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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • To whom ever,

    Would the fact you used regular gas instead of premium in a V6 cause the O2 sensors to go bad early?
  • I recently got a used 1995 Mazda 626 4c LX. Whenever I press gas, it sounds rough. And when I make a sudden acceleration or use air conditioner for more than 10 min., the engine light" engine electrical system" comes on. Any ideas about what happened and how to fix them will be appreciated. Thanx!
  • Are there any known problems with with year? it seems as if everyone is talking about all the years excet 97. i'm thinking of buying one with 37k miles, and i'd appreciate any advice i can get.

    [email protected]
  • There really aren't any. The five-speeds, while notchy to some, are generally reliable, and the few engine issues that cropped up with the fourth-generation 626 had been pretty much disposed of by '97. Clutch-disc wear on these things is, of course, highly dependent upon driving style. I'd have no qualms about buying a stick-shift '97.
  • To follow on robaltima's question: Would an oxygen sensor go bad after extended periods of lower octane than expected? Probably not, but then the lifetime on these little critters is so wildly variable that it's impossible to say for sure.

    And for indianaalien: The Malfunction Indicator Light, to give it its full name, is telling you that something is wrong, and that a code has been set to identify what is wrong. Get a scanning tool, or get to a shop that has one, and pull that code, and you'll know what the problem is.
  • This is definitely not a problem limited to the 4 cylinder. My '96 Mazda 626 LX V-6 with only 82,000 cost $2,000 to rebuild the transmission. Very, very disappointing. I also own an '87 which just turned 140,000. It has been such a great car, it is the reason I purchased the '96. Oddly enough, today I am dropping off the '96 at the shop to have the valve cover/gaskets/wires/plugs replaced. I have oil in my plugs too and it is driving poorly. It is idling around 1700 rpm. and at times will crank up to 6000 rpm before kicking into 2nd gear. I should be fine tomorrow.
  • Actually, apart from pump configuration and solenoid count (which changed in '93), it's basically the same transmission in both years. Did they tell you which part(s) failed? (One known weak point in all the G4A-EL variants is a turbine shaft O-ring that seals the oil feed to the 3-4 clutch pack.)
  • I bought a 94 Mazda 626 last month with 70k mi on it. After spending $680 to change the timing belt, power belt, oil, battery, and have the trans fluid, it runs good. But today, the "HOLD" light keeps flashing, and the trans works roughly. I have met the same problem when bought that car. But the mech in dealer told me that's because one of the connector of trans was loose. After he tighted it, it runs good for two weeks. Today, I have read so many posts about the problems on 626's trans, I wonder if there is any problem on my car? Can anyone tell me what the problem is before the dealer service charge me too much? Thank you for all your help!!!
  • The problem with our 1995 626 4cyl has been fixed. Our mechanic did another test and got a code 181 again. This time he cleaned the air flow meter. He thinks we let the air filter go for too long and this let dirt get in. The engine light has not come on again for the last two days, in town and highway driving. Hope this is helpful to someone else.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Thanks for the feedback!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • In Mazdaspeak, this is an electrical problem with the transmission - either one of the solenoids, or one of the engine components upon which the transmission depends for information. Some of the '94s had a screwy speedo gear, so it's possible that the tranny is being told to shift at speeds it simply can't believe - in which case, it drops to its "fail-safe" mode and does a good imitation of a worn-out three-speed. Contrary to popular belief, this does not necessarily mean the transmission is about to melt down. When flashing, the HOLD light sets codes, just like the regular MIL, so you need those codes pulled before you go any further.
  • My '87 626 (4 cyl) is a 5-speed. The '96 626 (V-6) is an automatic. The '96 has an E-CAT Transmission - computerized. Fortunately the electronics were not damaged. I don't remember exactly what on the transmission was damaged -- I did see it once they took it apart --- lots of metal shavings in the pan. It was starting to get chewed up pretty good.

