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Mazda Miata Problems and Solutions



  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    A good polishing will surprise you. Try that before you wax.

    Change oil ASAP. Cheap insurance.

    You might try some plastic polish on the back window. I have seen that do wonders. You have nothing to lose if you are going to replace the window anyway. You can have a new back window sewn in (I have one in my car that the previous owner had installed). Any shop that does convertible tops can do this.

    The rust on the rotors is just on the surface. It will wear off in your first drive. Make certain that you don;t have any other brake components rusted and not fully functioning before you try that quick stop behind someone.

    Pick up a copy of Rod's Miata Enthusiast Manual to help you through all of the maintenance items including the power window repair. This should not be too difficult with the proper instructions.

    Enjoy your new ride!

  • reuban1reuban1 Posts: 5
    Thanks That Plastic polish didn't work )-: window way to far gone plus it cracked when I put the top down no biggie. I polished the car if self & that came out awesome.
    On the first star the windows blower & a bunch of other stuff didn't work I turned off the engine than restarted & all the components worked. Started & restarted theyesterday & now nothing works. Any suggestion?
    When changing the back end fluid does the car have to be level or can I just jack up the back end?
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    Check all of your fuses. There is a fuse box under the dash on the driver's side (to the left of the steering column). It should have a cover showing which electrical items the fuses support. The windows use a 30A fuse. The blower and wipers share a 20A fuse. There is also a circiut breaker in the fuse box under the dash that protects the blower circuit. If the red button has popped out, push it back in to reset.

    The car does need to be level to check the differential fluid. I ususally drive the front on to ramps and put jackstands under the rear. Remember to loosen the fill plug before you remove the drain plug. It won't do any good to drain if you cannot refill. You will nee 0.69 qt to fill the differential.

    Did you unzip the window prior to putting the top down? The top latches should always be undone prior to unzipping the window in order to put less strain on the zipper. The window should always be unzipped when putting the top down in order to avoid creasing it.

    Post back if you have more questions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Budget for a new top, they usually last about 10 years. At 16, yours is a miracle, me, just budget for a new one. They get brittle and will crack for any little cause.

    $460 gets you a new Robbins top if you are handy and want to put it on yourself.

    $800 for a top installed, and it's a LOT of labor so it's arguably worth it.

    You can get just the windows for abour $150, but you need a new rain rail ($100), and it's just as much labor. Then the top will crack and you'll have to buy a whole new one anyway. I'd just get a whole new one.

    The upholstery shops I called wanted nothing to do with sewing in a new window. They can't get it water-tight. And they would not even replace just the window portion, in one case even when the top was installed by them (PBC in VA)!

    The paint is probably thin, so whatever you do be careful not to burn through it.

    I'd clean the brakes a bit before you do for a drive. Certainly be gentle on them at first.

  • Have a new 06 with single CD Bose system. Two problems: It has audiopilot, which is supposed to alter volume and tone etc in relation to speed (noise). However, volume does not change as you speed up. Bigger problem: 2X when the car was turned on, the sound out of the right door speaker was totally garbled (radio or CD), almost like the speaker was hanging or screwed up. Other speakers were fine, but had to turn the radio off as it was a mess. Stayed that way for about a day, then self corrected. Did it again today. Car has 1000km. Also asked the dealer to turn the beeper off, which increases in volume if you don't fasten your seatbelt. Told me he couldn't do it since other functions were also affected. However, owner's manual says it can be done by the dealer. Love the car, hate the problems. Any suggestions on radio problems?
  • reuban1reuban1 Posts: 5
    ~Update. First thanks to all for the help.
    Replacing the power window hardware was ok but I can’t seam to get the wire mechanism part correctly around the power motor part. Therefore it’s not going up & down correctly. Any hints?
    Battery is get extremely hot! As I was checking it there was actually liquid coming out of one of the air holes at the top.
  • coastie52coastie52 Posts: 5
    Our daughter bought a 1990 Miata 3 weeks ago. It ran well when she first bought it, but now when starting out in first it only goes up to about 1500 rpms even when floored. It also struggles mightily going uphill. I changed the air filter, fuel filter, replaced plugs, and had the fuel injectors cleaned professionally. It ran fine just after the fuel injectors were cleaned, but in a day's time it was back to being sluggish. Can anyone help me pinpoint the problem?
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    I would take the car to an Autozone and have them read your engine codes (even if the check engine light has not come on). I would also install new plug wires.

    This almost sounds like a back-pressure issue with the exhaust. Check your catalytic converter to see if it is glowing red. If so, it is probably clogged and you will need to replace (with generic converter as the OEM converter is expensive).

    Does it rev OK when you are not driving?

    Post back as to what city you live in and maybe we can help find a local Miata specialist to help you out.
  • coastie52coastie52 Posts: 5
    No, it doesn't rev well when in neutral. I live in a small town about 70 miles outside of Portland, OR.

