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Mazda Miata Problems and Solutions



  • taycraigtaycraig Posts: 1
    okay. I am 17 years old and I live in port townsend washington. My parents bought me a 1991 miata for my 16th birthday. The car was awesome when I first got it. but after the use on anything, there comes a problem. A few months ago my car started to run very poor and studder when I began to accelerate. It seems that the car doesn't do it as much when i'm at higher RPM's. if i gently tap the gas the car wont do it but if I want to clime a hill or start off from a stop, the car will just start acting up and running like crap. I have replaced new belts, plugs, aire filter, oil filter... and all the basics. I took it to the shop and had my mechanic check it out but he can't seem to figure out the problem. My dad and I tried to check the codes to see what's wrong with the electrical problem but no codes come out of the car and I am pretty sure it's electrical... I am coming to guess that it's the ECU in the car... this is my first car and i'm not very experienced with auto mechanics but this is something ive never seen before. does anyone have a solution? thanks!!
  • gatojeffgatojeff Posts: 3
    Have you changed the gas filter?
  • denise11denise11 Posts: 2
    I have the exact same problem with my 99 Miata also. Can I ask what you did to stop it. I've had the engine light reset with one of the ODC it reads excessive EGR flow also.
    Can you still drive it and not have problems. I've had so much work done on this car but I still love it.
    Thank you for any insight.
  • denise11denise11 Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 Miata MX5. I love my car but just recently the check engine light came on. I have had it checked with the OBDC-II and it says I have Excessve EGR flow. Will it hurt my car driving with this on? And what does EGR flow mean?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Could be a contaminated fuel system. Try the fuel filter first (it's a pain, be ready for 2-3 hours under the car), if that does not help get a throttle-body service to clean the whole system out.

    Our 626 did that, hesitated like crazy, and that service cleared it right up.

    EGR = Exhaust Gas Recirculation.

    Your EGR system could be clogged up with contaminants, or you could have something as simple as a bad PCV Valve (positive crankcase ventilation). Since those are very cheap, I'd change that first, might only cost you a few bucks.

  • hazeleyeshazeleyes Posts: 1
    I've been hand washing my MX-5 Grandtourning. This is great exercise. Remember not to wash the car in the heat of the day and purchase a good chamoise cloth. I may be washing mine too much. However, I wash it once a week or every time it gets dirty. I do keep a few soft cloths in the trunk to wipe small spots and bugs. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Anyone know exactly where the drip drains are under the doors? Mine are clogged up; I can actually hear the water sloshing around.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Found 'em, here are pics I found that helped me out:

    Here is the passenger side front:


    And the passenger side rear:


    Oddly enough, there are bolts covering some of my holes. I had some body work done and I think the body shop just did not know what they were doing, looks like they actually plugged up several of the holes! DOH! :mad:

    I managed to free up one of the ones on the passenger side and sure enough water came pouring out. Lots and lots of it. :sick:

    I need to remove bolts on the driver's side.

    You'd think a body shop would know better. Sheesh.

  • 3rdman3rdman Posts: 1
    Anyone performed or looking into performing an oil change on an 2006 MX-5? I have an engine diagram from Mazda that shows where the oil filter & drain plug are located, but that doesn't show me how I'm gonna get at it (looks like from underneath the car). Has anyone tried this yet? Or made pictures of where things are?

  • modena2904modena2904 Posts: 16
    We just picked up a 2006 MX-5, and we love it. But we're wondering where is a good place to stash the garage door opener? It won't clip on to the visor, it doesn't fit in the center compartment (where the cupholders are), and the compartment between the seatbacks isn't very convenient.

    Any ideas?

    - Bubba
  • mazdaman3mazdaman3 Posts: 12
    I've got a '99 Miata with 41k miles on it, and a couple weeks ago, my check engine light came on. I had it read at Autozone, and it's PO420 - Catalyst efficiency below threshold (bank one). Any ideas as to what I'm gonna have to get done here? The guy recommended putting in octane booster, and running it on the interstate... :confuse: I don't think you can "blow out the carbon" anymore... anyway, I've also heard rumors about the cat being covered under the Federally mandated emissions warranty by Mazda. Any thoughts? Thanks.
  • mazdaman3mazdaman3 Posts: 12
    Just an update: I had the code erased last night, to see if it would come back, and it did within about 10-20 miles. It stays on constantly, not coming on and off like i've read about on some other forums. The car runs fine, gets the same mileage(26-32), idles at 800rpm (factory) constantly. Right now I'm suspecting the O2 sensors or the catalytic converter, but i'm worried it's gonna end up being some kind of coil pack or misfire issue. Any thoughts to ease my worries? Thanks again.
  • linda3214linda3214 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Miata with 25,000 miles on it. Recently it started running kind of poorly, so I put a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in it. Next time I went to drive it - it starts, then dies a couple of times, then runs fine. A couple of days later, it took more tries to get it to run. The check engine light came on while I was driving, but after smelling a puff of gas, engine light went off. Next time out, car won't start. I put in new spark plugs. Still, every time it cranks, it runs for a couple of seconds, then dies.

    Any ideas about what is wrong? After reading many of the postings, I haven't seen anything exactly like this. Thanks in advance for any help.
  • royce242royce242 Posts: 2
    Hey folks. I have a 2006 Miata and was wondering if anyone else experienced the radio/cd player fizzing out for about 2 seconds once you latch the top back up.

    It's not a big deal whatsoever but I was just wondering if anyone knew what caused it!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Our 626 was hesitating, though not quite dying like that, and a throttle body service cleared it up. We had clogged fuel injectors, even though it was only fed premium fuels.

  • pipefitterpipefitter Posts: 27
    Your audio system is "fizzling" out because your radio has two modes, top up and top down. The pause is the change in volume levels between modes.
  • royce242royce242 Posts: 2
    Ah ha! Thanks!
  • reuban1reuban1 Posts: 5
    with 53,000 Miles on it. It's been sitting out side for two years. Anything special I should do to it other then the usual stuff? And should I look for anything? I am going to buy a new soft top any hint on a good one?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd replace all the fluids, including bleeding brakes, coolant, even bleeding the clutch master/slave (it uses brake fluid too). Not just engine oil but also transmission and rear differnetial fluids (75w90 gear oil for both).

    I got a '93 when it was 8 years old, and the rear diffy fluid looked like melted chocolate. The clutch slave cylinder wore out and the fluid in there wasn't much better.

    That plus all the usual 60k service stuff. Anything original is 16 years old now, so maybe all the belts and hoses if they look worn, cracked, or feel hard.

  • reuban1reuban1 Posts: 5
    Thanks Juice! Here is an update It just got dropped off at my house. Paint is ok but faded. checking the drip stick the oil looked great the back window you can't even see out of but, the soft top looking at works like new. brake diskes are all rust. one window does not work but I found a new kit for the window in the truck.

    1st I may compound the paint then wax?
    2nd Change oil asap
    3nd Back window. Is there just a window replacement?
    4th Brakes. Will they just wear in?
    5th What's the time frame to repair the withdow (Power)?
  • 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.
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