more reliable and less expensive to repair.

    HARRY_MAZDA626: Wise decision. The Honda Accord equipped with a V6 is 1BADMF! And without a doubt, will be much more fun to drive than your 4-cylinder 626. BTW, if you want to "quick-sell" your Mazda, price it at or below KBB.COM's trade-in value. You'll get a lot more interested parties to call. Good-luck to you and keep us posted.
  • windwingwindwing Posts: 3
    I bought a 93 Mazda 626 LX two weeks ago and sometimes I heard some noise from the steering wheel when I steered. Could it because I hit the curb once? what can I do? Is it an costly problem?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    Hmmm... don't know where you got the idea that other import parts are cheaper. Let's take, for example, a '99 Camry V6 and compare it to a '99 Mazda V6. I checked out a few items that you might need to replace in the time you would own one of these cars on Here is what I found.


    4 new rotors-------------$232----------$247
    Water pump---------------$72.60--------$73.88

    so far, so good. Both are comparable. How about some bigger jobs.

    Clutch Set----------------$123----------$222
    Brake Master Cylinder
    (both w/ antilocks and
    no traction control)-------$78----------$202

    I picked Toyota because, obviously, that is what Harry wants to buy. I was going to throw in a Honda comparison for the heck of it, but I couldn't find those parts on Carparts for an Accord V6. Strange. I was going to use Napa for the comparison, but their website wasn't working when I decided to look.

    Anyway, I was curious when you said that, so I looked it up. I always thought that my Mazda was relatively cheap to buy parts for - I'm glad to see I'm not crazy.

    I'm not going to argue that one might need to be fixed more over the other. I really think that has a lot more to do with the owner than the car when it comes to comparing 2 cars like this. I'm just comparing parts here - nothing else.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Some of these racks were noisy at birth, but it may just be a CV joint dying. Next time you have this car up on a rack, take a peek at the CV boots. If they're torn or cracked, it's time. Rebuilt axles are fairly cheap.
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    Parts are more expensive on Mazdas in general because many of the parts are dealer-only items and that aftermarket parts are not available.

    Granted, if you compare genuine OE parts, Toyota and Honda may be more expensive than Mazda parts. However, Toyota and Honda outsell Mazdas by almost twice as much, and therefore, many of their parts are available in the aftermarket because of the demand, thus making the part much less expensive than dealer parts.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Toyota and Honda sales exceed Mazda sales by quite a bit more than a mere factor of two, at least in the US; Camry or Accord alone outsell the entire Mazda line.

    Of course, taken to its logical extension, this is a great argument for a Chevy.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    Those comparisons ARE aftermarket.

    I'm sure if I REALLY got into it and needed to find a new set of pistons or something extreme like that for my Mazda, then I'd have a tough time, but as it is, I haven't had any trouble finding ANY parts that I actually need for Mazda in the aftermarket.

    You have to remember one thing, though. Honda, for example, sells many many more cars than Mazda, HOWEVER, each one of their cars has a different engine. Mazda engines are used in several different platforms, therefore, their parts are more interchangeable. So, to compare, you'd have to take all Accords with 6-cyl engine sales (which is, obviously, the minority in all Accord sales) and compare that to 626 + MPV + Millenia with their sixes. If you look at the 4-cyl, then you have to add in the Proteges and the Ford Focus and Escape (not sure on those, but the engine specs seem to support it).

    I don't know what those totals come to, and I wouldn't be surprised if Civic sales still outperformed all of those 2 liter Mazda engine sales, but I DO think that there would be enough of the latter to justify aftermarket replacement parts support (and the availability I'm finding justifies that statment).

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    The MPV does not share the 626 V-6. And Millenia use two different V-6's, the non-Miller Cycle (same as 626) and the Miller Cycle, which is not shared.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    of course I wasn't referring to the supercharged Millenia S.

    You mean to tell me the MPV 2.5 DOHC V6 is different than the 626 DOHC 2.5 V6?? Are you sure about that? I'm just going by the specs and assuming. I know somebody will correct me. But, seems to me like that would be an incredible waste of money to produce 2 different engines that have virtually the same power output and same configuration.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    The 2.5 V-6 in the MPV is based on the Ford Duratec that was found in the Contour. Not the same as the 626 motor....
  • markz2kmarkz2k Posts: 112
    I had a '95 626 LX (4cyl + Auto) and sold it last June. Although I hadn't had any problems with it except for new plug wires a few months before I sold it, I decided not to tempt fate. The vehicle speed sensor did go wacky on me one time, back in December '98, but never did it again after that one day. Besides, I wanted more power! So, I sold it at 39,000 miles, and bought an Accord EXV6. I love the Accord, and have no regrets, but keep in mind the gas mileage will go down.
    For me, it went down quite a bit. I think I was getting somewhere around 22 MPG on the 626, and now I get 18-20 on the Accord. (I drive 6Mi one way to work each day, mostly stop-n-go.) I get more when I do long trips, of course.

