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Mazda 626 HOLD Light And Code 61

Q. Hi Vincent, I have a 1988 Mazda 626 LX with a 2.2 litre engine, an automatic transmission and it has 133,000 kilometers. Problems are as follows:

  • Hold light flashes.
  • Error code is 61.
  • Transmission will not shift automatically.
  • Transmission can be manually shifted from first to second gear but stays in second when shifted manually to (D) drive.
  • This problem has been intermittent in the past (It corrected itself on some occasions) which makes me think it might be a bad wire or connector.
Mazda 626 HOLD Light And Code 61


  • Could a solenoid cause an intermittent problem or would it fail if faulty?
  • See the attached wiring diagram. Why are the wires to the 2-3 solenoid paralleled? I measured 16 ohms across the solenoid to ground at Pin "D" but across Pin "E" to ground the circuit is open, no resistance. Is this correct? I'm stumped on this one.

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated,


A. There is a TSB that could very well fix your problem.

Technical Bulletin#: 253
Transmission: G4AEL/4EAT
Subject: Pinched Solenoid Wires
Application: Ford, Mazda
Date: Jan 1994

G4AEL/4EAT Pinched Solenoid Wires

One or more of the solenoid wires being pinched between the valve body and the case can cause the following codes:

  • 60 - Shorted or open 1-2 shift solenoid
  • 61 - Shorted or open 2-3 shift solenoid
  • 62 - Shorted or open 3-4 shift solenoid
  • 63 - Shorted or open look-up solenoid

Note: Solenoid resistance is 13-27 ohms.

The pictures I have are very poor quality or I would include them here. I think it may be best to take it to a Mazda Dealer, and let them look at it. They will have done this before and if it is, indeed, the problem, they can fix it pretty quick.

Added 6/25/03...

Vince, I want to give you an update on what I discovered. I began getting random trouble codes for the throttle position sensor and then three transmission solenoids. I checked the resistance of the throttle position sensor and it was within specifications. I checked the resistance across the solenoids again, and they checked ok at 16 ohms.

I suspected the problem might either be the transmission control module or the wiring harness connectors on the module. I went to a local auto wrecker and found an 1988 Mazda with an intact EC-AT module. I removed the module along with the connectors and I cut the wiring harness about 4 inches back from the connectors. Luckily I was able to purchase this stuff for $15.00.

I tried to substitute the used module and it still gave me random error codes. I decided to cut off the existing two connectors which plug in to the EC-AT module and I carefully soldered the 29 wires to the connectors I salvaged from the auto wrecker.

Bingo! That solved the problem. The transmission shifts properly, no error codes and the Hold switch and indicator work again.

I wonder how many misdiagnosed trouble codes can be attributed to this simple connector problem?

If that didn't work my next step would have been to open up the transmission and check the wiring as you suggested.

I have to give credit to the Mazda engineers who designed the car and electrical control system back in the mid 1980's. The systems are incredibly advanced for their time, and when they work, they work extremely well. The only drawback is how a minor electrical problem can cause so much grief.

Another thing that I have to stress is how important it is to have a copy of the dealer shop manual and electrical diagrams. Without them I would be totally lost. The off-the-shelf manuals at the auto store just don't have enough detail. I purchased a dealer shop manual and the electrical supplement online at E-Bay for a very reasonable price.

I just wanted to pass along this feedback. It might be helpful for future diagnosis.

Thanks again. Your web site is very helpful!

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

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© 2003 Vincent T. Ciulla

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