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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    Glad to hear that you have 183,000 miles on your 5 spd! My '93 626 ES is now at 90,000 miles and is running well (although the air bag no longer is operational). Do you have the 6 cylinder? Any maintenance advice you can offer?
  • My 1993 626 often slips when cold start in the morning (say, within 100m from start), but after a while it just runs fine and there is no slips. I check the tranmission fluid and everything seems to be okay.

    What can I do to prevent the slipping or any further damage? Warming up the care for a few minutes before starting?

    Thanks for any answer.
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    The 2.0 on new Protege/5 is the same engine as that on the 4-cyl 626. I wonder if the transmission is the same as the notorious Ford unit on the 626s. Protege/5s are built in Japan though.

    Also, in reply to ian18, I have a 93 626ES with 133000 miles. Still strong. I did have a few common problems reported by others on this board.

    1. valve cover gasket leaking, replacement is very expensive since the intake has to be removed to access the rear bank of cylinders.

    2. rear passenger side brake caliper replaced. The parking brake got stuck once after parking on an uphill slope. I drove it for about 2 miles before being able to disengage it. Apparently, this damaged the caliper.

    3. timing belt replacement is expensive. I spent over $500 on that plus water pump.

    4. O2 sensor needs replacement. The check engine light came on at about 90k but I have been ignoring it for the past 3 years! No effect on fuel economy and emission yet. Still getting 23mpg mixed and over 26 hwy and passed emission test.
  • ian18ian18 Posts: 133
    jskho- Thanks for your post. At 90,000 miles I have had similar experiences. Of course timing belt was changed ($250), water pump ($250), brake calipers (?), O2 sensors ($100). I would suggest trying the Bosh sensors as replacements since they were much, much cheaper and have worked without problems since changing at 70,000 miles.

    Recent problem has been an airbag failure, indicated by dashboard light. Diagnosis has been that the clockspring electrical wire in the steering wheel needs to be replaced at a cost of $500. I have decided not to get it fixed and instead placed a piece of tape over the flashing dashboard light.

    Still, a great car to drive and judging from your experience, mine still has many miles left.
  • The Ford box in the Focus is a distant cousin to the Mazda box in the '99-up Protegé - they aren't interchangeable in practice, but they were developed jointly - and neither of them is related to the Ford CD4E that everyone remembers (largely no thanks to me) in the 626.
  • Hi all,
    I have a 93 626 w/ 184,000, 5 spd. in pretty good shape. I had posted here before about a rattling sound, I think the rattling is the CV joint up front. Sorry jan18, that I did'nt reply earlier but everyhting I have done is pretty routine on this car. Actually I have a great mechanic who is really cheap. ($150, timing belt change).

    I recently had the distributor problem crop up cost me $400 to replace. You think Mazda would reimburse me for that, I mean it is a known problem and all ?? Anyway do u guys think I can realistically keep this car for another 100,000 ? Reason I ask is, beacuse my car got into an accident recently so I was just wondering if I should spend the $200 to paint it or just save it up for a new car. Thanks,

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,964
    184,000 miles is quite a bit. I don't think you should have any gripes about the distributor. I certainly wouldn't call it a design flaw or even a weak point if you get 184,000 miles before it happens.

    I think you should be happy with the service you've gotten out of the car.

    What does "realistically" mean? You mean will you have no more problems with it? No, you'll have problems. Will it be economically sound? Possibly. What's the worst that could happen? I would start saving up and get everything you can out of it. If something catastrophic does happen, THEN go out and get another car. But, as long as its still going, what's the harm in continuing to drive it?

    Would I bother getting an 8 year old car with almost 200K miles and suspected mechanical troubles painted? Probably not. But that's me. I'll buy another car at the drop of a hat. Just ask my wife and family. :)

    good luck.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    depends. If you want to take it to 200,000 probably not. I think a well maintained Mazda can reach 250,000. I have a 1991 with 120,000 and it still behaves like a new car.

    On the other hand ... it's just a few hundred bucks.
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    I've got a 99 626 with 4cyl. I'm at 53k miles. I'm under a Mazda 100k warranty. Should I let expensive Mazda dealer service the belt or find an independent, less expensive place? Are there any tricks to this. I'm going to have the transmission serviced as well. I really feel Mazda should do that after reading about all of the tranny problems. If something does go wrong, I want Mazda taking care of it under my extended warranty. Any ideas or thoughts?
  • Getting to the belt isn't especially easy, though it's less of a hassle on the FS engine than on some other Mazda mills. The procedure is straightforward enough, though, so if you have a trusted mechanic, you can let him take a shot at it. The biggest worry, I suspect, is getting the belt exactly one tooth off, which will create timing issues and driveability problems you will not enjoy, and which the service shop will not enjoy diagnosing.

