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 4 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #220

Jan 102006

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,080 miles


My 1998 Mazda 626 replaced transmission at 49000 miles on it O/D light flashing on transmission down shifting on its own. Transmission fluid blew out, the dipstick was replaced, speedometer gear set also flushed rad.& cooler now new transmission doing same thing at over $2600 dollars out of pocket. Heard lots others have had same problems would like to report. To see if the Mazda dealership could be responsible for repairs.

- Glasgow , MT, USA

problem #219

May 072006


  • miles
Purchased car used one week ago and immediately transmission failure at ~155K probably earlier...awaiting repairs costing 3K dollars.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #218

Apr 282006

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission went out. Its to expensive to get fixed.

- Mohave Valley, AZ, USA

problem #217

Mar 132006

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,300 miles


I have a 1998 Mazda 626 LX 4 cylinder, automatic transmission. I am sure you are aware of the transmission problems with these vehicles from 92-02. During long drives (over 30 miles), I began experiencing problems with the O/D (overdrive) light flashing. Accompanying this phenomenon, was erratic shifting at high speeds between third and fourth gears. When pulling over and stopping the car, black smoke can be seen coming from the left side under the hood. This only seems to occur at high speeds, above 50 mph. This occurred on long drives as soon as I purchased the car. Multiple mechanics were unable to diagnose the O/D light problem. I had the O2 sensors replaced. I found out later through internet chat rooms for the Mazda 626(aka: Support group for automatic transmission 626 owners), that this problem is the first sign that the transmission is burning up. The transmission finally failed at 105,000 miles(lucky to last that long). Cost me $2000 to replace transmission with one from a junk yard. Now the O/D light still flashes when driving over 30 miles over 50 mph. Just waiting for the transmission to go out again. Mazda should pay for these repairs, and the thousands of other unfortunate Mazda 626 owners out there.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #216

Nov 012005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles
Transmission failure car 120,000 miles and has been diagnosed by a technician to need transmission replacement (technical service bulletin #05-00502).

- Burbank , CA, USA

problem #215

Mar 282006

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 65mph, the automatic transmission began to hesitate, and the overdrive light illuminated. The vehicle was seen by an independent repair shop. A diagnostic test was performed which detected a failing transmission. The dealer was alerted about the problem.

- Burton, WA, USA

problem #214

Feb 052006

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


: the contact stated the vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop for an oil change at 40,000 miles. During the oil change the mechanic discovered the transmission fluid was discolored and recommended further diagnostic testing of the transmission. The diagnostic testing was not completed and the vehicle was driven until the transmission failed at 58,000 miles. While attempting to pulling from a parking space the vehicle stalled and it was pushed back into the parking space. A local mechanic came to the scene, inspected the vehicle and determined the transmission failed.

- Takoma Park, MD, USA

problem #213

Jan 012006

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I had the automatic transmission on my 1998 Mazda 626 rebuilt at no. 1 auto repair center in stafford, va, back in November of 2002 at a cost of $1650. On January 1, 2006, while driving home from lorain, oh, to kettering, oh, this rebuilt transmission seemed to overheat and blow. The transmission went out suddenly and smoke proceeded to billow from my hood while I was driving at a speed of 75 mph. The O/D off light had been blinking a few weeks ago, so I took the car in to grismer auto repair in dayton, oh. They said the transmission fluid was very dark and sludgy and recommended a flush and change. The O/D off light went off after that and didn't come on again until moments before this second transmission failure. Now it looks like I will have to get a second rebuilt transmission for the same car within a span of approximately three years. By the way, my last payment is next month on a five-year lien. That's two rebuilt transmissions I have had to pay for before the car was even paid off. Will someone please tell me how this is fair.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #212

Nov 102005


  • miles
The transmission of my 98 Mazda 626 just started to slip and the mechanic said it needs to be replaced at a cost of $2000 at only 107000 miles.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #211

Jan 202005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
My transmission on my Mazda 626, (4 cyl) is failing again. Had it rebuilt 10 months ago and it failing again.

