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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • My car won't shift into drive when it's cold. It didn't do this last winter. It's starting to happen with some frequency -Even when I let it warm up for several minutes. I just had the transmission fluid changed out and my 60,000 mile maintenance performed two months ago. Ever hear of cold causing transmission problems?
  • rotarykidrotarykid Posts: 191
    The pcm is warranted for 8yr/80k on every mazda. Pcm failure is rare, and I would expect that you wouldnt have another problem unless there is an outside condition causing the failure.(water leak, spilled soda etc.,)
    I happen to have a pcm for a calif/emission 96 626/auto trans on ebay that has all the technical updates if anyone is interested. I have another one for sale if anyone needs one as well.
    Jts your trans problem sounds typical if you have a four cylinder. This trans unit does not work well in the 626 without additional help from an additional external cooler. I am assuming when you say it "wont shift into drive" you mean it wont move in "D" range. The fluid that was removed from your trans at the 60k service was probably better off staying in there. The replacement of the trans fluid at high miles(when the trans is working fine) seems to cause more damage for some reason. Of course your dealer wont tell you that......
  • I don't necessarily have any plans to fix the DRL's but was curious how to if I decided to. I will probably get adventurous some weekend and try to replace the panel bulbs behind the tach. Really appreciate your reply!
  • I'll try disassembly. I kind of figured condensation may be a cause.

    Meanwhile, I've found that a quick locking-unlocking-relocking disarms the alarm yet locks all doors.
  • 1995 626 4cyl. VIN # 1YVGE22C0S5404418
    trans would not go in any position including rev. replaced the range sensor / switch inhibtor and the tranny works in reverse and in all fwd positions but only in first gear.what could be causing could i pull the codes on this vehicle. i beleive that it has the EEC-IV system. thanks, john
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Pretty sure the '95 is OBD-II compliant, which means a scan tool is required for code retrieval. The emission sticker under the hood will state either OBD or OBD-II. Another way to tell OBD-II is a 16 pin, 2 row connector below the dash for scan tool plug in. The no shift could be a vehicle speed sensor circuit problem or range switch misadjustment.
  • Thanks for your reply johnjay. I think I'm going to trade it in for a Toyota or Honda...Everybody says those last forever.
  • Here's the story. If I start my '94 626 in the morning, I can only drive it if I don't apply any gas and let the idle carry me along. After a few minutes, the engine warms enough so that I can give it some gas and go. Therefore, I have to warm up the car first, rather than just go from a cold start.

    After it is warm it drives okay, but it will surge when leaving a stop sign (and sometimes backfire once) or on the highway when I hit 50 MPH (80 KPH). The CEL comes on too.

    I took it in to have the codes read and the codes were:

    172- O2 not switching bank 1
    181- cruise limit bank 1 still lean

    Before having the codes read, I replaced the O2 sensor and cleared the computer about 2 months ago. I have also replaced the sparkplug wires.

    After seeing these codes, I also replaced the fuel filter, as the mechanic thought it might be that, or perhaps the fuel pump (which I haven't done).

    My next step is to clean the Mass Air Filter with throttle cleaner (apparently carb cleaner is too harsh) and see what happens.

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated, if someone can tell me where I can focus my attention, based on the codes that came up.

    Thanks in advance!
  • The throttle body itself could have picked up some crud and may be due for a cleaning.

    I doubt it's the fuel pump: you'd more likely get an error for fuel pressure - although the fuel pressure regulator becomes a possible culprit.
    And check the idle air control valve while you're at it.
  • I had the same 181 code with my 95 626/LX/4L. I think the computer is the EEC-IV from Ford in both the 94 and 95. I my case, it lit the CEL when under load (speeding up up hill, for example). I did a 'complete' tune up, which included changing the valve cover gasket (it was leaking and oil was getting to the plugs). So I changed that, the plugs and wires, I cleaned the MAF (be REAL CAREFUL IF YOU TRY THIS!!!), and I cleaned the throttle body. Hasn't done it since (May of 2002). I had changed the O2 sensor also before that, what it was basically 'killing the messenger'. I spent total ~150 bucks for all the parts.

