Question about 1990 Mazda MX-5

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Overheating The car overheated the other day so I thought I would try flushing the radiator and changing the thermostat. I put some cleaner in the radiator and was filling with water when I notice a steady drip underneath. I got under to look and it seamed to be coming from the center front of the oil pan. I looked all around to see if it could be trickling down from a hose, water pump, thermostat etc... but did not see anything. I just looks like a small stream from the front/center of the oil pan. Any Idea's? Thanks Tim

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I don't know how many miles you have on the car but it sounds very much like a water pump failure.
When the seals fail, there is (on most) a small (1/6") hole in the water pump housing that allows water to drain to prevent possible contamination into the engine.

This may be tough to see but the pump is driven by a belt/pulley located at the front of the engine. It may also be pretty much into the block making it hard to distinguish on some cars.

You should be able to recognize the NON-pump pullies such as AC compressor, idlers, alternator, etc.
The one you can't quite nail down - that's probably the water pump.

On some vehicles it is a very easy job to remove and replace, others can be an absolute b---h.

I would highly recommend you buy an aftermarket service manual from Haynes or Chilton so you will have a handy reference.
It may also save you money by getting some info before taking it in for potentially costly service.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008

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