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Mazda 626 Troubles



  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Take the car to somebody else, perhaps a Mazda dealer and let them check it out. It should not be that expensive to check the timing belt for correct installation, however, if they have to reposition it, they may charge you for three of four hours of labor. Maybe there is some other unrelated problem, but from what you described, that is not likely.
  • Hi,

    About a couple of days ago, I started having a problem with the shift lever on my 93 626 v-6 auto. Even though I have the brake pedal pressed in, it usually won't shift out of Park unless I stick the key in the lock next to the shift console to manually unlock it.

    Sometimes though, I am able to shift it out of Park without using the key to manually unlock the shift lever, but the strange thing is that at those times, I can move it out of Park with or without pressing the brake pedal in.

  • Did the belts on the wife's 626 last weekend. The Atl./WP belt was in VERY bad shape (I think only one rib remained whole, all the others were mostly gone). The new Gates (NAPA) belts not only have quited all the squealing noises, but I also think the alternator is working better (the idle drops I get when the AC or radiator fans kick in are not as noticeable), plus it should be also cooling better (the WP belt was shreads, as I mentioned). I mean, after busting my knuckles all morning, it better be better...

    What bugs me is that the guy that did the timing belt did not replace them then (2 years ago). Also, the clearance between the Alt./WP belt and the timing belt cover is very tight, I'd say 1/10 of an inch. Scary...

    Plus, the chugging noises I hear after the engine warms up, which I thought were valve-train related, are exhaust related. I think there are probably three molecules or iron metal left in the pipes, everything else is rust. I probably have holes/gaps all over the place that get bigger/smaller with temperature...

  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I too have good experience with NAPA Gates brand drive belts. They cost a bit more than cheap belts but they hold up really good. NAPA also sells decent brake pads. I installed a set of NAPA belts and brake pads on my Nissan SE V6 pickup and 30K miles later they look and function really good.
  • Well, after a couple of days of making me use the key to unlock the shifter, the problem seems to have gone away by itself. Hopefully it will stay this way.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I'm trying to make the 626 troubles page the most prolific page in the 626 category, so here's another update: the brake fluid seems to be working. I added a bunch to my power steering bottle in hopes of expanding the rubber gromits and slowing the leak to the rack and pinion. I have not added any fluid in 2 weeks. My rear brake squeal (probably from me puting brake fluid in places it doesn't belong) continues, despite me NOT using the emergency brake at all. To refresh, the rear brakes squeek for about 100 yards after starting the car in the morning and leaving work. The squeek goes away after that 100 yards. I'm guessing it is not the emergency brake adjuster since I have not been using it. Any ideas out there? My engine light has been off for 3 weeks, despite the catalytic converter clogging with carbon. Hey, maybe I should add some brake fluid to my gas tank to clean out the carbon in the exhaust (he, he, he)
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    Well, the 6 may indeed be a great car; HOWEVER, and note that this is a big however, I don't believe Ford has earned our trust. They ruined the 626 with its junk parts, and don't deserve our business again. I actually was amazed when I had mine up on the ramps today to see that I seemed to have arrested the leak on my second rack and pinion. I have no doubts that it is temporary, but the brake fluid seems to be working. I changed the oil today, hopefully for the last time before the Maxx comes out in January. I actually toyed with filling my tank with 87 octane today, to spend as little money as possible on this POC. I ended up puting in the mid grade, which has been necessary since about the 13th month of ownership back in '96.
  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    Hi all,
    I had posted a little while back about my 93 626 giving me timing belt problems. I am happy to say that is resolved. I took it to the dealer and they redid the timing belt. Works great.

    Now fo rthe questions:
    1) The dealer said that I need to have my front wheel bearings replaced at a cost of 600 bucks. My car does make an airplane like sound on the parkway. How urgent is this??

  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    Hi all,
    I had posted a little while back about my 93 626 giving me timing belt problems. I am happy to say that is resolved. I took it to the dealer and they redid the timing belt. Works great.

    Now fo rthe questions:
    1) The dealer said that I need to have my front wheel bearings replaced at a cost of 600 bucks. My car does make an airplane like sound on the parkway. How urgent is this??

  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    Sorry about the abrupt ending.
  • It's only urgent when the wheel quits turning. :)

    I'd have this looked at pronto, though $600 seems a bit stiff for what is basically two or three hours work on some fairly cheap parts, plus (if they're paying attention) a front-wheel alignment.
  • ece3446ece3446 Posts: 32
    How much should it be??

