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Mazda 626 1997 Transmission question


I have a 626 1997 Mazda (automatic) with 125,607 mileage. On November 12, I changed the transmission (for a used one). A week ago the o/d off light started blinking (I was driving in the highway at 65 mph). I went back to the garage that replaced my transmission, they did a reading and they got the following codes: P0741 & P1783. They said it was not related to the transmission but I have done some research and I believe it is an electrical problem related to the transmission. The o/d off is not blinking any longer but I think it is because I am driving my car for short distances (from home to work, approx. 15 miles a day).

Unfortunately I am clueless about cars and I need some honest advise regarding my transmission.


Ok - hold your breath. They lied - completely.

P0741 is a torque converter clutch (TCC) circuit stuck off. At certain speeds the TCC locks your engine and transmission together so they both turn at the same speed. It saves gas and lets the engine run at slightly lower RPM. This very well could be just an electrical problem.

P1783 is a code that your transmission was over temperature - it is overheating and that is the quickest way to kill it. This is not likely an electrical problem at all. Before you drive it again at least pull the trans fluid dipstick and look at the fluid. It is supposed to be red. If it is really dark and smells burned don’t keep driving the car.

Anyway, I’m going to guess that the garage found the trans for you and would now like to avoid responsibility. I don’t know what was wrong with your old one, but this one is either no better or won’t be for long unless it is fixed.

FYI: a used transmission from a Mazda 626 is not a good bet - these had chronic transmission problems, so unless its a really low mileage used one its not likely a good idea.

Thank you cigroller for your prompt reply!
I know they are lying! I have a guarantee that expires on 2/2/09 and unless I show them that the trans. is wrong they will not change it. They told me that they got it from a junk yard. They will not change it unless the light is blinking again. What should I do? I paid $1,600 for the used trans.
FYI I changed my transmission because the original was not working anymore my car just stop working one day and I went to the closest Exxon and they told me that my trans. was gone.
I will check the fluid again but they checked that when I went to the garage and it was o.k.
Do you think it is safe to drive my car in this condition?

Its a little late to ask what kind of a garage you went to, but what your original and “new” used transmission need is a good, trustworthy, independent shop that specializes in transmissions. I’m going to guess that this garage doesn’t fit that description.

In any case, a couple of things. You obviously can’t trust this shop, so to find about about the condition of the transmission fluid take a look at it yourself - don’t go by that they said. The fluid is not necessarily burned - yet - but that’s rather irrelevant to the larger issue.

The fact is that they installed a used transmission that is having major problems. The codes clearly indicate that, so there are already grounds for them to honor the guarantee and take care of the problem. They have no grounds on which to deny that there is not a transmission problem. You’ll need to call them or go back in and ask them why they would tell you that these two codes are not related to the transmission.

FYI: the over temperature code could be a problem with your radiator as the fluid flows through the radiator to be cooled. (As I recall poor fluid cooling was closely related to the typical 626 transmission problems). In a sense, then, one might say that it is a radiator problem - but making sure that the cooling of the trans fluid is in order, IMHO, is part of replacing someone’s transmission.

Trans. fluid is fine! I went to carmax over the weekend for an appraisal of my car and they told me that the transmission is not good (gears shift improperly). I have left a message and sent a letter to the manager of the garage that sold me the used trans. If I don’t hear from them I will go to the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection. Thank you for your advise regarding the diagnostic codes!

Unfortunately no one is going to place any faith in an appraisal from Carmax. I would call around to local transmission shops (independent) and ask about the kinds of diagnostic services they offer. Some places will do certain things for free, or sometimes have a fee for a basic diagnostic (under $100). This will be much more like ammunition to use for getting something out of the original garage or the County for than matter.

The manager called me back…he is ordering a new “used trans.” according to him it is because I am requesting the replacement not because he feels is necessary. Maybe he got intimidated by my letter (?). I told him that I want another guratantee and I felt that I should not pay for labor again. He was not sure about me not paying for labor again. Since I don’t have experience with this…do you think I should pay for labor? I want to be fair even though he has not been honest with me.

In terms of basic good sense they should take care of this without charging you another penny.

In terms of how the world works, whether you pay any labor not might depend on what the original agreement was.

Well they changed my transmission today and they called me to tell me that they are still getting the codes…so now they say is my radiator. I know you mentioned this before but I guess the garage never bothered in checking. So now hopefully with a new radiator and a new “used” transmission my car will work. THANKS!

Thank you for posting a follow up! Hopefully attention to the radiator will solve the problem, and hopefully the latest “new” old transmission won’t throw that torque converter code either.

I hate to be cynical, but when you get the car back, the first time you start it up watch for the check engine light on the dash. It should light up when you first start the car and then go off after a few seconds. I’ve seen cars with the light either disabled or burned out.

You should also find a good trustworthy transmission shop (assuming you will avoid these guys again) and ask them to give everything the once over including, especially, the condition of the fluid. This being a used transmission you have no idea when it was last serviced - if ever. FYI: the best thing to do is drop the pan & change the filter every 30K miles. You might just want to start out by having this done.

The check engine light has been “ON” for years. They changed the O2 sensors (a long time ago)but still the light did not got away…and each time that they reset the light it comes back (?).
Well my car was running beautiful until a few days ago that started making a noise…is like driving a race car. Do you think it is the muffler? is this expensive?
Thank you as usual for your advise.

If I understand you correctly this is a completely different set of problems, and would deserve a new thread.

So I would post a new thread about your check engine light and your new noise. But before you do that, stop into an auto parts store - your odds are best with a large chain store like Autozone - and ask them if they can read the trouble codes from your car’s computer. Write down exactly what the codes are (it will be something like P0123), and don’t worry about anything that anyone there tells you about them. Certainly do not buy any parts that anyone recommends. If you want to be polite just tell them you want to do some research first.

Then come back, start a new thread and post 1) the info about the check engine light and the codes you got from the parts store along with as much as you can say about the history of attempts to solve the problem; 2) as much info as you can about the maintenance history of the car and how it is driving; and 3) as detailed a description as you can about the new noise that you have. (Yes, it could be a muffler, but it could be other things - so give more info).