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Mazda RX-8



  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    start a "Rotary Rescue" program. A friend of mine asked me if I had experienced any problems with my car and told me a story about a man who purchased a loaded red RX8 for his grand-daughter's 16th birthday. She knew nothing about it, just liked the way it looked. My guess is Gramps knows no more. She took it to a football game the first week she had it and some "classmates" keyed it in the parking lot. She's had a couple of fender-benders in it so far. They've had all kinds of problems with it (imagine that??) and are constantly griping about what a terrible car it is. This story gave me chills. This car needs to be rescued (if it's not too late) and given a good home where it will be loved and cared for. Maybe we should have a moment of silence for all those 8's out there who aren't as fortunate as ours!!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    If your battery goes dead when the car sits for 6 months or less, there is something wrong with the battery! There is a power draw in the RX-8 but it's less than 20 mA when the car is off. Check that your interior lights go out, including the underhood and trunk light. If they go out, then complain to the dealer that the battery goes dead in whatever days. They should replace it under warranty.

    The batteries the RX-8 came with were of poor quality. They leak and don't seem to last very long. It isn't that they are too small. My 3rd gen RX-7 has a battery in it that is 1/2 the size of the RX-8 battery and it works just fine - going on 4 years now. You can, after all, turn over the rotary engine with one hand!

    A poor quality battery may have a higher internal shorting resistance - that is, it self discharges faster than a good quality battery. If it is allowed to discharge too far any lead acid battery will start to "sulphate". This sulphate falls off the plates and settles to the bottom of the battery. Eventually it builds up enough that it will start to short out the plates (not a dead short, a slow discharging short). This makes the self discharge even worse. If your battery dies after a few days of non-use this is what is happening. If you put a voltmeter across the battery after it has not been used for a few days, then turn on the headlamps and see 10V or less, you have one or more cells that are being discharged by this self-discharge effect. If you see 12 V the battery is fine and you need to check the terminals for oxide buildup (use a wire brush to clean them such as the inexpensive round type that do both the posts and the terminals - remove connector, clean post and connector - replace connector). Always remove the -ve terminal first - that way if you accidentally ground the post with your tools nothing happens. Leave the -ve terminal disconnected while you do the +ve terminal.

    If you do disconnect the battery, you will probably have to reset the electric power steering as per the owners manual - turn all the way right, then left, then centre.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    Sorry Dennis.....correct in your calculations...I was just trying to, simply, show the difference I get between City & Hwy......I do have all the "gallons needed to fill" in my books...just that I was to lazy to get up and walk across the room to get them when I wrote!!......the difference between 20 and 23 would be a big deal to those interested in such things, so my bad!......just wanted everyone to know that City and Hwy MPG is different, especially if you hang out in the upper ends of the rpms........not that I condone such things....wait....what am I saying??...of course I condone that sort of thing in the RX8!!.. :) .....wheeeee!!!!
  • well i was lookin at this page and saw the extrme rx8 it says its a concept but its high possibility of production,but thats not my point well idont no much about cars but i really like the rx-8 and i am learnin alot about it and saw this and was really amazed.but i wanted to know if in this rx-8 can i still put in a turbo kitt for ex:speed force turbo kit, and can i still make all the improvments like pulleys,cold air intake,short shift, in this rx-8 and make it even better? i really need to know plzz help me thanks:)
    this is the link:
  • mba2dnamba2dna Posts: 8
    It is 05 brand new. Surprisely, it includes clear side markers and vent strakes. Low end torque is disappointed but with satisfactory acceration in high spin.
  • giuliassgiuliass Posts: 4
    I'm currently driving FC, and planning on adding a family friendly 8. From general research and feeling, it's very close to my NA and I love it. But, I see so many 6MT in a seemingly good condition for less then $25K (sometimes less then $23K) everywhere (eBay etc.)

    What could they not like about 8? Power? MPG? If so, both issues have had opinion and revew from everywhere... Are they just dumb?

    Thanks for any tips!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    They don't get very good mileage, and with current fuel prices lots of folks are trying to dump them. Some also can't handle the flooding possibility.

    You also have to realize they can be had for $25K to $27K new (particularly left over 04s on dealer lots), so those prices aren't particularly cheap for a used one. Check out the prices paid and deals made forum on this site.

