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Mazda RX-8



  • rotaryrotary Posts: 71
    For anyone having doubts about buying a RX-8, just test drive one, and then go test drive the competitors to it.

    You'll find that the RX-8 can keep pace with anything in its price class, will out handle cars costing 20k more (yes, I'm speaking Porsche Boxter and Cayman class cars), and more practical and comfortable as a daily driver than just about anything else that can properly be called a 'sports car.'

    As for the horror stories about engine failures, they're relatively rare as a % of all models sold, are pretty much confined to the first model year of production, and happen most often in scorching hot temperature climates such as Nevada and Arizona with THE AUTOMATIC transmission (which only has one oil cooler, rather than the two that the manual has).

    So, unless you're looking at an '04 model year automatic transmission model, driven in stop and go traffic in a very hot state, you have very little to worry about (even then, statistically, you have little to worry about).

    My RX-8 has been rock solid and trouble free for 54,000 wonderful miles. The engine actually gets stronger with age. Just make sure to check the oil at least once a month. You will absolutely love the symphony the motor produces as you wind through all 6 gears - make sure you redline it all the way to 9,500 rpm - the rotary motor LOVES IT and THRIVES ON IT!!!

    You will also be AMAZED at the handling. Make sure to spring for a model with Electronic Stability Control - the car is so forgiving at the limit that it will make a novice drive look like a pro in every apex.

    If you do buy one, please, please, please, buy a manual, which has more power than the automatic, and do not brag to loudly about your car or let others drive it, lest the best value sports car on the market today becomes too popular, and ruins the party for those of us planning on buying what another. ;)

    By the way, the RX-8 has Porsche like handling and a perfect 50/50 weight distribution because its chief engineer worked for Porsche before his stint at Mazda.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I second this. A few things though:

    1: The rear seats are fine for kids and such. It's a 2+2 sedan, really. They just did the suicide rear door thing and decided to fake it being a coupe. But consider that it's a LOT more friendly in the rear than a 3 series or C class, let alone a Porsche(midgets in the rear, MAYBE?). It's a fine family car as long as you don't need a middle rear seat.(most of families don't)

    2: The engine is basically a giant motorcycle engine in how you drive it. So there's no lugging it off the line like a V8. Wind it up, flog it with abandon, and watch the car come alive(the rev limiter will keep it from hurting itself, so feel free to bounce off of it). It has a silly light flywheel as well with the manual transmission, so it revs like a sport bike as well.

    3: It's only .1 seconds slower than a Cayman and only 1mph slower in handling tests as well. Nothing else comes close for under $35-40K other than a WRX or a S2000. That you can get one for $25K or so after rebates ... amazing, really. True, a 3 series is nicer and faster, but the second you hit a set of curves, everything that isn't a Porsche or a roadster is far, far behind.

    4: The car does burn oil. Remember 2-strokes? They burned oil to run. This is essentially a 3-stroke engine and as such uses a tiny amount of oil to lubricate the inner seals as it runs. So you need to add some oil every month or two as normal upkeep. This is not a defect - it's just a different engine, just like how the old Corvairs has a turbine engine or how a Prius has a hybrid design. The problem came from people driving it like a 4-stroke engine and never adding oil for 5-6 months at a time. Then whining that the car had a defect. Well, low oil tends to ruin any engine quickly...

    5: Few people have them. As such, they are real "sleepers". A Cayman or Boxster is a cop magnet and people love to steal them. The RX-8 is none of that. It's all the function and none of the ego or bling. (I think it looks fantastic, but it isn't about appearing to be stupidly wealthy)

    6: Also avoid the black leather. It's hot and it makes it feel more cramped inside. The tan leather gives the car a much more open feel(blue and tan is a nice combo as well, IMO, as is white and tan)

    7:It gets good gas mileage considering that it's a true sports car like a Porsche or a 350Z or Mustang or... It's no Civic, but then again, no Civic could hope to keep up with it, either. leCode=RX8
    It's no slouch in terms of reliability or speed.