    One suggestion when you buy the new Accord (or any car), INSIST on test-driving the one you pick out for at least 30-60 minutes (preferably by yourself) and try to find any problems now. I found an annoying rattle in mine, and didn't accept the car till it was fixed.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    strange indeed. thanks for the trivia, Ian.

    I gotta ask, where did you get this info? The Mazda website is not quite as beefy as I would prefer.


    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    Lots of discussion about the merits of putting a Ford Engine in a Mazda product.....

    There are slight differences listed on the Mazda site....torque and hp numbers are a little different, and I suspect bore x stroke dimensions might be different.

    Anyway, no big deal, just being my "unlikable" self. (I threw that in for godfather, or whatever his name was...LOL)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    usually don't mean anything. you'll find they vary all the time within manufacturers' product lines. Look at the 2 liter engine (going back to mazda and ford products). I don't think they have the same numbers between any 2 models. Usually, you'll find the real clincher is in the cubic centimeters (which is more commonly listed than bore and stroke). Using the mazda website, I couldn't find anything beyond torque and hp and liters. Pretty lame i think.

    hey. don't worry about it. I like knowing useless stuff like this.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Both the 2.5 engines were on the drawing boards before Ford and Mazda decided to pool some of their engine-design work (translation: Ford is having Mazda do all the small fours from now on).

    Ford's Zetec 2.0 has very similar numbers to Mazda's FS, but they have nothing otherwise in common.

    Come to think of it, the FS is Mazda's third 2.0 four, and all three had different bore/stroke configurations.
  • Help,
    My 85 626 will start like a charm but stalls as soon as you put in gear.
    Any suggestions?
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    Here's the update on the sunroof problem on my 94 626. The original motor was definitely toast and the wrecking yard motor from a 96 model worked just fine. But a much deeper and bigger problem was discovered: It seems that the cable system that runs in the sunroof on both sides is shot and it would take about five hours of labor to replace. The estimate to do the repair with parts and labor is around $700 (not including the replacement motor from the wrecking yard).

    Needless to say, I think I'm just going to live with an inoperable sunroof. Besides, I still have to replace the high pressure switch on the AC compressor at a cost of just under $400.

    I'm completely amazed and disappointed at how many problems I have encountered with this vehicle. It is the money-pit from hell and the very last Mazda I will ever own.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    what exactly does "shot" mean? Do you know exactly what the problem is? How does that sunroof work? What is the design? Is it a motor that pulls cables through pulleys or what? I've never had a sunroof, so I'm looking for a little more detail. (anybody chime in here.)

    Hey, charles, what does FS stand for?

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    It's actually fairly simple - the motor does, in fact, pull cable through pulleys - but the real issue here is accessibility; it's not so hard to get to the motor, but access to the mechanisms at the far end basically requires that you remove the entire sunroof unit, hence the stiff price.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    It's not an abbreviation or an acronym or anything.

    Mazda has had basically four different series of four-cylinder engines: B, F, G and Z. The F series is basically middle-sized - the Bs (and their Z descendants) appear in 323/Protegé and the MX-5 Miata, and the Gs were used only in the bigger trucks and vans. The current designation (since 1993) is FSD, which is the F-series block with an aluminum head and DOHC. (The third-generation 626 had either the F2 or F2T, the latter denoting the turbo version.)

    For the sake of completeness, Mazda V6 engines are classified as J (90 degrees between banks) or K (60 degrees). The KLD is used in the 626 and the base Millenia. (The Miller-cycle V6 in the Millenia S is designated KJS.) The Js were last seen in the 929 and the rwd MPV.
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    More bad news with my sunroof. Because the cables are bad, it now won't shut correctly. I found this out when I was washing the car and water started dripping onto the seats. I then went to the parts store and bought some RTV silicone sealant and put it completely around the edges of the sunroof to prevent rain from coming in.

    I don't think I want to invest in either putting a brand new factory sunroof assembly (around $1000 P/L) or a wrecking yard unit (around $500 P/L) which would be too risky. However, is it possible to convert the factory unit and have a manual sunroof installed in its place? I believe that mechanical sunroofs run around $500 P/L brand new making it a much lesser expensive alternative than an electrical sunroof.

