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Mazda Miata Problems and Solutions

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Mazda
Talk about Miata problems and share solutions with other owners here.
«1345678

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: 20,971
    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.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • 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
    According to this guide, the Miata is a non-interference engine:

    http://www.gates.com/downloads/download_common.cfm?file=GatesTBR.pdf&folder=brochure
  • 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.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    are the way to go. There are many vendors that can be found in the "marketplace" section of Miata.net.
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    Hi all,
    I have a 94-miata and it is running fine now.
    It's about time to replace its timing belt and water-pump.
    I already bought the parts from Mazda dealership, I am debating whether to pay some mechanic to do this job (labor cost of $195) or do it myself.
    I am not an auto-mechanic but I could be very handy when fixing things around the house and minor things on the car. I bought a Miata workshop book which has all the detail instructions to replace timing belt and water-pump.
    My question is:
    - is it worth (time, effort, and any risk of damaging the car ?)
    to do this job myself instead of giving it to a mechanic ?
    - if you had experience of doing such a job please share what you
    learned from it (what to watch out for ?, what to not overlooking ? ).
    - I expect that this job will take at least 5 hours (for me-), it is about right?
    Thanks much in advance!
    Miata lover.
  • tran3688tran3688 Posts: 3
    Someone stole my fender liner in school on the driver side so does anybody know where i can get another fender liner for cheap. I went to the dealer and they said it cost about $90 dollars for the fender liner and the screws are $5 dollars each.
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    Also try http://www.gomiata.com - several choices for new top including Robbins.
    I am also looking for a bargain deal on the Robbins top with glass window.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    To do your timing belt and water pump, you will need some special tools like a timing light. Balance the cost of these tools and the aggravation you may encounter doing this yourself with the $195. Personally, I think that the timing belt and water pump is ~$400 I'd just as soon shell out to a pro.

    If you are really considering doing it yourself, let me recommend to you Keith Tanner's Miata projects book. In it he has details / photos on how to do the job. Buy it and read it and decide if its still something you want to mess with.
  • ericspoericspo Posts: 1
    I'm trying to replace the small gasket that attaches to the stick and bolts to the top of the transmission. I need some help on how to remove the old one and put the new on on.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    Just cut the old one off with a box knife / scissors.

    BTW, it'll help to lube up the new boot with some motor oil (or whatever you're using for turret oil) before trying to slip it on.
  • cioccciocc Posts: 1
    Mine broke at 90-something thousand miles. The engine just shut down on the highway. I didn't know what was wrong at the time, so I pushed in the clutch and then let it back out again while I was still going pretty fast to try to restart the engine. It sounded terrible. Turns out, it was the timing belt gear at the end of the crank shaft chewing up the notches on the belt

    I don't remember the website now, but I found one that said the Miata has a 'non-interference' engine. In other words, it has enough clearance so the valves don't pound holes in the pistons when you do what I did.

    It took me a while to figure out the belt was the problem. It didn't really break. It just lost a bunch of the notches on it. When I took the cover off the cam-sprockets and turned the ignition and they didn't move, I knew what was up.

    I read all sorts of horror stories about how hard it was to line the cam sprockets, the crank gear, and the belt. Every site said to be sure and mark all these or even split the old belt in half down the middle before taking it off to maintain this alignment while putting on the new belt, but my alignment was already toast. The instructions I got in the little nothing pamphlet that came with the belt (I think I got the Gates kit with new tensioners from O'Reily Auto Parts - part # TCK179) helped the most. They said exactly how to line everything up with the marks on the engine.

