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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • dinamo73dinamo73 Posts: 2
    my name is Andy
    I got a 1991 mazda 626 station (not electronic, has a carburetor and choke start) and I have a transmission problem.

    the car is not changing gears right, i have it in over drive on and here its supposed to have 4 gears...
    but i only changes up to third, fourth gear is not coming up... it does sometimes but not all the time, almost never...
    what can the problem be? i wanna take it to the shop but i wanna have an idea first.
    can you help me out? do you need more info?

  • I had my current mechanic do all the brakes (i.e., change pads, change shoes, and turn rotors/drums) on the 626 about 2 months ago. He is a 'fix as much as you can, replace as little as possible' kind of guy (meaning, he won't make you buy a new part if he can get a little bit more life out of it), and that's why I like him - I think those are 'true' mechanics.

    Anyway, drove 260 miles today (Philly - NYC, NYC - Philly), and noticed the brake pedal pulsating pretty bad when breaking at high speeds, which means the rotors are likely wraped. My question is, if he turned the rotors only 2 months ago, can they be bad already? Could it be that it would have been wise to replace them instead of turning them?

  • duraformduraform Posts: 2
    I have 1998 626 4 cyl auto. I have about 39500 miles and my extended warranty expires 07/08/02. With all the transmission problems noted in this discussion I am wanting to know if I should purchase an extended warranty (as I cant afford to trade it in)?
    Previous history CV boot and axel replaced after 300 miles, took 4 times to dealer to get that fixed. Have taken it for A/C problem 3 out of 4 Texas summers. And CEL has came on twice in last month, in which they replaced a master flow sensor (the light has come on & back off since).
    Am I being paranoid? Thanks!
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Yes it would probably be a good idea if you can get one for a reasonable price. It may cost more over all, but if you want peace of mind and a certain budgeted expense they are nice. If you are disciplined and save up for the larger repairs it will be cheaper. I save $100/month per vehicle for repairs. Any left over makes a nice down payment on the next one.

    The auto tranny situation may be significant enough for you to want to extend further for peace of mind. If you have absolutely no problem, then you might be fine if you do the procedure listed below and save money.

    I would completely flush your transmission fluid and add Lubegard (can get in NAPA stores)in the correct proportions for transmission damage prevention. Worked well in both my and my son's Mazdas. He waited until 65K before changing, and suffered some damage shifting between first and second gear, but since it wasn't severe Lubegard seems to be working OK after a complete tranny fluid replacement.

    I do a drain and fill every 2 years or 15K with Lubegard, as per my specialists recommendations and have absolutely no problems. I have 125K on my 1991.

    If you haven't changed spark plugs and PCV valve yet I would recommend that for the CEL. Oxy sensors are a maintence item at 60K (my Mazda specialist mechanic lets them go on longer if the CEL doesn't come on.)
  • duraformduraform Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info mrdealer!
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    ...continuing post #1046

    Finally did it. Replaced the 2 oxygen sensors on my 93 ES with $65 Bosch ones. It was easier than I thought. Instructions from the site mentioned by irishchemist helped a lot.
    Check engine light still hasn't come on yet... after going on and off for the past 4 years.

    When the Autozone guy retrieved the codes, he got one related to the MAF. Does any one has experience with MAF on the V6? I think it uses one which is different from those on the I4.
  • The V6 has a Volume Airflow Sensor. It is a rubber 'cone' that gets pushed more or less depending on the ammount of air going through it.

    Now, in the 93 there is no code that says 'MAF is borken' (or 'O2 sensor is broken', for that matter). The codes point to things like rich or lean mixtures that cannot be corrected by the computer, and usually they are associated with O2 sensors or MAF (VAF in your case). Codes that point to O2 sensors could apply to a MAF also (i.e., both have to do with the air/fuel mixture, so both will give you errors associated with air/fuel ratios being fouled up).

    Now, in my case, my mechanic first read the codes for me (for free...), and told me, 'er, yeah, change the O2 sensor...', and the problem came back. Then I learned to read the codes on my 626, and got a '181', which means 'Adaptive lean limit reached'. This is, the fuel mixture is rich, and there's nothing the computer can do about it. It could be due to the O2 sensor not trimming the mixture, or the MAF not mettering enough air, but it could also be that the plugs are fouled, and both the MAF and O2 sensors are doing what they are supposed to be doing (after all, the idea of the sensors is not to have them die and make our lifes miserable, but telling us that the car is not doing as it should).

    In any case, my problem was the plugs (two were fouled due to a leaky valve cover gasket), and that was causing a rich mixture. I did clean MAF and also changed O2 sensor (oh, well, it was fun...). The CEL has not come on for ~ a month now.

    Wow. This posting went a bit long. In any case, I wanted to remind you of something: Make sure that you reset the computer (disconnect -ve battery cable and leave a dooe open for 10 minutes), otherwise the codes will still be there...

  • Another post related to CELs/sensors/emissions. Last week I went to get my inspection/smog check done.

    I got really POed when the guy came back and said that I needed wipers, and that I had a hole in the middle exhaust pipe (they one that has the pre-silencer - ovbiuosly, it had to be the expensive one). They would not do the emission test with that hole there, and they would not even do it if I took it home and patched it up. So I allowed them to fix that (the price of the part, 158, is OK, I checked on the web), and since I did not want to come back after getting wipers, I allowed them to put $5 wipers and charge me $12 for them (yeah, I know, I should have changed the stupid wipers before even going).

    In any case, the 626 with 81K passed emissions with flying colors. All the results were below 25% of the allowed maximums.

    Now, I came home and looked at the pipe they installed. It drops downwards as bit right after the pre-silencer, not as the original part that was flushed against the car. It looks as if the part is that way (i.e., it does have a bend after the pre0silencer and it wasn't miss-installed). The drop is not as bad as the one I see every time I'm behind a camry (have you ever noticed they have a crooked pipe droping down like 10 inches?), but...

    Now a question. Should this thing be flushed against the bottom of the car, or was my original pipe banged against the car and the new one just looks different? My worry is that the guy could not find the part for the L4 and got the one for the V6 and just rammed it in, or something along those lines.


  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    irishalchemist, you are right, it should be VAF, not MAF.

    The V6 uses codes which are different from the I4 though. These are 2 digit codes and there are only about 20 of them. And they point to the component you need to replace/repair. One of the codes I have is 17 and according to

    you recommended, it is LO2S inversion error.

    Anyway, after I reset the code, the VAF one hasn't shown up yet. Let's hope it remins that way 'cause the VAF is a $600 part.
  • troztroz Posts: 4
    I am going to do a flush on this transmission in the next couple of weeks, and I was wondering if those of you who have done this procedure can steer me in the right direction.

    I have read that attaching extra tubing to the ends of both of the cooler lines is necessary to get the lines to reach to the two buckets I will use. My question is what size tubing -- does anyone know? Did you buy clear tubing and clamp it over the top of the ends of the trans fluid lines?
    My second question is around the enormous splash I have read about -- any tips or tricks for the dirty fluid bucket to prevent a nasty tsunami?

  • jskho, were you getting '17' and '08' (which is the one for the VAF)? As you said, wait a while, and hopefully the CEL won't come on on a '08' code. In my case it took a couple of days of driving after I reseted the computer for the CEL to come back before I finally took care of the problem...


  • Haven't done it myself yet, but I'm studying the logistics of the process carefully. What I have in mind is having ~ two 6 foot pieces of clear (braided) tubing, and couple them to the stock tranny lines with barbed couplers. The ID of the hoses is 3/8 or 11/32. I was also thinking that the bucket with the clean ATF should be higher than the tranny (i.e., sitting on top of the car's roof or something), with some sort of petcock to controll the ATF flow (I was thinking of using a tank I have at work that has a bottom drain valve). To avoid having ATF splash all over, I would tie the ends of both hoses to some sort of weight (a stone would do fine) and throw that into the buckets/containers. At work I have 20 pound lead bricks that I was planning to use. That will hold the hose down, and will weight the buckets to the floor. I will also 'calibrate' both buckets with quart marks so I can tell how much is going in and how much is coming out (the containers I have are clear plastic).

    I read that the pressure on the cooler lines is low (10 to 15 psi), and the flow is also low (2 to 3 quarts a minute)...

    They are just ideas, as I haven't done it yet, but I hope they help

  • blacklabelblacklabel Posts: 11
    I've had this car for about 8 months, it's my first car. 1993 626 LX 4cyl automatic (yes it's slow :)). It currently has 131k miles. First off, the tranmission shifts quite rough and sometimes hesitates to downshift, like if I was to come to a rolling stop and then hit the gas it pauses for a while as it downshifts to accelerate. It's not really that bad, but I did notice it especially yesterday when I was making a left turn and I had to kinda hurry so I wouldn't cut someone off and when it hesitated like that I was stuck in the intersection a tiny bit longer... but I guess it doesn't really matter. I'm surprised it's gone this far, but from all these other threads it looks like the 93 trannys are decent and it's not till the 94 when it had MAJOR problems.

    Now on to the idling... It shakes quite a bit when idling at a stoplight or whatever. Before in the winter when I got the car, it took like 5 minutes of driving before it'd start to do that but now since it's warmer it's pretty much like that always. And the rpms are REAL low. They're only about 400-500, but steady, not jumping around. And it just kinda feels like the car is going to stall cause it's so quiet and almost like it's skipping. But it never has stalled.

    But it idles very quietly. Like today when I was unloading some stuff and it was running, it was very quiet, much quieter than you'd expect from a 93 with lotsa miles and the exhaust still isn't like it should be (stupid ppl, they really FIXED it). But then after I finished and was about to move the car, some type of fan (in the engine area) started up. It was quite a bit louder, especially over the very quiet engine. That was the first time I've heard it then. But maybe a fan is on when I start the car cause it is louder for like a minute when I first start it.