    As a side note -- on my '96 --- it only cost me $224 (US) to have the valve cover gaskets replaced and to do my 90k service. 50% of that bill was from the Mazda wires ($119).
  • I bought a 93 626 v6 in Oct 1998 with 40K miles.
    With in 6 months I had to replace both front wheel
    bearings and spark plug wires (at about 45Kmiles). In June of 1999,
    While on vacation in California I had to have the
    Transmission rebuilt to the tune of $3,000 (I was
    ripped off I know but I was stuck, what could I
    do). 5 months later my wife told me the oil light
    was on so I checked the oil and the level was fine
    but a few miles down the road the engine ceased.
    The top end was not getting oil due to all the gunk
    that had built internally. I had religiously
    changed the oil but I guess the previous owner did
    not. $2,700 . In July of 2000 I noticed the AC was
    not working as well as it used to so I took it in
    for a service and they told me it took very little
    freon and they could not detect any leaks. The AC
    only worked for a day but I was moving to a new
    state and could not get it back in before the move.
    A new mechanic tells me I have two leaks and one
    Of them is a pretty good one. The estimate is about
    $600. When I moved I had the car transported and the
    transport called me and told me the rear driver side brake
    would not release. It had to be towed to a dealer in my new
    state and they determined that it was not transport related
    so I had to pay them $200 to replace the caliper.
    Also, the engine light has been turning
    on and off since before the transmission troubles,
    the code says it's an oxigen sensor. The car
    still appears to be in good shape but it has bleed
    us dry and I now detest the sight of it. I should have
    dumped it long ago but I’m not that smart and as it
    stands today I still owe $3,400 on the beast.
    Does any one have any advice on dealing with a used lemon?
  • My mistake; I thought you were implying that the '87 was also an automatic.
  • I bought my '93 in fall 1998 with 80k miles, and it's exhibited hardly any of those symptoms, so apparently there was a reason the previous owner of lemonman's 626 only put 40k miles on it in five years. :(

    If I remember correctly, the '93 takes only 1.7 lb of R-12. (The '94 was switched to R-134.)

    Rear calipers this year did have a tendency to lock up. But those other problems, except perhaps the oxygen sensor, are fairly atypical. I'm just wondering what that previous owner did, or didn't, to induce all these failures.
  • I'm not sure I agree that the problems you are experiencing are so atypical (see my earlier posting at #19). Too many others have reported transmission, air flow meter, leaking valve cover, ac, oxygen sensor, idling, etc. problems. I am the original owner and followed the maintenance schedule faithfully, so I don't think this can be passed off as the prior owner's poor maintenance or driving habits.

    I don't know why I haven't junked this car yet. Yes, I do -- I don't need another car payment and there's a part of me that always thinks I've fixed all the really bad stuff so things should be ok now. Stupid, delusional, freakishly loyal? I don't know.
  • And not stupid either. Buying something new is bound to cost you more than fixing up the next thing to go wrong.

    How about "high threshold of pain"?

