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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions



  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Went to Maine for turkey day. After a night of low teens (F) temps on Friday morning started my RX-8 AT 2005 and within 15 seconds noticed that the radiator (check engine coolant) light had light up.

    Rather than kill the cold engine, risking a restart problem, I waited till the water temp started to rise. The radiator light went out within a minute. The coolant level is full. Also noticed, that the manual says to wait a bit after engine start before putting the car in gear.

    Is the cold weather engine start doing extra special processing that waits on engine temp coming up to certain levels before completing the complete engine check sequence?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    No, the PCM doesn't wait just because it's cold out. The cause is likely that coolant, like many materials, shrinks when cold. It probably was a little low and when it warmed up it expanded to cover the sensor. You may be able to add some coolant - that is, it may actually be slightly low, just not low enough to trigger the sensor at "warmer" temps.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    I agree, ANY all season tire is going to cause you to suffer loss of max grip in the dry and wet AND will not perform nearly as well as a dedicated snow tire.

    Several years ago I started putting dedicated snows on during the winter on spare wheels and would NOT go back to all season tires. I get max wet and dry grip in non-winter and max snow/ice grip in the winter.

    When I was down to driving either an M5, S2000, or T100 pickup a few years back I decided to buy a well used Subaru Legacy AWD/ABS wagon. I put winter tread tires on it (Graspic ice-grip this time) and it is a MOUNTAIN GOAT going up the hills. The other cars (now an RX-8 rather than the M5) stay safe at home.

    If you can't get cheap steel wheels for the snow tires, then get a winter beater. Even a cheap FWD car w/4 snows will be much better than an 8 on snows. AWD is just that much better.

  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    If you want to paste the text below into an Excel spread sheet, the data for these performance vs all season tires will layout nicely. This is how I chose the Avons.

    cut -----------------


    Bridgestone Bridgestone Michelin Michelin Pirelli Pirelli Yokohama Dunlop Dunlop Kumho Yokohama Avon Michelin
    Potenza RE050A Potenza S-03 Pole Position Pilot Sport Pilot Sport PZero Nero PZero Rosso Asimmetrico ADVAN Neova AD07 Direzza DZ101 SP Sport 8090 ECSTA SPT AVS ES100 Tech M550 A/S Pilot HX MXM4
    Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall

    Size:225/45YR18 Size:225/45YR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45ZR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45YR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45YR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45VR18

    PRICE $211.00 $223.00 $207.00 $232.00 $215.00 $212.00 $245.00 $129.00 $238.00 $99.00 $156.00 $136.00 $219.00
    PERFORMANCE Max Performance Summer Max Performance Summer Max Performance Summer Max Performance Summer Max Performance Summer Max Performance Summer Max Performance Summer Ultra High Performance Summer Ultra High Performance Summer Ultra High Performance Summer Ultra High Performance Summer Ultra High Performance All-Season Grand Touring All-Season
    TREADLIFE WARRANTY None None None None None None None None None None None None None
    HANDLING RATING 9.4 9 8.9 8.9 8.6 8.5 N/A 8 N/A N/A 8.3 8.5 6.6
    DRY TRACTION 9.4 9.2 9.1 9.1 8.9 8.8 N/A 8.5 N/A N/A 8.6 8.9 7.1
    WET TRACTION 8.5 8.7 8.1 8.1 8.3 7.6 N/A 7.5 N/A N/A 7.8 8.9 5.8
    SNOW TRACTION N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 7.8 4.4
    RIDE COMFORT 8.4 7.8 7.7 7.7 8.1 7.3 N/A 8.5 N/A N/A 7.4 8.8 6.7
    NOISE COMFORT 8.3 7.6 7.3 7.3 8 7.2 N/A 8.1 N/A N/A 7 8.8 6.4
    WEAR 7.2 6.6 6.7 6.7 7.3 5 N/A 8 N/A N/A 6.6 8.8 6.2
    TREADWEAR RATING 140 220 220 220 220 220 180 300 280 320 280 360 300
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Here are the Winter tire vs All season comparisons. Just copy the text below and paste into Excel.