    My Miata runs great now. :D I've put another 20k miles on it since then. I love it...unlike my wife, it never talks back!
  • chaplainchaplain Posts: 16
    My 99 has about 85K miles and is not running or sounding too great. I can feel a pretty stout but fast vibration in the gear shift while accelerating. Also, the engine while accelerating, is coughing and while climbing a hill the other day it sounded like it backfired. It will also miss if I am just revving the engine and it only does it at the very beginning. Could this be as simple as a fuel filter?
  • I have a 91 MX-5 and need the panel that is between the rear bumper and the trunk cover. It is about 8 inches high, contains the key lock for the trunk, and is shattered in my car. I also want a source for new convertible tops for the vehicle. Does anyone know how to describe the body part I need? what is its name or where I can find a picture that shows it? Maybe a link to an exploded view of the body parts?
    Jimmie
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    If you still have your original spark plug wires, replace them. They are long overdue. If the spark plugs have been in there awhile, it would be a good idea to just change them too while you are "in there".
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    Hi all,
    I am in the process of replacing my Miata (94')'s timing belt. I am having trouble to remove the CrankShaft pulley bolt (the big 21mm bolt). I cannot unscew this bolt by turning it, a couple questions:
    - I am not positive about turning this bolt counter-clockwise or clockwise for unscrewing it - which direction is correct ? It's already very tight.
    - when this bolt is turned, the crankshaft turns with it together, how do I lock the crankshaft from turning ?
    My workshop's book tells me this but I don't quite understand:
    " Manual transmission cars (which is my car) can be put in first gear and have their roadwheels chocked to lock the crankshaft".
    What is the roadwheels and how (easy/hard?) to chock them in order to lock the crankshaft ?

    - I also accidently turned the left cam-sprocket (without turning the second cam-sprocket and the crankshaft grear), what is the correct procedure for lining it up with the right cam-sprocket and the crankshaft ?
    ( using some the marks on the engine ?)
    I remember the original orientation of the left cam-sprocket before I turned it (the angle-degree relative of clock's position of letter E on left cam-sprocket), if I turn it forward (clockwise) back to the original orientation, would that be correct ?

    Any tips or pointers to the recommended procedures (website, etc.) would be very very appreciated- I am stuck in this process of replacing timing belt (my first time) !
    Thanks in advance!
    -Miata lover-
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    jimmiekeyes ,
    Try http://www.gomiata.com/robsoftop.html for soft tops and watch for their discount sales. I am also in the market for a new soft-top.
  • chaplainchaplain Posts: 16
    I should have mentioned plugs and wires aren't two years old. The check engine light just came on, so I guess I will have to take it to the shop. I didn't want to do that since I am low on money.
  • chaplainchaplain Posts: 16
    I just took my Miata to the local dealer and they did a diagnostic for free and then told me how to fix it myself. Too cool!
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    I figured out how to lock crankshaft in order to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt (21mm), if you have manual transmission then put it in 5th gear (unlike what my workshop book tells me to put it in 1st gear).
    by-the-way, the website http://www.miata.net/garage/timingbelt.html gives excellent instructions with clear pictures of how to replace timing belt and water-pump, I finished this job and my car is back running.
    -Miata lover-
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    Well I guess my radiator has finally kicked the bucket...or at least knocked it over by the way it's leaking coolant from the top of the radiator. At first I thought it was just a worn out cap but when I put in some coolant to refill what had leaked out, the whole radiator was leaking from where the plastic meets the metal at the top.

    So I decided to order a new double-core radiator from PBC. I'll probably take out the old radiator tomorrow and put the new one in whenever it comes in...it should be pretty easy form everything I've read but we'll see.
  • locatelslocatels Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Miata and was wondering whether others use premium as the fuel of choice. Edmunds says regular and the manual says either...
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    recommend premium for optimum performance. You can run 87 (unless you have the turbo) but you may experience some knocking due to the predetonation. My 02 ran noticably smoother on 91...noticable enough that I ponied up the extra couple of bucks per tank for the 91.
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    www.gomiata.com recently introduced a new top for $449.00 ,
    see http://www.gomiata.com/newrobnozgla.html .
    Anyone has experience or has knowledge about the quality/price of this top, and how it looks in the color Tan (dark, moderate Tan, etc. ?) ?
    Basically I am looking for a new top with glass window, no-zipper,
    and the color Tan.