    And let it be said, this particular series was generally more reliable in its third generation ('88 through '92) than in its fourth ('93 through '97). Whether this is due to the switch to US assembly or not is unclear. (The MX-6 and Probe were already being made in Flat Rock before 626 production started there.) Either way, the jury is still out on the fifth.
  • rg1495rg1495 Posts: 1
    Hi, I am planning to buy a used Mazda 626 V6,1994 model. I think it was the first time 6 cylinder engine was introduced...Is there anybody who has any experiences with the same model????.....if you could send in your comments I would be more than obliged....Hoping to hear from ya all soon....Thanks a lot
  • jpg10jpg10 Posts: 8
    Hello all, I am new and desperately seeking help from this board. I own a 1996 Mazda 626, 4 clylinder etc., and this is my story. One day at 80,000 miles the o/drive off button started flashing then a few days later the check engine light came on and then they both stayed on. Off to the dealership to learn that I had torc converter slipage and needed a new transmission for 2,700. Got a second opinion and then a third...had the transmission re-built for 1,600. 12month guarantee. Well we picked it up from its 19th visit to the shop thursday only to have the o/drive light start flashing again. It always goes away if you cut the car off and start again but the little phantom always returns...oh let me back up....burned up a 2nd transmission as the repair man said don't worry about the light you can drive it to the zoo. Well its stuck in third gear at 5,000rpms and my two year old in the car...What a nightmare. I need car THERAPY or prozac one after this experience. Picked it up thursday and the light returned. Learned that only Mazda has the equipment to properly diagnose the problem. They won't sell it to independants...I wonder why? They want to keep their rotten car problems a secret is my best geuss. Enough is going to the dealership tommorow for another 80.00 diagnosis..the third. If it is mechanical I will sue the repair place to get it fixed but if its electrical I will be further in the hole. Has anyone got insight into this problem. It has been to an auto electric specialist and had loose ground wires fixed, it has a cooling system on torc converter, new plugs and a tune up.
    I would appreciate any help you can give....
  • This is the second year a six-cylinder engine was offered in the 626. Potential issues include sticking rear brake calipers, possible thermal overload in the ignition module (if it dies at high speed and then starts right up after a few minutes, you've got it), and the usual panoply of 626 oddities that came in with the '93s. Also, this is an interference engine, so if the timing belt goes, so does the top of the engine. As far as reliability goes, Consumer Reports turns its editorial thumb down on the '94; it's possible to get a good one, but you really need a detailed vehicle history on any middle-90s 626.
  • You'd think a Ford store could figure out a Ford CD4E transmission, which is what comes stuffed into a '96 four-cylinder 626, but maybe not.

    5000 rpm in third in my car is something like 75 mph. That would scare me, let alone a two-year old. I wonder if the 3-4 shift valve is stuck....
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    As an x mazda 626 owner and new Accord owner, I strongly advise you to run nearest Honda dealer. I can assure you that after the replacement it will cause more problems.
  • kbeck2kbeck2 Posts: 1
    I recently had the transmission rebuilt on my wife's 626. Her car has 144K miles on and still runs well (relatively). After the rebuild, when the car is put into reverse, there is a hesitation and a rough jerk accompanied with a loud bang. Reverse works fine other than that. Also, sometimes, not always, after backing up and placing the car in drive (automatic with O/D)the transmission wants to take off in second or third gear. When this happens, you can pull the shifter back a bit and it will drop into low gear.
    Did I get hosed in my rebuild or is this an adjustment problem with the linkage? Also, have seen several posts about a blinking hold light which I have from time to time.

    Thanks to all for the help!
  • jpg10jpg10 Posts: 8
    What a car....I wish I had of traded this thing in but I only owe 300.00 and can't see the rational in getting rid of a paid for car...YET!! I should have known that when two transmission places say trade it there is something up....but WHO will give you anything fair for a car with the o/d button flashing or the check engine light flashing...go figure. My car is at the dealership hospital today for diagnostics...if this don't get it I am trading the baby in... I do not like my mazda. All the transmission folks here say go 6 of the fellas I talked to ...and could afford anything they wanted...(they own the shops) own chevrolets. They say they are cheaper to fix and do not have near the transmission problems of the average vehicle.
  • GM does seem to do a pretty good job on its automatics. Now if they could just figure out how to make an alternator last more than a couple of years, they could rule the world.

    That '90 sounds like it's due for a recheck. While it theoretically could be the linkage, if you leave it go for too long, all that banging is bound to have an effect, and it won't be pretty.
  • jpg10jpg10 Posts: 8
    It's me again...mazda diagnostics could not find why the o/d light had been flashing as it diappeared...the PHANTOM but the check engine light indicates a need for a new mass air meter..350.00 at a shadetree vs 450.00 at dealership. It has been suggested by the transmission place that this bad filter and possibly the speed sensor could be causing the o/d flash problem..any insight on this. I thought the o/d was more internal and transmission related vs. the check engine light. I am wondering if I need to sell this car soon while I am still ahead of the game. Would like to hear what you 5-7 year old mazda owners think.
  • jpg10jpg10 Posts: 8
    Took the car for a 2nd opinion...I need a new o2 sensor 500.00 but the mass air meter just needed cleaning...I think a new car wouldn't cost more than this LEMON.
  • Well, you said earlier that you didn't like the car; pouring money into it will not make it any more bearable, even if it works. Get it fixed and trade it off for something you like better, and you'll sleep easier.

