Mazda MX-5 Miata Electrical Problems

green55green55 Member Posts: 2
edited January 2014 in Mazda
My 1997 Mazda Miata headlights stopped working in the open position. The lights still operate but the raise and lower actuators do not. I checked the fuse panel for the obvious but need help in diagnosing this problem.


  • rt69rt69 Member Posts: 1
    A few days ago I rplaced my headlights with new ones the old ones were just dull and old but worked fine, last night I went to use the Hi-beams and nothing, I pulled back on the turn signal switch and they went on, Anyone have any ideas???????
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Maybe a harness is connected upside down? That's my guess.

    Sorry, never worked on the pop-up headlights. At least you can still use them. Imagine if they were stuck down!
  • lost6lost6 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem in another vehicle, and had to replace the harness from the turn indicator to the lights.
  • sparky00sparky00 Member Posts: 1
    I have been reading several of the posts about removing the battery and having to re-enter a security code for the anti-theft/radio to start working. I had purchased this vehicle over a year ago after it have been in a wreck. I recently finished putting it back together and have found that the radio does not work at all. Can anyone help me figure out how to get the radio working? Also this Miata has a key fob with it. Thanks!!
  • hotwheels1hotwheels1 Member Posts: 2
    My headlights stopped working, I checked the fuse and it's OK. They pop-up and close with no problems. Is it possible that both lights could burn out at the same time??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yes, in fact that's very likely, because bulb life tends to be pretty consistent.

    I had lights burn out within a week of each other, and this was after 7 years of use!
  • natedog1natedog1 Member Posts: 3
    My Miata has no headlights in the low beam position only. The high beams work fine, The manual (Haynes) suggests the combination switch mounted on top of the steering column as the culprit, and sure enough, there is no continuity between the terminals listed. What I need to know is what needs to be replaced, The entire sub assembly, with the directionals, cruise control, etc. or is there an easier way out? Also, any suggestions as to where to find the right part would be helpful.
  • blainehblaineh Member Posts: 1
    I have 1997 mx5 with complete gauge package & my oil pressure gauge is not working many say that 1997 only came with oil light but mine has actual gauge could this be the sending unit and were can I locate the unit to test

    thank you
  • keli449keli449 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 1990 miata and the windows do not work but the headlights do, friend gave me the car and I am trying to fix it.

  • shebalynnxshebalynnx Member Posts: 1
    Our miata is having electrical difficulty. First we had to replace the battery, then the alternator, then the ignition coil, but it still has the problem. If we use the radio, heater, lights, it will run down and die. It will only run right if all these things are off.

    If anyone has had this or similar difficulties, can you tell me what you did to fix it? Where is the regulator located. The repair book doesn't mention it so we assumed it was internal in the alternator, the parts store has a part, but we can't find it. That is about the last thing we have to check or replace, so where is the dang thing located?????

  • zaphoidzaphoid Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone had any problems with the tail lights and dash lights going out? The fuse continues to blow and nothing has been done to the electrical system. I did increase the fuse size by 5 amps and that did not help.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I've lost a bulb on my '93, but no other problems.
  • shmoogeyshmoogey Member Posts: 1
    Did you ever get an answer to your question on Miata high beams? I have the same problem in a 2000 Miata.

  • natedog1natedog1 Member Posts: 3
    I am embarrassed to say that both low beams were burned out at the same time. I tried a used column switch before I figured it out. The column switch is under the steering wheel and controls the trun signals wipers etc.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It's weird, how that happens. I've had bulbs blow out after 7-9 years, and then the 2nd one will blow out within a week of the other.

    Incredible coincidence, really.
  • archerjsarcherjs Member Posts: 1
    Help if you can. I was driving my 1999 Miata at 60 mph everything working fine and then I pushed the airconditioning button and the car ignition just shut down and now it will not start. Can any one please tell me what the problem may be? Thx
  • boerneboerne Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Miata. Last week while I was driving on the highway, suddenly and briefly, everything shut off - the radio, cruise control, AC, etc. I'm guessing the engine might've stopped for a second or two but it was hard to tell because of the cruise control shutting off at the same time. But then, everything came back on as quickly as it had shut off - all of the instrument panel lights came on, then shut off, leaving only the ABS, anti-skid, and the handbrake lights staying on. It appeared to be working normally.

