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Mazda RX-8



  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    I'm back from vacation and still very interested in the RX-8. I was just wondering if someone could clarify for me the cold weather starting procedure and any issues associated with it. Just wondering how inconvienent it is going to be. I am used to just starting up and going with my truck, so i'm wondering how much of a change I am looking at?

  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    There is no cold weather start procedure. Starts like any normal car. There is a computer controlling things and it does rev to just over 3000 RPM at first, but every car I've ever owned, revs higher for a longer period of time when the weather is really cold.

    However, the shut down procedure is important. Don't shut down the engine, EVER (warm or cold weather), before making sure the water temp is in the middle range and before revving the engine to 3000RPM for 10 seconds and killing the ignition while still at 3000RPM. This shut down procedure insures that all gas is burned up in the engine before shut down. This avoids possible flood issues, which is really super yucky to fix.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    And never EVER touch the throttle when starting. If it's VERY cold (below 0F) you have to be deliberate. That is, you put on the e-brake, shift to neutral (or leave the auto in park), and then when you start to crank it to start you do so until it starts. Do not quit too soon. Start it on the first try! If you "mess about" there is a good chance it will flood. Only an issue when it's very cold, thankfully.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    I thought the flood issues had been fixed on this car with some sort of recall/fix to the 05s?

    I've got an offer on an auto grand touring for 24200 if I finance through mazda credit, 1250 more if i don't. Any ideas on whether i'm getting a good deal. Seems good as it is below invoice even without the rebate...
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    If the rates are competetive, that's a great deal. If you can, get them to throw in some better all-season tires to seal the deal, since the dealership makes a lot of profit off of corporate financing/interest on it.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Flooding issues have been reduced, but they can't be eliminated. It's caused by the poor seal in the engine at low RPM (inability to properly move all air and fuel through the engine - some leaks by the apex seals at cranking speed).

    What has been done to fix it is reduction in fuel injected until the engine is actually running (delay of "choke mode").

    I personally have never (knocking on wood) flooded a rotary. I don't start a cold engine and then shut it off before it warms up. I am very deliberate when starting a very cold car. The RX-8 I get to drive has flooded irrecoverably once (-30 deg C day - towed to dealership - free - replace plugs, charge battery, and start once it had warmed up in their shop), and flooded a second time in "cool" weather around -10 C - but after persistance we got it started (5 min of cranking in 30 sec. intervals). I wasn't driving it either time. I don't remember if those floods were before or after the "fix". I think before. That car was one of the first in our area so had all the problems of the early cars. Most of those problems were in the computer programming.

    Just to inform those who want to know, there are ports under the intake manifold that can be accessed that would allow injection of small quantities of oil. This makes unflooding very easy. The modification would involve removal of the plugs currently in the ports (on the side of the motor) and installation of small plastic tubing up to a device (of the modifiers design) that can allow a cc or so of oil to flow into each port. This vastly improves sealing at low RPMs and cleans out the excess fuel. Sometimes the engine will start with just this step. Sometimes the spark plugs have to be changed before it will start. From experience with "older" rotaries.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    Got it for 24200! Silver with black interior. Loving this car more and more the longer I drive it! I agree the dipstick is a pain in the butt, but it is livable.

    Do you guys take the engine cover off to check the oil? The sales guy was saying that is the way to do it, but I was wondering if you really need to...

    Thanks for all the help here - I really appreciate it!
  • moadhmoadh Posts: 15
    Yeah u have to remove the engine cover otherwise there would be no way for you to get to the dipstick.. unless you're reallly flexibe ;) but anyway, congrats on getting ur 8.. enjoy it !
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Awesome! My love affair with my RX-8 AT Sports Package continues. Nothing but fun.

    You got a good deal no question. I paid 2 grand more for less car, back in Sept.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    Does anyone have access to an order sheet for 2006? I want to make my final decisions and order mine this week. - Thanks
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    Is there an invoice price and an MSRP price for options such as strakes and sat radio? I am using the Costco program and I'd like to make sure I get the extra options for as little as possible. Bunnygirl, how did you handle getting the strakes on the one that you ordered? - Thanks!
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    I am trying to make sure I do everything proper with this car as far as breakin and the rotary engine go. As far as break-in goes, is this a good list (based off of what i read in owners manual for first 600 miles)?

    - no full throttle starts
    - no hard braking unless absolutely necessary
    - vary engine speed (ie don't use cruise control)

    As far as routine care goes, is this list correct (based on "drivers guide" that came with owners manual)?

    - check the oil level every other refueling
    - Never start and stop the engine; always make sure engine runs for at least 5 minutes
    - if engine was only run for 5 minutes and hasn't reached operating temp, rev the engine to 3000 rpm, let it return to idle, and shut off
    - if moving the vehicle a short distance (such as above), let idle for 10 seconds before moving

    I think I recall tripsec saying he always revs to 3000 rpm for ten seconds before shut off - is this correct? I also recall someone saying they shut off the engine while it is running at 3000 rpm in this situation; that seems contrary to what the manual is saying (return to idle and then shut off). Is it better to do the 3000 rpm rev every time you shut off the engine or only when the engine hasn't gotten fully warm?

    I guess my question is am I safe using the "Driver's guide" info, or is it better to adopt some of the different procedures mentioned here?

  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    Had my first admirer about 14 hours after I bought the car. Guy walked up to me and asked "is that your RX-8 out there? That thing is awesome!"

