Drain hole impossible to find - MK3

Thanks for your responses.

Craig, I will try that, my wife says I have been missing the sweet spot for years !!!

Binty, that is a good idea, worth a shot.

Scarlet, considering it is now 2 hours down the line, it is still bleeding. I honestly thought I was going to have to break my finger, I was stood there at a stupid angle trying to release the pain, it is funny, but at the time, there was a bit of panic.


I don’t mind admitting I struggled to find that drain hole, only this year I’ve managed to find both.

As mentioned point your rodding implement towards the gear knob roughly. I found it a big help to actually get a torch and shine it down there and wiggle that plastic tray around, I spotted the hole I should have been aiming for under the plastic grill/tray. Much easier when I knew where I should have been aiming for.:+1:

I have a MK3 myself and yes it can be a bit of a so and so , what I did was trimmed the bristles on one end of the trombone brush to more of a taper, and if you put it into the square hole and as already mentioned sort of aim it towards the gear stick hopefully it’ll find the hole as its at a bit of an angle ,and you can then push it right in until it pokes out underneath car and you can pull it all the way through, but I guess if the hole is blocked you might have trouble getting it in in the first place.
Keep trying, and hopefully you’ll find the hole and get to clearing it out , good luck with that.

Mick, problem being there is water in there and so I cant see with or without a torch. I guess more hours spent trying.

Bosley, that is not a bad idea. I think the hole is blocked from the top, so maybe even remove all the bristles may help. I will try that any, as above more hours spent trying.

I’ve just had a look at your car, and discovered it is a soft top. Drains are easier to see with the PRHT so it is still worth seeing how they compare.

PRHT drains look slightly different from soft top drains because of how the trim is arranged around the back of the seat because of the way the roofs work. There were also some updates applied to both.

With PRHT there are two tubes going down to the drain hopper, a round rubber tube from the “rain rail” (attached to the back window frame) and a plastic flat tube from nearby the top of the seat belt pillar. Same arrangement on each side of the car.

Here is a pic of the driver’s side drain hopper behind the seat (2008 NC), accessible from the PRHT compartment with the lid fully up and deck also up, ie part way through the open or close process. Trombone brush will not fit through the grating, which is central over the pipe out, but the usual stiff strimmer string does - just about.

The round rubber tube in my first picture can become dislodged from the back of the window because of all the movement going up and down. There is one on each end of the window. Here is a picture looking up at the top end that can work loose behind the driver.


That pic definately looks different to my car. I have a square inlet in the hopper. I am wondering if i need to remove said hopper, somehow to gain access the drain. It could be that blocked I cant get my trombone cleaner down it maybe.

Think we all had this problem, but stick with it and you will find them, you don’t need to remove anything or trim the brush. Maybe a little gentle twisting and pushing, but the holes are there. Follow the instructions that have appeared on here many times eg: the folding of the hood to the right position and don’t pull the brush back up the hole.
Otherwise, either take to main dealer or buy a MK4.
I’m sure by now you have fixed it, good luck.

I’ve had my NC 7 years, I found one drain hole around 3 years ago but never the other until this year.
All ok drains running freely (I check regularly) until the said one I couldn’t find began to trickle out more slowly this year. Determine to find it I must have spent 30 mins faffing around until I decided to as I said above, get a torch and have a closer look, bingo I hit the spot.

Everyone says to go in through the hole (highlighted in red) at an odd angle.
But this can be tricky.

However, if you shine a torch through the gap (blue arrow), you can see the drain hole.
Going in through this gap is much easier as you can go in straight rather than at an odd angle.

Furthermore, you don’t need to support the roof.



Can you not sponge the water out so you can see??

Thanks keat has to be worth ago when it is not raining, cheers for that i will report back on it.

999 i might try, there is so much of it though and it is quite deep. But again may help to try to remove some of it.

Interestingly last night I did not get the drain cleared but there is some water now on the floor on both sides. So it looks like it might be blocked at the top and may have moved some of the dirt even though I didnt know about it.

Keat63 you are genius !!!

Drivers side 2nd attempt and took me 10 seconds in total Passenger side 3rd attempt and about 30 seconds.


Folks if anyone else reads this going forward, Keat63 has the answer - woohoo.


When the power roof is up, the rain drains along the side channel of the roof and down at the side of the door. So you are less likely to get drain hole blockage problems. There drain holes are still there, as the power roof is a factory fit option. Hope this helps.

Power roof factory fit option???..it’s a different MX5

A couple of years ago, I had the same problem, pushed the wire through the square hole, but it never when down the hole. I then used the Keat63 technique, with a little brute force opened up the gap marked with the blue arrow and found the right direction first time.

Just don’t get your finger trapped…

All the NC 3.5 MX5s were built with the same basics. Eg. Wiring looms, cut outs for spot lights and other things like the drain holes. The cars with the power roof have the same drain holes in position as those on the soft tops. However, on the power roof option, the standard drain holes behind the seats are not used to drain water when the roof is up. The rain goes down a channel where the roof meets the body and down through the edge of the door.

It’s not a factory fit option. That would mean you went to buy a soft top and tick an option box to have a power roof fitted.You would just order a PRHT. My under standing is the rear wings and the boot are different than the soft top making drain access different but I could be wrong never looked.

Can I join in? Rear end is different, even boot lid size and material is different. Also the rear drains are used but to a less extent. The rubber seals around the roof sections are hollow in places and drain some water away including into the rear drains.
If you read this thread completely and view the photos supplied by RichardFX you will see the pipes that feed these drains on the PRHT.



Sorry, I didn’t know about the tubes under the power roof. In my comment, I was only repeating what a technician at my local Mazda dealer told me when I asked about cleaning the drain holes on my NC 3.5 2.0LTR Sport-tech with the power roof. I learn more and more from this group every time I look. Cheers Fred S

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This made the world of difference.