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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • raylwardraylward Posts: 2
    I'm considering buying a '97 626 V6 in good condition and 44K for $10,000. I'm buying the car for my teenage daughter who'll be away at college and I don't want her to have problems.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't have ABS and the car will be where it snows. Other than that potential problem, what other mechanical problems can I expect from this car and what is a realistic life of the car? Should I buy something like this or a Saturn? Thanks
  • The '97s have hardly any problems, except those that are common to this generation, most of which start cropping up after 60-75k - the occasional valve-cover gasket seepage, cracks in the CV boots, and the odd oxygen sensor - and the V6's transmission isn't the CD4E, which was still kind of problematic in those days.

    I passed up ABS on my current 626, and on the last one, and on the snowy days we had, I didn't find any reason to regret not having it.
  • gg1234gg1234 Posts: 2
    I am about to send my 1995 Mazda 626 LX to the local dealership for a check up. I am the original owner of the car. The car has about 57,000 miles. I have never had any problems with the car before. However, about a month ago, I started to notice some surge at high speed. Normally, the rpm of the engine is around about 2500 at speed of 60 to 65 mph with the O/D on. Recently, after the engine has been warmed up, the rpm sometimes goes eratic, fluctuating between 2500 to 4000. If I set the cruise control, the speed of the car remains unchanged but the rpm still fluctuates and I can feel the surge associated with the fluctuation. This only occurs when the speed is over 55 mph and the engine is hot. I have replaced all new spark plugs and wires. However, the surge is still there. Any suggestions on what the problem is? Does this indicate a transmission problem? The car is of automatic transmission.
  • izippyizippy Posts: 7
    Hello everyone, I hope everyone is doing well. My hold light has been flashing for a while and the dealership said it was caused by the distributor. But a new distributor costs over 500 dollars and since the transmission was still running properly I've put it off for awhile. Now today my wife is in the city and she tells me the speedometer starts jumping around and the car is surging ,then at the red light the car dies. It doesn't even crank over. She said some guys tried to help her boost it and they got it running but she said it was running "wobbly". I know I've had a belt that has been squealing on me for awhile and the mechanic can't seem to figure it out, whether or not that has anything to do with it or not I don't know. She also said that the radio lost power before the car did. The car is a 1993 Mazda 626 ES V6, any insight anybody could throw my way would be helpful. To start the car it needs to crank over for a few seconds before it starts is also related to the distributor problem. Thanks for any help you can offer.
  • Since this happens only at comparatively high speeds, I'm guessing the transmission is actually shifting itself in and out of overdrive. It's not necessarily a transmission problem, but something is telling the tranny to drop out of O/D at random intervals. The first thing I'd check would be the O/D-off switch on the shift lever, to see if something has gunked it up or otherwise made it act up. There's also the possibility that the range sensor (this is the gizmo that is supposed to match up the selected gear to the actual gear on the tranny) is out of whack, but this seems less likely.

    You're not getting the dreaded blinking O/D Off light, are you?
  • The combination of dubious distributor and failing vehicle-speed sensor can do this sort of thing. And I'd have the timing checked on this car, just as a precautionary measure; the ECU is supposed to control such things, but it's getting screwy signals from its input devices. (The VSS also contributes to the status of the Hold light.)
  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    On my 93 Mazda 626 ES 5 spd, with the V-6 engine I had to replace the distributor after about 60,000 miles. There was no advance warning, the car just wouldn't start one day. Replacement distributor from Mazda was over $300 USD. However, rebuilds now seem to be available. Check out and Another bit of advice I can give you is to stay away from Mazda parts (and their service department) as their prices are really out-of-line.
  • izippyizippy Posts: 7
    Hello everybody, well I got my car towed to my mechanic and the crankshaft pulley was loose. It's the pulley that drives the belts and it was causing the belt to slip on the alternator therefore not providing enough charge to run the car. Does the alternator not charging enough related to the car surging before it died.Thanks for your input guys.In message 351 are the codes that the mechanic pulled from my car.Although that was awhile ago I couldn't afford then to get the alternator fixed.
  • Well, that was low on my list of Expected Causes, but I guess it did the trick, huh? :)

