Mazda 626 Troubles



  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    The positions 2 and 4 are the Add and Full lines, respectively, for when the transmission is at normal operating temperature. If it's cold, you use 1 and 3, though they are presumably less accurate. (This is presumably the Mazda transmission; the Ford box has a different dipstick. The stick may be marked "20" and "68", as in degrees Celsius.) The difference between the Add and Full lines is half a pint.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    There being no normal connection between the two functions, something is obviously wrong with the wiring, and it's impossible to tell what it is for certain without a whole lot of circuit tracing. If this car had DRLs, maybe....
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Member Posts: 202
    I have the 2.5 V-6 (1997 LX 5-spd). I recently cleaned the throttle body, using a Gumout product. When I was done, it was much cleaner, but still not back to the white metal color. The car runs a lot smoother, too.

    I'm wondering if the cleaner is supposed to remove every trace of gum and deposits from the throttle plates, etc.?

    I've heard ads for "BG" products, but not sure they would do any better.

    Any thoughts? BTW, 45,000 miles on the car.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    The local dealer here uses BG stuff, though I haven't experimented with it myself; I figure if the engine is running well, the throttle body is probably clean enough.
  • fromatozfromatoz Member Posts: 15
    The reference manual says I should use Mercon III fluid. But I can only find Dexron III/Mercon type in Canadian Tire (and others are type F).

    Can I use this type for my Mazda?
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Be sure to check over in our Sedans conference for an active 626 topic - that's where you will probably find a lot of owners of a newer model.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • geo768geo768 Member Posts: 5
    HEy windophobe6,

    My transmission really started to act up so I took it to the mechanic. I need a new transmission, $1900. To rebuild is 1000 dollars. Third gear is gone & reverse is slow, that's what they told me. I now get an updated transmission with new electronics & a 12 month, 12000 mile warranty. WHat do you think. The car is a 1993 with only 57000 miles on it. I am the original owner. PS. WHen I took it to the mazda dealer their response to when I suspected transmission trouble was "wait till it fails" WHat a bulls___ answer. I gues I'll keep the car for another couple of years.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Well, one of the reasons they told you that is simply this: Mazda dealers don't do rebuilds. Corporate policy, at least in North America, is to swap out any transmission that requires more than seal/gasket/pump replacement, so they perhaps reasoned they were doing you a favor by telling you to wait until the last possible minute. Not my choice of arguments here, but I'd bet that was what they were thinking.

    57k does seem awfully early for a GF4A-EL to go south. Are they replacing all seven solenoids (I hope)?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Well, there's mine, but since I've only had it three weeks, I really can't say a whole lot about it except "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if they'd develop a stronger four-banger for these cars?"
  • snowmansnowman Member Posts: 540
    As former 89 323 and 97 626 LX owner I can clearly state that Mazda is way away from its previous reliability. I had 2 tranny replacements within 35K along with all other electrical problems,power locks problems etc. I unloaded the 626 and lost 1K. Since Ford has involved, quality has gone down.
  • nclarknclark Member Posts: 5
    Was that 97 626 LX a 4 banger or 6?? I am looking to buy a 626 with a 6 cyl.
  • snowmansnowman Member Posts: 540
    it was 4 cyl.
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Member Posts: 202
    An opinion from the other side....

    I have a '97 626 LX-V6 w/ 5-spd. Only problem in 46k miles has been a power steering pump bearing that went bad. (Now, I could go into the problems it took to get that repaired, but that was 100% dealer service related, so I don't hold that against the car.)

    I love the car, and I have no doubt it will last well beyond 100k miles with no significant issues. I think if you read through these posts, you'll find that the biggest recent problem with the 626 was the 4 cyclinder auto transmission built by Ford. Other than that, I don't think these are bad cars!!
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    No two people will have exactly the same experience with a given model; sometimes it's difference in driving technique, sometimes it's a maintenance issue, sometimes it's just luck. And, as in the case of the Ford transmissions, sometimes it's a design flaw that wasn't caught before Job One.

