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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions

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  • jlarx8jlarx8 Posts: 2
    I just got my new RX8 has to drive it 200 miles home (I purchased from a dealership far away). Some things I noticed: Having the automatic, I've noticed a hesitation when accelerating before the speed starts to pick up - is this a rotary engine thing? Sometimes I also hear "clicks" when it is idling, almost reminds me of what is sounds like when the a/c compressor is running. Also, if I cut the wheel, it seems as though the tires are rubbing. This is my first brand new car and I just want to make sure everything is okay.
  • rxrickrxrick Posts: 3
    I too am disgusted with my gas mileage. I have a std 2004 and I'm getting 11.5-14mpg on mine. I've tried driving in different rpm ranges, with little or no change. I have had the car back to the dealership for service and received a flash upgrade on the computer and the new hot plugs, but no change. I also have oil that looks like yogurt! I've had them look at this as well and I was told it is normal, but that Mazda has recently come up with a "fix" just so owners won't be driven crazy by seeing foamy oil on the dipstick. It is some sort of tube that fits into the engine somewhere, somehow...I plan on being there to see this installed! If I can't find some owners who are getting at least 17mpg, I'm thinking of finding an attorney who will file a class-action suit.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    What are your damages? A couple of gallons a gas per week? $4 a week maybe? Is it not really more of an annoyance than something that requires a huge lawsuit?

    Will an attorney actually take a class action suit from the seven people in the country who bought a rotary without realizing that they get bad mileage? The last RX7 was not known for its reliability or fuel mileage. In fact, rotary mileage has always been pretty miserable. Poor reliability and fuel mileage almost did in the rotary back in the 70s. The reliability has gotten better, but not the fuel mileage. How much of an increase in fuel economy do you expect out of that dirty little power keg of an engine as its output has nearly tripled over the years?

    Not to be mean, but maybe you should just suck it up and buy a Civic and get 30mpg. Or you could just realize you have a really cool car and enjoy it.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,328
    The class-action suit would have to be against the EPA, since they are the ones who came up with the estimated mileage numbers on the car's window sticker. And all I can say is "good luck suing them." Of course, if you read that sticker, they have already covered themselves by stating that your real-world results may differ from those estimates.

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

  • rxrickrxrick Posts: 3
    "Thanks" for your replies, guys. I did further reading of the postings on this site...actually got thru the first ten pages last night, I'll withdraw my comments about a class-action suit, however, you cannot tell me 11.5 mpg vs. 18 is just a few gallons per week. As a matter-of-fact, it adds up to $20 per week! Don't get me wrong, I do love the car, I read the complaints about mileage on RX sites before buying, but 11.5! The reason I posted to this site was because I have spoken with, and seen postings on this site of owners claiming 18-21mpg. All I want to know is why not me? Is there something wrong with my car. If there is, I want it fixed, or one that works properly, I don't want to go buy a Civic! Many of the postings on this site are helpful, and that is what I was looking for, but comments like, "go buy a Civic" are just stupid. enuff on that subject.
    ALSO, can anyone give some insight into the Yogurt on the dipstick issue? I'm assuming that could be part of the mileage issue. I have 2400 miles on the car in 9 weeks, and I'm not talking air bubbles in the oil, I'm talking YO-GURT! Anyone know anything about the "fix" i mentioned being told by my tech? I appreciate any HELPFUL responses. Sorry if I hit a sensitive nerve with rotary-engine buffs and the gas mileage thing! - Rick
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    I drove an automatic for about a month and averaged a little over 14 mpg. It is my father-in-law's car. He says the mileage has improved over time. He gets around 17 mpg now.

    Maybe the engine has to loosen up a little.
  • I have had three RX8's they all averaged between 17 and 20 mpg. Not great but I can live with it. Of course if I push it or get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic mileage does drop like a stone. 11.5 certainly sounds unreasonable. Try turning off the traction control after you start and see what happens. I noticed an increase in mileage doing this. I am curious on the yogurt dipstick comments. Condensation causes the dip stick to get foamy but it usually does not impact the viscosity of the oil. Are you telling me if you drained the oil it would be thick like yogurt? I am curious. Also I saw someone mention a fix to the foamy dipstick issue. If anyone knows of the tech issuance that covers it, I would appreciate a post. Good luck with your problems. Let me know the answer on the yogurt thing.
    TB
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,328
    my best suggestion is to try a different dealer. You will most likely get a different response. If it is as bad as you are stating (both mileage and the yogurt comment), I would have to think something is wrong.

