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Mazda Miata Problems and Solutions

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  • Hi, I have a 2001 Miata 6 spd with the Sport package. My Miata has a slight shimmer or a vibration at 60Km/hr (~40 mph). I took the car to the dealer many times, they finally adjusted the yoke from the drive shaft to the tranny, this provides some relief. However, the car still has the same vibration at 60kmph and Mazda knows about this problem, they just don't know what to do, they keep saying its within their tolerance. They claim Miatas have vibrations, but they keep adjusting the yoke when it gets misalligned.
  • chet4chet4 Posts: 2
    Thanks much.Will have this checked.I was going to change everything from driveshaft rearward.
  • khaineskhaines Posts: 1
    Recently my 2000 Miata will not restart after driving for awhile. If I let it sit for 15-20 minutes it usually starts again. Yesterday, it started missing while I was driving and then quit totally. 15-20 minutes later it cranked back up. Any thoughts?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Strange. Fuel pump, maybe? Just a guess.

    -juice
  • papaipapai Posts: 4
    I just bought a 2002 Miata- Atlanta is perfect for a convertible! I'm so excited. My 6'4''-240 husband can only barely fit in the passenger seat - oh well, he just slows us down anyway! Thoughts about roll bars-cost, safety etc.They look cool. Also where to go for a cover. Thanks
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    For the best Miata roll bar, do a search on Bethania Garage, they make the Hard Dog roll bars. Great fit. If you need help with installation, contact someone with the Peachtree Miata CLub in Atlanta or visit RSpeed in North Atlanta - they work almost exclusively on Miatas and have a great national reputation.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Are you asking whether you should get one? Some folks like them, and some don't. Depends on your driving. Good for a rollover, but not so good if someone rear-ends you and your head smashes into the bar. If you do get one, I would definitely get the optional padding. Some of the roll bars may limit seat travel too.
  • lekatlekat Posts: 1
    Is there a fix for what I believe to be an access on the under body of my Miata that allows small rocks from my driveway to enter the car somewhere behind the seats. When I turn quickly they can be heard rolling from one side to another. Will Mazda fix this under warranty?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,901
    nope. Road hazard.

    MODERATOR

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's strange, I've never had that issue.

    I wonder if they are getting up the drains? I didn't think those would be big enough. :confuse:

    -juice
  • After driving my Miata for over 2 weeks, I found there are shifting problems on it. The clutch seems fine for the first 15 minutes of driving. But afterwards it because really soft. It eventually comes to a point where I have to depress the clutch pedal all the way down to the floor in order for the car NOT to stall. What's even worse is that it is difficult to shift into any gear with the cluth all the way down.

    However, when I park the car and let it rest for a night. The next day it goes back to normal, but the problem comes back to haunt me again after 15 minutes of driving.

    I went to the dealer to have bodywork done to the car, and they found a loose cable which might be the problem. I just drove the car back home and it was fine. Then again, the drive from the dealer to my home was around 15 minutes. So I will keep on driving it this week to see if the problem comes back.

    Any ideas?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think it would be a loose cable, because the clutch system is hydraulic, i.e. it pushes brake fluid out of the master cylinder and into the slave cylinder to activate the clutch.

    My guess is you have a leak somewhere in the system, probably at the slave cylinder. Mine failed and my clutch pedal went soft. You can buy a rebuild kit at NAPA for around $11.

    Make sure you add fluid and bleed the system.

    -juice
  • sgmsgm Posts: 23
    Never drive with the top up! I think I have had mine up less than a dozen times in five years. :)
  • Hi all...just bought an 06 MX5, 6speed auto, has 1100 miles. The oil pressure guage fluctuates wildly...from L when at idle to H when revving engine.....while running it generally stays near the middle but every time I get on the gas it swings right and when I stop, it swings low. I have taken it to the dealer twice and have been assure both times that is normal for the 06, and told their was a service bulletin on that topic. No one could provide a copy. I have not been able to find one on the NHTSA website and Mazda North American HQ says there is not one. Anyone else have a problem similiar to this? I'm thinking of taking it to another service location.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Sounds normal. IIRC, the 06 went back to a real oil pressure gauge like the 90-94 Miata. A real gauge would show a higher pressure when the engine is cold and will fluctuate when revved. Not like the dummy gauge in the 95-05 Miata's. On my 93, once my car is warm, the needle sets at about 30, and when revved jumps up to 60+.

    I haven't heard of any TSB's... no reason the dealer couldn't provide you a copy, if it exists. Sounds pretty normal though. I wouldn't worry.
  • royp1royp1 Posts: 1
    I have a 92 Miata w/almost 200k miles on it. It's been a great & dependable car. I replaced the clutch & slave cylinder about 5-6 years ago. Just recently it has started to slip intermittently. It seems to happen when I've been driving it for awhile. The free play is ok, I tried the 3rd gear @ 4,500 rpm w/my left foot on the brake while maintaining engine speed, doesn't seem to slip there. There's no apparent oil leakage. Any ideas?

