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Mazda RX 8 Engine Failure Problem



  • boswell1boswell1 Posts: 4
    i've read alot on various websites regarding the RX-8, and was wanting to get some info regarding all of the recurring problems this vehicle seems to have. most of the problems seemed to be with the 2004/2005 model. Consumer Reports even indicated these years had their share of problems.

    1) Is the flooding problem a thing of the past with the 2008 model?
    2) Is the oil consumption a thing of the past with the 2008 model?
    3) Do you have to let it warm up all the time before you drive it ?
    4) Is it a reliable car? one that wont need to be towed to the dealer all the time?

    i am looking for a reliable car, thats the #1 thing for me. and i would like to have a sporty type car too. i want one i can just jump in and go, not one that absolutely has to be treated with kid gloves or else it wont run and has to go to the dealer.

    and speaking of dealers, i had one tell me three days ago the RX-8 is "Finicky" and that makes me wonder about it.

    can anyone shed any light?
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    if reliability is of a big concern, I wouldn't buy the RX8. I'll probably get flamed for saying so, but there are a lot of quirks. I just sold my 2006. Although to be fair, some guys never had a problem for 100K+ with 2004's. I can't comment on anything other than my old 06.
  • Hmmm.

    1) Flooding: ANY rotary engine car, including 2008, will flood if not warmed up. It's the rotary design. Start it cold, move it 50 feet, turn it off immediately, and you've got a flooded engine potentially. You can try holding a 3000 RPM rev for ten seconds on a cold engine, then kill the ignition for a emergency cold engine shut down, but that's extra ware on the cold engine engine.

    2) Oil consumption: Burns 1qt/1000 miles. It is suppose to. Otherwise the engine will be no good fairly fast, because not burning oil means there isn't enough oil getting to the apex seals. Keeping RPMs above 3000 when driving will insure good volumes of oil circulation.

    3) Warming up: There's a high pitched fan noise that runs for 20 seconds or so, that's blowing exhaust gases out when the engine is cold. Let this stop at least. Then don't go popping 7000RPM when you first drive off until the water temp has reached mid level. Five minutes at most, then your good to drive like a maniac. Think to yourself, "the calm before the STORM, before letting the twins howl!"

    4) If you don't screw up 1,2 and 3, your new RX8 will go for well over 200K miles. And then you can re-build your own rotors, simple as pie. Watch the video:
  • boswell1boswell1 Posts: 4
    so, what happens if the engine does flood, and the car wont start?

    1) have to have it towed to the Mazda dealer for them to do their thing to get it started?
    2) let it sit and it will eventually start? 5 minutes? 5 hours? 5 days?

  • There is a flooded engine recovery procedure.

    From the manual:

    Holding accelerator down all the way + turning key for 10 seconds
    Then crank for with/o accelerator for 10 more seconds

    Repeated procedure twice.
  • I've never flooded my RX-8, but I did flood my RX-7 several times. Flooring the accelarator and cranking 10 seconds always worked, but there was a huge cloud of smoke after a flooding restart.
  • boswell1boswell1 Posts: 4
    i've talked to other people that say the potential flooding problem and high oil consumption being the norm for a rotary engine is complete BS.

    so, who do i believe? where does a guy go to get the absolute best info regarding the Mazda RX-8?

    on the one hand, i'd hate to buy one and start having problems with it. there's nothing worse than having car trouble. but on the other hand, if all you need to do is not shut the engine off when its cold, and add a quart of oil every 1,000 miles or so, thats no big deal.

    help............. :confuse:

  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    The engine is designed to use oil, but it isn't exactly burning it. It is used as lubrication. Many people find themselves down a quart every 1000 - 3000 miles. Trust me, if your car never uses any oil, problems will ocur. That isn't the norm though.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    i've talked to other people that say the potential flooding problem and high oil consumption being the norm for a rotary engine is complete BS.

    Well, it's not complete BS. Those people telling you other wise don't know the rotary engine very well. The engine has the spark plugs mounted on the side of the engine. The rotors spin around the peanut shaped rotor housing. Depending on where the rotors stop when the engine is turned off, there is a possibility that one of the rotors sets by the spark plugs. What happens is unburned fuel can sit on the rotor, and soak the spark plugs. Now your engine is flooded. Warming up your rotary engine before shutting it off makes that excess fuel evaporate. Excess fuel left in an engine is normal, but, since normal Otto cycle engines have the spark plugs on top of the combustion chamber, flooding cannot occur.

    Since late 2005, Mazda has equipped the RX-8 with hotter sparking spark plugs that help reduce the chance of flooding, even when someone turns off the engine when it is not warm.

    The rotary design is very reliable since there are only 3 moving parts. With proper lubrication, hence more oil consumption, it is not uncommon for these rotarys to eclipse the 200K mark. Why you usually don't see them do it is because since the late 80's, Mazda only uses them in performance vehicles. With performance marketing, comes tuner support. Tuner support translates into high horse power, and really testing the limits of the engine. Look at any performance engine, and what tuners do to it. Get as much power as you can before it blows. Subaru has been the latest company to have numerous engines blown because of the massive support for the WRX/STi's. I guess 300hp out of the box is not enough.

    trispec knows what he is talking about, and so do I. It seems as if your other sources do not.
  • 3rex83rex8 Posts: 1
    To address sexica22 's mention of maple smell. I have a 2007 6sp auto 8 and I've smelled a distinctive sweet smell after warmed and idling. All engine's with antifreeze can have that sickingly sweet smell with even a small seep. My water is still full and my scanguage shows cruising water temps from 179-186 F so the smell is not necessarily a problem, just a clue to watch for FL22 coolant leak.
  • dag14qbdag14qb Posts: 3
    FYI..consumer reports recomends the RX8 in its 06 edition, and it has a highest rating for the following categorys
    drive system
    body integrity
    power equipment
    body hardware

    it had an average rating for paint,trim and rust,
    overall used car verdict above average, new car verdict average.

