Tag Archives: E016-50-796

Want to buy a Miata? There’s a ton of them at Wayne Mazda

Thanks for not ripping me off Wayne Mazda!

Though I am in the market for another Mazda, I didn’t buy the CX-7 or CX-5 I’m interested in. Thanks to breaking a little plastic cowl grille cap on my Miata yesterday, I was eager to find a replacement  ahead of another few days of heavy rain we have in the forecast.

The NC Miata facebook group was very helpful identifying the part I needed to buy. I posted there after following removal instructions on Miata.net and like many posters encountered the cracking of the brittle plastic cap myself. Someone kindly provided the part # and a cost estimate so I would have an idea of what to expect at the stealership. Then I called the three Mazda dealers within a 10 mile radius from where I live and got actual price quotes for the items they had in stock. Wayne Mazda came in the cheapest at the list price of $3.25 or $3.48 with tax. Ramsey Mazda didn’t have any in stock, while Lodi Mazda parts counter employee pulled a random number out of his ass and quoted me $6.71+ tax for the last cap they had in stock. I don’t know why I bothered calling Lodi knowing how shitty they treated me in the past… a sales guy wouldn’t even let me test drive a 2008 Miata on their lot when I was in the market, weird as fuck. So go Fuck Yourself Lodi Mazda and thanks to Wayne Mazda for not ripping me off, really.

BTW anyone in the market for the flimsy plastic clips that are almost guaranteed to break when you try to access that area of the cowling under the windshield wipers, the cheapest option is from Amayama… their Japanese locations lists the part at $1.70+ shipping, while their United Arab Emirates location (who knew there was so much Mazda parts demand in Dubai? not me…) is selling the same thing for just a $1…. but shipping is $21 bux! Someone on facebook joked it would be a great item to buy in bulk… I’d rather pay $3.48 for the single one that I need than pay $1 x whatever number for the 10 cent piece of plastic. (eBay has a bunch of these listed at $5+ apiece, while online sales web sites list them at a discount for about $2.20 but shipping is $4.50 Yikes!) But all the venting aside I’m happy I was able to get one so quickly without waiting for the delivery.

And while at Wayne Mazda I was greeted by a whole fleet of Miatas. The row of NC’s when you first drive up, all in beautiful white, were totally unexpected. It is February but the weather has been favorable and I guess people are buying these little Roadsters before the mad rush of summer season sales… (is there such a thing?)

Check them out:

Lots of ND Miatas too, inside and out:

Including this gorgeous MX-5 RF… (retractable fastback)

Back home the new plastic cap was very hard to pop back in place… which only means one thing: it will snap right off the first time I try to remove it again to get to the screw under it. Oh well! At least now I know where I could get them and how much they will cost. I tried to offset my cost by helping myself to a fistfull of lollies on the counter at the Cashier window 🙂

Mazda MX-5: Fixing a Leak Under Windshield Wiper Cowling on my NC Miata

Wasn’t planning on working on my car this Sunday… but noticed a two inch wet spot on my new WeatherTech floor mats when I opened the door this morning after heavy rain last night… Dammit!

I knew exactly where the leak came from. Its a common problem discussed extensively on Miata.net forums, and one I should have addressed sooner, but never got around to it. Until today.

There was a day last year, it must have been warm enough because I was driving in shorts and flip flops and felt water droplets on my foot while driving through a sudden downpour. That should have been a sign. It was a similar feeling I experienced while in Thailand driving with the Thai Miata club from Bangkok to the Laos border up north in Tanet’s 2008 Miata…. anyway, I should have addressed this problem sooner but didn’t. The problem lies in a small gasket that separates a plastic clip from the body… it is a clip that holds the windshield wiper cowling in place with a screw on each side of the car… the very left driver’s side and very right on passenger’s side.

You can see the cowling cap in these shots:

The hardest part was taking the cowling caps off… Why?  Because these brittle fuckers crack… and guess what?  I failed!

I used a very thin razor blade and the driver’s side popped out with little effort. The passenger side was a bit harder. I applied a little pressure and it popped out while cracking one of the holding clips.


Anyway, next step was to undo the nuts that hold the wiper arms in place. That was fairly easy. The nut uses a 14mm socket.

Next step was getting the rubber weatherstripping released. There are multiple plastic clips that hold the weatherstrip in place along with the plastic cowling you must remove to get to the problem area.

A little trick with this was using needle nose pliers to squeeze the plastic clips from the bottom and pull them up. The top of the plastic clip is “T” shaped. I found that by gently releasing the rubber to reveal the “T” clip while it was still pushed won so you can turn the “T” 90 degrees, makes it easier to get at them with the pliers from the bottom. Otherwise it’s a bit awkward to get good grip to squeeze and release (to pull up).


This is the problem….


As you can see, the gasket disintegrated… especially on the passenger side… although ironically enough, it’s the driver’s side that leaked on me!

This, apparently is the recommended solution, which of course I didn’t have at home and had to run out to Auto Zone to pick up.

According to the forums, the plastic clip breaks… or is easy to break. So I found it was easiest to put the screw into it, and lift! By lifting up it exposes the area underneath that you want to seal. And then apply the Black RTV. Easy!

I tried to be generous with the RTV, but only time will tell if I see any more water seeping into the cabin.

According to the instructions you have to work quick because the silicone starts hardening quickly, so I tried to expedite the reassembly process.

Finally it was time to test the wipers to see if everything works, and they fall back into correct position when the switch is turned OFF.

They work well!

I really should have done this sooner!

Folks always ask what to look out for/most likely failures when shopping for an NC Miata… stuck open thermostat is #1 issue… I’d definitely classify this as #2. Say no to Rust folks, just say No!

UPDATE March 1: Bought the little cowl grille cap from a local Mazda dealer (shop around because apparently they all have different prices, list price is $3.25+ tax, $3.48 in my case)… online could be cheaper if you have the luxury of time, from $1 on Amayama to $2.20 from Quirk Parts but shipping kills it.

Anyway, had it on the car for a few days including heavy rain storms today and no water visible at all in the cabin. Going to Florida next week where I’m sure I’ll hit more rain, so I’ll continue to update if anything changes.