    We got to talking and I mentioned concern about snow traction. He said he had had some tires siped and that helped him with his vehicle. I was on my way to my local discount tires anyway to inquire about all-seasons, etc and so I mentioned this to the guy there. I told him I was concerned about snow traction, but that since I wouldn't be using the car for commuting (retired due to medical conditions) I wouldn't be slogging it in the snow all the time or for long distances. Mainly concerned about getting caught unawares.

    He suggested trying the siping on the stock tires (which happen to be dunlops on my car) - said he didn't believe in it originally but had tried it on his car and it had made him a believer. He suggested that if that doesn't get me where I want to be to get a set of snow tires.

    Any thoughts/experience here on tire siping? I did some google searches and a lot of reviews seem to say it is helpful. I went ahead and got them siped for about 35 bucks total. Went ahead and got their warranty/free rotation on them as well, which ended up being close to another 100 bucks, but I figure that will pay for itself in a few rotations. That way if the siping would cause any problems I'd be covered.

  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    My shut off instructions were direct from the dealer after the sell. As best I can tell, the dealers really don't want their new RX-8 owners bringing their new baby back to the shop with an engine floods. I trust their desire not to see me bouncing, over a manual that might not have the latest information.

    I just assumed their "cut the switch while still at 3000 RPM" made sense because the fuel pump would definitely stop pumping gas while the rotors and spark plugs would continue burning the remaining gas. Also, like that it seems to work, as I've never had to crank my RX-8 more than a few seconds, even in really cold weather.

    My 1987 RX-7 was a tough starter at times, although back then I didn't know about the revving to 3000 RPM shut down procedure.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    I bought Avon Tech all season tires from The cost $139 each. On comparison these tires give 90% of real snow tires and 90% of the performance of stock summer performance tires. Purists think it's crazy to put all seasons on a performance car like the RX-8, but I'm really not a performance type guy as my reflexes aren't that fast anyway.

    Also the Avon Tech have a 360 tread wear number vs 180 for the summer performance. These tires are quieter than the stock summer performance and they get a tad bit better gas mileage. The tread of the Avon Tech's handles rain water much better too; a good thing around Boston's flood prone streets and highways.

    My Avon Tech's have taken me through two big snow storms in Boston. No problems with traction on packed snow, deep slush, ice sheets, nor unpacked snow. Although the unpacked snow running was less than 4 inches and it was necessary to shut off the DSC/TC to get enough power to the rear wheels to spin through.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Manual recommendations:-
    When you shut the engine off at 3000 RPM the plugs stop firing immediatly. The only advantage to doing this is that the engine will "coast down" from 3000 and this will "pump" some excess fuel out of the engine. Still, it's better than doing nothing. You can't even open the throttle when doing this because it's controlled by the computer and closes as soon as you shut off the key (throttle by wire).

    As far as the other recommendations, the most important is to let the engine rev. freely. Remember this is a 9000 RPM engine, and also that rotaries work better at higher RPMs. During breakin you are doing "final machining" of critical engine parts so they work together. This can generate excess heat, so the engineers want you to avoid too much of this excess heat, as it can change the state of the metals, "burn it" so to speak. Full throttle takeoffs are avoided to let the clutch break in properly, for example.


    The tires the car comes with are summer performance tires. There are two things that make them this - the tread is designed for performance and the rubber is designed to be sticky when warm. Siping will help with wet traction on warm roads but because the rubber is designed to perform when warm nothing you do will improve cold weather traction very much. You need tires designed for cold weather operation, such as Nokian WR (all season performance tires). If you want one tire for all year you will loose some summer traction and some winter traction. It's just one of the caveats of life.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    pathstar wrote: "When you shut the engine off at 3000 RPM the plugs stop firing immediately. The only advantage to doing this is that the engine will "coast down" from 3000 and this will "pump" some excess fuel out of the engine. Still, it's better than doing nothing."

    Hmmm, so does does shutting down while at 3000 RPM actually hurt anything? Or is the manuals method of cutting off after falling back to idle better because the plugs continue burning fuel?

    Not having any start problems thus far has been great.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    Do you guys warm up the car for an extended time before driving it? From what I read in the manual and the driver's guide, sounds like 10 seconds of idle or so are enough. But if I understood someone at the dealer right, warm it up for 5 to 15 minutes. But I was asking about the shutdown procedure, so maybe she meant total running time 5 to 15 minutes before you didn't have to worry about the "shut down" rev. She did say the rev before shutdown isn't necessary once the engine is warmed up. Only if you have to shut it down before it gets warm, which is basically what the driver's guide said.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I believe that the 5 to 15 minutes time would be the time it naturally takes for the car to warm up. Yes, you would be driving the car during this period of time rather than just have it idle in the driveway. Personally, I'd believe a max of 5 minutes of driving to warm the car up but then I'm a loooooong way from Canada.....

    The flooding problem (from what I understand) was mostly a problem of cutting the engine off without it being adequately warmed up. In other words, if you went outside just to back the car out of the garage and then cut it back off again it would increase the chance of flooding the engine.

    I believe the trick of revving the engine to 3k and turning the ignition key to 'off' is only helpful to avoid flooding when the car is not warmed up.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Rev before shut down clears remaining gas hot or cold I think. It's the design of the engine that needs the 3000 RPM rev.

    My 1987 RX-7 was a real tough starter but dealers never really wanted to admit any problems with anything back then. Some RX-7 owners knew about it, but average twenty year olds like myself never got told. So we suffered with the hard starting 13B.

    Today's RX-8 Renesis engine is similar enough, but now because of the internet, there's an environment for open disclosure of all problems. The rev to 3000 RPM has gotten me start on several 10F degree Maine mornings and this makes the years of suffering with my beloved RX-7 seem worth it now because the RX-8 is so much sweeter.
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