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FredM
(@fredm)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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Hello All, I have a question about what fluids I should change.

I just purchased a 2008 Miata Touring, automatic. This car had just 11,333 miles on it when I signed the papers Thursday night. Based on the mileage, you might think it doesn't need anything, but based on its age...

I am thinking I want to have it winterized (flush and fill), brake fluid swap and rear differential drain and fill. Based on what I've read, I'm not planning to do the transmission, but I'm happy to hear your opinions.

Dealer did oil and filter before delivery.

What do you all think?

Thanks

2008 Copper Red


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Flying Dutchman
(@flying-dutchman)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 340
 

I would definitely replace the brake fluid, Fred.  It's hydrophilic, and it can somehow absorb moisture, even when everything seems tightly sealed.  Also, flushing the cooling system and replacing the coolant would be a good idea... my notes state that the coolant should first be replaced at 10 years, then every 5 years after that.

Mazda recommends replacing the transmission and differential lubricants every 60k miles or 48 months, and I've followed that schedule.

I'm glad to learn that you're still zooming  😎!

David

(P.S. - Stop talking about winterizing, already!)

Silver 2011 NC PRHT Grand Touring (actually Janice's car)


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livetodrive
(@livetodrive)
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The coolant probably no longer has the ability to fight corrosion.  The glycol never goes bad. But there are additives that prevent corrosion by sacrificing themselves,  so over time, the additives are gone. A proper flush and fill is a really good idea. The brake fluid is easy. Siphon out the old fluid. Refill the reservoir with new. Then you can crack open your lines one at a time and let gravity do its thing. Just don't let air get into it.  The rear is fine in my opinion, as is the transmission. If the coolant tank is yellow,  replace it at the same time as your flush. That isn't an overflow tank. Notice the pressurized cap. A new one is $40. It will be white. Or you can do an aluminum one.

2014 Club 2.5L "Punisher Edition", 2017 RF GT


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Triviawayne
(@triviawayne)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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@livetodrive is the aluminum one available at the stealership, or somewhere else; and does it have a window to see the fluid level in it?

guessing I'll have to replace mine at some point, seems everyone does.


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livetodrive
(@livetodrive)
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I recently purchased the aluminum one from Morosso.  It was on sale at Goodwin racing. There is an eye on the side that allows you to view the level without opening it.

2014 Club 2.5L "Punisher Edition", 2017 RF GT


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FredM
(@fredm)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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Topic starter  

Here's a link to a pic of the coolant tank, does it look like it's due to be replaced?

https://imgur.com/niUQgqt

2008 Copper Red


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FredM
(@fredm)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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Topic starter  

Sorry, learning how to use Imgur....

 

2008 Copper Red


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CTt3MX5
(@ctt3mx5)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 293
 

Fred, the usual failure spot is on the neck of the tank.  Remove the cap, ensuring the engine is cool, and check for stress cracks/discoloration along the neck.  Might help to shine a light from the backside, that is how I found mine.  I will check to see if I have a picture.

2016 ST GT aka Ghost


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livetodrive
(@livetodrive)
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@fredm Wow! Your car has been in a beauty sleep for the last decade! Your tank looks good. My 2014 has less than 60k miles on it, and my tank is more yellowed than the teeth of a heavy smoker living on coffee. The only reason that I am staring at my aluminum replacement,  and it isn't on my car, is because my coolant is getting drained in 2 weeks, so I am waiting for that.

2014 Club 2.5L "Punisher Edition", 2017 RF GT


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FredM
(@fredm)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Thanks. This is my third Miata, and is definitely the most pristine.

 

 

2008 Copper Red


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Flying Dutchman
(@flying-dutchman)
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NICE 🤩!

Silver 2011 NC PRHT Grand Touring (actually Janice's car)


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StormND2Club
(@stormnd2club)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 263
 
Posted by: @fredm

Hello All, I have a question about what fluids I should change.

I just purchased a 2008 Miata Touring, automatic. This car had just 11,333 miles on it when I signed the papers Thursday night. Based on the mileage, you might think it doesn't need anything, but based on its age...

I am thinking I want to have it winterized (flush and fill), brake fluid swap and rear differential drain and fill. Based on what I've read, I'm not planning to do the transmission, but I'm happy to hear your opinions.

Dealer did oil and filter before delivery.

What do you all think?

