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Mazda 626



  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    The vinyl shift and parking brake boots in my '00 LX-V6 were replaced twice in three years by my dealer under warranty, because they tore completely through in several places. It seems to begin happening on mine during the mid-winter months when the temperatures are very low and the vinyl is much less pliable.

    I tried both times to convince my dealer to replace them with leather ones like the ES models have, but they refused to do it as warranty work, even when I offered to pay the difference in cost between the two.

    I also inquired about the cost of just purchasing the leather boots so I could install them myself, and if I remember correctly the total came to over $200.00, much more than I want to spend. I've not really spent much time researching the possibility of getting aftermarket boots. For now I'm just living with the torn ones.

    Looking into vinyl boots from a '99 is a good idea p100. Perhaps they are more durable for that year, and should be cheaper than leather.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I remember test driving a 4 cyl 5 speed Mazda LX before I bought the ES version. The parking brake lever and transmission shifter boots were made of this heavy, thick, and cheap looking vinyl that looked like something that would come on a Chinese made tractor. My ES boots are definitely better quality, look better, and last much longer.

    I believe that JC Whitney used to sell universal leather boots for shifters. I do not know if they still do, but it would be worth checking.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I checked the JC Whitney catalog and they sell a universal genuine leather shifter boot for $ 19.99 and it comes in 12 different colors. The boot is 9 inches high and 6 inches wide at the base.
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    So is that the right size for our cars?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Why don't you measure the boot dimensions for yourself. I do not need one for my car.
  • aldebaronaldebaron Posts: 5
    I have a '99 626 LX 4cyl. 5sp and I can confirm the Pioneer speakers, at least in the rear deck. They are horribly cheap $3 paper full range speakers that aren't very good. The front speakers are also lousy quality full range paper drivers. Not to dis Pioneer, IMO Mazda just wanted to put the cheapest possible speakers in the car. I replaced the speakers with Infinity reference series speakers (using the stock grilles to keep the punks uninterested) and it made a HUGE difference in sound: tighter, deeper bass, clearer midrange, and actual highs. High quality aftermarket Pioneer speakers would no doubt give a major improvement as well. However, this is about a $200 upgrade if you DIY. The stock stereo just uses an amp (a weak amp) as part of the CD head unit, don't know if Mazda offered an amp/sub upgrade or not on the 626.

    As far as reliability for my 626 goes, it's run like a top from day 1 and now has 111k trouble free miles.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have a factory Mazda Bose system in my 99 ES V6 and each speaker has its own amplifier. I suppose these are somewhat better speakers than the standard ones, but as Bose systems go, this has got to be the cheapest Bose system on the planet. It uses only four speakers, and it is a joke compared to my 98 Nissan Maxima factory Bose system.

    The car has been surprisingly reliable though. I had some very annoying warranty issues, but virtually no problems in the last few years. 90K miles and running strong.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I replaced the rear disc pads on my car several weeks ago. For this job one needs a 5 mm Allen wrench to retract the pistons on the calipers. The new pads are difficult to install because Mazda uses these impossibly designed anti-rattle clips which must be inserted under the pads once pads are in place and there is vitually no clearance provided for the clips. I suspect that many mechanics will simply not insert these clips when they replace the pads, which may result in pad rattle inside the calipers. Anyway, I am done replacing all four disc pads. The original rotors were in good shape, no gooves or warpage, so I only sanded them down by hand using 100 grit sandpaper to remove the glaze. Not bad for a car with 90K miles. I used the original Mazda brake pads. Mazda sells also economy pads, but they do not come with caliper clips or the anti-rattle clips, and cost only about $ 20 less per set. Not worth buying in my opinion. Nissan also sold "economy brake pads" for their cars for a while but they got away from them because they had all kinds of problems with them.

    The best way to prevent rotor warpage is to always torque your lugnuts to specifications and NEVER let anybody use an air impact wrench to tighten your lugnuts. My brakes work like new at 90k miles without any chatter or other problems. The lugnuts on this car were always hand tightened using a torque wrench, and proper tightening sequence.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    I have 102,000 troublesome miles and am slowly bleeding the last life out of my fine 1996 626. I simply want it to get me to Aug, so I can take a look at the '05 Maxx. My 626 now has a hiddeous pinging, which is probably the mass air flow sensor conking out for the 3rd time. Probably only one more oil change, and that will be the end of this miserable excuse for a car.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I find it hard to believe that my car has held up so far. I would have sold it many times over when I was experiencing all those pesky problems within the waranty period. Fortunately Mazda ate the cost of repairs. Tremendous depreciation, and the fact that nobody wanted a 5 speed manual car, forced me to keep on driving this car. I am somewhat tempted to get rid of it now before it is worth next to nothing and before everything goes wrong all at once. But maybe it will hold up for another 100K miles? Who knows? V6 and manual transmission appear to be a good drivetrain choice on these cars for longevity. Kelly blue book trade-in value on my car is about $5K now (assuming excellent condition, which it is in). When I hit 100K miles it will probably drop to $ 3.5K.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    you are so right my friend. the V6 and manual was the best choice. For me, I have 4-5 problems which are competing against one another to see which one finishes the car off first. I too have not put much money into this car. The warranty company ate over $3,500. When it goes, I will still be praising the 626's cornering, AC, and cloth on the seats (still the best I have ever seen in any car). My seats still look like new after 7 years....amazing. But in the end, as one who keeps his cars 10 years or more, this car will stand next to my Renault Encore and Plymouth Valiant as cars which did not pass the muster and make it to the 10 year period....not good company to keep if you ask me!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I used to own a 1982 Renault LeCar which I bought for $ 1300 in 1984. It had about 30k miles and dents in both doors. For those who never owned a French car, this one was truly unique:

    - 3 lug nuts on each wheel
    - radio mounted vertically in the center console
    - wallpaper for headliner
    - large rubberized cloth sunroof (about 4 ft long) which folded back and made the car look like an open can. It was secured in the closed position with two rubber hooks
    - hood hinged in the front of the car
    - spare tire mounted on top of the engine under the hood (heat so dryrotted the spare that when I used a brand new spare for the first time, it disintegrated before my eyes)
    - no door handles, only a button which need to be pushed and recessed area behind it to pull the door open
    - radiator cap which required a large wrench to remove
    - transaxle mounted in front of the engine. The transaxle had a drain plug which looked just like engine oil drain plug. First time I changed engine oil I mistakenly drained the transaxle. Fortunately, I caught the mistake when I added four additional quarts of oil into the engine and the oil was 1.5 inches above the full mark on the dipstick.
    - longitudinal torsion bars for the front suspension
    - transverse torsion bars for the rear suspension (absolutely unique, never saw another car like this)
    - large "LeCar" decals on both doors
    - cloth seats so cheap that they fell apart just from rubbing against the front seats when the rear seat was folded down
    - rubbery manual transmission shifter, which was unlike any other manual shifter I ever tried
    -cylinder sleeves in the engine block
    -air cleaner that looked like an old canister vacuum cleaner
    - the most complicated and overdesigned emission control system in existence - source of constant problems
    -the engine displacement was 1400cc's, peak power 51 HP, and the vehicle curb weight was 1800 lbs

    Owning this car was truly a unique experience. It had an amazingly smooth ride for a small car, and delivered around 35-38 MPG.
    One night I drove the car a little fast (maybe 60 MPH) on this twisty mountain road in West Virginia. Before I knew what happened, I spun around 180 degrees and stopped facing in the opposite direction in the middle of the road. This was in summertime and the road was dry. Nothing like this has ever happened in any other car since. At least it did not roll. The unique suspension did its job.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    well, we just called the kidney foundation and donated the 626, thereby ending a rocky relationship with a car which had waaaaay too many problems. I tried to sell it myself, but in the end, when dealing with my friends, I would always tell them that if it were me, I wouldn't buy it. Take your money and find a good used Toyota or Honda I would tell them. Thanks for all the advice from p100 and other mazda knowledgables. Although I hate to give up a car which is still running, I doubt it would have passed inspection in the spring. I'm off to Maxx-land.
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Sorry to hear of some much malfunctions and the lose
    a poster. I'm sure you helped with your feedback on
    some issues but everyone should have a possitive
    experience with ones mode of transpo...Good Luck
    in your next automotive adventure. My wife and I
    couldn't be more happy after 48K Bryan image
      So we'll just stay put
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    80K trouble free miles!!!
    Maybe that was one of those cars made on friday?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I finally changed my manual transaxle oil in my 626. I used Redline MTU 90 75W90 fully synthetic oil. It is designated as GL-4 gear oil. Mazda recommends use of either GL-4 or GL-5 oils in 626 manual transaxles. This is strange because GL-5 oils contain extreme pressure sulphuric additives that may cause corrosion of brass synchronizer cones in the transaxle. GL-4 oils, particularly Redline MTU 90, do not contain such additives and this oil is especially formulated for use in manual transaxles. The cost is about $8 per quart. You need about 3 quarts to replace the oil in a V6 manual transaxle.

    Some tips for changing manual transaxle oil on the V6:

    There is a drain plug on the bottom of the transaxle and an identical fill plug just above the backup light switch on the side of transaxle toward the front of vehicle. Both of these plugs have 23 mm hex heads. I had to use a 24 mm socket, which was slightly oversized, but did the job. 23 mm is not a standard size metric socket and I have no idea why Mazda selected this size. They probably sell a special tool socket just for this purpose. I tried SAE sockets, but none would fit right. 24mm was the closest fit. Nobody sells 23 mm metric sockets! I have all kinds of tools and many socket sets, and none contain a 23 mm socket! Both fill and drain plugs have aluminum washers, which need to be replaced. Do not reuse these washers! The reason is that they are soft and the plugs will cut a groove in them. If you do not line up the groove with the plug when you reuse them, they will leak. These are cheap to replace, but hard to find, and I had to go to my local Mazda dealer to get them. It is a good idea to get spare washers before you start changing your oil.