    Besides, since a sunroof "hole" already exists in the roof, wouldn't make it easier to have an aftermarket unit put in?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    It certainly wouldn't hurt to ask an installer if he has a manual aftermarket unit that fits in the existing hole.
  • acronkacronk Posts: 1
    My daughter's mazda has 190,000 mi and the engine fan quit. Any ideas as to why; cheapest way to fix it.
  • dgreene40dgreene40 Posts: 2

    I've got a 98 626 LX-V6 5spd with approx 29000 miles on it. The car's been fine, and the only problem I've had has been replacing the weatherstripping on the driver's side door.

    Anyways, I've got two things that have bothered me for some time that I've decided to let a dealer try and fix (while the vehicle is still under warranty).

    1. The car has a tendency to hesitate/surge while cruising at high speed. It's very slight, and not noticable on the tach, but enough to feel. It seems to be especially apparent when running A/C.

    2. There is an intermittent clicking noise coming from (I think!) the left corner of the dash. It seems to happen over bumps, when accelerating, and sometimes just when cruising. It's annoying, and I've got a feeling the dealer won't find it.

    Help from anyone experiencing similar problems would be most appreciated!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    I also feel that surge in my '99. I guess its not help to you because I've done nothing about it. I think it is something with the AC, so I just ignore it. But, then again, mine's a lease and I'm not keeping it when its up next year. Anyway, guess I just thought you'd like to know its not just your car.

    As far as the noise, I don't have that problem.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Assuming all connections are up to snuff, I'd first check the relay that regulates the fan.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I assume it's a minor electrical voltage drop. The A/C compressor cycling on and off can produce something like this, though it doesn't have to be A/C-related. The ECU immediately attempts to compensate, and if you're feeling a "surge", it's probably slight overcompensation.

    Of course, if you're running cruise control, there are going to be all manner of slight irregularities as the ECU struggles to maintain the set speed no matter what.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    I guess I should be specific with mine (as it may differ from the other poster). The surging is going on constantly. Its not a matter of an occassional thing. Its very slight, but it occurs with the regularity of a heartbeat. Like he said, you can't even see it on the tach, but you can feel it in the pedal.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • dgreene40dgreene40 Posts: 2
    It's the same on my '98... very slight surging, but constant. I don't think it happens without A/C.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    They'll definitely have fun with these things.

    On my drive home today, I decided to watch for just such a condition, and my particular finding - and this may have nothing whatever to do with anyone else's condition - seems to be that anything I feel in the pedal is the result of squirrely road conditions being fed through the suspension and into the cab; engine and wind noise levels seemed to be unchanged. Roads with billiard-table smoothness are as unknown in Oklahoma as Green Party candidates, so this will have to wait for my next out-of-state trip for any further research, but for now, I'm guessing that whatever problem you guys have, (for the moment) I don't, which leaves me way short of inspiration.
  • Help,
    My 85 626 will start like a charm but stalls as soon as you put in gear.
    Any suggestions?
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    I noticed that due to some water damage (caused from a slight leak that may have been there for several months), the outer edges of the sunroof headliner inside my 626 is tearing very badly. However, other than that area, the overall condition of the headliner is very good.

    I called a couple of upholstery shops who gave me a rough phone estimate ranging between $200-$300 to replace the complete headliner. Since only the sunroof edges are worn, is there a "patch job" or a "quick fix" that anyone can recommend that I can do to overlap the area so that I won't have to replace the whole headliner? Right now I'm using duct tape as a temporary fix but it sure kind of looks "low-budget" - literally.
  • bud25bud25 Posts: 1
    I bought my 1994 mazda 626 lx with a 4 cyl. and 5-speed about a year and a half ago. After having some ticking noises coming from the engine I had a rod break in the engine. The beginning of my nightmare of the mazda 626
    I had a mechanic friend (ASE certified) put a new rod, rings, timing belt in the engine. I also had the head and crankshaft machined. Ever since I got my 94 626 back, I've had problems. It is blowing out blue smoke from the tail pipe when I drive the vehicle or if I rev the rpm's up when sitting in neutral. It has a bad ticking noise, and besides all that I have got starting problems.
    basically It starts, but then dies right away.
    Then when I try to start it again, it just keeps turning over like it's flooded. I then can get it started occasionally by putting the pedal to the floor and cranking the engine over, sometimes pounding away on the accelerator pedal seems to help it along. Once it does start, I have to keep it idling at about 3000rpm's or it will die again. After about 3 minutes the car suddenly smooths out and runs fine.(excluding the blue smoke and ticking noise)

    My friend said that all my problems are just engine management problems. But the dealer said that their was no codes and It was an internal engine problem.(oil getting into the cylinder)
    P.S. My friend said that after a few thousand miles the new ring seals would seat and the blue smoke would stop. Well It's been 3500 miles and the car is burning oil and blowing blue smoke.

