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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,592 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Mazda 626 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Mazda 626 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 14)

problem #280

Nov 292009

626 4-cyl

  • 105,626 miles


105,626 original mileage. Coming from a long highway drive. Car began to rev really high. Transmission was slipping. O/D light began blinking. Crawled the vehicle to repair shop. Was told there was a complete failure of the transmission. Transmission was rebuilt.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #279

Jan 042011


  • 116,000 miles
I bought a Mazda 626 1998 and it had 116,000 miles on it the transmission O/D light began to flash and then it started shifting hard then oil started to burn and I had to install a external transmission cooler this only lasted for a while and then the transmission shifted hard and oil went everywhere.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #278

Nov 212009


  • 149,000 miles
Transmission failed in 98 Mazda 626 with 149K miles.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #277

Oct 252009


  • 163,450 miles


1998 Mazda 626 LX 4 cyl car was fine took it to have transmission service next day slipping starting out in 2nd gear shifting hard before service was done car drove like a dream.

- Englewood, OH, USA

problem #276

Jul 172009


  • 133,600 miles
1. long highway drive (8-10H) during temp. Stormy conditions (1-2H) 2. transmission defect, 3800$ repair bill + additional costs for rentals/motels 3. replaced transmission.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #275

Mar 132009


  • 145,700 miles
I was driving home(logan) after driving from logan, ut. To layton, ut. When I heard a loud pop, the rpms redlined and the car stalled out. I pushed the car (1998 Mazda 626) to the side of the road, the car was smoking so I opened the hood and smelled transmission fluid, I looked under the car and seen transmission fluid leaking on the road. This car has had an external transmission fluid added and it has still gone out. I am trying to investigate the problem for myself and have not come to a conclusion yet. I do not have the money for the service to be don so I will try to contact Mazda or Ford to get the issue corrected, luckily I wasn't on a very busy highway or the problem could have possibly resulted in a serious accident or damage to myself or someone else.

- Logan, UT, USA

problem #274

Mar 132009


  • 145,000 miles


The tranny was slipping and the od light kept blinking on and off and the transmission stopped working due to faulty parts, with all the other complaints on this transmission they should either replace the part(s) or buy the vehicles back from the consumer!

- Logan, UT, USA

problem #273

Jul 302008


  • 103,000 miles
I have 103,000 miles. My transmission hasn't failed yet, which I now see I should feel lucky about. I have had all the other transmission issues I now find are common because Mazda put too small an engine into this car. I have had the O/D light flash on and off, the transmission be jerky, check engine light on. (this has gone on for several years now) I was told by a dealer I needed a range sensor and an aftermarket transmission cooler. I thought I had a leak of transmission fluid but it's just spewing up from the transmission overheating. Every time they change the fluid it gets worse. Now I can see from what others say that my transmission will no doubt fail soon. I had to find this out by going online; no Mazda repair shop ever told me any of this, until today when I was told that there was an "issue" with the 1998 transmission. Unbelievable. Mazda should have to do something since it's their design defect. I will never buy another Mazda!!!!!!! Toyota, here I come.

- Fredonia, NY, USA

problem #272

Nov 152008


  • 96,000 miles
Gears began slipping and then transmission completely failed.

- O Fallon, MO, USA

problem #271

Jan 032009


  • 105,000 miles
I own two 1998 Mazda 626S. The transmission went out in the first one. I bought a replacement and installed it. At the same time, I bought another Mazda 626 and my wife started driving it. Each transmission had about 100, 000 miles on it. We are small business owners on a budget with a big family and very mindful of preventable maintenance and driving with integrity. To make a long story short, I am sitting here this morning with three, yes three, useless transmissions and several thousands of dollars wasted thus far. Mazda needs to own up to this problem with your help!

- Branson, MO, USA

problem #270

Dec 212008

626 4-cyl

  • 89,155 miles


I have a 1998 Mazda 626 4cyl. Automatic transmission. I have had numerous problems with this transmission, I have had the torque converter replaced, along with fluid flushes and even some electrical connections replaced and now the car sits in my driveway with a perfect motor and when its in reverse it is in drive, there is no reverse anymore. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to get this fixed and I am on a fixed income and need help repairing it.

