NC1 rear leak, LSD?

  1. My model of MX-5 is: 08 NC1 2.0 sport
  2. I’m based near: Devon
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: Rear oil leak

Hi all,

Just came home to find what looks like an oil leak approximately where the centre of my rear axel would typically sit.

Drove around 20 miles today with no noticeable changes. Cant see or feel anything wet from lying behind the rear wheels and looking/reaching as far as I can (could touch the bottom/rear of the LSD). Obviously I need to get it in the air and investigate, but never having been underneath a RWD or an MX5 I’d appreciate a few pointers.

Is it likely the LSD or am I overlooking something (IE driveshaft/CV boots etc) and are there common gaskets/seals that go?

For now theres a piece of cardboard lying beneath the car to perhaps better indicate location/quantity.

Thanks in advance!


Can you be sure it’s from your car?

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Thank you for your reply.

Im the only one who’s parked there for the last 3 weeks, so if its from a car its mine. It’s appeared in the last 2 days or so. I can’t 100% confirm its from my car but I’m honestly not sure how else to explain it.

We are all trying to get our head around it for you,
So is It Definitely oil ? Or is it possible that ‘Rain’ had gone through the drain plug and out onto the road ? Looking like a puddle of oil etc No ?
Then as you have done it. Put a large cardboard under the car in several places until you spot the exact spot of Where the dripping Is occurring, Of course I don’t need to ask you if you have dipped the oil it’s to see if there is any leakage from any of the little reservoirs etc ? Just took another look at your picture It does look like It might be oil …
Best of luck With the investigation. Best regards from Ray Hill Essex

I’ve known companion flange oil seals and drive shaft oil seals to leak on NC in the past. Normally just a misting around the seal rather than a drip though.

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Aircon moisture? Probably not dripping forward enough…


You sure your wife/husband/partner is not having an affair??? :slight_smile:


The roof drains exit pretty close to the diff.
As said, are you sure it’s oil??

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The only thing that needs to be on that cardboard is your back with a torch in your hand :grin:

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OEP (Oil Extreme Pressure) oil will have a very “distinctive/unique” smell to it.


Yep, it has an unmistakable stink.

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is there a possibility of it being animal pee!

we had an animal (cat, fox, badger, deer) pee in our parking area and it took weeks for the stain to fade.
and some of that stuff stinks real bad and not like you presume it would!

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Thank you all for your responses, apologies for such a long delay in response - had a crazy few weeks and some issues responding on mobile.

The car is still running and driving fine, nothing ended up on the cardboard, the puddle didn’t smell aweful but is still there. Seems like somewhat of a mystery, but at this point im fairly confident its not from my car (or that of a cheating partner due to lack of partner :joy:).

Appreciate all your help and ideas. Biggest walk away for me is not to get immediately stressed from a family member telling me my car is leaking on the drive.