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starting problem with 1990  


John Matras
(@john-matras)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

So no sooner do I have a problem with the zipper on my top (well, the car's top) than I have another:

The car is a 1990 Miata manual.

What happened and I procrastinated about: Most of the time the car would start normally, but occasionally it would give me trouble. It would click once with the turn of the key. Sometimes hitting it quickly two times would make it start normally. More commonly I’d move the shifter into different gears, clutch out, and then start it with the clutch depressed and it would start normally. And by normally, I mean normal starter cranking speed and engine starting.

Condition of battery: New this summer. I had left the door ajar which left the interior lights on, which ran down the battery. I was able to get it recharged the first time. The second time it would take but wouldn’t hold a charge, so I replaced it.

What it’s doing now: I’m getting the single click (not the ratcheting sound of a low battery), but none of the usual shifter wiggling or double key turn works. However, the interior lights are normal brightness and don’t dim when I’m trying to start the car. Sometimes it will slowly turn the engine over but the starter will make a grinding sound (rather than the usual starter sound).

Any ideas?

And yes, I can't get the top fixed until I can start the car!  😜 


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Mike C
(@mike-c)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 41
 

Clutch interlock switch?  Bad ignition switch (the electrical part)?  Poor ground connection?  Bad starter?

2017 RF Club, 6MT, Arctic White


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Triviawayne
(@triviawayne)
Estimable Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 101
 

Sine hitting it quickly two times did something, I would start looking at the steering column lock cylinder. 

I can’t think of any other place for a trouble spot to be if turning the key did the trick in the past. 


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John Matras
(@john-matras)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

Thanks for all the ideas. I have several other suggestions but I need a place to have a mechanic/technician sho can respond on those. I've gone as far as Ray Price Mazda wants to work on the old car, so I'd like to find someone in the general area who might be able to exorcise these demons. Anyone have a suggestion as to who might be knowledgeable in the NA so he (or she) is not starting from scratch?


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Bergy
(@bergy)
Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 35
 

A little late to the dance on this one. My 2001 had lights, dingers, etc all working fine. Battery fully charged. Turned the ignition key and nothing. Took a chance and replaced the ignition relay. $4.95. Zoom-zoom success! (This just happened a couple of days ago. Must be going around.)

This post was modified 1 month ago by Bergy

'01 BRG SE


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John Matras
(@john-matras)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

@bergy I wish I had nothing. It's that crazy grunt that can be fixed...until it can't...by shaking the shifter. It's nuts.


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Triviawayne
(@triviawayne)
Estimable Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 101
 

@john-matras

Shaking the shifter helps?

 

maybe something with the neutral safety switch?


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Bergy
(@bergy)
Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 35
 

Oopsie! Just tried to start. All systems go, lights, dingers, etc., but nothing on key turn. Back to square one....

'01 BRG SE


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Bergy
(@bergy)
Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 35
 

After a month undercover and under snow, I was able to get at Bergy today and put in a new battery. Started right up. Good boy!

'01 BRG SE


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Flying Dutchman
(@flying-dutchman)
LVMOC Treasurer Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 184
 

@bergy

Uh, was it you or Bergy that spent a month under cover and under snow, Tom? 🤔 

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


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Bergy
(@bergy)
Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 35
 

LOL! All of the above!

'01 BRG SE


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