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Mazda RX-8 Care & Maintenance



  • mikemartinmikemartin Posts: 205
    I get a consistent 282 miles to the tank, using 13.5 gallons to fill up, with a mix of 50/50 city and highway driving.

    And I do not baby the car. Driving the rotary hard is literally preventative maintenance. The harder you drive it, the longer it will last and the stronger it will get.

    Do some research and you'll see that this is demonstrably proven.
  • mcusmcmcusmc Posts: 7
    I own a 2006 Winning Blue auto RX8 and love it. Has anyone upgraded their GPS system and what is involved? Price, etc? How often is a new disk available? I have ended up in a few parking lots recently, and one back yard. :confuse:
    LOL. Thanks for the great forums everyone.
  • psfod3psfod3 Posts: 63
    I have a 2007 RX-8 with 21,000 miles on it. I was in the dealer today for a oil change and they suggested that I replace the cabin air filter. I declined to do it today because I looked all through the owners and service manuals that came with the car and there was absolutly no mention of a cabin air filter for this car. Was the dealer just making this up.
  • Hi folks. I've not been here in awhile. Thought I'd update this little forum with some practical wisdom.

    My Check Engine light went two nights ago in downtown Boston. I had been tweaking my parking spot right in front of the Boston Ballet building, trying to make sure none of the Bostonians, with their "bumper banging" parking technique, banged into my RX-8.

    After several starts and stops, with the engine warm, where I revved to 3000 before shut down, my "Check Engine" light lit up. I instantly grabbed the manual, and it seemed that the most likely issue was a sensor problem, caused by my starts and stops. I drove home slowly and thought the issue would disappear by morning. It didn't. So I drove to the dealer.

    The dealer charge me $95 to plug the system up and have the computer tell me that an Error #22, which is the SSV out of spec error. It tested fine at the dealer, but it'll be $700 to replace if it occurs again. Here's hoping it was my stop and stop parking that caused it.

    In the mean time, they also found that both of my engine mounts had gone. They said mine had lasted ten times longer that anyone else's.

    Over a year ago, a cold engine vibration had started, but I had just put up with the vibration because it went away once the car was warmed up. Well, that vibration was the bad engine mounts according to them. So I had been driving around without good mounts for a long time. I must have had my car for service and oil changes half a dozen times during that time and they never checked the mounts. Ugh!

    Anyway, $525 to replace both mounts, $95 to diagnose a potential future problem. An entire year of driving around with a potentially dangerous engine mount flaw.

    Here's the wisdom. An RX-8 AT when idling, cold or hot should ALWAYS be purring, not harshly vibrating. An RX-8 MT, when engaging the clutch, cold or hot, should ALWAYS be silky smooth, right up to the stall point. Otherwise, check the engine mounts!

    Still lov'n my sweet ride. Did my fourth 2000 mile Boston to NC beach run. Two 10 year olds, my wife and I. Listen'ed to Harry Potter all the way done. Fantastic way to travel, by RX-8. I still feel just like Harry Potter on his Nimbus 2000 and his Firebolt, every single time I drive my RX-8 AT. I so love my car....

    I don't really even care about the $600 bucks anymore, because she's driving like new again... so nice and smooth.
  • grinningrinnin Posts: 13
    Hey Trispec - good to see a post again from a fellow Bostonian. My 2004 MT GT is still zooming along wonderfully (36K now) except for one setback (which of course happened on a parkway just outside NYC so I was nowhere near home) The heat shield over the catalytic converter corroded off and started hanging by the wires leading to the O2 sensor bouncing along under the car. Well, I didn't know that at the time so when I yanked the loose shield off I severed the wires and the car shut down due to O2 sensor failure. Oooops. New heat shield and O2 sensor was about $400 at a dealer in Yonkers NY. Not too bad. We have also become a 2 mazda family this summer with the addition of a 2006 Madza3s. My wife even wanted a manual tranny after driving the RX-8 so much. I am sure I will need to start replacing some exhaust and brake items soon, but the car has really been fairly trouble free for me (all the more surprising since the 2004s seem to have had the most issues) It has always started just fine for me on the coldest days. Sometimes I only add oil once in the 3000 miles between oil changes. And, I drive it pretty much whenever I want even in the winter with high perf. all seasons on it. Not sure what all the folks mean when they say you have to make compromises to drive a pure sports car. I find my RX-8 perfectly tractable in all driving conditions except a raging blizzard. 5+ years later and I still drive with this HUGE grin on my face. Can't believe how enjoyable my car is.
  • PLEASE, tell me what you are doing to get that kind of mileage out of your RX8. I get about 210 per tank. You did say 50/50 in city and on highway. I did notice better mileage when I had to commute to work from my folks house for a week (I was house-sitting).

    LOVE MY CAR. I have no issues at all. It's a 2004 GT 6-speed with 25,000 miles on it (yeah, 5 years old with that kind of mileage). The engine is still under warranty until 11/2010. I use cheap dino oil, as suggested in many forums. It loves to be "rode". I check the oil once a month, I let it warm up for 60 seconds when the day first starts and I make sure to red line it twice a week so everyone involved remembers what this relationship is all about.

    My next car will, probably, be another slightly used RX8. I've had it for 7 months and still can't believe it's mine.
  • I hate to admit this, but I feel prey to the eye candy and responsiveness of the Mazda rx8. I have recently purchased a pre-owned 2004 rx8 with about 80K miles on it. Love the car. However, I appear to be experiencing the same problems as many other '04 rx8 owners. I am looking for some experienced advice as I have been provided with conflicting instructions so far.

    The check engine light came on about 1 month after purchase. Although it felt like it was going to stall it didn't, and I took it immediately to the dealership where I purchased. They were not aware of the starting procedures and managed to flood the car and were not able to get it started. In trying to get the car started again, they informed me that there was low compression and that the engine was shot. Shortly thereafter they notified me that they had gotten the car running. One month after the car home, the check engine light is on again. At this point, the car is not exhibiting the stalling issue. I took it to a different dealership, and they too informed me that there is a compression issue.

    My confusion is that I have read many posts saying that compression may not be the issue? Additionally, I have been told that the car needs to be revved slightly prior to turning off the car, and then told that is nonsense and does not need to be revved?

    Are there any experienced rx8 owners that are willing to provide some insight to a rx8 newbie? Any would be greatly appreciated.
  • seapalseapal Posts: 6
    i am buying a new 2009 rx8. i live in the DC area. i know they need performance snow tires for snow/ice traction and i should go down to 17". Any recommendations on where to buy tiire/wheel packages and is online better than local shops or does shipping and installation costs defeat the online store prices? And any snow tire and wheel recommendations? thanks to all the informative posts on winter driving already.
  • Crazy talk man. You don't need snow tires in DC. Cheap all seasons are perfectly fine for your current 18" rims. Going to 17" rims will kill your tire pressure sensor. Tire pressure sensor is much more important than snow tire.

    I live in Boston. Even here snow tires really are not required. My cheap all seasons handle 4" of fresh snow. The traction control and LimSlipDif handle the slippage. Snow tires might handle slip better, but the car bottoms out at 5" so nothing will help with that.
  • seapalseapal Posts: 6
    thanks. so many postings on this and other blogs are from owners in real snow country it's not clear if i need them for the occasional 1 inch snow/slush or it All Season Performance tires will work. what i do know is that the stock low pressures won't keep me and my family safe. so while most of the winter in DC is cold temps we only get average 2-3 snowstorms per winter of 1-3 inches. most driving is just on freezing pavement. All seasons or snow tires for the RX8? thanks for you post Trispec! :)
  • I have a 2004 RX8 and I LOVE it. Unfortunately I live in Denver and we get a lot of snow during the winter, my car stays home and gets cold. Everytime the temperature drops to 30 or 20 degrees I have a hard time getting it started up. I am not sure why that is but once it gets warmer it's fine and it starts up with no trouble. I assume also that having good snow tires really makes a difference when driving it in snow or icy conditions, I drive it at all when it's snowing. It is absolutely fun to drive though. I do have to get rid of it this year since everone is opposed to me having an unreliable car in the winter here in Denver. One thing I don't like about it is all the maintenance and you always have to put oil in it and check that it has the correct amount. One problem I did have with it was the oil metering pump wnet out which out of pocket was about $850 dollars. Regardless I still love it, but we have to part ways soon. :(
  • I have a new 2009 rx8. i am noticing heavy black carbon buildup on the end of my exhaust tailpiles. is this common for this car? should i change the type of gas i am using. Also, i often make a 450 mile roundtrip drive for work all highway at 75 mph. the engine was down 2 quarts of oil from that trip and a few extra days. i knew the car is known for its oil thirst, but how often are you other owners adding oil on new engines and with what octane gas? thanks for all posters. :D
  • No problem at. My 2005 RX-8 AT did the same thing from day one. That's one reason I did not buy any chrome pieces, because the carbon soot is heavy. I've burn a quart every 1000 since brand new. That's a sign that the engine is getting good circulation in the oil inside the rotary chamber. If you stop burning oil, THEN drive to Mazda immediately cause your engine will soon burn up from poor circulation oil. Burning oil is the quint essential sign of good health for a rotary, unlike a piton engines

    On the gas, I use Shell 93 Nitrogen enriched exclusively. Sometime I drive up into Maine from my place in Massachusetts. The highest octane in Maine is 91. I've noticed huge difference in those missing 2 octane points, when I am high revving after the engine is completely warmed up. The rotary engine under performs with anything less than 93. Hell, I'd love to get some 100 octane jet fuel if I could get it.

    The octane lets more of the gas get into the firing chamber without burning, so you get the full punch at the higher revving levels.
  • Well I'm new to this forum but I have a 2004 mazda rx8. The engine hasnt given my any problems. It has 68,000 miles so far. I got the car with 58,000 about a yr ago. Well my problem is that my heater and A/C went out. i don't know why. I turn the heater on and sometimes it will work and other times it won't. It's wierd because I don't get how this happened. Any info on why it may have happened will be greatly appreciated.
  • I have had this issue only a few times on my 2004 RX8. It usually happens on the first fan speed on the fan unit and all I do is turn it off and then back on and the fan then works. I just think on mine it doesnt "catch" when I turn the knob so I just do it again and then it turns right on. It is only every so often, maybe done this 5 times total the 4 years I have had the car. Hopefully this helps you out.
  • red48red48 Posts: 1
    Changed the oil in a 2009 R3 RX-8 for the first time along with the oil filter. The manual calls for 4.4 litres of oil with a filter change and this oil was added. The dipstick now says it is short 300 millilitres. Should I go with the 4.4L added or add another 300 ML. Thanks.
  • Thing is that this problem started this summer and ever since has not gone away. I did not get the vehicle from dealership so i dnt know if it has warranty. I got it from an auto auction. I have owned the car for 2 yrs now. this problem just started recently. during the summer only hot air blows out. and during the winter only cold air comes out. I think its got something to do with the hot/cold knob.
  • I had the same issue with my RX-8, during my first year of ownership I ignorantly assumed I did not know how to correctly work it seeing that sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. I eventually brought it to the dealer and was promptly charged $400 (including labor) to change the entire unit. Although it is not a recall issue this apparently occurs quite frequently. (As it was explained to me) when you turn the dial you should be able to feel little ridges that dictate the temperature setting however in the RX-8 the ridges wear down quite quickly leaving you without the ability to change the temperature on call. I unfortunately have not found a more economical solution as of yet. Good Luck
  • I will attempt to accurately answer your question, lacking the technical verbage my response might appear juvenile however the knowledge is sound. Due to the large amount of oil burned the rotary engine is considered dirty due to a lot of carbon build-up. The carbon build-up acts similar to cholesterol and an artery, revving the engine continuously provides and opportunity to prevent that carbon from building up (thats why manual is the best for this car). Owners of AT RX8 find themselves having engine problems with low mileage because the computer automatically shifts at low revs allowing build-up. I think I got all the info out
  • I just bought a 2007 RX-8 AT with 53,000 miles. I was reading the discussions about what oil to use, so I checked the sticker from the last oil change (which I believe was just done by the used car dealer i purchased it from) and it says 10w 30 was used. I don't know much about the differences in oil so I was wondering if I should get it changed out now to avoid some problems or if it will be fine until my next oil change? I live in Jacksonville, FL Its freezing here now but we get pretty good heat in the summers, does anyone suggest putting in something other then the mazda recommended 5w 20 for these conditions? Thanks.
  • Ok i have a 2004 mazda rx8 with 68,500 mi. lately I have been finding oil in my air filter compartment....any help or advice would be gladly appreciated....thanks.
  • My RX-8 just went in to the shop with a pretty good oil leak from a corroded oil cooling line. This is the second underbody corrosion issue in the last 6 months. I had the protective heat shield fall halfway off last August. I know I live in the north with road salt etc, but I am pretty faithful at keeping the car clean with a regular wash and underbody flush through the winters. Does anyone else know anything about a propensity for corrosion with a 2004??
  • yeah i just had to replace my oil cooler hose a little while ago. completely rotted out and leaking oil everywhere. mazda dealer wanted $400 to do it. so i bought the hose about $120 and replaced it myself. not a terrible job but takes some time. mazda knows about the problem and has issued a recall in Canada. No luck for us drivers in the states however. And as far as the heat and A/C not kicking in i recently just fixed this one as well. You need to remove the control unit with the knobs and resolder the connections at the circuit board, they just have a bad connection (on mine i could actually look through the holes, another issue Mazda knows about but does nothing to fix.
  • milm86milm86 Posts: 1
    I am getting my first rx-8 tomorrow any advice on what to do? Its a 04 6 speed with 56k miles.
  • mno1mno1 Posts: 1
    same story for my 04 RX8. Heat shield fell off last year, and now I have oil leaking from oil cooling system. Dealer says I need a new oil cooler and all lines. Will look at it myself when I get a chance this week. Meanwhile leaking about a quart every 150 miles.
  • rwhowelrwhowel Posts: 1
    Same story here in NJ with 2004 RX-8 with 51,000 miles. I am the first and only owner of this 8. Hot air blowing when AC is turned on. Happened two days in a row. First day it was fixed by twiddling the temp dial. No luck second day. It is in shop now for replacement - quoted cost is $650!!!! Looking to get that back when Mazda acknowledges the problem in their first year production models.
  • hi everyone i'm new but i have a problem i am a mechanic an i am doin a 2005 rx8 but the car was brought dismantled an i need a diagram for the emissions to mount back up an if anyone knows the torque specs to close the engine .let me know asap thanks
  • hi i just purchased a 2004 gt with 17k. it hasnt seen a winter and was garage stored all the time. it is beautiful. In reading these forums i am suddenly afraid that the engine wont last as long as i planned. Anyway has anyone tried these performance chips out there. they claim to really boost hp and milaege as well. the gforce chip for $69 seems too good to be true. they also claim that it does not void warrantys because it just clips on somehow and doesnt alter the original equipment. look forward to hearing from someone...
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    All chips are a scam. Simple. Just a scam.

    Custom re-tuning or otherwise, is a different story.
  • My 04 RX8 with 58k seams to have a louder road noise ( rumble ) now than before. Had tires rotated and balanced last week but didn't help. Anyone have issues with wheelbearings or rear end noise ?
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