    Otherwise the car runs great. Again it doesn't shift very good, but it revs very nicely and is very smooth while driving.

    Any ideas? I heard several possibilties from reading a ton of threads here and other places: radiator mounts (?), engine mounts, idle gasket cover, idle throttle adjustment.

    Also, any ideas on a cost? Do you think the mazda dealer would look at it and tell me what it is and how much it'd cost for FREE then I could decide? And is there really any reason to fix it? I mean there's probably other things that might need fixing considering I have all the service reciepts from original owner and it's pretty much brake work every couple years, exhaust work every couple years, and new alternator. But damn reliable I'd say. But I would hate to spend a lot of money fixing it only to possibly have the tranny go on it which would definitely f*ck me over since it'd cost like $2000 to fix from what I hear and hell I got the car for $2500...
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    Proper idle on this car is 700 rpm. I suspect that if the correct idle can be restored, the shaking will be reduced. (Mounts are a potential issue, yes, but try the easier stuff first.)

    As for that fan, it comes on as needed when the temperature is high enough - such as during a period of extended idling.
  • A little update. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was considering draining/changing the ATF through the dipstick several times to improve the condition of my fluid. I finally got my little oil extractor (a PELA oil extractor used for boats), and was able to get 2.5 quarts out through the dipstick. The whole process was clean and quick (done in 15 minutes)...

    I know, I know, I will have to do this 5 times to get 80% new fluid in, or 7 to get 90% clean fluid (and something like 12 to get more than 95% of the suff clean). In any case, I think that this gradual change may be better on the internals of the tranny than a single complete flush.

    I plan to do this 4 more times (every night after my wife gets home from work), and after driving the car with 80% clean fluid for a week or so, do the real complete flush using the two-bucket method. I did drive the car after the partial change, and it shifts just like it did before. Oh, well, at least I did not screw anything up in the process...

    I'll keep you guys posted. Please let me know if you think what I'm doing is extremely idiotic...

  • kbuikbui Posts: 15
    I have a '89 5-sp Mazda 626 with 198K miles, and it still runs like a charm. I've taken very good care of it over the years (regular oil change, belts, etc).

    Last week I failed emissions inspection for the first time: the HC measurement is too high, by about 30%. I have tuned the car up since (should have done it before having the state inspection, stupid me) and put in new plugs, a new air filter, and a new PCV valve.
    I've never replaced the O2 sensor in the car's life and wonder if it's still good. The shop manual calls for checking voltage at the O2 sensor, but how do you get the O2 "boot" off? It looks like a regular spark plug boot, except that it is much smaller, and it's made out of metal instead of rubber. I have tried to pull on it, but it won't come out. It has no flat side, so I don't think it's threaded. Can somebody offer a hint? Do you just pull on the boot like a gorilla, or is there a more subtle way to get it out? Thanks in advance.
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    kbui, maybe you can check the voltage at the other
    side of the wire, where it plugs into the connector towards the engine computer?
    This will allow you to check for problems in the wires also, although wiring problem is unlikely to hallen.

    BTW, anyone know how to adjust the idle speed of a 93 V6?
  • One way of doing it is to take the sensor out, find out which cables are the 'signal' (I think they are the white and gray cables), attach that to a voltmeter, and cook the tip of the sensor in your gas range (the exhaust temperature is ~ 700 F...). The voltage should go up, because there would not be O2 in there (I think the value is more than 1.2 volts). I haven't done this myself, but read about it on the web, so take it for what it's worth. Actually, if you do a google search by "O2 sensor testing" you'll get zillions of hits that will describe different ways of doing this.

    I agree with jskho about 'back-probing' it while on the exhaust pipe. You will have to find a way of getting two wire leads into the connector. You may do this by disconecting the wire, which is a real pain, and putting two leads in there being careful that they don't touch each other, and then running the car and testing with a voltmeter at the leads that come out of the wire harness. Watch out for the fans!!! They will turn on when you least expect it, and will scare the crap out you when they do (personal experience)... Usually the O2 sensors get lazy and don't change their voltage as fast as they are suposed to.

    Hope this help,

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Irish. Why would you want to do any more than an 80% exchange given the cost benefit ratio. I think that would be enough especially if you went to NAPA and purchased the right amount of Lubegard to add on the last exchange. My son's transmission was going bad and adding Lubegard immediately smoothed out the rough shift between first and second. Found about this stuff through my Mazda mechanic. Sorry if I'm being repetitive.

    kbui Ohmygosh, you got 198K on a sensor that is supposed to be routinely changed at 60K. That's real good. I changed mine at 120K and noticed the difference. Don't think I got much of a gas mileage improvement, but the engine does run smoother and is more responsive. I got a Bosh for about $80. I got the OEM so it was a simple matter of unscrewing and unplugging the old one then putting on the new one.
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