    ??Who is telling me the truth??
    What can I do to fix this nightmare and get it running good enough to sell it and get something new.??? I would appreciate some good advice, I've been dealing with this for about three months now and have spent over $1,300.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I'm surprised that the oil pump wasn't replaced during this semi-overhaul.

    "Nightmare" usually translates to "I took the cheapest way out, and this is what I got." At this point, you're probably better off looking for a rebuilt engine. Of course, that was also the case three months and $1300 ago.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,690
    windowphobe, couldn't this be a timing problem? After all, the belt was replaced by his friend. Just a thought.

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    That could account for the lousy drivability, to be sure, but it's not enough to generate plumes of roiling blue out the tailpipe all by itself. (And why didn't Mr. ASE Certified think of that instead of trying to pass it off as an engine-management problem?)

    It won't hurt to check the timing just once more, just in case. And if the belt is one tooth off, not that difficult to do on these little DOHC darbs, replacing the belt in the correct location (I wouldn't recommend reusing a timing belt on general principle, even with only 3500 miles on it) should ease the stalling and such. I don't think it will help with the oil spew, but taking it one problem at a time is sensible.
  • am2181am2181 Posts: 5
    Hi everyone,

    This is my first time posting to this board. What a pleasure it is to discover that I'm not alone in my Mazda grief.

    I have a 97 626 LX 4 cylinder automatic. I bought the car with about 68,000 miles and have since put about 18,000 miles on it over the span of a year. It ran like a champ until about a month ago when it started acting up.

    When driving home one day, I noticed that the car resisted during hard acceleration or very high speeds. That is, when I stepped on the pedal, it accelerated fine, but halfway through it would resist - making it feel like I was taking my foot off the pedal for a split second over and over, even though it was firmly planted. It began as a very minor inconvenience, but seemed to get worse over time. I had the fuel injectors serviced and the fuel filter replaced hoping it help, but noticed no improvement. Finally, about 2 weeks later, the CEL came on and I took it in for diagnostic.

    The shop had the car for a week and two days, but hopefully (crossing my fingers), it's now fixed. They seemed pretty convinced that they pinpointed the problem. They said that my O2 sensors were both bad and had to be replaced. In all, this job cost me about 800 bucks. 200 to figure out what the problem was, 500 for parts (249.98 per sensor - ordered directly from the Mazda dealership)and the balance for labor. I don't know if I got ripped off or not (to my amateur eye, the sensors look like they could cost 2.49 each rather than 249.98), but I'm hoping that at least the problem is taken care of.

    I also have another, apparently unrelated problem: After the car warms up, I notice a rattling sound from under the car during acceleration. It doesn't happen all the time, but it ONLY happens during acceleration. The mechanic said that it probably won't hurt the car if I left it alone, and, after blowing 800 bucks as it is, I wasn't about to jump at the chance to spend any more.

    Anyway, just wanted to share my story. If anyone else has/had similar problems, it'd be great to hear about your resolutions to them.

  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    I've already shared this in prior posts, but if this makes you feel any better, I've invested over $3400 in repairs on my 94 626 in the last five months and I still have to replace my sunroof and replace my AC compressor switch (approximately another $1000 combined).

    BTW, my car has 101K miles and rattles like crazy all over the dashboard area. And in regards to my .02 sensors, I paid my mechanic $25 to diagnose and bought Bosch .02 sensors from an independent parts store at a cost of $140 for the pair. Then I paid the same mechanic $50 to install (for a total of $210 for the complete job).

    The only time I would ever buy dealer parts is when an aftermarket part isn't available. Dealer parts are absolutely a rip-off especially since aftermarket parts are just as good for half the price (and even lower). Furthermore, I would never go to a dealer to work on my car when there are competent Mazda mechanics that work for independent repair shops at a much lesser expensive rate (unless of course you live in a small town and your options are limited).

    I used to love my 626, but the financial burden caused by a consistent flow of costly mechanical problems has become too overwhelming and has taken the fun away from my ownership experience. I now regret that I ever bought this car in the first place. However, I hope this information I shared with you will help save you money in the future. Good-luck.
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    An error in my post #645: The grand total for the complete .02 sensor replacement (parts and labor) should read $215 and not $210. I failed to edit my post because the time had expired.