    If the power supply to the computer is erratic (and the alternator acting up because of a loose belt, or whatever reason, is the very model of erratic), the computer is apt to do all sorts of weird things, none of which the driver will like.
  • The '93 through '95 are particularly susceptible to distributor failures of one sort or another; most of these were cleared up by '96, but the correct answer was issued by Mazda in '98, when a distributorless ignition system was introduced.
  • Well, a few years ago my roomates 1995 626 LX started having a similar problem, although her car is a standard transmission. this happened right before the warranty was going to expire (approx. 45 miles). The car surged alot and since it usually didn't happen until the car was warmed up, the mechanics never drove it long enough to duplicate the problem. After replacing about $1,000 worth of parts under warranty (I forget which ones), it turns out that there was a hole in the wiring harness. I believe they replaced the harness and the car has ran great ever since. Has 118K miles now.
    good luck with your problem.
  • gg1234gg1234 Posts: 2
    Windowphobe and Annafofana: Thanks for your suggestions on problems with rmp surge for my 1995 626 LX (posting# 453). I went to our local Mazda dealer shop to have the car checked up yesterday. At first, a technician drove the car for about 30 miles but he couldn't detect the surge. He told me that based on my description he is 90% sure that the problem is with the O/D shifting (as suggested in Windowphobe's posting). He said the transmission would need to be rebuilt(the O/D light never flashed during a surge). Later on, he called me again (I was at work while he performed the check up). He said that he did a computer diagnostics and found a code indicating that the range sensor was not functioning correctly (Windowphobe - you are right on target, the two possible causes had both been suggested in your post # 455). He said that it's very likely that the surge is caused by the malfunctioned range sensor but he could not guarantee it. He said he had never replaced one for other 626s before. Anyway, I spent about $150 to get a new range sensor installed. I haven't had time to drive the car long enough to see whether the surge is gone. If the surge returns, the technician said that my only option would be to have the transmission rebuilt. The cost would be about $1500 to $2000.
  • dasohmdasohm Posts: 1
    I get my '95 Mazda 626 back from the trans shop for the third time, hopefully
    preparing my CD4E for a few more miles, drive it around for a while, install
    a new instrument panel (the previous one having been stolen by the police),
    go to start my car, and then nothing, the stereo comes on, the little dinger dings,
    the lights come on, but when I push the key forward to the start position, nothing
    happens. Well, earlier in the month I had wrestled with a Viper 600ESP I didn't
    know was installed because it had abruptly decided that I had stolen the car
    and it didn't want to start (I just removed the alarm computer and kept the ignition
    interrupt in and it worked), so I took the dash off again and started playing with
    the wires, looking for disconnected wires, grounds that didn't ground, that sort
    of thing. I find nothing. I start playing with the shifter, putting it in neutral, shifting
    to park, all the while attempting to start my car. Nothing. After about 45 minutes
    of messing with it, I got annoyed and started messing with the battery, checking
    to see that all those big thick cables coming from it were in good condition, that
    theywere bolted well to those place to which they are bolted, checking for
    corrosion, nothing, the car still wouldn't start. Then I sat in the car, did my
    homework, listened to the radio, for about a half hour. Then, on a whim, I turn
    the key. Vroom, it starts.

    That was the first time. I've been struggling with it for about three weeks, not
    having the time or the money to seriously attempt to fix the problem. I've
    checked my manual, and it tells me to make sure the wires to the solenoid
    are in good condition. Well, the solenoid is below my exhaust manifold,
    above an exhaust line, and generally in a completely inaccessible position.
    As the weeks have gone by I've more clearly defined the parameters of the
    malfunction, but not to my satisfaction.

    After the car gets good and warmed up, about thirty minutes or more of
    driving, it won't start back up. The solenoid doesn't even click. After what
    seems to be a random amount of waiting time, generally 30 to 120
    minutes, it will start again, and continue to start again (I turn off, turn
    back on).

    The main problem I have is that the problem is difficult to reproduce, I
    can't seem to do it on demand. It doesn't appear to have anything to
    do with the car warming up, I've idled it to operating temperature and
    the problem doesn't appear. This has made it too inconvenient, so far,
    to use a voltmeter to check if voltage goes to the solenoid. I've still got
    some more voltmeter work to do betweent he key and the solenoid.

    So, does anybody (recognize/have experience with) my problem?

    Should I get a priest?
  • Is it possible that this car also has the original factory security system? (And it's not always easy to detect; I drove my '93 for two months before discovering I had it.)