    With any car, there are people who are on a mission from God to tell the world not to make the same mistakes they did. There are, at least, a lot fewer of them here than there are at some other message boards we could name (but won't) which lately have turned into sounding boards for people nursing fifteen-year grudges. Far be it from me to deprive anyone of an emotional response, but too often it gets in the way of a rational discussion. I think we've covered the 626 here as sensibly as possible; there are some known issues, particularly with the early fourth-generation cars, and they've been put on the table for all to see.

    The real question, then: Does Mazda - or, for that matter, Ford - take any of our kvetching, here and at the dealership, to heart? I think it's pretty clear that they do. The '93 and '94 cars were fitted with questionable ignition modules that once in a while went into thermal overload, necessitating distributor replacement at a price that would make your nose bleed. Mazda switched suppliers for '95, and for '98 got rid of the distributor entirely. We've already covered running changes to the CD4E transmission. The other loud complaint was about noise from the hydraulic lash adjusters. Guess what? The new ones ('98 and after) don't have HLAs anymore. This means that you'll go through a valve adjustment every 48k or so, but it beats the heck out of replacing a whole batch of lifters.
  • sxm1sxm1 Member Posts: 2
    I am planning to buy a 97 Mazda 626 DX. It is a 4 cylinder,has about 25K miles and
    no lemons on this car.Some of these posts here talk about problems with 4 cylinder auto transmissions. I plan to show this car to certified mechanic and if I buy it will probably get a 4 year/48k mile warranty on it. My question is what should I look for in this warranty, showing it to a certified mazda service agent will help or not and what else should I look for on this car. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Not too many things fail on these cars, but the ones that do tend to be expensive. Most aftermarket warranties will cover transmissions and major engine components; if possible, look for one that will cover the odd electrical pieces. (You might inquire in the appropriate conference about suitable warranty providers.) A Mazda tech will certainly be able to identify potential trouble spots, assuming you have any in the offing.
  • flyers820flyers820 Member Posts: 1
    I've seen a quite a few people saying that the 95 626 automatic transmission is suspect. I just had one replaced at 81000, after having only bought the car at 60000. So looks like I'll find out how the new Mazda trans works out, so far so good. It definitely is pricey, but the car feels like new. The policy mentioned earlier about Mazda declining to rebuild the trans, opting instead to totally replace it, was more than accurate. A few Mazda locations out here in Philly said they see it regularly.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Presumably these rebuilt units are using the most recent part upgrades, which should reduce the incidence of failures the second time around. (Given the number of failures so far, there can't be a whole lot of old inventory left.) Neither of the usual 626 transmissions is particularly easy to rebuild, anyway; the Mazda G/GF units come in three different flavors and hardly any parts match up from one to the other, and the Ford box seems to be assembled bass-ackwards until you look at it closely.
  • dgatlin1dgatlin1 Member Posts: 1
    I am getting ready to purchase a vehicle for my 16 year old daughter. I have the option between a 97 Mazda 626 fully loaded with 54,000mi or a 99 Chev. Malibu (plain jane) with 12,000mi for close to the same amount of money. Actually the Malibu would be about 1,200 less. I want a dependable car, that I do not have to worry about her being stranded on the side of the road. We live out in the country and travel some rough roads. I have been reading about a lot of transmission problems with the Mazda? Any suggestions?
