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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions

Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,024
edited March 20 in Mazda
Post any problems and possible solutions you've discovered with your RX-8.

Karen-Edmunds Community Manager



  • Come on you die hards out there...The first of you to buy this car had to be 3rd gen folks...I still own a 3rd Gen RX7, 1993 with 82,000 miles. I absolutely love the car and may never part with it, no matter how much time it spends in the shop, but my experiences with it being a first year car will probably cause me to wait until year 2 of the RX8. I'm going to take a wait and see approach. The RX7 was THAT Bad. I swore I'd never buy another Mazda again...

    My wife bought a Protoge 5 last year and it's been perfect, so I'm warming up to Mazda again...Who knows, maybe I'll trade in that Piece of crap 02 Bravada I own?

    Looking for your initial opinions? Is the engine / drive train solid?
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Since you don't own an RX-8 and obviously can't have problems with something you don't own, it might be a good idea to see the RX-8 main board.

  • kewl1kewl1 Posts: 11
    I just got my RX8 Friday. Love it!! I have the 6 speed and I was wondering if anyone else can hear the clutch (really sounds like the throw out bearing) with the engine at idle. With the clutch in I don't hear anything but the engine. As soon as I let out the clutch (in neutral of course)I can hear the clutch. Dealer tells me its normal noise. I've never been able to hear this in any other car I've had with the manual trans. Anyone else have this?

    While I'm asking....the AC seems to cycle from cold air to cool air (regardless of fan speed or mode)every 10-15 seconds. I'm taking the car in Thursday for tinting of the windows (important in New Mexico) and will talk with the service guys about, but wondered what everyone else is experiencing.

  • I've had my RX-8 nearly two months now.

    Kewl1 - I haven't noticed anything wrong with the clutch. Sometimes the fourth gear gets off course a little but most of the time, it's fine. I haven't heard any noise that you mentioned so maybe it would be a good idea for the service dept. to check that out. I also heard somebody else mention the AC problem. To me, I like that instant cold and then cool feeling. Usually, your vehicle is extremely warm when you just get into it, and in some cars, it takes forever to cool down. In others, it's really cool and becomes too cool so you have to shut it off almost immediately. And in a few minutes, you're hot again. With the RX-8, it's just right so that you don't freeze, but cool off gradually with the AC cycle going from an extreme cool off to a more mild coolness. Nothing wrong with that. The cycle being 10 to 15 secs as you say...haven't noticed that at all.

    jrbravada1 - I agree with dinu. I haven't had any real problems with this vehicle. The gas mileage is suppose to improve after the break-in period.
  • kewl1kewl1 Posts: 11
    Today the dealer and I talked with Mazda about the clutch noise and the AC. They said the noise we are hearing is the transmission. We tried other RX8s on the lot and they all made the same noise. As for the AC, we recharged the system, but Mazda said they have been hearing other similar complaints and are looking into cause and fix. They understand what's happening, just not sure about the why, which makes a fix difficult for now.

    City gas mileage is about 16, but I only have 350 miles on it. I don't think its fair to evaluate what the final mileage will be for a while yet. I think several thousand miles would be needed before I get to the final figure....and I ease up on the throttle The latter being very hard to do.
  • The air conditioning cycling is not designed into the Rx8. Had mine in to the dealer MAZDA HAS NO FIX FOR THIS YET I do not think Mazda knows why this is happening.
    A bigger problem is the oil light on with a full crankcase or 1/4 low. The dealer told me the oil drains to one side in fast cornering causing the sensor to turn on. The fix is replacement of the oil pan with a new pan, that has internal ridges to keep the oil from going all to one side. Its on order for me. I don't know how long it will take to get, but they all have to be replaced. It is quite disturbing in hard driving to suddenly see the Oil light flashing on your dash. Didn't Mazda drive these cars in Japan, that they couldn't fix them before shipping. I found it interesting that the dealer had to call Mazda, as no service advisory has been issued as of last week.

    We are all guinea pigs on this car. I will not give it up. You would have to pry my keys out of my cold dead hand to take my RX 8 away
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    spoken like a true rotorhead!
  • I bought my RX8 on 8/29 and have noticed a few minor things, including the AC cycle. Living in Florida I really noticed it when we have a week with above 90 weather. It has since dropped into the mid 80's and I hardly notice it at all. Still, if it's a genuine problem, I'll take it in and get if fixed. I'm also going to get it tinted.

    As for the clutch, I have only noticed a noise when first engaging the clutch (in the morning on the way to work). It's kind of a "cluck", almost like I hit something. It does this anytime the car has set long enough to cool down and never after the initial start-up.

