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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    According to:

    the GL ratings are performance specifications, not formulation designations. So a GL-5 may or may not have sulpher in it.

    Regardless, a local auto parts store has Mobil 1 75W-90 full synthetic gear oil. I may end up using that, if I can find out if it has sulpher additives or not. The other stoopid thing I did was to use 80W instead of 75W (because that's what WalMart had on the shelf) and it's harder to get it into 1st & 2nd than before the change. I imagine when fall/winter rolls aournd, I'll have to change it anyway.


  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    Mobil explicitly states that Mobil 1 75W90 should not be used in transmission. It is strictly a gear oil for differentials, etc.
    Check out their website.
    See if you can find Redline MT90.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Here are the American Petroleum Institute publication 1560 specs for gear lubes:

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Here are the American Petroleum Institute specs for gear lubes:

  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    "Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Lubricant is suitable for all automotive applications where lubricants meeting API Service GL-5, are recommended. It can also be used in rear axles where an API Service GL-4 lubricant is recommended. It should not be used in any transmissions requiring an engine oil or automatic transmission fluid, or GL-4 performance level."

    I checked my owner's manual last night, and it does say GL-4 or GL-5 can be used. The Haynes manual just says 75W-90, doesn't say what spec. At least one person on says Mobil 1 gear oil is great in his transmission.

    My research continues.... More to follow.
  • Hi gang,

    It's been a while, and now I have a small problem/nuisance which I think is HLA related. In the morning with the car cold, I hear only a bit of HLA tick that rapidly dies out. As the car reaches its temperature, I start hearing more and more taping (the famous 'Mazda tap'), but only when I coast with my foot on the gas (i.e., when I barely depress the gas pedal). Also, under load (going up hill or passing someone), I hear 'valve noise' similar to the one you would get if you drove a stick at 10 MPH in fourth gear (like a gargle). As you know, this is a L4 626 from 95, ATX, with 81K on it.

    Now, I've been using synthetic (Valvoline) 10W30 on it, and now I have a K&N oil filter on it. Could changing the filter to the Mazda OEM fix some of these problems? Is the filter this critical? Other people also recomended Mobil1 instead of Valvoline. I guess I'll try.

    Suggestions? Similar experiences?


  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    It makes valve lifters quieter. The only weight for Mazda's according to my mechanic who just won a regional Mazda repair competition

    Try the Quaker State full synthetic (higher PAO) and see if that helps.
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    The filter is important in the sense that it should have a anti-drain back valve that prevent oil from draining back into the oil pan when engine is stopped. The OEM filter, and most aftermarket ones have this valve.

    When your engine is under load, are you sure those clicks are valve noise, or are they actually engine knocks?
  • pegasus3pegasus3 Posts: 4
    I bought my mazda new in 1997. At around 87,000 miles the over drive light started flashing and the transmission started slipping. Luckily, I bought a 5 year extended warranty. I had a rebuilt transmission put in about 1 month ago (and an O2 sensor). Well, we went to Baltimore to visit friends and on the way back the light started flashing again! We pulled off, turned the car off, checked the fluid, and sat there for about 10 minutes. When we started the car the light had stopped flashing and it was not slipping. This happened twice on the drive home. Now the over drive will not engage and I am stuck in the over drive on mode. I am still under the extended warranty and the rebuilt trans has a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. It appears to me after a lot of reading on the net this seems to be a pretty common problem. I was going to put a transmission cooler kit on the car but now I have to wait and see what the warranty company is going to do. How successful are the cooler kits at keeping the transmission fluid cool? To me the bottom line here is that the cars are poorly designed in respect to keeping the transmissions cool and they are burning themselves up left and right! Mazda is getting a really bad name for themselves. I know I will never buy another one!
  • pegasus3pegasus3 Posts: 4
    I saw a post from someone that said that the emission parts on cars such as the catalytic converter have to be replaced free (federal law) if they go bad within 5 years. When I had my car in getting the transmission replaced the mechanic said that the catalytic converter was not up to par (per a diagnostic code). If it is going bad does mazda have to replace it? I will have the car for 5 years in September so if this is the case I need to do something now. How do I go about this and where can I find a copy of this federal law? Thanks
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Here's the info, contained in EPA Fact Sheet EPA420-F-96-020. Read the whole document, including the FAQ's. Certain components, including the catalytic converter, are warranted for 8 years or 80,000 miles in 1995 and newer vehicles :

  • I thought I'd give my story and some of the problems/fixes to help others out.

