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Old 05-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
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Default Lemon Miatas?

OK, so I, I mean my friend has this Miata with low mileage (under 80k) that keeps having issues.. one after another, every time I, I mean he fixes something, something else breaks.. here's the list so far in chronological order:

Ignition coil
battery
cylinder head
brake calipers
water pump


All this year... Now I, I mean he got the car from north Jersey where the weather stinks sometimes and they use salt on the roads.. I'm guessing thats what happened with the brake calipers, but the other stuff? CMON!! It's not supposed to have these issues this early in its life!

Should I, I mean he keep replacing things as they go wrong hoping one day there is nothing left to fix... or should I, I mean he sell it and let it be someone else's problem? I have another, err.. he has another car he can drive, so this MX-Poop isnt the only option... just the funnest.

Any input is appreciated, and please no answers lol
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:24 PM   #2
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You said "I mean" 5 times in that post. Did you mean to, or do you really talk like a 12 year old girl.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Mine has been fairly bullet-proof. :shrug:

If yours doesn't make you happy, then move on. If it does, reward it by maintaining it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #4
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Yes, samnavy I did that on purpose.. I mean, my friend did. LOL you actually counted!

Trent, it makes me happy when it works.. but when it breaks It takes all of my patience not to throw a brick through its windshield.. I'm torn

will all the problems go away when everything is new? or are some cars just destined to be parts cars? I dont wanna blow another few hundred and then still be in the same place
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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Your battery only lasted for 80 K miles ? what was wrong with the head, water pump take it out? front or rear calipers?
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:45 PM   #6
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Yeah, the batteries are supposed to last longer than that.. corrosion was a factor I'm guessing.

No, the water pump was working fine when one of the spark plugs blew out of the head, trashing the threads... They were threaded correctly and were given adequate torque when I replaced the plugs myself.. maybe a PO cross threaded a plug at one point?

Front calipers... one was sticky and the other was locked solid, making every day driving smell like a track day event. I'm getting ready to replace the rusty rotors as well
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:12 PM   #7
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Well, I guess a lot of it depends on, like, the age of the car, ya know? It's like, a lot of these are are like 20 years old now, so even if they've got low mileage, they're kinda like my dog, who's like kinda old, but he never, like, exercises or runs or anything, ya know? So he's like all fat and stuff and if you try to play with him, he's like, ohmygod!

[/valleygirl]

Seriously, though. I can't see how age alone would cause the failure of a head (though you didn't say what exactly happened to it) but for the rest, gaskets, seals, insulation, all sorts of things do tend to degrade with age. You wouldn't use a 20 year old condom while playing butt-darts with some random poz guy you just met at a club, would you?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:13 PM   #8
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That cars at least 12 years old, and you've only put 80k miles on it? My '08 Lancer already has half that. Anything you let sit without running or maintaining will fall apart. Calipers will seize, batteries will drain themselves, water pumps will corrode, and moisture will ruin electrical parts without them being dried by the heat of the engine. And on top of all that you're putting quite a bit of stress through the entire drive train doing massive burnouts like that.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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I think he was trying to be funny Joe, not be a valley girl. Unfortunately he has no idea how to use proper punctuation.

He meant it like this: "I, I mean my friend, has a Miata". I'm guessing he's somehow ashamed that his east coast car is seizing up. Say it ain't so!

Last edited by curly; 05-06-2009 at 09:16 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endat View Post
Yeah, the batteries are supposed to last longer than that.. corrosion was a factor I'm guessing.

No, the water pump was working fine when one of the spark plugs blew out of the head, trashing the threads... They were threaded correctly and were given adequate torque when I replaced the plugs myself.. maybe a PO cross threaded a plug at one point?

Front calipers... one was sticky and the other was locked solid, making every day driving smell like a track day event. I'm getting ready to replace the rusty rotors as well
You noticed the Miata battery is tiny right? 80K miles doesn't matter. What year? If it's newer than 2004 you have a right to bitch about the battery. Miles have far less to do with battery life than years. Anything over 4-5 years becomes very iffy and that depends on use. Left the lights on too long too many times?

Spark plug blowing out of the head isn't something I've heard much of here. I'm guessing user error.

Front calipers sticking/frozen. Again, what year? How rusty? Any maintenance ever done on them?