    A few other things... Anyone else notice excessive heat in the cabin, especially coming from the center console/backbone? I really notice this when I park the car in my garage and then come back later and get in. Is this normal?

    How about the oil gauge? Mine is always, ALWAYS, at two points beyond the middle (middle being the gauge straight up and down) favoring the hot side. This is from start-up to hard acceleration, to highway driving no matter what the oil level is. The water temperature fluctuates, but not the oil. Again, is this normal?

    Gas mileage does improve after about 1,000 miles. I'm getting 20 mpg in mixed driving and it's gotten progressively better with each fill-up.

    Other than those minor issues, I flat out love the car. I haven't looked this forward to driving each day since I was 16 (nor have I gotten this much attention, ever, from a car). I'm with zoomRX8, my keys over my cold dead body.
  • I've had mine for a bit less than a month & have driven it just under 1000 miles & I absolutely love it! It replaced a 2001 Miata SE that I also loved, and I have no regrets whatsoever.

    The only problem I've had is the check engine light coming on almost randomly. It'll go on for a day or so, and go off again for a day or so. I know that, at least once, it was because the gas cap was loose. But I'm sure it's been fine in the other cases. I'm bringing it to the dealer for diagnosis but thought I'd mention it. Anyone else run into this?

    As for the gas cap, it's a bit finnicky. Seems too easy to loosen; never had one quite like it.

    I've noticed the AC cycling cold to cool as well, but I like it that way. Probably should keep an ear open for a "fix" though.

    In the end, this is the sweetest thing I've ever driven.
  • kewl1kewl1 Posts: 11
    I have about 800 miles on my RX8 and the engine light came on. Aside from the light I could not tell anything was wrong or had changed. Dealer said there were no codes and there is a TSB on the light coming on from no reason. There is a software fix scheduled for late October that should fix it and a number of others things as well, but he didn't say what the 'other' things were. He reset the light and said if it comes on again, ignore it unless there are other indication something isn't right.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    If they used the same type of oil gauge in the RX-8 that they use in the current Miata, it is useless. It is a boolean gauge. If there is pressure, they gauge indicates it, and if not, then the gauge does not move from 0. It is all or nothing. There is nothing in between. It won't warn you of problems until it is too late.
  • I had about 1000 miles on my Rx-8 (6 spd manual, GT package) when my check engine light came on. The service dept found a faulty thermostat and replaced it and reset the light. The service manager also said that various owners were reporting the light on for no apparent reason. Other than that, I love this car. I especially love the downshift whine the tranny makes. Just like all new models, I have a feeling this one is going to have growing pains. But so far it has less problems than most new cars I have owned.
  • The oil gage is just a fancy idit light. it is on zero as soon as you turn the key and start the engine it goes to 2 maks above the midle it never changes, not temp, or engine speed, make any difference. How could Mazda put a fake oil gage in a true sports car. By the way I had my oil pan replaced and no more problem with the oil light going on.
  • lf421lf421 Posts: 1
    I've driven the car for a total of 450 miles, and the check engine light has come on 3 times. First time the dealer said it was erroneous, second time they changed something with the fuel system. And right now it's at the dealer waiting for service. I think I'm going to suggest the oil pan thing.
  • I am 17 and i want an rx 8, but dad rather prefer me on getting an 350z. He says the rx8 isnt that reliable. What should i do?
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    FYI - I tracked my first tank...... 18.37 mpg, mixed driving....fill up took a bit over 13.5 gallons.
  • Natedogg,
      I've owned a an RX-7 for quite some time. 2 in fact. It's not uncommon to see 200k miles on these engines. My last one had 225k miles before I sold it. My current one has 135k miles. Just need to keep watch on the oil level. That's it.
    check out or
    and if your really into rotary powered cars check out We had some RX-8's there along w/ vendors, like Racing Beat show off thier stuff.

    Good Luck! and ZOOM ZOOM!
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    Don't tell anyone on the Mercedes site what I am about to tell you: I just sold my SL55 and picked up an RX8. Sure I miss the torque from the SL55, but I don't miss lugging around 4400 pounds of weight in a supposed sports car. The RX8 is incredible fun and costs $90,000 less. I love the sound of the engine at around 7000 RPM, sounds like a flock of mad hornets.

    Of course, I still have an E55, so I can get my torque fix whenever I want it.
  • Hello Everyone,
    I just got an RX8, and I have noticed the AC problem. I am taking the car to the dealership on Thursday, hoping that they have a fix. Has anyone had this problem fixed yet?
    Other than that, I love the car!
  • I just had the oil pan replaced. The oil light was coming on when I got over 80mph. Everything seems to be working fine now.
This discussion has been closed.