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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • As far as I know, since Mazda installs the keyless entry system themselves, you need to get the remotes from the dealer, and the dealer also has to program the remotes for you. I have keyless entry on a 97 626 LX-V6, and my trunk has an emblem that says 'keyless entry' instead of having an actual keyhole. That's one place you can look.

    If you do have the keyless system, can you find out why you didn't get any remotes? And make sure that Mazda deletes the codes for the old remotes from your system - otherwise there's someone out there with a remote that works on your car!

    Hope this was helpful - Gregg
  • matriamatria Posts: 1
    I have a '94 Mazda LX4 with 133K miles. I had the transmission replaced last summer when it had 126k or so miles. The 'new' one went out at Christmas time and it was replaced by the dealership with no problem. I have had to put an O2 sensor on the car last month, but all in all I have been pleased with the Mazda. So much so, that I am considering a 2000 at this time. My question is- do the V6 have the same problem that my 4 had with the transmission? Should I be considering the V6 because it has not had the problems of the 4? Also, I am looking at the Millenia. I have been quoted great prices on all three models I have mentioned (ES4, ES6, and the Millenia). I am greatful there is a forum I can turn to for advise. I do not want to offend other females, but I honestly do not know much about cars. Thanks.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    626 (four-cylinder) - '87-'93 - Mazda G4A-EL
    626 (four-cylinder) - '94-up - Ford CD4E
    626 (V6) - all - Mazda G4A-EL
    Millenia (base) - Mazda G4A-EL
    Millenia S - Jatco JF403E (Nissan RE4F04A)

    The current (F) version of the G4A-EL appeared first in '93.

    The peak years for CD4E problems were '94 through '97. (Ford redesigned the pump plate and gasket in late 1996, and the coast/forward clutch assembly in early 1998, addressing two major problem areas.)
  • kappskapps Posts: 2
    Mazda 626 LX

    Has anyone changed from 14" wheels to 15" wheels?

    The 15" alloy wheels are available and the 14"
    alloys are not.

  • pvu1pvu1 Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 madza 626 LX. My transmission has already gone out in it. I have only 85K miles on it. I have talked to several different previous Madza 626 owners and there is a history of transmission problems with there product. I believe they make transmissions for probes and there is a history problem there also.
  • pvu1pvu1 Posts: 2
    My advice to you is to steer clear of Madza until they provide a better product. There is an obvious history of transmission troubles.
  • robaltimarobaltima Posts: 7
    I have a 1999 LX V6. I have put 16,000 miles on and so far so good. From my understanding, there is a problem with the tranny on the 4 cycl. It is made by ford and not very reliable on the 93-98 models. The V6 tranny and engine is made by mazda and I have not seen too many people having trouble with it. I have the auto and am happy with it. Of course the 5 speed for either engine is good.
  • steinb1steinb1 Posts: 1
    My neighbor has a 1998 Mazda 626 with 50k miles for sale for about $9k and I have a 1991 Toyota Camry that has 105k miles that I bought used in 1995 for $10k. It has been a great, dependable car with only repairs due to wear & tear -- and not much of that.

    I thought I'd do some browsing to see what owners have to say about the Mazda, and it sounds like the transmissions haven't been very dependable.

    My son has a Ford that has lived up to its initials Fix Or Repair Daily and if the Mazda has a Ford transmission, I'd avoid it like the plague.

    I appreciate greatly the candor and honesty of those who have made entries on this message board.

    I think I'll stick to Toyotas.
  • robaltimarobaltima Posts: 7
    I just got off the phone with our local Mazda Dealer. I have a 99 LX V6 and was asking about tranny oil change. The service department said they recommended not changing the oil - - ever. I asked them about the problems they have had with the 4 cyc. and she said there was a problem with the 94-97 4 cyc tranny. However, she said they have rarely had a problem with the 6 cyc tranny and that it was "gold" and I am quoting. I have a decent amount of respect for this dealership but, has anyone else heard this. I know the owners man. does not talk about an tranny oil change.
  • crissy26crissy26 Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Mazda 626 LX. I just bought an extra keyless entry remote off ebay for cheap and need to know how to reprogram it. Does anyone know how this is done? It's different on different cars. Do I turn the ignition key X amount of times in x amt of seconds? Any help would be great!
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Sounds like pyrite to me. I'm guessing that the dealer is just following Mazda's lead, or lack thereof. The dealer who looks after my 626 thinks otherwise. They did say that if you've let it go for 100,000 miles, there's not much point in changing it at that point, but the Recommended Service booklet they hand out with all new cars calls for a fluid change at the 30k mark.