    -MiataLover-
  • neulichtneulicht Posts: 2
    I disconnected the spark plug wires. I checked the rotation direction of the pully by having my wife turn the key. Then I used a pipe on the end of the socket and breaker bar and let it extend to the ground so the ground would stop the socket from turning. I bumped the key and let the starter turn the crankshaft and pully while the bolt stayed stationary and screwed out. This could create a lot of damage if you don't proceed carefully and make certain everything is placed properly and securely. Only bump the starter. Proceed at your own risk....
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    neulicht,
    thanks for the tip. It's a brilliant idea and takes no physical labor.
  • old48old48 Posts: 1
    Hi
    I have a 1994 Miata that seems to miss or hesitate (looses power)once it warms up.I am planning on rpl plugs,wires and fuel filter.The car has 80,000 miles on it.any ideas?.Thanks
  • carlover3carlover3 Posts: 29
    Hi, my 94' miata only gets about 20miles/gallon (Octane 87). I wonder what others get for gas mileage from their old miata (about 10 years old or so).
    If my is an unusual low gas mileage then what can I do to improve my gas mileage ? I already replaced sparkplugs, sparkplug wires, air filter, and fuel filter.
    Thanks in advance!
    Miata lover.
  • jttisonjttison Posts: 1
    I HAVE A 92 MIATA...EVERY COUPLE OF MO'S OR SO IT FREAKS OUT. THE IDLE WILL CLIMB TO 1800 AND THEN THRU EACH SUCCESSIVE GEAR, IT WILL SPUTTER AND COUGH THEN CATCH AND WORK FINE UNTIL THE NEXT GEAR AND IT REPEATS THE CYCLE. IF I TURN IT OFF IT WILL NOT START (IT WILL TURN OVER, BUT WONT CATCH) FOR ABOUT 3-4 HOURS, THEN IT RUNS LIKE A CHAMP?? MY CHECK ENG LIGHT COMES ON OCCASIONALLY BUT DOES NOT STAY ON...UNABLE TO READ ANY CODES....HELP?
  • juejue Posts: 1
    i was driving down the motorway and the engine just cut out on my 1990 miata. i pulled over and and tried to restart but got nothing, it just kept turning over but not firing up. but if you disconnect the wires of the air flow meter it starts, but does not run very well. if you give it some gas it cuts out again and if you reconnect the air flow meter it cuts out again. :confuse: i have looked though loads of manuals but get nothing. hope there is some body out there who has had the same problem. THANKS
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    My 1990 with 138,000 miles gets about 27 mpg on average and I drive it like I stole it (according to everyone who knows me anyway...).

    If you're only getting 20 mpg, something is wrong.
  • The 5 speed trans in my 90 miata has failed. DOes anyone know up to what year the trans is the same and will bolt right in?
  • preciousepreciouse Posts: 2
    HI
    I LOVE MY MAZDA MIATA.
    NOW, I WENT TO THE MAZDA AUTO BODY PARTS DEPARTMENTS AT A MAZDA DEALER.
    THEY HAVE ALL PARTS ON THE COMPUTER THERE.
    I HAD AN ACCIDENT IN MY FRONT LEFT BUMPER , DRIVERS SIDE.
    I HAD TO TAKE OFF MY BUMPER AND EVERY THING BEHIND THE BUMPER AND TO BUY SOME OF THOSE PARTS.
    THEY GAVE ME PRINT OUT SHEETS WITH PHOTO PARTS AND PARTS #S AND THEN I GOT PRICES FOR THE PARTS THAT I NEEDED.
    THERE ARE AFTER MARKET PRICE ON TH INTERNET BUT NO PHOTOS.
    I WRITE IN CAPITAL LETTERS, SO I CAN SEE THEM BETTER
    I AM A 63 OLD FEMALE AND THIS IS THE FIRST CAR PROJECT THAT I HAVE TAKEN ON.
    PRECIOUSE
  • prissy1prissy1 Posts: 2
    I often drive my Miata with the top down & without the boot for protection. The interior fabric on the top has faded due to sun exposure. Any ideas/products to restore color to interior fabric convertible top? Thanks!
This discussion has been closed.