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Mazda RX-8

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Like zoomer, I've had my RX8 since the first week of August.

    No significant oil useage. I had my first oil change a 5K miles. Service tech said it was down "a little" but I don't know how much.

    I check my oil in all my cars about every 2nd or 3rd fill-up and saw nothing in particular that would lead me to believe my RX8 will use a lot of oil.

    My MPG is also in the low 20s on the highway (best I got was 26 MPG, all highway with the cruise set at 75 MPH). I get 19 MPG in mixed driving, although that number has dropped a couple of MPG since they changed over to "winter formulations" at the gas stations around me. I suspect my MPG will go back up come Spring.

    The engine does run a little rich when started cold. As soon as it warms up (very quick warm-up), it gets back to normal. The upside to that scenario is that you can get the RX8 off the line real quick when cold. That's the cause of the "black stuff" on the tailpipes. In fairness, I've yet to own a car with chrome tailpipes that doesn't collect some form of exhaust "gunk".

    I've never had even a hint of flooding in mine, but the few that have state the answer is to "blip" the throttle a little during shut down. This burns off any unburnt fuel in the combustion chamber.

    The reason Mazda had to "re-state" power ratings of the RENESIS is because new CA emissions regs state that the catalytic converters must be "guaranteed" to last at least 120K miles. Since the cat converter supplier to Mazda couldn't make that guarantee, Mazda had to make changes to the fuel mapping system of the engine to make certain that the cats will be within CA regs at 120K miles. This was happening as the first RX8s were hitting U.S. ports. Mazda had no choice but to do something on their end (reprogramming the ECUs) as opposed to finding a new CAT supplier on such short notice. In my mind, this wasn't a case of Mazda being to blame, but one of their suppliers "dropping the ball". That said, Mazda stepped up and took care of those (like me and like zoomer) who had pre-ordered their cars.

    My guess would be that Mazda is looking for a new catalytic converter supplier about right now.

    TSBs (technical service bulletins) and the VIN #s affected are available at your dealer's service depts. I would imagine that every car currently in dealer inventory (or those delivered in the last month or so) have the new oil sensors and oil pan baffles already installed.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I was looking for a G35 coupe but ended up buying a 03 Accord coupe. I couldn't justify the price vs. the cheap feeling interior. The performance was a secondary consideration. Everyone looking at the RX8 may have several different reasons for considering it and when someone says it has a couple of tendencies that are inherent in the engine design , that may be enough to convince them it's not the car for them.

    I know I don't want to check my oil that often any more. Especially when you have many cars, even performance ones, that are more or less maintenance free between service stops. As has been said before, there are several cars that offer great handling, lots of power, AND a great price. Even used S2000's.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Congrats on the new Accord.

    However, if I were you, I'd check the oil in it every few fillups. Just a very quick way to insure the longevity of your engine as all cars will burn some oil. It takes less than 15 seconds while you're filling up.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    As stated above, to avoid flooding, fully warm up the car before shutting it off. Just drive around the block if you are moving it for washing. Reving it to 3-4k RPM and turning off the key will let the engine coast down without the injectors firing, and should pump out any excess fuel, but some report they did this and still flooded it. Most important, DO NOT touch the gas pedal when starting.

    Those of us with older RX-7s call the tailpipe stuff "smoot" (attempt at humour I guess). It's a mixture of carbon soot and half burned oil. In the case of the RX-8 it's mostly the carbon soot, but there is always some oil from the oil injection.

    To meet the above mentioned 120K mile cat life, Mazda had to cool the cat when the engine was above 6000 RPM. To do this they programmed in excess fuel without air to burn it. Yes, they produce HC. No, this isn't tested for so is considered ok. I'm told they are more concerned with NOx than HC.

    FYI, an aftermarket tuner group that I've been working with has come up with a modification (electronics) that fixes the extra rich mixture (and sets it correctly at almost all RPMs and loads) and gives about 25 extra HP. We saw the extra fuel in our dyno tests, just to confirm what a Mazda rep. told the community at the Seven Stock 6 rotary gathering last fall in California.

