Help - Hints & Tips

The Guide to getting the most out your MX-5

Hints 'N' Tips

How to fold your Hood Cover

Step 1.

Release all the fixings and free the plastic strips that secure the cover to the bodywork. Release the 2 straps that secure the cover to the hood frame

Step 2.

Take the 2 small flaps that fix to the points nearest the doors and fold them back, at the same time fold the next sections inwards.

Step 3.

Now fold the section that fixes to the shelf behind the seats  up and over the 2 folded side pieces. This stops them from moving around.

Step 4.

Now, hold the cover at each side and fold in half. Place your now folded hood cover in it's Hood Cover Bag (JazBags).

Job Done...   J

Brighter Lights

Do you find yourself struggling to see ahead of you when driving at night.? Then you need to replace your standard headlight bulbs with some Ring 'XENON Plus' bulbs (55/60W - H4). These new bulbs give out 30% extra light and are still road legal. The only disadvantage with them is that they have a slightly shorter life span as the bulb filament burns hotter than in the standard type bulb. My last set of 'XENON Plus'  headlight bulbs needed replacing after about 12 months of normal use.

Rattly 'Cat.' Heat Shield

        Extreme Close-Up

Does your catalytic converter heat shield rattle.? Then you need to rescuer it with 2 large jubilee clips, one at each end of the 'Cat.', other options are to remove the shield completely or replace the whole 'Cat.'

Engine runs hot.

On really hot days or if stuck in traffic, your engine runs a lot hotter than normal (50°C or more - air filter intake temperature). Try driving with your headlights raised (Mk1's only J) as this allows more cooler air (10°C temp. drop if driving at less tan 50mph) to reach the engine bay so improves your engines performance. A useful tip if you have a supercharger fitted. The main disadvantage is that it spoils the lines of the car.

Hood Zip Care. - Ways to extend the life of your hood zip.

  • Before using the zip, release both the front hood catches.
  • Don't re-zip the rear window after securing the hood.
  • Coat the zip with a very thin film of silicon grease to lubricate.
  • If you require a new Zipper Slide the Mazda Part number is - Zipper Tab, NA01R1250B
    How to Replace your broken zip. - Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the staples from the end of the zipper where the slide will be when the window is unzipped. Put the top down enough, so that you can work and see from both sides. Remove the old Zip- slide carefully as not to damage the two halves of the zipper. Once removed,  align the zipper ends and slide the new one into place. It should start zipping the two side of the zipper together as you go. Re-fix the staples to stop the zip coming off the end of the zipper.

Sill Protector Care. - Useful tips.

  • Remove and clean under the sill protector regularly.
  • Seal both ends of the sill protector with a clear plastic sealant, this will prevent most if not all of any water from getting underneath the sill.
  • Polish your Stainless steel sills with AutoSol metal polish.

Paint Care. - Useful tips.

  • If your cars paint looks a bit dull try polishing it with a colour matched polish. (I use Turtle Wax - Color Magic every 3 to 4 months. - WebEd)

Window Care - Useful tips.

  • Electric windows - lubricate the vertical rubber guides with a silicon grease.
  • To extend the life of your wiper blades, try using RAIN-X. This product covers the screen with an invisible coating that makes water 'bead' for aero-dynamic runoff. (I use RAIN-X and find that when driving in wet weather conditions at speeds of +60mph you don't need to use the wipers all the time because, as if by magic the screen clears all by itself... - WebEd). Do Not Use on your rear plastic window.

Car Alarms - Useful tips.

  • Reduced Range when Arming/Disarming Alarm or Low battery - Try holding the transmitter to your chin then arm/disarm your alarm. Your body is used as an extension to the antenna, so increases the range.

Car doesn't run or accelerate properly

  • The car should accelerate and rev smoothly, any hesitation may suggest faulty plug-leads. These can start to break down at around 20,000 miles, easily rectified with a new set of good quality leads (NGK Blue) and plugs (NGK BKR6E, gap to 1mm). CAUTION: CAT. CONVERTER CAN BE DESTROYED IF RUN FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME WITH FAULTY LEADS.  Change ASAP.

Smell of petrol in the boot

  • Don't try and over fill your petrol tank. Stop filling when the nozzle clicks off for the first time.

There's water sloshing around but I can't find where it is!

  • Water gets into the rocker panels. There are 2 sets of drain holes that sometimes can get clogged. Check where the jack hooks to the frame rail. Each side (front and rear). Use an open paper clip and wiggle it around until the drain unclogs.
    Diagram showing locations of the holes.


  • There are also drain holes in the flat panels at the foot of the seat-belt securing points which is where all the water goes from between the roof and the bodywork. Somewhere near where the hood pivots back each side. Plastic tubes drains the water away and out just in front of the rear wheels.

More Water Leaks Info.

