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Mazda RX-8 Care & Maintenance



  • pathstar1pathstar1 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 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 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 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.
  • 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?
  • I just had oil changed in my '04 at Mazda in Charlotte NC...they put in 5w20. Where in NC are you?
  • I dont get on here much.

    I'm in Winston-Salem.
  • moadhmoadh 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 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 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 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 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!!
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Hi - Since this is a discussion for the RX-8 you probably want to ask your question in the Mazda MDX Prices Paid Buying & Leasing discussion. I moved your post there where it can be answered.
  • With the Jersey winter coming up, can everyone let me know which winter tire they are using for their RX-8'S? Is the Avon Tech M550 A/S a good idea? Thank you.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    I went with the Avon all seasons because here in Boston, it's not so much snow and ice as it is the constantly wet road surface with lots of pot holes. Snow tires don't help with wet roads and snow tires get chewed up with pot holes because the softer rubber compound has a poor tread wear.

    Avon all seasons have a 380 tread wear rating. All seasons provide 90% of snow tire and 90% of performance tires.
  • Picked up my 06 RX8 last month. Grand Touring package, Nav, you name it... I noticed rattles commming from the dash,doors and in the head liner above the B piller. The rattles are loud and the dealer said it is normal for the car. They pulled out the dash and all the panels and put in foam to control the noise but didnt help much. Is any one else having this problem. also the door handle where the lock makes noise and moves when it gets hot outside. Please let me know.
  • My '04 has a similar issue. some they have been able to fix, some not. i continue to just let them know when i take it in for other service so it is documented. if any one has suggestions on something that worked, please post it
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Well, I have a 3rd gen RX-7 and they also rattled a lot. You will not like the fix. Remove all interior panels and glue felt everywhere they meet other panels or the body, including under the fasteners. You may also have to fasten some cables better - some can touch the plastic panels under hard jolts. It works, but it's quite a project. Of course Mazda wouldn't do it for you.

    The cause is the "sport suspension" combined with the plastic panels of the interior.

    Alternate fix - turn up the stereo. ;)
  • deaundeaun Posts: 6
    Boy, do I feel like an idiot...

    I drive in the hilly/curvy part of Arkansas--usually 75+ mph, long distance daily. But I never gave a thought to the rpms until my husband flooded my 8. I know now, thanks to the service manager, but I didn't think about carbon build up (yes, I read the manual--several times--just missed this).

    Any other tips for not killing my RX8?

    Thank you!

    the use of synthetic oils in a rotary engine causes problems for one main reason..the way the engine is meant to run.
    rotary engines are meant to burn oil and as specified in the manual for the rx-8, it is suggested to check oil levels constantly for this specific reason. synthetic oil does not burn as well due to its 'ingredients' and thus will cause a build up in your engine and many problems to come along the way.i fthe oil that is being burned in your engine like it is done in the rx8 donesnt actually burn all the way, it means there is gonna be problems. if you happen to have one of the few rx8 with the low oil pressure that caused an engine failure... dont bring the engine in with synthetic in there... they can technically blame it on that and not replace the motor like originally promised, because they can blame it on that.
  • Hi goopilot,

    You have all the words but they are not strung to gether quite right. Try out the following and see if it makes more sense.

    Synthetic oil does not cause the catalytic to go bad, but synthetic oil does cause seals in the motor to get hard and fracture which then causes leaks and "blow by" oil to go through the motor. This excessive oil in the exhaust then floods the catalytic converter, so that it can not stay hot enough to burn off excess hydrocarbons and the "blow by" oil in the eshaust, as is required by EPA.

    The failure of the catalytic converters is the only reason Mazda cares about the motor seal failures and must rebuild the failed motors is because EPA requires the catalytic converter to function longer than Mazda warrants the motor. Now the rest of the facts, the motor seals would have failed anyway even if non-synthetic oil had been used. Masda USA requires USA owners to use a very light 5W-20 weight oil in the cars, that cannot protect the oil seals from failure due to the excessive temperature of the motor in hot climates, while in stop and start traffic and while on long non stop drives.

    Otherwise the car's very hot running motor will not last very long anywhere in the USA that has stop and start driving or long drives to be taken on hot days. (See the Mazda Rx 8 index page of this site for the "Mazda RX 8 Motor Failure Problem" and go to that "string" for the whole story.) Of course Mazda throws up a smoke screen about synthetic oil causing the problem so the public thinks it is the owners fault when it is really Mazda's fault.

    Quickly, Mazda requires the use of this light oil to help meet EPA's requirements for miles per gallon of the car to reduce the huge fines EPA charges for exceeding the MPG requirement.

    The proof of all the above is that every else in the World Masda requires (except in the USA) that RX 8 owners to use a heaver 5W-30 weight non-synthetic oil for adequate protection of the hot running RX 8 rotary engine. Mazda does not care about how soon the engines fail for the consumer they just care about the EPA fines for catalytic failures and MPG repuirements.

    To get a complete understanding of how large these fines are that Mazda is trying to reduce or avoid, Google for "CAFE-EPA Miles per gallon requirements" and do some very interesting reading. It will explaine why all of a sudden car manufactures are requiring the use of very light weight oil to be used in some USA cars because it reduces internal engine drag and increases MPG for their fleet of cars. Very light 5W-20 weight oil is a win, win for the manufacture who avoids large EPA fines and it also wears out cars faster so the consumer will have to by new cars sooner.

    Good luck to all RX 8 owners in the USA, untill they band together and get Masdz to let them use 5W-30 oil in their cars to protect them in hot climates. Just look at an oil viscosity verses outside temperature chart published by independent oil experts and you will see that 5W-20 multi grade oil is usualy not even show or considered for use at any outside temperature.
  • phil59phil59 Posts: 2
    do anyone know a good maintenance place in Houston for rx8?
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