    Incidentally, the OEM oxygen sensor costs $180 or so, plus maybe half an hour to install. Maybe they were going to put in two of them for your $500.

    And when my tranny light was flashing, it had nothing whatever to do with the transmission; the computer was flaky. All these systems are interrelated - perhaps too closely.
  • jpg10jpg10 Posts: 8
    Picked up my car today...was advised that everything looked good now but a timing chain would need to be replaced at 90,000 miles. The mechanic also cleaned the mass air filter, fuel filter replaced etc., Claims all sounds well with the transmission. I am curious, if the o/d light flashes again do you think it is dangerous to continue driving it...will it CAUSE damage? Oh, didn't mean to give the impression that I never liked my mazda as I once did. I just don't like the fact that it is bleeding me dry. However, if nothing else happens for a few months we are going to pay it off and keep it but buy a chevrolet blazer for trips. I need security as my mazda has stranded me in "corn country" one to many
  • It's not likely you'd do much damage, if any, since what the light is telling you is that there's an electrical problem (not a problem with the geartrain or the hydraulics) with the transmission, or with something connected to it. Some people have driven for months while staring at both that light and the MIL; a few decided that black electrical tape was the cheapest solution. :)

    And you don't have a timing chain; you have a belt. Normal replacement interval is 60,000 miles (except in California, where their lifespan is magically extended to 105,000). On the four-banger, the replacement job runs somewhere in the $200 range. By 90k, you'll probably need new CV boots. (Something else you didn't need to hear, right?)
  • I been reading about all the problems with the 626 4 cyl. trans, because my sister's 96 626 4 cyl just had the trans die on the way to texas from south carolina leaving her stranded in Mississippi. And the dealer and cust service rep say they will not fix it for free or reduced rate. It has 83k on it so it has passed the 50k/3 year warranty date. Some of the postings on this site talk about getting a class action suit going. Has anyone started one? How do we find out if there is one going on? Needless to say I'm real pissed at Mazda and the fact that this problem continued for so many years. Do the new 4 cylinders still have the same transmission? Thank you for any help you can provide on this problem. Jeanette
  • jpg10jpg10 Posts: 8
    My o2 sensor is nice and no lights are flashing....2 to 3 rd gear shifts a little rought but wonder if its just paranoia and will never be the same as it was before the REBUILD. Any insight? I am confronting the man who just ripped me off today as I want a diagnostics refund. Are cv boots expensive and what are the symptoms. Windowphoebe, you seem very insightful..are you a mechanic perhaps? I wish I were. Do you think the worst is over and my car is worth keeping another year or two? I am nerveous everytime I get in it but we plan to keep it as a 3rd vehicle...once we buy our chevrolet....:)
  • Into almost everyone's life it will creep, at some point or another. I tend to drive like there's an egg under my foot for the first 50 miles or so after leaving the service bay.

    Next time you have the car up on a lift, look at the CV boots. If they're cracked or leaking, replace them pronto. When a CV joint gets dirt and gunk in it, it will start to click and tick and thunk when it moves, and it will eventually fail. In some cases, it's better (and cheaper, even) to have a rebuilt axle installed than to go to the trouble of installing a new boot, especially if the joint has begun to deteriorate. (Been there, done that, around 83k.) On the Arm/Leg scale of auto-repair costs, this amounts to maybe a couple of fingers per side.

    I am not a mechanic, nor do I play one on TV. However, I tend to be a defensive person by nature, so when I bought my 626 I resolved to find out, by whatever means necessary, everything it's possible to know about these cars. I'd say I'm about an eighth of the way there. :)
  • dcc10dcc10 Posts: 1
    My 97 Mazda 626 4 Cylinder began to have O/D off light flashing after a 100 miles trip. It stop flashing after I stop the car for a few minutes and restart. I am very glad to see the messages from jpg10 and windowphobe6. I wish someone can give more idea about the O/D off flashing problem. Thanks in advance.
  • My V6 626 has 63,000 miles and I have had a transmission replaced on it around 15,000 miles and it is going back to a Mazda dealership for transmission problem. From a dead stop upon pressing accelerator and after about 4000 RPMs the car goes into gear with a hard shift. It also occasionally has the same symptoms putting car into reverse. In taking this car to a dealer to be fixed about two months ago, they thought they had fixed it by replacing the transmission fluid because they noticed it to be dirty. This did not fix problem.