    I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones - I got one of the last four-bangers with the V6-version tranny.
  • jwalker3jwalker3 Posts: 8
    Looking for information regarding rack and pinion
    leakage. We own a 96 Mazda 626, it currently has
    73,000 miles. We noticed the power steering fluid
    has been low. Brought it in to our mechanic. He
    states the leakage is from the rack and pinion
    unit. It's seems odd to me that a 4 year old
    vehicle should have such an issue. Has anyone run
    into this issue before and does the rack and
    unit have a specific warranty period? Any info
    would be greatly appreciated.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The steering rack is covered by the standard warranty (in the US, 3 yr/50k miles). I didn't see any TSBs regarding the rack, so I suspect this is an uncommon occurrence. (Earlier models had a problem with the preload on the rack being set wrongly at the factory; this was, by all accounts, fixed by 1995.)
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Make sure they check the coolant-temperature sensor - these can go wonky - and check the electric fans.
  • dizzy2dizzy2 Posts: 8
    I bought my 626 for 7k with 80k miles on it back in November of '98. I just found out that I need the valve covers replaced and the dealer quoted me $250-300 as the price. The electric window on the driver door has had intermittant problems too.

    This is a sharp looking car, and there have not been a lot of problems with it. I do know that the one thing about it that I don't like is the rough way the AT shifts. The car now has about 101k on it, and I will probably get the tranny fluid changed. I hope to get about 175k from the car before repair costs become high enough to make me get something else.

    This is my third Mazda. I had an '88 323, and a '91 B2200. Both were AWESOME! The 323 went 200k before needing repairs, and the truck at 140k still was in great shape. If you are looking for a long lasting, very cheap to run car, the BASIC 5 spd Protogee is a good choice. Avoid all the powered acces and extra options, they are usually what cost so much to keep repaired.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    They'll probably tell you that it's the normal operation of the transmission, and they're probably right - the design definitely seems to favor efficiency over smoothness. If the fluid has never been changed, flushing out the old stuff will help somewhat.

    Get ready for a timing-belt change at 120k, and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get a new water pump while you're at it.
  • fabs99fabs99 Posts: 1
    Hi everyone!

    I am new mazda driver and I am very happy with it.
    I bought a gray 91 LX with 105,000. I find it to be a very reliable automobile. I am also the kind of person who likes to HOOK cars up.
    So I put on it Sumoto 205/55 tires on a 16 rim, a new CD player, tinted and more...
    Well, I am basically saying that the car is a great car for a very reasonable price. That is why you shouldn't buy it new but used.
    Resale Suck!

