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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • Just about every time I try to turn on the car it seems it doesn't want to turn over. Have to give it the key at least twice for a few seconds at a time. If I turn it off and on again right after, it turns on fine, what gives? I just bought a new battery, had the starter and alternator checked out, plugs were change 6 months 6000 miles ago. Can anyone help! Please e-mail me at with any suggestions.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Spark plugs and alternator have nothing to do with your car inconsistent cranking when turning the ignition key to start position. The only exception would be if the alternator failed to fully charge the battery and low battery was causing intermittent starting difficulties. But you had your battery replaced and the problem is still there.

    Possible causes:

    1. Defective ignition switch itself - making contact intermittently in the START position

    2. Battery cables corroded or loose. Check not only the cables at the battery, but also the positive (red) cable connection on the starter itself. If that connection is loose or corroded, you may have a problem. Also, check the negative battery cable connection to the engine block or the chassis, whichever is the case. The battery terminals must be crimped properly onto the cable and the connections must be clean and tight. On some vehicles (e.g. Mercedes Benz 300 SD) the negative battery cable is grounded to the inner left fender. There is a grounding strap beween the car body and starter itself. If that ground strap was loose or broken , chances are the car would not start. Your car probably does not have this arrangement, but we aware that proper terminal connections are extremely important.

    3. Starter motor. You mentioned that you had your starter checked. did they check the starter solenoid for proper operation? Defective starter solenoid can function intermittently and pull in only occasionally. the solenoid pulls and kicks out the starter gear which engages the flywheel. When that happens, the starter motor is also actuated. A had defective solenoids on starter motors before, and the symptoms were sometimes just like you described. Another possibility is the defective starter gear drive linkga. If it binds, the starter would spin free without engaging the flywheel. You would know this becuase the sound of the starter would be different. it is not likely that you have this problem.
  • texan5texan5 Posts: 23
    I would guess the fuel system is the culprit. Perhapse the fuel drainback valve (located on or near the pump) leaks and the pressure does not stay in the system when the ignition is off for some time. So it takes a while for a pump to build it up. Of course if you restart, the pressure is still in the system so it starts right up....
  • I disconnected the battery to clean and secure all connections, ( did this because of previous problem, starting problems)all look okay but got a new problem when I got everything back together. As I'm driving, the car is losing power... the only way to describe it is that it feels like I'm "down shifting" and letting go of the gas at the same time. I almost have to floor it to get it back up to speed, when it does, it keeps jerking, like someone driving stick for the first time and trying to drive in first .... What's happening?

    This has happened in the past a couple of times when I disconnected the battery, but never lasted more than a few minutes ... this has been going on all day.

  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    It is possible that you may need new battery cables. You say you disconnected cables and reattached them. It is possible that the corrosion has built up under the terminals where you cannot see it. If this is the case, you could have made the problems worse by disconnecting and reconnecting the cables.

    Also, check all ground locations inside the engine compartment. These are the points where engine wiring harness negative wires are attached to the car chassis. To get a list and location of these grounds you really need a Mazda shop manual. But if you look carefully, you will see some wiring terminations attached to the car cahssis under the hood. Make sure that such grounds are clean and tight.
  • white626white626 Posts: 5
    I had almost the same problem last week with my 98 626LX. I had never had any problem starting the car. The car was losing power when I tried to accelerate, almost all of the dash lights were going on, with most turning off after I pressed the brakes. By maintaing a sedate and abnormal (for me) 55mph, I almost made it to the mechanic. The car died at a light 3 blocks away. When the tow-truck driver disconnected the positive side battery cable, the connector disintegrated. The next day I was informed that they needed to order a wiring harness to fix it. It was also going to take a week to get the part from the East Coast, which meant a rental car for a week. The installed parts were going to cost $440! We ended up repairing it at home with some wiring from the auto parts store for $70. The wiring and tie-wraps don't look like original equipment, but it's not like I am going to be trading it in. I am just grateful I don't have a Geo(or some small GM thing). A friend has to have the wiring harness replaced and it is going to run $1,000.
       Now if I only had a solution to the steering wheel noise....
  • nmithaninmithani Posts: 1

    I'm having a few problems with my car(40,000 miles) and would appreciate any help.
    (1)Jerking: Not sure if the problem is technically classified as jerking but here is what happens. Try to accelearate the car gently(from about 10-15mph to 15-20mph) in slow traffic or in a parking lot and the car kind of jumps. Happens only in a small speed range(10-25mph) and for very gentle accelaration. Normal acceleration works fine. Am I doing something wrong or is this a known problem? This issue is an irritant if nothing else, now I'm just used to not accelerating in a certain way at certain speeds in order to avoid the jumping.
    (2)Hesitation: At times if I really push the gas hard(I'm at about 30 and push the pedal all the way) it appears that the car almost pauses(as if its flabbergasted) for about a second before taking off. I don't usually do this too often but is this the expected behavior for the 626.
    (3)Dosen't start: This has happened about 7 times in about 40,000 miles, again, an irritant. The engine just refuses to start. Usually if I change the gears and restart, works fine. Only once did I have to jump several hoops to start the car(shifted the gears several times, removed the keys, applied the key about 4 times before the car started)

  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Recommend try the following:

    Inspect all plug wire boots for any signs of carbon. Need to pull these off the plugs gently by the boots. These V6 engines are supposedly susceptible to "carbon tracking". There were several posts on this topic. If you see any carbon deposits, the best remedy is to replace the plugs and plug wires.