  • Depends on where you live; parts prices are fairly constant, but the hourly service rate varies all over the place. (Where I live, it's down around $75-80, but then, I'm a cheap so-and-so.)
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    If I am not mistaken, you must remove the front hub from the vehicle to replace the bearing. You also need a hydraulic press for the job. The bearings temselves are not expensive (something like $ 40 a piece), but there is some labor involved here, such as disconnecting the tie rods, pushing the axles out of the hubs, and unbolting the knuckles from the front struts. It should not be that expensive, but it depends on the competency of the technican performing the work. You probably do not need realignment as long as you do not change out the knuckle (inner part of the hub), and mark the original bolt position of the knuckles on the struts before removal.
  • I need to replace or fix my #1 and #2 motor mounts. I'm an average Saturday fixer. Can I change these parts myself without too much trouble? If so, do I need any special tools or just a lot of patience to get to these?

    I recently read about a guy that rebuilt his own using 3M Weld for windows and letting it cure for 24 hours. Anyone else tried this?

    I don't suppose anyone knows where I can get some good illustrations (Hanes manuals don't) on doing this?
  • Sunday afternoon I rotated my tires on the 626 (they were ~5K miles overdue for a rotation). I kept them on the same side, just fronts to back and vice-versa. The wear on all tires was OK, just more on the fronts than in the backs (duh...). In any case, the car drives fine with no vibrations or pulls of any kind up to 90 mph (that's as far as I'll go...).

    The only problem: My driver's side wheel is now making a periodic squeaky noise that correlates with speed. I checked to see if there was something rubbing against the tire and everything is OK. I took the wheel off and back on to make sure that all the lug nuts were OK, an still noise (I torqued them to 50 in a star pattern, then to 80). My only hope is that the plate covering the caliper (behind the wheel) got bent while I was mounting the wheels and is now scraping against the rim. But the noise is 'rubbery', if this is any help in diagnosis. And, no, I don't have any bubble gum stuck on the tire. Any ideas?


  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Jack up the car on the left side in the front and spin the front wheel by hand (with transmission in neutral). If there is any hard interference from the brake dust shield, you should hear it. Are your tires feathered on the edges? This type of wear (scrubbing) results usually from improper toe-in setting. A worn tire edge may cause funny rumbling sound for a while but not a squeak. Check your CV joint boots to make sure that one is not torn and grease leaking out. Also, I would check the axle nut to make sure it is tight and properly staked. Squeak could also be an indication of an impending wheel bearing failure.

    If you do not find anything, switch the tires back to their original configuration and drive the car.
  • was a plug! I had that tire plugged a month or so ago, before I rotated them. A little bit of the rubbery substance in the plug squeezed out a bit (more weight on the front, I guess), enough to make your typical bubble gum noise.

    Anyway, I took the old plug off, cleaned the hole, and re-plugged it with a bit more finesse than the kid at the gas station, and now there is no noise.

  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Aren't they supposed to trim the plug after they insert it in to be even with the tire tread surface? Anyway, I hate plugs and insist on having my flat tires patched from inside. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a place that will do this anymore. They still have patches, but most of them will be a combination patch/ plug type, which means they will insert the plug from the inside and glue the patch on the inside. Still, I do not see any reason to ream out a small hole to make a plug fit if it can be fixed with a nice flat patch from the inside.

    If you plug a motorcycle speed rated tire for example, you have essentially ruined the tire speed capability and they tell you not to exceed about 70 mph with such a tire.
  • Hi. Brand new member to posting. I've been watching for a 626, about 1999 to 2001, with 50K to 65K miles. I could get one in the neighborhood of $5500 to $7000. After reading all of these posts, though, WOW! Would I be making a big mistake? Are the trannys garbage, parts more expensive, maintenance more expensive,etc? Please help with advice from you owners.
    I'm also considering Mercury Villagers, 1997 to 2000. Any first-hand info. on both of these would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    The 2000 626 with a clutch has 44000 trouble free
    miles. The 130 ponies matched to a left leg flexor
    has been a blast to drive and own. We used this site
    for research and comparison and couldn't be happier!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I know somebody who has a 1994(?) 626 ES V6 with a 5 speed manual with about 170K miles on it and running strong. I have a 99 ES V6 5 speed model, which has been less than great, but the engine runs good and after warranty expiration the car has been surprisingly troublefree. However, the resale value is really bad, but that is good news for those buying a used model.
    One advice: Whatever model you buy, stay away from the 4 cylinder automatic version. V6 models have much better auto transmission which is designed and built in Japan.

