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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions

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  • I have owned my 8 for 3 months and love it. No problems until weather has gotten colder. In checking my oil this week found a milky subtance on the dipstick. I know that with regular engines, this could mean coolant is mixing with oil(which could be very bad for engine). I only have 2000 miles on the car and religiously warm up when driving for short trips. (Easy to do as it's so much fun to drive.) Should I be concerned or not. Thanks for any info.
  • Hi Kewl! Enjoying my car too, purchased it in September and the clutch noise was there from the start. Same thing being told to me from the dealer. I also had a window ballast problem and some some cosmetic scratches they took care of. Each time I have asked them to check the transmission and other than the record of the check I have yet to understand why. Nothing like a car like this with a clunking clutch. I agree it does sound like the throw out bearing. I dont use the AC much where I live and haven't noticed this problem. I would be very grateful if you share what you find from your service check.
    thanks!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    in the oil is bad. It could be a bad "coolant "O" ring seal". If it's just on the inside of the dip stick pipe (and getting on the dipstick when you pull it out), it's normal. In cooler weather especially, moisture in the oil condenses on the cooler parts of the engine. The oil filler tube and dipstick tube are much cooler than the rest of the engine, so they usually get the condensate.

    BTW, if it is just condensate, that stuff is very acidic, so try not to get it on your hands, painted surfaces, etc. On my older RX-7, I take the oil filler cap off when I park in my garage after a thorough warm up (long drive). The condensate evaporates completely within a few hours. I leave the hood open to remind myself to replace the cap before using the car again.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    you can sleep well tonight!!!....After reading your post I wandered back to our service department to see if our guys know anything about the milky stuff. They cut me off in mid-sentance and told me they are aware. There is a TSB stating that condensation / white foamy substance is normal.
  • Thanks for the info. It is not really white but more of a brownish color. I have made an appointment to have it checked out. I hope it is just condensation and not anti-freeze.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    I know there's suppose to be a floor mat bracket that holds the driver mat in place while driving, and I don't have it on my 8. I told the sales manager that the bracket is missing, and he BS'd me something about not all 8's come with the bracket. He did say that he will look for a replacement for me. This bracket is a standard equipment on all 8's right?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    should be in the car. I suspect the dealer just didn't install it during dealer prep. Maybe they couldn't find it in the plastic bag of parts that came with the car.
  • I am having issues with steering stability at low speeds similar to your comments. I have kept up on maintainence and bullitens but am not aware of the Steering damper recall. Do you know the Bulletin number? I love this ride, but it keeps my dealer pretty busy with all the peculiar problems it gets. The latest is the rear taillight lenses are cracking due to a trunk clearance issue on earlier models. I have mine 14 months and the steering issue has been difficult to explain and duplicate and the dealer never nailed it down for me. If you'd share that recall number it would help. Best of luck with you '8'!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The RX-8 has an electric power steering system. I'm not aware of a damper but there may be one. If you're having problems with the steering, it may just be corroded connections. The main power plug for the power steering is under the PCM in the large black plastic box in the front right of the engine compartement. It's on the bottom of the box, so if you've experiences lots of water (driving though deep water in storms for example) you may have had enough water enter the box to cause a problem. The water would drain out, but if the power is on when flooded, the connections would corrode.
  • Sorry for the delayed response.
    I confirmed that there is no steering recall or service of any kind to speak of. I'll have a look at the black box and see what's going on. I'm doubtful this could be it since it's happened from the first days of purchase and it's rarely out in fowl weather, but you may be on to something. Happy Holidays.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    every Tuesday we have have a chat based on a Mazda platform (although we do tend to wander to all kinds of subjects) where you can meet and greet your fellow forum members. Hope to see YOU there tonight!

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  • I'm considering an 8 for my next car although it won't be for several months yet. It seems like a few people have had really dismal luck with their 8's, but several people seem to be really pleased.

     

    Autoweek magazine reported excessive oil consumption on their long-term 8. If I did the math correctly it amounts to about a quart in 500 - 550 miles. Is this normal for an 8, or unusual? What kind of oil consumption are you getting between changes?

     

    If I remember correctly the early Mazda rotary engines (RX-2, RX-3, RX-4) used some kind of oil injection similar to 2 stroke motorcycles to keep the apex seals on the rotors healthy. Is this true of the Renesis engine in the 8?

     

    I'd miss the 30+ mpg on my '03 Protege, but as long as the 8 were reliable I could live with low 20's.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    is not as bad as the magazines get. Don't forget they tend to "flog" cars. If you operate at full throttle a lot you will get oil consuption like they report. BTW, that is not "excessive". They just don't know what they're talking about if they think it is. I'll bet the Subaru WRX Sti uses almost as much when flogged.

     

    Most owners are reporting the oil is at the "add" level when it's due for changing.

     

    The renesis injects oil from the crankcase into the intake stream (just before the intake ports). This injection is handled by the computer - wide open throttle would tend to call for lots of oil, for example. The RX-8 uses less oil than previous rotary engined cars such as the RX-7.
  • williwilli Posts: 2
    Hi everyone,

     

    I'm planning to get a RX 8 after christmas, however, I'm a college student right now, and having an underground parking space in campus is almost impossible. So, the only option would be street parking. The temperature in Illinois is starting to drop below 30 degrees, so i was wondering if it's gonna be a big problem for the rotery engine when it is parked outside?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    After a bit of a software snafu last week, we'll try to get a harder count on how many of you are coming to the Philadelphia Auto Show on Feb 5th and 6th (that's the first weekend of the show) so we can figure out how many goodies we might need! So stop in at one of the chats this week and let us know!

