Radiator split open
(r) front CV joint went.
(l) side rear brake caliper locked up.
Repaired A/C twice.
I bought my Mazda 626 as a used dealer demo in 1998. I owned the car for 12 years, and I absolutely loved it. It never broke down on me. But the radiator split open right after it came out of warranty. After it was replaced, it never gave me another problem, but I would find a coolant spot under the car from time to time, and never located where it came from.
At about 30.000 miles, while driving in a downpour, I entered a road that had about ankle high water and a lot of leaves in the water. Water was pushed up into the intake, and blew the engine. Insurance covered the cost to replace the engine with a re-manufactured long block. After it was fixed, the car never gave me any mechanical trouble, except what is noted above.
A/C repairs were expensive. Also, the trunk began leaking after I replaced a brake bulb. Discovered water was actually entering the trunk from behind the light assembly through a weld, and at the bottom of the trunk seal, were the trunk locks. I removed the seal, cleaned and reseated using a high quality silicone sealer on both locations; problem solved.
Only complaint I had was the sun visor doors, that when open, the light comes on. The door's design will almost certainly lead to them breaking off, and then you can't shut the light off.
I velcro my doors back on and never opened them again.
By the way, that brake bulb I replaced was the only bulb I ever replaced in this car. Even the headlights that were filled with water after my mishap, the headlight bulbs never burned out.
The car drove the same the day I sold it like it did the day I bought it, solid and fun.
Oh, and by the way, I don't feel like I took very good care of this car. To be honest I beat on it. The interior held up perfectly, even with piling 3 kids in it. I replaced this car with a Chevy Tahoe, and sold my beloved Mazda to my neighbor. I get the feeling he will still be driving that car long after this Tahoe is gone.. Loved that Mazda.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th November, 2010