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.
Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 2004 Mazda Miata MX-5
2004 Mazda Miata MX-5
2004 Mazda Miata MX-5 Problems
The clutch slave cylinder may develop a hydraulic leak resulting in no clutch pedal pressure and the inability to shift gears.
The flywheel can warp causing a shudder when the vehicle is in reverse.
2004 Mazda Miata MX-5 Questions and Answers
As you come off the gas on shifts there is a loud discharge, "woosh" ...sound like pressure releasing...is this pretty loud woosh normal for this Mazda Speed MX 5?
2004 Mazda Miata MX-5 Reviews
This is the first Miata(2004) I have ever owned. I was always afraid to do do-it -self add-ons with my other cars. Not so with this one I have put on a dual exhaust( approx. 45 min.) I have had the entire dash out and back again. Everything seems to be 10mm to 13mm sockets. As far as driving. I love it. There is nothing like crusing along main street or on a country road with the top down and tunes going.
My 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata is my fifth Miata in 10 years. Every time Mazda upgraded the car, I traded up. The Mazdaspeed has a turbocharged engine, numerous suspension upgrades, and other go-faster goodies. It was sold in limited numbers for 2004 and 2005, and in special colors.
Every Miata I've owned has been almost flawless in terms of reliability. My 2001 had a transmission issue fixed under a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB), but otherwise no problems with any of them. One warning, however. Two of my Miatas have been broken into by a thief wielding a knife, and replacement tops for the Miata are not cheap, so I strongly recommend garaging the car overnight or buying the optional hardtop.
As for size, I can fit a briefcase and an overhead compartment rollaway or garment bag into the trunk. Also, I'm 6'0", I weigh 250 pounds, and my inseam is 33 inches. I fit into the Miata perfectly, though will admit that if I were an inch or two taller there's no way I'd be able to drive this car.
Miatas are not fast in a straight line, not even my turbo. However, they can blaze down a canyon or country road with the best sports cars on the market. In terms of steering, brakes, suspension, and transmission, a Miata is a pure sports car. Top down on a warm summer evening, there's nothing this side of $40K that can touch it for pure, unadulterated driving enjoyment (except maybe a Honda S2000).
If driving fun trumps practicality and you can live with a two seater, the Miata should be on your list.