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Mazda RX-8 Care & Maintenance



  • 4_my_84_my_8 Posts: 10
    hello everyone. i just purchased a 04 "8" and am now a little confused as to what type oil i should be using. i've sworn by synthetic for years but do understand that the "8" is no ordinary automobile. just when i thought i knew everything, now i'm not sure if synthetic oil is the best for my baby? help!
  • slices17slices17 Posts: 35

    Just wondering when you guys replaced your brake pads. I have 35000 miles on my RX-8. About 2 months ago when I brought my car to the Mazda dealership for something else, they told me that I would need new brake pads soon, though they didn't tell me how soon.

    Also, how much did it cost to replace the pads?


  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Wow, no response yet. NON synthetic cause synthetic hardens the apex points on the rotors, eventually to cause them to shatter. But from there, Mazda says 5-20 in the US, but there's a huge argument with some folks swearing, with good reason, to use 5-30. What region of the US, northeast, southeast,....? Hotter regions appear to have more problems with damage to the rotors with the thin 5-20 oil.

    5-30 is to thick and blows by into the CAT seemingly causing the CAT to fail sooner the EPA rules allow (80K miles), where as 5-20 burns up before hitting the CAT. That, at least is my simple minded understanding of the situations.

    The other big voices (the ones who really do know) should chime in here soon.
  • 4_my_84_my_8 Posts: 10
    thanks... that does help explain a little more and seems to be the general thing that i've read hear. i live in jacksonville, fl. we do see hot summers and cooler than normal FL winters. it makes sense that the synthetic would hang around longer and that the thinner oil would burn faster... (which is what the engine does by design from my understanding). this is my 3rd auto and i've never had to replace a cat converter on any of them. i got the most miles out of my honda accord before trading it in... 150K. Are cat converters expensive to replace? i'm considering the 5w30 oil but may just stick with the 5w20 as mazda since i plan to be anal about changing the oil every 3k anyway... what do you guys think. i just want to make sure my baby is around for a long, long time.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    When it's really hot, ie 90 plus, don't drive her hard in long stop and go traffic. Of course the AC ain't that strong in stop and go traffic either so you may not want to use her then anyway. On highway trips in the summer drive nice and steady, no high rev passing.
  • 4_my_84_my_8 Posts: 10
    so if i use the mazda required 5w20, keep her nice and steady on hot days and even run the ac more? during the hotter months when im feeling a little frisky, use the thicker oil? also, i picked up a recent copy of MazdaSpeed Magazine and there on page two or three was an rx8 being used to advertise Royal Purple synthetic oil. DO YOU FEEL MY PAIN? what is a responsible owner to do when he wants the best for his baby but then finds that the best may not be the best for her at all. so many race enthusiasts swear by that royal purple synthetic oil.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171 has TONS of threads on this topic. Some people swear by synthetic, others swear by dino. I just figure I'll go with what mazda recommends.
  • finally.. someone that realizes they should just use non synthetic. congrats..your car will now last longer than the stubborn people that are like,'but i always use synthetic and it hasnt failed me yet." they will not be hapy when they take thier car to the dealers and the maintenance says they will need a new motor. then thye will think, well cool, it s on the warranty so i jsut got a new motor for free. ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!! WROOOOONG!!!! the second they see there is synthetic oil in that car the warranty is automatically withdrawn from that particular motor and it looks like they jsut paid for the motor themselves. it is simple.............USE NON-SYNTHETIC.
  • 4_my_84_my_8 Posts: 10
    thanks guys. i love the real information that i get from this place. i will not deter... i will use mazda's 5w20 mix. anything to keep my baby running like she should. did i tell you guys that i love this car?
  • mklismklis Posts: 6
    I have an '04 MT with about 35k miles on it. I haven't had any probelms with the car, at least not yet.

