Buying A Miata Sports Car
The Mazda MX-5 Miata car, known as the Eunos Rodster in Japan, was introduced in 1989 to instant acclaim and is considered the world's most popular sports car. This website is dedicated to the first generation Miata car which ran from 1989 to 1997, often known as the "M1" in North America.
Miata cars are well suited for casual driving or for racing, and a thriving aftermarket for racing parts has emerged on Ebay and other web sites. Many repairs can be done by the average amateur mechanic, and virtually all repairs can be done by any decent non-affiliated mechanic.
It is the experience of this 1996 Miata car owner that repairs shops affiliated with Mazda dealers should be avoided, as the hourly rate is usually higher and the cost of parts is sometimes outrageous compared to brand names available on Ebay. For example, with regard to replacing a 3 wire oxygen sensor, I was quoted $300 and told to wait 2 months, while a Borsch O2 sensor was for sale on Ebay for $60!!
General tips when buying Miata cars on ebay:
1. Repair records are a must, especially if the car has more than 90,000 miles on it.
2. Inspect by a independent mechanic for body damage before the money is handed over. Just because the papers show it as not being in an accident, that just means that if the car WAS in an accident, they didn't file an insurance claim.
3. I recommend only buying from Ebay sellers that have excellent ratings, over 99%. Remember that if the car does have problems, they most likely won't show up until after the Ebay feedback period is over.
Miata Parts You Should Absolutely Buy On Ebay
1. Borsch Oxygen 3-wire Sensors. They cost $300 at the dealers, but you can find them for about $60 on Ebay. You'll know you need the front one when the check engine light goes on.
2. Ignition wires. Cheap, cheap, about $30 maybe on Ebay.
3. Shifter boot for your clutch.
4. Fuel cap
5. Thermostat for your radiator. Again, a $20 part.
Miata Parts You should Consider Buying
1. Racing clutches. Not much more expensive than what a regular clutch would cost you at the dealer.
2. Shocks. New shocks are the number one way to improve the handling of any Miata with mileage of more than 100K.
3. An engine. No kidding. Thrashed Miatas go for pretty cheap on Ebay, and so do brand new Miata 1.8L engines. Do the math and find a local mechanic who is willing to plop in a new Miata engine at a reasonable price
Enjoy your Miata car.