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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions



  • DSC/TCS: It will kick in when the rear end of the car begins to tail out. I can spin the tires going in a straight line too. My DSC kicks in on turns in wet weather sometimes as I accelerate to quickly into the turn. Do the parking lot test though-That is a great idea to get a bit more familiar with it.
  • I changed out my old intake with a cool air intake and also put on a G-ready exhaust and new pullies. After I did all that My car is having a problem idea ling. It goes from about 1000 rpm to 500 and up and down and then after about 2 to 3 minutes it stalls. I can't figure it out. Anybody have any ideas. :mad:
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Strange TCS system if it lets you spin the wheels in a straight line - never had one that would do that before.

    I do plan on some more "testing" when we have another nasty day and I have some time.

    It was in the 30's a couple of mornings this week (we just set a record high last week near 90) and the GT seat heaters are pretty poor compared to what I have had in the past. One temp and it takes them about as long as the coolant in the radiator to warm up. I guess it will be more noticeable when it REALLY gets cold....

    Still love the car, just not EVERYTHING about the car - like I got a little over 13mpg on the last tank :cry:

  • 2004 RX8 Red MT, purchased 10/2003, 20K miles..... my only car so I drive it everyday & weekends & in all weather except snow....only time I drove it in snow the TCS kicked in if rear tires started to spin simultaneously....I was on a hill and it would not move....

    Blast to drive.....I put that TCS to test often and like it off in dry safe road conditions and love to have it when wet or slick....

    Good Luck!
  • 13mpg seems outrageous--I really don"t understand this.I get 18-19mpg during my 35 mile commute to work,freeway driving yes,but 4th or 5th gear. Some of this driving involves stop and go--1st,2nd,3rd gears--still never anything as bad as even 16mpg.The only time I saw this was when I drove it hard for 50miles or so[6500 to 8500rpm]. This brings me to the issue of gasoline used--here in california we use oxgenated gas[as much as 10% can be in the formulation].Perhaps some of you might like to try this to see if you get better results.You can add ethanol,methanol,isopropyl alcohol,perhaps acetone to your gas when you fill up.One gallon of any one of these to 12/13 gallons of gas.
  • m_s_sm_s_s Posts: 1
    Not sure this could be the ball joint recall, but I find that although the car tracks well driving straight forward, as soon as I turn to either side a little, it tends to pull quite hard to that side and I have to fight it. I have about 20k on it and don't remember this from the early days. On uneven pavement this can be quite annoying and requires keeping a strong hold on the steering wheel.

    I did have the regular tire rotations a couple of times and replaced a tire on one side up front. Can this be related to a tire issue? Almost feels like a tire steel belt is loose and shifting...
  • I have the same gas mileage, I get 216 miles at the most to the tank. I never thought it as an issue, just that the gas mileage is terrible.

    On another note, I washed my car yesterday and pulled it into the garage. I went to start it this morning and it won't start. I found this website today and read about the flooding, but we replaced the spark plugs and it still doesn't start so it got towed today. Mazda is closed today so tomorrow hopefully I will have answers. Does anybody know of any additional issues aside from the floodingthat could cause that?
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    did you try to start it using the "de-flooding" method in the owner's manual?
  • yes I tried that, it didn't work-- Replaced the plugs still doesn't work, so it's at the dealer there were other things they needed to do anyway like replace my rear taillight since there is enough water for a goldfish, and a broken visor
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It's most likely it was flooded. It's not easy to unflood - you have to be "brutal" and crank it a lot - it takes about 5 min. to unflood typically, if you don't catch it with the proper procedure right away. Push starting is sometimes the easiest way. There are plugs on the intake ports that can be removed for oil injection to help with unflooding. And a further warning to owners who flood their car - if you do get it started, DON'T PANIC. It will smoke a lot for a few minutes once started. Just let it do its' thing - keep it running with the throttle. If you panic and let it die or shut it off, you may be facing the same onerous task to restart it!
  • Some of you my think I made this up !!!!