    Good luck,

  • rotarykidrotarykid Posts: 191
    the 181 code is turned on by a lean condition. The two biggest causes of 181 are a faulty air flow meter, and/or leaking intake gasket. I am not sure if "FREEZE FRAME" data is stored on a 94 626, but if it is, a faulty intake gasket usually triggers the code at idle, and a faulty air flow mete usuall triggers the code at speed.
  • kent68kent68 Posts: 6
    Hi all,

    I'm new to the 626 board, but I'm hoping you can give me some advice. I am looking at 2001 626 V6 ES w/ 5 spd. It has about 18,400 miles, dealer is asking $14K (although I know I can get it for less). It drives fine, except the clutch is a little abrupt engaging - but that may be my fault, I'm just not used to that clutch. Also, when the engine is on and the car is sitting still with my foot on the brake, there is a hissing sound coming from under the driver's side dash - it stops when I take my foot off the brake.

    Are the abrupt clutch and hissing brake sounds normal? Is there anything else I should be on the lookout for, or are there other problems that you owners have encountered? I'm going to take it to my mechanic for a thorough once-over, but I'd like feedback from real 626 owners if possible.

    Thanks in advance.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Mazda's had a problem with the ducting between the airflow meter and throttle body cracking, allowing unmetered air into the engine. Remove and carefully check the ducting for any cracks or other damage.
  • I'm going to assume that the brake hiss is probably from the ABS system, since I don't have it and I don't have ABS.

    626 clutches have never been perfectly linear, though they seem easy enough to get used to. Did the shifter suit you? Some people (including the reviewer) truly hate it.
  • I cleaned the MAF and checked the the ducting between the airflow meter and throttle body. The duct seems okay. I reset the computer and it still surges on the highway, but not when leaving a full stop. I only ran it 4 or 5 miles, so I will let the computer reset itself. The CEL lit up when going up up hill, but then went out.

    Next step will be to clean the throttle body and check the for leaks from the valve cover gasket. Last time I change the plugs, I did recall oil in the number one plug well, so maybe there is a leak into the spark plug. Thanks for all the help so far.
  • I had similarly discouraging results when I first started figuring out the CEL problem in my 95 - Spent some time working on the O2 sensor, reset the computer, and it was fine for a day, then the CEL came back up (you can read all about this if you go back to messages 900-950 or so).

    One more thing you may want to check is the air filter. When I changed VCG, plugs, wires, and cleaned the MAF, I also changed the air filter - There was a penny inside the air filter housing. Wonder how it got sucked into it. Also, looking at the plugs (or looking for oil in the wells) may help. If the plugs have weak spark the computer may be going crazy (although you should get something related to a rich mixture, right?). Anyway, good luck. I found that figuring out what was causing the CEL to light up was very educational, but extremely annoying...

    Cheers, G.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    I've got a '00 LX-V6, and don't have the hissing brake problem, but perhaps it's from the ABS system as windowphobe6 suggested. Most power brake systems do use vacuum to reduce pedal effort, so I suppose it could be a vacuum leak that you hear, although that would seem unusual for a newer vehicle.

    As for the clutch, was it engaging quickly on the entire drive, or just when you started out? Mine "grabs" rather quickly (like wet brakes do) when starting out after sitting for a couple days, or when the humidity is high. Usually only lasts for the first few shifts though.

    windowphobe6, I consider my clutch/tranny/shifter to be "average", as I've certainly driven better and worse in the past. The shifter is a bit sloppy for attempting very quick throws, and I completely agree that the clutch isn't perfectly linear. I'm also sensing that my 1-2 synchro is getting worn a bit too fast, despite the fact that I rarely do much hard driving, always think about shifting smoothly, and never downshift instead of braking. I'm hoping I don't end up having to double-clutch the 1-2 shift or abandon 1st gear entirely, like those folks that abuse their standard shift transmissions!
  • kent68kent68 Posts: 6
    Thanks for the feedback windowphobe6 and slick dog. When I first heard the hissing, my first thought was ABS, but this car doesn't have it - ABS/TCS was an option that the previous owner didn't purchase. I guess it may be a vacuum leak, I haven't taken it to the mechanic yet to find out (the dealer has policy of having to put a deposit on the car before taking a car to mechanic - this issue has been a bit of a sticking point for he and I).

