Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Mazda
Post any problems and possible solutions you've discovered with your RX-8.


  • jrbravada1jrbravada1 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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.

  • carlikercarliker Member Posts: 285
    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 Member 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.
  • zoomrx8zoomrx8 Member Posts: 11
    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 Member Posts: 1,583
    spoken like a true rotorhead!
  • artofwarartofwar Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • blivetsblivets Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • hlc555hlc555 Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • zoomrx8zoomrx8 Member Posts: 11
    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 Member 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.
  • natedogg899natedogg899 Member Posts: 3
    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 Member Posts: 218
    FYI - I tracked my first tank...... 18.37 mpg, mixed driving....fill up took a bit over 13.5 gallons.
  • revn247revn247 Member Posts: 1
      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 Member 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.
  • rx8driverrx8driver Member Posts: 3
    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!
  • dennmahndennmahn Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • tallyrx8tallyrx8 Member Posts: 1
    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?
  • flatpickflatpick Member Posts: 43
    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 Member 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?
  • mcballz13mcballz13 Member Posts: 15
    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 Member 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.
  • blake182blake182 Member Posts: 6
    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!
  • jaytemple1jaytemple1 Member Posts: 2
    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
  • rx8driverrx8driver Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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.
  • darrshedarrshe Member Posts: 4
    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.
  • dbs7dbs7 Member Posts: 2
    I've had my RX-8 for 3 weeks, and love it so far. My main concerns are the high fuel consumption (15 mpg on the first 2 tanks) and the lack of torque for starting. The latter problem is compounded by the low idle speed when warm - about 800 rpm. If this could be raised just to 1000 rpm, I think it would be a lot easier to leave the line smoothly in traffic. Is this idle speed correct, and is there any way to change it without destroying the emissions control? Does anyone have any other suggestions for dealing with the low torque at idle? (My feet are not likely to get more sensitive at my age.)
  • jaytemple1jaytemple1 Member Posts: 2
    NO, zoomrx8 my car did not have a sticker on the invoice stating the horsepower diffrence. That is the problem the dealership made the choice not to informe the customers so they could sell more cars. When I confronted them they said it was the salesmen's fault. Then they tried to get me to sign a form dated before I bought the car stating the horsepower diffrence.You can see how pissed I am. Jay
  • dawurstdawurst Member Posts: 2
    2,606 miles and I have to get the AC condensor replaced for $668.00 as they determined it was damaged by a rock (not covered by warranty), leaving an escape hole for the freon.

    Due to the design there is a free shot to the condensor by material coming from the road. Just look at the gap on the front end and the location of the condensor. I feel this is a design flaw and intend calling Mazda to open a case.

    I too have noticed the AC cycling on occasion and the Low Oil indicator while only at the 1/2 mark on the dipstick.

    Other than that...I love it!
  • zoomrx8zoomrx8 Member Posts: 11
    Jay too bad your dealer was so unscupulous. I am still seeing newpaper ads in fort lauderdale fl listing the old horsepower rating.
    I think you would have cause to notify your states attorney general regarding fraud charges aginstthe dealer. Unfortunatly this is a dealer issue not Mazdas porblem. My advice" Just drive the car and enjoy the heck out of it." As far as persuing the dealer ' Fogetaboudit":
  • dawurstdawurst Member Posts: 2
    Started backing out of the garage this morning and it just died. Engine will turn over, but acting as though there is no fuel or spark. Had to have my RX8 with 2,700 miles towed to the dealership...this is while I'm waiting for parts to arrive to fix the condensor(Have called Mazda customer assistance on this one...the were very friendly and said the would see what they can do to absorb the cost and will get back to me today or tomorrow). Will keep all updated with both of these situations.

    This is my first Mazda, and the way things are going, it will more than likely be my last. Very disappointed.
  • stephenrx8stephenrx8 Member Posts: 1
    Love my RX8, but took it into the shop for a lugging /clunking/vibrating noise that sometimes happens at about half -3/4 throttle coming up on 5 .75 6,000 rpm in 3rd starting at 3 grand (like on the on ramp to a freeway)...can't replicate the noise every time. When I stomp on it and snick snick through the gears quickly it's very slick and good and no noise. The mechanic thought it might be timing of ports and flaps and all the high tech stuff that the Renesis engine is, but said he was going to research it.. he hadn't heard anything like it when we took a ride and said it definetly didn't sound right and didn't have a dynamometer to test it further...anyone experience this noise also?
  • montville2montville2 Member Posts: 1
    Mazda RX8 is my first stick shift since 1993.
    I pretty much forgot how to shift the gears and had to retraine myself on my way home from the dealership.

    Here's my question : can I use the second gear at the start on flat road or I have to use the first gear all the time whenever I stop and start?
  • mid30smommid30smom Member Posts: 2
    Looking for an update on your car?
  • rx8_is_greatrx8_is_great Member Posts: 11
    I've had my RX-8 approx a month now and have had a lot of fun with it! However, there a few "minor" tweaks I'm wondering if anyone else is having...

    1. The sound in the front seems to cut in and out at times. Otherwise, the stereo is very good!

    2. When idling, the car seems to "misfire" at times...almost sounds like an exhaust leak or loose clamps perhaps.

    Those are two things, other than the weird clunking noise everyone discusses and the A/C, which I believe is well documented here....but not by Mazda to their dealerships. Any info on the first two or the usual suspects?