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

  • nojetsnojets Posts: 31
    Everyone on this board is whining abut their RX8's gas mileage, but for a dose of reality, read the following news item from MSNBC:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7128017/

    See? EVERYONE is complaining about the EPA's testing method. For instance a BMW Z4 has a sticker mileage of 21/29 and a real-world mileage of 14. My suggestion is that you enjoy the car and leave your calculator at home when you go to the gas station!
  • frazfraz Posts: 2
    I have a six month old RX8 in the UK that has now been back to the garage 4 times with the same problems. The car from time to time refuses to start. This is not exclusively in cold weather. Mazda say they have run all the tests they can and find nothing wrong with the car. It has had all the upgrades currently avaliable. They also give me the impression that no one else has had this issue and I must be pumping gasm which i am not. Has anyone else encountered this issues? Thanks
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,328
    just a tip: never use the word "everyone."

    You just threw alot of people into that group who have been here defending the RX8.

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    I've never relied on those EPA estimates for MPG assessments. Probably the biggest uproar regarding the MPG numbers on the sticker have been the hybrid buyers. They bought a hybrid based on their figures from the sticker for fuel economy. In real life, they aren't much better than their gasoline only counterparts.

    My RX8 would fluctuate depending on the time of year (gas formulations changed during the winter, and again, during the summer. In the Spring/summer, my RX8 got pretty much what the EPA estimate was. But, during the winter (different gas formulation), it would drop. My MPG also improved as I got more miles on the car. Stop & go driving, idle time, etc. also affected my MPG.

    When I put my RX8 on the highway and set the cruise control at a reasonable speed, I would indeed get close, and most times, exactly what the EPA said I should get (right around 24 MPG).
  • tomatnavytomatnavy Posts: 27
    This website shows all the updates done to the rx8:http://www.finishlineperformance.com/rx8/docs/
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    A few tips to improve mileage.
    1. The RX-8 mileage will decrease very rapidly if you let it idle a lot. When you start it up I recommend letting it idle no more than 1/2 minute. Just don't use full throttle until you see the temp. gauge start to move up.
    2. I've used a "driving computer" which calculates mileage from fuel flow and distance travelled (from sensors placed on the drive shaft and in the fuel system). Mileage is greatly affected by RPM. The lower you can keep the RPM, the better your mileage will be. Of course, if you "lug" the engine, you will shorten its' life, so you have to use reasonable RPM ranges. I suggest normal cruise operation for the RX-8 would be in the 3-5K range, while attempting to keep it in the lower area on long distance cruising. You should also let it rev. up close to redline from time to time to keep it cleaned out. Just don't cruise for long periods above 4,500 RPM if you want to get best mileage.

    Some cars still have problems with flooding. It may be the car (perhaps a faulty valve or bad injector), or it may be the way the owner operates the car. If your car does not start within four seconds of starting cranking, press the accel. pedal to the floor and continue to crank until it fires up, 10 - 15 seconds of cranking interspersed with 30 seconds of cool down for the starter (keep the pedal to the floor until it starts). This shuts off the injectors and that makes sure the flooding doesn't get worse. My four second figure may not apply to some cars, but in my experience it is a reasonable figure.

    The white oil foam seen on dipsticks is unfortunately normal. Be careful with this stuff, it is quite acidic. You can get rid of most of it by removing the oil filler cap when you shut off a hot engine (the moisture is in vapour form and will escape when the engine is hot). Do this once a week. Don't operate the car with the cap removed! Leave the hood open or put the cap on the dash to remind yourself you removed it! The cause is poor "crankcase" venting - a rotary engine "feature".
    If you get white foam oil when you drain it, there is a failed coolant seal in the engine. The only way to correct this is to change/rebuild the engine. There are "O" rings between the engine sandwich parts that seal the coolant passages and they can fail or even be faulty from the beginning. It's rare, but there have been a few RX-8s with this problem. It's more common in older rotaries, where the aluminum actually fails and allows the "O" ring to move causing the leak. The failure in older cars is probably caused by the heating/cooling cycle fatiguing the metal. In new cars it's usually either a faulty "O" ring or a faulty casting.
  • nojetsnojets Posts: 31
    "Everyone" was just a term. There are lots of RX8 fans on this board, myself included!