    The going dealer rate here in the flyover zone has been officially $250, though it's almost always "on special" for fifty or sixty bucks off.
  • With a past car ('91 Plymouth Laser), I went the independent route and oh what a mistake that was!!! Whatever guide they used for specification was not too accurate when it came to belt tension. Within a week, the belt slipped at least one tooth, which obviously made the car run a bit off!!!

    They swore they had done the job correctly, but I was able to prevail upon them to refund every penny I paid. I promptly took that money and my sputtering car to the Plymouth dealer who told me that the belt was installed with the wrong tension. They installed a new belt and guess what, no problems!!!

    So, about a month ago, when my '97 626 V-6 hit the 60,000 mark, guess where I took it? The cost was $285.00 and there have been absolutely no problems with this repair. (Further note: service rep. did not recommend replacing the water pump "just because"....he said unless there was evidence of leakage, they would not recommend that until 120k miles.)

    Now, I'm not saying an independent mechanic is not capable of doing a timing belt properly, but the odds are probably a bit better at a dealership that does the same repair several times a day.
  • here's a secret tip for most of you. (excluding the smart ppl that perform there sched mat).. insted of sitting here complaining about your cars, try changing your oil,trans fluid, filters, ect, ect.. you would be thrilled how well your car would run. most problems i've seen (90%) are ppl who just 'only if absolutly needed' put gas in, then gripe about how bad the car is.. i got a kick out of the guy talking about a 'class action lawsuit' about his transmission, yes' they do go bad but i would bet my last dollar that trans was never serviced when it was suggested in there manual. i've seen enough of all this, seems like a bunch of cheapo's who rather cry than spend money on there ride
  • I, too, drive a manual '93 626 ES with about 110k. I just had the 120k check done because a grounding wire going into my distributor detached and my engine stopped while I was doing 75 down I-75. That was fun. (I posted about this a couple of months ago). Anyway, the only forseeable thing I have left will be a new clutch. I'm pretty easy on it so I was wondering how many more miles I can expect to get out of my clutch.

    Has anyone else had the problem I had with my distributor? I hope not. That was a real mess. Thank for any info.
  • Well, I've owned two of these little darbs, and nowhere in the official maintenance schedule, as detailed in the manual, is any time frame for actually changing the transmission fluid. (These are model years 1993 and 2000; I would appreciate any references for any other model years.) I hasten to add that the absence of advice on the matter has never prevented me from having the transmission serviced, but if the manufacturer doesn't address the issue, how are Joe and Susan Sixpack and their 2.3 kids (the .3 has to sit on the raised part of the rear seat) supposed to know any better?

    There is, of course, no excuse for not changing one's oil or coolant, both of which are spelled out quite clearly. I am persuaded, however, that Mazda has been remiss in not recommending transmission service all these years - whether or not people whine about it.
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    Dittos on what windowphobe6 just posted. My 1999 Mazda 626 manual is silent on transmission servicing other than "add fluid when not in the cross hatches range". I've called two Mazda dealers and got two different approaches - one said bring it in and lets flush - the other said flush and you'll be sorry - we only change the fluid in the pan. I'm going that route since that is the local dealer and I'm under a 100k warranty. Everybody seems to agree that if you do nothing (like the manual seems to suggest) you'll be sorry. Sounds like lousy engineering to me.
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    My local Mazda dealer wants $450 for a timing belt change. This sounds outrageous to me! When I told him about costs I'd seen on this msg board he scoffed. He said there is a good half day labor on that job. Any input out there?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    According to the Mitchell estimating guide
    4cyl = 2.5 hrs & $40 belt
    6cyl = 4.0 hrs & $60 belt

    I'm not sure what area of the country you are in, but it seems that that your dealers labor rate is on the high side. Your best bet is to call 3-4 dealers and see where the prices fall.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    I'm lucky I guess, I found an independent mechanic who worked for 20 years on Mazdas and Fords. His view of a manual transmission is to replace the fluid every 30,000 miles, and add an anti wear additive called Wearguard. He also says that Lubegard (which can be purchased at NAPA auto parts) is an acceptible substitute.

    My 1991 indicates that the manual can use Automatic or Standard transmission fluid. He always uses the automatic.