    I took it straight to the dealer who has now had it for several days. They test drove it (and of course there was no repeat occurence), flahsed the computer (making the warning lights go away), but still have no idea what happened. They are checking the Mazda "Tech site" to see if there are any other reports of the problem.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

  • cpicocpico Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1990 miata and all my dash and interior lights don't work. All the fuses are fine any suggestions?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, could it be the bulbs? That would be a pretty big coincidence, but maybe there was a power surge that blew them all out.

    Check the bulbs by your right knee, that's the easiest one to access.
  • red93red93 Member Posts: 1
    I was driving down the road about 75 MPH for about 2hrs when the dash went out. No warnings ,nothing. All gauges were gone radio,tach,temphorn,lights,turn signals to mention a few. Stopped at rest stop and shut it off . Would not restart. Battery dead. Had it towed mechanic tested battery and alternator both checked OK. Drove the car back and it did it again . Dead battery etc. Recharged battery and it works ok. I think its the alternator . The time to charge the battery gave time for the alt. to cool (?). I have been told maybe ground issues,bad ignition switch etc. I have had this car only a few months and I dont have them figured out yet. Any thoughts would be appreciated. :confuse:
  • skiparkcityskiparkcity Member Posts: 1
    Car died...just like reason. Cruising through my school parking lot, and about to corner in first died. All electric was out. Nada. Called AAA.
    Guy couldn't find out polarity of battery to jumpstart it. While he is looking, the trunk light suddenly goes on. Whoa. I've only had the car a few weeks. Car had only been on for a few minutes. It has only 11,000 miles, garage kept, super clean.
    Total enigma. I've noted others stating that they've had their car suddenly die, and come back to life later. The AAA tow truck guy did nothing. His battery was sitting near my battery, but he never hooked it up. 45 minutes after dying, car started as if nothing was wrong. Help. I don't want this to happen on a highway or other bad location. :surprise:
  • natedog1natedog1 Member Posts: 3
    According to the check engine code, my 1997 MX 5 (M edition) automatic tranny, has a bad heat sensor. Anyone familiar with these, and how involved is the replacement procedure?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, no, never even heard of that part.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I was reminded how these really don't last all that long...

    My engine started misfiring - BADLY. It sputtered at certain RPM like I've never seen.

    First I checked the timing, but that was OK. I thought it might have been knocked out of the right timing setting since my Miata was hit last week (again).

    Then I replaced the wires, and sure enough, they basically fell apart when I was taking the old ones out. Half of the connector came off on the spark plug, even though I had used boot grease.

    Replaced those, and the spark plugs as well, and she's running like new.
  • avid1avid1 Member Posts: 1
    My 1992 has the exact same issue. Did you fix yours? How?
    fyi: regulator is integrated into the alternator

