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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • tjexastjexas Posts: 2
    I have a '01 626 V6 ES and have had numerous problems. I've been thru 5 CD/radios b/c the Bose system would eat my CD's and not reject them. It would also disable the tuner. No tunes for a salesman driving 2k miles per month. Not to mention Mazda wouldn't order the radio for me until they verified the problem first hand. Hello, I think I can determine that the radio just ate my CD and will not give it back. Then there is the loud clicking every other time I shut my sunroof or the flooded floorboards after a pretty good down pour in Daytona Bch, FL. or even the slow radiator leek that they say is undetectable. How 'bout looking at my anti-freeze receipts from Chevron. Someone please steal my Mazda so I can go back to an Accord. I had a '93 then a '97 put 180K miles between the two of them without one problem big or small.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    tjexas: meet you by the cliff at 10pm tonight. We'll "race" our cars to the bottom; P100, wanna join us???...he, he, he..................(8 ^ (l)
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Sounds tempting......except it's hard to find any cliffs here in Florida. Maybe drive them off a bridge?

    Some suggestions for tjexas:

    Sounds like your sunroof relay may be sticking and chattering intermittently

    I had a slow coolant leak too and it turned out to be a leaking coolant overflow bottle along the bottom seam. The leak was very slow, and in my case hot coolant leaked into the A/C compressor clutch harness connector, and caused intermittent A/C problems, which nobody could find for months. My local Mazda dealer told me that there is nothing they can do until the A/C quits for good. I described the problem as electrical in origin, yet they never ran a resistance check on the clutch wires to see if they are OK. Anyway, finally the coolant leak got worse and the A/C quit. Replacing the overflow bottle took care of the problem for good. Mazda never recalled these overflow bottles although there are known problems with them.

    Bose radio: never experienced any problem with mine - they should replace yours under warranty

    Water leaks: there could be number of entry points. I would make sure that the sunroof drain tubes are clean (blow them through with compressed air).

    Hesitation problems: you may not have any yet, but before you experience them, sugest you use Techron in your fuel system regularly (about once every ten tankfulls) and replace your spark plugs and plug wires at 60K. These V6 engines are extremely sensitve to carbon buildup and Techron helps prevent it. Walmart sells Techron for about $6 a bottle. Use one botle with about 12 gallons of gas. I was skeptical at first about using the stuff, but it really works
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I am curious what kind of gas mileage are you getting out of your ES V6. I assume that yours is an automatic. Mine is a 5 speed manual and I cannot get better than 23 MPG in combined driving with A/C on. I use mid-grade fuel, because premium does not do anything or this car in terms of performance or mileage. I believe it just generates more carbon, which helps degrade performance.

    Speaking of Honda Accords, I must mention the following: my local Honda dealer had a 99 Accord LX (4 cyl) with about 60K miles and they were asking $ 14K for it (cloth seats and no sunroof). I was recently offered $ 4500 on trade (different dealer) for my 99 Mazda ES V6 with 68K miles and $ 23K MSRP. That's a whopping 19.6% of the original MSRP after four years for a Japanese car in mint condition (not a single ding or scratch and no accident history), leather seats, power sunroof, alloy wheels and Bose CD/cass stereo. I would expect better resale value on a Yugo. Resale value on this car is a real joke, except not very funny one for the owner. And the joker who "appraised" my car told me that he did not even need to drive it because it was in such great shape. I wonder what an average looking one would bring? Maybe $ 2000?
  • I recently posted on the Protege forum regarding pinging. Well, the Protege is 'fixed', but this weekend I noticed that the 626, mainly driven by my wife, is pinging pretty bad. It is fine while it warms up, but after it reached operating temp (i.e., the fan comes on and off), I had to struggle to make it go up hills withouth marbles knocking around the engine bay.

