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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    My son has a 1997 626 that had a huge amount of noise from the power steering pump. At 62,000 the transmission is still OK -- Knock on Wood. It took 2 days to get it in, and when it was put on it gave out the identical noise. My mechanic wouldn't let the car out in that condition. Another 2 day wait for another pump to come in from the east coast.

    My 1991 has steering that works great. Never needed anything.

    Have there been many others with power steering issues?
  • craigs4craigs4 Posts: 9
    A great source of Mazda maintenance information is It is searchable. The Mazda 626/MX6 and Ford Probe from 1993-1997 were the same vehicles under the skin. The 2.5 V6 has the 4EAT automatic transmission. It must be flushed regularly or it will die prematurely, Mobil 1 synthetic transmision fluid and a Magnefine inline filter also help. It also greatly benefits from an additional aftermarket transmission cooler installed in line after the factory one in the radiator, link them up using the lower hose. Finally, the 93-95 models have a famous distributor problem that you can learn more about at probetalk. The Magnefine filter was recently approved by Ford. See and the Magnefine subpage. The power steering system also benefits from getting flushed as the fluid deteriorates and most dealers or modern facilities can do this.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    How often should the power steering be flushed?

    Frankly I didn't know it should be done regularly until recently.
  • I'm thinking 60k, though there is no specific recommendation for it in the official literature. PS fluid is similar to transmission fluid - some cars actually specify transmission fluid to be used in this application - and it's subject to the same sort of deterioration, though probably not as dramatically as the Dexron floating around in the slushbox.

    And I'd like to second the recommendation for It is a valuable resource for anyone with a third- or fourth-generation ('88-'97) 626.
  • mrsnoahmrsnoah Posts: 1
    I am new to this board. I have a '90 626 that recently has begun to idle badly after the car is warmed up. While it is cold, the fast idle prevents the problem - although even then it's not perfect - but once it's warm the engine idles rough, inconsistent (up & down), and it has even stalled on me once or twice. A lot of times it nearly stalls, but recovers before it actually does. It is a 5-speed. Has anyone on this board ever had this problem and what is the fix? Thank you
    Mary Kay
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    I too have a '97 that had problems with the pump. It was replaced at about 20,000 miles... Noise only happened when temperature was below about 40 F, and would go away once the car was warmed up. Warranty took care of it, no problems since...
  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Posts: 183
    This is an older car like my 1991. Have the spark plugs and wires been replaced? Has it had a recent tuneup? Have you gone to a mechanic (not Jiffy lube) and paid for a fuel injection decarbonization and cleaner?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    While power steering fluid may be similar, it does not have the same properties any mores. Not one of my 3 cars specified tranasmission fluid.

    I changed the fluid on my Mazda when smelled the difference between 2 of my cars, and one that had the power steering pump replaced about 20,000 miles ago. It is a stinky fluid anyway, but the older ones, especially the Mazda smelled burnt, and looked a little bit cloudy. I put in lubegard for about $7.00 USD and spend about $50.00 to have the powersteering flushed.

    It seems to work a bit smoother, and anything that I can do to save a power steering pump repair is helpful. On my Dodge, it went out 3 times. Fluid all over the road, and steering really hard, before they finally got a pump that held up OK.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    My son's 1997 626 DID NOT have a power steering problem. After replacing the power steering pump the first time they thought it was defective. They put in a second pump. It sounded exactly the same as before.

    With good reason. It was the air conditioner bearing. The two in some models, this is an auto tranny with a 2.0 engine, are right next to each other. As it stands right now the air conditioner compressor is being replaced at 62,000 miles. Our mechanic is eating the cost for the steering repair. Their view is that they won't charge for an unnecessary repair. However we do have to pay another $235.00 for a new air conditioner. Total repair $635.00.

    Have the air conditioners declined in quality? Is the new R-132 coolant more corrosive? My 1991 with R-12 coolant has had nothing more in five years than adding 8 ounces of coolant. And I have double his mileage.
  • dengle2dengle2 Posts: 3
    Is there anyway possible to reset the engine light switch on the car. The dealer I called said its probably on for a service interval (25k, 50k,75k) and no need to really worry about it. I'm trying to get it smogged and dealer wants $75.00 to check the codes and reset it. I just need it off for a couple of hours.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    I just replaced my original equipment front struts at 115,000 miles. It's been 10 years so I guess I can't really complain, but what's been others experience about how long struts last?
  • I have a '97 626 LX Auto, which had the engine light come on at 52,000 miles. My neighbor has the computer diag. unit and determined that it was a problem with a sensor at the catalytic converter. Has anyone else had the same problem? He turned the light out and it has never come on again (1 month has passed). By the way, is the '97 noted for any specific (major) problems?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    You want to consider cleaning the Mass Air Sensor located just behind the air filter. My Mazda mechanic (20 years experience) says that this is a common problem. My son's 1997 had to have this done at 62,000 miles.