    I bought a 93 626 LX in June 2000 from a friends company by private loan sort of deal. At the time it seemed like a good deal and I was able to unload my 91 MPV that was showing its age. I'm paying $7000 canadian for it and have several months to go on the lease/loan. I've put over $3,800 in what I would call 'replacement' repairs and over $1,300 in maintenance (oil, tune, tires, brakes). The car had a motor job and tranny rebuild before I bought it so it seemed a safe bet. Guess not.

    1. cv joints - outers, both sides replaced.
    2. exhaust system - when the original muffler finally went it went fast. Rotted inside out.
    3. two struts - did this myself. You need a spring compressor to do this. One strut leaked for some time so I was forewarned. When it got bad it really chewed up the inside of the tires (I needed new tires anyway).
    4. tranny rebuild #2 - warranty ran out. was on vacation to US. Nice vacation. The shift solenoids went to crap. The local Mazda dealer tried to take me for a ride (they must think tourists are dumb) but a reputable tranny shop saved the day. A $900 canadian fix.
    5. distributor - scary when this started to go. passing a car on the highway in traffic and the rpms screwed up with the shifting and the engine redlined and cut out. Not fun when your on the inside lane next to concrete. Sat on side of road. Restarted car, everything seems fine. Lasted a few days. It got worse over time and finally started sputtering and stalling. Finally quit on side of highway. Expensive piece.
    6. wires and cap - replaced with distributor
    7. throttle body - never replaced but had thought about it. A dirty throttle body really cause me headaches. But the bad distributor may have been part of the problem too. The car had rough and low idle to the point of stalling. the problem even went away for awhile but came back with a vengeance. For a temp fix I put tension on the throttle cable but this was tricky. I had the t-body cleaned once by my mechanic but didn't last long. Finally went to dealer where the tech seemed to know his stuff and he cleaned it properly. Has worked real well but noticed the symptons creeping back. Due for another cleaning.
    8. Catalytic converter - needs replacing. Noise from engine compartment increasing. Exhaust is leaking. Poor fuel mileage/power. Rotten egg smell. Maybe too much back pressure buildup due to corroded mush inside cat converter. Expensive piece.
    9. Power Antenna - not working. Unhooked it. Not worth fixing.
    10. climate controls - had a look at this yesterday. One of the gates inside the 'air box' seems to be having trouble moving. Might burn out the actuator motor if it keeps up. I am going to somehow fix this myself. Its going to mean taking out the whole dash board. Not fun.

    On top of all that my paint job is going to crap.

    On the plus side this is a comfortable car and rides nice when its working. I like the stiff ride of Japanese cars. The interior is nicely done and still solid after 9 years. No rattles to speak of so you can hear every damn noise that pops up in the drive train and exhaust.

    I will sell this beast once its paid off. I'm going to give the car a body and paint job before I sell it. The only other Mazda I would consider buying is a Protege but I will likely buy a Honda or Toyota.

    I really think Mazda screwed up in the quality department for several years there. Its not just the Ford trannies either. I wonder why there hasn't been any class actions against them. Mazda gets two thumbs down from me. Up yours MAZDA!

    disgusted in Canada
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I wonder why there hasn't been any class actions against them

    Wouldn't they have to do something illegal or negligent to have a class action suit stick?

    There are plenty of bad cars out there...sorry you only decided to do your homework after you bought yours.
  • How compassionate of you maltb

    I did do my homework but obviously what I've read and been told was not completely true. Consumers Report and other used car guides rated the 93 as pretty good but with a chance of tranny problems. The 94's to 97's were supposedly the models with the bad ford transmissions. Since the tranny was just rebuilt when I bought it (and supposedly by the best shop around) I was ok with it. There was no mention of distributor or throttle body problems in my research. The other stuff is wear and tear but still annoying.

    Mazda's bad transmissions warranted a recall IMHO. However, money talks and it would've cost the company a mint to repair all these. The result? Let the consumers foot the bill...they deserve it 'cause they didn't do their research! ya right. Its called corporate responsibility which there seems to be a lack of these days.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,091
    you didn't mention how many miles your car has.

    I gotta say, you have had more problems than normal, but the car is almost 10 years old. You say you bought it from a company? So it was a company car?

    My guess is it wasn't exactly well cared for. Did you ever rent a car? How did you treat it? I know I am not nice to my rentals and, based on the condition of these things, nobody else is either. When the driver has no vested interested in the vehicle, they usually drive it that way. So this car more than likely saw 7 very hard years before you bought it.

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

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I agree that the tranny problem is bad corporate policy, but how can it warrant a recall? People love tossing out the term recall when they have to pay for a major repair. Let's keep recalls for issues that are really safety related. Manufacturers have a hard enough time getting people to pay notice to the recalls they issue now.