    THX
  • This is a follow-up to my earlier post about the clutch on my 97 Miata becoming soft and the biting point dropping to the floor after driving for awhile.

    Assuming the Miata has a cable instead of hydraulic as the linkage from the clutch pedal to the clutch release bearing, tightening the loose cable seemed to have fixed the problem... well at least I've been trouble free for a week now after continuous driving. Anyone knows whether the Miata has a cable or hydraulic clutch linkage? The dealer said they tightened a loose cable for me so I assumed it would be cable. However, a Edmunds.com member who responded to my post claimed it has a hydraulic system.

    Also, has anyone (other than me) accidentally folded their soft convertible top down without unzipping the back plastic window? I just got the plastic window replaced and now it has a crease in it. It is quite visible when I look into my rearview mirror because it distorts the images. Any ideas as to how to fix it? Weather is quite cold here recently so I guess I have to wait until it gets warmer in order to fix the plastic.

    Looking forward to any responses to my questions, thanks!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I was the one mentioning the hydraulic clutch system, at least part of it is because I replaced and bled the system myself.

    That doesn't mean there aren't also some cables involved, but I didn't notice any.

    -juice
  • Just went out to try heel-and-toe with my Miata. I know the concept, but being able to do it is another thing. I had been practicing the basics such as matching the revs to wheelspin when downshifting from 4th to 3rd, then 3rd to 2nd... without braking. I can get it to downshift smoothly half of the time.

    So I went on to the next step... doing the downshifting with the braking. IT WAS SO HARD! I have tried using half of my right foot for braking and the other half for blipping the gas, but every time I blip the gas I let go of the brake naturally. I am not sure if the gas and brake pedals are too far apart for heel-and-toeing or not. Can anyone tell me?

    I have also tried using my heel for blipping the gas, but my leg keeps on hitting the steering wheel when I do that so I gave up.

    Do I need new pedals? Anyone can do it with stock pedals?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The footwell is so tight, this is harder than it sounds. My knees and thighs end up hitting the steering wheel.

    To be honest, while it's useful on a race track in extreme circumstances, on public roads it's basically overkill. You're more likely to have your foot slip off the brake pedal than you are to benefit from the heel-and-toe manuever.

    You could try driving mocassins, any small footwear that feels like a 2nd skin. Just don't wear boots!

    -juice
  • Have you been able to find the problem with your miata? I have had 4 batteries and an alternator in my 1997 miata in the past 3 months and now my car does not start again. The dealership has no idea what is wrong.

    The car is dead, but the dealership is telling me that they have done diagnostic tests and nothing is draining the battery. This morning I tried to start it and all it did was make a clicking noise and then die again.

    Any ideas would be approciated!
  • papaipapai Posts: 4
    After reading through the owners manual of my recently purchased '02 Miata I see there is supposed to be a cover for the top when it's down- don't have one! Do I really need one, if so, where do I find one? ">
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've never used one. I bought mine used and it did not have it, and it hasn't ever mattered to me.

    -juice
  • Thank you Ateixeira regarding the useful information on heel-and-toe driving.

    Just wondering what's the best way to wash the Miata. I don't want to go to an automatic car wash. Afraid the powerful pressure washers will damage the soft top. However, I am not sure how to wash it myself.

    How can I wash the underbody of the car so that I can get rid of the dirt and grime as good as in an automatic car wash? Also, if I happen to get the soft top dirty, what's the best way to wash it? Also, the rear plastic window says do not rub on it, what's the best way to wash that?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You want to be real gentle with the vinyl top. Mild detergents and a soft sponge only. Same for the rear plastic.

    Oddly enough, if you don't want to buy specialized plastic window cleaner, Pledge works well on the plastic. It gives it a slight gloss and makes it a little easier to see through. I used it up until I replaced my top and got a glass rear window.

    -juice
  • papaipapai Posts: 4
    I've had my '02 for 3 weeks- drives great.Today while driving normal the check engine light came on.Should I go immediately to the machanic? What the hell!
    Thanks!
  • Hey there,

    What kind of Pledge should I use for the rear window?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The lemon scent furniture spray. Try it, use very little. Spray it on a cotton rag and then apply. It worked for me.

    Check-engine light could be a loose gas cap, or a single engine misfire. Some AutoZone location will scan the code for free for you, of course they'll want to sell you whatever part might fix it (Oxygen sensor, maybe).

    -juice
  • I have a 97 Miata and the Owner's Manual says that for better performance, Octance 91 should be used in order to free the engine from knocking and to make the car's emission control system effective.

    However, I heard from the guy who sold the car to me, as well as other members here, that regular octance 87 can be used as well for a 97 generation 1 Miata.

    Any ideas?
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    91 Octane... on a 97... hmmm... maybe a Canadian owners manual.

    Your Miata will be fine with regular 87 unless you modify it. 01+ Miata's recommend premium.
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