    I opened my hood after washing the 8 and discovered the DIP STICK missing ???
    A few days before this I heard a metallic noise ( like a metal coat hanger hitting the floor ) when I started it up to leave for work. I got out and looked around and found nothing.
    After several deep breathes and almost dead flashlight I located the stick just laying behind the radiator next to the left front my amazement no oil had been lost. Now two things may have happened, #1 the dealer left the stick out laying on the inside fender after the oil change I had 2 and 1/2 months & 1,200 miles ago , OR #2 Is I heard the dip stick being blown out of the tube holder a week or so ago ???
    Any thoughts or ideas ?!? I am thinking of tying a cord to the sticks handle.
  • Flywheel just went out at 35k miles...and its not a warranty item because its considered I'm currently up to $1700 in parts. I called and complained...which won't get me anywhere, but I was curious to see if anyone else has encountered this problem. So it's guaranteed I'm driving it till 48k miles and then dumping the P.O.S. Too bad they can't build it to last...they almost had a real winner. I might have to buy american if crap like this keeps up in the world of cost savings.
    Yes I agree with all of you that the engine flooding is a real pain in the rear. Mazda is down plugs, a battery, and a starter. Roadside assistance has a coffe mug with their name on it at my place.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Check the PCV valve. You may be getting pressure in the oil pan.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    I think with cooler weather here I am getting better mileage. I am going to fill up today so I should see - EXCEPT my 12 or so mile commute took 50 minutes this morning, so my mileage will suffer no matter what.

    If you did not let your 8 fully warm up before you shut it off then it is likely flooded. Did you get the DVD in the mail from Mazda? They cover this and how to de-flood it ("in theory"). With the puny OEM battery most of us would drain it to nothing before we could get a heavily flooded 8 to start.

  • ukjimukjim Posts: 63
    Something sounds wrong here because while the clutch plates are subject to wear, but should last in excess of 80K miles (subject to driving style) the flywheel is not, except for the teeth that are engaged by the starter motor. Unless the design of the rotary motor clutch is significantly different than a recip motor, the flywheel should not need replacing. Can anyone else shed some light on this?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    If the clutch plate wears out to be thin enough, it will destroy the flywheel when the clutch disk rivets are have to really fry a clutch disk to damage the flywheel, which is why it is often characterized as the owner's problem.

    Also, a clutch disk slipping at high speed creates tremendous heat, and this can 'burn" or fracture the flywheel, or create "hot spots" that require re-surfacing. In extreme cases the bell housing will explode (people slipping the clutch at very high speeds to get out of a ditch, snow, etc.).

    So, the short answer is that if your clutch starts slipping, stop driving or further damage may result.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • ukjimukjim Posts: 63
    Thanks for the clarification, it sounds a bit disingenuous tho of Mazda not to warranty the flywheel in this instance given the relatively low mileage. This is the first posting I have seen regarding this issue so perhaps Rx8rookie just had a bad flywheel.
    One other issue people might find of interest is the smog check required in CA or other States that have similar requirements. I just moved to CA from RI and by law the car has to be smog checked despite only being a year old. I went to 4 different smog station in SoCal and none could communicate with the OBDII box, it is a new CAN? type and many shops do not have the revised software. Even the Union 76 station the Long Beach dealer uses all the time could not just plug the computer in (this was the first RX8 they had seen). They had to "jury rig" the spark pickup to get it to work (they could not even use the inductive loop). 45 minutes later it was done but it seems that only shops with the CAN version software or a thorough understanding of the system will get it to work.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    Well a flywheel is this rather large chunk of steel. You have to work at it to hurt it, you really do. I think if it say chunked out at the ring gear (where the starter engages) that could be a faulty weld and factory defect, or if a securing bolt worked loose, that too could be an assembly defect, --- but if it is "burned" or stress-cracked or gouged that's probably the owner's wallet. Fair's fair.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    13mpg seems outrageous--I really don"t understand this. I get 18-19mpg during my 35 mile commute to work,freeway driving yes,but 4th or 5th gear. Some of this driving involves stop and go--1st,2nd,3rd gears--still never anything as bad as even 16mpg.The only time I saw this was when I drove it hard for 50miles or so[6500 to 8500rpm

    I filled up tonight - 14.64mpg . It probably would have been over 15 or even 16 if I had not had such a bad commute this morning. It is around 12-14 miles one way with part of it stop and stop and the last few miles freeway at 45-55mph. Normally this is 20-25 minutes but today was 50 minutes with a LOT of sitting at idle.

    I do drive the car in the spirit for which it is intended - so I rev it up, but not when crawling along.

    When I drive the S2000 on the SAME route, with the top down, and in a similar manner I get 23mpg. Both the S and the 8 have about the same miles on them.