    Not only have I had transmission problems on my V6, but I also have had the valve cover gasket, spark plug wires, drive belt, alternator, battery, and alternator belt replaced. I have been told that I also have rear brake caliper problems but can not afford to repair this at this time.

    I have made complaints to Mazda headquarters with no success so far.

    Needless to say, I will never buy another Mazda and have told my family and friends about my car experience.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    your 626, "kuhljazz" ??

    >everyone< If I were to buy a brand new, end-of-year 2000 model 626, either 4 or 6 cyl, with an automatic transmission, can I assume that the "new" versions of engines and transmissions are now reliable mechanisms?

  • The engines are mostly unchanged since 1993. OBD-II compliance has been added, and the four-cylinder has been retuned for more torque at lower RPMs, but otherwise they're pretty much the same. Valve cover gaskets should be considered a 60k replacement item, especially on the V6 - something to do while you're trying to figure out how to change the timing belt. :)

    The last substantial change to the GA4-EL transmission was in '93; if you scroll up far enough, you'll see just about everything that has ever happened to the CD4E, which started appearing in the four-cylinder cars for '94. I'd pass up the four/automatic combination, not so much out of fear of fragility but lack of that Zoom Zoom stuff Mazda thinks we're supposed to love. I would have no qualms about buying any other powertrain combination, though.
  • It is the mazda from hades my new o2 sensor last week and they could find no codes on the transmission however, I insisted that the od light occasionally came on and vanished like the phantom. Well we were heading to the Mountains this weekend...but I made one last call to the transmission place and asked if they wanted to look it over befor our trip...they said "no go ahead, you should have no problems" Well, we are 20 mins from home and the od light flashes then the check engine light....took the car to the shop...pouring rain..two year old in car, bikes and stuff packed, swapped out for our 8 year old nissan truck...(me in the small cab) and on to the mountains. Called the dealership...torc converter slippage and stuck in 3rd gear....heat damage..(yes the smoke was pouring out) and something else transmission related. WE are now trying to get a refund from our transmission shop so that we can get the dealership to fix it. They advised that the mazda transmission is so hard to rebuild which is why the recommend a factory rebuilt. Does anyone have insite on how well the factory rebuilts are performing as I will have to sink 2,600 into this to get it done? Thanks!
  • Last year I bought a 1989 Mazda 626 for my first car. It was loaded with everything they could think of in the 80's.(even a power sunroof)! Having mark August as one year, I have spent well over $1,000 for my "first car" which cost $3,000.
    bad buy. And to make matters worst I still have $1300 of repairs that need to be done to it. The car is certainly not worth it. And for a first-year college student, I'm not paying it! I love the car despite the hell it has put me through. I want to buy another 626 , a millenia, or a maxima? What do you wise and older people think? Should I take another stab at the Mazda family or move to Nissan?
  • Do they turn away Ford Contours and Mercury Mystiques? It's the same transmission, and it's got the mark of the blue oval on it.
  • My story: 95 626 DX 4-cyl/auto, bought 2 months ago with 87K. (Yes, the engine/trans combination I now know I should have avoided...) Drove 1500 miles in 6 weeks, noticed engine malfunction light occasionally lighting for a few seconds. Then the O/D light started flashing, and trans started shifting very harshly from gear to gear. Took to local reputable trans shop: $1700 for full rebuild with 12 month warranty. He says he sees a lot of them with blown pump gaskets etc. Oh well, I got the car for a good price. Now engine mal light comes on less often than before, no other symptoms, so I plan to drive until something else actually breaks.