    The SpeedSource Mazda team beat the runner-up Porsche by over five laps. The win was Mazda's 22nd class win at the race, ending Porsche's lengthy winning streak at the biggest 24-hour race in America. In its wake, the champion SpeedSource number 70 RX-8 left behind over two dozen Porsche 911 GT-3s, a handful of Pontiacs, a pair of Ferrari 430 Challenges, a Corvette and a BMW M6. Although fierce attempts were made, including a total of 55 lead changes among 10 cars in the class, no one managed to pass the RX-8 for the final 185 laps.
    The thing's no joke. And what they ran was nearly a stock engine with manual as the engine can't really be pushed to more HP without a major redesign. Sure, they upgraded other things, added a roll cage and rear wing and so on, but the engine is pretty much what you get in one that you buy.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    Doesn't Speedsource run a 3-rotor?
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    Have had this complaint to the dealer since I had service at 27,000. Had the 30,000 service done. Oil changes at 33,000 and 36,000 with the same complaint. At 36,000 was told they had a tsb that will likely fix it. Nope. Took it back 3 days later, and they tried new plugs (leading and trailing) and new coils. Still has not helped. No plugs were fouled at all. It is a 2004 auto.

    Since the last service, I can be stopped and put the pedal to the floor, and it will just accelerate as if I was doing a nice, smooth "little" acceleration. Does the same in either auto or the manual shifting mode. Anyone have any ideas?
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    Took it to the dealer today and had the RX8 technician drive with me. He said there is a signifcant loss of power from a stop in first gear. Wants to give a compression test to it....did say the engine might need to be replaced. He said the 2004 4 speeds autos have less acceleration power than the newer 6 speed autos. But this was a real dog compared to others 4 speed autos. Will keep you posted.....

    Also, any tech out there for Mazda...what is the chance if they have to replace the engine that they put a 6 speed auto in rather than a 4? Is that even possible or does alot of other "stuff" have to change on the vehicle as well (just asking, I am not an "auto knowledgable person".
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    They will not swap your 4spd with a 6spd. they may fix your existing issues but they aren't going to retrofit the car to another build.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    If it's an automatic, it might be that the parts controlling the torque converter are bad and it is permanently engaged/locked up.
  • rotaryrotary Posts: 71
    If you haven't heard, ALL 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 RX-8s now have a 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on the Rotary Engine (housing and core), whether bought new or used, or in the U.S. of Canada.

    Mazda steps up to the plate and shows customer support once again. If you paid for past repairs that PREVIOUSLY out of warranty, you will be reimbursed for covered claims.

    Kudos, Mazda! :D
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    Went down that path with a 6-spd auto. I ended up needing a new engine. Hopefully whatever the outcome, you'll be happy.
  • What's you driving environment like, lots of stop and go or lots of highway? Do you stay in manual mode mostly or full auto. What part of the country? Do you take lots of trips in the summer heat? Do you rev past 5000RPM in first on a regular basis?
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    Mix of highway and city. I would say most likely I have it in auto mode, but I put it manual mode here and there. Most likely I do this when getting onto the highway. I am located in Wisconsin, and do not take alot of long trips in heat. The longest in summer would be about 1-1.5 hours on the highway. When I do enter the highway in manual mode, I will get to the 7,000RPM level in 1st and close to it in second. I have done that in the city as well with manaul mode where I will run it higher RPM's
  • rotaryrotary Posts: 71
    '04 model year with an auto tranny in hot climates is where compression problems are most prevalent w/8s.

    Auto transmission models have only one oil cooler which is not enough. Rotary produces lots of heat. It's inherent to the design.

    Manual models have dual oil coolers, and this helps keep things tame under the hood in hot climate, stop and go driving.

    At any rate, the 100,000 mile/8 Year Warranty offered by Mazda on all 2004-2008 RX-8s, whether bought new or used, and even reimbursing owners for core/housing problems when they were formerly out of warranty is a class act.