    Bottom line, it's a vehicle for particular people, rotor heads and those who really like the styling. For the rest, it's appearantly too complicated to operate. They don't get not letting it idle very much, not shutting it off before warming it up, and letting the engine rev properly.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Congrats on your new ride, mba2dna! I hope you'll also post in the Mazda RX-8: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion, to help out other members who are looking to buy an RX-8.


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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,137
    pathstar....haven't been here in a long time. Glad to see you're still here.

    From a former 8 owner (that was totalled), I had mine nearly two years.....20K miles.

    I agree with you. The 8 is a bit quirky, but so rewarding.

    I wasn't a "rotorhead. I just enjoyed its performance. It's amazing to me how this car has all of a sudden fallen off the sales radar. A few simple "rules" to follow (that you've alluded to) will reward the owner with one of the most scintilating sports cars currently made. To me, that was a very small price to pay to enjoy the 8.

    I guess some just don't "get it", though.

    I can't believe there are still '04s left on the ground waiting for an owner. Did Mazda "up" production and not tell anybody? What's your opinion why these cars seem to be languising?
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • giuliassgiuliass Posts: 4
    Thanks for the explanation Parthstar1 and Graphicguy!

    It is very sad (good for me in short-term as a potential buyer)... Mileage and other things should have been researched since it's never stated "good mileage." Gee, I just don't get it; '04 with $5K reabte almost reaching used market. I truly think 8 are misunderstood for just another car on the market. I think it's a shaped spirit of Mazda's R&D unlike other "regular" cars. ahm... yes, I am a rotary head...

    I guess sporty handling and chasis balance isn't highly valued in the US market... And Mazda is all about that: MS3, MS6, Miata(MX-5) and FC (except FD.) Even so, I think it was awesome package for the price.

    And asking why I haven't ran to the lot? I'm still hoping they would build MS version. I just love the mirrors! (did you notice it's identical to '89-'91 Vert & TII?)

    Again, thanks!
  • antib0b77antib0b77 Posts: 5
    ok, my 8 has 900 miles on it. its run great smooth as a kitten. just yesterday my oil light came on. i pulled into adcanced auto parts to get some oil (5w-20) just in case. i checked my oil it was fine, the dipstick read just below full, and when i read the manual it said if its between those 2 notches on the dipstick its fine. so i figured hhmmm, maybe something jiggled when my car hit a bump. the oil light came on for about 20 -30 secs and then went off. it did it a again today. i went to the dealership and i told them what had happened. oh yeah!! it happened the first time when i was shiftiong into 5th gear, i slightly released the clutch early and i grinded it for a split sec, im talkin like a quick gind, and then it went into gear. i didnt force it, i pressed the clutch again to put it in 5th. it still runs great but im just curious about the oil light. could u tell me what it might be, since ur an electric whiz and a mechanic tinkerer. haha thnx
  • llbeanjeepllbeanjeep Posts: 21
    Hey gang! I'm new to this forum and going to be new to an RX8 in the next month or so I hope! I have only ever owned Jeeps, and am SO ready for a fun sporty car. After lots of research, the RX8 seems like the perfect fit. I need a backseat at least for my 40-lb pup, but don't want a full sedan or tiny bench back seat in a 2-seater. Also, I'm learning to drive stick (thanks to the boyfriend) just to get the MT RX8. Is this smart, or is the RX8 too "advanced" for a newbie to stick shift? I'm 23, purchased my first home last year, and with the addition of a roommate income am ready to take on my first sporty car! Whatcha think?

    Is the RX8 too high maitenence for a newbie, or is it just right as I hope? Thanks everyone! :blush:
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Oil light - there was a redesign of the baffling in the oil pan in the first year of production, but your car should have that (unless you got an early production date car). If you got an early car, the replacement oil pan is a warranty item. If you have a current vehicle (2004 and later production) it may just have been an oxidized connection. Keep an eye on it, and if it does it again consult the dealer. When you corner hard (and you can in this car) you can move the oil enough to cause concern for the engineers - and that's why they had to re-do the baffling in the first year. You can even cause sloshing of the oil into the PCV system (hence we see oil in the intake tract).