    Buy several bottles of Techron fuel system cleaner (Wallmart sells it) and pour into your fuel tank (one per tankful of fuel following the instructions on the bottle). If this does not help I would consider having the injectors and the throttle body professionally cleaned by the Mazda dealer (about $ 100).

    Car refusing to start: Does this mean it will not crank? If so, you have an electrical problem somewhere, possibly corroded battery cable connection at the starter, or perhaps alarm system interlock intermittent problem.

    The problems you described are not normal for a V6 Mazda. I have a 99 V6 and do not have any of these problems. I had some minor hesitation at higher speeds, but this was cured by replacing the plugs and wires at 60K miles and using Techron in my gas tank.

    Final recommendations:

    You could repost your problem on the following site:
    There is a Mazda mechanic who responds to a lot of inquiries on this site and from what I have seen he is quite knowledgeable.

    What kind of fuel are you using in your vehicle? I have found out that this engine does not perform the same with all fuel brands. Recommend use only brand name fuel such as Chevron or Mobil. Stay away from nondescript gas stations. I have had good experience with Chevron midgrade octane gas in my car.
  • chazzbchazzb Posts: 1
    If anybody has been told their rear calipers are frozen, you probably got taken as there is a cap and beneath it an adjustment screw (hex head). the cap is in the middle and rear of the caliper. This was my first experience with a caliper of this type, so benefit from my experience. My car is a 98 626 LX-6.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    That's the adjustment gear for the parking brake adjustment bolt.
  • edpagan88edpagan88 Posts: 20
    i have a 2000 lx v6 that the right rear brake keeps freezing up and makes a screeching sound only when it rains or when it cold out. it happens when i put the car in reverse and back out . a mechanic who looked at it said that he had to cut down the rotor and that fixed the problem, until it rained and the screeching came back. it does it for a few seconds when i press the brake pedal down and after that no more noise until the car sits for at least an hour then it comes back. very weird. doesn't happen on warm dry days only cold and wet days. any ideas?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    From a guy whose had every problem in the world with his 626, including pinging: I recommend using only Amoco, Sunoco or Chevron. All work well in the Mazdas. I would avoid Mobil, as the additives tend to make the car ping.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Additives in Mobil gas that cause pinging? Never heard of that before.

    There are several reasons for engine pinging noise:

    1. Heavy carbon buildup on tops of pistons and valves. The carbon will glow red when engine gets hot and causes preignition - hence the pinging noise

    2. Nonfunctional EGR valve. I have experienced this myself on an American car. The EGR valve introduces calibrated amount of exhaust gas into the intake manifold and by doing so lowers the combustion temperature in the cylinders a small amount.

    3. Base ignition timing that is advanced too far

    In general, pinging can be stopped by going to high octane (premium ) fuel in most cases.

    I do not use regular gas in my 99 Mazda 626 V6. Mazda recommends premium in this car but I found out that premium fuel is a waste of money. Mid grade octane works best. Never had a problem with Mobil mid grade. I tried also regular gas - there never was any pinging. I believe that these engines have a knock sensor which will respond to pinging immediately and back off the ignition timing to eliminate it.

    Many experts recommend Techron to clean out and decarbonize your engine and fuel system. I had great luck with the GM product called "GM top engine cleaner". This was liquid that your poured into carburetor with the engine running and it would effectively clean out the carbon buildup in your cylinders. I do not know if they sell pressurized canisters of this stuff for fuel injected cars. But this product worked great.
  • Hi, I am wondering if it is a good idea to change the transmission fluid (either by "drain and fill" or by a "flush")or is it better to leave it alone at this point, for a 94 mazda 626 v-6 that has about 88k miles and has never had the transmission fluid changed?

    Any advice will be very helpful and appreciated.

  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Definitely change the fluid and transmission filter and the pan gasket. Better late than never.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I also use mid grade gas for this worthless car. Mazda technicians were the ones who told me to avoid Mobil (or anything else other than the companies I listed). Also, I am changing my tranny fluid every year. The heat factor in these 4 cylinder trannys is amazing. Did they have a tranny filter on the V6? there is not one to speak of on the V4 tranny (I believe it is on top of the housing, far, far away from the reach of humans. That is why it is so critical to swap out the fluid every year. I'm certainly no expert, but I'd be nervous about taking fluid out that has been left in there WAYYY too long. Gotta be varnish by now, no?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    GM Top Engine Cleaner is available in high volume spray or liquid. Very effective in removing carbon in F.I. engines, introduced through a manifold vacuum source using an orifice to control delivery rate.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I believe that the V6 auto transmission is a totally different unit and it is designed and built by Mazda, not Ford. My car is a 5 speed manual so I do not know as much about the V6 automatic.

