Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
  • dovandovan Member Posts: 4
    How do I find directions to replace the O2 Sensor on my 2001 Miata? I don't want to have to buy a repair manual just to do this. I'm not mechanically inclined. I have only known how to change oil and filter. I have also heard that I'd need a special tool (crow-feet wrench?). Thanks. -Hieu
  • beckigbeckig Member Posts: 1
    Hello. I just bought a 1992 Mazda Miata. I wanted to know if it has a non-interference engine? I read that the 1991 has a non interference engine but I didn't know if the same applied to the 1992 Miata. I love my little Miata!! I don't know much about them since I have only owned it for 3 days but I am in love with it and I want to keep it forever so that is why I was looking into timing belts and the like. Is changing the timing belt on my 92 difficult?
    Thanks in advance!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Correct, it is non-interference.

    I just changed my belt, but I paid a mechanic to do it.

    I did reset the timing, though, because they got that part wrong.
  • debgreen79debgreen79 Member Posts: 2
    A service provider connected battery cables incorrectly and blew the main fuse and radio/tape player in my 1993 Miata. I was told by a Mazda mechanic that the main fuse did not protect the radio and it must be replaced. The owner's manual reads as if there's a separate fuse in the radio. Is there a separate fuse that might have protected the radio?
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    I'm looking for advice on correcting my pwr window function. Driver window is slower than passenger side, and squeaks as it nears the "up" position.

    My car is 2004 with high mileage. Otherwise it is nearly perfect.

    I've heard that a special lubricant is needed and requires removing the door panel. I've also heard that the typical dealer "fix" is to squirt some WD-40 into the window and charge an hour of labor.
    Does anyone have a "do it yourself" remedy ??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    Thanks for the info. I'll try the ShinEtsu grease after cleaning the window rail.
  • branch15_5branch15_5 Member Posts: 44
    I'm considering buying a used Miata, most likely '99 or earlier. I'll be going through the posts here, but I wanted to poll this board to see if there are any major issues to be aware of: year models to avoid, mechanical issues to have checked, etc.

    This is the first non-Honda/Toyota I will have bought in nearly 30 years. (Yes, it will be a mid-life crisis car).

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    Like you I have owned mostly Toyota/Honda products but recently purchased a used '04 Miata as a fun good weather car. I have been very happy with it; although, there are some maintenance requirements that differ from Toyota/Honda that you should know about. For example, the Mazda timing belt is due to be replaced at 60K mi (unlike Toy/Hon at 90-100K), along with spark plugs, etc. at every 30K mi. This added to my expense as I didn't check the timing belt issue prior to purchasing. My mistake.
    Re: WHICH Miata. A friend who had previously owned 2 Miatas recommended the second generation Miata ('99-'05) over the first gen. ('91-'98). Bigger, more power, retains the light weight, 50/50 wt. balance of the first gen but "better", imo.
    I have a personal rule never to purchase the first model yr after a major re-do, ('91, '99, '06); but that is just my preference. I'm not aware if there have been more mechanical problems with the '99 models than with, say, the '00 models.
    There are many specimen out there to choose from. Some second gen. models with higher mileage can be priced similar to first gen. models.
    Since you are so accustomed to the Toyota/Honda products, you should review the Mazda service recommendations to make sure you know what you will be getting into, imo.
    Good luck with your car hunting. Great little cars!
  • branch15_5branch15_5 Member Posts: 44
    Thanks for the very thorough response. The shorter maintenance intervals don't bother me so much; I won't be putting a lot of miles on the car. In addition, breakage concerns me a lot more than maintenance.

    And I'm with you on the first year of a redesign. I'll probably try to look for a 2000.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm about to sell my 1993, and looking at a new PRHT 2008.

    To be honest I'm having a real hard time letting go. They are great cars. I have this gut feeling that I'm making a mistake parting with my 93 too soon.

    Join the club, you won't regret it. You may regret the day you sell it, however. :sick:
  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    Check out miata.net for more Miata information. 99-00 are good choices. Regular vs premium on the 01+ models and about the same HP. A few 99 and 00 models had thrust bearing issues. Some 01 models had chattering clutch issues. 90-97 models are harder to find and in more demand. Miata engines are non-interference, so if you don't change the timing belt you'll be fine. If you have any doubts, check out Consumer Reports for best value in sports cars.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Sold my '93. Had a good buyer and didn't want to pass up the offer.

    Got a 2008 PRHT Touring on Friday night. Suspension package, 6 speed manual, basically the sportiest Miata you can get.

    It's a lot quicker, handling with the summer tires and stiff suspension plus the Bilsteins is also better.

    Ride quality is stiffer, not as cushy as my 93. The seats are more supportive but not as comfy as the leather on my old one.

