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Sandstorm Damage Extensive, Possibly Expensive - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,112
edited March 2016 in Mazda
imageSandstorm Damage Extensive, Possibly Expensive - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata got caught in a sandstorm and it did a number on the paint, lights and trim on the front end of our new car.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • diondidiondi Posts: 71
    Wow, that's incredibly bad damage from a sandstorm. Never knew it could be that bad!

    Also, Mazda cheaping out and not installing a cabin filter? Tsk.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Posts: 863
    So, since this is a "The manufacturer provided this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation." does that mean that you can return it to them as is or are you responsible for the damage? In terms of the Cabin Filter, not sure of the thinking but I do know my 2000 doesn't have one... although I don't know how common that was back then. I like how our Pilot has it easily accessible and replaceable behind the glove compartment. Literally, easiest thing to replace ever.
  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 161
    My turn signals were a little hazy, a few rounds of wet sanding with 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper followed by polishing and waxing returned them to almost new appearance. But that's from 14 years of normal weather, not sandstorm damage, so I'm not sure if it's comparable. Also, I think it would be strange to install a cabin filter on a vehicle that has a roof that can be removed, though I expect the BMW has one.
  • hank39hank39 Tallahassee, FLPosts: 144
    This trip Mark took is turning out to be quite expensive!
  • defyant15defyant15 Posts: 74
    edited March 2016
    Really interesting sets of posts - thanks for sharing!
    Did Mark drive through the dust at 60mph and above? Could this damage occur at 40mph and below?
    I wonder, if sandblasting can occur so easily - what do folks in the Middle East do.

    Another vote in favor of clear-bras (full front coverage including A pillars/lenses. Would really be useful in this situation for sure among plenty of others.

    The polish/detail will just abrade away clear coat to smoothen out the pitting. It may not work if the pitting is deeper than the clear-coat. Regardless, the paint has likely been severely compromised and thinned and fixing it will involve thinning it further - also the lenses have a UV protection layer, fixing that will remove it making them go cloudy in sunlight over time- this assumes any of this can be fixed. The wax may smoothen out the speckling temporarily on the paint.

    If it looks better after the polish and wax, I bet it will regress quickly to a dull appearance after some time in the sun and rain.
  • iamthestigiamthestig Philadelphia, PAPosts: 85
    If this were my car, I'd also investigate whether I could file an insurance claim for this damage. I'm not sure if I'd want to go that route, but I would at least check it out.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    diondi said:

    Wow, that's incredibly bad damage from a sandstorm. Never knew it could be that bad!

    Also, Mazda cheaping out and not installing a cabin filter? Tsk.

    IDK, it's a convertible. What is the point of installing a cabin filter on a convertible, even with the top up you won't get the same quality seal as in a hard top, and if you live in SoCal and spend lots of time with the top down the filter is even more pointless.
  • I'm having a flashback to the time when my cousin drove his then-new Triumph TR-6 into a sandstorm. I was just a kid, but I could see how much it hurt the guy. :P

    (The Triumph would of course get him back by one mechanical failure after another.)
  • vince_nhvince_nh Posts: 9
    The Xpel headlight/DRL kit is $29.95 for this car and would have prevented all of the damage to the lights. It's also quite easy to install; just watch out for the curve/taper along the inboard edge of the headlights. It's difficult to remove any bubbles from that area.

    The same product has been on my 8 year old Mini since new. The headlights are in great shape and the film itself has held up well with no yellowing.
  • a good detailer could certainly buff it out. may need some wetsanding, though (paint thickness reading!). While it's true that you'll lose some of your clear it's not the end of the world, you're not planning to do this too often.
    the only drawback is the loss of your UV-protection on the headlights and foglights as defyant15 correctly mentions. There are products available to seal the lights but I'm not sure any will come close to the factory stuff
  • I'd also be worried about possible damage to the radiator, a/c condenser.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    There is a cabin air filter, and I'll be replacing it. Stay tuned. There was some doubt if the ND even had one at first - the manual service schedule makes no mention, for example - but I've since confirmed that it does have one. The NC has one, too, but the NA and NB do not.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    From what Mark said, this was a wall-of-dust sand storm in which visibility went to zero. Not Fury Road bad, but pretty epic.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • spigspig Posts: 3

    There is a cabin air filter, and I'll be replacing it. Stay tuned. There was some doubt if the ND even had one at first - the manual service schedule makes no mention, for example - but I've since confirmed that it does have one. The NC has one, too, but the NA and NB do not.

    Umm, my 2008 NC Miata most definitely does not have a cabin air filter (don't know if later model years added one)...
  • defyant15 said:


    I wonder, if sandblasting can occur so easily - what do folks in the Middle East do..

    In Saudi Arabia they coat the front of their vehicles in vaseline to save the paint and chrome. Seriously, saw that when I worked there years ago.

  • defyant15defyant15 Posts: 74
    edited March 2016
    LOL!! How the hell do they remove the sand mixed vaseline without damaging the paint? Clear bra all the way! $$ but so much peace of mind and saves money on polishing/detailing. Of course, doesnt make a lot of sense on a press car.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    spig said:

    Umm, my 2008 NC Miata most definitely does not have a cabin air filter (don't know if later model years added one)...

    Hmm. I could have sworn that was the case.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • djd352djd352 Posts: 31
    No they don't use vaseline anymore! :P I lived in Riyadh from 2012-2015 and never saw any vaseline, but what I did see was spray cans of a protective film... it looked like primer. People would spray it all over the front of their cars, wheel arches, and anywhere where sand damage would occur. This was not done on a normal basis, only for long-distance runs, say Riyadh to Bahrain or the UAE. I never did it because I did long-term renting, it wasn't my car being sand blasted! Mind you, almost all of the cars are dull after 2 or 3 years, but that is when you take them out to the desert and wreck them! The magic kingdom... where everything is disposable! :D
  • bohiobohio Posts: 59

    In terms of the Cabin Filter, not sure of the thinking but I do know my 2000 doesn't have one... although I don't know how common that was back then. I like how our Pilot has it easily accessible and replaceable behind the glove compartment. Literally, easiest thing to replace ever.

    Easier than a lightbulb in the nightstand lamp? Easier than the batteries in a Maglite? Easier than the cone coffee filter in the drip maker?

  • miata52miata52 Posts: 114

    spig said:

    Umm, my 2008 NC Miata most definitely does not have a cabin air filter (don't know if later model years added one)...

    Hmm. I could have sworn that was the case.

    My 2011 NC does not have a cabin air filter. No NC does -- at least in the US.
  • From what Mark said, this was a wall-of-dust sand storm in which visibility went to zero. Not Fury Road bad, but pretty epic.

    Maybe pulling over would have helped - ? Hard to say...
  • Maybe pulling over would have helped - ? Hard to say...

    Nope. In the headwind I had to downshift to 5th gear just to maintain highway speeds. Pulling over would have had the same effect, I just would have been more bored or maybe more of the car would have sustained damage. Also, there were no structures or shelter anywhere in that desert stretch.

    In any case, look for my fix soon or find me on twitter. Yes, you heard right, it's almost back to normal.
  • Cabin air filters not only clean the air for your benefit but also to protect the evaporator and blower from dirt and debris. Therefore it's a strong possibility that the Miata has one. Some are easy to find like the one's behind the glove box but others require removing instrument panel trim pieces and some are accessed by removing the windshield cowling.
  • kain77kain77 Posts: 6
    Darude - Sandstorm
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 606
    Dynamat?

    Hit it with a hammer?
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