    Maintenance costs can be rather high because these cars require frequent timing belt replacement (every 60k miles). And 98 and newer models have solid valve lifters which require adjustment every 60k miles. And this job on a V6 model is very time consuming and labor intensive, requiring special tools. Because of this, Mazda dealers charge about $ 525 for timing belt replacement and valve clearance check/adjustment on the V6 model. In addition to this you need to replace platinum plugs and plug wires every 60K miles, which will cost another $ 200. Plus fuel system maintenance. So 60K service on a V6 costs about $ 1000 and this assumes that nothing else goes wrong and no other parts are replaced. If you need EGR circuit cleaning, this can cost several hundred dollars on top of this. To me, these routine service costs appear very high for an entry level compact family sedan.
  • Hello.

    On Jan 5th, 05 I had the water pump replaced on my Mazda 626. After taking the car home and letting it sit a few I noticed a small oil spot underneath the car. I moved the car a couple of feet and let it sit and the exact same shapped oil spot duplicated, so I took my car straight down the mechanic and the owner of the shop said that I have a oil sensor that is leaking "a little" and advised me to pick one up from a Mazda Dealer and he would install it. He said it would be about 15.00.

    When I returned home I checked the oil level and to my surprise it was 2 quarts low! The next day I returned to the shop and the owner had one of his guys spend about 15 minutes under the car while it was jacked up on one side. When he was finished underneath I was told again that the only thing they could see that might be leaking was the sensor he had recommended.

    Very soon after this date the car broke down on the freeway. Interesting enough after about five minutes the car drove fine again. There wasn't so much as even a miss in the timing. However, this happened a couple more times so back to the shop I went as the car cut out again on the freeway and I almost couldn't get it started that time.

    At the end of the day, the owner called me and told me I could pick the car up and said he had replaced the rotor and cap (95.00). I picked the car up the next morning and made it about 2 miles and then was stranded on the freeway. After getting the car back to this shop, the owner says to me "I was going to tell you when you picked up the car that you should only drive it home because of oil contamination. He said it would be another $400.00 because oil was all over including in the spart plug holes. Lots of oil!

    Is there more that the mech. should have done besides the water pump/gasket and two cam seals (and timing belt)? Is it possible their work caused this problem and if so, where should I look first?

  • qxuxaqxuxa Posts: 1
    Hi I have a 1993 mazad 626 and it started jerking to one side when it went into drive gear it doesn't do it in 1st or 2nd just when it shifts into drive any one else having this problem thanks.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Lower Ball Joints
    Mazda 323/MX-3/626/MX-6/Millenia/Protégé 1990-1998

    Except MX-3, 323, Protege and Millenia

    The lower ball joint is an integral part of the lower control and cannot be replaced separately. If the lower ball joint is defective, the entire lower control arm must be replaced.
  • wow! now i`m confused i went to the auto parts store and purchased the ball joint . If what you say is true why didn`t the auto parts tell me the same after i gave them my car specs. i`m going to have to take a look at this problem.
  • Hey, karpher, I feel your pain.

    One of the things one has to do to get to the water pump is get to the timing belt. To get to the timing belt, one has to get the valve cover out of the way. Once you are done and you are about to put everything back together again, you'll need a new valve cover gasket. If you don't put one, oil will splash all over and will get into your spark plugs. It will also leak down into the timing belt housing, and probably saturate the timing belt with oil.

    I tell you this because my 'ex-mechanic' did this (i.e., did not use a new valve cover gasket), and two months later I had the 'check engine light' from hell. It was all due to oil going down the spark plug wells (these engines are DOHC). Check the repair bill and see if he charged you for a new gasket (he probably did use a new water pump gasket, I hope...). But if you see a lot of 'sealant-type' goop around the valve cover gasket (the piece of metal that has the 'MAZDA' imprint on it), chances are he just tried to seal the cover with the old gasket and sealant.

    But that's my guess: He did not use a new gasket, that caused oil to leak (your oil loss) and get into the spark plugs (your car dying down the road).

    But his 'oil pressure sender' problem seems like BS. I mean, was it working fine (i.e., not loosing oil) before you had the water pump replaced? If so, why would it start leaking oil after the water pump was replaced? I have a theory that requires mechanical parts having 'feelings': Maybe it had grown really attached to that water pump, was a very unhappy oil pressure sender after they installed a new one and thrown his old friend into a trash bin, and as retaliation against you it started leaking.

    As I said, not likely...

    Hope this helps,

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