Mazda RX-8 Care & Maintenance

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Share you care and maintenance routines and schedules here.


  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    Did not notice that we have a specific forum for this!...Cool!

    5K service cost me $22. Took 45 min. I read "MIX" magazine.
  • johncaliforniajohncalifornia Member Posts: 28
    I've owned rotaries before, and will be changing the oil in my RX-8 every 5000 miles maximum.

    My driving style will suite the rotary's needs, including good warm-up before I drive it hard, All the temp gauge tells you is that the water is warm -- not the engine. Minimum ten minutes' driving is required.

    Once warmed up I'll keep the revs up, never going below 4K and usually between 5K and 8K. The best way to destroy a rotary is to lug it. Rotaries live to rev -- it's what the engine was designed for.

    People who complain about the RX-8's lack of torque just don't know how to drive a rotary!

    With frequent oil changes, premium fuel only and the right driving style, I expect this engine to last indefinitely. At the same time avoid the flooding issue and other driver-induced issues.
  • califcajincalifcajin Member Posts: 1
    does anyone have suggestions on products to clean and protect chrome wheels??
  • bigmike5bigmike5 Member Posts: 960
    I have chrome Razorstar OEM wheels on my 99 300M, almost 6 years old now. They still look like new. The only thing I do is use a bucket of warm water, a soft sponge, and as small amount of dishwasher fluid and clean them about twice a week by hand usually, although sometimes a no-touch car wash on "The Works" setting will also do well blasting them clean. After washing I usually finish them up using Armor-All window cleaner. It doesn't work all that great on windows, but I have found that it does really great at shining up the chrome wheels and it comes off easily using a paper towel leaving a great sheen when I do a final buff with a soft cloth. Others may use specific wheel products, I haven't tried any of those. Like I said mine still look great.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Care & feeding of your RX-8 could certainly be a topic for discussion in our weekly Mazda chat...

    Mazda Mania

    Welcome to the Mazda Mania Weekly Chat!

    Liven up your evening and join your fellow enthusiasts every Tuesday from 6-7pm PT/9-10pm ET for our Mazda Mania Chat!

    This coming week's chat on Feb 10 is also going to include a set of trivia questions about the 2004 Mazda models, gleaned from the pages of! So study up and join us on Tuesday evening!!


    PF Flyer
    Pickups & News & Views Message Boards
  • flatpickflatpick Member Posts: 43
    <<Once warmed up I'll keep the revs up, never going below 4K and usually between 5K and 8K. The best way to destroy a rotary is to lug it. Rotaries live to rev -- it's what the engine was designed for>>

    Can someone explain a bit further what the issues are with driving with rpm's below 4K. What damage could be done? I drove a 5.0 Mustang before my RX8 and we all know how the V8's pull in low rpm so I find myself shifting maybe a little earlier sometimes as I'm been use to the chugging a Mustang for 5 years....

    Love this RX8 just need to get use to 5-8K rpm shift points.
  • clementunesclementunes Member Posts: 6
    Just wondered about waxing the fiberglass areas in the front and rear bumper of my RX-8. Is this something that should be done or is there another product that should be used to protect these areas?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Well, first of all, I'm pretty sure if those parts are stock, they are urethane. Aftermarket parts often use fibreglass. Usually the same paint is used on both the metal and plastic (with different primers, perhaps). Anyway, either way, I use the Zaino stuff. It works on paint, metal, polyurethane, fibreglass, etc, etc. I could give instructions, but it's all on their website.
  • psgpsg Member Posts: 72
    Has anyone out there done their own oil change? I Looked at my first RX-8 engine over the weekend. It looked like the oil filter is going to be a bear to get out, not to mention dumping oil on the engine in the process. I was very surprised at how cramped the engine bay was. When I asked the sales guy how to get the filter out, he said, "you take it to service." Good come back, but a lousy answer. I asked the same guy a question about spark plugs and he was clueless (where?, how many?). My experience with Japanese automobiles, including Mazda (MX-6 GT), has been they are easy to work on. My wife commented that it must be the Ford influence. (I owned an SHO and the only thing right about it was the wonderful motor - which was made by Yamaha.)

