If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Miata work Episode 1

I spent my first weekend on the Miata. I just did simple stuff, and I have my work cut out for me. My phone was dead, so I don't have pictures :(

After about 250 miles of driving, I got 2 codes P0400 (EGR System) and P1170 (O2 Sensor), so I decided now was as good of a time as any, and started on the car over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, I took off the throttle body and the EGR valve. I started late (2pm) and only had Sunlight until 5, so I decided to tackle just cleaning the soft top and the EGR problem on that day. I cleaned the soft top and saw that the passenger rain drain was clogged. I stuck a wire hanger in the drain and got it cleared in a jiffy and moved on to the EGR valve. As expected, there was a clog in the EGR valve on one of the tube nipples. I cleared it and did my best to clean the gunk out of there. The throttle body was also especially dirty. I went through 2 cans of throttle body cleaner, about 1000 Q-Tips, and half of a roll of paper towels, but when I was done, it was shiny through and through. I put it all back together and started the car at 5:15pm. I just made it. With the clean throttle body and EGR valve, the car idles much nicer, and the throttle response feels quicker, though it could be a placebo effect. The intake manifold still needs to be cleaned, but I'll wait to do that when I can dedicate more time to it and have a garage available. I also took out the driver side arm rest, which cleared a ton of space for my knee.


On Sunday, I began much earlier. I jacked the car up and sprayed gratuitous amounts of PB Blaster on the O2 sensors, which looked like a total bitch to get to. I lubed up the exhaust bolts that I would have had to disconnect, also. I started the day with new spark plugs. After a bit of research, I got the NGK race plugs with no resistors. After that, I did a foam-ectomy on the driver's seat (only the bottom, though I should probably have done the back, too). Now I can actually hear through the headrest speakers. Oh yeah, I found out I have headrest speakers (seller didn't tell me. I also found out a have a trailer hitch. He didn't tell me that, either.). My head still didn't clear the roll bar completely, so I had to add some padding for safety. I had a pool noodle in my back yard, and it was purple. I now have purple roll bar padding. I changed out the wiper blades and topped off the wiper fluid and coolant.

My mom said her headlights weren't working in her car and had bought replacement bulbs, so I told her I would install them for her. I know, I'm the best son ever. She has a Hyundai Santa Fe and there is next to no room to get at the driver-side headlight bulb. There's maybe 3/4 of an inch. I opened the seals on the back of the headlight assemblies to find that the bulbs were put in upside down, so they didn't go all the way in and were put in at weird angles. Also, the clips that held them in were bent to accommodate this terrible installation. I opened the seal for the high beams to find the same thing. I asked her who installed them last, and she said the guys at advance auto parts (that explains it). I'm glad I'm doing it this time. I reseated the high-beam bulbs and I took out the old headlight bulbs because she did need new ones. For each bulb, I had to use pliers to bend the clips back into shape, which was very annoying, but now they sit straight, are brighter, won't wobble, and will last longer. Long story short: don't trust car parts salesmen to install things in your car, even the easy stuff.

I went back to my car, looked at the O2 sensors again and decided I was far too lazy to do that, so I put the car back down and cleaned up. I just now got a check engine light and checked it P0400 is gone (SUCCESS!!!!) and the only one left is P1170. I will have to get to that this weekend.

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