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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • My mother has had a 1987 Honda Accord LX. She is the only one that has owned it and has had everything fixed the moment it started to make a noise. I don't care if the car mada a light rattle in the rear shock, it was off to be fixed. She changed the oil every 3000 miles...not 3001, but 3000. The car is exceptional however it does have 165,000 miles on it. Right now she is contemplating buying a new one or having the motor reworked or rebuilt. It is starting to leak oil at the rear main seal and front seal and the tranny is starting to leak. It is just now starting to smoke when she starts it. All of this is easy to fix, some seals and some valve guide seals would work however the wear marks on the motor, when the oil pan gasket was replaced shows signs of wear. My best advice is to be careful with that many miles. Is the car worth 3,000? That is relative. Would I consider it, more likely than not.
  • Well, it's true of the 626, at least since '94 - you buy a four-cylinder, you get a Ford autobox; you buy a V6, you get one from Mazda. All Millenias have six cylinders; the base version has the same transmission as the V6 626, while the S version, with the Miller-cycle engine, has a transmission sourced from Jatco, which turns out to be basically the same unit that's in the Nissan Maxima. The Tribute SUV, however, has a Ford powertrain regardless of which engine you choose.

    The thing is, the CD4E, for which everyone reviles Ford, wasn't designed for the 626 in the first place - it was first used in the '93 Ford Mondeo, a European model, from which the '95 Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique twins were derived. How it got into the 626 and its sister ships is something neither Ford nor Mazda is explaining.
  • Hi,friends,
    There is a 1995 Mazda 626, with 89k miles and everything else seems OK. I know nothing about cars, but I was told that there is some serious problem with 626( since 1994). Is it true?
    If anybody could give some help, I will be greatly appreciated.

  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Welcome to Town Hall.

    If you haven't already, you can read through the posts here in this topic to get a sense of what Town Hall 626 owners' maintenance and repair issues have been.

    Generally, the right place to look for buying advice is in Sedans or Smart Shopper. You can use the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page to find relevant topics.

    Good luck and again, welcome.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • It took me a long time to come to a decision as to what kind of car I would like to buy. The 626 is different from the Nissan's and the Honda's and that what I like about it. And with all the trimmings, it doesn't hit you too hard in the pockets. my question to all you 626 owners, is there anything good about the 626?
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    You need to keep in mind that this entire conference exists to help folks with problems they are having. You are not going to find a balanced view of any vehicle here.

    Try using the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page for 626 - look for topics in our Sedans conference and check them out. You may find an entirely different perspective.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • I'm wondering how/if/when to adjust the valves on
    my '86 Mazda 626 GT Turbo 4cyl with 223,500 miles.

    They are a little noisy but not too bad and I
    would like to take some preventative measures.
    Actually, I want my husband to do it :-)

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Just to kinda let people know. I bought the car in January and again, it has over 253,000 miles on it. So far, all we've done is tune it up, change the oil and the fuel filter (fuel filter appeared to be original) and it runs like a champ. I've never had any problems with it. It's a 5 speed manual transmission and it runs like it's got hardly any miles on it at all. I'm also wondering if anyone has any idea how long this thing could go! I only paid $1600 for it so I think I'm really getting my money's worth.

    Anyway, feedback on the valves would be appreciated.
  • I think the 2.2-liter engines had hydraulic valve-lash adjusters, which means that there really isn't any adjustment possible. As usual with Mazda engines, the best thing you can do for them is keep their oil supply nice and fresh - and switching to Mazda's OEM oil filter, which costs maybe a couple bucks extra, is generally a good idea, since they contain that trick drainback valve to keep the HLAs from going dry in a big hurry at engine shutdown. If there's a big wear issue, it's the turbo, and so long as you let it spool down for a minute or so before you shut it off, it should run more or less indefinitely. (Turbos run at some ungodly six-figure RPM, and when you cut their oil supply, they don't like it.)
  • I just wanted to say thanks! The info was very helpful.

  • Hi I know this is 626 area, but I own a 1993 MX-6 V6 LS Automatic with 55000 mile on it. I am the original owner. The problem I am having is that when sometimes taking of from a start the car shakes & then runs find. It also does the same thing when it shifts at time form 1st to 2nd gear. The motor works great,I know it must be the transmission. The weird thing is that it doesn't always do it. If I floor the pedal, the runs great & shifts great. If I manually shift the gears it works fine. I don't understand what the problem is? The Mazda dealer couldn't find anything wrong. They said the fluid looked good & that the shift points were fine. Can anybody help?

