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Mazda RX-8 Owners FAQ

Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,024
Share any RX-8 FAQs here.

Karen-Edmunds Community Manager



  • ... the purpose of the little dangly piece of plastic in front of the rear wheels? It's about 2x5 inches, and hangs down from the body just in front of the rear wheel well.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    And maybe some aerodynamics.
  • Aerodynamics? They're so tiny that I kinda doubt it... I was thinking more along the lines of noise reduction... but who knows? I also noticed they are in front of the front tires too.

    And appearances I guess I could see, but I think they're ugly... like pieces of trash that got caught under the car while driving.

    Wonder if I should just remove them, and what they would affect. Hmmmmmmmm.

    Thoughts, anyone?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    Better watch those speed bumps too. Seriously. I've seen some driveways that crest so sharply some low-ground-clearance vehicles gouge them (and mess up their underbodies, of course).
  • memmermemmer Posts: 1
    Has any one had any extensive driving with the rx-8 in snow? I live in Wisconsin where the winters can get a rough. Any input would be appreciated
  • mex8mex8 Posts: 3
    I don't have too much experience on deep snow. I save the Jeep for that. However, I have driven on ice. The traction control has saved my bacon a couple of times. The large wheels and 50 50 balance have meant that there is great control and braking.
    For a sports car, it is great. I am sure an investment in good performance winter grip tires will keep you upright between the ditches.... :)
  • Hello -

    I recently bought a new RX-8, 6-speed manual and I am very happy with it.
    I have a couple of questions though, I hope someone can help.

    It's been quite a few years since I've driven a stick, and I'm pretty rusty.
    First question: Quite often I'm not sure what gear I'm in so I keep a close eye on the tach. At freeway speeds, say 65-70 mph, if the engine is turning around 3500 rpm, am I in 6th gear?

    Secondly, I seem to have a problem going from fourth to fifth. Quite often the revs increase, so I must be going back into 3rd, I guess. Not to worry, I've never overrevved the engine, I got as high as 5000 rpm so I shifted back to fourth. Any tips on going from fourth to fifth gear? Do I move the shifter to the right and then up? It seems to balk when I try to go to the upper right & that's when I think I'm going into 3rd gear by mistake.

    I would appreciate any advice - thank you. Phil
  • ramsesramses Posts: 8
    Well Phil I just bought my Shinka on Friday the 12th, But from my experience with shifting, You should go over right then up. Do not worry about revs cause rotarys likes those high rev hense the 9000rpm redline and it will beep at 8500rpm. I do understand the problem I still think I'm going into 3rd sometimes myself and I have 90% of my time driving is using manual.

    To answer your first question I have had mine going 65-70 mph in 3rd pushing about 5500rpm with plenty of room to still get up and go. So it sounds like you are in 6th to me. But with high revs means low gas mileage. But anyways it is probably the best looking and overall car I have very owned. Very pleased driver, super pleasant dealership too, they even called me saturday to check up on me and how I have enjoyed my purchase so far. Great customer service I give the an A+ for it.

  • Caleb -

    Thanks for responding. Prior to reading this, first thing after I got up this morning, I slapped myself upside the head & thought - "get in the car and practice shifting!". So that's what I did, in the garage with the engine off, out of the Arizona heat & it's what I suspected & you are correct, fifth is to the right, then up. I'll never forget it now - had I not had a brain cramp I probably would have resolved this weeks ago and never posted, haha.

    Another thing I discovered, the car has a warning sensor for tire pressure, it went off about a week ago, Mazda sets the timing beeper at 28 pounds. I called the dealer, they said to set them at 35 pounds (the owner's manual says 32 but the dealer should know best (I hope).

    Thanks again for your help Caleb & enjoy your RX-8 - I love mine!!

  • My wife had difficulty shifting into reverse. I realized that the stick had to be pressed down (towards the ground, not towards the back seat, before being directed into its slot to the far right/and then bottom. I did not realize that I always did this (pressing on top of the stick the stick down to the ground) on instinct and I was getting so frustrated with her inability to get to reverse. She kept going into sixth and killing the engine/popping the clutch. There is about a half inch of play when you press down towards the ground on the stick. It has made it a hell of a lot easier for her to get into reverse. It must be a safety device to prevent people from going from 5th to reverse while driving.

    As far as shifting from 4th to 5th, this was my first 6-speed, and I too had difficulty. It just takes time and practice to get used to the feel of shifting this car. Over-all it is one of the smoothest shifting vehicles i have driven. Good luck.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    just couldn't get the correct angle to push down and pop it into R for a while. also, I hit 4th a couple of times on my way to 6th. Luckily, I could feel the pull before I completely released the clutch and saved myself.
  • When I road-tested the RX-8, I never did have the occasion to go into reverse. The day after I bought it, early on a Sunday morning, I wanted to go grocery shopping - & I couldn't get the car into reverse (they had never told me how). I used my other car for shopping, then after returning home I looked through the owner's manual. It said straight down, then down to the right & it worked smooth as butter. Mazda did the right thing - it's a lockout device, the last thing you want to do, obviously, is go into reverse at the wrong time.