    It's part of my obsessive-compulsive behavior and the perfectionist in me to correct such an error. Maybe that's why I keep spending money on this car. I'm just glad I have a five-speed and not the infamous auto trans. I'd probably have to increase my medication if I had to invest another $2500 to fix the tranny...
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The only thing Mazda-specific about them, I believe, is the connector; other than that, they're fairly generic 4-wire jobs. If the failure isn't due to the old connector, you should be able to splice it onto a generic sensor and plug it in. The dealership generally will not think of this.

    On the subject of rattling during acceleration - this is probably a minor bit of detonation. (The four-cylinder car doesn't get the fancy knock sensor that's on the V6.) Unless it gets worse, I wouldn't worry about it, and if it does, it might go away with a switch to 89 (instead of 87) octane.
  • am2181am2181 Posts: 5
    Thanks RPM and Windowphobe for your insights.

    Well, it looks like the auto shop didn't exactly pinpoint the problem after all. When driving on the freeway today (one day after having the repairs made), I noticed the same symptoms as before (resistance upon hard acceleration or very high speeds). Then, sure enough, shortly after getting off the freeway, the CEL came back on. Essentially, after blowing 800 bucks, my car appears to be in the same condition as it was when I brought it in in the first place.

    For some odd reason, I feel as if I'm being taken for a ride. I guess I'll wait to see what happens on Monday when I take it back in.
  • viks123viks123 Posts: 1
    I have a '98 626 LX-V6 with 95000 miles on it. I am the original owner. I haven't had any major problems, changed the plug wires (more later), fuel filter, oil changes, etc.

    Recently I started having a overheating problem and I am still searching for the cause. This will be a bit lengthy, but I figured the more info the better.

    History: The engine would start to overheat while I was driving. I would use the heater setting on the dash to cool it some until I could pull over. I found that I was low on coolant. This was because the coolant reservoir had two stress fracture cracks in it (in the underside corners above the Full mark) and when under pressure, the coolant would shoot out in a nice little stream. (A side note: this coolant would get on the belts and make them squeal when the engine was started. But would go away after the fluid dried). I bought a new coolant reservoir from the Mazda dealer to install myself. The service manager said he had only seen this one other time and in that case the guys engine was running hot because the thermostat was stuck closed and he blew his engine. On his recommendation, I got a thermostat (not from Mazda). I replaced the reservoir and the thermostat and the car seems to run fine now under normal conditions, but starts to run hot when I use the air conditioner and seemingly only at highway speeds. The engine fans run fine. Tested the old thermostat and it opened fine. If I shut the air conditioner off, teh temp. comes back down. The engine is running about 210 deg F under normal usage.

    I have also found that the air conditioner is not nearly as cool as it use to be, and I am fairly sure I have a leak. Sometime when I turn off the car, I can hear a hissing of something in the engine and it sounds like it is coming from the accumulator (black cylinder on passenger side, near firewall and hood). There is a nice hole in the soundproofing on the firewall right next to the accumulator, so I am fairly sure that it has leaked there. I'll have that checked out and fixed (when I take my car in to get the timing belt replaced VERY soon).

    So on to my questions:
    -- It seems that these two things must be linked (A/C leaking and the engine running hot when air conditioner is running). I can't seem to think of how these things are linked, except though the compressor/belt system. Any ideas? Maybe it will go away when I get the A/C leak fixed but maybe not.
    -- The new thermostat I replaced the original Mazda thermostat with was from an auto parts retailer, and was a bit different. The Mazda part has a hole in the collar with a little metal plug type thing and the replacement does not have this. Should I get a Mazda part and replace the one I replaced? What is this hole for? Seems like the plunger would keep fluid from flowing back thoguh this hole.

    And on the plug wires, I would suggest only Mazda plug wires. I first bought wires from some retail store, installed the wires, then decided to double check the plugs. When I tried to pull the wires off, several of the crimps got stuck on the plugs. Several of the rubber boots at the end of the wire near the plug came off and I had to fish them out of the plug wells. One of the wires even pulled off the crimp (ruined the set). I then got Mazda wires which are better, in that the boot is all one rubber overmold that holds the crimps and wire snugly. The other manufacture of the wires had several hard plastic parts, probably so they could have more uniform parts for different cars. Just my two cents.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Which causes the compressor to have to work harder since it has less refrigerant to work with, and of course the ECU has to compensate for this, and....

    In the following order, this is what I would do:
    • Obtain from a Mazda store the proper thermostat;
    • Have the cooling system flushed (in case there's an air bubble or two in there causing hot spots);
    • Fix the A/C leak.
    In my experience, it's very easy to get air into the cooling system, not so easy to get it out.
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