  • jicimajicima Posts: 1
    I'm leasing a 97 626 stripped down model, no electric locks, etc. (sorry, I'm not really a "car" person). I have only 12,000 miles on it. It's been pretty trouble-free. Only minor things have occurred. On the first weekend I owned it we took a road trip and the rubber around the windshield came loose and was flapping in the wind the entire drive back. Annoying, but fixed the same day.
    There was also a recall notice on some minor thing I can't recall (pun intended). Had a butthole backed into the front bumper and didn't leave a note (imagine!) and it was a bit pricey to fix. The dealership quoted me $2000. Yeh, right. The new bumper and cracked grill cost about $1200 to fix at another place. But it's a lease, so...
    Another thing I don't like about it is the heating/ac. It's not very accurate--always comes out of the dash even when it's setting is on feet only. My feet are always cold, so my hub and I fight with the settings. Ask the dealer if that was normal. Yep.
    Also, the seats are very uncomfortable for short people and getting in and out of the car isn't so easy, even for a young person. The doors close on you.
    So, I'm tossing the keys back in Aug. when the lease is up and looking at something else. The styling is pretty ordinary which is another reason I'm getting rid of it. My hub drives a Ford Ranger, which is a great truck. Comfy ride and fun. I want to love my car as much as he loves his truck.
    Love the Bug, but need a little bit bigger back seat/trunk. Will keep looking...
  • troyhtroyh Posts: 2
    I have a 95' 626 with 65,000 miles and a crapped out transmission. My question is with all of the trouble that mazda has had with the ford transmission on the 4 cyl, what resposnsibility does mazda feel to their customers with these faulty transmissions? What is Mazda's position toward the repair of these flipped over rebuilt dodge transmissions?
  • troyhtroyh Posts: 2
    When the transmission goes out on a 4 cyl 626 and the overdrive on off light flashes on and off, does the computer not allow the engine to run properly? I have been told that the computer communicates between trans and engine and that problems with either can affect the other. If anyone has experienced this same problem between trans and engine please post.
  • jhobjhob Posts: 1
    I have a '93 626 DX with 79K miles. Within the last six months I have had some trouble starting the car. I would drive a short distance and when I go to start the car again it doesn't start. After waiting a brief time it will eventually start. This has happened on average once a month. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    On txdad's question of overheating: They did check both the thermostat and the coolant-temperature sensor, right?

    On jhob's starting problem: The only time I ever saw something like that - and it wasn't in a 626 - it turned out to be a battery cable with an intermittent break.

    On troyh's question about engine/transmission interaction: Everything goes through the same brain. Some things that are purely electrical can manifest themselves as seeming transmission problems. On my own 626, I was getting third-gear starts, occasionally even fourth-gear starts. Transmission gone south? Nope. A couple of small parts on the PCM were hosed. With any computer-controlled transmission - which means any automatic 626 since 1993 - it's wise to make sure the electrical systems are working properly before you spend the long dollar for a transmission rebuild.
  • tkeantkean Posts: 1
    I too have a 96 626LX that I just bought a couple of months ago. Having only 51,000 miles on it, it now needs to have its transmission rebuilt. It is comforting and frustrating to know that I am not the only one in this boat. I'm selling this car and getting a Honda. I'll never go Mazda again! Teresa
  • smerbecksmerbeck Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a 1998 Mazda 626 ES V6. I checked in Consumer Reports 2000 Buying Guide which had it rated as very good. After reading some of the horror stories in this forum, I was wondering if anyone had information on the performance of said transmission. Thanks.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Most of the horror stories you hear about 626 transmissions (not all by any means, but a clear majority) have to do with the four-cylinder cars, which since 1994 have been fitted with Ford's CD4E transaxle, a decent-enough slushbox with a couple of horrid design flaws that should have been fixed before Job 1. (The worst bugs have since been swatted.)

    The V6 cars have Mazda's own automatic, in production since 1987 and revised substantially in 1993, which is perhaps not as bright as Ford's - if you're on the cusp between third and fourth, you're going to watch this transmission go through all manner of indecisiveness - but by all accounts less likely to fall apart two weeks after the warranty runs out. I have this transmission in my '93, and it's doing well.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    My 97 626 had trany replaced in Frankel Mazda. It never run properly after the installation, each time you get the reverse car was banging very strong. I took it to Russel Mazda. Tech. James changed the valve body for trany. Three months later, I started to collect metal shavings from the dipstick. They said it was normal. The biggest BS I have ever heard. I unloaded that junk immediately. Mazda never took responsibility properly on this car. They clearly forced me to sell it by their ignorance. Good luck.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I forgot to add, mine had only 32K when everything happened.
  • johnlwjohnlw Posts: 28
    I talked to them yesterday, it will take at least a week. They said they were redoing pc boards, soloenoids, all kinds of stuff in addition to the transmission.