    Thanks George [email protected]
  • In post 180 I forgot to mention that in the morning when the car is cold the transmission makes a winding noise & seems like it shifts late.
    Again the car is a 1993 mazda MX-6LS V6 Automatic

    Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

    George [email protected]
  • (Note: This is an example of the stream-of-unconsciousness thought process I use to try to figure out an answer. I include it here just in case I accidentally hit on something correct while so doing.)

    If you shift the thing manually, from "1" to "2" ("2" will actually get you into third) and then to "Drive", you're bypassing all the shift solenoids while you're in the lower ranges. This would suggest that there's a flaky solenoid - but which one? Only one of them is energized for both first and second gear, and that's the 2-3 solenoid. (If the HOLD light were flashing and a code 61 were set, that would ice the deal.)

    Still, it may not be the transmission at all, since flooring it seems to bypass all your problems. Have you checked the engine mounts? If there's some slight difference in alignment between where the engine is sitting and what the shift lever is trying to say, and it goes away because the engine has just altered its position a couple of millimeters due to high revs - well, let's say I'd look into this possibility before I started taking the transmission apart.
  • Check the CV joints as well.
  • Hello. I am the proud new owner of a 94 Mazda 626 ES model, 6cyl. So far no problems, however I do have a question. What is the hold button for?
  • The "HOLD" button is for when you want to keep the transmission from going into overdrive. It keeps it in 3rd...
  • I figured as much, but I wanted to make sure. Now, does anyone know how the factory security system works? The only way I can activate it is by locking the doors from the inside via the driver's side power lock. I can also deactivate using the keyless entry remote. However, I can't activate the alarm using the remote, nor does the panic button or the lock/unlock work. When I try to use these features I can hear a clicking noise from underneath my dash as if it is trying to work. Any suggestions?? I believe this may be an aftermarket keyless entry system added to the Mazda factory security system because the remotes don't have a Mazda logo and are rather cheap looking.
  • Actually, it works in all three forward shift positions, to lock you into the gear indicated.

    If you're starting off in D, you begin in second for just a moment, after which you stay in third; this, for me, is ideal for negotiating winter messes, since I don't have to worry that a sudden shift (in either direction) is going to spin me into a ditch. No substitute for a stick, or even a good manumatic (which Mazda sorely needs, if only for the Millenia), but a nice thing to have.
  • WIndowphobe6, thanks for the info, After driving around for a few days I have payed much closer to the transmission on my mx-6. Now I forgot to mention that when I shift the gears manually, I also use the hold button. So when it is in 1 with the hold on, I am starting in 1st. Then when I'm ready to shift to second, I release the hold,while keeping the gear selector in 1 & it shifts to second gear just by releasing the hold button. When I'm ready for third gear, I put the gear selector to 2 & I'm in third. And when I'm ready for 4th, I just move the gear selector to D & I'm in fourth. When you drive like that there are no problems.

    Another thing I think I figured out over the last few days, is that the car (when driving in D - normally) after coming to a complete stop does not shift to 1st gear. I believe it is starting in 2nd gear and as I accelerate a little the car vibrates because it is trying to get out of second and into 1st & eventually does after a few seconds. When the car shifts to second after that I get some vibration there also. After that it runs fine.
    When I floor the car it takes off in first and runs & shifts great. Is my mashing the accelerator to the floor putting the car into first because of the high RPMs?
    When I have the gear selector in D and push the hold button to take off from a start, the car starts in 2nd gear like it should. Then when it gets to about 2250 RPMs it vibrates & shifts to 3rd gear (it seems like it shifts to 3rd gear prematurely).

    Also the hold button does not flash at all. The only time it comes on is when it is supposed to, when I activate it.
  • I have a '98 626 with the 2.0 automatic and about 60k miles. Aside from having good clean styling, I've basically been disappointed with it since I bought it. I first noticed how terribly underpowered it was, which wasn't that obvious during the test drive. I then noticed how the transmission could use a healthy dose of Prozac to treat its manic-depressive nature. Trying to get on I-81 (the on-ramp goes up hill)is like riding a bull who can't decide if it minds being ridden, or not. It searches the entire range of gears, never being quite satisfied with the one it chooses. No big deal unless a sociopathic truck driver is bearing down at 90MPH.