    For more info, this is an 95 ATX with an L4, 88K miles, and I'm using 89 gas. Last year I did an almost complete tune up (everything but distributor cap/rotor), and it's oil was changed 800 miles ago. It's done less than 10K miles since the tune up. Oil is fine, and everything else is as well (no problem on the freeway). Only problem is the pinging. Could this be carbon knock? Should I check base timing? should I check the (presumably good) plugs?


  • tjexastjexas Posts: 2
    Thanks for information and the heads up with my future problems. I get around 27mpg/HWY and 23mpg/city and I always have the AC on. They did replace my radios under the warranty. That's interesting information on the trade in value of the 626. This website, I believe, values the trade in around 9K for one in good condition.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    There are several causes for engine pinging:

    1. Heavy carbon buildup on tops of pistons and valves. Carbon will glow red hot when engine reaches operating temperature and cause pre-ignition

    2. Base timing that is advanced too far. Check your base ignition timing and make sure it is within spec

    3. A non-functioning EGR valve. This is a common problem. EGR diaphragms tend to go bad with age and heat exposure. The valve then stay permanentoy closed. Or the valve actuation solenoid could be malfunctioning. The valve is easy to check with a vacuum pump.

    Switching to high octane gas will alleviate the problem until you find the cause and eliminate it.

    To find out if you have a heavy carbon buildup on your pistons, suggest you do a compression check on your engine. If the readings are abnormally high (e.g. 180 psi) in each cylinder, you definitely have a lot of carbon in your cylinders. Normal compression readings for your car should be in the 140-150 psi range. When you do a compression check, make sure you unplug the distributor ignition wire from the distributor (still attached to the coil) and ground it to your engine block.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    1. Well, I'm still dripping power steering fluid pretty steadily now. My mechanic told me to add brake fluid to help the rubber seals to swell so I'm trying that. I can get a 626 rack for $75 from a junkyard. I have not called to find out if that includes the tie rods. I'll just keep adding fluid for now. Hopefully I can get this thing to last 6 more months.
    2. Also, it was funny how my check engine light started turning on only 1000 miles after the Mazda warranty ran out on the catalytic converter. Mazda probably programmed all of them to do that. Now some 11,000 miles later at 91k, my light stays on all the time. I wonder when I'm going to turn the key and it won't start any more because the converter is too clogged. That will be the day that the donation tow truck takes it away.
    3. Does anyone know if it is hard to rip off the heat shield where the exhaust pipe makes a bend to go up into the engine?? I have a tiny leak there, and would want to yank that off and wrap aluminum tape around it just to patch it together until the tow truck of death comes.
  • xhanxhan Posts: 1
    Since yesterday, my 94 Mazda 626 LX suddently had a wierd sharp noise when the car is just igniting.
    It sounds like the engine is suddently sucking air or coolant, or some belt is slipping. It only last one second, and this only happens when the engine is cold. After the car is warmed up, and restart, the noise won't appear.
    PCV volve? Air leak?
    Any suggestion is welcome!
    Thanks in advance!
  • 97 626 tranny problems. Lurches, shifts irregularly and just plain old doesn't seem right. Read many posts on this problem. I can't really afford to drop $2500 on a new tranny at this there something I can do to prolong or prevent total loss of this thing? Wife drives it VERY gently, I change the tranny fluid every 20,000 miles since I bought it. Will synthetic fluid or Transmedic sort of stuff do anything for me or will every tranny of this make/year eventually fail?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Well, let me put it this way. Your transmission is designed and built by the same company that designed and built a Ford Pinto. Your transmission came, I believe, from Ford Tempo, which is one step above the Pinto in quality.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    guess what: I offer this option: don't put the money into the car if you cannot afford it, and especially one which has a lousy track record. If you have any available cash on hand, go buy a great used Japanese vehicle (accord, camry). There are tons on the market, and in all different price ranges. I think throwing money into a 626 is like throwing your wallet into the street. Neither option provides a good "return" for you money.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    One option perhaps is to find somebody who can correctly diagnose your transmission problem and perhaps rebuild it for far less than $ 2500. Why does it cost so much to rebuilt this small transmission? It only costs $ 2000 to rebuild an auto transmission on my 83 Mercedes 300 SD. And this is a lot bigger and better auto transmssion, believe me.