    Bridgestone Bridgestone Continental Dunlop Pirelli Avon Michelin
    Blizzak LM-22 Blizzak LM-25 ContiWinterContact TS790 V Winter Sport M3 Winter 240 SnowSport Tech M550 A/S Pilot HX MXM4
    Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall Blackwall

    Size:225/45VR18 Size:225/45VR18 Load Rating: XL Size:225/45VR18 Size:225/45VR18 Size:225/45WR18 Size:225/45VR18
    Load Rating: XL Load Rating: XL

    PRICE 223 198 198 178 198 136 219
    PERFORMANCE Performance Winter Performance Winter Performance Winter Performance Winter Performance Winter Ultra High Performance All-Season Grand Touring All-Season
    TREADLIFE WARRANTY None None None None None None None
    HANDLING RATING 7.8 N/A N/A 8.1 8 8.5 6.6
    DRY TRACTION 8.1 N/A N/A 8.3 8.2 8.9 7.1
    WET TRACTION 8.3 N/A N/A 8.7 8.4 8.9 5.8
    SNOW TRACTION 8.9 N/A N/A 9.2 8.5 7.8 4.4
    RIDE COMFORT 8.1 N/A N/A 8.5 8.2 8.8 6.7
    NOISE COMFORT 7.6 N/A N/A 8.2 8 8.8 6.4
    WEAR 7.8 N/A N/A 8.4 8.1 8.8 6.2
  • I couldnt imagine having my RX8 and having to deal with snow. I live in Northern California where the lowest temperature is still over 35 degrees. :)

    As for the guy with the fuel door prob..... I had it to after I installed an aftermarket door. If not adjusted correctly the door causes the gas cap to open and thus the light. Believe it or not, mine was fixed by tightening the gas cap to the point where it is paralell to the ground. Havent had a prob since!....
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Looking strictly at the numbers the Avon's appear to provide 90% of the snow traction and 90% of the performance traction for 60% of the price of the two extreme snow and performance tire lines.

    Driving on city streets of Boston, it's the year round use, particularly related to the 140 vs 360 tread wear rating of of the performance vs all season tires and the price differential that I'm after. Boston streets do tear up tires quicker than normal.

    I know a Boston driver who's G35 coupe goes through the performance tires like they were made of jello. He does the swap for winter tires and rims, swap for fall and spring with all season tires and then the swap for summer performance. His performance tires just seemed to melt away. The winter tires lost tread next fastest, but the all seasons didn't have any tread loss at all.
  • I too live in the Boston area and am seeking a cost effective way of driving in the winter. I went the tire rack Avon all-season route. Last winter I kept the Bridgestone OEM tires on and kept it garaged on the messy days. (We have a second front-drive sedan vehicle in the family) Trispec is right, the road clearing in our area is pretty darn good. I'll post again in awhile when I see how the traction works out. The Bridgestones were USELESS in 1/4" of snow. (Not necessarily a criticism b/c that's how they are designed - just a piece of info for others) On my previous car (1992 Acura legend) I had dedicated Blizzaks on 15" rims, and they were great in the snow. 16" pirellis in the summer. The budget is a little tight right now with me in grad school, so another complete set of tires and rims isn't a great idea, and $100 twice a year for dismounting remounting and balancing snow/summer tires on the same rims seems expensive too. The Avons are my compromise solution. The forecast is mentioning snow showers Sun./Mon. so we'll see.
  • modockmodock Posts: 55
    I am in the same position as far as money situation and tires that suck in the snow. I just have a Mazda3 not an RX-8. I have been going throught the same quandry. I live in Denver and there are only 2 to 5 days a year where there is actually snow covering the roads. What I have been concidering is these things called Spikes Spiders. They are similar to chains but go on and off in about a minute. I was wondering if anyone had ever heard of them or used them. They run around $350 for the ones that fit my car and about the same for the ones that fit the RX-8.

    I was just wondering if anyone out there has used them before. Thanks
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    You are too funny, trispec :D

    You looked at the user reviews of the tires to think you are getting a good tire - bad move. Right on the TireRack page are the TR TESTS on the track, so you were close but missed it.

    If you look here and here you can compare the track numbers. The TR test "track" is really short and small, so the numbers do not tend to vary as much as the would if they did longer and better tests. Dry stopping from 50mph is 10' longer, slower slalom and lap times - much slower in the wet.

    So compared to OEM tires the all season tires are what I would consider "much worse" wet and dry.