Thanks

Its a tough call as you eluded to because the vehicle has incredibly low mileage for a 13 year old car (heck, in 2 years, you could register it for a "Classic Car Plate" in Pennsylvania! A one time $75 fee and permanent!) - but the fluids are all old.  For sure no one has touched the transmission fluids.  It probably isn't necessary, but if you do, go easy on the transmission for a few hundred miles.  Sometimes a fresh fluid swap can cause problems - mostly on higher mileage vehicles, especially when automatic - gear slippage is a common symptom when the fluid has never been changed - the oil, thick dirty fluid kind of keeps it from happening. 

Did you find out if the dealer used synthetic oil? If they did not, for your next change I'd usually go with a synthetic blend instead of regular oil or full synthetic.

Does the brake pedal feel mushy at all? Compared to other vehicles? If it does it could be time for a bleed - I'd almost guarantee with only 11k miles they are the original brake pads. 

How do the tires look? In general tires whether used or not, have a 6-7 year shelf life.  Meaning you could sit them in a garage brand new and leave them years and then install them and as soon as they have pressure on them they will begin to show cracking on the sidewall.

Sorry for the long post. I'm pulling an all nighter and waiting for my oil to drain in my '20 Club before removing the front splitter for an aftermarket, and some other things I've been putting off for way too long.

 

 

 

 

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by StormND2Club

- Jordan White
2020 Mazda MX-5 Club & 2020 Toyota Prime PHEV


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StormND2Club
(@stormnd2club)
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Posts: 263
 
Posted by: @livetodrive

The coolant probably no longer has the ability to fight corrosion.  The glycol never goes bad. But there are additives that prevent corrosion by sacrificing themselves,  so over time, the additives are gone. A proper flush and fill is a really good idea. The brake fluid is easy. Siphon out the old fluid. Refill the reservoir with new. Then you can crack open your lines one at a time and let gravity do its thing. Just don't let air get into it.  The rear is fine in my opinion, as is the transmission. If the coolant tank is yellow,  replace it at the same time as your flush. That isn't an overflow tank. Notice the pressurized cap. A new one is $40. It will be white. Or you can do an aluminum one.

^^ All true.

Also, I tell this to everyone and have been using this in all my vehicles for the past 10 years.  Grab a bottle of Redline Water Wetter from Autozone (about $10) - pour 1/3 of it in with the coolant.  That stuff is amazing. If it wasn't almost September already I'd say use the whole bottle.  Save it for the spring when its getting warmer.

Quick story how good that stuff is: once in my '98 200SX SE-R I noticed my temp needle was near the H. I pulled over to find the lower coolant hose had become loose and was just dangling there, and had dumped out all of my coolant. I was in the middle of no where and had nothing to use for coolant, so I was thinking of calling a tow truck.  Then I remembered I had a brand new unopened bottle of Redline Water Wetter in a bag in the trunk. I reattached the lower radiator hose, and dumped the entire bottle directly into the radiator.

I'll be damned but not only did it get me about 10 miles of driving to get to a store for distilled water to use for temporary coolant, but the temperature needle on the gauge cluster showed the motor was running COOLER than w/ normal everyday coolant! Now of course I don't recommend it but I didn't have much of a choice and it worked.  So my point is: a 10 ounce bottle of Redline Water Wetter as the only coolant allowed me to drive 10 miles (keeping the RPM's as low as I could of course) until I found a store to refill the radiator with.  So imagine what it can do when you have the normal coolant levels 🙂

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by StormND2Club

- Jordan White
2020 Mazda MX-5 Club & 2020 Toyota Prime PHEV


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StormND2Club
(@stormnd2club)
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Posts: 263
 
Posted by: @fredm

Sorry, learning how to use Imgur....

 

That one actually looks almost brand new. 

Here is one that's likely about to go, within another 5k miles:

Image

 

Notice the color change towards the left side.  Not good. Big quality issue from Mazda on this one.  I owned a 2012 NC2 for a couple years and it was the only problem I ever had.

Also: occasionally even good looking ones like yours have been known to crack spontaneously and blow the motor.  The Moroso aluminum replacement tank is cheap insurance to not have to worry about it.  Many of us have done the swap and it is not difficult at all, if you need assistance. 

- Jordan White
2020 Mazda MX-5 Club & 2020 Toyota Prime PHEV


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CTt3MX5
(@ctt3mx5)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 293
 

Well, I can't find a picture of mine, maybe I never took one?  But if you like, you can browse this thread.  Quite a few people have posted pics of various tanks over the years.  My vote is for a Moroso tank though.  😀

Coolant Reservoir Tank Failure

2016 ST GT aka Ghost


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