    Several years ago I had an auto transmission rebuilt in my 83 Pontiac Boneville. It cost only $ 530, including a rebuilt torque converter. And this transmission was shot, it had no second gear left at all. The work was done a smaller transmission shop with low overhead. Usually these are places that can do the work chaper. I would shop around and see who can come up with a reasonable diagnosis and fix at an acceptable price.
  • I had a 88 Ford Tempo that was a mechanical wonder. Granted it was a manual transmission, but the thing was bulletproof for me for 11 years and 198,000 miles. Got rid of it for the Mazda cuz the wife couldn't drive a stick. The only mechanized things I replaced on that car in all those miles/years was an alternator and a fuel pump. That car must have been made on a day after a bonus check or something cuz nothing ever went wrong. So, some Fords do run well guys.
    Anyways, I will look into having someone rebuild my tranny, but after reading all the horror stories about how after all these folks rebuilt or replace their trannys and have to get them worked on constantly afterwards, I am a lil worried. It's sorta like my fear of chiropractors, once you start you gotta keep going......I am leaning towards trading it in anyways on a SUV i.e. a 4-runner or Exploder since baby #2 is due next month. Might have to keep this thing 4 months yet to pay the loan down to at least it's trade value...hope the force is with me to hold that tranny together long enough.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    626's are generally good cars except if you get an automatic. But that's generally the case with a lot of cars - get a stick, and it will be a better car reliability wise. I can't understand why more people don't buy stick, seeing high number of $$$$ problems with automatics these days.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    That won't fly with some of the people on this board who believe that every manufacturer should be capable of building cars like Honda and Toyota, who must be perfect because we never hear about their problems here (which by some warped form of logic must lead to the conclusion that they don't have any). Yeah, right. Go over to the Accord boards and see how perfect some of the '03 owners feel their cars are right now.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    that's why you should take the information given here for what it is worth: a small handful of knowlegeable people who have a monopoly on this forum (ie, the same people saying the same thing). I always ask people not to believe just me, but go find places where thousands of owners give ratings on their cars. Consumer Reports is one of them. Having researched those other sources, I can say with a straight face that the 626 is NOT a car I and thousands of others would call reliable, and the automatic transmission is NOT the only part that goes wrong with it. While the Honda and Toyota also have their problems (they are machines too), the great majority of people who own Hondas and Toyotas know that they are statistically a bullet proof car.
    As for the Tempo owner, my neighbor had the same experience you did. While the Tempo was not very reliable, there are some who had little to no mechanical problems. I am mystified as to why you two (and others) had such good luck. One normally would chalk it up to good maintenance, but in the case of my 626, all my cars are pampered beyond your wildest dreams; yet this car had failed me at almost every turn of the corner. Last night it was my driver's side door lock cylinder breaking, forcing me to do some fancy repair work. And tonight??????.......stay tuned.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Let me guess: your car started all by itself, put itself in drive and crashed into your neighbor's car.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    he, he, he....No, it was the other way around!!! I need to collect the insurance!!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have about 69K miles on the 99 V6 and I am surprised to see that the rear brake pads are wearing at a faster rate than the front ones. I have at least 50% left on the front ones, but only about 25% on the rear ones. All the brake pads are the original pads. Of course, the rear brakes provide only about 25% of the stopping power, so if the pads were the same size as the front ones, theoretically the rear pads should last much longer. I use the parking brake very seldom . It is possible the the manufacturer makes the rear pads thinner deliberately so they wear out quicker. Any similar experience out there?
  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    Hi all,
    I have a 5spd. Mazda 626 (2.0L), about 240,000 miles, with an annoying problem. Recently I had the timing belt changed and when I left the mechanic the acceleration felt funny. It would not accelerate quickly and merging was downright dangerous. When I started going uphill, the car started losing speed and when I floored it the check engine light came on and the car just stopped accelerating.

