As a new (or new to you) Miata owner you will see that as each day of ownership goes by, you will love your Miata more and more. We've created this guide to help make you much more knowledgeable about your Miata and all the great things you can do to improve it!
Okay, so how do I get started fixing up my Miata?
One of the most common questions we hear from new Miata owners is, “I want to start modifying and customizing my Miata, but I’m not sure how to start!”
So we have created this helpful guide to assist you in modifying your Miata and answering your questions!
How can I get more power out of my Miata?
The great thing about the Miata is that it responds very well to many modifications. If you want to squeeze out more horsepower from your Miata there are a few ways you can go.
We recommend starting with the MagnaFlow Miata Stainless Cat-Back System PERFORMANCE EXHAUST
and Racing Beat Intake. You can do one of these or both, but they work together synergistically and can give you a nice horsepower increase. By upgrading your intake and exhaust you are allowing the engine to breathe much easier. This helps the engine perform better, especially at higher RPM and thus provides you with more horsepower. Again, keep in mind, our exhaust systems ARE NOT LOUD RACER BOY EXHAUSTS.. They are nice, smooth and mellow. If you want to squeeze out even more power, consider adding a Racing Beat 4-1 Header to the items above.
If you haven’t changed your spark plug wires recently we highly recommend adding a set of Magnecor Performance Plug wires – we use these on all our company Miatas.
I want to improve my Miata’s exhaust system, but I don’t want a loud “racer boy” exhaust like those annoying Civics I can hear a block away. Do your exhausts sound like that?
Trust us, we can’t stand those load raspy exhausts, with the tips that look like coffee cans, either. Our RoadsterSport Exhaust Systems are MELLOW and just a little louder than stock. Not only do our free flowing exhaust systems improve performance by replacing your Miata’s restrictive exhaust system, but they will give your Miata a wonderful deep, mellow sporty sound. Never raspy or loud.
My Miata handles great, but I want it to handle EVEN BETTER! What’s the best way to improve my Miata’s handling?
Improving your Miata's handling does not have to come at the expense of a harsh ride. One of the best ways to improve the handling of your Miata is with a set of performance springs and shocks. The stock Miata shocks usually only last about 30,000 miles. It’s an often overlooked maintenance item, but worn out shocks will lead to poor handling and a bouncing effect with bumps or dips in the road. A new set of performance shocks will greatly improve the handling of your Miata and the damping adjustment makes it easy to “stiffen” or “soften” the shocks whenever you wish in order to meet your comfort level, driving style or performance needs. We especially like the KYB Shocks for their great performance and easy adjustability.
When you replace your shocks, you can also install a set of performance springs. We especially like the Eibach Performance Springs as they are an excellent balance between performance and smooth ride. Performance springs improve handling two ways. First of all, they usually lower your Miata about an inch. By doing so they not only get rid of that ugly wheel well gap but they also lower your Miata’s center of gravity. This allows the car to maneuver more quickly through turns by reducing body roll.
If you want to take your Miata’s handling to an even higher level, we recommend installing the Racing Beat Tubular Front Miata Sway Bar along with performance springs and shocks. Sway bars, or more correctly, anti-sway bars, work by helping your Miata minimize cornering lean and respond to steering inputs more quickly. Your Miata already comes with a set of sway bars. However, by installing stiffer, performance aftermarket bars, you can greatly improve your Miata’s handling. You Miata will corner much flatter and be very responsive through the turns.
Here are a few more important things you should know as a Miata owner that will allow you to get many years of trouble-free miles from your Miata.
1. It's very important to properly maintain your Miata. The Miata is a very-trouble free car, but like anything, you need to take care of it. It's very important to change your oil every 3,000 miles and your timing belt every 60,000. We recommend using genuine Mazda filters since they have an anti-drainback valve on them that allows more oil to stay in the pump, rather than all drain back to the pan, so at startup - when most wear occurs - the oil circulates into the engine much more quickly. Now some other filters also have this feature, like the Mobil 1 filter, but stay away from Fram and Purolator.
In terms of the timing belt, if it breaks it won't damage your engine, but it will leave you completely stranded. So BE SURE it is changed EVERY 60,000 miles. In order to make it easier, we've put together some great maintenance packages. Take a look under Genuine Mazda Parts to get more information.
3. Most people would not necessarily describe a Miata as "powerful", but then again, even most Miata owners do not tap into the potential of the Miata. Why? Because the first thing you must do if you want more power out of your Miata is to shift at a much higher RPM. Most people never shift beyond 4,000-5,000 RPM. However, if this is where you are shifting your Miata, you are missing out on most of the cars power. Miatas make their peak horsepower around 6,500 RPM, so when you want power, you must shift at that point. You will be amazed at how much more power you feel. Not to mention that the next gear shift, you will be in more of a "sweet spot", and so on.
You may be asking, "isn't this bad for the car?" In a word... No. As long as the car is warmed up and in good condition, you can shift it at 6,500 RPM all day long with no damage whatsoever to the engine. It's made to rev that high!
4. Do not overinflate your tires. Since the Miata is a very light car, Mazda recommends 26-28 PSI in the tires. Don't beleive me? Check the sticker on your drivers side door jamb. Most people mistakenly inflate their tires to the maximum pressure on the tires sidewall, but this is not correct. Check your tire pressure and make sure it is between 26-28 PSI for an excellent safe ride.
There is one exception to the tire pressure. That is, if you are autocrossing or driving for performance, you can increase this pressure for less rolling resistance, however you do sacrifice some safety and ride comfort for this.
That's pretty much it! Just make sure to follow the recommend service schedule in your owners manual and you should be able to enjoy your Miata for many years to come.
Welcome to the Miata family! We look forward to serving you as our customer. Feel free to give us a call at 1-866-GO-MIATA if you have any questions!