- Elmwood Park, NJ, USA

problem #210

Sep 102005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles


Transmission failure: I have a babied 1998 Mazda 626lx. At 107,000 miles I noticed some very slight transmission shift problems. I consulted the manual. Nothing. I called the dealer, vague answers, no recommendations. I drove it and noticed the O/D light coming on at about 60 miles ( heat ? ). so I started short driving only. Finally it failed and blew fluid all over the engine compartment. Repairs. So far - $1590, but no confidence it is over. My mechanic said the trans cooler was designed poorly and could not be cleaned to where it would work properly. We put on an aux cooler. We hope it works. Problem is the car is not worth it. I am angry at ^&% ^%$#^& Mazda for their inept support and stupidity. I will never use them again. They have leeched me long enough on this car. They could have helped a long time ago about the heat build-up of the fluid. They knew this was coming. They are vultures waiting for your car to die and then they will help themselves to your $2500. I will die telling folks to steer clear of Mazda and Ford.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #209

Oct 272005

626 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
The contact stated while driving the transmission started to slip and would not accelerate. The vehicle was parked and has not been to a mechanic at this time. Updated 2/7/2006 - the vehicle was taken to a technician who determined that the transmission needed to be rebuilt.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #208

Oct 242005

626 4-cyl

  • miles
Automatic transmission failure.

- Covington, GA, USA

problem #207

Aug 012005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
(1)transmission occasionally shifted with a hard jolt from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 3rd, then began to emit a loud whizzing/squeaking type of sound in all gears(including park and neutral). The sound was very similar to that of a loose belt, but was clearly coming for within the transmission. (2)within a week of making that sound, the transmission, although apparently shifting in the correct sequence, started slipping. Obviously this resulted in the vehicle being extremely unsafe to drive. (3)at this point I have: A - received estimates ranging from $1800-$2700 for a complete transmission rebuild with installation, as well as estimates ranging from $650-$1750+shipping for a used transmission without installation. So far, I have replaced the transmission fluid after draining and flushing the system, at which point I discovered that unlike virtually all other automatic transmissions, the Ford cd4E transmission must be removed and completely disassembled in order to replace the transmission fluid filter. Obviously, as the filter becomes clogged with debris, the pressure and flow of the fluid is restricted, resulting in loss of performance, over-heating, and eventually a complete system failure.

- Bellflower, CA, USA

problem #206

Jul 032005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
The caller said the transmission needed to be replaced. While driving the engine revved without warning. The caller said it would happen mostly in stop and go traffic. She had the vehicle towed to a mechanic shop. Dealer said she needed to get a different year transmission, and she will have to update the computer. Manufacturer said there was no recall on her vehicle and offered no help for free.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #205

Sep 132005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
I own a Mazda 626 1998, 4 cylinder. The automatic transmission just failed on me at 79000 miles. I was jammed on the highway until I got towed to the dealer who sold me the car. This car was bought new and was driven by my wife from 1998 to 2004. It was never abused. It started slipping at drive position when I got out of my driveway the day before it broke I had to remove O/D to engage and move forward. Then, put O/D on at approximately 50 M/H to drive on the highway. I had also a first failure on Jan 04,2003 at 46500 miles. Lost transmission parts directly in the street ! it was repaired under warranty and dealer said the transmission was A-1 like a new one. Now warranty is over and my dealer is asking for $3726 to fix !! no deal to do! not even split costs half and half. This transmission had a defect for sure. So got the car towed elsewhere for lower repair cost ($1900 )

- Boisbriand, 00, USA

problem #204

Sep 262005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
Automatic transmission going out. Probably going to have to have it replaced real soon. It has been slipping ever since I got it. Doesn't seem like there is much hope for the future.

- Kaysville, UT, USA

problem #203

Sep 032005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,800 miles
The transmission started slipping 2 days after I bought the car. As I was driving home from the store the transmission stopped responding while I was driving. After this the car did move in any gear. I since then have had the transmission rebuilt.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #202

Jul 162003

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Transmission failure/engine failure.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #201

Sep 142005

626 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,524 miles
I bought Mazda 626 LX 1998 and two months after transmission failed. Car started making clinging noise, slow performance and abrupt shifts, slow start ups. Took it to aamoco and they diagnosed failing transmission and charged me $2200, didn't have money so end up getting loan to pay of, plus interest. Just paid of loan and my rebuilt transmission (original one but fixed it by aamoco) is failing again, abrupt shifts, very slow starts and I actually got ticket from police. Found place to get car repaired second time for $1500. So far in 3 1/2 years transmission failed 2 and around $4300 in repairs costs and loans. Luckily I did not drive car on highway while it have transmission problems, otherwise would be in danger of accident. Car takes slow shift, around 30-40 mph makes moves like it will stall, it takes from 0-60 minutes not seconds...very dangerous to operate on highway during failure.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

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