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Mazda 626



  • jmazdajmazda Member Posts: 1
    I was just wondering if anyone has any advice for me purchasing a used mazda. It is a 1991 Mazda with 40,000 miles. Its has a manual transmission and is loaded with a lot of options. I have a choice between that car and others that are similar but, with 80,000+ miles. I was wondering if anyone has had or knows someone that owns a 1990-1992 mazda 626, and if so, has there been any problems since you/they have had the car. I would greatly appreciate any advice from anyone about this.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Ours is newer, but we purchased it largely based upon the great reputation of the model years that came before it.

    That should be reliable, just make sure the mileage is accurate. Check the pedals to see if the rubber pads seem too worn for 40k miles.

  • barich1barich1 Member Posts: 143
    It should be reliable. The '89 that I had was in the same redesign (That one ran from '88 to '92). It went to 212k miles with NO PROBLEMS except for 2 major (about $1,000 each) automatic transmission rebuilds. If the one you are considering is an auto, make sure that the reverse gear works and the transmission doesn't slip in the forward gears. If you buy it, I have read that frequent A/T fluid changes (evey 10k miles or so) do wonders for the life of it. (It may last the life of the car with them) Great car.
  • larry886larry886 Member Posts: 1
    Anybody else have this problem, the tail lights tend to melt the plastic next to the conductor on the bulb itself. The bulb # is 3057LL "Sylvania"
    I beleive the tail light fixture is the problem, not the bulb. I have a Lumina that has the same bulb and no problems and the Malibu has melted the plastic on both sides, left and right tail lights. I have noticed a few Malibu's on the highway with brake lights and turn signals not working. You can fix by scraping melted plastic off the bulb and cleaning the conductor but what a P.I.A. ANYONE ELSE HAVE SAME PROBLEM??
  • skibry1skibry1 Member Posts: 174
    700 miles and what a babe.At 6ft I loose a sight
    line from that rear-view mirror not being mounted
    in the darkened portion of the windshield.It took
    about an hour and 2 single-edge razor blades to
    whittle away at that mirror button glue but it's
    raised now and out of my sight line.That flippin'
    black trim piece is another story!What the heck
    is that made from?It's inpervious to blades,heat
    and acetone!Help me! For a head-rest restraint to
    be effective it needs to be elevated to at least
    the top of one's ear.Mine is about 2.5" to low,
    the head-rest not my ear,and should be modified.
    Will get back later. Thumbs Up
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Never had trouble with the lights on our 626, but why ask about a Malibu in a 626 topic?

  • jgard1jgard1 Member Posts: 19
    The head restraint thing goes back a while, IIRC it was only an issue on the ES model of previous years, and well documented in the Lemon Aid book. It was something I checked out on the '97 ES I bought last year. At 5'10" the head restraint is for me perhaps a tad too low at its fully extended position. For someone 6+ feet it could be downright dangerous in the event of a rear ender. I'm surprised that not only has mazda NOT done anything about it, but now it seems that more than just one model has the problem.
  • skorolskorol Member Posts: 11
    I also used to have 1989 Mazda 626, but with 5-spd, and it was a great car. I loved the 2.2L engine, it was so smooth and powerful. I didn't have many problems with that car, only minor ones, and have a lot of good words to say about it. By the way, Mazda I thoguht started making that disign in 1989, and not 1988, as you said in your posts. That engine, however, consumed oil, and I had to put half a quart in every 2 weeks or so, did you experience the same fenomena? Despite that, I never had problems with engine, and considered it to be the best part of the car even with that small oil consumption. Mazda has always been making great cars, especially with manual transmissions.
  • barich1barich1 Member Posts: 143
    Yeah, it did use oil, but not that much. I know a few people with supposed '88s that look like mine, but when I bought it they had some '88s left over on the lot that were clearly an older body style. On MSN CarPoint it says '88-'92. I really am not quite sure. In retrospect I wish I had gotten the 5 spd.
  • jules226jules226 Member Posts: 3
    I purchased my used mazda 2 years ago with 30,000 miles on it. One month after the warranty went out my o/d light started to flash. Before I knew it the car was lurking and I barely made it home with the kids in the back. I had the car checked out beforehand and there was no sign of trouble. Had it towed to mazda where there diagnosis was I needed a new trans. They only made me pay $400 to do a 36,000 mile service to it. The trans was over $2,000. Fortunately it has 56,000 miles now but I dont trust it. I'm getting rid of it and buying a nissan van. Defintely get the v6 mine was a 4 and not enough power. Good luck.
  • slorenzenslorenzen Member Posts: 694
    I am buying the above-described car for my daughter as a college commuter. It has 94K mostly highway miles and is in GREAT condition. He has maintained the car and has receipts to show. I am paying $5500 for this car. Is there anything I should be afraid of?