  • readytobuy4readytobuy4 Member Posts: 24
    I own a '00 626 4 cyl. with 3200 miles. I went to bring it in for an oil change but read that Mazda does not recommend the 1st oil change until 5000 miles under harsh conditions and 7500 miles under normal conditions! I called the dealership and was told I should have it changed at 3000 miles because of the driving conditions here in Florida. I then called Mazda and they reiterated the manuals recommendations. Anyone out there with any suggestions?
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    I want to say nice things about the Malibu, since it's assembled by neighbors of mine, but it's doing poorly in the Consumer Reports reliability survey, and the one I drove for a couple of days as a rental was nicely equipped but dull as dishwater. Still, GM does build decent automatics, and I did like the interior of the car; if the potential for tranny (or other major) repair is a substantive issue for you, you should probably stick with the Chevrolet - a '99 is presumably still under the factory warranty.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Generally, these things defy diagnosis unless you go through them with a circuit tester and look at every piece of wire that could conceivably be affected. At the very least, though, this sounds like three separate issues. For the CEL coming on, you need codes pulled. By "internal lights", do you mean the instrument-panel lights, or the various courtesy lights?
  • copytechcopytech Member Posts: 71
    I agree with windowphobe6 on the problems. Sounds like a few different issues that seem to show of as coincedental electrical problems. The headlight/parking light problem MIGHT be in the switch, the horn could be a poor contact problem within the steering wheel, or a line going to the horn. The engine light probably is not intertwined with these other problems, but with electrics sometimes they feed off each other. Take it to an electrical automotive specialist if you don't want to mess with it yourself.
  • tcreekparmantcreekparman Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 4 cylinder 5 speed. When I up shift or downshift then accelerate hard it wants to stall. Wondered if anyone else had this problem.
  • jinglinjinglin Member Posts: 1
    Does some one can tell me when Mazda involved with ford? Is that ture after Ford involved in Mazda, the quality of the Mazda is not as good as before?
  • fromatozfromatoz Member Posts: 15
    Normally, how reliable is a rebuilt automatic transmission? Althought the dealer has 1 year warranty, I don't want to be stoped at the crossroad and wait for the towing truck every time out...
  • breaksrbreaksr Member Posts: 9
    My '96 626 auto trans with 47K is having a serious engine problem. Seems like it's running on three cylinders all of a sudden. Check Engine light is on solid at idle and flashes when the car is moving. I had to park the car outside a couple of days in a row and the temperature is now in the thirtys at night and I'm thinking that maybe the gas has some moisture in it. I went to the gas station and put some STP gas treatment in the gas tank and followed with super unleaded. I drove the car for a couple of miles but it ran just as rough. Exhaust is sputtering and idle is so rough it almost stalls. I now have the car back in the garage and will drive it tomorrow hoping this is not a bad injector or worse. Update: I removed the electrical connector on each of the fuel injectors and I noticed the car idle does not change when I removed the one on the number two cylinder. Car almost stalls when I remove any one of the other connectors. Still have the original fuel filter in the car which probably caused the problem in the first place. Anyone out there have experience with changing the fuel injectors or testing them?
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    If you haven't already, you might benefit by reviewing the posts in this topic:

