All I can say is that these automatic transmissions are bad ones. It is joint Ford/Mazda transmission called type CD4E/Mazda LA4A-EL. If you put this one into a Probe or a Contour it will fail (you can read hundreds of stories about it on this site alone). If you put it into a 626 it will fail. The only 626 transmissions that will last are the manual ones. But for 2003 and up Mazda uses the 5F31J which I think is OK. So: DO NOT buy a pre 2003 Mazda with auto. It will break down on you.
I purchased my 2002 Mazda 626 in 2002. I have 182,000 miles on it and a few payments left. About a month ago, my transmission died. I paid $2100.00 to get it rebuilt. In less than a month, it started messing up again. I took it to the shop and the shop worked on it for two more days. To make a long story short, I was stranded in bad neighborhood, with two children last night for 2 hours.
I purchased my 2002 Mazda 626 in 2003. It had 25,000 miles on it. I had no major problems until this year. At 141,750 miles the transmission failed. I had a rebuilt transmission installed and 7,500 miles later the low & high speed switches on the transmission pump went out. The transmission shop says my care will be out of service for the next 2-3 days waiting on the parts. Stay tuned.
I owned a 1994 626 and the transmission also failed. First at 30,000 and then again at 106,000. The transmission always jerked somewhat when it changed gears. The repairman took the car off our hands for $200.00 junk and he replaced the transmission 3 more times before he said he found one that would run. Did we buy a another Mazda? No and never will again.
I bought a 2002 Mazda 626 with 5,000 mile on it. I've been having overheating problems for the last two years, and no mechanic could figure it out. I changed the water pump, timing belt, thermostat, and it still overheats. Now after I finished paying for the car it doesn't work at all. I will never buy or recommend a Mazda ever.
I bought a 2002 Mazda 626 two days ago, and within the first 13 hours the car broke down. It wouldn't go into gear. Therefore my car would not move. When I first started noticing something wrong with the car, it was taking a long time for it to shift. When it would shift, it would jump and the car would accelerate at a quick speed.
It had a very bad vibration problem, but I thought maybe it was just because it had been sitting for days.
It sounded like the car was over revving itself. When we test drove the car, it did not do any of these things, because the car had not heated up yet. I am already having issues with this car, and have only had it for two days.
Is it possible that the person who sold it to you... stated hopefully in front of a witness that there was nothing wrong with the car... sometimes unscrupulous people can put different chemicals in the transmission to make it run smoother for a short period of time... might be able to take him to small claims court to recover the cost of a rebuilt/repair transmission... but call the person first...
I bought a 626 1.8 new in 1994, and ran it continuously until I sold it with 134000 miles on the clock. In that time it had no faults except a torn power steering gaiter. When I sold it, the purchaser was going to use it as a minicab, and he came back later to say he still had no faults at 185000 miles.
I bought another 2002 Mazda 626 2 litre GSi SE second hand with 14000 miles on the clock, and nothing has gone wrong with it whatsoever since that time (70,000 miles ago), except usual replacement pads and tyres etc. A very tough and reliable car.