1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5

1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 Problems

Ticking Noise From Valve Lash Adjusters Due to Infrequent Oil Changes

A loud ticking noise (hydraulic valve lifter noise) may be heard from the top of the engine, particularly when the engine is still cold. The noise may occur more frequently on higher mileage vehicles; Hydraulic valve lash adjusters may need to be replaced to correct this issue. Following the maintenance schedule for oil changes will also help prevent a recurrence of the noise.

Engine Idles Rough or Stalls When Cold

The engine may idle roughly or stall when it's cold because the oil pump pressure relief plunger is sticking. Failure is usually due to wear and it causes excessive oil pressure to pump up the hydraulic valve lifters keeping the valves from closing completely, which results in a loss of compression. The oil pump will need to be replaced in this case.

Misfires Under Load

Misfires under load (acceleration) can be caused by spark plug wires arcing to the cylinder head in the spark plug wells. Water in the spark plug wells can also cause the same problem so careful diagnosis is needed.

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1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 Questions

Knocking/tapping sound especially when I shift (1 answer)

My car has 180 thousand miles on it. It sounds as if its knocking once it warms up. Then you hear it continually at 60mph... My oil pressure is at 30 please someone help me. I love this car and don't wanna tear it up

I have a squeak when I break and turn right what cause it? (1 answer)

my mazda miatamisses alittle when you first give it gas. (1 answer)

But it starightens out after you get going.Runs great on top end.I have check plugs and wires..I hope its not the key hole in the crankshaft .Is that expensive to replace?

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1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 Recalls

Recall 92V159000
A HARDTOP HOIST ACCESSORY KIT WAS SOLD TO CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE THE MIATA WITH A HARDTOP. THE PLASTIC BUCKLES USED TO ADJUST STRAP TENSION CAN BREAK AFTER THE HARDTOP HAS BEEN SUSPENDED BY THE HOIST.

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1990 Mazda Miata MX-5 Reviews

I bought my '90 Miata new. It has been and still is a great car. Currently has 86k miles on the odometer. It has never had mechanical problem in all those miles and 22 years. I replaced the top about 2 years ago. New top has glass back window (much better than original). I only wish I had paid an extra $1,400 for the removable hard top the dealer had at the time.
I have owned my 90 since 95. When I bought it it had 30,000 miles on it, now has 130,000. Love this car. Do the scheduled maintenance and give it the TLC it deserves and these cars will be there for you. Radio is a problem, had to replace it in 2001. Paint peeled starting in 1997, have talked to other owners, same problems. I am 6'3" with a 32" inseam and 300 Lbs, this car fits me better ...
As the former owner of half a dozen British sports cars, I came across a great deal on a high mileage slightly beat up Mazda Miata. What a surprise! After doing several minor repairs and catching up on neglected maintenance by the previous owner I started to drive and enjoy my Miata more and more. I asked myself the question do I want to work on my British cars during the week so I could drive...

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