    Obviously baby the tranny. We flushed and replaced my son's and it now works great. We also added Lubegard.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    You want to consider cleaning the Mass Air Sensor located just behind the air filter. My Mazda mechanic (20 years experience) says that this is a common problem. My son's 1997 had to have this done at 62,000 miles.

    Obviously baby the tranny. We flushed and replaced my son's fluid, and it now works great. We also added Lubegard.
  • Since Mazda doesn't have 25k service intervals - everything is geared to 30/60/90 - this seems specious. In the pre-OBD II days, I could believe this, maybe. Not on a '97.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    It was due to bad oxygen sensors at 60,000, and due to the bad MAS at 62,000.
  • mark38lmark38l Posts: 10
    I'm hoping someone can help me before I take this to the dealer.

    1998 Mazda 626 LX 62,500 miles (bought new)

    Issue #1 Check engine light has been on for about 1,500 miles (It has been on before and goes out after a week or so).

    #2 Radio/CD stoped working LCD display on radio is out. When the headlights are on the buttons light up.

    #3 Dome light is out. When I manually move the switch to the on position the door open light on the dash goes on it goes off after about 30 seconds.

    #4 The trip odometer resets to 0

    #5 When the car is turned on the the defroster button is on.

    #6 When I turn on the car it cranks way too long when it starts it has a rough idle for about 45 seconds.

    #7 The power door lock switch only works when the car is on or the key is in the assecory position.

    #8 The remote for the alarm and the trunk release no longer works.

    #9 Since this happen the check engine light has gone out.

    All these things happened at once. then radio stopped working and then I notice all the other problems.

    Could it be something is not grounded?

    If someone can give me a general idea I would greatly appricate it. I shudder to think what the Mazda dealer will tell me.

    Thanks for any and all help

  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    The air bag dashboard warning light on my '93 626 V6 ES came on yesterday. Has this happened to anyone else who might be able to provide some insight into possible causes? Any info I can get before I take it in to the dealer would be greatly appreciated.
  • Is it flashing, or on continuously? If it stays on, the problem is at the SRS diagnostic module itself - probably a loose connection, though it could be a wiring-harness issue. If it flashes, then the flashes indicate a code, just like the CEL, which will point to the offending component(s).
  • Could be a ground, or it could be that the alternator is no longer keeping the battery up to snuff, and all the components competing for power (which would be darn near everything these days) are getting shortchanged in the voltage department.
  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    Thanks for the quick feedback! The light flashes on twice then off for a bit, then flashes twice again and repeats. This '93 626 just has the one air bag on the driver's side.

    Additional ideas are very appreciated.
  • There's an array of sensors and controls as part of the SRS; code 22 (if that's what it is) points towards the S-sensor (the innermost). It is unlikely that it's the air bag itself that's acting up.
  • korchmakorchma Posts: 12
    My factory warranty for 626 (2000) is about to expire and, naturally, I was wondering if it's worth to buy an extended one (like Warrantybynet or Warrantygold).
    Anybody has an experience with those or similar services?
    Annually I do approx. 22k highway miles and I have auto 4 cyl in my car (that I love a lot).

    I'll appreciate any feedback !

    Thank you!
    Thanks for the heads-up on the Mass Airflow Sensor. Do you have any idea how to clean this beast? My previous car, a crappy '96 Jetta, had to have it replaced at a cost of $400. I don't want to go throught THAT again!
    Could the Mass Airflow Sensor be causing problems or confusion with the sensor at the catalytic converter?
    By the way, I had the tranny fluid changed when the transmission shop replaced the main seal. It was leaking a bit. Cost me $300 to get it fixed with a $5.00 part. All labor! However, I feel much better about the thing now that I don't have to keep track of the fluid all the time.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    No, I don't know how to do that, but my Mazda specialist cleaned it for 35 bucks, ($70.00 diagnosis)so it shouldn't be that bad. I asked the car dealer about mechanics who used to work there, and they gave me his name and address.
  • Hey - the following link is a shady tree mechanic's MAF sensor cleaning directions. I haven't tried it yet.

  • Hey, thanks for the info. Looks like a great site for those without a manual! I'll have to try this cleaning method in the event I have the problem. Sounds like an easy fix.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    No wonder the repair was cheap. It looks like you just spray.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Is he crazy. I've driven a car with a Mitsu engine, seen the ratings in consumer reports, and what's more important seen crash results, both by reviewing the tests, and in real life. Here is the last of the articles.

    For me it would be a no brainer. Mazda all the way, especially when it was only 500 bucks difference.

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