    My question: The car has a delay in acceleration. Not a hesitation like you would normally think of, but a delay: Starting from a stop, I press the accelerator, and nothing happens for about half a second, then the engine smoothly revs up. Runs fine otherwise, but slightly annoying. Is the computer adding a 0.5 sec delay before opening the throttle? Ideas?
  • It may be that the computer itself is taking a long time to respond to the throttle-position sensor. But I'd check the TPS first, since it's way cheaper.

    The blown pump gasket was one of the most common CD4E failures. If the tech was wise, he installed Ford's new and improved pump plate and gasket, which is an easy retrofit to the original design.
  • Hello,
    Its the 96 626 owner again w/all of the nightmare problems posted earlier...well not all as I know that I have much company in this area. I still own my mazda but am now the proud owner of a 2000 Toyota 4 I will make my trips. Now questions asked. My mazda still remains in the shop for its 3rd rebuild...
  • It may be a little late for some of you but I own a 5 speed '93 626 EX V6 (original clutch, transmission and engine @ 165,000 miles). It began stalling when I came to stop lights and stop signs as well as just slowing down with my foot on the clutch. It took about 5 trips to the dealer which included cleaning the throttle body, replacing spark plugs and wires, replacing the distributor cap and replacing cam shaft gears. After the threat of a law suit, they finally called several other dealers (they should have done that first) and found another 626 owner that had the same problem. Something called the Idle Ignition Box (as close as I can remember it was at least 10 months ago) was dirty. They simply cleaned this box out similar to cleaning the throttle body, and I haven't had a stalling problem since.
  • That would definitely cause these symptoms. (I had a problem like that two years ago, but it was diagnosed correctly on the first try.)
  • i am considering buying a 1989 mazda 626 LX for my 16 yr old is a clean car.. well maintained, reasonably new trans,,,but it has 135,000 mi. the owner seems to have taken care of this car and is asking $3,000. should i be worried about the lifespan of this engine?? how long can it go if well maintained,, and what should i be looking for before purchasing? any advice?
  • please share with me the problems you've had with your 89 626..i am looking at the same model to purchase in the next few days...any info will be many miles were on it when you bought it?..thanks..nancmac1
  • The Millenia is generally more reliable than the 626, at least according to the usual suspects, but it seems to me that if you can afford one of those, you can afford to fix up an old 626. (The oldest ones out there are '95s, after all.) An older Maxima is a reasonable choice, if you can find one that hasn't been driven to death. If you want a 626 as much like this one as possible, look for a '92.
  • Hello good people. I own a 97 626 4cyl Auto, with 50k miles. I have had no problems other than a failed catalytic coverter at 45k.

    Anyway, after reading these post for several months I decided to take preventative care on the transmission and got the following stuff done:
    -- fluid check- mechanic said it was clean
    --- power flush -$68
    --- heavy duty oil cooler for tranny - $150
    --- in-line filter - $38

    Price included labor. I figure spend $250 now and hopefully get a another couple of years out of the car maybe another 30k miles. It would kill me to fork over $2500 for a rebuilt tranny. My sympathy goes out to all that ahd to.

    The mechanic (not from dealer) said that a tell-tale sign of impending failure is to find metal in the tranny fluid. I will post again in a few months. This transmission mechanic is in Everett,WA, He was an older gent and seemed pretty knowledgeable and most importantly, trustworthy.
  • Hello all. My wife and I have two mazdas, a 99 626 and 2000 millenia. I was told that, when we were shopping, if you buy a four cylinder mazda the tranny is made by ford, however if you buy a 6 cylinder vehicle it is all Japan made. I have also seen this on the web and I wish I could remember where. I will search my bookmarks and try to find it. Now this is not to say that the V6 trannies don't have some problems but not near the trouble of the 4 cylinders. My uncle owns his own import shop and this is his reasoning to the problems. He explained that Mazda's 4 cyclinder, like most, are really overpowered for the ford tranny. He said it was like the mind of the japanese was building the motor and the Ford people were on break at the time the engineering specs were given to them. The same thing happened to dodge back in 98 with the Dakota sport and their V6 Magnum. The 5 speeds were fine, however they were japanese built, and so were the automatic trannies however one company was working while the other was taking lunch.
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