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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions



  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    UPDATE - got the new AC amp and it works great. Gets cooler much faster and stays cool. Not "cold cold" but cool. Guess that has as much to do with being in South FL than anything! If you are having issues with the AC, get this done - well worth doing.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I don't know if anyone realizes how the gov. comes up with the gas mileage numbers...but if you can picture a 95 year old lady driving in a straight line on a flat road at an avg of 50 miles per hour you essentially got their hwy. formula. haha

    The typical RX-8 driver drives in a rather spirited manner..especially considering the rotary is happiest at high RPM's. It's no surprise to me that people are seeing lower gas mileage. Drive the car like grandma and you will be amazed how much the gas mileage improves..
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Well, to just start "going legal" (as opposed to postal ;-) is probably not going to solve anything.

    Go to your dealer and ask if you have the "M" flash. It address' mileage and flooding. It's a no charge installation, that the dealer is supposed to put into any car that doesn't have it. Takes about 10 min. to do once the car is in the shop.
  • donaldsdonalds Posts: 28
    Finally got the amplifier part installed, the A/C is somewhat better but still nothing to brag about.
    Had the rough idle checked again and could find nothing wrong even though it acts as if it is going to stall.
    I will be going to a dealer nearly two hundred miles away next week to have it looked at.
    If they cannot figure out why the car idles so bad I will get rid of it my 85 runs perfect and I cannot accept a new one not.
    I am getting some small satisfaction though on telling people that ask how I like the car, they have only sold two in the past year, mine and another fool.
  • bigmike5bigmike5 Posts: 960
    Don't want to make you cringe, but on the 45 mile drive home from the dealership with my new 04 Vette coupe I got 28.8 m.p.g., course I was only cruising around 60 m.p.h. during the break-in period. Getting 25 m.p.g. around town now with 1100 miles on her. I should hit 30 m.p.g. on the next long trip. MPG, along with the stalling issue, was one of the reasons I end up in a Vette. Course on high test I don't like seeing $1.99 a gallon much, but as I said before, happiness is never having to be 2nd off a light.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,896
    Haven't been in here in a while.

    Couple of comments....

    --You guys in CA sound like you must have some of the worst dealer techs around. I'm sure you're frustrated. After hearing some of your trials and tribulations, I can only conclude that these dealers haven't trained their techs (putting 6th gear in backwards?....I didn't thing that was even possible!!!!) That type of service is inexcuseable. While, in the past, I've recommended going to a dealer tech that you have good service with, it sounds like those may not even exist where you live. Call Mazda Customer Service....tell them you're experiences. I can't fathom that they want those types of experiences to continue.

    --MPG...this has been debated so many times....the EPA are the people who put out those numbers, not Mazda. It would be futile to take any sort of legal actions. My best recommendation is to get the "M" ECU reflash. I'm getting exactly the MPG that the sticker says I should get. I've hit 25 MPG in a recent trip with all highway driving and the crusie set on 75 MPH. That said, if you do a lot of "stop & go" and/or idling in traffic when you drive and/or run up the RPMs every shift, any car is going to get dismal MPG in those situations.

    These are high performance sports cars. If you bought it expecting to get "better than average" MPG, you are going to be disappointed.

    If you couldn't tell, I've had my RX8 for over a year and can say it's the best sports car I've ever owned (including some highly regarded BMWs that I've owned in the past).
  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    I think the reason why some people may be surprised by the low MPG is due to how Mazda hyped this vehicle as being the "total package" sports car with the practicality of 4 doors. You see it as a sports car, graphic, so you aren't surprised that the oil consumption and MPG are compromised a little. You also know more about rotary engines than the average person. I think some others perceive it as a 4 door coupe that has performance but should still give them the fuel economy that one gets in a practical vehicle. If or when the RX-8 comes out with a two door version or convertible, I don't see people complaining about the MPG so much even if it doesn't improve.

    As for the "M ECU" reflash, I don't think that should have to be necessary in order to achieve the results that the EPA determined. I know it helped your vehicle and others a decent amount, but I don't think it should have been necessary to get what you should have gotten right off the bat.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,896
    Perhaps you're right!