    I replaced both the batt & alt. also the cooling fan relay

    have had both the new batt & alt bench tested twice. both good
  • hirdanhirdan Member Posts: 1
    Were you able to solve this problem? I don't have the exact problem but similar. Mine will be dead after a week or two of not using. Even keeping an trickle charger on it. Had it looked at by a Mazda dealer and twice by a Japanese auto specialist. I'm ready to give up since they can't find the problem.
  • jfloriojflorio Member Posts: 1
    I wanted to know what the rectangular box is on the passagers side, engine compartment, that is located closest to the firewall rather than the very front of the car. I looks like there are some brake lines running to it, but its not the master cylinder (opposite side), the humming is electrica because it ran my battery dead, I can't imagine what it could be.
  • fire_man2340fire_man2340 Member Posts: 2
    Hey you need to look at the RECALLS on the 1990 Miata's that in one of the recalls, call you closes MAZDA SALE'S and if it hasnt been fixed yet they HAVE TOO do it for FREE
  • firejoyfirejoy Member Posts: 1
    I recently had the exact same problem. The battery indicator light went on. I stopped at a garage and had the battery and alternator checked, they were both okay. I've checked all the fuses and they are also fine. The battery indicator light went out at lower rpms, but would come back on at higher rpms. The car shuddered, with a loss of power to the cruise control/stereo/cigar lighter. The air bag indicator light flashed briefly, but has not flashed since. The car continues to start and run properly. Any answers to what should be checked next? Thanks
  • lordelpuzlordelpuz Member Posts: 16
    I have a V Spec Eunos Roadster, 1990,I live in the uk, the last weeks weather has been boiling hot, till now things have been fine, but a couple of days back as i was stuck in traffic the temp dial went up to almost boiling, i pulled over and switched off, the Eunos has two twin fans, one is the aircon or so i have read, but the other wasnt working, and i noticed the previous owner had disconnected the fan under the hood, via the two snap together joints, so i put em back together, everythngs fine, till i get home an find the fan wont go off unless i pull the connections apart again, Ive odered a new tempreture sender from the front section, the one that controls the fan thinking it could be the sender thats packed up, as the fan works when the engines hot or cold once i put the two halves together again, Ive not recieved the new sender yet but just in case thats not the reason i'd be gratefull for any help or ideas..please.
  • greg109greg109 Member Posts: 5
    Yesterday I was driving and my beloved 01' miata started accelerating on its own. I pushed in the clutch and slowly eased on the brakes and the rpm's stayed at a constant 4000. I pulled over thinking that my throttle cable had gotten stuck some how, but to my surprise it wasn't. The 'check engine' light didn't come on, so I didn't know what it could be. I disconnected the battery cable to reset the computer and started it back up and the engine starting cycling like someone was constantly revving up the engine. I drove it back home all the while it would rev when the clutch was disengaged. I replaced the throttle positioning sensor...$157.00 and it's still cycling. Does anyone know what could be the problem. I'm a great garage mechanic, but this has got me stumped.
  • chris1969chris1969 Member Posts: 2
    I have experienced an outage on my gauges. I have changed the fuse repeatedly. Once replaced, the gauges will work for a minute, then blow the fuse. All other electrical seems to be okay. I have resorted to purchasing a bunch of fuses so I can check the fuel level periodically. Help, please!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Must be a bad ground. I've never done much electrical work, only installed a couple of stereos, but I bet that's what is causing it.
  • xylaxyla Member Posts: 1
    2007 Miata GT - is there a louder alarm to keep from leaving headlights on? Is there a add on control unit to turn headlights off when ignition switch is turned off? Thanks for any help
  • steveh10steveh10 Member Posts: 1
    Hi all