    Is the extended warranty offered through Mazda something that I should even consider? Or is it really a waste of money?
  • 4_my_84_my_8 Posts: 10
    i usually get an extended warranty with any used car that i get. honestly, i research the hec out of the 8 through various web postings and read a lot about the experiences other owners were having with their 8's. i purchased an '04 MT with 27K on it a month ago and i opted to get the extended warranty. it was only and extra $10/month added into the payment and it covers me for an additional 3yrs/36K on top of the standard 4 yr/50K that Mazda gave me on the '04 so it's really piece of mind for down the road.
  • I plan on buying (financing) an RX8. But before I do, I want to know how the maintenance is. If I needed an oil change, could I do it myself? If I took it in, will it cost over $50-60 dollars? Or is it like a mercades where everything has to be specially made for the car, oil changes are like $200?
    Is it true that I have to put more oil in every other time I fill put gas in my tank?
  • yes, you COULD do it by yourself, but there is really no need to. i take my car to the mazda dealership every time it is time for an oil change becuase for 1. it is only 29.75 total. #2 they do an entire fluids check and even check the extras like tell you how much your tires have worn and they inspect the car for anything else wrong. with the cost of the oil and oil filter, you are already using up half of what they charge you.but considering you have their knowledge and skills of your unique car put into the maintenance, it is so worth it to pay 30 dollars.. plus you know it is getting done right..... now for the myth that you have to put oil on the car every other tank of gas, that is true.. you wont have to put much in, but you should check it every other tankfull and try to keep it at the full mark. considering you can do this in the same time it takes to full up the tank.... its not wasting any time, but it is so worth it to have that car.. i do kinda suggest that you check out this site or do some research on the rx8 before you by the car though becuase it is different that any other car.... te rx8 likes to be revved and it is actually worse to not rev it than it is to rev it, and so on..... jsut go to this site and read stuff and look around about it...
  • Well, here's another contribution to this discussion. I was at the Mazda dealer yesterday getting my first oil change and took the opportunity to discuss this issue with the Service Manager. He agreed that the 5W20 was not optimal for engine and brought out a container of Motul 8100 Eco-nergy 5W30 100% Synthetic oil. He told me that this oil and the other fluids in this line were used by Mazda to obtain their performance specs for th Rx8. Of course, short term performance measurement and long term care of the engine can be two very different things and when I brought this up he showed me a letter from Mazda Canada endorsing this product for long term use in the rotary engine.

    I also raised with him the issue of seal hardening through use of the synthetic oil and he indicated that in his experience synthetic was easier on seals than conventional oil. I'm no chemist, so what do I know?

    I've noted discussions in this thread relating to weather conditions and the consequent effect on lubrication. While Toronto summers these days have too many days in the mid-30's (mid-90's F) we certainly don't have the consistent heat of the southern states. Perhaps this is a factor in Mazda Canada's endorsement of the synthetic option.

  • jarman1jarman1 Posts: 1
    I have an 04 rx8 6 speed with 91+K miles. My engine blew two days ago. I used only the 5w20 GTX and whatever Mazda put in there. I have learned from a MFG of the RX7 engines that the APEX seals in the RENESIS are 1/2 the thickness of the RX7 specs. My advice is find out whatever you can about keeping the engine cool. I live in N.FL and most of the miles on mine were highway. I did not opt for the extended warranty, but this is a warning to ALL RX8 owners. Change the coolant and oil frequently. There is no reason my engine should have blown at 91K miles and I have a feeling as does the dealer here in Tallahassee that Mazda is going to see most of the RX8 engines go at 90K+ miles. Especially since the APEX seals are 1/2 the thickness of the orginal design. A rebuild from MAZDA will cost you $6100, and it comes with a 12 month 12k mile warranty.
    I love the 8 and the Zoom Zoom, and having owned an RX7 thougth the 8 was great until two days ago!!!
    Be Warned trade it in before you warranty expires or purchase the extended warranty that covers the engine.

    Good Luck to all you 8 owners.