    But, I've owned a fair number of sports cars in my driving lifetime. None of them would get what I would consider "pratical" MPG. So, from that perspective, you're correct in stating that my expectations may have been set differently.

    On the other hand, even with my 2nd car (4 cyl economy wagon), if I drive in all stop and go traffic in congested areas, running my A/C constantly, my MPG can and will dip into the "teens".

    Bigmike's Corvette, while a great sports car, if taken off the interstate, put into all stop and go traffic, will turn in dismal MPG numbers.

    The only cars that will get good MPG in those "in town" scenarios are hybrids (where's the fun in driving those). I maybe spoiled in that I don't have to drive in congested areas every day, tankful after tankful. Maybe that's why it's not an issue with me.

    While I don't remember Mazda specifically setting MPG expectations unrealistically high when their initial marketing campaign began, I can understand someone's thought process in stating they shouldn't need the ECU reflash to get the EPA estimates.

    What I remember most in the marketing campaign was the ballyhoo surrounding the return of the rotary and the RX8 being a 4-door coupe.

    By now, all the cars coming off dealers lots should already have the reflash included. If it doesn't, as has been stated before, tell the service tech to reflash it at your next oil change. It's a simple procedure. If nothing else, get the reflash done because it does make the RX8 quicker and smooths out the already smooth midrange punch.

    As far as taking legal action or going the "lemon law" route, that's an exercise in futility. The EPA has never been known to provide consistently real world MPG numbers to begin with. Their tests have always been done in a controlled setting in ideal conditions. That's hardly the case in the real world with different weather, terrain and road/traffic conditions.

    From what I'm reading here, there are a couple of people who are having horrendous problems that can be traced back to their terrible Mazda techs. There's just no excuse for those types of experiences with service folks who are so inept. Mazda needs to address those dealer service depts promptly. They seem to be centered with some dealers in CA. Mazda needs to know this.
  • vtlcvtlc Posts: 25
    Since you folks are on the topic of sucky service departments, I'm going to name one that really sucks. Lithia Mazda of Fresno CA. All sorts of trouble, believe me, if anyone don't take your car there and you will see. I went in for an oil change the other day (bot the Lifetime oil change), big mistake. The ServM came up to me and siad "I want to know why you gave us an average of 67% on your surveys." And I replied, "it is my honest opinion of the quality of work I am recieving from your department." Then she said, "if you were not satisfied with our service why didn't you come talk to me." Funny thing she said that, cuz she was the one that told me I was getting a refurbished engine put into my 8 last Dec at only 1000 miles on my car, when I asked for a new car. I told her sometimes the best way to yell for help is to just write it on paper. After that statement everything else she siad was kind and calm with a few sorrys thrown in. Sorrys don't make a bad rep good, does it.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,896
    I've followed your ordeals with your car and service people. I can't for the life of me understand why/how they can "muck-up" their service so badly. What you've gone through with them is outrageous. Personally, I'd question their "new engine" diagnosis with the problems you were having several months ago.

    Personally, I wouldn't have even given them a 67% rating. It would be zero across the board.

    You are absolutely right...sorry, while a nice sentiment, doesn't come close to making up for their blantant ineptitude.

    While I've had no problems with my RX8, the very few minor issues I've had were fixed right the first time, every time.

    While unrelated to the RX8, my sister had a late model Jaguar (S-Type) she bought new a few years ago. She averaged one trip to the Jag service dept per month according to her records for a variety of issues. While the Jag service people put on a smile when she came in, they were absolutely clueless regarding many of her problems. That required her to return to them twice or three times to resolve issues.

    The end result? She finally got tired of the trips to the service dept over the years. Even though she was still under warranty, she finally got rid of the Jag last month.

    Point of all this, there are some good cars from some well respected manufacturers out there only to have their reputation ruined by dealer service depts.
  • I have a 2002 Millenia S with 45,000 miles on it and no problems whatsoever except for a recent glitch in the cd changer. (I have had problems with the tires due to potholes.)
    I recently received a letter from my Mazda dealer saying they were paying top dollar for my car. It turned out it was a come-on but it got me looking at the RX-8. Its the only Mazda model that I would consider purchasing. However after reading of the problems with it on this forum, especially the difficulty in restarting it before its warmed up, which I believe is a personal safety issue and totally unacceptable, I am going to pass until hopefully they fix everything.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,896
    No need to wait for the RX8. Everything as it should be currently.

