The advice given so far is a very expensive way of keeping a 20 plus year old car on the road, if you aren't particularly DIY hands on. Going to the Mazda agent is going to be a very expensive idea in my experienced opinion, too.
For starters, a brand new universal fit catalytic converter costs between $150aud and $200aud usually here in Aus, where I'm sitting. They aren't an expensive part.
The main issue is, Hong Kong is generally, a very expensive place to maintain cars of that age, which need more than just an oil change and a wash.
The MX5 is a very easy car to get parts for in the West, it was a hugely popular car in the late 80's and 90's, so, new or OEM parts are plentiful and very reasonably priced. Get friendly with one of the many MX5 parts suppliers or where the car was popular, ie Australia, UK and North America, it should be easy getting bits air freighted over a lot cheaper than what they'll try and sting you in Hong Kong.
A properly Western trained and very experienced automotive mechanic, will charge $500hkd per hour, which sounds a lot, but they work considerably faster than the local crop, minus the guess work, and come in handy for more cerebral repairs, they sail through those and everybody is happy. You spend less in the end.
The good thing is your car is relatively simple to work on mechanically/electrically, (I owned one for a year) the main issue with your car is, rust.
I can recommend a very competent and fully qualified mechanic who really impressed me when I lived in Hong Kong, he's about the same (normal competency ) to the early 20's mobile mechanic I use at my home over here in Australia. I'm really spoilt for that stuff now, just so pleasant, fast and with zero inconvenience.
If you want, I can pm you his details, he will make your present grease monkey look like a complete clown.you can use him next MOT, and be upset free from there on.
Yes, you're absolutely correct. I just got membership into the Mazda classic car club, and they did a free safety inspection plus a one-time rust-proof treatment a few days ago. Almost everything is fine, except that the AC system has many leaks.
Mazda said they can't touch the AC because it's been modified by one of the previous owners, and to change the soft top roof which has a tiny leak, they quoted $40K. $20K to order the part and $20K for labour charges. The service advisor told me I was better off looking for a mechanic outside.
Yes, I'd like to get in touch with the mechanic you used. Please pm me his details. Thanks so much for your help.
The MOT fee should definitely include the oil change fee.
Did you pay the money?
I mean it's a tricky situation, I guess I'd tell him you can only pay for what you authorized. Beyond that involve the police.
Yes, I did pay unfortunately. I tried to bring down the price, but I didn't know any better at that time. Next time I'll be more stubborn and not be afraid to ask the police for help if I'm clearly being screwed.