  • jgard1jgard1 Member Posts: 19
    Apparently, as detailed in other posts here, the automatic tranny on the V6 is much more reliable than the one on the 4 cyl. model, so you should be OK there. At 94K the car is due for a new timing belt (mazda recommends it at 100K). I would suspect this is all you really need concern about.
  • jgard1jgard1 Member Posts: 19
    Oops! mazda recommends a new timing belt at 60K miles. Here in Canada, where we have metric on the brain, that would be 96K km.
  • slorenzenslorenzen Member Posts: 694
    Thanks for the feedback. He replaced the timing belt and water pump at 70K, new brakes at 89K and new Michelin's at 91K. The car is VERY nice, and
    I'm afraid i'll wake up and it'll have been a dream. The seller even took the car into Mazda to fix a sqeak in the dash....AFTER I had agreed to buy the car...
  • skibry1skibry1 Member Posts: 174
    Just two mods right off the bat.Elevate the rear
    view mirror,it was in a sight-line,and customize
    the head-rest restraint.In order for this to work
    properly it should be adjusted to the top of one's
    ear, at 6' we fell short about 3".The local
    interior specialist charged me 2 franklins and now
    it's more like the easy chair! I'm having a blast
    with this left leg flexor! Thumbs Up
  • rmsmallrmsmall Member Posts: 1
    I recently saw something (I don't remember where) about a 626 wagon. Has anyone else heard anything about this?
  • johnlwjohnlw Member Posts: 28
    I notice that Edmunds does not show any 626 rebates in effect. I thought there were, ($1500?)and I was counting on one, quite frankly, to use in my purchase decision.

    Anyone know the status? Thanks.
  • snoopy18snoopy18 Member Posts: 4
    The rebates that were in effect expired 2/29/00. From what I've heard, there is usually a bit of down time before the next batch of incentives are offered.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    I believe the 626 wagon dates back to the 1970s and then it was RWD, too.

    I like the 88-92 and 98+ cars the best. The 93-97s got old looking too quick after they were out.
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    Mazda does build a 626 wagon, but not for North America.

