1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test

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1994 Mazda Miata: Refused

June 22, 2010

1994_Miata_1600_blown_fuse_fuse.jpg

Our 1994 Mazda Miata started going mildly haywire a few days ago. All of the gauges went kaput, save for the cable-driven speedometer. The turn signals ceased signaling. Michael Jordan resorted to using the trip odometer to decide when to add fuel over the weekend.

This morning I crawled down by the pedals to have a look at the interior fuse box--the one that's located on the kick panel in the neighborhood of the hood release lever and the driver's left foot.

But the cover and it's all important fuse diagram were missing, so I referred instead to the one on my own personal 1991 Miata, currently in a state of partial disassembly in my garage.

1994_Miata_1600_blown_fuse_cover.jpg

The fuse box from my own Miata clearly indicated that the 10-amp "meter" fuse is the second one over from the upper left-hand corner. The lead photo shows what that fuse looked like after I pulled it from our project car. But something else wasn't quite right, and it may indicate a larger problem.

1994_Miata_1600_blown_fuse_15.jpg

The fuse that popped was a 15-amp fuse, not a 10-amp fuse as the diagram stipulates. I guess it's possible that my 1991 Miata with its 1.6-liter engine takes a 10-amp fuse and this 1994 with a 1.8-liter motor takes a 15-amp fuse, but I somehow doubt it. The gauges and interior accessories are identical to my slightly older car.

More likely, the 15-amp fuse was installed because that's the size of the single spare fuse that's provided in the fuse box cover.

But if a 15-amp fused popped where a 10-amp fuse is specified, we've got some sort of latent electrical problem somewhere. Heck, we've still got a problem if a 15-amp fuse popped where a 15-amp fuse is specified.

I didn't have time to sort any of this out this morning so, like someone before me, I installed the spare 15-amp fuse from my car's fuse box cover.

The gauges and turn signals work fine once again. Jay loves solving electrical puzzles like this, but he's away on a business trip. I'll save it for him. He'll really appreciate that.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 177,360 miles

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