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    is easy to change. It doesn't spill oil on the engine when you remove it. I think it drains into the engine when you shut it off.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218 RX8 AT went in for the Airbag wire recall thingy.....and to fix the front right underpanel that got smashed when a roofing tar-paper roll hit me! took about an charge. They offered a rental, but I wanted to read while surrounded by happy RX8 faces! Plus they did their full inspection of fluids and such. All is well!
  • slices17slices17 Member Posts: 35
    I was on my way to work this morning when the engine oil warning light came on. It happened when I shifted from 6th to 5th. Needless to say, it was a rather disturbing experience. Fortunately, the light went out after a few seconds.

    Later on, when I shifted from 4th to 3rd, the same thing happened again - engine oil warning light came on, stayed on for a few seconds, and then went out.

    Has anyone experienced the same? I looked it up in the owner's manual and the owner's manual does say that the Renesis engine consumes a small amount of oil and that the owner should check the oil level frequently. Do you guys check your oil level regularly?


  • zoomrx8zoomrx8 Member Posts: 11
    I Just Installed a K&N Racing Air Filter in my rx 8. This is a permanebnt filter that lasts 100,000 miles. The increse in performance is well worth the $60 bucks. Any one else tried this yet?
  • tomatnavytomatnavy Member Posts: 27
    I bought one of these for my tribute--I can't feel any difference in performance nor is there any benefit in gas mileage.I certainly would not buy another one
  • donaldsdonalds Member Posts: 28
    Was just going to ask the same question on changing the oil myself, the manual states a special tool is need to reinstall the filter, where can one be found?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    doesn't need a special tool, unless they think the mechanic's hand is special. It's a little tight in there but not bad. At least you don't have to remove 14 bolts like on my Pathfinder!
  • nojetsnojets Member Posts: 31
    Anyone have an opinion on the use of synthetic oil in an RX8? Would it enhance the life of the motor, and significantly, would it prevent any warm-up problems since the viscosity of synthetic oil does not vary with temperature as much a conventional oil. Any thoughts?
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    well, had my 10,000 mile service....I have a slight brake screech and the A/C cooling issue that I wanted them to look into.....

    I am worried....not only did I have to fill out a 20 min "Brake Problem Form" that the dealer had to fax to some guy so that he could look at the issue, but the problem was not fixed - "Could Not Duplicate Problem" is what they put on my papers {for the record, my brakes put out a nice, soft screech EVERY time I press the brakes. It bothers me. It is there.}

    THEN, I handed the TSB for the A/C issue to my service tech. He had no idea what I was talking about till I handed it to him. Then he asked if he could keep my print out. Sure, be my guest! Would you like m to print out one for all your RX8 customers?.....heehee.....anyway, not inspiring. And, that was not fixed either because, shock!, they didn't have any of the parts.

    After that, I got my regular 10K service - which took 2 and half hours.......good thing I brought a PCGamer to read....

    To sum up, it took too long, didn't get everything fixed and I will have to go back. However, the car runs like a dream!! I now have to deal with the thought of going some place else for the service - which runs against the loyalty part of my brain....hmmmm.....comments are welcome....
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    is back-ordered I hear. You may have to wait a while, but you would at any dealer.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    Cool...thanks for the info.....I will wait then...any chance i can get you to come to Florida every 5K miles to do the service for me?.. :-)
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    That comment has me chuckling. I thought to myself, "I'm an Electronics tech. not a mechanic, but they way these cars are going re electronics overlooking everything, maybe that comment was appropriate after all". Even though I'm sure it was in jest.

    For me, working on the mechanicals is a hobby. I love the advanced mechanical stuff, hence I get a kick out of working on my RX-7 and occationally tweeking Maurice's RX-8.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    Well, you just wait till I win the lottery!...I'll fly ya down or I'll drive up and let you loose on my RX8!....I am sure you could tweak out a few more HP's!.....

    In all seriousness, your comments/info are very helpfull....we here in the forum owe you a nice pie or cake or something for your help!....

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    It's Tuesday, so it's Mazda chat time again. Drag a friend along tonight!