    Here's an example:
  • howardnhowardn Member Posts: 13
    I have a 89 LX purchased new and it has been one of the best cars I have owned 115K on it now, burns some oil, not much. Hardly a problem in all these years and miles...well built and great engine.
    The '94 which I also bought new based upon my "89 experience is a different story. I have the 5 spd thank goodness so i have not had tranny problems....but i have had several engine performance problems that never quite were diagnosed....rough idle, stalling,and oil consumption. Now i just developed a rather significant oil leak which i will look at tomorrow. The build quality and performance of the '94 pales in comparison to my other. Squeaks, rattles, broken trunk release mech, pwr antenna, you name it. I'm getting rid of it with less than 70K on it...first time I have sold off a car i bought new less than 10 years old and under 100K, but i have no confidence level in its future reliability and will not consider a new on, although recent pricing incentive was tempting
  • dans81dans81 Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at purchasing a 1995 Mazda 626 LX that was taken as a trade-in by a non-Mazda dealer. They say that it won't go beyond 45 mph, so they are looking to get rid of it cheaply rather than trying to determine the fault. I have found a mechanic who is going to look it over. Has anyone ever had this type of problem with their 626? I have read over 200+ of the Mazda 626 posts and most of the problems mentioned seem to be transmission related. I am unsure of this car's mileage. I will have more info in a few days.
  • gman25gman25 Member Posts: 2
    My lovely 626 ES did something strange and the dealer when checked said no error codes resulted and everything is fine. What happened was when my wife was driving to work, the car just quit and she had to muscle it to the side of the road. She waited a bit and started it up and drove immediately home and was afraid to drive it.It has 30,000+ on it and I got it for her to specifcally feel comfortable on the way to work.
    Now she doesn't want to drive it. Has anyone heard of anything like this. It is fully loaded and a dream to drive.
  • barich1barich1 Member Posts: 143
    It's possible that it has something to do with the security/engine immobilizer system. If it malfunctioned, it is quite possible to kill the engine. If a metal keyring is touching the metal part of the key, it will also activate the system. If there is a problem, the car-with-a-key icon above the temp gauge should stay lit. If it is lit all the time, take it in to the dealer and have them look at the security system. Even if not lit, the security system seems most likely to kill the engine and allow it to be restarted again later.
  • gman25gman25 Member Posts: 2
    thanks for your advice . I tried shorting metal to key with no results. I guess if immobilizer is that trick I am going to have to get another vehicle or my wife will be using my truck to go to work. she is now in fear of the idea that the car could shut down for no apparent reason.It could have caused a bad accident.
  • barich1barich1 Member Posts: 143
    Wait, I forgot something REALLY obvious (to me, anyway, since I've had it done)! There was a recall on the '98 626s regarding the engine management computer. It would somethimes trigger an overlean condition and the engine would quit. Has your recall service been performed? It definitely fixes the problem.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The 626 in other market is different than the US model.

    The US likely won't get a wagon, because the Tribute (626 based, BTW) is on the way.

    dan - I wouldn't buy that car until it was fixed, bargain or not.

  • skibry1skibry1 Member Posts: 174
    Our doubleought 626 LX doesn't have all that
    fancy stuff,Anthony, but at 6' I had the same
    problem.See Post#65.We have 1.5K and this left
    leg flexor is a blast. Thumbs Up
  • margokmargok Member Posts: 3
    I just purchased a 94 626es w/65k for 7,000.00 & a worthless trade. I drove it twice before buying it both hwy and city for about 30 miles. It ran beautifully. Now on my way home, with ck book 7k lighter the engine light comes on.

    Has anyone heard of specific engine problems. I assume since it ran fine that perhaps it's some type of electrical or hopefully!!! just a problem with the warning light itself? It didn't come on until after the car idled for 5 min in a parking lot and then went off a few minutes after driving again, I hadn't noticed that it had come on at first.

    Any ideas? Thankx
  • trinacria2trinacria2 Member Posts: 5
    I bought my '96 626 LX 4 cyl AT used with 48k miles last year. After I forgot the lights on and the battery went dead, I started having idle problems and took the car to the local dealer. I now know that codes had been erased, but those people told me that the idle air control valve was bad and that it would cost me more than 900$ to have it fixed. Not convinced and scared, I looked for a second opinion. In the mean time those people at Mazda had restored the codes and the car was already driving better. Other mechanics diagnosed air intake leaks and/or vacuum leaks. All attempts to fix the problem have failed, including the replacement of the IAC valve. The idle sounds rough, specially during cooler days, and is sensitive to any electric load, even a simple turning signal makes it shift up and down! Has anyone had this kind of problem and found out a solution?

  • schrade2schrade2 Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased a brand new 626LX 4cyl 5spd. I think this car has a very noisy engine. It seems to run at almost 3500rpm at 75mph in 5th gear. Is anyone else noticing this type of problem? Is sure is much noiser than camary or accords!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The engine has a smaller displacement than the two you've mentioned, so it's geared higher to produce more power for passing.

