ND Miata/MX-5 Oil Change

Life blood

I do this for just about every car I’ve owned – an oil change blog. It’s mostly for myself so I can look up all the torque specs easily in the future, but… maybe someone out there besides me gets something out of these?

Anyways, Mona hit 2500 miles recently and that seemed like a decent amount of time and distance to leave the factory fill oil in place. Time to flush it out.

NDs apparently like 0w20 oil. There’s likely all manner of opinion out there as to which one is best. Mobil1 has always worked well for me, so I thought I’d give it a go in Ramona.

Belly Pan

9 bolts…

After jacking up the car, removing the belly pan is the first order of business. It’s metal and of decent gauge… and it has NINE bolts holding it in place.


No, that won’t be annoying at all over the next many years of ND ownership. At least I have an air ratchet to make quick work of them.

Drain plug and filter

And right under that belly pan is the drain plug and filter. Just right there. Easy to grab. No mess to drip all over frame rails or belly pans. It’s fantastic!

The drain plug needs the same 17mm socket as the NB and NC to remove. Once the oil is drained, torque the plug to 23-30 ft/lbs. And replace the crush washer with a fresh one if so desired/required.

The oil filter is easily removed due to the location. The angry robots at the factory really torqued the snot out of mine, so I used a wrench to remove the old one.

The orientation of the filter rewards and enables pre-filling of the replacement filter. Remember to grease the gasket on the new filter before installing to prevent it from tearing as it gets tightened down. And if you are so inclined, the factory torque spec for the oil filter is 107-141 INCH/lbs. Be careful and use a tiny torque wrench that does inch pounds.

Notice how low that filter hangs? Because of this you can’t use an extended size filter for the ND. A longer filter will touch that belly pan and not allow it to bolt back on. And that’s a bad thing.

I tried it. I always use the extended MX-6 sized filter on Sharka and tried to use one on Mona. I was more than a bit disappoint when the longer filter couldn’t fit.

Here’s a quicky list of ND sized oil filters:
Wix & Napa Gold – x7002 (57002, 27002, 7002)
K&N – HP1008
Mobil 1 – M1-108, M1-108A
Purolator – PL14612, L14612

Hungry for oil

After pre-filling the oil filter, add 4 quarts of 0w20 to the engine. Put the cap on, fire the engine, and let it run for 30 seconds to get oil circulating and check for leaks. Then kill it and wait a minute to check oil level. Factory spec is 4.5 quarts from empty, so you may have to add a bit to the 4 quarts added earlier.

The NINE bolts holding that belly pan on like to be torqued to 24-28 ft/lbs. I just zipped them back on with my air ratchet.

Reset the oil monitor

The ND has an oil maintenance monitor… and you can reset it using the infotainment screen! This is great and requires no tools.

From the home screen you go to the far left option marked APPLICATIONS. Then drill down…
Applications > Vehicle Status Monitor > Maintenance > Oil Change > Reset

You can also change the maintenance interval. Wanna do 12k miles? Set it that way. 3000? Sure. Just change it in “Oil Life”.

Oil containment.

Oil containment.

I’m recycling an image from my NC fluid change blog here. This is my oil containment device. It holds something like 16 quarts and stands on the end, out of the way, when not in use. It’s great. I got it at my local O’Reilly’s for about $25. I highly recommend it.

Whatever you use, please recycle your fluids. Any auto parts store will let you dump a container of used oil in the back.

Ready for a test drive

And that’s it! Time for a test drive.

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  • Levi says:

    Those 9 bolts seem like a missed opportunity for weight savings…

  • Nick says:

    I would’ve imagined you were more of a genuine parts kinda guy.
    Still, better than late maintenance.

    • revlimiter says:

      You mean the oil filter? I used to be of that opinion… until I learned that the genuine part can change to any manufacturer who gives a lower bid the next contract cycle. I had the OEM oil filter change on my NA three times before I learned this.

      Wix is always the same manufacturer. I buy it because of this.

      • Sam says:

        I worked in a part store for years~~~~~ and now i do engineering for a co. If you look at the specks for oil filters and know how they work you probably going with Wix or Purolator or Napa Gold. Me I like the Wix but I will go to the other ones if needed.

  • Bill Keksz says:

    I don’t know if it’s really important, but the ND filter has no anti-drainback valve. Also, the Mazda oil for Skyactive engines has a lot of moly, although they mention Castrol Edge as acceptable.

  • Dennis Pierman says:

    Curious always, 3rd “Miata,” 1st was a ’94R supercharged, 2nd a 2006 GTA ragtop bought new and drove until 2023, now a 2019 GTA ragtop bought used, upgrades are Racing Beat exhaust and garden variety CAI, DAMD steering wheel, budget for more upgrades even though it is a paddle shift automatic that liberates wife from mashing a clutch pedal … in advance of its 1st oil change, inspection under car discovered the OE under tray (aka belly pan or splash shield) is s cardboard-like composite, which the previous owner glitched up overriding parking lot curbs … your post features an aluminum under tray, which I’d prefer iff I could find one, but I’m left to wonder if the metal variant might be OE on Club or Recaro Bilstein variants and not the GT … inquiries in the aftermarket vary from “I dunno” to “who cares, your girly sled is an automatic, ” call a f-ing dealer,” which I did without success.

    SO, what is the answer … is the metal pan an OE variant, or am I hallucinating ?

  • Grinhell says:

    Metal tray is OEM and should not be replaced or robbed of bolts, as it is not just a splash guard. Let it drop on your foot or consider the torque specs and number of bolts to realise its contribution to rigidity to the front end.

  • IraDalor says:

    Thank you so much for this guide! I know it’s primarily factor specs, but to have it all condensed is quite nice vs the service manual online. I’d also like to call out and thank you for your recommendation of 4 quarts of oil after filling the filter. This seems to always nail my fill between the lines when I check after a short warm up. That 4.5qt factory spec just doesn’t seem to be based in reality unless you want progressive overfill.

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