    As for the clutch, I suspect the problem is that I'm not used to it but, again, I'll have a mechanic take a look at it.

    Slickdog, since your car and this one are so similar, have you encountered any problems that I should specifically look for?

  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    Good luck with your dealer, kent68. If you ever get to the bottom of the hissing, please share.

    I've only had a few (minor) problems with my car since driving it off the lot:

    - During it's first winter I noticed a tapping sound in the rear of the car when starting out in the morning, which would disappear in the first couple miles. The dealer couldn't reproduce the problem when I took it in, then I saw a TSB which seemed relevant, but I haven't noticed it much this winter so I've been debating whether or not to bother taking the car in again.

    - Early last summer my serpentine belt started squealing for several seconds just after turning on the A/C if the engine speed was greater than ~2000 rpm. The dealer blamed the belt, installed a new one, no problems since.

    - At around 18K miles, I noticed a slight clicking sound from my front wheels, and some signs that the rotors were warping. The dealer machined my rotors for no charge, and so far the problem hasn't resurfaced (~10K miles later). I suspect that a mechanic may have cuased the problem by over-torquing my wheel lugs, becuase I found them that way after I got the car back from it's brake job! I'm hoping it wasn't the result of poorly designed rotors as is the case with my wife's Taurus (it needs a brake job every 15K miles!).

    - I'm on my third set of vinyl shift/park brake lever boots, because they keep tearing through in several places during the cold weather. The dealer keeps replacing them under warranty, and telling me I'm the only one with that problem, but it's obviously just poor quality vinyl. The ES has leather instead of vinyl, so this shouldn't apply to the car you're considering. I'm trying to talk the dealer into giving me leather too, but they won't agree to it.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the car. Most of the problems have merely been an annoyance, and the dealer has been very accomodating overall. By contrast, my wife's Taurus has been plagued by several minor and major problems during it's lifetime, many of which were very costly to fix. She always wants to take my Mazda instead of her Ford when leaving the house, and I don't blame her!
  • i changed the fluid which looked brownish. is there a way to check that fluid is flowing from the tranny to the radiator and back ? i was thinking of removing one of the hoses and cranking the engine without the coil wire. would this work or would i need more rpm? what would be the psi from the hose? thanks for your help in advance, john
  • One way of checking is to drive the car for a while, then pop the hood, and touch the tranny cooler line that goes to the radiatior. This one is on the top-left side (or top passenger side). It's easy to recognize because it connects to the radiator with a banjo nut. If it's hot, it means that fluid is flowing. Now, this is for the l4, I don't know where they connect to the tranny on the V6.

    I 'sucked and filled' my tranny's fluid last year (no pan to drop in the CD4E), and the first time I did this the fluid did not look great either. Brownish and smelt acrid. After 5 times of this 'suck and fill', I got almost 80% new fluid in the ATX, and now it's a nice color.

