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Mazda Miata Problems and Solutions

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
edited March 20 in Mazda
Talk about Miata problems and share solutions with other owners here.

Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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Comments

  • miatamadmiatamad Posts: 1
    My 1995 Miata had only 3900 miles on it when I bought it in '97. I drive it only about 3000 miles each year and store it over the winter. About 4 years ago the engine developed a hiccup, especially at slow speeds. Also, there's a strong exhaust smell in the trunk. I put in new plugs in 2001, and the mechanic said I'm not "winding it up" enough. So I've taken it on longer (and faster) runs, but to no avail. Last year I bought a new battery. The inside of the trail pipe looks sooty. Any idea on what's causing the engine to miss will be appreciated.
  • cmoffatcmoffat Posts: 3
    Hello,
    I just bought a 2001 MX-5 AND I love it. However my roof top latch on the right side will not lock into place. I took it to the dealer but they said it would cost me $200 dollars and that it is not covered under the extended warranty. Should have guessed that, I was wondering if I order the part myself would a person with no car expereince be able to install it. Unless someone has some other trouble shooting ideas. Thanks.
  • My 2000 Miata with 52K miles is running fine. Last night the Check Engine light came on.
    Manual indicates an fan belt alternator issue.
    What else should I be looking for?
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    Hi,
    I just bought a 1994-Miata with 92k miles.
    I am thinking to have Timing Belt and Water Pump replaced
    eventhough the user's manual recommends to change Timing Belt at 105k miles, is it too early to replace timing belt at 92k miles ?

    My second question: when timing belt is replaced, is it a good idea to also replace the tensioners (tensioners really exist around some belts ?) ?
    I am not sure if the Miata has any drive-belt tensioners or any timing belt tensioners ?
    One last question please: what can go wrong or get damaged if any of the tensioners fail to work during driving ?

    Thanks so much.
    Miata Lover
  • wooskiwooski Posts: 1
    my 1993 miata has a loud roar which is louder as you drive faster...i bought a bearing..how difficult is it to install the new bearing.....can someone give me some steps to do this.thanks ...WOOSKI
  • doog1doog1 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 1994 turbo Mazda, and really don't know that much about Mazda'a per se. But what is important is to find out if any damage is done when the timing belt breaks. I also own an old Lexus, and they have a super owner's club. It turns out that if the belt breaks, you're stuck at the side of the road-but there is no damage to the car. Thus many owners have original timing belts with more than 150,000 miles. Right, miles. My 1994 Lexus has 109,000 miles, and an original belt. Runs like a top, but I had to have a convertible-living in Vegas.

    Tensioners should be fine. My advice is to putt along, until either the water pump leaks, or the belt breaks. Too often, preventive maintenance is used by mechanics, and especially dealers, to screw the owners. Last year, the A/C failed on the Lexus. I was told by a mechanic that I needed a new evaporator and stuff, and the cost was $1,200. I knew that the only obvious problem was a small plastic part that fell into the passenger side, so I asked him to reinstall that part, and that I'd think about that big repair. Cost me $200. The A/C is working perfectly now. If I wasn't such a dummy, it should have cost me nothing. Watch out for the crooks......
  • tran3688tran3688 Posts: 3
    I going to buy a 94 miata with 88,571k miles on the car. My mechanic said that the only problem with the car is that the oil pan begin to leak and it needs to be change. does anybody know how much will this cost to replace the oil pan or (gasket). and will the insurance be really exspensive because i'm a 17 yrs olds male.
  • I drive a 1990 Mazda Miata that the mileage is almost 110K, I plan to get a new car in early 2006. What is the life expectancy for mazda miata? I drive less than 500 miles per month. I just had a 100K service few months ago and it drives well. Any information will be appreciate it! :)
  • crashton6crashton6 Posts: 245
    Yep that's not a hard job. Buy the part & install it your self.

    Chuck :)
  • crashton6crashton6 Posts: 245
    With proper maintenance it's not unheard of for these cars to go in excess of 200,000 miles.
  • cappy4103cappy4103 Posts: 48
    I'm with Doog1...leave the tensioner alone. Basically, the tensioner is a spring loaded pully that puts pressure on your belts so that they don't slip or come off the respective pully(s) the belts are on. The most typical indication your tensioner is beginning to fail is a squealing sound. Occasionally, if the bearing "go", the pully will freeze or lock up and put alot of resistance on your belt(s). You will smell the burning rubber at that point.
  • tran3688tran3688 Posts: 3
    I had just purchased a 94 mazda miatas on 04/04/05 with 88k on it. I was wondering if a standard miata model have the rear window defroster, mine is plastic and its has some scratches in the rear window but the top are excelent condition outside, but inside there is a little rip by the zipper. I was planning of want to replace a brand new top, and it is hard to install the whole convertible top by yourself at home?
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    Thanks all who responsed to my previous question
    ("What Tensioners replaced at 92k miles ?").
    I'd like to have another question:
    - if the timing belt breaks when driving on the Miata/94, what can go wrong to the car or the engine (consequences, etc.) ?
    or please advise me of some pointers (website, books, etc.) from where I can find out the reliable answer.
    I've learned from somepeople that certain car models/engines do not get damaged at all even when timing belt breaks.

    Thanks again.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    it is hard to install the whole convertible top by yourself at home?

    It's easy if you have four arms. Seriously convertible top installation is a complex task involving extensive fitting, gluing, measuring and stretching.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • thelthel Posts: 767
    I replaced mine myself last summer. It was an unpleasant but not impossible task. Be sure you get a new top with the rain rail already installed to save yourself some hassle.
  • cappy4103cappy4103 Posts: 48
    The information you received is correct. On some cars, if the timing belt breaks while the engine is running, you can cause extensive damage to the engine. Basically, on some cars, when the timing belt breaks, a piston can come into contact with the valves and damage both, the piston(s) and valve(s). Some engines are not configured this way and won't be damaged in the event a timing belt breaks. Unfortunately, I don't know whether or not the Miata engine will be damaged. Two suggestions. First, make sure you change your timing belt at the recommended interval(s) in your manual. Second, check your manual or contact a local Mazda service department. They should be able to provide you with this answer to your question. Happy motoring!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    You'll need to be towed, but your engine will be fine. No timing belt, no drivey.

    I bought my Miata with 124,000 miles on it and I have no idea when the timing belt was last replaced (if ever). Someday, maybe I'll get in there and inspect it, but it's not something I'm freaking out about. Now if it was a Honda....I'dve had it replaced months ago, just to be sure.
  • rkskirkski Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Miata with 56K miles. Recently I began hearing some chatter coming from the transmission area while the engine is running, clutch is disengaged, and in neutral. I had a similar noise coming from my S-5 pickup and it was the throw out bearing's lack of grease. Does the Miata have a grease fitting on the bell housing somewhere to grease the throw out bearing mechanism?
  • fergie1fergie1 Posts: 5
    Does anyone have any information on the new zipperless tops with glass window. I currently have a zipper top with glass window and find it very difficult to put the window back up.
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