  • bjversanibjversani Member Posts: 9
    I too have had a similar experience with the engine stalling and not refiring. The dealership that the car was towed to stated that the engine needs to idle for at least 5 minutes before it is shut off. They still have my car in the shop and have not been updated on the problem. It seems to be a fuel problem. bjversani
  • bjversanibjversani Member Posts: 9
    I have just been advised that the car needs to be warmed up before it is turned off. My problem is the car stalled on it's own in 15 seconds without moving it. Mazda is saying that this is an owner problem. Plugs cost $50 each times four plus the labor to install them! The car would not refire after it started causing it to flood immediately.
    Red RX8 "FOR SALE"
    I am willing to be patient with Mazda but they shouldn't overlook a manufacturing problem and blame it on the owner. Where are these made at? Hiroshima?
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    I can confirm that if you turn the RX-8 on and off without letting the engine get some temp. movement you will eventually have a no start problem...remember this is NOT a standard piston engine and can be a little quirky...Once you get used to them its no big deal.
  • rchandlerrchandler Member Posts: 4
    Can someone explain the Buy-Back issue...I guess I have been living in a fog. I know about the HP discrepancy from earlier ads, but I bought my 8 in September and did not sign any waiver letter(nor was I asked).
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    Last night (On Halloween, of course!), I tested the theory of the "engine stall" problem. This was my test: Drove for 30 min around town on I95. Let car sit for 3 hours. (I was at a Marlins Theme Party!) Then we went out to test the theory, and to show off the car! Started her up, and let her idle for 15 to 20 sec. Then 20 min later started her up. No problems. I got home safe and sound. Next test will be same conditions, but try starting her up 5 min after the 15/20 sec idle. As far as I can tell, there is no engine stall problem with my RX8. Your results may vary.

    AC cycle problem info: Mine, does indeed, cycle from cold to sort of cool while driving. What is the best action to take next? Call/write Mazda? Visit my dealer? Sign a Edmunds petition? Any advice is welcome.
  • dtran2149dtran2149 Member Posts: 81
    cheezeboy - when you started the car up after the 3 hour wait, did the engine first go to about 2k rpm before settling down vs. being close to the normal idle range upon start? I get a feeling the test is more appropriate if the wait is more like 6+ hours wait. I go to work in my car. When I go to lunch in the car, the car does not feel like the same "cold engine" start I have in the morning or evening (assuming I don't take her out for lunch). If you really wanted to test it, then do the following:

    1) let the car sit for 6+ hours to ensure a cold start.

    2) Start the car and let her idle for 15-20 seconds. Record observations related to the rpm and engine temp after that time.

    3) Turn off the car.

    4) Try to start the car in 15 minutes.

    5) Repeat test on different days lowering the idling time each trial run by 5 seconds.

    I think that would be the "borderline" scenario regarding stalling/flooding the engine. Basically you would be testing to see how the car does with increasing levels of cold engine turn-off.

    Of course, I'm not sure why anyone would want to be a guinea pig tester. . . better safe than sorry!
  • cheezeboycheezeboy Member Posts: 218
    Hey dtran!

    yes, she always goes a bit above 2k then settles down. I have not noticed any "Cold Engine" start effects, other than the 2K+ idle at start up.

    I think you are right, though; I don't want to be a guinea pig tester if she is running great!....I think I will just drive her like she wants to be driven!! But, if I decide to try this experiment again, I will try your routine. I think this stalling issue is rare event. (Unlike the AC issue!)
  • rx8driverrx8driver Member Posts: 3
    I am also wondering what step to take next on the AC problem. I have written to Mazda twice, and the first time I was told that Mazda is aware of the issue and working towards a solution with no time frame. The second time, I was affirmed again that Mazda is working towards a solution, and that I will be contacted once the solution is found. I have taken my vehicle to the dealership and was told again the same thing. Not sure what to do next, I think Mazda is taking too long to figure out what the issue is.
  • tinfloortinfloor Member Posts: 1
    I've had my RX-8 for 6 weeks and 2500 miles. Here are my experiences on Stalling,Oil Lights, Clutch Noise and MPG.

    On mostly highway driving (70 - 80 MPH) I get 280 miles on 13.5 Gallons. This has been very consistent for me since putting 1000 miles on the car.

    I noticed the noise from the clutch when idling with the pedal released. Guess it's just a noisy design.

    I see the oil light come on while highway driving at lease once every hour. Very disconcerting. Sounds like there's a fix though-- what are the details?

    Had my first engine stall yesterday -- started the car in the morning leaving for work, as I backed out of my driveway. Distracted by how loud the radio was, I turned the volume down and let the car stall after 15 seconds of operation. It would not re-start. Had the car towed to the dealer (what did I know?) who told me it was flooded and next time I would be charged for the service (whatta guy).

    My question is: Is there a procedure for starting a flooded engine? I waited 10 minutes, then an additional 20 minutes before attempting a restart. Then I called the tow company.

    Wish I had found this Owners Club Board sooner.
  • sroc2004sroc2004 Member Posts: 15
    I have not had the engine stall problem, but took my car in for engine oil and check engine light fix. Guys at dealership talked about engine flooding problems with other customers. Here is what they say: even when you take it for a short drive, immediately after starting the car, wait for 10 seconds before engaging clutch. While turning it off, come to rest, rev engine to 3000 rpm, and let go. Let rpm slide back to 1000 and then turn off engine. According to them if one does this all the time, engine flooding should not occur. Will find out if that helps over the next few months!
  • boomn29boomn29 Member Posts: 189
    So, being the the car actually has only 235 hp (is that right), what do the owners think of the power???
This discussion has been closed.