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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
edited March 2014 in Mazda
Post any problems and possible solutions you've discovered with your RX-8.

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  • Come on you die hards out there...The first of you to buy this car had to be 3rd gen folks...I still own a 3rd Gen RX7, 1993 with 82,000 miles. I absolutely love the car and may never part with it, no matter how much time it spends in the shop, but my experiences with it being a first year car will probably cause me to wait until year 2 of the RX8. I'm going to take a wait and see approach. The RX7 was THAT Bad. I swore I'd never buy another Mazda again...

    My wife bought a Protoge 5 last year and it's been perfect, so I'm warming up to Mazda again...Who knows, maybe I'll trade in that Piece of crap 02 Bravada I own?

    Looking for your initial opinions? Is the engine / drive train solid?
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Since you don't own an RX-8 and obviously can't have problems with something you don't own, it might be a good idea to see the RX-8 main board.

  • kewl1kewl1 Posts: 11
    I just got my RX8 Friday. Love it!! I have the 6 speed and I was wondering if anyone else can hear the clutch (really sounds like the throw out bearing) with the engine at idle. With the clutch in I don't hear anything but the engine. As soon as I let out the clutch (in neutral of course)I can hear the clutch. Dealer tells me its normal noise. I've never been able to hear this in any other car I've had with the manual trans. Anyone else have this?

    While I'm asking....the AC seems to cycle from cold air to cool air (regardless of fan speed or mode)every 10-15 seconds. I'm taking the car in Thursday for tinting of the windows (important in New Mexico) and will talk with the service guys about, but wondered what everyone else is experiencing.

  • I've had my RX-8 nearly two months now.

    Kewl1 - I haven't noticed anything wrong with the clutch. Sometimes the fourth gear gets off course a little but most of the time, it's fine. I haven't heard any noise that you mentioned so maybe it would be a good idea for the service dept. to check that out. I also heard somebody else mention the AC problem. To me, I like that instant cold and then cool feeling. Usually, your vehicle is extremely warm when you just get into it, and in some cars, it takes forever to cool down. In others, it's really cool and becomes too cool so you have to shut it off almost immediately. And in a few minutes, you're hot again. With the RX-8, it's just right so that you don't freeze, but cool off gradually with the AC cycle going from an extreme cool off to a more mild coolness. Nothing wrong with that. The cycle being 10 to 15 secs as you say...haven't noticed that at all.

    jrbravada1 - I agree with dinu. I haven't had any real problems with this vehicle. The gas mileage is suppose to improve after the break-in period.
  • kewl1kewl1 Posts: 11
    Today the dealer and I talked with Mazda about the clutch noise and the AC. They said the noise we are hearing is the transmission. We tried other RX8s on the lot and they all made the same noise. As for the AC, we recharged the system, but Mazda said they have been hearing other similar complaints and are looking into cause and fix. They understand what's happening, just not sure about the why, which makes a fix difficult for now.

    City gas mileage is about 16, but I only have 350 miles on it. I don't think its fair to evaluate what the final mileage will be for a while yet. I think several thousand miles would be needed before I get to the final figure....and I ease up on the throttle The latter being very hard to do.
  • The air conditioning cycling is not designed into the Rx8. Had mine in to the dealer MAZDA HAS NO FIX FOR THIS YET I do not think Mazda knows why this is happening.
    A bigger problem is the oil light on with a full crankcase or 1/4 low. The dealer told me the oil drains to one side in fast cornering causing the sensor to turn on. The fix is replacement of the oil pan with a new pan, that has internal ridges to keep the oil from going all to one side. Its on order for me. I don't know how long it will take to get, but they all have to be replaced. It is quite disturbing in hard driving to suddenly see the Oil light flashing on your dash. Didn't Mazda drive these cars in Japan, that they couldn't fix them before shipping. I found it interesting that the dealer had to call Mazda, as no service advisory has been issued as of last week.

    We are all guinea pigs on this car. I will not give it up. You would have to pry my keys out of my cold dead hand to take my RX 8 away
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    spoken like a true rotorhead!
  • I bought my RX8 on 8/29 and have noticed a few minor things, including the AC cycle. Living in Florida I really noticed it when we have a week with above 90 weather. It has since dropped into the mid 80's and I hardly notice it at all. Still, if it's a genuine problem, I'll take it in and get if fixed. I'm also going to get it tinted.

    As for the clutch, I have only noticed a noise when first engaging the clutch (in the morning on the way to work). It's kind of a "cluck", almost like I hit something. It does this anytime the car has set long enough to cool down and never after the initial start-up.

    A few other things... Anyone else notice excessive heat in the cabin, especially coming from the center console/backbone? I really notice this when I park the car in my garage and then come back later and get in. Is this normal?