    Learning to shift on an RX-8 - This is the perfect car to learn to shift on, as it shifts so easily. Best part is if you get confused or too busy you don't have to shift. The car can be driven with minimal shifting due to the extremely wide rev. range! Take your time when learning. Drive when there is less traffic until you get comfortable with shifting. It takes time to get your brain "programmed" to the sequences required for smooth shifting. Don't worry or be harassed by impatient drivers if you stall it in intersections. They've all been there once if they know how to drive a manual. Practice the harder parts where there are no cars, such as starting out on an uphill (using the e-brake - but your bf should know what you need to learn). The only other thing I can recommend is professional lessons. Close friends or relatives are not the best teachers - not because they may not know what to teach - but because there are too many other personal factors that will interfere with learning.

    As far as the rest, let the engine rev. - run it at least 3k when cruising, that is to say don't putter around below that RPM for long periods. NEVER shut the engine off until it warms up (the temp gauge moves up a bit) or you could get into the "flooding" regime. If you intend to have a "large" dog on the rear seat, check out seat covers. The ones with nice coarse cloth fibres would give the dog good purchase without worry of tearing the fabric.
    Follow these and it's a fine car, even for a beginner. It's a very good safe design that has saved quite a few lives so far in "incidents". Even better when you like the looks of it!
  • llbeanjeepllbeanjeep Posts: 21
    Thanks so much for the great response. I'm glad to know the RX8 isn't such a serious driving machine for the hard core drivers that I could also handle it and learn with it, then make it drive like it was meant to. Good to know! The bf is being pretty serious about these lessons... wanted to "simulate real traffic conditions" in the high school lot before he lets me out on the road! Crazy, and pretty serious.
    I live in Northern Virginia, outside of DC, and lots of people hate having MTs around here, but it seems they are wimping out and have poor cars to sit in traffic with, hard clutches, etc. As someone said here, they prefer to sit with their coffee and feet up rather than drive the car.
    Pup seat protector is definitely in order to protect my new investment. I'm really excited, and doing the appropriate research I think. Makes me nervous to get into a totally new car class than I"m used to, but also very excited about the seemingly perfect fit of the RX8 and my needs.
    Any other tips and tricks are greatly appreciated. I'll be sure to report back on any purchase here... stay tuned! Thanks guys!
    Did I mention how hot this car looks?!

    PS: Silver or Velocity Red? I'm a 20-something blonde gal. Hmmmm. ;)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Don't forget tonight's member-to-member chat - it's open mic night, so come and discuss whatever's on your mind.

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  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    One thing about the RX-8 you have to keep in mind if you experience winter. It comes with "summer performance tires". That means little traction in ice and snow. Factor in the cost of four wheels and winter tires. We found some nice relatively inexpensive "AR" aluminum 17" wheels and use Nokian WR tires to good effect in winter. Here in Edmonton Alberta we do have much more severe winters than you. We choose the 17" to get a little more ice clearance in the wheelwells. Something I forgot to mention earlier. The car is easy to drive in slippery conditions, because it has TCS (traction control system) and DSC (dynamic stability control) as well as antilock brakes. They don't help much if the tires have no grip, however.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,137
    20 something blonde?

    No bout a doubt it.....velocity red is the color with the spoiler, rotary accents, strakes and ground effects.

    ;) :) :shades:

    Aside from a 5-speed Corolla, the RX8 would be one of the easier cars to learn how to drive a stick shift.

    I'm sure pathstar would offer his services as a teacher (too bad "cheeze" drives an automatic....since he'd offer lessons, too).
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • llbeanjeepllbeanjeep Posts: 21
    Hey gang! Yeah, I thought you'd get a kick out of choosing my color for me. Ha. I think red would be best, too. I own a silver car now, time for a change. We'll see.

    So this morning I was rear-ended by a Neon (ewww) and my poor Jeep needs some work. I think it's time to toss it for an 8 sooner than I wanted! Not my fault or anything crazy, the silly girl wasn't paying attention and her hood crumpled like a Coke can under my spare tire in the back... got me thinking. :sick:

    Anyone been in an accident with their 8, or saved by the TCS/DSC? I've enjoyed the safety of the Jeeps I've owned, and don't want to sacrifice the safety end for a hot car. Read the RX8 safety specs, so I know about that... just would like some real world info as to avoiding accidents or how the 8 body handled any fender-benders. :confuse:
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,137
    Yes, I have been in an accident with my (now departed) RX8. It didn't involve the TDS/DSC, as I was actually stopped at a redlight when a Dodge Ram plowed into the back of me, which in turn, shoved me into the Accord in front of me.

