Mazda MX-5: Oil Filter Options for NC Miata

If you’ve come for a scientific comparison for the “best” oil filter to use on your next Miata oil change… you’ve come to the wrong place.

The goal of this post is to illustrate, side-by-side comparison between some of the oil filters I’ve already used on my car and some I intend to try. I have used the Mobil 1 M1-102 filter with my Mobil 1 oil changes when I first got the car in 2015. In 2016 I switched to a K&N HP-1002 filter that features a 1 inch nut on the bottom of it for easy removal. And in 2017 I purchased a cheaper version of the K&N called PS-1002 that doesn’t feature a nut on it, and is apparently of lower quality (also Made in China, not in USA like the Mobil 1 or K&N HP-1002). That said the K&N HP-1002 filters I sourced from Walmart recently must be old stock. I used a K&N filter last year sourced from Advance Auto that was made in South Korea, I believe. So these filter options are always evolving.

Here’s some side-by-side shots:

K&N PS-1002 (Pro Series)

K&N HP-1002 (High Performance)

Mobil 1 M1-102

Notice it doesn’t come with the plastic wrap to keep the dust off.

The M1-102 and HP-1002 are very alike, directly comparable, while the PS-1002 is clearly of cheaper quality. The can has a flimsier feel to it though it still has a plastic cover to prevent dust getting into the filter while its in a box.

Price wise I have purchased the Mobil 1 for around $10 from Amazon. My latest K&N HP-1002 I sourced from Walmart for under $10 apiece. I bought 4 of them to get FREE shipping. Before that I purchased the HP-1002 from Advance Auto as part of the oil deal, they were included free in the purchase of a 5QT jug of Pennzoil Platinum 5W20 oil and a rebate from the store. The PS-1002 I just bought from AutoZone who had a $3 OFF promo, the filter came out to $3.50 apiece with FREE shipping. The boxes arrived directly from K&N manufacturer in Riverside, California even though I ordered on the AutoZone web site.

As part of the same AutoZone $3 off deal, I ordered a longer K&N PS-2009 filter. I had researched on forums that the PS-1002 and PS-2009 are identical except for the volume of oil they contain. Presumably higher volume filter does more of the filtering, while flowing the oil better through the system. Or some-such…  There’s a longer oil filter option for the NA & NB Miata’s but not so for the NC. People claim that the longer filter will not fit into the tight space on my Miata. At $3.50 a pop I was willing to buy one to try it for myself. Though I have to admit that I believe the people claiming it won’t fit because my 2007 Miata has been around for ten years already, the NC was made from late 2005 to 2015, so I’m sure if they fit someone would have tried it and would have been offering them for sale to make money on this “better” option product. But again, I’ll find out for myself during my next oil change in about 5k miles.

Here’s the pix for comparison:

K&N PS-2009

And more side-by-side:

So far I have no complaints using Mobil1 M1-102 or K&N HP-1002.