    One other thing, the new Renesis has a third fuel metering pump, whereas the last gen only had two.

    I love Mazda for keeping the rotary alive and well. It is unique, and while it has some negative aspects such as low torque and poor fuel economy (although I just broke 22 mpg on mixed driving for the first time, which isn't terrible for sports car), it has redeeming qualities in spades - especially that 9,500 redline that just makes beautiful music, while helping to keep the weight way, way down.

    My 8's handling is nothing short of amazing. And the braking is phenomenal too.

    I love this car more each year.
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    Got a call from the dealer today. After compression tests and other tests sent to Mazda, Mazda will replace the engine. At least they stand behind their product. Will keep you posted on what it is like when I get it back...

    Question - how does the warranty now work on the new engine? Does the warranty start over for the engine only? Or does it continue from where I am now?
  • rotaryrotary Posts: 71
    I'm not sure. Ask you service rep.

  • mugster06mugster06 Posts: 2
    So here is my question a/o comment.

    Wake up last Saturday to find my 2004 M GT wont start, click click.
    I go to work and on my wa home, as my roadside assist has expired look for a Tow truck. Cut to the chase, i get hom give it another try and ..... yes it works, no problems for a week.
    So here is my question .. Anyone ... anyone have the same situation>

    Afraid to take it anywhere :(
  • tlucas7tlucas7 Posts: 1
    I'm thinking of purchasing a used '04 rx8!! I test drove it and fell in love with the car. It's at a dealer, but I spoke with the previous owner and the engine has already been replaced in this car.. So I guess what I was wondering is did you find out how the warranty works on the new engine? I'm a college student and a part time worker when school is in session.. Sooo I can't afford to buy this car and then have to pay to replace the engine also..

    Any answers, comments, suggestions, etc... are appreciated. :)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The engines are fine. You just have to check the oil every time you fill the gas, since it burns oil as part of the design.(sort of similar to a 2-stroke engine in that way).

    The new one coming out this fall, though, has a much better and larger oil system, plus better styling(IMO) - it looks meaner and more aggressive. And I suspect they tweaked it just enough to get that .1 second difference between it and the Cayman sorted out.
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    Not all engines are OK. I just had mine replaced, '04 AT. As said, make sure you check the oil levels. Read this board and review what some very knowledgable people have to say. I do not consider myslef to be that, just a normal owner.

    When it was replaced, the delear said the engine will remain under warranty, either for the balance of the warranty or 1 year which ever is longer. (not sure if that is true, but from the dealer). But mazda has recently come out to extend the warranty on the rx-8 engine to 8yrs 100,000 miles. I think it does not matter if you are buying it used....but make sure to ask.
  • The problem, for the most part, is model year '04, especially with the automatic.

    The automatic only has one oil cooler. The manual has two oil coolers.

    Most of the problems with the Renesis have been overwhelmingly automatics, and a good chunk of those have been the first year of production.

    The new 8 year/100,000 mile warranty Mazda has issued, which transfers to second and third buyers, should provide peace of mind.
  • rncrnc Posts: 1
    Check wire harness connectors under airbox, if moisture or coolant drip on it you will lose P/S. yellow steering wheel will appear on Dash.

    You can also disconnect Battery poles for 5 min and reset CPU.
  • The 8 year/100k mile warranty is transferable to all subsequent owners, which is huge.
  • vkatvkat Posts: 3
    I got my cpu updated about 1-2 months ago and my 8 is using 1/2 the oil it did before ... i asked the dealer what they changed in the update and he said mazda will not tell them ???? i know from my old rx7 if your engine dosent use oil expect a new one soon.

    any insight? :confuse:
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    Mine was never more than 1/4 of a quart down in-between oil changes, so I never had to add any oil. That was evidently a bad sign as the engine went at less than 20K miles.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
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  • Ive been reading the messenges on the loss of power steering because mine just happened. Drove it home from work like i usually do, put it in the garage for the night. Next morning the lights on and no power to the steering. let it run, so i wouldnt flood it. took the train in that day came home thinking it would be fixed ( by elves) and nothing, light still on and no power. Now this is when it gets good. Brough it into Mazda, and they could figure out why it wasnt working. They talked to Mazda Canada, they sugested a new wire harness? anyway changed it and now the computer is giving it another problem or not. Still no power to the steering. Day 4 without the car. Now they are going to take out a power steerign unit out of another car, they know works and try that. ?????
    who built this car ? i would think in this day and age that its should be quite simple to figure out a simple problem like a motor that helps you steer. As you can tell i dont work on cars nor no much about it .