    Maybe I should see if they will give me a good trade in on a new Tribute, which arrived yesterday. Since they just fixed it, they should be willing to give me top dollar (LOL).
  • pikeuspikeus Posts: 1
    I drive a 98 626 LX-V6 with a manual tranny with about 125,000 km (almost 80K miles). I was noticing a grinding going into 3rd, and it looks like the synchros are worn out. I haven't abused the car, it's well maintained, fluids clean and topped up. Is there anything I could have done to damage it, or is it just my bad luck? I drive alot, so I'm usually one of the first people to have problems with a newer car -- just to warn you others with 98 manual transmissions if this problem becomes common.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    This was the last year for the third-generation 626, so most of the design bugs had been pretty much exterminated. The SOHC 2.2 is sturdy. The timing belt should have been changed around 60k. If it's an automatic, take a good look at the fluid. If I remember correctly, 1992 was the last year they built the 626 in Japan, should that means anything to you.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    I hear more complaints about used-up clutch discs in the 626 than of bad synchros, but then, those are pretty much a function of driving style. Mazda manuals generally are pretty reliable, which is of course no comfort to the person who's had one fail.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    When everything is computer-controlled, sometimes the problems turn out to be something other than what was predicted. There are five solenoids on the CD4E, and the way they're installed, if one is bad, they have to replace all five. And I am reminded that everything this year I thought was a transmission problem (complete with flashing dash light) was, in fact, a computer problem.
  • kcjones2kcjones2 Posts: 4
    Hi everyone,
    I own a 93 626Dx with automatic tranny that was changed at 72K. The odo since reads 94K. What is the best way to extend the life of this tranny in terms of servicing. I heard it is not possible to replace the fluid completely since it does not have a "drop-down pan". Should I attempt a flush anyway ?
    Also, for the last couple of thousand miles, the earlier smooth purring engine now makes a thump-thump sound. The tech. is not able to diagnose it and suggests waiting till it gets worse (more money in it for the dealership!). I do not wish to wait till the engine is ruined.

    I will appreciate your suggestions.

    Regards; KC Jones
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The only running change of note for the 1994 model year was the switch to the Ford automatic in the four-cylinder cars. CU no longer breaks out separate totals for four- and six-cylinder 626 models, but during the years when they did (up through 1996), the fours consistently did worse than the sixes under the automatic-transmission heading. Obviously this has nothing to do with the stick-shift cars. For some reason, the combined figures show a slightly worse record of engine repairs for the '94, but since these were the same engines that were in the '93s (and the '95s), I figure that there was a smattering of quality-control issues that year, perhaps related to that dubious Mitsubishi ignition module (redone for '95).
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    It's the '94 DX (and thereafter) that lacks the pan; the '93 does have one. And the traditional drop-the-pan procedure gets less than half the fluid anyway, so go for the power flush. I had it done on my '93 last year - price, $100. I'd suggest this every other year or every 30k miles.

    As for the thumpage, there aren't a whole lot of components under there that can thump. I'm thinking "crankshaft damper", but that's a shot in the dark. When's the last time you had the timing cover off?
  • rcruz411rcruz411 Posts: 1
    I'm interested in buying a 97 Mazda 626 ES-V6 automatic in the next month or so. After reading some of the postings I'm really kind of nervous. Has the problem with the tranny been fixed for the 97 model? Does the problems apply to the V6 automatic? Is this a good car and why are they so fairly inexpensive? I know I'm asking alot but I'm lost. Thanks
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The tranny problems we've been beating to death in here have afflicted the four-cylinder cars, generally.

    The 626 never has been staggeringly popular. A good year is 80,000 sales, versus about five times as many Accords or Camrys. Most people shopping in this size class don't even look at the 626, so it hasn't built up the sort of reputation it needs to have really high resale values. And the transmission problems that did crop up in the middle 90s - and are still happening to cars built in those years - have left some dealers skittish about 626 trade-ins, which doesn't help either. The '97 is probably the best year of the fourth-generation 626 (though I could do without the extra brightwork that was slathered on toward the end of the model's five-year run), and the Consumer Reports guys have reported that reliability is above average for that year. If you like the way it drives, grab it.
  • kcjones2kcjones2 Posts: 4

    Thanks for the powerflush suggestion on the 93' tranny. I'll take that. I had the timing belt replaced about 3-4 months ago when the engine note had started to thump. The tech. said all the belts seemed OK. I'll try suggesting the crankshaft dampner to him. Might it be connected with the hydraulic lash adjusters in any way ? To get some idea, the engine sounds as if 2 sets of cylinders were to fire alternately in a pulsating manner.