- Tecumseh, MO, USA

problem #269

Dec 012008


  • 120,215 miles
Transmission problems with the year of 98's transmissions made by Ford. Transmissions have had multiple issues starting from shifting issues, transmission fluid overheating requiring more and more Mazda 626's to have aftermarket transmission coolers installed, transmission overheating. This year that Ford made this transmission has caused many people to often replace transmissions for this vehicle. You will see many people have replaced their transmissions 2 or 3 times within putting 150K on the vehicle. Please look into as I have had my transmission slip and completely not work, to getting rebuilt and now my O/D is now flashing, which requires me to install an aftermarket oil cooler for my transmissions, which does not come with the vehicle already. Transmission rebuild is costing over 2,000 dollars due to the unavailability of parts from the dealer and aftermarket suppliers. Please recall this transmission!!!!!! a Mazda technical service bulletin exists for some 1998-2001 models. Tsb 05-005/02 deals with one specific circumstance: "after extended highway driving, the O/D off light is blinking and code P1783 is set (excessive atf temperature). Occasionally there will be overflow through the dipstick tube and harsh shifting. Mazda's recommended fix is to replace the radiator and to install an auxiliary cooler for the transmission." When the light goes on, it enters a fail-safe mode? (the epc solenoid opens up and brings line pressure up to 'max')... the only catch is it raises the fluid pressure well beyond normal specs (it goes from 100 to 400 psi). Ford cd4E transmission - issues also with transmission.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #268

Jun 262008


  • 146,000 miles
My Mazda was doing just fine then one day it started having major problems shifting from 1st to 2nd gear and revs very high going between gears, and the O/D light flashes. I have not been able to afford the repairs yet.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #267

Oct 182008


  • 112,134 miles
I was driving the car at 75 mph on the freeway, when all of a sudden, the transmission basically went into neutral. Traffic was light, and I was able to cost to the right shoulder of the freeway. I was unable to get the car to work in any gear (R, D, 1, 2). The car was towed to a local transmission shop for repairs. The shop discovered that the torque converter had a catastrophic failure and littered metal parts through the entire transmission. The entire transmission had to be required at the cost of $2,212.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #266

Jun 102008


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1998 Mazda 626 automatic transmission car will not go into gear, forward or reverse. The problem just started while driving at about 45 miles an hour on a smooth highway. The car had to be towed back home.

- Lake City, TN, USA

problem #265

Feb 072008


  • 120,000 miles
I have a 1998 Mazda 626 with 120,000 miles on it. I have had the original tranny rebuilt once then replaced with a new transmission and now it has been sitting for 6 months with another transmission failure. This time the transmission malfunctioning has cost me a very good job. This is insane and it is my understanding that this is a very common problem.

- Peachland, NC, USA

problem #264

Apr 012008


  • miles
This is the second Mazda I have had since I ever started driving. I am 23 years old and have had my license for 4 years. My first car was a 92 Mazda mx-3, I loved the car I then started to have issues with the transmission, which pissed me off because I was very aware with the maintenance done on my car. As time passed me and the mx-3 had to part ways. I then got a 98 Mazda 626. I continued to support the Mazda movement only because I thought you had to know how to drive a car in order to own a Mazda. I'm about to have two years with this car, continuing to be aware of the maintenance and the transmission has failed. I am kind of upset. A month ago the censor in the brake pedal to switch gear had locked, when I got the part fixed the mechanic said everything was fine he made it a point to check the transmission fluid, only because I am pretty adamant about that particular fluid especially knowing the history. April 1, 2008 the car was struggling to reverse, it would jump if I would accelerate, other than that it wouldn't move. I was hesitant to believe that it was the transmission. I checked the fluid and it was super low. I bought about 4 bottles and the problem was still existent. I even started struggling to drive the car. My father thought maybe it was the cable that was loose, but no. I couldn't believe that this car hasn't complete its second year with me and its of no use. I brought it to the mechanic and he himself confirmed that it was a transmission failure. Once again the Mazda and I will soon have to part ways, which is sad I always believed that Mazda were good vehicles. I am now discouraged about purchasing a Mazda in the future. I am not sure what this scenario will do but hopefully they get this problem fixed. I understand it's not a brand new car but if its well kept it is a bit agitating. I don't see myself being a loyal customer to Mazda, when Mazda has yet to be loyal to me.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #263

Oct 182007

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles
The vehicle jolts when coming off the highway which I was informed was due to the overheating transmission. After about two hours of highway driving I had to pull to the side of the highway because the vehicle became unstable.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #262

Mar 032008

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,200 miles
I was driving at 65 mph on a freeway when O/D light started blinking, then the engine accelerated to 7000 RPM at the speed. Pulled over and stopped, after that I could not move the car. Apparently, the transmission is blown (as what everyone says). I researched this extensively and it looks like it is a defect that the manufacturer was aware of and, as such, should help mitigate. Looks like tons of 626S were damaged like this. I will attempt to have dealer take a look at it and hopefully they will fix it. But I believe all the complaints on this forum are a valid ground for a recall.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #261

Feb 202008

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,480 miles
Transmission failure. I know of a lot of people with 626's that has transmission problems, and the bad thing about it is Mazda knew about it. We are hoping to get Mazda to do something about it, it's pathetic. I was hoping I wouldn't have any problems out of mine, but I have. We need to have something done about this, I can't afford to replace this transmission, and Mazda knows about it. Why don't they do a recall" it could pose as a hazard. My car erratically changes gears, and rpms, it could just stop in the middle of the road and cause a serious wreck. Why wait until accidents happen, why not go ahead and do a recall???"

- Cedartown, GA, USA

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