Everything you have listed except the spark plug sounds like pretty normal wear/tear/maintenance items. I, I mean my friend, thinks you whine too much.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:22 PM   #11
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You're right curly.. I got the car at 71k from the 2nd owner who didn't garage it.. I've kept the fluid fresh and all the moving parts moving... Maybe the car is going through the shock of being driven again. On that note, what else do you predict I should check or replace at this point? Gear oil maybe? I plan on doing more "massive burnouts"

Joe, I said a spark plug blew out of the head stripping the threads.. I replaced the whole head as a precautionary measure.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cueball1 View Post
You noticed the Miata battery is tiny right? 80K miles doesn't matter. What year? If it's newer than 2004 you have a right to bitch about the battery. Miles have far less to do with battery life than years. Anything over 4-5 years becomes very iffy and that depends on use. Left the lights on too long too many times?

Spark plug blowing out of the head isn't something I've heard much of here. I'm guessing user error.

Front calipers sticking/frozen. Again, what year? How rusty? Any maintenance ever done on them?


Everything you have listed except the spark plug sounds like pretty normal wear/tear/maintenance items. I, I mean my friend, thinks you whine too much.
LOL yes I do wine a lot, but it doesnt mean im gonna look at your hand when you stick it below your belt

it's the 1989 version of the 1990 model... looks like my bushings might need to be replaced too... hmmm sway bar upgrade?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:56 PM   #13
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So what brand of battery goes 80k miles? I want one, that's like 7 years of average driving. Your car is twenty years old. Was the timing belt replaced when the water pump was replaced? if not guess what you should be doing soon. I would replace every belt, hose, seal, grommet, pad, rotor, master, slave item on that car I could. The mods on M.net may not like your choice of fingers, but there's alot of info in the garage section or as I like to call it maintenance for retards. And your massive burnouts will get you aquainted with a rear end swap.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:06 PM   #14
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The $80 kind with a blue label and MAZDA written across it. I got a spare to keep in my trunk just in case... and wtf are you talking about, I dont go to M.net .. oh yeah, I wrote their garage article on how to refurbish your weather stripping!

My last miata had a ton of problems, but it had 180k, so i overlooked it... I'm seasoned in repairing things on this car, I just didnt expect to be doing it just as much on a car with such low mileage.

I'm making a list of parts to buy as you guys are posting.. keep up the good work
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:30 PM   #15
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:35 PM   #16
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Definitely transmission and rear end oil. Keep in mind those 1.6 differentials will blow up on stock power with a grandma driving, that's pretty rare, but it happens. Add in a turbo (do you have one yet?) and massive burnouts, and you've got 100% chance of blowing up the gears.

Like dpexp said, check m.net garage page for retard maintenance items, such as lubing your caliper's sliding pins, adjusting your throttle cable, and replacing your clutch slave cylinder.

Oh, and put your location in your profile (can be accessed by clicking the "user cp" link on top of page) and put a small blurb in your signature (where your current link to your picture is) with the year of car, mileage, and mods listed. Short and sweet is preferred, or at least it is by me. See mind below for an example.

I'm sure I missed a few things, others will chime in when necessary. Btw, for only 22 posts, I'm sure we're all incredibly impressed and please that you're using the .,; buttons as well as the shift key, thank you very much for that.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:38 PM   #17
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Its not the miles its the age like Joe was trying to tell you, but you were probably distracted by that cute kitty in his avatar.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:51 PM   #18
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Thats funny cause my car is from NY, never garage kept, was left to sit for a while, hell the PO lived in texas for most of the year. I had one 1 problem with it previous to turboing it, and still don't have many (serious) problems to date. *knocks on wood*.

I'm chalking it up to user error on this one. Also if you're "seasoned" in owning these as you say why don't you have any idea of what you should replace due to normal wear and tear...

btw mine is a 1990 that was built in may of 89 #2616 off the production line.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disturbedfan121 View Post
If you're "seasoned" in owning these as you say why don't you have any idea of what you should replace due to normal wear and tear...
Because repairing door seals does nothing to repair your cylinder head
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:22 PM   #20
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I'm seasoned in the sense that basically EVERYTHING with my last one went wrong, i fixed it all myself (blood, sweat and tears included).. it was a TX and LA car its whole life so there was a lot of sun damage and heat type stuff, but no rust.. I cant think of a single thing I didn't replace other than control arms and such.. There's no way I'm doing that again.. Hopefully its just a few more things with this one

btw: It's not about how many cars you've put your wrench monkey hands on, its about what you learned in the process..
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