    I used a small hand pump for pumping fresh oil into the transaxle. I attached about 5 ft length of clear vinyl tubing to the pump outlet and inserted the other tubing end into the transaxle fill opening from above (hood opened). This way I could comfortably pump the oil in without working under the car. There is simply not enough room under the car to operate this hand pump wihout jacking up the car. Doing it from above is much easier and much less messy.
    The proper oil level is attained when oil is level with the bottom of the fill plug opening. I just kept pumping the oil until it started leaking out of the fill plug opening, then stopped, removed the tubing, and let the oil ooze out of the opening into a drain pan until it stopped. Then I replaced the fill plug using a new aluminum washer.
    So far I found the Redline oil to improve shifting considerably. The oil contains special friction modifiers to provide for proper synchro engagement in manual transaxles.
  • zoomzoom626zoomzoom626 Posts: 124
    I have put that one in mine about 40K ago...Besides better shifting expect to see better MPG as well!
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    I also put the Redline in my transaxle at about 24K miles, and was impressed with the results. It helped the most during mid to late winter when temps below 20 degrees make shifting clunky to say the least. Expensive stuff, but worth it in my opinion. I also plan on putting Redline's ATF and gear oil in my wife's Outback when it's due to have those fluids changed.

    I too had difficulty with the socket size, p100. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and have been burned too many times by using the wrong size before, so I went on an exhaustive search for the 23mm. Even the Sears hardware store with the huge glass case containing hundreds of sockets didn't have it. After trying 3 hardware stores and 2 auto parts stores, Napa finally came through with the right size. Try them if you want one for next time. Of course that socket hasn't been used since, but it's there if I need it!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    When you get to bigger bolt head size, such as 23 mm, 1 mm larger socket will work OK if the bolt is not too tight of course, which was the case with these fill and drain plugs.

    My Nissan V6 pickup has pipe plug type differential, transmission, and transfer case fill and drain plugs with internal square 14 mm opening! Try to find the right tool for that! 1/2 inch socket extension was too small and the plugs were extremely tight.

    After searching for months I finally discovered a special set of drain plug sockets in some tool catalog, which happened to contain a 14 mm square socket(incidentally this set did not contain a 23 mm hex socket that would fit Mazda). Before I found this set, I went to Nissan dealer and they did not list any special tools for these plugs and did not have any of course. If they use a 1/2 inch extension end on these plugs, they will damage every one of them.

    The fill and drain plugs were so tight on this Nissan that I had to use a long 1/2 inch drive breaker bar with the special socket to break them loose. I have a total of 8 of these plugs on my truck - 2 for each differential, 2 for transmission, and 2 for the transfer case.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    What seize is the oil drain plug on a 1995 MX-6 with the 2 liter engine?

  • I have a 97 Mazda 626 v6 and it just turned 100K. Since a week ago or so, whenever I stop at a traffic light and begin to drive, it makes a loud squeaky noise. I have to park it and then drive for the sound to go away. Any ideas as to why it is happening? I just had the tailpipe, muffler, spark plugs and a bunch of hoses replaced.

    Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    It could be a loose or worn out alternator belt.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Mazda appears to use 19mm oil drain plug on most passenger cars. Both my 92 Protege and 99 626 had a 19 mm hex head oil drain plug. Chances are yours is a 19 mm too. Nissan seems to favor 14 mm oil drain plug sizes.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Agree with the above suggestion. I had an identical problem with my 95 Nissan truck. It turned out to be a loose alternator belt. At first I suspected the A/C compressor belt.
  • I am planning on having the timing belt changed on our 2000 626 V6 LX Auto transmission. The car has 77,000. I called the local dealer and was quoted a price of $350. This seems high by about $100. Am I wrong?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Replacing the timing belt normally costs about $300 for a four cylinder and V6's cost more so I would say your price is right about where it should be. Expect it to run higher if they replace the water pump, which you should.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,680
    At a dealer, I have paid as much as $300 and as little as $99.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    the answer on the oil drain plug size. I went to Sears and bought a 19mm. It is the one.

    I have a 95 MX-6 with the 4. I just bought it from a family member. It had 128k when I bought it, so I just did the timing belt and water pump at the same time. I was quoted 360, I think it came closer to 400. A tensioner broke during the chain of the belt.

    I got to say that I'm impressed with how this car runs. Mine is a five speed and it is responsive and very good on gas. I've gotten 31 to 34 mpg consistenlty.

    I've been reading through the post to get an idea of problems and durability with this car/engine. Doesn't appear to be many issues. I know this car has seen synthetic oil its whole life. So I think the last thing to die will be the engine.
  • Change timing belt at 105K..Our engines(V6 only) are non interference so you are safe to let it run longer. :-)
  • I was quoted a price of $550 with waterpump by nearby dealer. The car is 3 1/2 years old, 77,000 miles. Why should it need a waterpump?
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