1998 Mazda 626 LX 4 cly from North America


Wish I had never gotten into it


O/D light coming on.

General Comments:

I have problems with the O?D light coming on at 98,000.

The dealer says that the error code from Mazda says it needs a transmission cooler at a cost of 1K.

There are aftermarket coolers for much less.

Questions: 1. Has any one had a cooler installed, and does it solve the problem.

2. Was it an aftermarket cooler or Mazda cooler

3. Should I bite the bullet and replace transmission?

Any help appreciated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2004

31st Jul 2004, 21:40

I would like to respond to the O/D light coming on. I recently had to replace the entire transmission on my 1998 Mazda 626 LX. I took the car to an independent transmission shop and not the dealership. The shop informed me Mazda had many complaints about the drum on the transmission therefore he placed a heavy duty drum in my transmission.

The day after I picked my car up from the transmission shop I was on the freeway and the O/D light started flashing and the transmission blew again. Luckily I had a warranty on the transmission. I called Mazda and they informed me that due to the heavy duty transmission I would have to install a transmission cooler on the vehicle. I informed the transmission repair shop and he replaced the transmission again and placed a transmission cooler on my vehicle. He informed me when the light starts blinking the transmission goes into "safe" mode and will not shift into overdrive. Since then I have had no problems with the transmission.

1998 Mazda 626 LX 2.0 from North America


Worth the cash, for the moment


The check engine light has thrown a code of the catalytic converter being below efficiency. I believe this is attributed to the O2 sensor. Also believe this causes the rumbling and rough idling at stop lights.

Hard shifting from first to second gear.

Crack in rubber O-ring beneath transmission fluid container.

General Comments:

Excellent handling and nice pickup, except for recently.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th May, 2004

1998 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L DOHC from North America


It's a great car; it just hasn't been maintained


Well, the same day I had purchased the car I was driving along; everything was fine, but then my car sounded like a "Wal-Mart racer" (the people who think they are in 'The Fast and the Furious' and go to Wal-Mart parking lots in their Honda Civics and Ford Probes with wings and huge exhausts) so I pulled over and looked under my car and the middle exhaust had fallen apart. So I took it to the dealer and got it fixed tempporarily, and then the starter went out. 2 weeks later, the car started to miss-fire and the engine light came on and flashed back and fourth. I took it to the dealer and they gave us a loaner car for a few days. The problem turned out to be the spark plug wires and spark plugs.

I have always been hearing noises like popping and clicking sounds like tie rod problems and maybe suspension. The rear motor mount just broke, and the block raises 6 inches when I accelerate or go in reverse. The right (front) axle went out, wheel alignment won't stay in-line, and there is a loss of power. When I first got it, it seemed to have full power. I could drop rubber off my tires when I would punch it, but now it feels like I'm starting in second gear. The steering feels really tight and won't stop making weird noises.

There have been 2 transmission rebuilds done to it; not by me, but with the previous owner. I know there are more problems with the car and I'm waiting to find them and complain. Oh yes, the brakes make a bad noise like the calipers are about to explode and the brakes are stuck. If I press the pedal all the way to the floor, then I don't stop till 3 seconds at 25-30 mph. Other than that it's a great car.

General Comments:

I know there have been many problems with my car and most of the cars on this web site, but we are talking about the "fast and the furious" wannabes and the people that drive their cars like they are Paul Walker. Some cars obviously have troubles and defects (such as the big transmission problem). My car could have been better, but it has not been maintained previously and it shows. It is a great car with some power; still not the same as it once had, but it isn't a weed whacker motor yet.

It's loaded with a great sounding stock system, (most of my friends think it sounds like I have 2 12's in my trunk). It has swinging air vents and moonroof, power everything, cruise control, CD player and tape player, lots of room, 15" alloys, a telescopic antenna, and 2.0 liter L4 DOCH. I want to order a cool air intake for my car, but I have to custom order it or else it won't fit.

If I could buy another car, I wouldn't; unless it was a 1995 Toyota Supra twin turbo or a 1969 Camaro SS 632 block. It's a good car, great on gas, stylish, looks like a Jag in the dark with a quick glance. My favorite things about my car are the moonroof and the interior.

My car has had a top speed of 135 and the way I drive it might be why I'm having problems, but hey I got a job and I can pay for the repairs. I just hope that my transmission does not go out anytime soon. It's a 4-speed automatic too which isn't great because 5-speed is what to go with. If I do get a new transmission, I will get a 5-speed put in that beast.

The thing I'm most happy about is repairs; even when I wasn't on warranty, the dealership has replaced everything for free (except the axle job, but they didn't charge for the axle, just for labor). So I'm not that upset; actually I'm not upset at all. It could be so much worse than it is although it may end up that way. A Mazda 626LX is a great car to have. Don't treat it badly, though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd May, 2004

23rd May 2004, 15:05

Wooo, hold horsey! What does this have to do with Wal-mart?

24th May 2004, 22:31

I always laugh when I see people install performance parts on their automatic sedans. You'll have to exhaust almost every bolt on just to match the acceleration of the exact same car with a manual transmission. Why not just buy a manual in the first place, since it's cheaper and faster than its automatic counterpart. Blowing $500 on intake and exhaust might seem like a worthy purchase at the time, but when you pull up at a stoplight with a bone stock 626 manual and he dusts you off, you'll be left shaking your head.

27th May 2004, 20:50

I wrote this page about my car; I never put an exhaust on my car, but the stock exhaust came apart, and all the cars were automatic. Besides the RX8, which I can't really afford, since I'm only 16.