    Of course, we would expect the cat. on cars so equipped to not last 120 k miles, but personally I think that is a silly thing to expect anyway. What the govt. body (CARB?) that mandated this should have done was require cat replacement after XX k miles, so HC and NOx would be controlled at all times.

    Joys of having the Govt. tell you what to do.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Actually since January I've gotten rid of the coupe and bought an EX-L sedan and a Si Coupe both of which have 10,000 mile intervals. I check it about every 3500 miles like I always have.

    I know it's been said that all cars burn oil but I've only had three cars that required me to check it regularly after break in. Two of them were RX7's and the other car had other issues and 160,000 miles on it.

    Rotaries have always had high exhaust temps too. I know the RX7 actually went so far as to have a warning light for the exhaust system. AND the exhaust was kinda sooty. Especially if you drove it hard. Incidentally hard driving also increases oil consumption.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Are you involved with the testing of the "aftermarket" ECU?

    If so, how have your tests gone?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    is what it's called (Canzoomer's), and it's a piggy-back device. Works very well. The car is much closer to my 3rd gen RX-7 now in accelleration. Stage 2 may closly match or surpass my RX-7. We are just now "mass producing" them for shipment to those who have ordered already. So far everyone who has one installed is thrilled with the results. It goes inside the ECU plastic box under the hood, and no wiring mods are required - plug and play.

    Nice to be involved (even to the small extent I was) with something that works so well.
  • Is it Massachusetts emissions legal?
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    Hey pathstar.....I take it the device works on the Auto. Has anyone you know used it on an Auto? Curious to find out! I like the thought of putting my RX8 back to the way Mazda had intended when designed!!....wheee!!!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    To my understanding, the "canzoomer" Stage 1 "mod" isn't available for "automatic" equipped cars. I'm sure some if it is because of lower demand. From what I can gather, the RX8 ECU controls practically the whole car....right down to the power steering. The "re-programming" involved is extensive and you'd have to do another re-program specific to the auto trannys.

    That said, if there would be enough demand, I'm sure canzoomer would consider it.

    Keep in mind the fact that if your dealer finds this mod, warranty is void (operative statement is "IF your dealer finds it").

    pathstar...have you done any performance or MPG testing?
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    Well, I figured as much. Not enough demand by us 'poor' auto lovers...LOL.....

    but I have a question: I have the clear side markers. But I've yet to see any other car with side markers in a color other than "DOT Orange", which makes me wonder if my clear ones are groovy.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    cheeze....you're groovy no matter what color your side markers are......;-)
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The Stage 1 device only modifies the fuel. It could be done for the auto but Canzoomer's team doesn't have access to an auto car right now. It probably wouldn't be very effective anyway, but it may still happen.
    The mod. can be removed in a few minutes if you are taking the car into the dealer.

    The auto RX-8 has "reduced power" and just a 4 port intake. The reason we deduce for this is there is no torque converter that can be operated safely much above 7000 RPM. Above 7000 RPM is where the 6 port engine developes the extra power compared to the 4 port. The conclusion is the power is actually not "reduced", it would never be there due to the inability to safely rev. the torque converter to the extra power RPM range. Mazda chose the 4 port for the auto because:
    1. It developes slightly more torque in the lower RPM range.
    2. It is slightly less expensive to manufacture.
    3. The auto trans. equipped RX-8 can't safely use the extra power above 7000 RPM so there was no point in using the 6 port.
    Now we're not sure how effective the mod. would be, as most of the gains from the fuel re-mapping are from 6000 RPM and up. There are "tweeks" elsewhere in the RPM range, but the major effect is above 6000. Without "looking" on a dyno we will not know what to expect. The car gets "bunged" (bung added for wideband air/fuel probe) and tested throughout its' operating range. Then the fuel map is developed and tested on the dyno, and finally on the road, using the air/fuel meter, dyno readings, and a G-Tech pro.)
    As for polution levels, we haven't measured them, but we see no reason they wouldn't be just fine. We have removed, not added fuel. We suspect the cat. wouldn't last 120,000 mi. but who knows for sure?
    The Stage 1 mod. prototype cars started operation just when winter arrived so fuel economy comparisons will have to wait until spring. Dyno testing may be done next week. The maps were developed on a "Mustang dyno" which reads lower numbers than a "Dynojet dyno". We saw about 25 HP extra. To be a useful comparison, we are going to run it on a Dynojet so it will be apples to apples with all the other mods. being hyped.
    The scary part was the preliminary data gathered for "Stage 2", which took the HP significantly above Mazda's original numbers. "Scary" for me, as it would match or surpass my modified 3rd gen RX-7 in performance. It does take the car "to the edge" though. So much so that altitude compensation may be necessary, to avoid running too lean. More work will be done on Stage 2 in late spring.