    Thanks for the tips. I will check it out. It has certainly been a puzzle!
  • reuban1reuban1 Posts: 5
    How many Miles of it? I've been working on the one I just got for a few weeks; also a 1990, it has 56,000 on it. I gave her it's first run ( about 6 miles)after it was sitting for about 3 years. It ran great ( which I wasn't expecting ) I think I have a winning summer car for next year) but it's a little sluggish on the start. I'm going to get the fuel injection/dry gas; I hope it works, If not I'm going to get the injection treatment at the shop.
    There was about a 1/4 of a tank it it when I had it dropped off so I filled it at home with some fresh gas hoping that would help clean it out. Another thing, I heard a "thumping" sound coming from the front pasnagger side, could this be a bearing, shock. spring or tie rod problem? I'm getting a sticker tomorrow hopefully it will pass or at least I will find out if its the ball joints )-: I would have thought the tires would have flat spots ( one was flat but got it fixed it was the stem) after sitting for so long but I couldn't feel anything on the first run. Getting the back window done I got a price of $275.00 (THEY'RE GOING TO STITCH A NEW ONE IN) I'm going to have them look at the power window I did for a little but, I know they will charge me. The cable looks all messed up after I tryed doing it I think I wasted $85.00 )-: But I did learn a lot.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    What bass level is the system set at? What volume level also? I have the Bose as well. I think the audiopilot volume changes are more subtle than you think.
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    You may want to contact the local Miata club - to see if they have a member that will take a look at it and help you out. From their website, it looks like thay have a fairly active club.
  • coastie52coastie52 Posts: 5
    Thanks, I will check it out! Got my repair manual in the mail today, so maybe that will help also.
  • edukesedukes Posts: 3
    I just bought a 93 Miata from Washington, and it's a real pain to import it to Canada. You have contacted RIV. Then you contact Mazda and you send them the VIN#. within 2 weeks they will tell you what you have to do to meet Canadian safety standards. My 93 had to have daytime running lights and bumper modifications. I changed the wiring so that the lights come on when the ignition is turned on. I have to take it to Mazda for the $500 bumper mod . Kilometer stickers for the speedo. Then to Canadian Tire for the federal inspection. Then a Provincial inspection. Then I can get insurance and plates.
    It's a real pain and so stupid, however I bought my 93 for $3500 and the same car sells in Vancouver for $10.000 so the hassle is worth it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If the plug wires are original that could be it. I have a '93 and I'm on my 3rd set!

    Next I'd look at the fuel pump. You're doing all the right things, IMO.

  • wfbwfb Posts: 10
    I just bought a 2002 Miata and noticed that when I turn the key, it cranks a couple of times before starting. I'm used to cars starting almost immediately and I wondered if this is normal for the Miata because the battery is so far away from the starter or is it indicative that I should be replacing the battery soon?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd look at other things, spark or fuel as they say.

    Not that there is a real problem, but I'd go ahead and change the spark plug wires if they're original. I'm already on my 3rd set.

  • have oyu ever noticed that the more new fangled features that are in cars, the more headaches there are?

    If my radio is too low with the top down I reach over and turn it up. :P

    I often wonder if the new hardtop will also become a bane of existence when it starts having problems.

    Give me my old manual drop top any day.
  • Hi, Miata Friends!

    Thanks to all for the repair advice. Although our daughter's Miata is running better, we are still not there yet. As I said in the last message, we had the injectors cleaned and also had chemicals added. It would never have any pick up before, and that is no longer the case. We ran the chemicals all the way to less than a quarter tank. It is very sluggish when first started and remains so for the first mile (sometimes only going a couple of miles per hour), then it kicks in and runs great--like there is not a thing in the world wrong! If run again in a relatively short period of time, it does great; if it sits for a couple of hours or more, it is back to the slow start.

    The computer indicates G-signal and the manual says that means the distributor (although, I have been told that the Miata doesn't have one) and the PCM circuitry or components. I have no clue as to what the PCM circuitry or components are.

    Has anyone out there had any experience with this?

    Steve White
  • edukesedukes Posts: 3
    I have finally successfully imported a 1993 Miata to canada.
    The bumper mod cost $780 cdn at a Mazda dealer. The daytime running lights I did myself with a wiring mod.
    I had the federal inspection at Canadian Tire and it passed. Then I had the provincial inspection (British Columbia) last week and it passed. It is finally lisensed and insured. The biggest hastle was dealing with RIV. You have 45 days to successfully import the car to canada, but after 3 weeks, I had not heard from RIV and called them again. They emailed the form to me and I had only 2 weeks to have the mods and inspection done. Between the mods, duty, taxes etc it cost an extra $2000 but it's worth it.
    Contact me if you want any help.
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