Sorting the Mazda MX-5 - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens, Photography by: Glenn Torrens

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Glenn Torrens re-ignites the love affair with his drop-top Mazda after its year off the road

Mazda MX-5

For three years, my Mazda MX-5 was a regular driver on full-whack registration. Driving it added some sparkle to boring tasks such as shopping. Of course, I also drove it for fun stuff such as days at the beach, cars & coffee events and dinner at the pub with mates.

But over a year ago the registration renewal was sort-of overlooked during a busy summer playing with other cars. By early autumn, the car’s three-month registration grace period had lapsed so I decided I’d park my Mazda until it was eligible for H-plates in January 2020.

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It’s a drop top and a thrilling steer. Two terrific reasons for owning an MX-5

Well, 2020 has just rolled around, my Mazda is now on H-plates and I’m in love again!

Because the Mazda’s one year holiday was more or less accidental, I didn’t put any effort into preparing it for storage. Luckily, we have a good climate in Oz, so unlike other parts of the planet, sitting for a year or three is generally not too unkind to our cars. But to prevent things clagging, every couple of months I ran the engine to 2000rpm for 20 mins or so (I don’t ever let cars idle-up to operating temperature as I’ve seen the damage to cams and valve-trains that lack of oil flow can do), before pumping the air-con for 10 mins and whizzing the electric windows up and down a few times.

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I noticed the coolant wasn’t very nice. I’m sure I’d replaced it when I bought the car – or maybe not? Hmmm. Before cruising

However, even with regular start-ups and zappies from a multi-stage maintenance charger every few weeks, the battery died mid-year. I wasn’t too upset as the battery was at least three years old (it was in the car when I bought it) but I didn’t want to waste a new battery warranty in a parked car. So, for six months I started the Mazda using jumper leads, buying it a new battery just before I had it inspected for safety prior to getting it on the road again. The clutch slave cylinder died, too, leaking its fluid all over the car-port gravel. Thankfully replacing it was an easy and inexpensive task.

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I found this extra block of seat foam in the driver’s seat… With that removed, I now sit in the seat, not on it. It’s made a remarkable difference to driving comfort

A few weeks before the rego expired in late 2018, I’d changed the oil so I reckon the now year-old oil will be OK until the next service due at 255Kkm.

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A bit of pre-rego maintenance

Yes, my little Mazda drop-top has just clocked-over 250,000km… a quarter of a million kays. Except for some sun-faded seat trim it remains looking gorgeous, I reckon, and remains one of my favourite cars. That’s another thumbs-up to the durability, longevity and enduring appeal of Mazda’s terrific drop-top roadster.

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The classic car H-plates system is so popular, NSW has recently run out of of them. That’s why my Mazda is wearing J-plates. Yep, true


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