    I'm putting my bet on the neutral start switch, though. If either or both of the P or N positions is even slightly out of alignment - and you did have some recent tranny work, right? - the car will start only if the switch component just happens to have slid into a (marginal) contact position.
  • Not that it matters a great deal, but the A/C problem mentioned about 20 messages ago wasn't mine, despite having my name on it; the "Welcome to Sludgeville" post, despite not having my name on it, was. Apparently the database has some tranny slippage. :)
  • izzy3269izzy3269 Posts: 1
    To "zippy" that had the problem with his distributor, I had the same problem where the speedometer & PM starts jumping around the car surges then the car dies. This was caused by a faulty ignitor in the distributor. Now with a 6 cyl, you can just replace the ignitor as these tend to go quite often, but on a 4 cyl you have to replace the whole distributor ($800). There are 4 different types of distributors for the '93 4 cyl. If you get one from the scrap yard ($100 to $300)you takes your chances. However, you can get a remanufacture one for about $500 with a guarantee. As for the HOLD light, this can be disconnected so that the HOLD function doesn't work. The problem with HOLD is that it can damage your transmission if it is accidentally left on when driving. Personally, I don't see any purpose in the HOLD function, so just cut the wire in the gear shift lever. I also had the front left coil spring break last week, and these are not cheap to replace if you buy from a dealer. Go you a wrecker for this part. Hope this helps.
  • Well, it's certainly not intuitive, but I found it useful back when I had the '93; the second-gear-start with immediate upshift to third (HOLD on, shifter in D) was the most effective way to get going on excessively-slick surfaces. The CD4E tranny offers no such niceties; you can start in second and stay there, but it's just not the same thing.
  • drolendrolen Posts: 3
    I have a 1998 626 DX, and am having problems with my CD player. When I turn the volume down, it goes up and vice versa. When I eject the CD, the player continues to try to eject or whatever for 10-15 seconds after the CD is out. Now, this is the fourth CD player Mazda has put in this car, all in the last 14 months or so. All eventually developed problems like this, but not every one the same. One just stopped playing CD's completely. This car was recalled for some sort of shield around the stereo or something, which was supposedly taken care of when I had the second stereo replaced. After the third one was put in we started to suspect that maybe the problem is the electrical system, but the dealership said no. Now in the last couple of weeks, the check engine light is coming on for awhile, then going off by itself. It's done this three times now. We are less than 3,000 miles from the end of the warranty and I really don't believe that putting a new stereo in will fix the problem. We moved to Kansas after the fourth stereo was put in, so now we are taking it to a new dealership. My husband called them and asked them if they would check the electrical system, since we thought it was pretty odd for the same car to have had 4 bad stereos, and they reluctantly agreed to check, but said that it wasn't odd.
    Has anyone else had this problem, and does anyone have advice on what it might be? Thanks!
  • whackowhacko Posts: 96
    I've brought this up on an earlier post regarding my power moonroof on my 94 626, and the problem is that in able for it to work, I first have to open the rear flap then close it; then once closed, I can then push the other switch to slide the moonroof open. I cannot open the moonroof by just pushing the slider button first. I must open and close the rear flap first. From what I can remember, you had a similar problem with your 93 model.

    So my question is: Are the switches going bad, and if yes, can they be replaced? Or is the problem an indication that the moonroof motor is going bad? Would appreciate your expertise regarding this matter. Thanks.
  • The switches can be replaced, yes. I didn't bother getting this fixed on the '93, but I tend to doubt this is a motor issue, since movement is otherwise just fine.

    Each of these switches, though, has a relay, and I suspect it's more likely a relay that's acting up. (Those, too, are replaceable.)
  • sbea1sbea1 Posts: 2
    My transmission went out two weeks ago at 86k miles, I bought the car in 1999 with 54K miles. The warranty has expired and I did not purchase an extended warranty. Total cost for a rebuild transmission $2,744.00. My wife and I purchase two vehicles on New years eve of 1999.

    We bought a 2000 MPV, which had a front end problem since the day we bought it (pulled to the left) took it back to the dealer seven times, finally had to hire an attorney that handles the "Lemon Law". After a year of stress, we won the case. I took my MPV back to the dealer and I was given my money back.