    With the Automatics he recommends a drain and replacement every 15,000 miles, and also using the additives listed above.

    He is adamate that if you follow this schedule, the transmission should last.
  • Two years or 24 months, whichever comes first. :)
  • Hey- Quick question

    I have a 97 626 ES Auto with 61K, and it rides very roughly. The alignment is perfect, no problems there - but the steering wheel vibrates at speed, in fact the left side of the car vibrates at 65 mph and above. Also, the car pitches when going over small bumps and expansion joints. Is it possible that my struts are shot this early on? Could my bearings be shot - causing all the vibrations? Any advice would be great. Thanks for all the help in advance.
  • 24,000, or every other year should generally be fine.

    I sure like synthetic in the tranny. Huge difference with 2 of my vehicles.

    No sure about engine oils yet. One with a small hard working engine uses synthetic, my Mazda currently uses hydrocracked Valvoline Maxlife, and my old beater still uses a dino blend.
  • My Mazda had almost all of the suspension components replaced last January due to wear and a small accident.

    The only way to tell if the wheel bearings are shot is to take it into a shop. When they take the weight off of the wheel a bad bearing is noisy.

    My repairman was a Mazda specialist at a dealer for 20 years before he set up an independent shop.

    He said that the front struts on Mazdas are expected to last about 80,000 miles. The most obvious sign of strut wear is leakage. Check to see if it is bent out of shape as well. Failing to smooth the ride over those small bumps however may be a clear sign that replacement is needed. Again, a mechanic will be needed to let you know. I put premium shocks on the front and don't regret the extra $50.00. It's a better ride.

    My son bought the Mazda I now own at 65,000 miles. It always vibrated just like you said. At 110K, after the above accident and all other repairs were made, it still vibrated at high speeds. It also wouldn't track straight. The core problem was that the ball joint was worn out. Since we had neglected it so long, the power control arm on that side was bad also. Have the mechanic definitely check the ball joints. It if had been repaired earlier it would have saved me a bundle.

    Since we had neglected the repair so long we also had to replace the tires. A wheel alignment should also be considered.

    I think that with the appropriate repair you can have a better ride than new.
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    I had my '99 626 (4cyl) transmission serviced today. ($65 incl tax - for a drain plug loosened up and new fluid put in - I'll do it myself from now on) I talked to the mechanic (20yrs + of Mazda exp) and he said that if it were his car he'd go longer than 60k on the timing belt. Any testimonials on this one way or the other?
  • Well, exactly the same belt is supposed to last 105,000 miles in California - the Assembly apparently thinks it can regulate the laws of physics, which explains much about the state's Air Quality Board - so presumably there's that much margin built into the belt, and therefore I don't think it's necessary to run to the shop the moment the mileage rolls past 59,999.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    if you ever needed some shread of legal recourse, suggested interval is 60k.
  • On the other hand, 60k is beyond the usual warranty period. (I have no experience with Mazda's own extended warranty, so I have no idea what it covers or fails to cover.)

    What I never could figure out was that California recommendation to inspect at 60k, 75k and 90k (I think: the manual is out in the car, and it's 19 degrees fercrissake, and I'm not going out in the snow to go look at it), and replace at 105k. I mean, if you're going to open the covers and look underneath, you might as well change the belt and be done with it.
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    The timing belt, that is, on the 4cyl engine?
  • It would help if you have a steering-wheel puller, because that's what it takes to get the crankshaft pulley out of the way - that is, once you've removed all the accessory belts and the power-steering pump, but before you start taking off the valve cover.
  • I have a '93 Mazda 626 ES with 5 Speed. Recently the dashlight for the security system has started to malfunction. When the car is locked the light comes on and stays on until a key is put into the ignition. When the system is armed, the light is supposed to flash and turn off when a door is unlocked. Has anybody else had this problem?
  • 34423442 Posts: 7
    Purchased a "94" 626 ES V/6 5-spd.a couple months ago with 97,000 mi. seems like a good car so far with the exception of lifters that are noisy all the time, mechanic said he's heard worse. He sugested puting a 1\2 qt. of tranny fluid in before I changed oil and run for 15 min. and drain. Then add an additive called MOA to oil.Said that would maybe clean the sludge out. Anyway that didn't make any difference. Has anyone had that problem with the V\6? Mech. said to replace lifters would run around $1000.00. Haven't checked any other place. Anyone having this problem would appreciate any help. Thanks
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