Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda 626 Troubles



  • kbuikbui Posts: 15
    jskho, irishalchemist & mrdetailer, thank you for the O2 sensor tips. I will try the "backprobing" method - that's a real good way of checking the sensor and the wiring.

    I've monitored my mileage ever since I bought the car (I bought it new), and it has always hovered around 33-35 mpg. That's why I thought the O2 sensor was "doing its job."
  • freds5freds5 Posts: 5
    I have a '98 626 4 cyl. automatic with about 85k miles. I asked the dealer regarding a change in the automatic transmission fluid. The dealer said new tranny fluid at this point would strip the gears. Just wanted another opinion on this and if there is anything to be done to try and ensure the transmission doesn't break. Otherwise the car has been running just fine w/o any major problems and I'd hate to have to replace it.
  • freds5, unless you use Aqua Regia (a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acid - sorry, I'm a chemist), you won't "strip the gears". Only problem may be that the new fluid could dislodge crud that is sticking here and there harmlessly and get it somewhere it's not suposed to get to (i.e., a valve). FYI, if you read a couple of posts above these ones, you'll see that I've been 'diluting' the old fluid with new fluid. So far I've done it three times (I can get 2.5 - 2.8 quarts each time through the dipstick). By the third time I have > 1/2 new fluid, and have not stripped the gears yet ;-)

    I plan to do this 2 or 3 more times, and then add LubeGard as suggested by MrDetailer. Although my wife says the car behaves the same as it always did, I think it is starting to shift smoother and it's not 'clunking' as bad when going into 'D' in the morning...

    Hope this helps. G.
  • Did the third tranny fluid exchange - Now I have (according to my math) close to 60% new fluid in there.

    Now, can the tranny fluid have anything to do with better idle? I think that it idles a lot smoother when I'm stopped at trafic lights.

    Am I just high on ATF fumes, or could this be possible?

  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225

    I can think of a couple things that would warp new or recently machined rotors fairly quickly:

    - The lugs were over-torqued on the affected wheels. This is quite common. Lots of mechanics like to zip the lugs on quickly with an air wrench without bothering to check the proper torque specification.

    - The calipers are causing too much "loose friction" between the pads and rotors when the brakes are not applied. Older cars with deteriorated or improperly lubricated caliper bolts can experience this problem. If the caliper is unable to travel out to a fully retracted position when the brakes are released, the pads will make excessive contact with the rotors, overheating and warping them over time (accelerated by highway driving, of course - more speed, more friction, more heat).

    Some cars are more or less susceptible to these problems depending on their design (quality of rotors, caliper parts, etc.) but none that I've worked on seem to be immune to them. Some mechanics will downplay their importance (hopefully yours wont), but ever since I've been working on cars, being a perfectionist has saved me from redoing work and experiencing lots of nagging, recurring problems.

    You shouldn't assume that replacing the rotors or any of the other brake parts would have prevented the problem, just make sure you cover all the bases and check the small details (torque specs and caliper bolt condition/lubrication in your case).
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Nope, and you will also notice it when Lubegard is added.
  • Definetly smoother idle. Also smoother tranny shifts after my fourth 'suck-and-fill' fluid dog and pony show. According to my math there is now 80% new fluid in there. The color of the stuff that came out this last time was a far cry from what was coming out a week ago. Still a bit dark, but cherry-red now. It looks really pretty on the dipstick (before it was dark on the dipstick).

    It also feels like the slushbox shifts 'tighter'; meaning, I feel like the tranny has the equivalent to 'less play' that you feel on a manual stick (I really know how to tell if a manual stick is good/bad because I drove sticks for 15 years, but the 626 is my first ATX experience apart from rentals...).

  • troztroz Posts: 4
    To get ready to flush my GF4A-EL transmission from the cooler lines, I just bought some 3/8 inch inside diameter tubing and a barbed connector of the same dimension. Can you confirm that these will fit the lines? The car is a relative's and I will have to travel to do this, so I don't want to get started and not have the right size for the extension tubing.

  • I have the CD4E, which is not the GF4A-EL (your's goes with the V6). In the CD4E, the hard lines are definitely 3/8 OD (which will fit a 3/8 ID rubber hose). However, I would be surprised if the OD of the hard lines were thicker/thinner that the ones on the CD4E. If you want to make sure, ask your relative to check the line size. For this, he/she would have to pop the hood and look for a steel line that goes to the top of the radiator (this is the tranny to stock cooler connection). If this is slightly thicker than a number 2 pencil, then it's 3/8.

    Now, if you are as paranoid as I am, you could buy a long piece of 3/8 hose (actually, you bought it already), and then short (6") pieces of 5/8, 5/16, 1/4, etc., and 5/8-to-3/8, 5/16-to-3/8, etc., etc., braided adaptors so you cover all the bases. If the OD of the stock tranny lines is, say, 5/16, connect two short pieces of 5/16 tubing to the lines, and then use adapters to connect to the long pieces of 3/8 tubing.

    Perhaps more knowledgeable gurus in the board can give you the exact OD of the lines. Again, I would be surprised if they were anything other than 3/8 (as a matter of fact, all tranny cooler kits come with a 11/32 ID hose so that it fits snugly to 3/8 OD steel lines...).

    Hope this helps. Good luck,

  • Anyone knows how much coolant is in the radiator and how much in the engine block in the L4 626 (FS) engine? I want to flush the radiator, but I am hessitant to use one of those chemical flushes. If the volume in the block is more than the volume in the radiator, the instructions in the flush bottle (drain, fill with flush agent, run engine, drain, fill with water, run engine, drain, and then fill with antifreeze-water) will leave a lot of flush agent around, which is something I don't want to do.