    I have a problem with my MX5 and I think it may be electrical.
    I have an erratic idle when stationary, sometimes upto 2000 rpm, when accelerating the engine is hesitant, but if fine as the revs increase. Sometimes the engine just cuts out completely, mainly when stationary. Every now and then I have a strong smell of petrol from the exhaust and at times white smoke, I do not think its coolant getting onto the system as my coolant level has remained the same. I have replaced the plugs but no change, next thing is to change the spark plug leads as i understand MX5's eat thru leads! Also after fitting the new plugs the engine would not start at all. When i took them out plug one and four were cover in black soot. I have had the plugs out a number of times since and have not had this problem again.... Any one have any suggestions?
    Thanks - Steve
    Anyone got any suggestions?
  • chris1969chris1969 Member Posts: 2
    I had a similar problem with my 2001. I used some fuel injector cleaner and it has since been okay (crossing my fingers).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    When I had my 93 I had to change the spark plug wires every 30k else it would sputter similar to what you describe.
  • greg109greg109 Member Posts: 5
    It could be several things in conjunction that would cause these problems. Usually it's minor issues that arise from regular neglected maintenance. The idling problem could be a clogged fuel filter or dirty injectors. I would check the throttle positioning sensor as well. The white smoke could be from a faulty PCV valve. Those are pretty inexpensive and can be picked up at a local parts store. The gasoline smell in the exhaust could be from restarting and flooding. The soot on the spark plugs is from running cheap gasoline for an extended amount of time. Stay away from cheap gas. You may save at the pump, but you'll pay 10 fold in ignition repairs later down the road.
  • ken2001ken2001 Member Posts: 3
    in a low light situation I attached the portable jump starter to the battery but reversed the clamps...positive on the negative's battery was weak also. the wife tried the key and I heard the solenoid click. we were late so I turned off the jumper and we left. I came home later and charged the battery (noticed that the positive was on the left, not the right, what a dumbass. It started fine and I took off. Now the radio, power antenna, inside lights and key fobs are not working? Fuses are all fine...I checked the two fuse box locations unless there happen to be another somewhere. any ideas?
  • greg109greg109 Member Posts: 5
    The majority of electrical systems work on closed circuits independent from each other. Like for instance, GM vehicles have the stereo system, alarm system, engine electrical and power door locks all on the same circuit. Just like in old Christmas tree lights, if one bulb goes out none of the lights will work.Apply that to your situation. You could have blown a fuse in the back of the stereo unit that would cause the whole circuit not to work. I'm not an electrical expert by any means, but hopefully this will help. It's going to be hard to trace the electrical system because there's no Haynes or Chilton's manuals for an 01' to refer to. I'm in the same boat as you...proud owner of an 01'.
  • ken2001ken2001 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks greg109, I'm having it looked at today by our local mechanic and I'll pass that on.
  • redrobboredrobbo Member Posts: 4
    My 93 Miata cuts out when the battery is taken off.
    Does this mean my aiternator is broke or is this suposed to happen
  • ken2001ken2001 Member Posts: 3
    most cars will not run with the battery taken out. Don't forget electronic ignition, this takes juice. Power is even more critical today with all the electronics. The alternator is just a slow battery charger and used mainly as a way to get a weak battery home; not to used instead of the battery.
  • redrobboredrobbo Member Posts: 4
    had the alternator fixed and the car is still going flat, the battery is fine so whats the problem, you break the radio goes off, you put the windows up the radio goes off.
    its driving me mad
  • fst327fst327 Member Posts: 1
    When I depress the clutch on my 1990 Miata the brake light comes on the dash. I checked the fluid level on the clutch resvoir. Any ideas on where to look next, or what this warning light might be about?
  • greg109greg109 Member Posts: 5
    That's an interesting problem. The battery issue could be from a faulty brake switch or the regulator switch on the alternator. As for the radio...sounds like you have a voltage issue somewhere in the wiring. Check the electrical diagrams in your Haynes manual and trace it to switches or transducers that could have gone bad. Hope this helps.
  • greg109greg109 Member Posts: 5
    There's a few switches on the clutch petal under the dash that could go bad after time. The neutral safety switch and gear lock switch that keeps the car in gear until you press the clutch. If you check out your brake pedal while your under there, there's a switch in the top of the pedal as well. The switches could be on the same circuit, so if one of them has gone bad then it could effect the whole setup. The light on the dash is an indicator light for the e-brake. That light should come one when the e-brake is engaged. Hope this helps.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You said you checked the clutch fluid level, what about the brake fluid level?

    Both use brake fluid, but there are two containers to check.

    Another thing - open the cap, and make sure it's not just a stain and but actually the real level of the fluid itself.

    I had a clutch slave clyinder go bad, but the fluid level for the clutch kept getting low, which you have not observed.
  • redrobboredrobbo Member Posts: 4
    Well i have replaced the battery with a new one, and put on a brand new alternator. Test it tomorrow and fingers crossed it does the trick, all the wires look fine on the car so watch this space
  • redrobboredrobbo Member Posts: 4
    I have bought a brand new alternator and the problem is fixed.
    If you take the battery off now the car still runs so it was the alternator after all

    woo hoo
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