     

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  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Shouldn't be a problem unless the temp. drops down to -20 or below. Then it's really hard to start the car (no block heater permitted by Mazda). It tends to flood almost immediatly below -30.

     

    We have one here in Edmonton that starts just fine until it gets below -20. We're going to try an oil pan heater to get it to start below that.

     

    You will want to get proper all season tires if you plan to drive when it's near or below freezing. The stock tires are "performance" tires and have very little traction when near freezing temps. We use Nokian WR tires on 17" AR wheels (spoked aluminum - nice looking and not too expensive). We used stock size but in 17" diameter - much better handling than the 18" as well. I guess the 18" are for "looks". We went down in size to get more ice clearance in the wheel wells.
  • williwilli Posts: 2
    Thanks a lot for the advice! really appriciate it!

    Also, I have another question, is it not good for the engine if I don't drive it as much? Becasue generally I'll be taking the buses to class, so when I do drive it, it will primarily be on the weekends.

    I really like the RX 8 a lot, as it's going to be my first car. However, after reading all these problems with the transmission, AC, and engin, it actually scares me a little.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    check the sticker on the driver door. If it's after November '03 your 8 should have *most* of the updates already in, save for the ECU reflash.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    is not a problem. As long as you don't leave it for 6 months at a time - the battery will suffer if you do this. My 3rd gen RX-7 gets left for up to a few weeks undriven. It's also not necessary to start it up and just let it run. In fact it may do more damage if you do that. I store my RX-7 for 6 months every winter - I just change the oil, fill the tank full, remove the battery, and usually put the car on jackstands so it's easier to clean the floor underneath it. I charge the battery once every two weeks with a high tech. charger (that can't overcharge it). It starts right up next spring every time.

     

    Enjoy your new toy!
  • I also recently received the power steering lost in my Rx-8. Dealer informed me that the car is sitting too long that the battery is losing juice and the system required recalibration to bring it back online. A 1 hour process costing $110. I drive my car only about 3 miles/day with full weekend drives. Sometimes it may sit for a week but not unusual for any car and the power steering is dead afterwards. Why this one losing juice and shutting down systems. Thanks.
  • How many others have had problems with the auto-dimming mirrors? I drive in traffic and the thing drives me nuts because it doesn't dim nearly enough. I'm wondering whether to replace it with another or go to a standard rear-view mirror. Plus it seems to be mounted an inch lower than I'd like; sometimes interferes with forward visibility.
  • i just bought my car in nov. and it's now dec, i need snow tires. so far i did a 360 and i almost slide into a moving train. I never been so afraid to drive my baby. can any help and tell me what type of tire i should get and if they would/will help.
  • what chip are u talking about to increase the hp to 250
  • Just thought i would throw this out in the open. I've had my 8 for bout 5 months now and never had a problem til last week. Good thing now cuz im a college student that uses the car almost daily. i was home at the time and was running back to my college dorm when my poor rx8 wouldnt start. it would turn over, but no fire. Tryin everything the battery eventually got weaker. the next day mazda's great roadside assistance picked it up and took it to the nearest mazda dealership. The dealership first thought it was antifreeze in the oil and said that mazda recommended ordering a brand new engine only after 9300 miles. :s The next day when they were plannin on orderin the engine, they called and reported that it was just the condensation that turned the oil into wat the mechanic said "melted marshmallows".

     

    They changed the oil, put new spark plugs in, ran a few tests, and its all good...for now. If anyone else maybe has anythign like this happened. let me know. mechanics didnt know y the condensation turned extreme. THanks
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Short trips, in short ;-). If you don't fully warm up the engine the condensation will build up. The engine heat boils away the water (condensation) that ends up in the oil.

     

    The problem results from the rotary engine not having very good oil system ventilation. There just isn't enough vacuum generated to properly operate the PCV system.

     

    One method I use to help keep the buildup under control is after I finish using the vehicle (it's nice and warm), I remove the oil filler cap. This allows the water vapour to escape. You have to remember to put the cap back on before driving it again, of course. I keep mine in a garage and leave the hood up to remind myself. If you park outdoors, place the cap on the seat or dash to remind yourself.

     

    As for the comment on the stock tires, read back in these forums. The exact tires best for you will depend on where you live. If you live where there is "real" winter, we have found the Nokian WR very good!
  • I am having trouble replacing air filter with K&N...the housing is not wanting to to part to allow me to switch out filters...I'm afraid of applying anymore pressure to it in fear breaking something...manual no help...unplug sensor and latches...anyone else have similar experience?

     

    Oil Condesation...12K+ on mine...have seen a little since having it...no problems yet...
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It's a tight fit. You have to press the back half of the airbox with quite a bit of force towards the rear of the engine compartment. It's easier if you remove the rubber output hose but if you're not mechanically inclined that may not be a good option. You can press it open enough to just slip the old filter out and the new one in. Be careful to note the oriention of the filter panel (front back) when you remove the stock unit.
  • So were talking enough pressure to bend intake hose back enough to get filter in and out? Sure seems like a lot of pressure to exert on that plastic filter box. I'm thinking instead of taking hose off I'll determine how much space I need to get filter out make a spacer to hold it open why slip the the ld filter out and put new in. Thanks for the help.

     

    FPH

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  • Just got snows for mine, Bridgestone Blizzak's, LM-25. Huge improvement over the originals. I'm in TO and was hoping to get by with the originals until next year. No way, when the snow hit my 8 was virtually undrivable (even though I still did). When the ABS kicks in, couldn't even stop. The stopping distance was 2 to 3 times further with ABS. With the snows ABS hardly kicks at all, handling is quite good. Got another set of rims, stuck with 18", (can't take less than 17). Bought from Talon Tire in Montreal, $255 (local dealers wanted up to $330)
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