  • The kind of driving we do seems similar--you may want to try adding some ethanol or other oxgenate fuel to your gas to see if you get any improvement. There are some dozen or so different gasoline formulations thruout our country--some sections just may have better gasoline than others.
  • I just recently got my rx8 and btw how great it feels to be only 19 and buy a car like this is wonderful....anyways i only get about 200 to 250 miles on a full tank and the only problem i have noticed with my car so far is that it seems to have trouble starting almost like i have to let it over crank...has anyone else had this?
  • *goinginsane* i have the same problem with my rear taillight only have had it for 4 weeks or so and it rained and now there is all kinds of water in my rear drivers side taillight....did mazda replace that for free for you? i think it should be under warranty right?
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Rev it to 3000RPM for 10 seconds, then kill the ignition while still at 3000. This procedure guarantees that fuel left in the chambers will burn up completely. Also, warm-up the car completely, 10 minutes run time at least, before doing the 3000RPM rev cut off process.

    This is the standard rotary engine operating procedure since the first rotary engine was made. Consider it a privilege. All my neighbors think I'm showing off. I just let them.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    When re-starting a warm/hot RX-8 it helps to turn the key on, but not far enough to crank. Then wait a few seconds - I usually wait until the "RX-8" has disappeared from the center display - and then turn it on to crank. It makes my 8 a LOT easier to start. Has no effect on a cold motor, though.

    Also, there is a service bulletin for a newer, larger battery. If you have trouble all the time no matter how you treat the car then you may just need a new battery.

    A copy of the bulletin is here - in PDF format.

  • I'm not sure I understand what turning on the key,but not enough to turn over engine would do to help start car. Would this not allow all accesories to drain as much from battery before sending current to the starter, hence making the battery weaker before every start?

    And this pdf:

    I can not find in it where Mazda is recommending a larger battery due to starting problems. It appears to only be warning techs about not blocking the cooling vents on the battery compartment that direct air around the battery if a larger one is installed and doing so will effect reliability of battery.

    Other issues fixed 11/3/2005 : Fog lamp failure - faulty connection, exhaust rattle - ?? fixed after recall, exhaust recall, ball joint recall
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    That should be the TSB that lists the part number for the newer, higher capacity battery. If you have an 04 that you for sure have the puny battery, as do a lot of folks with 05 cars. If you print out the TSB and take it to the dealer with complaints of slow cranking and hard starting they SHOULD replace the battery with the newer, larger model for free under warranty.

    I assume the turning on the key and pausing lets the electric fuel pump build up pressure prior to trying to fire the motor. I was complaining on another 8 forum about how hard my 8 was to start when hot (hot out, and when just driven). I would come out from running and errand and would have to C-R-A-N-K to get the car re-started. Several folks replied to try this tip - and it worked like a champ.

    I would suggest you TRY it and see if it works for you as well. Makes 0 difference (that I can tell) when my car is cold, but gets my 8 started quicker when it is warm/hot than trying to just fire it right up.

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    If you're having trouble starting a warm engine, waiting after turning the key to on can improve it because the problem -may- be fuel vapour bubbles in the injector feed rails. Waiting allows the fuel pump to build up pressure, collapsing the bubbles. Waiting also allows the PCM (computer) to finish testing the various motors and solonoids in the intake system and setting the injector duty cycle for the current temp.

    We can speculate all we want here, just try it and if it helps then the problem is solved!
  • Yep...I've had the same problem. Only seems to happen when you slow down/uneven pavement. It's been great on the hwy. It may just be sensitive steering.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Be aware the RX-8 has "wide" tires on it compared to most vehicles. Wide tires tend to try to climb up slight sags in the road, such as the worn wheel tracks often found on heavy use roads. If you're not used to this it would feel like something was wrong with the steering.

    The result is the car doesn't want to go straight down the road - it wants to dart left and right.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Same here. The steering appears to be designed for... drum roll please... well designed and maintained roads. If the roads you drive on suck, then driving an RX-8 on those road will suck too.

    Here's the test. Go get a normal American made sedan, SUV, or truck and drive over the suspected section of the road. You should be able to detect the left and right pull, but just not nearly as much as in the RX-8.

    I had a frontend guy glance at my RX-8 when I was alarmed by the same strong pull left and right. He went into this long description or how bad the American road system is compared to the Germany Auto Ban, i.e. eight feet of road bed in Germany verses eight inches in the US.

    Oh well, my RX-8 costs way way less in the States than it does in any EU country, so I'm happy with my crappy roads.
This discussion has been closed.