    The only caveat being, the RX8 is a very different car than the Millenia.
  • I know it is totally different. Before I bought the Millenia I had a Ford Contour 5 speed and put on 92,000 miles. Great handling but terrible reliability. That's one of the reasons I went with the Millenia. I do like shifting, although I have read you have to downshift in the RX-8 to get some power in the midrange. Also I live in the snow belt and rear wheel drive is not that practical and snow tires would be a must. Although the Millenia with its 17 inch tires are terrible in the snow and I purchased snow tires for it.

    Does anyone one what changes if any will be made to the 2005 model?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,896
    Very minor differences for the '05. I think the keyfob is different and Mazda is dropping the yellow in favor of white. That's as much as I've heard.

    Snow tires are a must in winter climes if it's your daily driver. With snow tires, the RX8 gets around just fine from all reports. Of course, that's also more a function of how experienced the driver is. I can remember driving V8 powered RWD cars, no trac control with skinny tires many years ago in the winter without much of a problem.

    Acceleration is fine on the interstate in 5th or 6th (5th puts you lower in the power band). But, if you want to leave someone in the dust at 70 MPH on the interstate, drop it into 4th and the world around you will become a blur.
  • donaldsdonalds Posts: 28
    Here is where I am as of now, drove the car 170 miles one way to another dealer, saw the tech with it hooked to the comp. asked him if it had the "M" flash on it, he said I have no idea what you are talking about, asked to talk to mgr. he said it had the latest and greatest program on it, could not explain what it was.
    Called Mazda and told them I showed the tech and mgr. exactly what the car was doing mgr. said the shaking is the trans trying to catch up to the engine, told Mazda cs that and he laughed, C/S asked me to take it back to origional dealer and show the tech exactly what it was doing, did that, took it to 3K let off the gas, rpm dropped to about 800rpm car shook then went to 850 and tried to settle down, tech said that isin't the way it should run, left it Tues. and today, went in to get it and they said nothing showed on the diagnostics,well I think by now they should realize it will not show a code. I insisted the tech state on the service slip what the car was doing when I left it for service. he was hesitant about doing it but finally did to get rid of me.Mazda said the last time I called they may have to send in a factory rep, we shall see.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,896
    These are exactly the type of techs you don't want to work on your car. You don't happen to be in CA are you?
  • donaldsdonalds Posts: 28
    No Texas, I talked to Mazda C/S again today and they don't seem to want to do anything, said if the car does not show a code not much they can do, so now it is off to file a lemon law complaint.
  • vtlcvtlc Posts: 25
    GGuy your right about the 8 on the power band. I was driving mine 3 days ago and a civic wanted to just have some fun at 40 mph. Dropped it from 4th to 2nd heard the beeeepp, shifted to 3 and the civic was about 2 cars behind. Well had to slow down though I was at 85 on a 45 street. What a rush.... no I ment What a risk. =)

    Donalds it seems like you and I are going to be business partners. There are so many things wrong with my car and Mazda keeps telling me the same thing they tell you. We cant do anything if there is no code. I tell them don't you guys see my car shake and just look at my shifter, now tell me thats normal. All they say is well we called Mazda and they said it's normal. Im just sick of Mazda and its CS and support if any. I got an appointment to get my car checked agian for the shaking and the lights dim as the AC comp kicks in, this time at a different dealer 30 mins away, I hope they can figure it out or its going to be just a few more days til I hit 40 days [non-permissible content removed] in the shop. And all I need is 30.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,896
    Good luck with the new shop.

    Either way, I'd say you'd have support here considering what you've gone through.
  • donaldsdonalds Posts: 28
    I have finally figured out Mazda's game plan, they will not authorize a mechanic to start taking things off the car for inspection, they want it to run to failure, would you believe yesterday a person from Mazda C/S actually told me the factory service rep's were nothing but pencil pushers, and only concerned about cost!
    I notified Mazda per Texas law of the problem and lack of action on their part so now the complaint is on its way to the review board.
This discussion has been closed.