    3500rpm is fine, though. You're only about half way to the redline. The catch is the noise.

    Even the V6 revs a bit high, but it produces immediate passing power at just about any speed.

  • skibry1skibry1 Member Posts: 174
    We thought the 626's powerplant was a bit high
    on the Reicter scale, but for 16k we're pleased
    as punch. The other 2 you mentioned,Jason, we
    could'nt touch with our limited funds.
  • robaltimarobaltima Member Posts: 7
    We purchased our car new last september and have since logged 11,500 miles. Overall we have enjoyed the car. The car is the best handling car I have ever had. I know the consumer magezines talk about the V-6 as the least powerful in it's class but it is more than enough. We drove the car from Nashville to Knoxville at 70+ mph loaded with X-mas presents, luggage and 3 adults and the car never downshifted going up the Mountains. We have not had any trouble with the car except a noise in the door that was fixed by mazada.

    I do wish the car had a smoother ride. I had a Ford Taurus that was unreliable but had a nice ride. Also make the seats more comfortable. While it is important for Mazada to set itself apart from the competition by being "fun to drive", to much "fun" makes my backside hurt! Therefore I have added a seat cushions which makes my driving fun more fun. Otherwise a great car for the price!
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    While Mazda's brace of 626 engines is comparatively old-tech - both these powerplants showed up for '93 - their modest ratings are offset by their willingness to rev and by the car's light weight. (626 tips the scale at barely 2900 lb; Accord weighs about 200 lb more, and Camry 100 lb more than that.) The V6 is definitely less noisy. But you can drive the living whee out of either motor; even my leadfooted daughter was impressed with the way I pushed the little four-banger to the front of the I-44 pack.
  • snoopy18snoopy18 Member Posts: 4
    I just bought my 626 ES V-6 a month ago, and my rearview mirror does not have an automatic dimmer or a compass. The mirror is not in my way, but I'm only 5'4". Hope this helps!
  • margokmargok Member Posts: 3
    Me Agian! The engine light problem is gone, dealer said it was an O2 sensor and replaced it free of charge!! They even let me use a 98 Subaru Forester w/30k for 2 days. Thought they were playing a variation of the old bait and switch!

    However driving home tonight from the dealership the car up and died on the interstate. It ran fine through town and then on the hwy it was running fine. I accelerated up to about 70 - 75mph and all of a sudden the engine quit. I pulled over and it wouldn't restart, at first. I had electrical put no ignition. After sitting a few minutes It restarted and I drove back to the dealership through town! They gave me back the Subaru and said they would look at it again tomorrow!

    Anybody have any ideas?? Thank you
  • margokmargok Member Posts: 3
    Back again, regarding my near death experience last night when my 626 died on the interstate. The dealership says I lack spark, I took offense as I thought I was pretty peepy.....anyway they say I need a new distributor, as the car heats up on the HWY the distributor stops working?? Apparently driving through down doesn't get it hot enough to stop functioning?

    At any rate its going to be $460 and they'll pay $100.00, last time I buy an 'as is' vehicle.

    Does this scenario sound plausible and does this price sound about right?? Anybody???
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Member Posts: 765
    This is a known issue for this model year. What happens is that the ignition module, which is integrated with the distributor, goes into thermal overload. After '94 they replaced the apparatus with a new one that doesn't exhibit this problem. has a description of the situation in frightening detail.
  • marcel311marcel311 Member Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 94 626es with 63,000 miles. I had a similar problem. the first time the engine light came on i didn't think much of it. But then i drove to my parents house, which is about an hour away, and my 626 was running funny. Well on the way home, the car was having problems shifting into 3rd gear(automatic). i took it to my mechanic and my transmission went. he told me that these cars have problems with the trannies. So I had to have it replaced. it was on warranty, and if that is your problem i hope your car is still on warranty because it would have cost us $2100 to have it fixed. hope it works out for you.
  • laurakatie1laurakatie1 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 99 ES V6 5-spd and I posted a couple of months earlier about the engine hesitating slightly when excellerating. I thought it went away but then it came back. I had the dealer check it out. Even drove it with the technician to try and show the problem. Of course, the car behaved just fine at that moment. They thought it might be the gas I was using. I've tried different stations, but that does not cure it. I'm going back to the dealer on Monday for an oil change. Hopefully I can have an effective demonstration of the hesitation at that time.