    Now on to my 626, I commute to work 120 miles round trip so I thought I bought myself a reliable commuter car, the engine light would come on and go off, I take my car to a mechanic. The mechanic at the shop runs the car on a scope, gets some readings and never figured it was the transmission that was getting ready to go out.

    To make a long story short I was taken again my Mazda, I didn't know I was buying a Ford product! very misleading.

    I notified my attorney as well as an attorney that handles consumer fraud. They are both interested in this case. If you are interested in a class action suit, please contact me.

    I do not want to be stuck with my 626, I owe appox $9,000.00.
  • meerameera Posts: 50
    I'd be interested to hear about your lawsuit with the 2000 MPV. I've had the same problem, I believe it's still not fixed. The two dealers in town and Mazda customer service ignore me. I never saw you post on the MPV troubles board? We're going to trade ours in, but everyone wants to give only $14k!
  • changes13changes13 Posts: 3
    I'm thinking of purchasing a 1993 Mazda 626 4 Dr LX Sedan with 130K miles on it. It is manual transmission. I've read through all of the articles here, and did not come across one that mentions this model specifically. Does anyone know of things that I should watch out for? The car is in good ridable condition. They are only asking $1200 and I'm hoping to ride it for a year or two tops.

    Thanks very much.
  • kturner00kturner00 Posts: 2
    I've had multiple problems with this car.. pretty much similar to the ones previously mentioned (i.e. cranny, o2 sensor, etc.). what's the deal with the ticking sound coming from my engine? I took it to the dealer and of course they didn't hear any ticking or notice where all my oil was going. I'm trying to sell the car but I'd like to know what the ticking/tapping sound is and if it is something that needs to be addressed. Is this problem inherent in all 1995 Mazdas and does it need to be corrected or can I leave it as is?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Best-looking of the generation, I thought. Then again, I owned one, so I'm biased. (And had I never sampled the '93, I wouldn't have the 626 I have now.)

    There aren't any real '93-specific issues; the standard aging-626 stuff applies no less - and no more - than usual. This would include deteriorating CV boots, weeping from the valve-cover gasket (both of these easy fixes), fairly crummy weatherstripping, and the usual HLA noises (see below). This was, I believe, the last year for R-12 in the 626's A/C, so checking for refrigerant leaks is advisable.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The infamous Mazda tick (through 1997 on this model) generally emanates from the hydraulic valve-lash adjusters; they are smallish and they're way high on the engine, which means they may not be getting quite the oil bath they desire. My usual recommendation here is to get the oil changed to a decent synthetic and install one of Mazda's own OEM oil filters, which has enough resistance to post-shutoff drainback to keep just a smidgen more oil at valvetrain level. More often than not, the noise goes away or is substantially reduced. If it doesn't budge, you may have a damaged HLA - or, in some cases, a weak oil pump - but neither of these is particularly common.
  • changes13changes13 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info! After talking to the previous owner, he says the car is burning oil, idles roughly and engine knocks at normal operating temp. He tells me the oil level goes down slowly ever since he had it for 3 years now.

    Are any of these problems related to "weeping" valve cover gasket, or do you have ideas if these problems are going to cost big $ to repair? I was not sure what you meant by weeping valve cover gasket.

    Any adidtional info you could give based on the symptoms i describe would be great. I guess I am a little worried that the tranny is gonna give out on me soon, and no one in Boston wants to be stranded on a cold/snowy winter evening! =)
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Small (which is to say, "not gushing") leakage. It could account for some of the oil loss, yes. This is not a major repair. It can, however, cause deterioration of the plug wires, which you should replace (along with the plugs, if they look like they're fouled) at the same time you fix the valve-cover gasket. It will likely improve the driveability substantially.

    If oil is actually being burned - do you see any traces of it in the exhaust? - that's another issue entirely. Mere smells could mean, for instance, a leak around the oil-pressure sensor, which tends to drip onto an exhaust pipe. (Another cheap fix.)
  • changes13changes13 Posts: 3
    I said burning oil because that is what the owner said it has. Your diagnosis seems more correct since it does pass rigourous emissions testing here in MA.

    There is no white/black smoke coming from the tail pipe. If I have a mechanic repair the valve cover gasket, and change spark plugs and wires, how much do you think it may cost. Am I pushing it expecting the car to go to 160K?
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