I am planning on buying a Mazda 626 automatic (2.0L LX, 1996), and I would like to ask you some things which might really help me out since I know very little about cars and I have placed a down payment for the Mazda and have to decide soon whether to get it or not. Sorry for the many questions, but maybe you can help me or prevent me from doing something dumb.
The car has done about 160000 kms (100,000 miles). It seems to be perfectly fine, changes gears smoothly on a road test, and otherwise seems well taken care of + owner is a cautious driver. Only after deciding to purchase the car did I read lots of negative feedback about its tranny on the internet. Otherwise it seems like a great car, and is inexpensive.
My questions relate to the fact that Mazda 626's with automatic transmissions seem to be very well-known for their transmissions failing - both statistics and internet posts seem to indicate this.
1. The current owner who has had it for about a year, says that he has not changed the tranny fluid. (Maybe even the first owner hadn't changed it? I don't know.) Anyway, I think I read somewhere that if the car has never had a tranny fluid change in its life, and is high mileage, then doing a complete oil change now (I think the writer of the article called it 'flushing' the oil) might cause tranny to fail. Is this true?
2. How irreversible could the damage be if the previous owner(s) has never changed the tranny fluid?
3. I read on the internet that someone installed a transmission cooling coil, yet the tranny failed even after doing that. With this in mind, and seeing how widespread the problem is on 626s, is the Mazda 626 tranny problem really due to excess heat?
5. Is there any way to completely prevent the automatic transmission problem with the Mazda 626 ATX? Or is it really just a matter of time before the 626's ATX fails?
6. With respect only to the automatic transmission, are there any differences between the 1996 Mazda 626's made for the US market, and those made for the European market?
And do the later models (1996) have a better (or different) automatic transmission than the earlier ones?
7. I notice most people state that they had to get their auto trans rebuilt or buy a new one, which is very costly. Is this always necessary, or are there often cheaper options?
8. Can the original automatic transmission on the 626 be replaced by another make of automatic transmission (and if so, which one and at what cost?)
9. Finally, a subjective opinion - which would you say is more reliable in terms of engine reliability and automatic transmission - a 1996 Mazda 626, or a 1999 Saab 9-5 automatic?
PS. Sorry if this same message reaches you several times, it is because of a website problem- I am trying to donate for the questions but I am not being taken to the proper place. If I cannot donate directly after submitting my questions, please give me your paypal address so I can send you the donation directly. The questions are quite urgent for me.
Thank you very much!
have the same problem?
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 AT 5:06 PM