    I have had zip, nada, nothing go wrong with my RX8. It has been running like clockwork. I just hope all those considering an RX8 don't get the impression from this board that they are a headache to own. As long as you follow a few simple ground rules they are as reliable as any other Japanese car.
  • tomatnavytomatnavy Posts: 27
    I just received a video from mazda about the rx8--it contains a number of things,amongst them how to start a flooded rx8.It differs a bit from pathstar's account. It might be worth the try:when flooded hold the accelerator to the floor and turn the ignition over for 7 seconds.Turn it off and take your foot off the accelerator,wait a short time and restart the car with you foot off the accelerator.If this doesn't work and pathstar's doesn't seem to be working--then have it jumped with another car with continuous cranking and the accelerator held to the floor. This has always worked for me on my 1986 rx7[which also was a new generation model].Here you just crank until it starts.
  • rx8crazerx8craze Posts: 10
    before i start whining about the new problems..thanks pathway for all the answers!, was really helpfull and allowed me to have a good night sleep =)
    ok, so i just noticed another noise whith my 8
    I heard this loud noise...similar to a what POS car whith a bad belts make..you know, a loud screeching noise. I heard it this morning when i first started the car in my garage. and i think i smelled some kinda of burning smell..not oil, but somehting else.
    anyways..heard the same noise again after work when i started the car again
    the noise starts about .5 - 1 second after i let go of the clutch..continues about 5-7 seconds..and stops..and starts again for another 1-2 seconds..and stops (maybe bad air pump?)
    i turned off the engine..and started again..not this time..guess it happens only @ initial cold start up. wtf is this..im scheduled to go into dealer tomorrow morning..and im afraid they cannot catch this noise..cuz it only happends during a cold start up.
    -also, noticed slight hissing noise while im speeding up between 2500 - 3000 rpm is this comming from my air intake??...probably it is..but is this normal? i just realized this cuz i decdied to drive with my windows down.
    -another noise is that when im backing up..and use the brake..it makes this "pin drop" noise...think its comming from the calipers (this im not too worried about as i can duplicate it whenever i can - taking it to the dealer)
    -i also heard from people that this pinging noise comming from the trans @ lower rpm is normal..it just means that the trans wants to be in a lower gear. but i get this although im @ around 2800 rpm range in 2-5th gears...now..is this normal?????,,oh and i was not goin up hill or nething..just on aflat road, it makes pining noise sometimes up until 3500 rpm in 3rd.
    -and one more thing..specailly to you pathstar..if u are reading this..
    i know u said that slight rough idle and vibration is normal..but i can swear there was not as much vibration for the first few hundred miles..last time i read somthing was that 8s have programs to engine behave like this after certain miles or something
    and is it true that 8's computer can "learn" the driver's style and change its settings?
    -------------------
    oh and for the guy who asked about the tire rubbing noise..i get that also when im making a sharp turn in my cul de sac or where ever i do this.
    -
  • rx8crazerx8craze Posts: 10
    yes this car makes Tons of noises..just look at my old Qs and pathway's answers..
    -everytimr i notice a new noise..my hair falls out
    -but once i take it upto 9000 rpm..it grows back =)
  • rx8crazerx8craze Posts: 10
    I can only count 7 speaker in my 8..
    2 on both front doors, 1 on consol, and 2 in rear...where are the 8th and 9th speaker??..is it in the front doors??..3 on each doors?
  • donaldsdonalds Posts: 28
    I had the 8 out and was washing it, left it running while I was doing it and was watching the exhaust pipes shake, you cold feel it anywhere on the car, just for the heck of it I put a board between the side support and put pressure on the motor, would you believe the shake went away, had the wife sit in the car and did it again and not even the shift lever moved.
    Not sure if this supports you theory of motor mounts or not.
    On my way home last week I was sitting with my right front tire on a speed bump and the left side not on the bump and the car started running so smooth I thought it had died.
    And by the way just got word that the judge has ordered Mazda to fix not buy back.
  • cleekscleeks Posts: 3
    I just had my first problem in more than a year of RX 8 ownership. I was in a hard corner when the DSC light came on, then my throtle felt dead, and then the check engine lght came on. When I stopped and restarted only the check engine light stayed on. Car performs fine, but the light won't go off. Is there a way to turn the light off or do I need to visit the dealer?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You can reset it by removing the battery -ve terminal for a few seconds. You will then have to reset the power steering as per the manual. If the light comes back on, you need to visit your dealer.
  • mugster1mugster1 Posts: 34
    before you unhook things, i know the Honda i had you pushed in the Trip switch in for about 30 sec. That would reset the computer.
  • chet2chet2 Posts: 3
    I've had my RX-8 auto tans since August 04 with 6,100 miles on it. I love it, but I am experiencing a problem which has happened twice. The car loss power when going up a 6% grade in auto drive at freeway speed, I slowed down because of traffic to about 45 mph, then when traffic cleared I tried to accelerate, but the transmission got stuck wouldn't kick into a lower gear. As I attempted to accelerate I loss power, when I realized that I was only going 23 mph on the freeway, Yeks!!, I kicked it into manual mode. Of course, I took it to the dealer and they test drove it and couldn't make it happen again. The service depart. told me that according to the problem hotline no one has experienced this problem before. Is there anyone out there that has experienced this same problem? I welcome your input.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    chet2 - I also have the auto tran and have not experienced that. I have 25,000 miles on mine. Did you have cruise control or hit the cruise button by chance? I will be on the lookout for this. I have a long drive coming up and want to make sure all is working right!