    As for shifting from 4th to 5th, you're right - I'm gradually getting better. It seems a bit vague to me still. This morning I consciously tried going to the right, then up to 5th, I still wasn't sure until I looked at the tach and the RPMs had decreased - so I was there. Practice will cure this, I'm confident.

    Good luck to you & enjoy your RX-8 - it's a terrific car & a real head-turner.
  • i AM ONLY 33 , AND I stress ONLY. All I have driven are 5 -speeds --almost my whole driving-life. My first cars were all Toyotas. My past favorite was a (new at the time) turbo Toyota MR2 back in the mid '90s. I really thought that at that time that the MR2 shifted well--it may even have had a little more torque--but it does not compare to the smoothness of the Rx-8. I even bought a (new-at-the-time) 'Toyota Celica GTS (automatic-what was i thinking?)-which has had decent reviews for its handling and economy--and the RX8 blows those cars handling and performance away-(and matches the base model Boxster whose [non-permissible content removed] I softly kicked on Lake shore drive today).
    Back in March, I was looking at the G35 coupe, 350z, S2000, and Porsche Boxster--and i came away impressed with the Rx8's looks,comfort, handling, and backseat roominess. I was most impressed with its manual transmission. The 6 speed configuration is a bit different than the standard 5 speed=and it takes just a little practice to feel comfortable. Compared to my old so called- "reliable" cars--this car shifts much smoother. EVEN better--it is a head turner--

    For future RX-8 owners:
    I know Mazda is coming out with a higher horsepower automatic in '06, but I continue to recommend the manual for those that expect decent/-excellent performance. Believe me-There will be a higher demand from our younger "fast and furious Crowd" of second hand buyers seeking manuals 2-4 years from our original purchase.
    Flipper, I hope you enjoy your car as well!
  • bblairbblair Posts: 2
    Hi, this is my first time to any of the Mazda forums, so I hope that I am posting in the correct one.

    I'm giving serious consideration to purchasing an RX-8, though probably not the Shinka ($$), and have been pretty impressed at what I've found in my research.

    I noticed on the Mazda website that they recommend the use of premium gas for the RX-8. Is "recommend" the same as "require"? Has anyone here driven one using regular, unleaded gas? If so, have you noticed any problems? With today's gas prices, I hate the idea of using premium!

    I also have heard that the rotary engine burns quite a bit of oil and that one might have to put oil into it between regular oil changes. This I could live with, but I was wondering if this were true.

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You don't have to use premium, though the car runs better with it. I presume you are talking about the manual. I think it's less important with the automatic, as it runs a little less HP. We've had good performance with mid-grade (89 octane).

    The rotary has always injected oil into the intake to lubricate the apex seals (equivalent to piston rings). They inject a little more than required to be safe, so hence the notion it burns a lot. If you run at lower RPMs you will go through to the next oil change without adding any - though it will be at the "min" line. If you "play" frequently, you may have to add 1/2 qt. between changes. Most owners check it every 3 fillups or so. It will warn you long before it's a problem (oil light is very sensitive). Most carry a qt. in the trunk. The oil pan carries a lot of oil - it can hold up to 7 litres, though only 5 are called for in the service manual.

    BTW, oil is now less expensive than gas!
    Maybe it's time for a diesel rotary! ;)
  • BBlair -

    Hi and welcome to the forum, I am new also, I purchased a new RX-8 6-speed manual in late June.

    Yes, gas prices are awful but I've been using super unleaded - I figure it this way:
    The gas tank holds approximately 15.9 gallons - if it's bone-dry when you fill up, it will cost you 20 cents extra per gallon over the cost of regular so that's roughly $3 per fillup. I'm sticking with Mazda's recommendation - unless you do a LOT of driving, $3 per tank is reasonable considering it's a terrific sports car that you're likely to fall in love with immediately.

    As for oil, I've yet to need a quart, according to my dealer I may need to add a quart about every 6 tanks or so of gas. I think it will depend somewhat on whether you're a conservative driver or a leadfoot.

    If you choose to get the RX-8, best of luck with it and enjoy it!

  • bblairbblair Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input.

    When you put it in terms of $3-4 extra per tank, it doesn't sound so bad. Of course, with more frequent stops for gas (relatively small tank) and low mpg, it may add up in the long run. But perhaps it won't be as bad as I had originally thought.

    I've been considering the RX-8 and Mustang (and perhaps the Eclipse), but really am leaning towards the RX-8, so I'm just trying to weigh my options.
  • Flip,

    I've had mine since last Oct. and I used to screw up 4-5 sometimes, but I found the easiest way is to push it at a diagonal forward and away from you. It is an awesome car :) You can also learn much from rx8club and's a good place to go waste time.

    btw, you are in 6th if you're goin 65 @ 3500 rpm's

    Gas saving tip: a second intake port opens when you go above 3750 so if you keep it under there (72 in 6th) you'll get slightly better mileage
  • zinny72zinny72 Posts: 4
    I live outside Philadelphia & my fiance works out of state. He left me his Aviator while he was away because they were calling for snow. Needless to say he returned home to the snow falling. He was horrified trying to drive in the weather. Don't bother to try to drive it in the snow!!!
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Did it have all season tires? Performance tires on any vehicle don't grip in the snow.
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