    signed, a soon to be EX 8 owner.....
  • I bought the 2004 RX8 when it first came out and currently have about 29,000 miles. I have been experiencing the car not starting if it sits past three or four days...This have occurred for more than five (5) times now and I have to call roadside assistance to have it towed to the dealer for them to start (decompress the engine) the car. However, they keep telling me that the RX8 is a "FICKLED CAR" and everyone experiences this if they don't start the car for a period of more than three days. I just don't believe it and would like to know if anyone else is experiencing this problem before I tackle this legally with Mazda. I don't want this to be my bill when the warranty is expired. The car have plenty of power in the battery, it appears to be a fuel problem while the engine is trying to turn over...Can anyone provide suggestions or comments on this?
  • I have had only one occurrence of this....I started the car on a cold day and ran it for only about 30 seconds and then shut it off. 15 minutes later it did not start. Otherwise this has not happened. I have a 2004 AT with 32,000 miles. Runs great. I had heard before that the 2004 batteries were under sized and I think my delaer did replace it with a larger model (not positive on that though, would have been awhile back).
  • sorry to hear you having that type problem,I have a 2004 rx8 which have 37,500 mi.I have let the car sit sometimes a week before I start it but have not experience that problem.I bought this car last May with 32,000 there is not a lot miles on this car.
  • i came accross this post bsin on the net i have been workin for mazda for about 4 years now. i read all your posts and i have a few responses. first, is oil it should be checked every 500 miles at most it should be about 1/2 a quart you would be surprised how many people dont, and mazda recommends 5w20 not 30 changing might not hurt but if you live in an area where emission is regulated i fully recommend 5w20, emission standards are different in canada as opposed to here in america so refer only to your owners manual not some dumb sh&t workin behind a counter. second is to the question about starting your car every so often which also refers to the people who have issues with flooding i dont want to make people feel stupid so if you already know cool if not listen to this when your car sits up for a while the oily film inside the rotor housing begins to in a sense wear off if there is no lubrication then the engine will not build up the necessary compression to start the car this is more prone to happen in a automatic as well as engine failure a note if you own an automatic where rpms are kept lower aand the metering pump is not pushing out alot of oil so try to stay in the manumatic option and keep your rpms in the mid range, "constant lower rpms destroy these engines over time". also if your car floods and your out of warrenty dont bring it do the dealer there are a few rare case where this is necessary follow your owners manual they are a few ways to unflood the engine that another day another time type answer
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    For those of you that need rebuilt engines, check out It is run by some great guys who will build you a great engine. They are also great with any parts you need. They built me a custom differential with a 4.77 gear. I also have their water pump. Better cooling and frees up a few hp.

    They also recommend premixing, espeicially with the ATs. If you want to learn a ton about premixing pros and cons, etc, go to and search on it.
  • 2004 RX-8 with 25,000 miles. Noticed really loud/bad thumping noise coming from rear of car/rear axle. Progressivly worse as speed picks up. Tires are fine with 32 PSI in both rear tires. I did rotate them also but the noise and thumping vibration continue and actually seems worse now. Any ideas? Maybe bad rotors? I have no issues when breaking, no scraping, no thumping, no problems at all, just when driving do I hear the loud noise and feel the vibration. Not too bad at slow speeds but from 40 mph up its really bad. I do not drive this car very often and am getting concerned with all the little issues I have had with it (CEL on 3 time in 6 months, the AC turn knob broke off, now this really bad thumping noise from rear of car).

  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    Hmm, I'd take it in and have it looked at. I'd say look under the rear suspension and see if anything is obviously disconnected. Not sure if a broken endlink from a sway bar or something could do that.

    I'd also say to check your differential fluid level. I've never done it on this particular car, but on my old truck you basically just stuck your finger in the fluid fill hole and it was supposed to be filled up to a little below the hole.
  • leschlesch Posts: 3
    I own 2 MazdaRX8's both 2004, one is black with black/red leather interior, the other is black on black leather, saying I am a car nut is putting it lightly LOL My husband is 6 ft. 5 inches and he does not fit into my car well, which further makes it mine, mine, mine !!

    Anyway as 2004 was the first year they were produced (please correct me if I am wrong) they will both be collector cars in the future, both are fully loaded 6 speed manuals with everything but navigation, I just don't like the look of it personally.

    But this past September my car really proved it's worth in gold, I was sitting at a stop light in Golden, CO (a great little town if you ever decide to visit, we were there on vacation) waiting for a green turn light, there were two lanes of traffic to my left that were stopping for their red light, the lane to my immediate left was full, the lane to the left of that was empty, they were on a small incline, there was a stop light 1/2 way down their hill for pedesterian walkway and then your regular stop light at the top of the hill. When my light turned green, the lane to my left stopped and I proceeded, I was the first car in a line of about 5 cars waiting to turn, as I made my turn and was 1/2 way through the intersection I saw headlights coming at me in the lane that had been empty, I realized we were going to get hit as I could not go backwards as there were cars behind me and if I went forward she was going to hit my rear quarter panel and I had a full tank of gas, so I crammed my foot on the brake as hard as I could and told my passenger to hang on, laid on the horn but it did no good.

    She hit me and pushed me 3 ft into the intersection further, crushing my left front fender, breaking my A-Arm, bening my front suspension bar, crunching part of my front door, cracking my front bumper and that is all I could see at the time of the accident of course there was more damage that I could not see.

    I could not get out on my side and that is probably a good thing as I was plenty mad and would probably have ended up in jail had I been able to get out, there were tons of witnesses that saw her run the red lights and hit me, she was going about 35 miles an hour when she hit me, she ran the red light half way up the hill and the one at the top of the hill, as she was driving a big SUV she received only a scratch on her bumper but we were lucky that she did not run right over us.