    How about the oil gauge? Mine is always, ALWAYS, at two points beyond the middle (middle being the gauge straight up and down) favoring the hot side. This is from start-up to hard acceleration, to highway driving no matter what the oil level is. The water temperature fluctuates, but not the oil. Again, is this normal?

    Gas mileage does improve after about 1,000 miles. I'm getting 20 mpg in mixed driving and it's gotten progressively better with each fill-up.

    Other than those minor issues, I flat out love the car. I haven't looked this forward to driving each day since I was 16 (nor have I gotten this much attention, ever, from a car). I'm with zoomRX8, my keys over my cold dead body.
  • I've had mine for a bit less than a month & have driven it just under 1000 miles & I absolutely love it! It replaced a 2001 Miata SE that I also loved, and I have no regrets whatsoever.

    The only problem I've had is the check engine light coming on almost randomly. It'll go on for a day or so, and go off again for a day or so. I know that, at least once, it was because the gas cap was loose. But I'm sure it's been fine in the other cases. I'm bringing it to the dealer for diagnosis but thought I'd mention it. Anyone else run into this?

    As for the gas cap, it's a bit finnicky. Seems too easy to loosen; never had one quite like it.

    I've noticed the AC cycling cold to cool as well, but I like it that way. Probably should keep an ear open for a "fix" though.

    In the end, this is the sweetest thing I've ever driven.
  • kewl1kewl1 Posts: 11
    I have about 800 miles on my RX8 and the engine light came on. Aside from the light I could not tell anything was wrong or had changed. Dealer said there were no codes and there is a TSB on the light coming on from no reason. There is a software fix scheduled for late October that should fix it and a number of others things as well, but he didn't say what the 'other' things were. He reset the light and said if it comes on again, ignore it unless there are other indication something isn't right.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    If they used the same type of oil gauge in the RX-8 that they use in the current Miata, it is useless. It is a boolean gauge. If there is pressure, they gauge indicates it, and if not, then the gauge does not move from 0. It is all or nothing. There is nothing in between. It won't warn you of problems until it is too late.
  • I had about 1000 miles on my Rx-8 (6 spd manual, GT package) when my check engine light came on. The service dept found a faulty thermostat and replaced it and reset the light. The service manager also said that various owners were reporting the light on for no apparent reason. Other than that, I love this car. I especially love the downshift whine the tranny makes. Just like all new models, I have a feeling this one is going to have growing pains. But so far it has less problems than most new cars I have owned.
  • The oil gage is just a fancy idit light. it is on zero as soon as you turn the key and start the engine it goes to 2 maks above the midle it never changes, not temp, or engine speed, make any difference. How could Mazda put a fake oil gage in a true sports car. By the way I had my oil pan replaced and no more problem with the oil light going on.
  • lf421lf421 Posts: 1
    I've driven the car for a total of 450 miles, and the check engine light has come on 3 times. First time the dealer said it was erroneous, second time they changed something with the fuel system. And right now it's at the dealer waiting for service. I think I'm going to suggest the oil pan thing.
  • I am 17 and i want an rx 8, but dad rather prefer me on getting an 350z. He says the rx8 isnt that reliable. What should i do?
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Posts: 218
    FYI - I tracked my first tank...... 18.37 mpg, mixed driving....fill up took a bit over 13.5 gallons.
  • Natedogg,
      I've owned a an RX-7 for quite some time. 2 in fact. It's not uncommon to see 200k miles on these engines. My last one had 225k miles before I sold it. My current one has 135k miles. Just need to keep watch on the oil level. That's it.
    check out or
    and if your really into rotary powered cars check out We had some RX-8's there along w/ vendors, like Racing Beat show off thier stuff.

    Good Luck! and ZOOM ZOOM!
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    Don't tell anyone on the Mercedes site what I am about to tell you: I just sold my SL55 and picked up an RX8. Sure I miss the torque from the SL55, but I don't miss lugging around 4400 pounds of weight in a supposed sports car. The RX8 is incredible fun and costs $90,000 less. I love the sound of the engine at around 7000 RPM, sounds like a flock of mad hornets.

    Of course, I still have an E55, so I can get my torque fix whenever I want it.
  • Hello Everyone,
    I just got an RX8, and I have noticed the AC problem. I am taking the car to the dealership on Thursday, hoping that they have a fix. Has anyone had this problem fixed yet?
    Other than that, I love the car!
  • I just had the oil pan replaced. The oil light was coming on when I got over 80mph. Everything seems to be working fine now.
  • Have a 6-speed RX8. Now about 1600 miles. Started out getting only 13.5 mpg and it's up to only about 14.5 now. All city driving though. Hopefully it'll get better...Definetely a kick to drive and gets stares everywhere.