    Maybe someone reading this has experienced the same problem and has a solution I can tell the technician. Basically, it happens when excellerating in 2nd and 3rd gear. The hesitation starts around 2500 rpms and continues to just past 4000 rpms. Right at that point, it stops hesitating as suddenly as switching a light switch. I even hear a slight instantanious change in the engine noice. I don't really notice it in any other gears. Nor do I notice it when I downshift to 2nd or 3rd and then accellerate. It's frustrating because I keep hearing on this post about how quick this car is with the V6. Even edmunds review of the 2000 ES V6 noted how strong the engine pulled from 2000 - 4000 rpms. I sometimes feel that strong pull in that range, but most of the time I feel the hesitation, like something subtle is trying to hold it back and finally breaks it loose just past the 4000 rpm mark. I hope to get this mystery solved, because I could really learn to love this car. Now I'm contemplating on trading her in on something else. I hate to do that because I've already suffered the first year depreciation. In case you are wondering, the car has just over 12,000 miles. I bought it last September.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • skibry1skibry1 Member Posts: 174
    As I was cruising down I 34 I got to thinking,
    "What IS the optimum,ie least amount of pollutants+
    best fuel effiencecy,rpms for this Foxmoor honey.
    Cruise was set @ 3K/70mph.Does anyone,like OKcharles,know the most effiecent rpms?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Margo - what a coincidence, we have a 626 and a '98 Forester. Out of curiosity, how did you like the Forester?

    skibry1: the rate of wind resistance increases with the square of speed. Gearing can help, but you'll probably have better mileage at 50mph than you would at 70mph.

    On the other hand, you should keep your engine in it's power band for passing situations, so 3500rpm isn't necessarily bad.

  • jbolonickjbolonick Member Posts: 1
    I've been reading a lots of Pro and Con comments on the reliability of 626's, which I am thinking of buying. They certainly are designed nicely and the engines seem to work well, but once there seem to be occasional horror stories that one doesn't see with Toyota's or Honda's.

    Anyone have any comments on whether 626's are getting better?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I think they've always been pretty good, actually. The exception may be the auto trans on the 4 cylinder models.

    Ours has had only one major service in 5 years, and it was about $400 or so.

    On the other hand, we saved about $6,000 over a similarly equipped Camry when we bought it.

  • kbulmerkbulmer Member Posts: 1
    I have an 99 ES V6 automatic with the same type of problem there is a small spot where it you described,this problem also cause vibration in the center console of the car. I have just returned from the dealer and they heard the problem and felt the lack of power at the points I mentioned but are unable to fix it.

    So while my car misbehaved at the right time, I am no further ahead!

  • switchdayswitchday Member Posts: 1
    My husband and I are picking up our New 626 LS V6 this weekend. We are just curious, we forgot to ask the dealer, does the car come with one or two remotes? We have looked at so many cars, they all seem a blur now. If you know, please post

  • jgard1jgard1 Member Posts: 19
    For what it's worth, my '97 ES came with two remotes, and 3 keys (2 masters and one valet key). As for what comes with the 00 model, I don't know, but a quick call to the dealer would surely fill you in.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    We also got 2 remotes with our 95, though the wife kept both!

  • jgard1jgard1 Member Posts: 19
    Well in our case, I kept both, as my wife is notoriously adept at losing her keys!
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