    I was amazed at how well my car took that hit, of course we had our seatbelts on (she did not) but we both walked away with bruises (on me from my knees hitting steering column) and sore necks, but it could have been much worse, I am a nurse and I have seen accidents of 5-10 miles an hour and have patients in serious to critical condition.

    I was more mad then anything else, I had only had this car for 6 weeks, I bought it from a military guy who was too tall to drive it and it had 5000 miles on it when I bought it and had never even seen the rain ! She sobbed to the female policewoman that she was not "concentrating on her driving as she was going through a rough divorce and the policewoman felt sorry for her as she had just gotten out of a bad marriage herself, so she ticketed her for only running one read light, not speeding (speed limit was 10 miles per hour), not for running the first light for a total of two, not for not wearing her seatbelt (which she admitted to) not for having an expired drivers license, not for not have a registration and finally not for not having proof of insurance.

    I had everything the policewoman asked for and here I was out of state visiting. So I asked if I could charge her a ticket as a citizen, which I did, she ended up in court and ended up loosing her license as this was just one of a long string of problems with this gal and tickets. I am sorry but why do most of us do the right thing and carry the right documentation and then someone hit you like this and have nothing they are required by law to have?

    But what I wanted to convey to this forum is how impressed I was and even the tow driver was with how well my car took this direct hit, so not only is the Mazda RX8 a great car to drive, fun to own, an unusual car on the road (you rarely see them in my area), a truly beutiful car, it is a well made and unbelievably safe car to own and drive.

    I do have one question though, I have been using 5/20 oil, but have read about "Royal Blue" oil, have gotten several accounts that it is better for the car, makes it run cleaner, and lasts longer, does anyone have any other information abuot this oil? Any help advice would be greatly appreciated, I check all fluids every 300 miles and do not intend on inviting trouble by ignoring my cars needs, but am always interested in learning about something new.

    Thank you very much and happy ZOOM ZOOM....
    Pam :shades:
  • 4_my_84_my_8 Posts: 10
    i believe the oil that you're refering to is Royal Purple. BTW... there's a grand discussion about this on the rx8club forum. general consensus is that synthetic oil (which Royal Purpe is) is not good for the rotary engine. Once again, to each is own. From my understanding, synthetic oil caused rings in the pre-Renesis engines to go bad. Mazda claims that they have used better materials for the O-Rings in the Renensis engine but also disclose that they have not done any long term testing with synthetics so they do now recommend using synthetics. my advise to you... refer to your bible (Owner's Manual) and choose an oil that meets the criteria listed there. I'm a believer in synthetic oils for piston engines however, i'm not going to go against the folks at Mazda since they haven't done long term testing and I myself don't have the money or will to conduct my own long term test should things go wrong and muck up this sweet engine. i use Castrol GTX 5w20 religiously. i have a N/A engine and have no need for synthetics at this time. just my .02. BTW... if you like debates here's the link the the discussion on the RX8 club forum. Be prepared for a lot of back and foward but hopefully you'll be able to draw your own conclusion.

    Happy Reving!
  • leschlesch Posts: 3
    Yes I meant Royal Purple, not sure why I said Blue, must have been concentrating on something else when I wrote that, I knew it was called Royal Purple and as I have done some reading on this, I don't feel that a synthethic oil is the way to go until Mazda does their own testing and reveals their opinion, as I certainly don't want to do anything to harm my car's engine nor do I want to void my warrenty, thanks also for the link to the discussion, I will definately check it out. I simply can't imagine why anyone would take a risk if you are not sure of a positive outcome. Oh well, it is a beauty of a day and I am off to run some curves.. :shades:
    Thanks again,
  • Honestly guys I'm looking for a good value sports car and the RX8 fits the bill but geez does the calendar turning from '06 to '07 or '07 to '08 magically make all these engine/drivetrain problems (design flaws) disappear? There just does not seem to be any end to these RX8 problems followed by Bandaids from Mazda that really do not address the issues.

    Are the 07/08's trouble free?

    Should I wait for a new model replacement (is one even planned by Mazda) or just completely cross it off my list and move on to a Miata or another marque?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  • leschlesch Posts: 3
    Hello: I am the proud owner of an 04 RX 8. This is my second one, and I love both of my cars, the first one I bought new right off the showroom floor and the second one had 600 miles on it when I found it.