    Mazda Mania

    Welcome to the Mazda Mania Weekly Chat!

    Liven up your evening and join your fellow enthusiasts every Tuesday from 6-7pm PT/9-10pm ET for our Mazda Mania Chat!
    The chat room opens 15 minutes before the scheduled chat time, so come early and get a good seat! Hope to see YOU there on Tuesday!

    Mazda Mania Chat Room

    PF Flyer
    Pickups & News & Views Message Boards
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    16,000 miles and the water pump "cracked"....under warranty, no charge...took 2 is back to running like a dream.....first sign of a problem was the coolant light came on at startup and stayed on for about a minute. But all is well now. If you see that happening, take your 8 in!.....
  • zoomzoomx8zoomzoomx8 Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone notice oil residue when they check their oil? Or when you open the oil cap to add more oil, do you see creamy brown sludge, like oil goo? I have never seen this in any other car? Is it unique to the rotary engine?
  • mugster1mugster1 Member Posts: 34
    Not to worry, pretty normal stuff. Apparently its condensation that's got into your oil. Nothing to worry about.
  • tjjjr2tjjjr2 Member Posts: 4
    Manual calls for SAE 5W-20 API SL (ILSAC GF3)
    June 2004 a better SAE 5W-20 API SM (ILAC GF4) was introduced

    Does anyone know if using the newer SM GF4 will effect warranty?
    harder to find the SL these days
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    Had to prepare for a trip to Disney World (!!!).....and needed new tires....

    I purchased 4 new Portenzas - $225 each....from the got an alignment. The rubber has made the car 'feel' like new again. I had gone 30K miles on then 1st set - including a 5700 mile trip around the USA! observation is that these are great tires!

    The old tires had worn in a nice even pattern across all 4 tires - basically almost bald. With my South Florida location, all this rain was making for some slippery driving!
  • bonnieb1bonnieb1 Member Posts: 3
    Did you ever get a diagnosis on your brakes? Mine squeal 80% of the time too & I have a service appointment in a week.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    yes I did find out what it was......2 things really
    1) slight rotor problem with the back right wheel, in which the dealer 'shaved' the rotor
    2) since my "tour de usa", I've warped my front two rotors!

    to solve the second problem, I have to bring in car for a complete brake job - which is fine because I DID the damage driving like a nut-case!! but it's hard not too in this lovely machine!! also, I am gonna see if I can wait another month and a half before I do this - I want to send the $ to the hurricane relief fund....I can live with this for awhile!....
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Rotor warping is caused by heating them up by braking hard from high speed, then stopping and sitting for a few minutes. The caliper cools off only one part quickly, and that warps the rotor. If you have to brake hard to a stop, try stopping 10 ft or so behind where you HAVE to stop, then allow the vehicle to roll forward a few feet every 5 sec or so. This will cool the rotor down more evenly.

    A little trick I use to avoid replacing those "junk" too thin rotors manufacturers give us!
  • dwynnedwynne Member Posts: 4,018
    The #1 cause of rotor warping is over tightening or uneven tightening of the lugs. Pretty typical if you take your car someplace to have a flat fixed or tires rotated and the tire place uses an air gun to put the tires back on (and they all do). Even if they use a torque stick on the air gun they can still do it wrong and cause your rotor to warp.

    I always try to take the wheels in via another car when I need work, or if I can't I loosen the lugs when I get home and re-do them with a hand torque wrench.

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Actually, the detailed explanation of this is fascinating. If you just went up to your vehicle when the wheel was already installed and the nuts properly torqued and overtorqued one nut it would not warp the rotor. The reason is the rotor hat is a flat plate under the flat wheel mount flange against the flat hub.

    What actually warps the rotor is when they torque to full value the first nut, then do the next, the next, etc. The wheel tends to not centre properly on some vehicles, and when the first nut is torqued down, it holds the wheel off-centre enough that when they torque another the wheel acts like a wedge pressing against the edge of the rotor hat. This can slightly bend the rotor hat on one side on some vehicles - not all are suseptable, explaining one reason why some vehicles are more prone to warping than others. For those that don't get into this, the rotor hat is the part that holds the brake rotor to the wheel hub. Sometimes it's one piece with the hub, sometimes it's a separate piece.

    The solution, or way to avoid rotor warping from this cause, is to hand tighten all nuts first. Then use three tightening passes, first at 10% or so final torque, next at 60% or so final torque, and the last at full torque, always moving across the stud circle to do the next nut. This is what I have always done, after noticing the wheel can get offset if you torque the first one without the others tight.

    I've found that generally, differential heating and poor installation are about equal in cause of warping on suseptable vehicles. Not all will warp from poor installation, and not all will warp from differential heating, though, so the #1 cause will vary from vehicle make/model to vehicle.
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    as always, thanks for the info! People like you make this forum the greatest!!!

    and if driving 90+mph on a mountain pass (at midnight), then braking hard to avoid a big owl in the middle of the road, then sitting for 5 min or so, to catch my breath, qualifies for "classic rotor warping" - I am guilty of that!
  • wpavlik2wpavlik2 Member Posts: 32
    Does anyone else have a dealership that isn't ordering the 5w20 oil? :confuse:

    Dealership in NC told me today that Mazda is OK with them using 5w30 oil in our area. I am still a bit concerned that this is going to make my gas mileage worse. (I'll be checking even more carefully)
  • mkollmkoll Member Posts: 21
    Anyone experience an engine squeek which is most audible when the car is warm and idling? Had the dealer check it out yesterday and they tell me that it is a normal noise from the oil pump? Supposedly there is no prior information regarding this problem and the Mazda techs told the dealer that this noise is more noticable on some RX8's than others but that it is normal? At the dealer we had the car up on the rack. The engine mounts checked out, and belt lube did nothinig.
    I have been next to other Rx's at the gas station and not heard those vehicles making this squeek.
    Any thoughts?
    My RX8 is a 2004 and I have had problems with transmision failure, warped rotors, and battery failure.
  • wpavlik2wpavlik2 Member Posts: 32
    I just checked my mileage and it is worse...
    I believe I will be taking it somewhere else to get it changed again and put 5w20 in.
    I'm rather annoyed by the whole thing.
    Anyone else had this happen? I have to wonder if the folks getting the really bad gas mileage are having 5w30 put in without their knowledge?
  • flatpickflatpick Member Posts: 43
    I just had oil changed in my '04 at Mazda in Charlotte NC...they put in 5w20. Where in NC are you?
  • wpavlik2wpavlik2 Member Posts: 32
    I dont get on here much.

    I'm in Winston-Salem.
  • moadhmoadh Member Posts: 15
    Since i had to import my RX-8 from the states, there aren't many garage's that would know their whereabouts on the RX-8 so i have to end up doing all the servicing and such by myself, or taking it to a garage and telling them specifically what to do. I've been using the owner maintenance table for a while now; in addition to my personal knowledge. But i was wondering if there is anything else i have to be looking at in terms of services and service-intervals? thanks
  • murfbearmurfbear Member Posts: 17
    I am looking for a new air cleaner weather it be OEM or performance, but so far all I can find is Cold Air Intake Kits that require you to remove one of the covers that conceal the engine, and costs about up to $330.00 or so and add another 10-15 HP. I would like to find a airfilter Oem or performance, Airaid,K&N,Green Etc would be fine. Any Web site where I can find?
  • lhesslhess Member Posts: 379
    this was addressed in a thread in another popular rx8 forum, but it's hard to wade thru all the smarty-pants responses that go on over there.

    My question is, Are there any fuel additives (like injector cleaners...) that should be used in our cars? Are there any advantages? Is there a risk of damaging anything? And, if there is something out there, what brand, what's best and how to use it effectively?

    I know Pathstar can give us a good and KNOWLEDGEABLE answer and others here can as well. Thanks!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    I can only say that I've used Red Line injector cleaner. Did it work? Couldn't tell. Do I think it worked? I think I bought snake oil.

    Think about the concentration of one container in a tank of gas (recommended use). The container holds what, 100 cc? In a fuel tank that holds 65 litres!

    If you are having trouble with your injectors have a service tech. perform the "official" cleaning routine - they disconnect the fuel line and use the car to pump pure cleaner through the injectors. I had this done to a Chev. Suburban (work truck) once. I didn't notice any difference then either, but it was on the GM scheduled maintenance list.

    My personal opinion - if you want proper injector service have them removed and send them to one of several places that clean and test them. This shouldn't be required until they are at least 10 yrs old and the car has 100,000 mi on it. Even then, don't bother unless you are having trouble.
  • lhesslhess Member Posts: 379
    I hadn't even thought of this issue with this car. I usually put the FI cleaners in my previous car with some regularity, but, as you said, they seemed to be snake oil in a bottle.

    I'm not having problems, just wondering if there were any benefits for using these in a rotary. Thanks again!!
  • oldtimer2oldtimer2 Member Posts: 19
    The very thin 5W-20 oil the Mazda dealership puts in is already a blend of synthetic and petroleum oils because that is the only way the range of 5W to 20 can be achieved. This is a quote from a self proclaimed oil specialist on another forum. He also claimed that Mazda runs pure heaver (30W) synthetic oil in their cars in Europe.

    Guess why Mazda requires thin 5W-20 oil in the USA....Because Ford needs the extra MPG rating from EPA that only a thinner oil will give them.

    The rest of the story from Mazda dealers about synthetic oil is just just the uneducated thinking they can fool the smart owners some of the time. Every one knows who is dumb acting smart and who is smart, but being polite and acting dumb in the presence of dumb...hee, bad it is true !!!
  • trispectrispec Member Posts: 305
    OK, I got the first two paragraphs just fine, but that last one blew me away, sorry. Was it that Abe Lincoln thing or was it the Nixon modified version about fooling all of the people all of the time?

    Bottom line, research into oil blends is a requirement for owning and RX-8?

    Wasn't there a Mazda TSB about 30W oil causing problems not over heating but the flow of oil was reduced through the pump, therefore the apex sealing was not as good. When apex sealing isn't good more carbon builds up to block intakes.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    It's the old argument that synthetic oil shouldn't be used in the rotary. "Perhaps, but I've been using it for (insert number of years/miles here) and have had no problems." The nervous will not use it. The adventerous will. The frugal wonder why. They reason "Normal" oil works just fine, and due to dillution it has to be changed frequently anyway, so what's the point of using much more expensive synthetic?

    It's become a religion. No point in arguing it, just choose a side.

    Oil -filters- are another matter entirely. Use the best one you can find! Bigger is also better, as long as it's constructed well.
  • flatpickflatpick Member Posts: 43
    I have about had it with this car!!

    All I want to do is charge the battery.....or see if it can be charged....I look in manual & see nothing about procedure...I must be blind....someone please give the basics of charging the battery? I fear, with the quirks of this car; that at any point the whole thing might self implode because of its un-user friendly persona!! Nothing but trouble with it and dealer!!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    If you have an inexpensive charger best to disconnect the -ve post and then charge. Be aware you will loose the radio presets and will probably have to "recalibrate" the electric power steering (procedure in owners manual - not a big deal - turn steering wheel all the way one way then all the way the other way then back to centre).

    If you have a very nice charger just connect it and go ahead.

    Reason for the "if" is a cheaper charger will be noisy, and that electrical noise can fry electronics. Even with the key off, most of the cars electronics is still connected to the battery.

    Make sure the battery is up on fluid before you start, and leave the caps on the battery to reduce the chance a stray spark when you connect or disconnect will ignite the H2 produced. Best to connect without the charger plugged in and unplug the charger before disconnecting.
  • flatpickflatpick Member Posts: 43
    Thanks so much.....I remove battery from car...I have a good charger.....I charged and it cranked back up.....

    I purch'd 10/03...2004 MT all options, 30K miles as of 10/06.....I love the handling and the high rev rotary....very disappointed with quality issues...emblems peeling up, finish flaking off interior accents, more recalls than I've ever had to deal with and PIA dealer visits. I don't have confidence in this car is the bottom line. It has issues every 6 months....recalls or failures...and the joy I get from the driving experience does not make up for the headaches I've encountered since purchase.

Sign In or Register to comment.