    If you could have seen my 8, you would have thought no one survived. It was crushed both front and rear. But, the structure held well in protecting me. Aside from burns and bruises on my arms from the airbag deployment and a broken nose, I came away relatively unscathed.

    The RX8, on the other hand, was totalled.

    I'd say it sacrificed its life for mine and did so commedably.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    GGuy - welcome back! FYI, my co-worker went with the Magnum over the Stang! Fool! It would have been nice to have a new Stang next to my 8 in the lot! Now it's a fat station wagon! a big engine....heehee

    PathStar - even though he went Ford, I think there is still a little bit of "rotarian" left in GGuy!.......I mean, if his sister worked for Mazda, and not Ford, he would be back in another 8....or 6...or 3......LOL!.......

    ok...Bean - ....Red...go with my is is makes my heart sing......and get tint....super-cool!........and the 18" wheels...and sport package.....and make sure it's red......sweet, sweet red.....

    no, about thoses lessons.....well....after trying to teach my sister, I don't think I have the patience....especially at my age.......(GGuy - you need to think about that as well!) but the MT I test drove was should love it!......

    ..also, I just bought some Meguiar's NXT Tech Wax...supposed to be really good... .(AutoWeek said so, I believe) the when it stops raining on my days off here in So.Fl. I will try it out! If any of you fine folks here have tried it, let me know!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,137
    Thanks....I never really left. I'm still a rotor head at heart. Just didn't work out this go round.

    A colleague has a Magnum. Way different car than the RX8.....or, the Mustang, for that matter. The only similarity with the Mustang is the V8. Not a bad ride. Not my cup of tea, but I can see it's appeal.

    Magnum has absolutely no similarities to the RX8. Magnum is big, heavy and needs that motor to haul all that wieght with any amount of verve.

    I've read lots of good things about the NXT wax. Never used it, though. I've been a Zaino "guy" for many years and like it a lot. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    I was in Miami last week for work. Rented a Solara convertible, but it was even too hot to put the top down.

    Heading for a cruise out of there next weekend. Need some time off in the worst way.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • Hi all, I'm new to the forums, and I plan on purchasing a 6 speed, with the grand touring package. I have a couple of questions. First off, I've never driven a manual in my life, but for the RX 8 i wanna get the 6 speed, I'm not much of car guy, more of a computer nerd, so I was wondering is the extar Horsepower worth getting the manual? My next questions is that I'm planing on getting a body kit that makes it look like the RX 8 in X2: X men United, is it worth getting the spoiler and any of the other exterior extras if I'm planning on just getting a body kit and a new wing?
    Another appearence question, on some pics of the RX 8, they these two silver bullets on the vents on the side of the car, (sorry for crappy description) where can you get those? it dosent appear that they come on the vehicle stock. And finally how close is the Winning Blue color to the color of the RX 8 in X2? Thats all the questions I can think of for now. Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
  • this is in addition to my previous post, If i do go with the manual, and being rather new to manuals, is it really difficult, I've read alot of post with issues about flooding.
  • secondcitysecondcity Posts: 28
    Learning the manual transmission is a blast- but it is also easier said than done. It takes time and patience. Find a back road with straightaways and some hills. You want to put yourself in every driving scenario involving clutch work.

    The manual trans on the RX8 offers about 40 more horsepower than the automatic. Go with the manual-you'll appreciate that decision down the line.

    Flooding is not an issue for me. I bought an '05 at the end of April. I came to this board after my purchase and I thought I was doomed to experience countless problems. Don't freak out like I did. I have had zero problems- and the car is a blast to drive. I was disappointed at first in the low end torque. Also, Mazda was claiming 0-to 60 in under six seconds -which is b.s. I was getting to 60 mph in the mid to high 6's. . --It took me awhile to get used to the high winding RPMs--Redline is 9000. The car is quick enough for me--but more importantly--it handles like a dream. You won't win a race against a Mustang-but you will outperform most cars- and you will appreciate the way the car handles and feels. It looks a mini-viper--I love it.