    What are people referring to about the air conditioner "cycling?" I have noticed that it'snot a real powerful cooler on hot days in north Florida.

    Has anybody heard back from Mazda on the free maintenance and $500 debit option?
  • Is Mazda retro fitting them with this new oil pan or oil pickup or are the just letting'em go and it gets fixed if the problem presents itself?

    I think I want the new oil pan b4 I drive off the lot...
  • rtjexrtjex Posts: 2
    Never thought I'd trade my Passat, which I loved, for a sports car, but the prospect of coupe that could double as a sedan in a pinch intrigued me. That and the uniqueness of the Mazda renisis rotory. I drive for a living and find cars just a necessity--till now. In my new GT red-mica RX-8 I've rediscoverd the joy of driving..but, now there seems to be something terribly wrong with the vehicle. Last week with only 1200 miles on the car, my wife reported the oil light going on and pinging noise in engine as she climbed the canyon in route to work. I checked the oil(full) and drove it myself but car didn't exibit problem. Notified dealer and they schedualed service to replace oil pan(per recent service notification). Before we could get it in however a more serious problem emerged. While ascending the same canyon to work, my wife experienced severe power loss and very noticeable pinging. This time the oil light did not come on. The car had to be towed to dealership, meanwhile my wife pines for the VW. Does anyone know of similar problems?
  • Rtjex, that is pretty disheartening to hear... I did have the oil light flash on and off once but am waiting till it comes on again to take it in. Please let us all know what the problem is or was? That should not happen period with a 2004 brand new car.
  • rtjexrtjex Posts: 2
    Mcballz, got the car back from dealership friday. Mazda dealer was very helpful, providing rental car at their cost during the fix. Replaced oil pan, reset computer settings, ran compression test on engine--engine checked out ok. Dealer said in test drive up the same canyon my wife experienced problems, engine again cut out at around 7k rpms resulting in power loss. Dealer checked with Mazda corporate and they said problem was related to check engine light coming on. Apparently engine controller chip is fooled when sensing low oil and it's reponse causes engine to misfire. I'm not sure I'm ready to accept this explanation, particularly sinse initial power loss was not accompanied by oil light activation. Nevertheless, rx8 is running fine and oil light hasn't come on. Hopefully the 10 mile trek up the canyon tomarrow will be without incident. Keep you posted.
  • I am aware that the Default Navigation System cannot play DVD Movies because it only reads movies in the SDAL Format. But I was told that there is a Firmware Crack somewhere on the internet that will allow you to update the Bios of the DVD Reader and it will allow it to recognized DVD MOVIE Formats, etc. Has anyone had any luck with this???? I would love to watch a DVD on my 7" screen!
  • I am forced to sue the dealership for the 4 years maintaince, and the 500.00 mazda gave early buyers. I got my car after the cutoff time. I read about the settelment two days after purchase. I aproached the manager, he told me that I was not getting anything and then tried to get me to sign a waiver pre dated before I bought the car. I called mazda they said they had to buy back the car, the dealershipe they refused. Can anyone please supply me a copy of the letter explaining settlement terms that you earlier buyers were sent by mazda. Thank you, Jay
  • Hello Everyone,
    Not sure if anyone has had the AC problem fixed yet, but I took mine into the dealership and was told by the dealership that Mazda is aware of the problem and are working towards a solution. I should be notified when the fix is available.
  • zoomrx8zoomrx8 Posts: 11
    I had my oil pan replaced and no mor problems with the oil light.
    I have had my rx8 since Aug 22, 2003 and still no fix for the air conditioning problem. This is rediculous. How long does it take to figure out what is going on. My Rx also has the clunking problem when starting out in the morning. Both the dealer and the mazda customer service deny any knowledge of this problem.
     I have 3000 miles on my car and gas milage is aufull around 15mpg. it doesnt seem to be getting any better.
    As to the rebate and free service offer? You had to purchase before August the 26th to be elegible. Did your car have a sticker on it about the horsepower change? As far a suing, good luck Mazda doesn't budge from a policy once it is established.
  • I have ownened my RX8 since mid-July. The car looks and handles great. I have about 2733 miles on it and am now getting about 20-21 mpg in overall driving. Some of my experiences include: The a/c is poor. It constantly cycles between cold, then warm air. It really doesn't handle hot summer conditons well. I have had it to the dealer twice for this issue, with no improvment. Putting it in recirc mode does help some. also, I heard a bad rattle on acceleration once, but no sign of oil light coming on. My car has the automatic transmission.
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