Oil not changed in 5 years 6k miles (would you still buy)

  1. My model of MX-5 is: 2.0 nc Sport
  2. I’m based near: __
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: __

Looking at a low miles 40k Mx5 NC Sport.
Engine sounds sweet even from stone cold.
Oil not changed for 5 years / 6k miles.
Would it stop you buying it?

Probably would deter me from buying it, others may have different views.
I mean an oil change or two over 10 years why skimp on that? What other maintenance has been overlooked/missed?
And to add I’d be looking at the date on the tyres too. Whether they are only part worn they could be 10 years or more out of date.

On my weekend toys , I normally buy good quality , fully synthetic oil and change every 2 years (about 3500 miles)
I would be fine if it had a couple of services in that time but thought I’d see what other peoples views are.
I like the car and mileage but will it come back and bite me later.

What year is this NC?

I skimped on my daily drivers oil change (A SEAT) this year. Only done 3k miles since early last year with what’s been going on in the world. It’s always had long life oil in anyway so no harm but it did get changed at least every 5-6k miles before this.

The NC is a 2006

If I felt the price was right (you have a very good bargaining point), I’d possibly buy it….not that I’m in the market.

Then I’d immediately change the oil and more importantly the filter, run the car for 500 miles or so and change it again.

That’s what I did with my 1998 NB six years ago, because it hadn’t been on the road for a couple of years and I couldn’t tell when the oil had last been changed from the service history. It still runs like a new engine and the innards are clean as a whistle; mind you it’s still done only 45,000 miles.

However…if you’re not too mechanically minded it would be well worth getting an AA or RAC inspection done on the car.

I’d say avoid then.

NC2 that’s 2009 onwards had revised engine internals, stronger apparently. Any messing around with not keeping the older engines properly serviced (lubricated) is asking for trouble, earlier failures.

A more expert explanation might be along shortly would probably put more meat on the bones on that one than I can explain.

If you can prove beyond any doubt that it isn’t using any oil then it’ll be ok. If not then take a risk or walk away.
If it’s otherwise sound then that’s the only thing you’re up against.

would also check if FL22 cooland has been changed - I doubt it esp if the oil not changed.
Tyres as stated would be a concern too
Air filter??

What does the MoT history say? It might have been parked up for all those years and done no miles.
I guess that’s the question, how many miles since the last oil change?
How many miles running on this old degraded oil that could be causing engine wear?

What are your plans for it? Think about resale, how will you explain that gap in the servicing?

I’d hope the price reflects this lack of maintenance?

Hope the oil level has been maintained when it was being driven. Pay close attention to any knocking when engine runs. Considering the age of the car, a lack of service won’t affect its value and you should be able reach a favourable deal. I would be more concerned about rust on the underside, NC’s are prone to it.
If you buy it, all the fluids need a good flushing so consider it a short term project.

It’s basically only done 1000 miles in last 3 years, and roughly 1500mile a year in the previous 8 years.
Previous it had Mazda main dealer service.

It needs all fluids changing, and brake disks and pads , tyres look good but old so need changing + a good clean up.

It’s a nice colour and good inside and not RUSTY it will make a Lovely car.

How much is a fair price?

I’ve recently sold a well sorted, well serviced with a fair few goodies on it, an NC 2007 for a little over £5k, a private sale.

Hard to say what this one you contemplating buying is worth, body wise rust free suspension and undersides in good order, mechanics (questionable) hard to put a figure on without standing in front of it. A px price against a newer car may fetch less than £2.5k, only in my opinion of course and without seeing such car.

I would be tempted if the car was cheap enough. I would dump the oil and filter immediately, ie before you drive it home, put a new filter and a tub of cheap oil in it and then swap oil and filter again after the first run (ie after the first time it has got up to temperature, even if that is only 20 or 30 miles).

I would also get some silicon spray on all the rubber bushes as soon as possible, in addition to all the other service items.

If I was looking for a nice 2.0 NC, I guess I would have a budget of around £5k, give or take. I would be looking to knock that down to about £3500 on the basis that the engine might be toast; it only takes one bearing to fail to take the rest of the engine to the ‘non economic repair’ category. That could turn out to be an absolute bargain - but the risk you take is a new engine supply and fit costs, and the risk of the unknown history of the “new” engine, plus transport of a car with the blown engine, plus inconvenience I guess is about £2k - depends where you live and proximity to where it would be repaired etc…

If the car was not exactly what I wanted otherwise (wrong colour, not PRHT, no aircon etc), I would avoid i.e. why take a gamble on something you don’t actually want. But it would be very satisfying to have a gamble pay off.

So I would be looking to offer £3k and negotiate up to £3500, possibly a bit more if everything else about the deal was sweet. Work backwards from what the car is worth to you if it was perfect, and knock money off for all the issues and potential issues.

Also consider things like suspension which at that age is going to need swapped out to get the best from the car - but that would be true for any car that age - so budget for that.

I’ve now got more info and I misunderstood what the owner had said it has had 1 oil change in the middle so basically 5 years and 6000 mile changes. (I thought the 1st change was when he brought it but that was part of the sale).

So whilst not good I think it will be ok, I will change oil and do engine flush, plus all other fluids and auxiliary belts etc.

The engine sounded very sweet (sweeter than most others I have seen , but most have been 65k upwards)

Spec is great with air con, Bose etc.

On a slightly different note, because of the service history, if in the future you decide to sell the car the buyer will be in a stronger position to negotiate the price. Good luck, whatever you decide to do, the NC is a great car.

I’ve agreed to buy it, I think its worth the risk and most cars in my budget <5K have done 80K + miles.

Hopefully it will work out good.


You can tell a lot by the colour of the oil. If it’s filthy black that’s not a good sign. Modern synthetic oils last a long time. Personally, if the oil looked OK and the price was right I’d go for it.


Got the car this evening, oil looks fine, not thick and black ( no blacker than my daily that had its oil changed about 4000 miles ago.

The car looks excellent underneath, no worse than some cars after 3-4 years.

Now time for a big service!


Congratulations! Enjoy! :smiley: