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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions



  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Thanks again trispec for your input. We also can make it not happen. But the point is it does. I too love the unique style of the of the car and the power and what not, but the fact remains it makes a noise it shouldn't have. I worked for Chevy at one time and had to deal with the cold start knock, let me tell ya I got a lot of ticked off people who paid good money for a vehicle and to have stuff like this happen just wont fly with me. Espically with 3200 miles on it. Dont get me wrong all vehicles have a glitch here and there, but knowing the past history on the 2004 and all the problems, I am leery. I called Mazda of North America today, and they told me they have identified almost all of the problems on the car, the problem is getting them to do it when at the dealer. I now a file opened with Mazda to keep track of the work done and if its done correctly.
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    posrx8, I would love to have any info you may have regarding your problems. Just in case we end up with the same problems. I am sorry to hear you are on your 3rd engine. I am surprised you didn't make them buy the car back under the :lemon: law. I do hope the problems on these cars are taken care of, but I am not surprised to have small problems. It just sounds like all the problems I am hearing about are not small. Look forward to hearing from you.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Your a better consumer than I am. I hate a fight. But I do beleive like the discussion of these issues here.

    Good luck. Let us know what happens.
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Is there anyone on here that lives in WA state? I would like to meet up with others to have some fun and enjoy these cars with others. I know there are Miata clubs, are there any RX-8 clubs here? :shades:
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Check out "". BTW, there is a "rally" (meet) in Wenachee in May, with the Apple Blossom Festival.

    For those not in Washington state, there are local rotary clubs elsewhere as well. For a long time we had to support ourselves as Mazda was "out" of the rotary, so these clubs are well established.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    Try I would imagine you could find some fellow WA people there.
  • mmauller57mmauller57 Posts: 4
    Just wanted you to know that I have a 2004 Mazda RX-8 that went out of Warrranty with 69,000 miles on it. The rattle popcorn you are hearing is not good. I took it in to have a oil change and they test drove it and then it lost all compression and I had to but a new motor in it. Mazda payed for the motor but I had to pay 1700.00 to have it installed. They told me that the 2004 motor has problems. They replaced the engine with a 2005 so that tells you something. I would advise you to take the extended warranty and make sure you take it back to them and make them fix it now.
  • mmauller57mmauller57 Posts: 4
    Don't buy a Rx8
  • mmauller57mmauller57 Posts: 4
    Yes, I hate My RX-8 and Mazda. I have a 2004 Mazda RX-8 and it has been nothing but a problem. Every Winter it wouldn't start they could not get it fixed. Had a problem with the Heater. I took it end after the warranty ran out to get a oil change and told them about the noise in the engine. He has 69,000 miles they took it out and test drove it and called me and said the noise was really bad and they could not get it started. They then called me and said Mazda said it needed a new engine. Mazda paid for the engine but I had to pay 1700.00 to have it installed. What a rip off. Even the cashier at Mazda told me they have had nothing but engine problems with the 2004 Mazda and she is telling everyone they better get rid of them. SHe said I better trade it in. I will never buy another Mazda product and I have owned 4.
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Wow I am sorry to hear you have had such a problem with your RX. Well this is what I know from Mazda of North America. The 04 had a lot of problems, and the 05 has some as well just not as many. When I spoke to Mazda of NA they told me they have identified the problems and have informed the dealerships to fix them. The problem is getting the vehicle to act up when at the dealership. Like I have stated in other reply, I am an ASE technician. I will speak from experience that it is hard sometimes for us to identify what the customer is hearing or feeling. I personally take the tech on a drive to make sure there is no question of my complaint. As for my 05, it will be going back to the dealer this friday. It will be for the popcorn noise. On the other hand I can assure you the dealers want to fix it the first time. They only get paid about 1/2 the normal book time to fix it. So you can imagine they dont want to keep doing it over. Now for my opinion, the RX-7 was last produced I believe in 1996 or 97, so if Mazda has had about 8 or so years to perfect the Rotary design, you think it would have happened. I love my 05! It sucks that I am taking it back for the 5th time. However Mazda wants happy customers. This car is there flagship, they dont want a bunch of pissed off costomers. I am not siding with Mazda or the customer, just giving my side of how I see things. A few weeks ago I was ready to give the car back to Mazda till I talked to Mazda of NA. If you call them, they will open a case file for your vehicle. Not saying it will help, but if we all make it a point to call them and let them know we are uneasy about the car, eventually something will happen. Till next time, enjoy the ride if you can. :D
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Hello again fishnhand.

    Well I'll be waiting for good news on your popcorn rattle issue. I've brought up my popcorn rattle noise several times as a topics for discussion here, but everyone has either dismissed it as something else other than an engine noise or they've said that true per-ignition is massively manifested by pronounced power loss and check engine lights flashing which has never happened to me. But at this point, I'm totally convinced that the popcorn rattle is coming from the engine and it's related to overly rich fuel mix complexities.

    My small worry is that the popcorn rattle will get worse over time as a symptom of something critical, like an Apex seal breakdown. I doubt this, but it's still a small worry. Hopefully it's just a tweaking of the computer. Of course, my RX-8 AT is a Group 2 build with all the latest flashes done at the factory. I verified the vehicle ID number as being recall free before I bought it.

    Seriously, good luck. I'm definitely going to take action based on your experience. Thanks.
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Hello again trispec,
    I agree that it is an over fueling problem, I am getting large puffs of black smoke form time to time when the rattle happens. I am also hoping it is just a computer flash or something simple to fix the problem. I have not heard of this problem in the manual trans. If I am wrong someone please let me know. I will post my results on Friday when I get the car back from the dealer. I just hope what I post is good news. Until then try to enjoy the ride all!! :shades:
  • Had the dealer check the A/C at the last oil change. They said a rock or other road debrie put a hole in the condencer.( $300.00 ) and $500. labor. Has Mazda come out with a guard for the condencer, I hate to have this happen again. " 04. AT,17k and no problems....YET " ;)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,148
    You might want to just look for an aftermarket mesh grille insert. I had the very same thing happen on the wife's SUV. I bought a grille insert on Ebay the next day.

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

  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Hey all, I just a call back from my Mazda dealer regarding the popcorn/rattle noise we have talked about. Well I guess now there is an upgrade to the computer, but the catch is they have to pull the computer out and send it to Cali to get updated. The tech that has been working on my car was shocked when he heard the noise this morning. So I now have to take it back on the 15th of this month. So I will update again after that visit. I can still drive the car. At least I can still make the rotary get together tomorrow in Eastern Wa.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Ugh. Well as a computer guy, I guess I'm more comfortable with a computer upgrade than an engine pull.

    A few questions:

    1) How did the service tech diagnose the problem?

    2) When does the black smoke appear and how do you see it?

    3) Is the carbon build up on the tail pipe particularly bad?

    Thanks, and good luck. I'm going to wait on taking action until you've gotten satisfaction.
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Well for starters, we took the tech for a ride and the noise happened the first time we got on the gas and hit 5000 rpm. He said that is all he had to hear and that he has never heard an RX-8 make that noise. The black smoke appears at 5000 rpm, and in the regular automatic setting. Has not done it in the auto stick mode. About 3 out of 5 times when it make the rattle we get the smoke. He called the tech line and they told him there is an update for the computer but it can only be done in Cali. The dealerships can not do it. The carbon build up on the tail pipe is a normal condition on this car, it is for the most part a 2 stroke engine. It burns oil due to the oil injector. I hope that answered your questions. Hope to meet some of you today in Wenatchee.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    From a previous thread, I've been experimenting with mixing back and forth 89 octane and 93 octane Shell gas to test the correlation between the popcorn/rattle and the two octane levels.

    1) The popcorn/rattle (which could also be described as a gurgling sound as well) does appear to less noticed with more 89 octane gas.

    2) MPG does also appear to be better with 89 octane gas.
  • mmauller57mmauller57 Posts: 4
    Doesn't sound good I have a 2004 Maxda RX 8 and took it in for the same problem. They called me back and said I needed a new engine. I had over 68,000 miles on it and of course out of Warranty. They paid for the engine and I had to pay $1700.00 for having it installed. I feel like I have been bent over. The Rx8 has been nothing but a big head acke. It wouldn't start every winter. They experimented with trying to find out what the problem was. The Cashier told me if I were you I would trade it as soon as I could. She said she had been tell all of the 2004 owners the same a thing. I have had 4 mazda's and this is the first time that I feel like Mazda really is messing me over. They said they would give me a good trade in on it and try to make up the difference on what it cost me to replace the engine. I told them I use to work for National car rental and know what a good deal is not to mess me around and so the appointment I made has been delayed. My Advise is DON"T BUY MAZDA
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    This morning, I had occasion to use the warm-up for ten minutes and then rev to 3000 for 10 seconds, let off the gas and kill before engine spinning down completely. At least that's my shut down from cold start procedure.

    Anyway, I can't believe how smooth the engine starts after this procedure. Cold or hot, the rev for ten seconds then shut down, really does make for the smoothest quickest starts cold or hot. I'm guessing that computerized fuel mix gets nice and stable and then the shut off before spinning down really does burn up and pump out the remaining fuel to the greatest degree possible.

    Following the above proscribed procedure really makes starting my RX-8 AT, as close to turning on an electric engine as I can imagine.
This discussion has been closed.