    Anyway I took it back to my mechanic who thought it was the timing. He adjusted it but the problem persisted. He redid the timing belt and the problem improved but it is still definitely there. At this point he thought it was the catalytic convertor, so I had that checked out. It was'nt.

    I am not sure what to do now because my mechanic has'nt a clue. Gas mileage pretty much sucks down from 450 miles a tank to 350. Anyone got any ideas at all.

  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    sorry to be flippant, but I wish I had your problems. You got 10 years out of a lousy 626, and oodles of miles to boot? I think you should simply smile and move on. You hit the jackpot with this car and got your money out of it. People like me with a much newer 626 and a lot less miles certainly didn't hit the jackpot, but are about to hit the bottle for making such a poor choice in cars. Congrats ece: you should be very happy indeed. Don't throw money after bad. It is time to retire that pony, and find a new race horse.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    When you brought the car back to the mechanic after the timing belt change, "he thought it was the timing". What timing? Ignition timing or the valve timing which would result from incorrect installation of the timing belt?

    My hunch is that he installed the timing belt incorrectly. You said that he corrected the "timing" when you brought the car back, which means that he would have to reposition the timing belt if he meant the valve timing.

    If you install a timing belt correctly, both your valve timing and ignition timing will be the same as they were before the old belt was removed. I changed the timing belt on my 92 Protege LX (1.8 l DOHC engine) at 65 K miles. I did the work myself. The ignition base timing did not change at all and the engine ran perfect for another 60K miles when I sold the car.

    So once again, I think you need to have the timing belt rechecked and also check the base ignition timing. Your mechanic may have tried to compensate for wrong valve timing by advancing the base ignition timing.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    2 mazdas p100??? Shame on you!! He, he, he
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The first one was a great car. Powerful and responsive 1.8 l DOHC engine and I have done almost nothing to it in 7 years/125K miles. Ironically, this is the reason why I bought the 626. The Protege was just too small for my needs. However, the Protege with 125K miles was a better car than this 626 with no miles. In fact, just few months ago some kid was driving my old Protege and passed me. Except for a few dings the old car still looks good and evidently runs good. I figure it has about 200K miles on it now. I should have kept the car. I was in mint condition when I sold it.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I hear the current protoge is every bit as good. They are coming out with a new version next year I believe.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I read quite a few complaints about the new Protege manual transmission whine which is evidently a design flaw within the transmission itself. Why cant' they leave good things alone? My Protege manual transmission was quiet and troublefree.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    that is a shame. I thought it was a trouble free car. Despite my service manager (who ownes all Chevys and is helping to steer me towards the Maxx) stating that the 6 is the best car he has ever driven, you won't ever see me in a Mazda showroom again
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    I rarely post here but lurk here all the time as I currently share a 626 with my parents. The vehicle is a '98 626 V6 auto.

    Fortunately, our 626 has been pretty good reliability-wise. We've had no problems during the warranty period and just two out of warranty repairs in years 4 & 5 which totalled about $400cdn, not too bad at all.

    p100: Yeah, our stock rear disc pads are wearing faster than the front ones too. Last check was 40% front and 10% rear, so there will be new rear pads going in before winter.

    maxx4me: IMO, and also illustrated with p100's Mazda's, Japanese assembled Mazda's are very good and significantly better than US assembled Mazda's. In fact, I'm getting a Mazda3 (the Protege replacement) in Apr '04.
  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    Thanks for all that great advice but p100, I dont think my mechanic would have a clue what to do next. I really want to repair this car and was wondering what kind of bill I was looking at to get this car fixed at a dealer or anywhere else.

    Maxx4me, your advice is well taken but I love this damn car. Even though I am buying a 2001 IS300 (gonna miss the stick) I want to keep this car because no one's gonna give me what I want for it :)
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