1990 Mazda 626 LX 2.2L 12 Valve from North America


This car is indestructible and resilient


Air chamber blew at 150k, still blows repeatedly ($110 part & labor).

Air conditioner failed at 220k, replaced for less than $200 ($75 part, $95 labor).

Broke rear light ($225 part, self installed).

Replaced timing belt twice ($250 each time).

Burned out clutch at 250k, and replaced cylinder at 255K.

Key is so worn that it can be removed while driving.

Sunroof no longer functional.

Factory cassette player did not work initially (replaced 2 aftermarket radios since).

General Comments:

This car seems to improve with age.

It outlasts stereos, tires, keys, you name it.

The only major complaint is the air chamber. When it first exploded, the car would not start. Once it started blowing, it took three new parts before I rebuilt an air chamber with a pressure relief valve. Once in a while, the valve pops while starting the car. Once the valve pops, it resets and the cars starts fine.

After 15 years it looks great and runs better than cars half as old.

It does have very good acceleration. Sometimes during fast starts, I can chirp the tires through second gear.

As others have said, if you are looking for an amazing used car, get this one. It is worth far more than the list prices! With a little care, it will run forever.

I am trying to see if it will get to 500k. 300k is not even a challenge!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th June, 2005

16th Oct 2005, 00:13

I'm having the same problem with the air (vacuum) chamber in my 1989 Mazda 626 (automatic), and I'm looking for information to help the mechanics who are trying to fix it.

The air chamber first blew 7 months ago (113K), then the new one blew a month after that. A problem was found with the mass air flow sensor and it was replaced. It seemed fine until the air chamber blew again this past week (119K).

Is anybody else having this problem, and does anybody know what could be causing it?

If the original poster sees this -- can you offer any information about the type of pressure relief valve you used?

Thank you to anyone who is able to provide helpful information.

1990 Mazda 626 LX 2.2L inline 4 from North America


Amazing, if you can find one, buy it!


The collector pipe off the exhaust manifold nearly fell off, replaced it at 289000km. The muffler was shot so I put a performance one on, sounds beautiful. The catalytic converter was shot when I got it, I haven't had the money to replace it yet as I will need everything between the collector pipe to the muffler asap. A CV joint broke loose on me when I was up a mountain with a lady friend. (that was embarrassing)

General Comments:

This car is a dream to drive, even for a 15 year old car with 290 000km on it, it will still hit 200km easy. It is my first vehicle and I am abusing it to death, but hey, I only put $400 into, that's including purchase and repairs. This car is FAST and handles amazingly, with only cold air intake I dominated a manual 1987 CRX Si. I out accelerated it, beat it in top speed, and out-handled it. In fact the CRX lost control and went sideways on the road trying to keep up with me on a corner I had no problems with. I had it in economy mode, wasn't even on power mode or manually shifting it. I haven't lost to anything yet, including 1 5L mustang (very poor driver probably had something to do with it) and dozens of Civics. this car is also very good for rally driving suprisingly, going down old powerline access roads at 80 is no problem for this car... as you have read, I BEAT THE CRAP out of this car, yet its body is still perfect, paint still perfect. not a spot of rust, and interior is immaculate (i only paid $400 all together with this car because it was a gift from my parents, even after all this abuse my friends dad still wants to trade me his 84 trans am and give me $1500)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2005