    Okay. I got used to all that and then it really started getting strange. Now if I'm running the AC, or have the lights or rear defrost on it sputters when I give it the gas from a dead stop. Sometimes it seems to cough when I'm not at a dead stop. I took it to the dealer and they said there was nothing wrong; no error codes, nothing. They just told me to run 89 octane. Of course, when I tried to demonstrate to the mechanic, the little SOB (the car, that is) wouldn't do it. As soon as he got out and I was on my way, it was back to the rodeo.

    Any similar experiences and/or remedies?


  • This should be almost instantaneous.

    If you've come to a rolling stop, starting up again will usually be in second unless you do, in fact, mash the pedal. If you're stopped completely, the mechanism is supposed to start back up in first.

    Screwy torque converter, maybe? Something's resonating at 2200 rpm that ought not to be....
  • The control module is supposed to be compensating for increased electrical loads - and, in fact, if the A/C compressor kicks in, it's supposed to kick up the idle about 100 rpm. I had a number of minor electrical glitches which weren't repeatable, the vast majority of which went away when the battery finally died and was replaced with a new one.

    The 2.0 is really not enough engine for a car this size, and the gearing is rather tall, though the 626 weighs quite a bit less than most of its competitors, which somewhat offsets the horsepower deficit, and by '98 Mazda had figured out that buyers of the four-cylinder with the automatic really weren't looking for a torque peak way up at 4500 rpm. (I have redlined one of these engines a couple of times, and it seems to me that above 5500 rpm or so, it mostly processes gasoline into noise.)
  • Windowphobe,

    That's the problem when in D without the hold button on, after a complete stop the car is starting off in 2nd gear vibrates a bit like it is trying to shift to 1st does shift to 1st and then shifts to 2nd with a some vibration at times.

    Any other help before I head to the mechanic?


    George (geo768)
  • This still doesn't sound like transmission meltdown to me, but I'd definitely want to hear what someone concludes after some actual diagnostics.
  • billusbillus Posts: 4
    I have a '98 626ES-V6...with the automatic. At first I only used regular unleaded (87 octane), but having fallen in love with the car have begun pampering it with 93 octane.

    It doesn't like it when I back off the gas just after it's shifted, but other than's wonderful! Turn O/D off and it can be downright peppy, especially if you take advantage of the fact that you can crank up to 65mph in "2" before putting the transmission in "D."

    Yeah, 0-60 times are pretty lousy, but the Bose stereo is awesome, EVERYTHING still works (had to replace a headlight bulb the other day), short of regular maintenance. I have 67,000 miles and must turn my sweet babu back in, come February. If my residual weren't so high, I'd suggest one of you guys buy it!

    Mind you...I NEVER get serviced at the dealer. I ALWAYS stick with the car and make sure it gets done right. I was VERY gentle during the first 4000 miles. Synthetic oil also helps (Mobil 1). ALWAYS wait until the temp. gauge begins to move upward before putting the transmission in drive.

    By the way, if gas is as expensive for you as it is here... $1.89 for reg., $2.09 for premium, the 10% surcharge for premium is worth paying for the extra mileage and performance you get...

    Still idles nice and smooth. This baby loves it when I "drive it like I stole it."
  • I thought about the tire size, but the OEM Michelins only lasted about 22,000! I guess I'll go back to that size and just rotate every time I change the oil! (every 4k with Mobil 1)

    Are the SP 5000 a Bridgstone tire?
  • Anyone have a line on a discount supplier of
    genuine Mazda parts? I use for my
    other car but they unfortunately do not carry Mazda OEM parts and / are too generic. I need a new antenna mast and a power door lock timer/relay. Have the part numbers but need a source. Help...

    By the way, I have a 90' 626-LX with 86K that runs
    and looks like a jewel. It has been a wonderful (if not "plain-Jane") family vehicle for 10+ years. None of the mechanical problems that seem so common on the later year models. Now if I can only get the door jamb power antenna to stop breaking and the power door locks to work, again...
  • erie14erie14 Posts: 1
    I seem to be having a problem with my gas pedal.
    Sometimes it sticks when I first start the car. I
    have to give it a good push to get it past the sticking point. I was just wondering if anyone could help me out!!!
  • My guesses (not a mechanic, just an "enthusiast") would be:

    1) throttle cable or linkage in need of lubrication / cleaning
    2) throttle body dirty, with deposits causing the throttle plate to stick

    Regardless, anything causing problems with proper movement of the gas pedal needs to be addressed immediately....