    It is amazing that when a major manufacturer installs a lousy auto transmission in one of their vehicles, they come up with this ridiculous maintenance schedule, like changing fluid every 12K miles, as if this was going to somehow improve the lousy transmission performance and durability. And of course, it is always the customer's fault if the transmission breaks and they do not follow that schedule.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    The manual may actually say to change fluid every 2 years, but it was one of you fine people who posted the research paper informing me about the overheating problem, and to get it done yearly. I also put in the AAMCO Lube Guard as suggested. While it was a pricey $13, it appears that it will keep my temperature down in the tranny and avoid any overheating. Thanks again to that masked man!!
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    It's internal and not accessible through the pan, if you want to call that little hood over the valve body a "pan". (The V6 cars never did use the CD4E.)

    The V6 does indeed have a knock sensor, and will adjust itself to octane lower than 91 with, they say, a "slight" reduction in performance.
  • Thanks to everyone who responded. There seems to be mixed opinions on this one, which makes the decision more difficult. I appreciate the suggestions. Not sure what I will do though...
  • Carbuyer,

    I have an L4 626 with the dreaded CD4E ATX, which is a far poorer tranny than the one in the V6. Having no record of what the previous owner had done with the tranny fluid at 68K miles, I had similar reservations about changing the fluid or not. After I took a dark brown, acrid smelling sample out of the slushbox, I realized it was going to die if I did not do it, so I did it. However, here's what I did:

    Took and oil extraction pump and sucked fluid through the ATX fill tube. Got 3.5 quarts that way. Filled with new fluid. Wife drove the car to work the next day (20 miles total), and I repeated the process. Did this five times. By then, 85%+ of the fluid was new (remember that the ATX holds ~8 quarts, but you only get the stuff that is not in the torque-coverter). My fear was to 'shock' the tranny with fresh fluid all at once, which could happen with one of those fluid-flush machines. I have had no problems since (it's been 10K miles since I did it last May). I plan to repeat this later this summer.

    In your case, you have a pan to drop and a filter to change. If I was you, I would do the 'suck-and-fill' process (I know, it's a bit cumbersome and you need the $40 pump), and after the 4th cycle I would drop the pan and change the filter. Again, this is what I would do, but you may want to get other opinions...

  • Thanks for the detailed response. It's good to know that there seems to be a method that has worked for someone, although I would probably talk to a mechanic about doing what you did yourself. The fluid in this car does not smell burned or look excessively dark, luckily. Good luck with you car!

    Any other suggestions, anyone?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    My 83 Mercedes 300 SD auto transmission has a removable pan and a torque converter drain plug. This enables draining the whole transmission at once and replace all of the fluid, which is about 9 quarts. I do not think the 626 V6 auto transmssion has a torque converter drain plug. My recommendation then is to use a vacuum pump, as irishalchemist sugested. I use a pump like that to change oil on my boat (Ford 5.0 liter V8 stern drive) because you cannot drain the oil through by removing the pan drain plug (no room for a drain pan). The pump looks like a 2 gallon metal gas can with a long neck containing a manual vacuum pump with a handle. You simply insert the suction tubing into your transmission oil dipstick tube,, pinch the tubing with a supplied clamp, pump up some vacuum, release the clamp, and let the fluid drain into the can. If you repeat this fluid change several times over several thousand miles, you will replace most of the fluid. This looks like the best solution to me. If you use a flush machine, there is some risk in getting critical transmission parts contaminated with dirt in the system.
    I bet that nobody with any technical ability would advise you to leave the old fluid in the transmision and forget about it. Incidentally, how does the existing fluid look? Is it brown in color and does it smell funny? These are further indications that you need to change the fluid.
  • edpagan88edpagan88 Posts: 20
    no answers for message #1500?? really would like some help with this before i take it in for repair.
  • Thanks for your input as well. After reading the messages here, it seems the consensus is to stay away from the flush machines and find some other (gentler) way to get as much fluid changed as possible. I will talk to a mechanic about the suggestions here and post an update here in a couple of weeks. You all have been very helpul - thank you.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    The rear brakes also have to do parking-brake duty; I'd check the parking-brake actuator before I had any rotor or pad work done.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have experienced a similar problem recently with my 99 626 V6. Rear calipers made this groaning or screeching noise as I applied brakes while backing out of my driveway. I have not taken a look at the rear brakes yet, but it may be that the pads are worn unevenly or the caliper pins are sticking. I have about 67K miles on the original pads, so maybe it is time to replace them.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    My 626's rear wheels squeak whenever I first start off. The moment I hit the brakes, they stop squeaking. the squeaking then continues for about 100 yards and stops. Any suggestions?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Remember the saying" the squeaky wheel gets the grease"? This could work on your car brakes as well - just kidding! If I assume correctly you have drum rear brakes on your beloved car. These brakes have an auto adjuster. This adjuster adjusts a click occassionally when you back up to compensate for brake lining wear on the brake shoes. Does this squeak happen all the time or only occasionally? Are your rear brake shoe linings in good shape? There is also the parking brake linkage attached to one of the brake shes on each wheel. If the parking brake cable was too tight, this could conceivably cause some problem.
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