First Car? Things to Consider Before Modifying Your Mazda Miata

The Miata is an amazing car, and it’s definitely worth putting some money into it to take it to the next level. Here’s what you should keep in mind before you start doing upgrades, especially if this is your first car and certain common-sense car advice might not be known to you yet.

Your budget is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to modifying your Miata. Aftermarket parts for your Mazda Miata aren’t cheap and it could take some time to complete if you don’t plan accordingly. Some upgrades (like a new engine) could even make car ownership more expensive because you’ll need to start using premium fuel to keep your car operating smoothly.


If you purchased your Miata with a warranty, there is a chance that modifying parts will void coverage through the dealership or manufacturer. Before starting any internal modifications, get confirmation from the manufacturer on whether or not they will interfere with your coverage. 


Although many modifications are safe, there is always a chance that something will be installed incorrectly or malfunction. Before modifying your car, ensure you are purchasing high-quality parts for your Miata and that you or the company you are using are skilled with automotive modifications. 


The internet is a great resource for finding out which modifications work well and which ones have ended up being more hassle than they’re worth. It’s recommended that you look at forums where other Miata owners have shared their own experiences modifying their car, so you can learn from them. 


Modifications might make your Miata faster and more fun to drive, but they will come at a cost. More power will affect gas mileage and you will end up needing to fill your car up more often. Additionally, some modifications could be harder on your car, so you will end up needing to replace parts more often.

Common Mazda Miata Aftermarket Upgrades

The interior of a Mazda Miata.

There are so many different parts you can upgrade and improve (not that the stock ones are awful or anything). Here’s just a few that make a big difference…

Collovers: These lower the center of mass for your vehicle, improve performance, look better, and give you a more comfy ride. Very worthwhile!

Sway bars: Changes to your sway bar allow you to determine how much body-body you want to experience.

Strut bars: A better strut bar can improve handling, making it tighter.

Brake pads: These need to be replaced pretty often anyway, especially if you drive hard. So, the next time you’re due, make sure you’re getting something half-decent. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but the more often you replace your pads, the better you’ll feel that stop-on-a-dime response to braking.

Those are just a few quick examples, there are 1001 other things you could considerer upgrading in your Miata, and in most cars for that matter.

If you have a different type of car, just let us know and I’ll do my best to answer any of your questions or to put together any type of guide you need. We’re always here to help teens get the most out of their first cars!

Mat Woods

Author Information

Mat Woods is the lead writer at He works tirelessly alongside the rest of the team to create useful, well-researched, trustworthy articles to help parents and their teens.