    Took me just 75 miles to get comfortable in the new one. It still feels very familiar, which is cool.
  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    Congrats on the PRHT! There are some great discounts right now. Local dealers are offering $7k off remaining 08's. Mostly PRHT's left. Unfortunately for me, they are mostly automatics and I really don't want to spend that kind of money, even if it is a good deal.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Sounds about right.

    Mine MSRP'd for $29k and I paid about $22k plus tax and tags.
  • fire_man2340fire_man2340 Member Posts: 2
    Hey Im getting a 1990 Mazda Miata with 170,000 miles on for $2100, and want to know, What are the usely the 1st things to go bad on them, and how long do you think the 1.8 will last with that miny miles on them if the oil was change like it should have been, I kinda wanted to know a lil every bit of every thing from people who HAVE and Had a 1990 to 1997 Miata.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That's a lot of miles, how it was cared for it what matters most. To be honest any more life out of it is gravy at this point, it doesn't owe anything.

    90 Miatas had some very early crank issues but without a doubt that would have been resolved by now, especially with those miles.

    Crystal White paint on the early ones will peel, though you didn't mention color.

    Clutch slave cylinder will eventually fail but you can get a rebuild kit cheap. If the clutch pedal sinks you do not necessarily need a new cluth (my cost: $10.74).

    It will eat spark plug wires every 30k miles. Like clockwork. I bet you it's on the 6th set of wires by now.

    That's about it. They last forever. I sold mine far before its expiration date.

    Good luck.
  • branch15_5branch15_5 Member Posts: 44
    I test drove an 05 Miata at Carmax today. The test drive lasted no more than 10 minutes. Shortly after the drive, I developed moderate lower back pain (definitely not a chronic situation with me).

    Has anyone else experienced this when switching to a Miata? If so, did the pain subside once you got used to the car?

    I'm really hoping this is a temporary thing, because I really loved the car.
  • jeff84redjeff84red Member Posts: 3
    I had a 1990 Miata and had no issues with back problems. The only thing I can think of is when youclimbed in. If the hard top orsoft top was up you may have stretched a few muscles getting in as they are tight!

    Enjoy the car if you get it! :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The 2005 is an NB model, so that's the 1.8l.

    The 2006+ models are the NCs, and those have a lot of extra legroom, plus a more powerful 2.0l engine.

    That makes the 2006 and later models roomier, especially in terms of leg room, though people still complain about the seats. Mazda put in new seats for 2009.

    Prices have dropped because Mazda has a $5000 incentive on 2008 models, since the late-arrival 2009s are finally here. I recommend shopping for a new 2008 left over, if you can still find them they are a screaming bargain right now, with some people getting brand new ones for $15.9k.

    Probably cheaper than a Cube would be, lucien. ;)
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    I have owned my 2004 MazdaSpeed Miata for 1 1/2 yrs. It took me some time (prob. 2 months) to get the seat adjusted to prevent my back from hurting after more than a few minutes of driving it. I am 6' and 200 lbs, so it is a bit tight for me. It doesn't ride like a Lexus; but it is a hoot to drive !
    I found by moving the seat about 2in. closer to the wheel and then tilting back the seatback, it prevents my back ache. This arrangement is completely differenent than how I adjust the seat in my sedan. However, I'm sure everyone has to find the correct seat position for him/her.
    I have driven the car on 100 + mile trips, without stopping, and while I'm driving I forget about my back. Honestly, I can be a little stiff afterward; but not bad.
    The wind in the hair, and pure driving pleasure is something I'm not willing to part with.
    Haven't driven the 2006 and newer models, so I can't speak to their relative seat comfort.
  • done37done37 Member Posts: 64
    Been busy and just read your post on your new purchase Juice. Excellent!! Once a Miata owner, always a Miata owner.

    Wise and awesome purchase on the PRHT. Two thumbs up!

    Don
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Thanks.
  • flygirl4flygirl4 Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my1993 model. Finally figured out it happened every time I drove my second car (the Mazda). I folded over a pillow to put in the back of the seat so the angle is not so deep. Presto, no more back pain. Try it.
  • johnrobtsjohnrobts Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata with 54,000 on it. As I'm contemplating a vacation trip of at least 5000 miles, I think I ought to have the 60,000 service done before I leave town.

    I hope somebody knows an Austin area shop with experience with the Mazdaspeed.
  • scuba_alscuba_al Member Posts: 1
    The alternator belt on my 97 is squeeking. It is only 2 weeks old. The one I replaced was almost new too. Any suggestions?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Is the tension correct? Not too loose or tight? Any wear on the side of the old belt that may indicate a misalignment or interference?
  • cruznsuzy2002cruznsuzy2002 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Mazda Miata. First time I 've had a leak. It is my passenger side, small leak, but now the foot board is getting soaked, any advise?
  • johnrobtsjohnrobts Member Posts: 2
    If the leak is above the windshield on the passanger side, buy some 1/2" closed cell foam rod, sold at WalMart as window insulation, and with the top down, squeeze it down between the two rubber gaskets that should bear against the top material when the top is raised. If the leak is at the top of the passanger window, insert a rod of the same closed-cell foam in the round rubber gasket that the raised passanger window-glass pushes against to seal the top/window junction. You may have to cut a little slit in the round rubber gasket to slip the rod into.

    I've had to do both repairs on my 2004, and the sealing effect has also decreased wind noise by sealing the top properly.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'd have the HVAC system checked if it's down in the foot well.
  • bubbacusbubbacus Member Posts: 1
    Getting more leg room in your Mazda mx-5 (91-97)can this be done? i got a 91 for my lil girl 1st car . Now she got a family and out grew it . Dad bought it back to fix/beef it up but i need a wee bit more leg room . Please help me and I think a ton of others that love this lil' car . I am making it into a monster miata . Thats the beefing up part lol
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    What a great idea! I don't know how your going to accomplish more leg room, but still a great idea.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Try simply removing the dead pedal. That takes care of the left leg. I modified mine (2008 model) to move it about 3/8" back.

    For the right leg, some people cut the pedals and add spacers to move them back, and away, but I never tried it.
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    Hello,
    I've just purchased an used 2002 Miata LS with about 70,000 miles and the car came with a well worn set of Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tires, and I'm looking to replace them with all-season tires. I've visited Tirerack.com, and there are only two all-season tires came up in the size 205/45/16: Continental Extreme Contact DWS and General G-Max. I'm an avid Michelin tires fan, as I have them on my other three cars, but Michelin do not make this size tires.

    Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaMember Posts: 1,222
    Hi, navyguy1990,

    You might also want to ask the folks in the Tires, tires, tires discussion.

    ClaireS, Host
    Automotive News & Views | Coupes & Convertibles

    MODERATOR

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  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    ClaireS,
    Thank you. . . Will try the Tires discussion board. Based on lack of maintenance related discussions on this board, I guess I've made the correct choice in buying a Miata over any other convertible.

    Thanks again.

    Sincerely,
    Navyguy
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaMember Posts: 1,222
    This is the main forum for the MX-5, but you can find the maintenance-related discussions here:
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.eec8f6e/

    ClaireS, Host
    Automotive News & Views | Coupes & Convertibles

    MODERATOR

    Need help getting around? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Test drove a NA (first generation miata (95) and it was a little balky going into 2nd gear. Is this normal or could it be a problem. I don't think the transmission fluid has ever been changed - would that make a huge difference even if the car has relatively low miles?
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSMember Posts: 1,024
    edited October 2013
    You might want to try to replace the inner and outer gear shift boots first. When doing this they tell you to top off the transmission with fluid. These inner shift boots are notorious for breaking apart and making shifting a little more difficult. I picked up a NA (1991) a couple of years ago and replacing these boots was the first thing I did to the car; what a difference it made in the ease of shifting. The inner boot is available from any Miata dealer for around $15.00 $20.00. It's very easy to do from inside the car. Here are detailed instructions.
    http://www.camsmx5.com/Resources/techshift/techshift.html
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Excellent info - thanks. These boots along with original fluid may very well fix everything.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited October 2013
    Just use regular gear oil, 75w90 IIRC.

    It's usually liquid smooth because...well, because it's literally bathed in oil.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    That is what I was expecting. It gets better when warmed up. Must be low on oil or wrong viscosity or gummed up or something.

    My '13 Accord has never felt so smooth and silent and gigantic as it does after driving a Miata for a few days. The Miata sure is a lot of fun though - basically a time machine.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    edited October 2013
    As luck would have it a friend who drives a '93 miata 5 speed stopped by the office and I took a test drive. His transmission felt the same. I am probably just too used to the Accord which is almost effortless and has a longer throw. It practically takes the shift lever from you and sucks it in as you are placing it into gear.

    Either that or both Mazdas need new oil and/or boots. May be the case as they are both fairly old and probably both have never had the transmission fluid changed. My main concern was that it might be the synchronizers going (my '90 Integra with 235k miles is starting to suffer from this), but that is probably not the case given the mileage. Both are under 50k miles
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Long throws give you leverage so less force is required.

    But then you have to move your elbow. :D
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Juice - still have your Miata or did you sell it?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Still have the 2008 PRHT.

    I miss my '93 some times...it was much simpler, lighter, more open.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    edited October 2013
    Wound up getting the '95 montego blue NA.

    What a blast.
  • starfox428starfox428 Member Posts: 2

    I just bought a 97 Miata M from my 6'1 husband. He had one when he was a bit younger and adored it, but now he has leg and back problems. He did not fit in the new modal - 97 was the last of old modal. I am 5'3 and it is just perfect with the seat pulled up all the way forward.

  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469

    You had to buy it from him? Couldn't he just let you drive it? ;)

    Or did you buy it for him?

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