    Can anyone let me know if this problem is becoming more popular ? and if anyone knows for sure how or if this can be fixed?
  • its been fun. I enjoyed the zoom. I just traded in my pearl white 2005 rx8 for a 2008 335i sedan with sport premium packages. I put on 32,050 fun miles over 4 years. I got a crappy trade in offer, but at least my Bavarian friends backed off their ridiculous price. No comparison when regarding the BMW's 300+pds torque and horsepower. The car is scary fast.
    However, the rx8 was still a blast. I never had a serious issue. The only money I put into it were the winter tires and the 9 or ten oil changes. i had the squeaky brake pads replaced for free after 7000 miles.
    It handled like a true sports car. With the winter tires on, i never had an issue with snow. I liked checking the oil frequently, it made me feel like i was more involved with the car's upkeep. I never minded letting it warm up to avoid flooding and then revving it like i just stole it. The car was peppy and quick and i loved the look with the appearance package with side skirts and spoiler. The look of it reminded me of a mini viper . I wished Mazda added more torque and HP, but it didn't bother me too much when I was able to hug curves and corner better than 95% of the cars out there. THe car had its quirks, but it never bothered me. This was a great forum to keep me updated and I wish all of you a trouble free experience like I had. Ride on. ;)
  • Regarding my last post, i did have one issue that regarded the engine recall/failed vacuum test, but Mazda dealer handled it professionally, replaced the engine and the car ran just as great after i got it back 4 days later. Any issue I had, they took care of it and at least they stepped up and handled it properly. the extended warranty provided piece of mind. Again--nothing but good times with the car. As i said before, This forum was very helpful when i needed answers about anything related to the 8.
  • Hey tomnavy, do you own an RX8? If so, what year? Can you give me any advice if I'm looking to buy a 2004 RX8? ~~~ Thanx! :)
  • Assuming it isn't under an extended warranty, the first thing I'd recommend is making sure that all TSBs and recall work has been done (especially the bigger battery, hotter spark plugs and stronger starter motor). When purchasing a used car, I generally assume that the fluids were not changed when they were supposed to, so I immediately have them all changed. This is particularly important with any car with a rotary, because the quality of the engine's oil makes or breaks it. Approximately 30-40% of the engine's cooling is done by the oil, so thermal breakdown is quite common and Mazda recommends what I regard as a completely unrealistic 7500 mile oil change interval. If you're sticking with the US-recommended 5W-20, then I strongly advise you to keep that to 3000 miles as I have done. I would also recommend that you have a compression test done on any RX-8 you're considering. A small number have had issues and you want to make sure you don't get a bad one. The two things you want to make sure of are:
    1. always let the engine warm all the way up (yes, ALWAYS!)
    2. be care to not let the engine overheat

    If you live in an area that gets particularly hot in the Summer, consider installing an oil temp gauge and take whatever steps are needed to keep the oil temperature below 250F.

    If you live in an area that gets particularly cold in Winter, be very careful to make sure the engine reaches full operating temperature. If in doubt, use the cold shut down procedure of holding the engine revs at 3000 for 10 seconds before shutting the engine down. This will make sure that the oil film inside the engine is not excessively diluted by fuel, causing a temporary reduction of compression and very hard starting.
  • Thanx! I'll keep all that in mind. I think my best bet might also be to take it to a reliable mechanic and have them do a compression test and just check the car out completely. Thanx so much for the advice. :)
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