    Check Engine Light (Topic #76)

    Meanwhile maybe someone else has some other thoughts for you. Let us know what happens.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • breaksrbreaksr Member Posts: 9
    leszekml, what are the symptoms you have been experiencing? Mine has 47K and shifting is rather poor when the weather is warm. Now that it is cold the shifting has returned to normal. Onto the above electrical problem. Turns out a fuel injector is $220 so I probably have a computer problem.
  • meddingtonmeddington Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Mazda 626 with 56K. Keep having trouble with catalytic monitor/oxygen sensor units. Anyone else have this experience? Dealer reset the computer, and check engine light stays off until it goes on a long drive, which then it turns back on.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsMember Posts: 508
    I believe Ford and Mazda became partially joined around 1986-1987. I had a 1988 MX-6 which was the second year that the MX-6 was in production and it was the first model that Mazda sold that was built in Flatrock, Michigan in a plant that was shared by Ford. Ford sold the Probe out of that plant which had the same drivetrains as the MX-6 but different sheet metal. They started building the 626 there a year or two later and it was the first "foreign" car to get the label of domestic because the parts content met the Feds rules re: sourcing of parts.

    For what its worth, my MX-6 had the 4-cyl 2.2L with 5 speed manual and was solid as a rock until I traded it with 99K miles on it. Even the paint job was a cut above the usual Big Three quality. But from reading these posts, it sounds like Mazda had a few bad years in the mid 90's..
    Too bad 'cuz Mazda's are fun to drive cars..
  • frankobfrankob Member Posts: 1
    I bought a new '96 626. It was in the dealer seven times for "check engine and/or O/D (tranny)lites". Tranny died 2 weeks ago at 54k. Mazda arrogantly offered to split the cost 50/50; BULL. Instead of just complaining and rolling over, I've contacted lawyers and am starting a class action suit. The more the better. Mazda has to own up to their BS. Please contact [email protected] for more info.
  • mrkeyesmrkeyes Member Posts: 2
    Can someone tell me how to reset the cel on my 97 mazda 626es. I am not sure whether the actions that I have taken have corrected the problem or not.
  • dlopez1dlopez1 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 97 626 Mazda. I bought it used at 57k. Im at 68k now. Check engine light is on, and upon acceleration, car emits a nasty knocking as if something is slipping terribly! Someone please let me know, is this a sign that the tranny is about to go? Is the sound I hear the sound of the gears teeth slipping?? (auto Trans) Any help or feedback would be appreciated.
  • vrrooommmmvrrooommmm Member Posts: 1
    I have a Mazda 626 with 73K miles on it, and have just been told that the transmission is shot, and that it needs to be replaced to the tune of $2,900! I have had repeated problems with the engine light coming on, which started as soon as I bought the car (used, with 20K miles on it). Each time I brought the car in I was told there was "no problem" and that the light would go off by itself. Once I was told it was simply a malfunction of the light panel on the dash. More recently the O/D OFF light has been flashing which prompted this recent trip to the dealer. My question is whether the dealer(s) who told me there was "no problem" when the engine light came on has any culpability in this matter...
  • sorrymazdasorrymazda Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a 95 626 with 27,000 miles. At 51,000 the od light came on and never went off. The transmission had to be replaced. At 91,000 the replaced transmission has just gone bad (won't shift into high gear until you reach 75mph) and needs replaced. The only explanation the dealer will give me is "bad luck". Mazda buyers beware.
  • wjm1wjm1 Member Posts: 33
    I'm trying to find any aftermarket center console that will fit in my 94 626. Not a bit of progress so far. Any advice ?
    (I'm just sick of the cupholders - they are a joke in my opinion and I wold love some armrest as well)
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    The first joint Ford/Mazda vehicles were indeed the Probe and MX-6, which were made at Flat Rock. (The 626 was also assembled there starting with the '93 model year; with the demise of the other two cars, it's now 626 and Mercury Cougar, though they have little in common otherwise.)

    OBD-II compliant cars (which includes the 626 automatics since '94 and the sticks since '96) don't necessarily respond to the old disconnect-the battery-cable-and-hit-the-brakes method of clearing the CEL.

    Oxygen sensors generally don't last too long on these cars, and if you have the V6, you have two of them.

    The O/D Off light and the CEL don't have much to do with one another, other than reporting to the same computer.

    I continue to recommend that anyone with transmission problems with any 626, whether G(F)4A-EL or CD4E, report them to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as safety-related defects.

    The cupholders in my '93 were, to be kind, pathetic.
  • biz123biz123 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2001 mazda 626esv6 the tranny failed at 70 miles not 70k but 70. less than 24 hours after purchase. they are replacing it with a factory new tranny. can I expect a life of misery with this car??
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Automakers, except in the upper price classes, tend to lavish their new cars with the cheapest tires and batteries they can, since these items aren't covered under the car warranty. (The current term is "items subject to normal wear and replacement".) Getting even three years out of one is a major accomplishment. (I generally buy the next-to-top-of-the-line battery as a replacement, and it usually fails just shy of four years.)

    Did you try to jump-start it?