  • If water is getting in from the driver's or passenger's window near the soft top weather-strip, shut the door after closing the window. When putting up the hood, lower the windows while you secure the hood latches & then raise the windows. These actions force the window to contact the weather-strip a bit differently than when the window is closed while the door is closed.
  • There are two common places a Miata will leak water into the interior, where the top meets the windshield frame, around the windows where they contact the mouldings. Leaks at the windshield frame are usually caused by dirty or damaged mouldings or the latches not being tight enough. Usually you will notice the top will squeak and rattle if it isn't latched down tight.
  • Wetness in the trunk can be caused by one of several factors: Dried out weather-stripping around the trunk, a cracked rain rail on the convertible top, or dried out weather-stripping around the tail lights.
  • There are three mouldings that fit around the window, and water can leak either between them and the window, or between them and the top. Each of these mouldings is attached to a metal 'track' that is secured to the top frame with two screws. NOTE: The window moulding that is closest to the windshield header is held on by two screws, the others have nothing holding them.
  • Water can collect in the weather-strips due to small crack or splits along the edge of the hood where it folds after a  years of regular top-up top-down use. Black silicon sealer can be used for a temporary repair but isn't ideal. The only real fix is a new hood.

Battery Information

  • The small "gel cell" battery is manufactured exclusively for the MX-5 and should be replaced with the factory part. Interstate and Westco also make batteries which, although not an exact fit, are similar in size and performance to the factory battery but at a lower cost.
  • Before you install a normal battery, be aware of the following: All batteries produce dangerous gases. In most cars, the battery is located under the hood where it can escape to the outside. In the Miata, with the battery located in the trunk, there is no place for the gases from a normal battery to vent. On the factory battery, there is a rubber hose leading from the battery to the outside so that gas does not accumulate the trunk and explode. If you decide not to use a factory battery, you should consider using a container to enclose it that attaches to the factory vent hose. Failure to do so could possibly cause caustic gasses to rust the metal of the trunk, cause an explosion when exposed to heat, cause an explosion in an accident, or worse.

Tie-Down Hooks

  • On both the front and back of the MX-5 are a pair of hooks. These hooks are used when MX-5's are transported on ships from Japan. The cars are secured by the suspension, and these hooks are used as backups to prevent the car from bouncing around the ship should the primary hold downs fail. These are NOT tow hooks. Using them to hold the car down, or to tow the car with will very likely damage the bodywork/frame of your car.

Electric Aerial

Need a replacement Factory Power Antenna Mast ?

MAZDA Part No. = N00766A3X
EX1041 -  $19.95    @  
Finish Line Performance Mk.1 (90-97)
EX1061 -  $35.00    @  
Finish Line Performance Mk.2 (99+)

Antenna just not moving anymore but you can hear the motor running? The plastic cord or teeth are broken or worn. ???
(With mine the drive cord broke, so would extend but not retract -


Increased Boot/Trunk Space

Going Touring in your car and need more space.
This idea is by Andrew Fearon
He uses a replacement boot lid which has a full size spare wheel and tyre bolted to it. This method does away with the space-saver wheel, giving you more luggage space.


Storage Space.

Do you want to carry more luggage ? Check out JazBags website.

Custom-made branded luggage for the MX-5 Mk1, Mk2, Mk2.5, Eunos Roadster and Miata.

Modular Luggage Rack

This luggage rack is one of the most versatile currently available. Requires no drilling and can be fitted in minutes. Can't be fitted if you have a spoiler fitted. It will fit all Mk1, Mk2 & Mk2.5

Available from Moss  part no. MXV1071X -  £150.00   Bicycle Kit part no. MX1073X -  £69.95

Supercharger Tips.

ROUGH IDLING/HESITATION - Idle needle wanders excessively (200 +/- rpm) when accelerating.
Vacuum Hose connections leaks, Fuel filter dirty (causes detonation at high speeds due to insufficient fuel pressure), Auxiliary Fuel pressure regulator not functioning properly - check pressure if faulty get a new one. Fuel Injectors are dirty.

DETONATION - Spark plugs: Do Not Use Split fire plugs or similar as they burn too hot for supercharger applications. Use a Standard type plug. Timing is set too high  - Set timing to 6 degrees in Hot weather (90+) or in areas with reformulated gas or 92 octane or all three. b. 8 degrees in 93 octane areas or cooler temps (70 or below).  Hot Spots from radiator hoses a. Top radiator hose too close to intake pipe. Wrap hose in a heat blanket. Dirty Fuel Filter a. Change it every 20,000-30,000 miles (causes detonation at high speeds due to insufficient fuel pressure). Detonation with A/C on high -  Turn timing back. A/C puts a big load on the system. 

EXCESSIVE BELT DUST IN ENGINE COMPARTMENT - Belt is too loose or Belt not in alignment with the pulleys. 

SQUEALING BELT NOISE WHEN START UP OR TURNING - Normally means  that the Belt is loose.


WebEd - I will not be held liable for any E&OE's.