  • wjm1wjm1 Posts: 33
    Any ideas?
    It has done that before, but usually after few
    attempts it goes ok.
    This morning it didn't for more then 25 minutes (still doesn't).
  • My 626 has now been in the transmission shop for 2 weeks. The problem was torque converter lockup. Sometimes it would not unlock when coming to a stop and the engine would stall. Other times it would unlock while driving on the highway. At last report to me from the shop they installed a vent solenoid upgrade and a new valve body. Apparently that did not work as I have not heard from them recently. Initially they were going to hook up a Trans X and monitor codes and signals to try and diagnose the problem. They warned me that the transmission used on this 4 cylinder is very difficult to trouble shoot. Looks like I will need a loan to get it out of the shop when and if it gets fixed.
  • Thanks to all for their advice. I cleaned the MAF and the car was fine, until I got to 50mph, then it started jerking and surging. Turns out that the MAF was a goner, so I replaced it and all is well now. I used a MAF for a '94 Ford Probe, as the price was considerable less than the Mazda dealer. The Mazda dealer told me that they get them from Ford and the part numbers were the same.
    Thanks again to all for the help.
  • I have a 1991 Mazda 626 mannual5 speed.
    I can't shift into the 1st and 2ed gears. But the other gears works fine. I can start the car on 3rd gear slowly and drive it.
    What could be the problem?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I have a 96 626 LX with 87,000 miles. Thank goodness for extended warranties. I put $3,500 on the $650 warranty I bought in 1996. I am on my 3rd transmission which is coming up on one year since installation. I usually am the first person to have his tranny fluid flushed out with a BG machine every 2 years. However, this 3rd rebuild is running very well.
    1. Is there a chance I could dislodge any varnish from a rebuild if I go back to flushing out the tranny, or is the junk removed when they rebuild it?
    2. the Lubeguard you talk about; do I pick that up at a store, or is that something Jiffy Lube would have as part of their flush package?
    3. Do I need to ask Jiffy lube if they have the GF-4? fluid? I noticed that there were comments regarding the 4 or 5 ATF.
    As you can tell by my pen name, I am eagerly awaiting GM to bring over the Malibu Maxx wagon. I actually considered looking at the 6's wagon, but it won't be here for a while, and I have some serious concerns about the Mazda 6's design. Anyway, no more Mazda's for me; that's for certain.
  • I have a 97 626 , 52K miles, that has had the engine light on for several thousand miles. Took it to an indepedent dealer who found four numbers: PO421(warm-up cat), PO1130 (02 related), PO300 (random misfire) and PO171 (system too lean). I have experience occasional surging at freeway speeds, where I'm driving fine at 70 mph, then I lose power and slow down to 60 before it kicks in again and I'm back to freeway speed for another 45-60 seconds before the surging repeats itself. I've found that keeping speed below 60-65 mph helps prevent surging, as does sudden acceleration.

    I was quoted a $2500 bill for 02 sensor replacement, new PCM and CAT (whatever that is). Since I have a little over 50K miles, am I still under emission warranty? Or do I have to foot the bill for this one? Is this problem considered emissions-related for warranty purposes? My mechanic found a TSB for this problem (F 01 005/98), as well as a recall involving 1998s that a PCM programming error could trigger an overlean condition that could lead to engine stall. Sounds like lots of other folks have had similar problems. For day-to-day city driving, my 626 is performing fine, but obviously I would love to get this problem fixed for good (plus I need a smog check this year and I doubt I would pass this year with emission-related problems).

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    dmaize: I had the same code yesterday in my 96 626. My mechanic told me that it is a code for the 1997 model, and that I should ignore it. He also said that the code would likely indicate that the catelitic converter was not burning the exhaust properly. My CEL has been going on and off for over 3 months. Your note, however, raises a concern. I have also had some "minor" engine fluxuation at highway speeds.
    Despite some advice given on this webpage, mine (as a 6 year 626 owner who has seen it all) and a long time Toyota owner, would be to dump this car. With our economy in the tank, it is a great time to pick up a Camry or Accord at a great price with low financing. It makes me cringe when I see any 626 owner talk about "fixing" their car. That is like throwing your money into AOL stock....a very bad investment. We all need to wise up to the fact that Ford has duped us all. The sooner we quit rationalizing our bad decision, the sooner we can get into a more reliable Japanese built car.
  • It depends on who did the rebuild. If you had it done at a dealer, you got someone else's tranny from the factory-authorized rebuild center - these are never done on site at the dealership - and it's been scrubbed clean. Most independent shops do a decent job of removing old crud from your old box, though; it's the only way they can get some of the parts to separate.

    You can buy Lubegard at retail. ATF-wise, this is a Ford box, so look for something meeting the Mercon specs.

    That Chevy does look pretty interesting, I admit.
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