    The most dramatic sign of transmission failure comes when you put it in D and go nowhere. Sometimes, though not always, there are warnings beforehand - slippage, jerky shifts, shifts at the wrong time, stuff like that, though at least some of the symptoms can also be caused by weird engine/electrical malfunctions.
  • wjm1wjm1 Member Posts: 33
    Does anybody know if it's possible to put a manual transmission on a car that had an automatic? I mean - relatively easy...
    ... after all I read here (and having a '94 626 V6 with very jerky transmission) I start to think - well, if possible and cheaper I might get a manual (everybody says its a good unit) instead, when my tranny dies...
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Pay a visit to, a discussion board for owners of the Ford Probe/Mazda MX-6 (and, by extension, the 626, which is a sister ship), and run a search for "tranny swap". You'll find a few actual success stories, and some bruised knuckles.
  • zepp241zepp241 Member Posts: 1
    I am one of the fools who bought a 1996 Mazda 626 4cyl. auto trans and the transmission is shot at 59,400 miles. Total estimate $3000. The car died on I-10 in Tempe, AZ after the O/D light came on for about 30 minutes. The manual doesnt mention what could be wrong if that warning light blinks on and off. How do I notify the DOT and start some legal procedings against Mazda? There's no way this transmission should be shot after 4 years.
  • mazda626ownermazda626owner Member Posts: 3
    Sorry, forgot to put in a title in my previous message

    I recently bought a 1999 Mazda 626 from the Hertz car sales. It is in great condition but I have a small problem. The Hertz guys buy directly from the factory and they have never programmed the keyless entry modules that come with the car. They have given me 2 brand new keyless entry modules and a flow-chart with instructions on how to program the keyless entry modules but no matter how many times I try to read and try, it does'nt seem to work. Has someone else gone thru the same experience, if yes or if you know anything about programming the keyless entry modules for the 1999 Mazda 626 LX, I am interested in hearing it.

    Thanks in advance
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains an online complaint form at

    The blinking of the light means that some electrical malady has befallen the transmission, or the components connected to it; it doesn't bespeak actual transmission failure per se. (Of course, when it does fail, there usually isn't a whole lot of doubt.)

    I don't recommend anyone file suit against Mazda (or anyone) without getting competent legal advice first.
  • northerncaldocnortherncaldoc Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Mazda 626 LX and the O/D light flashing problems started to occur before my car reached 30,000 miles. It happened twice on the highway. The car would shift roughly. Turning off the car for several minutes seemed to resolve it. The dealer kept telling me that occasional O/D flashing was "normal" for this car. During my trip to LA today the O/D light started to flash. I pulled over and placed the gear to park, and turned off the engine. When I started back the car, the automatic transmission no longer worked. No matter where the shifter was set, the front wheels were locked. I had to have the car towed for more than 100 miles to the nearest dealer. At just 47,500 miles, its quite shocking to have what most likely is the transmission die out.
  • wjm1wjm1 Member Posts: 33
    Does anybody know how to adjust the vertical aim for the headlights?There is a screw for the horizontal adjustment, but for up/down the owner manual just says "go to the dealer". There is a air bubble level so the up/down adjustment should not require even to turn on the lights, but I can't find the screw... Well I also don't want to break anything so... And sure as hell I don't want to pay the dealer for that...
  • fathermark1fathermark1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a new Mazda 626 two months ago. I have 2800 miles. The transmission is bad. They say it will take a week to get a replacement cranny. Rebuild. A new car with rebuild cranny? What else do I have to look forward to with this car?
  • martenlmartenl Member Posts: 2
    My mother just bought a 2000 626 4 cyl with automatic transmission. The car will not shift into gear on some days. After repeated tries the car will lurch into gear. Has anybody heard of this problem and what the solution is? The dealer was of no help.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    The record is still 70 miles, but we're crowding it a bit.

    Is this the four-cylinder or the V6?
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