    Also, I don't have the space/tools (i.e., garden hose) to do a regular back-flush...

  • mark38lmark38l Posts: 10
    I have a 1998 Mazda 626LX 2.0l with 85k. I am planning on having the timing belt replaced at 100k.

    As anyone run into any trouble after the belt has been replaced. I am worried about the dealer screwing something up. Also does the radiator need to be removed?

    How much $$$ am I looking at?

    Comments are appricate d.

  • First, I would not be able to sleep at night if I had 60K wear item go 100K (but I'm pretty paranoid...).

    As for prices, it depends. Most of the times they do water pump and belt tensioner at the same time they do the belt, so you are looking at 500-700, depending on the shop you take it to. I personally think that doing the water pump and tensioner at 100K WILL be a good thing to do (had belt, tensioner, and pump done on mine at 70K). Each job is probably 300 bucks, so rolling all of them into one (at 500 to 700) makes sense. The same ammount of dissasembly is required for those items.

    Now, make sure that they replace the valve cover gasket when they do it. ASK him if he will replace it, and if not (or not sure), buy a FelPro gasket and have him change it when putting everything back together. The VCG gets REALLY hard and does not seal properly. My mechanic did not do it (used globs of silicone sealant instead) and then I had oil leaks, fouled plugs, check engine lights, and poisoned O2 sensors. Apart from that, he did do a good job (?). I was able to check this when I changed (DIY) the valve cover gasket last month.

    Hope this helps,


    PS: I don't see why they would need to remove the radiator to get to the timing belt...
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    They shouldn't have to yank the radiator out; the timing cover isn't what you'd call incredibly accessible - they will have to pull the splash shield, all the drive belts, the power-steering pump, and everything above the valve-cover gasket - but the radiator isn't in the way.

    Going rate out here in the flyover zone for a belt change on the four-cylinder is a shade under $300. Add $100 or so for the water pump, ditto for the tensioner. (At 100k, I'd do the water pump whether it was weeping or not, and it's probably not a bad idea to replace the tensioner since it's right there in front of you.)
  • Any clues/suggestions on a coolant system flush for the L4 626 (use Prestone flush or just water, unplug thermostat and back flush or just flush with distilled water, etc., etc.?).

    Thanks. G.
  • pdrumans1pdrumans1 Posts: 48
    My friend has a 97 Mazda 626 LX with the 4cyl/auto combo. Two days ago, the o/d light came on and started flashing. I drove the car and the when accelerating casually or aggressively, the transmission will hold gears until red line unless you let off the gas a little, then it will shift. Is this an indication of the tranny going bad or is their any potential to save it, if it is doing this? Any similar experiences? and outcome?
  • pdrumans1, tell your friend to be ready to write big checks...

    The flashing O/D light means that the computer is no longer doing it's job (it's bypassed), and everything is relaying on the tranny's hydraulics to do all the shifting. Some people call this 'limp' mode.

    Now, it could be a number of things:

    a) it could be electronic problems. Have you tried reseting the computer (don't know how on a 97 - it's OBD-II). This may 'cure' it for a day or two, but if the problem reapears, then investigate more.

    b) it could be low fluid (you probably checked that).

    c) it could be that the fluid is spent, and you may need to flush/fill (get all the old fluid out, including torque converted, and replace with new), and as suggested by many in the board, add LubeGard. This may work OR toast the tranny for good (new fluid can dislodge varnish cooked onto it and this crud will find it's way to the least desirable places - Some people refer to it as the 'morning after' effect).

    d) Most likely, the slushbox is pooched...

    Sorry to hear about it. Hopefully it's not a completely cooked tranny. Good luck, and let us know what the problem was or how you solved it. It hasn't happened to me yet, but every time I get on that car and I get light reflecting from that region of the dashborad my legs shake thinking my time has come...

    Also, how many miles on that 97?

  • pdrumans1pdrumans1 Posts: 48
    The car has in the 70K range and from what I have read, this is popular time for the problems. No engine light yet, but I warned my friend to not let the engine rev into the red zone. I am going to help drop the car off at the dealer tomorrow for their imput :( , but I think it is pretty much toast. They checked the fluid level and said it was within the recommended level, I did not however ask about the color of the fluid or how dark it was.
    to reset the computer, would se just unhook the battery?
    Will let you know the results after inspected, but glad it is not my car.
  • Yep, most likely the tranny is pooched. As for fluid color, the color of the stuff you get on the dipstick is OK for a quick check, but your friend may want to get a couple of mililiters out into a clear glass vial/container. It should be darker than new stuff, but light should be able to go through it (i.e., put it up to a light and you should see it 'shine' a little on the other side). Otherwise, there is to much crap floating around.

    As for redlining the engine, it has a gas cutout at 7500 or 7800 RPM. From what I read in '', a lot of people has abused these engines (both the V6 and the L4, MTX and ATX) without problems. However, I only redlined it once (to avoid being crushed by a big and bad 18-wheeler), which got me sweating bullets for the rest of the trip, but nothing happened. In any case, I would not like to have to redline it to get it to shift properly.

    As for reseting codes, the 'pull the battey -ve' trick may not work, because this car is OBD-II. However, the emissions is the OBD-II part, so the 'tranny' part of the brains may still get reset by pulling the -ve battery terminal. No harm in trying that. Also, in the L4 626 from 95 you can read the tranny fault codes by jumpering two leads in the diagnostics box (near the battery). I don't know if these are still there in the 97 though (windophobe sure knows this...).

  • pdrumans1pdrumans1 Posts: 48
    Thanks for the all the info, I appreciate it and hope my friend will too.
Sign In or Register to comment.