    good luck and keep us informed if this happens again!
  • chet2chet2 Posts: 3
    Hi Cheezeboy, I wasn't using cruise control at the time because the traffic was very heavy. I don't remember hitting the cruise button, but I do remember the big diesel truck coming up fast behind me.... Thanks for the response I will let you know if it happens again. Enjoy your trip.
  • Hey everyone. I've been reading about all of the problems that you guys have been experiencing. I plan on buying a 2005 Sport AT RX-8 really soon. Is everyone with the problems driving a 2004 or 2005 model? Are there a lot of people having problems with the 2005 model of the RX-8? Your input is much appreciated!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You have to realize about 80% of the messages on here about problems are "concentrated". Those without problems will not post for the most part. It seems to me there are very few real problems with the 2004 or 2005 car (they are virtually identical). There are lots of complaints about fuel economy, there are complaints about the oil foam caused by poor "crankcase" ventilation. Both these "problems" are normal and not really problems - some owners just take exception to them. Once Mazda introduced the "M" flash, most owners were relatively happy. In fact, most were happy before that flash. There are a few things on the car that can be broken, perhaps too easily. Taillamp lens cover leaking, a few dash parts. That's about it. Only a few cars have had these problems, from what I've heard. I haven't seen them on our car.

    If you want to see real problems, check out a GM or Ford board.
  • That's what I figured pathstar. To be honest here, I'm totally new to the rotary engine and its quirks. Hell, I don't much about cars period. I'm extremely interested in the engine and the car though. FYI, I plan on getting an automatic. So far, do most of these problems pertain to manual or automatic transmissions?

    Fuel consumption is not an issue with me. Is there a way to prevent the oil foam situation? When you use the word "crankcase", is that when a person trys to turn the car on with the key? I apologize for asking these simple questions. I don't know all the car terms that is being used on these forums.

    And what about the cover that goes over the engine, I've read around here that you're supposed to remove it every night or something. What does that help prevent?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The problems some have experienced are not correlated with the type of transmission. Note that if you get an automatic, you will get the "low power" renesis rotary engine, not the "high power" one. I strongly advise you to test drive both. If you are happy with the auto then fine. Some of us wouldn't be, and some like the auto just fine.

    The oil foam can be delt with as I have posted on these forums a few times:
    Remove the oil filler cap once a week when you return for the night (warm engine) and make sure you set it up so you will not drive without the cap on - leave the hood open if you park in a garage, or put the cap on the dash to remind yourself to put it back on before driving.

    The "crankcase" name refers to the part of the engine that the crankshaft turns in and usually the oil is stored in (oilpan covers the bottom of it). In the case of the rotary, the two are separate, in that the crankshaft (actually called the eccentric shaft on a rotary engine) is in the centre of the engine, not below the pistons as in a piston engine. So the oil is stored at the bottom of the engine, again above an "oil pan".

    The engine cover is supposed to enhance the cooling/airflow over the engine and should be left on. It is quick and easy to remove it - it just pulls off. Removing it every night wouldn't do anything I can think of, other than over excersizing the hood release.
This discussion has been closed.