    Good luck!
  • What do I have to say about my 89 626. It'a a good deal and it's not. When I read your response I saw myself all over again. I brought my 626 in Aug of 99. it had 119,000 miles on it. It was my first car and I was 17 or 18 I can't remember. I bought it for $3,000 as well. The first thing I would tell you to do that I didn't until it was too late is take it to a mazda specialist they will tell what's wrong. My car had 1,400 worth of problem that dealer didn't tell plus I had no warranty. The alternater when out in downtown atlanta on my way to work. within 4months of buying it. I had a value cover that needs to be replace, fuel gauge don't work correctly, front and rear transmission mount need to be replace. But In the year i had put 25,000 miles and it holds up pretty good it's great car for a teenage But be prepared to put some work into it. I am thinking about even purchasing another mazda for more info email me at [email protected]
  • Couple days ago, I had a scary incident with my 626. I was on the first lane (counting from the left) on the highway, and I wanted to change lane into the second lane. (I was going about 70 mph at that time.) At the same time, the car on the third lane that was ahead of me wanted to change
    lane into the second lane too. I wouldn't have enough distance to do so without hitting that car, so I had to jerked my car back to the first lane. I had my foot on the break since I was changing lane. When I jerked back to the first lane, my car skidded a bit, then tt went totally out of control. It sent my car 90 degrees _ACROSS_ the hightway, aiming toward the car that was in the fourth lane! At the last moment, I let go of the break, and that sent my car another 90 degrees (without hitting anything), going parrell
    with the car on the fourth lane! I was facing the opposite direction of the traffic for a second or two before my car decided to swing back in place with the rest of the traffic. Was it my speed that caused the car to go out of control or was there something wrong with my car? I got my breaks checked after the incident. The result was normal. Is there anything else I should check?
  • bill_lbill_l Posts: 38
    I have 88' Mazda626 which has 4cyl fuel injection,
    185K. It runs OK except idle speed fluctuation in
    cold weather. The idle speed fluctuates between
    1500 and 2000 rpm when the weather temperature
    below mid 40F. I cleaned throttle, replaced PCV
    valve, distributor, wires and plugs. It's still
    there. Is there anyone who has such experience
    and knows what kind problem it may be, temp.
    sensor, idle control valve, or .... Thanks.
  • I have a 1996 Mazda 626 and the O/D light stated flashing. I took it to the dealer and was told that the transmission had a sensor go out and it caused the fluid to overheat and the transmission need to be replaced. The car has only 54,000 miles. Also have a neighbor who experienced the exact same problem.
  • pmc3pmc3 Posts: 1
    My car is coming off lease and I'm thinking of doing a buy-out on it. It has 33,500 miles, has not been in the shop for anything, and has not had any maintenance other than oil changes. If I buy it, what do you recommend be done right now regarding maintenance? For instance, should I change tramission fluid, coolant, plugs, etc.? Thanks for any advice.
  • Flush the coolant and the transmission fluid, and rotate your tires if you haven't already. If it's running fine, you can probably hold off getting new plugs until 60k, when you definitely need to get your timing belt replaced. There are plenty of items that could use a quick visual check - brakes, CV boots, belts - but these tend to wear out quite a bit later than 33k.
  • It could be the IAC valve, but it could also be a leak, either in a vacuum line or in an air intake.
  • My 1993 Mazda 626 ES V6 auto is broken in the road when I was going to the auto repair company for changing oil. I can start the engine but it didn't move a inch when I pressed the accecelerator. They towed my car to their workshop and checked it. They told me a 'converter' in the tranmission is broken (I think it's torque converter, right?) and needs to be replaced. And they told me the price will be about CDN1500 all together.

    Just want someone expert here to tell me if the price is acceptable.

    Thanks a lot.
  • Replacing one of those things south of the 49th parallel will run a bit over a thousand bucks American, so $1500 Canadian doesn't sound too far out of line. Probably half that price covers the labor to remove and remount the transaxle, which is an all-day job (as in "charge 8 hours labor") at best.
  • nclarknclark Posts: 5
    I was at a used car dealer Yesterday. The person told me that the V-6 was made by Ford. Does anyone
    know if this is really true?? I am thinking of getting a 97 or 98 soon . Thanks
  • Thanks Windowphobe6.

