Convertible Car Question - for enthusuiasts

03-28-2016, 12:35 PM
Hi, Everyone -- I just bought a beautiful 2001 Miata. I test drove it on the side streets with top down, and top up. No problems. But when I drove it home on the freeway, top up and vent CLOSED, I got a horrible headache from fumes. Granted, there were lots of trucks so hopefully it was just a fluke. Since I've never had a convertible before, I'm not sure if it's a common problem for fumes to come in even with the top up. I hope not! Only had it a couple of days, would hate to have to sell it (I am prone to migraines induced by chemical smells). Another option might be buying a hardtop and having it installed... but does that really seal as tight as a sedan?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. If fumes just seep in when the top is up, I might as well sell before investing any more (car needs brakes and oil flush).


Black Lotus
03-28-2016, 04:09 PM
The top shouldn't admit fumes from your own car. If the fumes are from your car, it has an exhaust leak somewhere in the exhaust system, and maybe even open holes in the firewall and body.
No defense against some diesel trucks, pickup trucks and diesel cars. Some of them just stink. And they are BAD smelling.
Drive it more and try to sort out what sort of smell it is-- gasoline, coolant, exhaust odor, diesel odor.

Dave B.
03-28-2016, 05:41 PM
Disclaimer: I've never owned a Miata. That said, I have owned several convertibles in my life. None of them sealed as tight as a sedan. As Black Lotus said, you just really need to get out there and drive it. If you still smell fumes and you're not sure where they're coming from - and - you have a trusted mechanic, take it there and see if they can find any leaks from your car.

In my experience, driving a small open sports car on the freeway just isn't fun. I try to stick to scenic two-lanes when I'm driving my Triumph.


04-01-2016, 05:04 PM
Thanks so much... yep, it was just an odd circumstance with all those trucks on the road. Other times I have driven it, it's been fine. That's a relief!

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