    I do not feel the car it be inherently flawed, to be honest with you the first problem I encountered was the cold start problem, but that problem is easily solved with just remembering to treat the car right, to me it is no different then having a physical problem with your own body, you just have to be conscious of it and remember not to do it. The only other problem I have had and this was a recall was the CD going out, which was replaced under warrenty.

    I love my cars and would not drive anything else, I have chosen to keep my 04's instead of upgrading to a newer model simply because 04 was the first year they came out and to me that makes them very special. What you have to mainly understand about the RX 8 is that it has to be driven as it was made to be driven, as a sports car and yes that means getting out there and really driving it, not treating it as you would a touring car or a traditional family car as this is not what it was built to do, it was built to go and go it will.

    No I would never use a synthetic oil, not only because it will void the warrenty, but also because if you understand how the engine works you will see that it is not an appropriate product to use with this car, that said, I guess you will just have to make your own mind up, no car is perfect, just as no person is perfect, you have to take the good with the bad as with any vehicle on the market.

    I have always loved cars and took shop and auto when other girls took home ec class, my car also fits me, I am only 5 ft. 5 inches tall, and my hubby is 6 ft 5 inches, it is NOT a car made for tall people, the pedals are also not made for someone with big feet, what this does for me, is that it makes my car ALL MINE !! LOL

    Don't know if any of this info will help you in your decision, I would say that if you have this many doubts now, that if you were to choose to buy one you might spend more time finding faults with it then you will enjoying it (sorry if I am wrong about that, as I do understand your concerns especially after reading about the problems some people have had) but if you consider the problems most have had they can be explained to what the owner has or has not done to and for the car.

    I will say one thing, it is not a car for winter driving in the snow and ice, it simply is not, but on good days in the winter time there is no better way to take out the winter blues then to get out there and enjoy a drive in your RX 8 !!. I wish you the best of luck, make a list of pros and cons, and then let your conscious be your deciding factor.

    Also, if you are a family man, although the car comfortably seats 4, in my humble opinion it is not a car to haul kids around in, but that is just my opinion, there are many owners who do so, I just preferred to wait for my dream car (s) until my kids were grown and on their own. My cars are black with red/black leather and black on black(leather interior also) I will say I get allot of envious looks, and some odd ones as a woman behind a wheel of such a great car, my car is a 6 speed also, would not have it any other way as I find automatics boring and to me an automatic RX 8 defeats the purpose of the car (again just my opinion). It will be interesting to see what other responses you get, again good luck and if you do decide to get one, ZOOM ZOOM and have fun.
  • With a dedicated set of snow tires, the RX-8 is the best handling rear wheel drive car I've ever driven in the snow, and I've driven many.

    The 50/50 weight balance, limited slip differential, fantastic traction control and electronic stability control all keep this car amazingly confident and planted in even deeper snows (nothing crazy given the ground clearance - up to 6" ON THE ROAD), as long as you pick a snow tire with a relatively aggressive tread - Blizzak, iPike, Nokian WR, Michelin X-Ice, Dunlop Wintersport 3D, Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW3 - or something similar.

    Also, you should go from the 18" wheels, with the 225/45/18 tires to the 17" wheels, with a 215/55/17 snow tire for winter driving - a narrower tire increases the PSI of the car displacement over snow, and increases traction.

    The RX-8 is a blast to drive in the snow. Completely controllable, confident and very good stopping distances with the very effective Mazda anti-lock braking system.

    Dedicated snow tires make a NIGHT & DAY DIFFERENCE!!! :D
  • xd2xd2 Posts: 1
    Hi johncalifornia!

    im actually in the market for an RX-8 myself (2004 with 40 000K) and my biggest concern is that of the oil. Now down here in Canada, where the weather can be very cold and harsh, you don't see a whole lot of RX-8 especially in the winter. But for the most part, im concerned about the oil consumption. A mazda mechanic told me you must verify the oil at least once a week which is fine by me. However, he couldn't specify if that meant that i was likely to add oil every week of if the verification is only for precaution. What im asking here is at what frequency in a months time of daily driving will you need to actually put oil in the engine??

    Thank you in advance!

  • I'd put oil in about every three or four weeks to keep it topped off. My 2005 RX-8 AT drops a third to half a quart every third or fourth gas fill up. On the dip stick to first line is half a quart. I fault myself if I don't catch it before it gets to that first line especially in the summer.

    On gas I city drive mostly and get 17MPG on full auto non-aggressive style. When I paddle shift aggressively MPG goes to 12.

    In the winter, here in Massachusetts, I don't worry so much about that first line as much.

    One good thing, on the pure highway trips I take down south, there is very little oil usage.
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