27th Jun 2004, 22:02

I have a 1996 Mazda 626 LX that I bought in about 1999 with 30,000 miles. Within 30 days of purchase the transmission began skipping and the O/D light blinked. Over the next 6 months the car had the transmission replaced 3 times (all on warranty, but hugely inconvenient!). All has been reasonably good since then until the past few months when the car has been overheating. Two different dealers were unable to find a problem after pressure checking the cooling system, replacing the water pump and timing belt. The current diagnosis is blown head gasket and probably warped head. This is my first and last Mazda!

Massachusetts, USA.

29th Jun 2004, 17:48

I purchased a Mazda 97' 626 Lx in July of 2001. I purchased the Mazda thru a dealership. The dealership offered the 90 day/3,000 mile warranty, which ever came first. I find it a coincidence to have problems with my Mazda soon after the 90 day period, which came before my 3,000 miles. The Mazda check engine light came on the 91 day mark!I did try the battery test, this did not work. I was told the problem was within the electrical circuit board. The following week, when I turned off the ignition, the Mazda's automatic antenna would not go down. Then on the following month, the Mazda's moon roof would not move forward. Then a couple of months later, I noticed when the Mazda's engine is on idle, the engine rattles. The engine stops rattling when I go around 25-30 miles per hour. I had a mechanic look into the rattling problem. Something to do with taking apart the engine and using a special chemical/soaking overnight. The price for parts and labor would have costed over a $1,000. I concur with everyone on this car survey/comment section. This was my first and last time purchasing a Mazda.

Dover, Delaware.

29th Jun 2004, 19:10

Does anyone know if Mazda 626's with manual transmissions have better reliability than the automatics? I'm thinking of buying a 1997 626 with almost 90,000 miles. That might seem crazy after reading all the bad reviews, but this one is a manual... are they any better?

30th Jun 2004, 17:07

I purchased my Mazda 626 LX with 40,000 miles in July of 2001. My Mazda has an automatic transmisson. I currently have 90,000 miles on the Mazda. I'm not sure if the Mazda with a manual transmission has less mechanical problems then the automatic transmission. Just do yourself a favor and look into buying something more reliable; Otherwise, you will be one of the many disgruntled Mazda owners to provide negative remarks in the near future.

2nd Jul 2004, 07:39

I bought a used 1997 Mazda 626 LX from a dealer in April 2004. The car had 145K km on it and it is in good shape. I drove another 3000 km. I face vibration (on driver and passenger seats) between the speed of 90 km to 120 km. I took it the car to dealer. They realigned/ balanced the wheels. They did all possible checks. I even have the car tires checked for balancing / alignment by another place. Problem is still there. I am planning to take the car to a Mazda dealer now, to see whether they could help me. It is very inconvenient for long drives at highway speeds. Could anyone tell me what could be the real problems, from your experience. Having read all the comments posted in this web site, I am now scared!

Ottawa, Canada.

2nd Jul 2004, 13:14

With regard to Mazda 626s and Manual Transmissions, I'd say that 90% of the complaints people have had have been due to the Automatic Transmission and not other mechanical problems with the car. I love EVERYTHING about my Mazda 626 EXCEPT the garbage-pile of a transmission it has. If there was an easy conversion, I'd swap out the tranny for a manual (even sacrificing cruise control) and keep the car.

My story is typical... I bought the 95 Mazda 626 Automatic Tranny used, and about a year later (50,000 miles) the O/D OFF light starts flashing and it shifts like garbage. Advice of the garage was that it would be $1200 to $1800 to replace, and that I should "drive it into the ground" because it would delay the service and would not add to the cost at that point. So I nursed it along for 3 more months until it literally wouldn't move.

Rebuilt the tranny December 2002, and guess what...20,000 miles later, the transmission is overheating, shifting hard, and slipping. (sigh). But, considering the low maintenance costs otherwise, I'm willing to shell out the $1200 to $1800 (alternative being more car payments or another gamble on a used car).

For those of you considering buying a used Mazda 626, my advice is to either buy a MANUAL transmission model, or consider the Protege if you're stuck on Mazdas, or avoid them altogether.

8th Jul 2004, 21:04

Yeah, My parents got a '95 626 in like 98. Auto transmission hasn't failed them yet. But guess what, I just turned 16, and the cars mine now. Its got 130k on it, and still the original transmission. Either somehow the people at ford actualy made 1 quality transmission, or somethings fishy. After hearing all of these reports, I'm scared that now its going to blow, and i'll be stuck with the bill now. Nice car, maybe it would be worth converting over to a manual when it does. The only problems have been with the boots, and O2 sensor. Although the engine light has been on for like 3 years, but shops want like 70 buck to just run a diagnostic.

Anyways, wish me luck.

15th Jul 2004, 14:30

Go with 98'or newer 626's, they have redesigned transmissions and are very reliable.

21st Jul 2004, 14:33

Man where do I start, I bought a 95 Mazda 626 program car it had 4500 miles on it. About a year and a half and about 100,000 miles ago the o/d light started flashing. A local mech. told me it was the transmission and recomened what was supposed to be the best tranny man in my state. He replaced the trans. at $2000 it lasted about 3 weeks then blew up. I had it towed back to him where since then I have taken back a total of seven times. In a year and half I have driven the car a total of 3 months. The last time was last wed. July 14 I went to pick the car up for the seventh time and they told me they gave up on the trans. that was in there. So they put a new one in and restarted my warranty "BUT" I did not even make it home the trans. blew about 4 miles from home can you believe it a brand new trans. did not last 20 miles. I want to sell the pile of junk, but I cannot keep it running long enough. In closing two things first do not buy a Mazda before a 98 model and even then beware. Second I heard a rumor that there might be a lawsuit on Mazda or the people who made the transmissions I do not no, but I would love any input that anybody has heard (GOOD LUCK AND BUY TOYOTA)

24th Jul 2004, 16:49

Man! I just bought a 1999 Mazda 626 yesterday with 94K miles. I found a note inside with the last owner's name so I called him. He said he traded it in because the transmission went out. Apparently the dealer fixed it and then sold it to me.

There was a comment above that they redesigned the transmissions in 98. I hope mine was an isolated case, but it seems a big coincidence that Mazda is known for transmission problems and my 1999 has had it fixed. I wish I had seen this site sooner! I would not have bought it. Pray for me.