    In 2000 CR reccomended the 93 626? I'd have to see it to believe it. From what I recall they trashed it for what it was. Cars are machines; machines break. Some more than others. I'm not excusing Mazda for building one of the worst cars in its history, but there was plenty of data out there when you bought.
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    Most of what you did were expected repairs for a car this age.
    Except for the auto trans and cat, everything else looks regular to me.
    Did you check the car out before you buy it?
    I seems like the previous owner did not take care of the car very well.
  • the car has over 250,000 kilometres.

    it was really a private sale done through my friends company. My friend only had the car for 1 year before blowing the tranny and putting it up for sale.

    i do remember looking at used car reviews and they said the 93 626 was ok.

    Perhaps the car wasn't well cared for. I certainly expected things like the suspension and exhaust to wear out but it is unfortunate that it had to do so within the first year of having it. The cat converter is showing its age too so I can't really complain. Maybe once I've gone through all these major components I'll have a nearly new car!

    Actually, I like to complain about how much its costing me to repair the 626 but it is 9 years old afterall. Maybe only with Toyota and Honda would I have had better success.

    Would I get a new 626? Perhaps if the price was right. I'd unload it before the warranty expired though. But then again, the cost of new cars these days is atrocious! Unfortunately, I don't have money trees growing in my backyard.
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    That's roughly 155,000 miles!!! A car with that many miles which has already had transmission work and engine work and you bought it anyway?

    While I sympathize with your situation, it's hard to swallow that the warning signs weren't there. To me, a car that age is, in the words of Forrest Gump, "like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get."

    $4,500 US also seems a bit high, depending on what the miles were at the time you bought the car.

    It it was me, I'd quit sinking good money after bad and try my hardest to get out of that vehicle and into something a bit newer with a lot less miles. Toyota, Honda, Mazda, whatever, you'll probably be a lot happier.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Best car to buy in Mazda, 4 Cyl with Manual Transmission. I have a 1991 with that configuration. Was very stable, and didn't have any serious problems until my wife slid on ice into a curb. Once fixed, very fun to drive.

    I hope the transmission issues will be fixed with the new Mazda 6. Based on the complaints if Ford/Mazda doesn't take care of it they would be on the far side of stupid.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Well, they are doing an opposite config for the Mazda6 automatics. The 4cyl is a mazda designed ford built engine and the trans will be a Japanese Jatco. The 6cyl is a mazda modified Ford duratech mated again to a Jatco. Hopefully, they'll both be solid configurations.
  • Where will the new Mazda6's be built?

    Ford motors? sounds iffy to me. the duratech sounds like a decent engine though.

    My car has lots of miles but with a freshened engine and rebuilt tranny you'd figure it was good to go. At least thats what I was led to believe with Japanese cars. If nothing else the last few years have been a learning experience and I can appreciate car quality. I used to have a Chevy Cavalier for petes sake!!

    My next car will be Japanese again but I'm really going to be stingy on the details this time. The wife and I prefer small cars. That new Nissan Sentra v-spec is one sharp looking car! I like the Protege 5 too. The new Mazda6 will be out of my price range.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,091
    Edmunds just did a write-up on it here.

    They say it will be built in the Flat Rock Michigan plant.

    You may be surprised by the prices on the 6. It shouldn't be a big jump from the 626 and that starts at less than $2K more than a base Protege5.

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

  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    The 6 will be and the 626 has been built in Flat Rock, MI since the late 80s or early 90s. It is the same plant where the Probe and Cougar were built. 93 is the first year the car is classified as domestic (based on content). I have a 93 ES 5sp with built date in 12/92 and it is reliable. No recall was issued for this model.
    The 3.0 on the 6 is based on the Duratech with Mazda designed cylinder head supporting VVT. This setup is similar to the 3.0 on the Jaguar X/S-type which is Duratech based with Jaguar designed head, etc.

    I have 145k on my loaded 5sp ES and I expect that it only worth about $3k now.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    My son's 1997 said that the engine was made in the USA. Further research showed that it is already a Ford engine. The fact that the new 6 will have some specific Mazda modifications like variable valve timing will be good. Ford is letting Mazda design all of the smaller engines. A good move on their part.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The both 626 engines were Japanese Mazda...not sure what you saw that said otherwise.
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    Except for the Tribute, pickups, and Navajos, I think all engines in Mazdas till now are Mazda's own designs. They may be made in the USA and share lots of Ford parts but the design originates in Japan.
  • I realize the trans. on 94 mazda stink, ihave one with 131k and now it will not shift or go higher than 40 miles per hour or it times 60 mph
    Does anybody know that it's the trans. for sure or could be tranx range sensor?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Designed in Japan, manufactured in USA. That's what will happen with all of the new Engines.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    that is the plan, but that's not the case with your 626.
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