    Regards; - KCJ
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Those tend to tick more than to thump. If you're concerned with HLA's, buy a Mazda OEM oil filter and change the oil and see if it makes a difference.

    It might be something as minor as a loose timing cover - or conceivably, the belt could be off by the width of one tooth, though this would tend to affect performance negatively. (The computer will compensate to the extent that it can.)
  • kcjones2kcjones2 Posts: 4

    Thanks for the suggestions on the HLA and Mazda OEM filter. I'll check them out. I've been following the Mazda maintainance thread for sometime now. Your insights into the machine are impressive.

    Regards; - KCJ
  • jrybaljrybal Posts: 1
    I own a 97 626 with a total of 80k miles. I have had to replace the transmission twice now because the "O/D" light keeps coming on and off, thus, making the transmission run very roughly. Any suggestions about writing to Mazda to have them pay for the cost of replacement???
  • There is a small group on the Delphi discussion site that has gone through this already. If you don't mind registering at a Web site - it won't cost anything but an occasional email - go to and look for the Mazda Transmission Failure forum. Their insights are likely to be superior to mine, inasmuch as I've never actually had one fail.
  • The engine light indicator in our Mazda 626 '95 4 cyl comes on and off while we are driving and sometimes while in idle. Our mechanic has replaced the temp sensor, checked the O2 sensor, changed the spark plugs, fuel sensor, and air filter. He also has done a tune up and the light is still coming on. Before he did this work, he was getting a 181 code on the computer, Fuel system at rich limit. Any ideas before we return to the shop are much appreciated.
  • A lot of things are read by that pesky little light, and if the engine is running well otherwise, you'll have to have the diagnostics done to know for sure what the problem is.

    Some Mazda guys swear by "When in doubt, change the plug wires," and if you're still running on the originals, you're due.
  • (I just read the original version of this on another topic.) Usually, there has to be a fairly obvious problem for you to be running a risk in continuing to operate the vehicle; if it's behaving itself, you're probably not hurting it any, except to move up the failure time for the flaky component(s). Some people with this engine have been looking at the CEL for literally thousands of miles.

    Computer problems are uncommon, but possible, and the little buggers are expensive to repair and even more expensive to replace outright. If everything else checks out, though - and you'll have to have some serious circuit testing to be sure - then it pretty much has to be the computer. If the car's running well enough, I'd ignore the light until something serious happens.
  • strodstrod Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about buying a 98 626 4 cyl automatic From what I can tell the tranny was redone for this model year. I would appreciate any comments if all the transmission problems were cleared up or are still occuring.
  • Having replaced my '93 4 cyl. 626 LX transmission twice, I am not without sympathy for these folks, but let's get back to the rough idle problem for a moment...

    Has anyone found the source of this problem, but more to the point, a credible fix for the same? There are times when the engine is running so rough at a stop that I think it's going to die on me. (I do have regular maintenance performed, but my dealer remains clueless.) Your thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.
  • (Re rough idle) I forgot to mention in my earlier posting that I had the dealer check the plug wires and no oil was found....

    Thanks for sharing your time and knowlege.
  • The first order of business is to verify that the engine is set to idle at the correct speed (generally 700 rpm). There's an air-adjustment screw on the throttle body. (Mixture is not adjustable, except by the computer.)

    I'd check, after that, the IAC valve, to make sure it's not gunked up or sticking. (Usually it can be cleaned; in really horrid cases, it must be replaced, but usually when it gets to this point, the engine won't idle at all.) Deposits on the valve, or on the throttle body or in the injection system, will cause undesirable results, so cleaning is definitely your first priority.

    After that, look for air leaks - it's possible for cracks to develop in the intake tube - and for deposits in the mass-airflow sensor. Lots of possibilities, so it's better to take them one at a time.
  • One of the worst problems with the CD4E - the tendency to blow out the pump gasket - was fixed in late '96. The coast/forward-clutch assembly was redesigned in '98, so a '98 model almost certainly has the first fix in place and perhaps the second, depending on how late in the year it was produced. (As I understand things, the running change was implemented 1/9/98 on the transmission production line; exactly when the newer trannys showed up at Flat Rock, I don't know for certain.)
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