    Those clear side markers are Canzoomer's best seller. He brings them in from Japan by the case.
  • Thanks for the response. I was curious because I heard Mazda had reflashed the ECU at the last minute to meet California emissions -- and Massachusetts is one of the (annoying) states that has adopted CA emissions standards. However, if it's just a matter of the cat not lasting 120,000 miles, then there should be no problems passing emissions...
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    If it's all above 7000rpm, then, yeah, not much point for us Autos. And after spending the last 45 minutes in stop and go city traffic AND an accident on the Interstate, I am so glad I have the Auto!! Maybe I will stick with the cool addons and leave the fine engine as is. But if I get up to Canada, you can test out my Auto all ya like on your machines!!

    Also, glad to hear that the side markers are a big seller. They make the car look very nice!

    and GGuy...thanks!...I always feel groovy when driving my RX8 and so should you!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Excellent post. Thanks for the detailed info.

    Please, stop back and let us know how the testing goes. I'm sure we'd all like to hear about it.

    My understanding is Stage 1 costs $500. Is that correct? Also my understanding is that the mod is a 5 minute "in" or "out" procedure. Right?
  • Hello Everyone,

    I decided to take another spin today in an automatic version of the RX8. Oddly enough, the vehicle handled fantastic today given the terrenchial rain downpours this evening.

    For the most part, I still like the vehicle, however this time I went to another dealership just to see if the sales rep would mention the driveability concerns that i had. To say the least, he did. Actually, the sales manager mentioned that they've replaced a LOT of spark plugs on the RX8's sitting on their lots because of them not initially knowing that the vehicle needs to be "warmed up" prior to shutting off. But.. we both agreed that it is a very nice car indeed. The ride and handling scored very high in my books and I will definitely keep this one on my "possibility" list.

    Also, I noticed that this dealership had a BUNCH of RX8's sitting on their lots... I would estimate at least 30+ vehicles. Some which have been there for quite some time. After my test drive, I pulled the sales manager to the side since I was the only customer on the floor. I mentioned to him that I have been subscribing to forums like edmunds to gather input from other owners concerning prices paid and pro's/cons. Additionally, I mentioned to him that many have proclaimed to get offers as low as $500 above invoice on RX8's and this is what he said:

    "Honestly, you see all of the RX8's on our lots correct? I am not in the car museum business, therefore I would definitely do what it takes to earn your business instead of having you drive 500+ miles to another dealer to get a better deal. IF you want any RX's on our lots (or whatever we have coming in), I will sell it to you for $500 over invoice!"

    OK.. I was very thrilled to hear that because IF I do decide to purchase, I will more than likely buy it from this particular dealer. Also, I mentioned to the sales manager that there are other possible internet buyers for this vehicle and he says, "Well.. tell them about us, I will definitely do $500 over invoice for those who you broadcast this to." So.. that definitely can serve as "helpful information" for those interested in purchasing an RX8. This particular dealership is located in Columbus, Ohio and for those interested, please let me know and I will give you the name of the sales manager so that you may contact him.

    For those who are interested, they had a few automatic versions, their fully loaded auto came in Titanium Exterior and black leather. It was a nice vehicle, but I think that I am stuck on either red or black? He mentioned that anyone interested can check their inventory online, but it goes as far to show vehicles that have not even hit their lots yet?