    When you start the car- let it warm up before shut down. Its simple--and you will get used to it. The manual transmission offers the ability to give it higher revs- which you must give the car since it has a rotary engine. Check back to earlier posts that involves a person by the name of Pathstar. The guy knows the car inside and out.
    Get the manual-performance wise--it is worth it. You get to maximize each gear to its fullest. You'll appreciate when you have to pick up speed in a hurry to get on an expressway/highway or when you need to pass a slow moving vehicle.
    Good luck.
  • dtopgeardtopgear Posts: 24
    This popped up on the web a few days ago.

    Ok grant it the car in the pictures is a little...well, altered. :) Mazda should try harder to get a 5 star rating all the way around, btw.

    Also does anyone know if the horsepower in the auto trans RX-8 can be brought up to the same level as the manual with out destroying the transmission?

    Looking soon to be an RX-8 owner.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Also does anyone know if the horsepower in the auto trans RX-8 can be brought up to the same level as the manual with out destroying the transmission?"

    Depends on how you make horsepower.

    The problem with making the tranny 'live' with the 238hp version isn't the horsepower level, it's the rpm level. Automatics and 9k rpm don't mesh real well.

    If you made more hp by increasing the torque (by using a s/c perhaps) and keeping a more benign rpm, then I don't see any reason why the tranny would have a problem.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Many of us are waiting - for certain "developments" that have been in the internal Mazda pipeline for a few years now. These include a new manual trans. that uses "paddle shifters", and a new automatic that can take 9000 RPM. Both may be deemed too expensive by the Mazda accountants, but we shall see - they say we may see in 2006.

    The difference between the "low power" and "high power" engine shows up above about 6000 RPM, and is really evident above 7000 RPM. There are extra intake ports that come into play. These, in essence, allow the torque to continue unabated to 9000 RPM. Torque times RPM equals horsepower. I'm simplifying things greatly here, but this is the essence of the difference.

    The automatic transmission Mazda used was not reliable when the engine was reved above 7500 RPM, so they optimized a "renesis" design for use up to that RPM and paired it with the auto. They optimized another version for use with a manual transmission. It is reliable up to 9000 RPM (the engine is the limiting factor in this case). Because HP is torque times RPM, this is the "high power" engine. In North America we see the "high power" engine as the manual and the "low power" engine as the automatic. In other markets you can get the "low power" engine with a 5 speed manual - because it has fewer parts it is less expensive to build and the 5 speed is less expensive, so that combination gave them a lower cost car to market - still having the RX-8 "looks". The current automatic can't handle more than 7500 RPM - and I suspect it's the torque converter not the gearset that is the limiting factor.

    So, the answer to your question is, without going to forced intake (supercharger or turbocharger), no, the automatic can't be brought up to the manual level. A turbo on the automatic is possible without destroying the trans. but we don't know the exact limits of the transmission, and adding a turbo to any car is not easy being that the engine is controlled by a computer (the PCM), which is not easily modified.
  • dtopgeardtopgear Posts: 24
    Thanks for the info guys. There are some turbos out there. Not sure if they are geared towards an automatic. Think that a Supercharger would be excellent but spinning one past 7500 rpm sounds a little crazy to me. Think the best solution would be a low pressure turbo to boost the low end torque. The PMC is another issue alltogether though.

    Anyway I'm waiting for the 2006 specs to come out. A "paddle shifter" that works would be worth the wait. And does anyone have know of performance figures for the Auto vs the Manual? Does the extra torque of the auto make up for the horsepower loss? Is gas milage any better or worse?
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Unless you are stuck with a bumper to bumper crawl of a commute you should do yourself a favor and learn how to drive stick. Makes driving (any car) just that much more enjoyable.

  • dtopgeardtopgear Posts: 24
    I know how to drive a stick. Have been driving them since I was 13. I live in Miami. all it is bumper to bumper like 80% of the time. Also my wife is more interested in an auto so although while I prefer a manual gear box, I have to consider an Auto. And frankly I've been in several cars that suck with and manual. Mostly GM products.
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