    The 04 (what i own) had trouble spots with

    below average with AC

    and average
    body hardware

    Bottom line is that if you take care of the vehicle you are more than likely not to have any more problems than you would on any other car. the sheer enjoyment of the car more than makes up for the extra TLC needed to keep the car going strong
  • nikki104nikki104 Posts: 2
    Tried the recovery procedure for a flooded engine (which I know it is), and it still won't start. What do I do now? HHHHHEEELLLLPPPPPP!!!!!!!! :cry:
  • nikki104nikki104 Posts: 2
    I gave up and had the car towed to the dealership. They said in order for them to get it started they had to:
    Put a battery charger on
    Push accelerator down for 10 seconds (to engage engine), let off
    Then turn key over until engine turns over, however long it takes (hince the battery charger) don't stop until it works and don't repeat (you'll flood the engine more)
    They say it's hard on the starter and battery, but it's what must be done.
    Installing trailer spark plugs and hot? battery helps it from flooding in the future.
    Now I hope this works if I have to do it at home!
  • OMG What a pile... This car loads up with ease and floods in 2 seconds flat. I moved the car from one curb to the other and it would'nt start after that.
    Problem? Ya new dealer plugs which are a whopping 50 dollars each! that 200 dollars just for plugs!!! Purged the engine of all fuel and cut off the fuel injection. cracked it over about 10 times and blew it all out. Then blasted the engine with starting fluid and then insterted my shiny new spark plugs. cracked it over for about 5 seconds and she fired up and runs fine now.
    Scary for a 2005 with 50K
  • deaundeaun Posts: 6
    Just a note:

    My 2005 RX-8 has always burned very, very litte oil--like one quart every 3000 miles--and I was understandably concerned. I knew it was supposed to burn more (by popular report), so had it checked.

    One dealer in Memphis checked it and prounounced the car "fine", but three weeks ago as I was driving to work (75 minute drive) it gained a dead-spot. I gave more gas--nothing--gave even more gas--even more nothing. :confuse:

    When I arrived at work, I shut the car down and called my husband. He called the dealer I prefer and they drove the four hours to come haul it back to the shop. After three weeks, the shop manager (one of my new best friends) called us into his office to break the news that it had "internal engine failure". :sick:

    It wasn't anything to do with the weight of the oil or how I drove it. It wasn't any actual flaw in the engine. Most likely, it had to do with the small amount of oil it was burning compared to the amount it needed. I know now that there was a service recall to adjust the oil/fuel ratio.

    I have NOT received ANY service bulletins/recall notices on my RX-8 since purchasing it brand new in 2006.

    Keep an eye out for service bulletins/recalls by checking the core Mazda forums at:

    I am registered on the site---which never showed any recalls or bulletins either.

    If it hadn't been for the Core Mazda Forum, I would never have known about the original drivetrain warranty extension to 60,000 miles, or the one posted this last summer updating the drivetrain warranty extension to 100,000 miles. I certainly never received it by mail or email. :cry:

    I now have a PDF of the document if anyone needs it. Email to mcneelyhomestead at yahell to get it sent to you. I hope you never need it--may your car be blessed by the rotary gods!

    After meeting with the Dale, I traded my beloved RX-8 in on a Mazda Tribute....they "gave" it an $8000 value. I wish the very best to everyone here. I loved my RX-8.

    With affection,

  • Claire@EdmundsClaire@Edmunds Chicago areaPosts: 968
    You can get the same info here for all makes & models: Edmunds Maintenance Schedules, TSBs and Recalls Guide



  • Ok folks. With all the talk of which oil to use. Do we use 5w-20 or 5w-30 and which is the best brand for the RX8
    Also, did Mazda extend the engine warrenty to 8/100?
  • HI im newbie here hope someone can help how to fix my car?

    My 2004 RX8 got flooded right now i remove the dashboard, etc. to dry up all sensors,relay, fuses, specially the ignition switch and gas pedal sensor.

    Now we tried to crank it without the plugs? and still there water.... what's the fastest/ easier way to take the water from engine???

    One more anyone uses alternative spark plugs rather i used OEM NGK? it's to expensive :sick:

    Hope hear a reply as soon as possible

    Thank you so much

  • buriaburia Posts: 1
    Hello there;
    I am new but reading the previus Post I am wondering if some People have a agenda other then help others.

    I am thinking of purchasing a new RX8 soon, have done a test Drive and think the Vehicle would make a nice present for my Wife.

    I am a bit more then just Mechanicaly inclined so I do not buy the argument with flooding the Rotary (Wankel) Engine. Sorry Folks but that sounds just bogus to me. Even if you would have one wet Sparkplug so what the others would be fine and the Engine should fire and with a few revolutions the previusly wet Plug would fire as well.

    Buying new Plugs becouse the present one is wet, think again. Do you Buy a new Windshield when it is dirty or what.

    Would apreciate to hear from anyone with veriviable marked research concerning these particular engines for the RX8 thank you and By for now
  • have a 2004 rx-8 and it is sputering out of first gear and i when i get it to go i high rev it and the engine light start to blink i dont know what it is can some one give some help so i dont fix the wrong thing. :cry:
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