    Having no spare money on hand to fix my Mazda ES V6 so I towed my car back home today. I had a test for luck and it's so magic that it moved again fluently both forward and backward. So I think it was sure not the problem of torque converter and the dealer lied to me.

    OTOH, was the problem simply because it ran out of transmission fluid yesterday? Yesterday the dealer confirmed me that there was only a little tranny fluid and they poured in a lot. But I remember right after they added fluid the car also didn't move.

    Would like to learn from experts here if it's safe to drive my car again on the road.
  • The 2.5-liter V6 in the 626 (and the base Millenia) is a Mazda engine; the 2.5-liter V6 in the MPV is a Duratec from Ford. They have nothing in common other than design parameters (they're both DOHC 24-valve engines delivering 165-170 hp) and approximate dimensions.

    The major Ford component in the 626 is the CD4E automatic, which wasn't used in the six-cylinder cars in those years.
  • Well, it's possible, I suppose - but that takes an awful lot of luck. I'd say drive it; if it fails, you're no worse off than you were.
  • I have read now several complaints about the '95, '95, and '97 tranny on 626 going out shortly after they hit 50K miles. I have filed a report with the DOT and encourage everyone to do it. They said they do not track these things unless they get reports from consumers. Call 1-888-DASH -2-DOT.
  • The '97 was the last of the 4th-generation cars; they weigh about 200 lb less than the newer ones, so if you're worried about zero-to-sixty, the '97 is the choice. On the other hand, the '98 model abandoned hydraulic lifters for adjustable ones, which means occasional valve service but a lot less of the infamous Mazda tick. Do check the valve cover gaskets on either year - they tend to get flaky about the time you need to change out the timing belt.
  • nclarknclark Posts: 5
    I have heard of tranny problems with the 4cyl but not so much with the 6 cyl. Can you enlighten me more thanks.
    WINDOWPHOBE-Thanks. Any other tidbits you may like to share???
  • Neither of these transmissions is likely to last as long as, say, your average GM Turbo Hydra-matic; this is one thing that the General seems to do better than anyone else. The Mazda units date back to 1987, with major redesigns in 1988 (geez, one whole year?) and 1993, so by now they should be fairly well debugged. Ford's autobox entered the scene in 1994, and had two or three fairly traumatic years; the new version isn't much different, but the most egregious flaws have been engineered out, so I'd expect some level of improvement on this front.
  • timdetimde Posts: 1
    please is there someone that can help i have a hydraulic cluch i am having trouble with it engageing i think it might be low on hydraulic fluid ware and how do i refill
  • There's a master cylinder for the clutch - look on the firewall near the brake booster - and a reservoir attached thereupon. If it's low, go buy a fresh bottle of DOT 3 brake fluid (the stuff doesn't age well) and fill it up to the specified line. If it gets low again, you have a leak, most likely either at the master cylinder itself, or at the slave cylinder, which should be mounted on the side of the transaxle.

    (After '92, they went to a single reservoir for both brake and clutch - I think.)
  • 280zx280zx Posts: 1
    I used this thread to help understand an issue with this model--the rough idling and loss of power. I took one post and gave it to the dealership. They checked the gaskets and found them dry. Then they replaced the spark plug wires which corrected the problem.

    I have had this 94 626 ES V6 since it was new. It now has about 31,000 miles. Here is the maintenance that it required beyond the 15,000 and 30,000 mile dealer check-up and regular oil changes. In 1999, it had a leaking oil pressure sending unit and it was replaced. This week was the rough idle and the spark plug wires. In total, the cost for these two items was about $275. That is $275 over 31,000 miles and six years. The 15,000 and 30,000 check-ups were $300 and $450. I did relace two batteries. One was normal use and the ohter one was because I left the lights on for a day. The rest is oil changes.
  • I bought this car one month ago and it has 20K on it. The cruise control works fine until I turn on my headlights, which shuts off the cruise control. Or if the headlights are on the cruise won't work. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it something simple?
  • There are four notches in my car's tranmission fluid dipstick. It looks like

    2 4 handle
    1 3

    Would someone please tell me I should add fluid to which level?

    Thanks in advance.
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