    Now here's the kicker.. I forgot to ask him if the $500 over applies to TRUE invoice (i.e. edmunds, etc.) or $500 over dealer invoice with advertising, etc?? Dohhh...

    Anyhow, I wanted to share that information with anyone else who may be interested and don't mind driving the distance to make the purchase.

    Good luck and I will definitely keep you all informed on which vehicle I choose.

    Thanks again for your assistance!

    IExplore2000
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Price went or going up to $750 in Jan. I don't "sell" them, I assemble them, sorry don't know Maurice's detailed marketing plans. You unplug three connectors from the ECU, plug those into the unit, and plug three connectors from the unit into the ECU. May take a little longer than 5 min. - perhaps 15. There is also now a switch on the unit to select "stage 0" (stock) and "stage 1". We wanted it there for comparison purposes, and figured our customers might find it handy as well.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the testing also included temp sensors at the cat. We wanted to make sure we didn't overheat it.
  • Pathstar,

    Is there a website to look at about this mod?

    Is it expected to improve fuel economy?

    How do I get one?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Again....thanks for the info. Sounds like a very easy mod.

    Please post back with any updates.

    While some of us will want to keep our cars "bone stock", some of us will consider such an easy mod. It sounds like it would be easy to "uninstall", too if our RX8s need to make a trip to the dealer.

    I'd still like to hear of further testing results. Last I heard, this mod will net mid 13 quarter times (as opposed to the mid 14s from a stock vehicle).

    golf_nut....I don't think we can post the link to where you can find the info regarding this mod since it may violate Edmunds terms of use. Maybe a moderator can let us know? The site in question sells parts for the RX8.
    I am sorry to hear about the "price increase", though.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    You could post it if a) there are no forums on the site and b) the posting person doesn't have any financial interest in the site or what it sells.

    MODERATOR

  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    remember...the dealer invoice is the true invoice. Edmunds numbers and other internet numbers often do not include legit charges that the dealer must pay, thus misleading consumers.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Shifty...thanks for the clarification! Feel free to correct me, but as an Edmunds moderator, you don't have to be a lawyer, just a bonafied "car nut".
  • I dont own a RX8 (bought 2 vehicles in 2002..argh) but thought I'd chime in about the flooding issue. Has anyone tried to install a Turbo Timer? This seems like the perfect solution. I had one installed on my Toyota Mr2 Turbo. It attaches to the ignition and what it does is idle the car for a preset amount of time. For turbo cars this allows the turbo charger to cool down and prevents oil 'coking'. For an Rx8 it sounds like a great way to burn off the excess fuel. I'm not sure if any companies produce a wiring harness for the Rx8 since it isnt turbo charged but I'm pretty sure it is still do-able even without one. The timers only cost like $100 or so. Just a thought.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    I'm familiar with the "tubotimers". First, I nver think it's a good idea to let a car idle for a long legnth of time unattended for many reasons (theft being the biggest of them).

    This flooding thing has really gotten out of hand. There are maybe 20 or so people who have identified themselves as having flooded their cars. Most of them followed the procedures in the manual to "unflood" their cars without any further incidence. The vast majority of owners have no problems at all with flooding.

    Those few that coudln't get their cars started after flooding them had "hotter" plugs installed under the warranty and that fixed their problem.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    told us what exactly? What are you referring to?

    The Prius now won NACOTY. That's great. They can add that to the MTCOTY that you mentioned earlier. Nothing wrong with that.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    By the way, I noticed in Autoweeks recent glowing review of the RX8 that they said only 2 owners returned their cars when Mazda offered the deal. I think that says alot about this car.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    gee35coupe Dec 24, 2003 10:54pm

    Which was my input after post 1542.

    That clarify things? There were a few good posts back there. Might wanna check em out since you missed em.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Yes, I saw that Autoweek review, too. RX8 owners love their vehicles.

    Regarding the Prius, if you're a Civic, Corolla, Focus, Neon, VW TDI or Accent lover, then that probably means more to those folks.

    If you're a performance car lover, then I doubt it's going to make a "hill of beans" worth of difference.

    I think the RX8 has had its share of accolades that more aren't going to matter.
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