    TR does not have any similar tests of dedicated snow tires VS all season (that I have seen), but Consumer Reports did a while back and found dedicate snow tires to be head and shoulders above any all season tires in snow and ice grip.

    All season tires are a compromise - you give up both wet and dry handling VS high performance summer tires, yet do not net snow tire grip in the winter. If you can only afford 1 set of tires and have to drive in the snow, then you have to suffer the rest of the time. Otherwise, you are a LOT better off to get tires dedicated to the task at hand.

    High performance (and winter) tires can wear pretty quickly. Like the old "Pink Pearl" erasers, soft rubber does a better job, but goes away quicker. Sure, you could put some 60k or 100k tread life tires on your car, but when you need to stop quick or turn quick those hard tires could cause you to be in a wreck where grippier rubber would save you.

    Just in the dry braking from 50mph for OEM VS all season showed a 10' difference, if you need to stop to avoid hitting a chid that just ran in front of you the all season tires would take 10' longer to stop - and if the child was within that 10' area that makes a HUGE difference in what happens.

  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Yep, saw all that stuff, plus did comparisons of a much larger sample of winter and summer performance tires.

    1) I NEVER drive over 50mph except on the highway and mostly I'm just driving 35mph in the city. So the differences in the performance, winter, and all season are even closer.

    2) Avon Tech's have slush and hydro planing channeling tread which is the main problem I fear. The performance summer tires completely failed on me while in slush at 35mph.

    3) Nearing 50 years old, as I am, my reaction times would never even come close to the performance range numbers anyway. The recognition of the emergency braking or steering event in my brain, coupled with the twitch speed of my muscles pretty much nuetralizes any advantage that the performance summer or winter traction tires might give me.

    Hell, I'm just happy to be on the road still alive, with a little bit of a smile on my face as I continue to delude myself with the fun of driving my RX-8 AT at 35 mph. Yeepee.

    BTW, I just installed my Avon Tech's. They are much quieter and softer. I threw the summer performance tires down in the basement to rubber rot. Maybe I'll put them out on the street for the trash man next summer. I would have put them up on eBay, but the number of folks out there trying to bust me over the damn tire thing has scared me off online permanently. Good-bye all.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Well folks, my RX-8 AT with it's new Avon Tech 550 A/S tires just pulled through one of the worst sudden winter storms that I've ever driven through here in Boston. In the span of one hour an inch of sleet and six inches of wet heavy snow slammed us.

    I was stuck in one of Boston's horrible city wide traffic jams. So much snow and sleet came down so fast that the windshield wipers jammed solid four times. I had to jump out in traffic to break the build-up from around the wipers.

    The Avon Tech's handled the roads with packed snow without any slips or spins. On the deep slush no slip or spin. On hills with unpacked snow I had to turn off the DSC and spin my way up.

    In my RX-8 AT I used the paddle shifter in 2nd gear to take off nice and slow. In the unpacked snow, when the car was bottoming out I just tried to keep plowing forward. One important note: YOU CAN NOT TURN THE DSC OFF UNLESS YOU TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE GAS FIRST, THEN TURN OFF DSC, THEN TAKE OFF. Turning off the DSC while the gas peddle is depressed leaves the DSC engaged.

    Around Boston College's hills on Commonwealth Ave. the Avon's handled the after math of the storm on unplowed streets. Slush snow was banging the bottom of the car constantly. Not a single issue keeping control of the rear end or steering through neighborhoods.

    In my book, Avon Tech 550 all season tires can handle the worst kind of New England winter weather in Boston.
  • Hi all

    It is now December. I spent a good part of September in and out of the Denver Mazda dealer and no joy - they claimed that it never got hot enough for my power loss to be replicated.... They did say the car was wimpy in automatic and that they thought it was ok in tip-troic mode....

    My question tonight is simple - Did anyone actually get a cure or a fix for the loss of power?

    Any ecommendations re where to buy tires for the RX8 in Denver/Colorado Springs?
  • Alright, I attempted a search but came up short. I am a seventeen year old student attending high school in southern california. One more year of high school and I'm off to college. I currently own a stock Honda Civic and have had it about a year. I would be purchasing a mid-later 05 6speed...

    My questions may be a little vague but any help at all would be greatly appreciated:
    1) Reliability - seeing that I have owned a reliable Honda for the past year I would hope the RX8 would not be a complete let down. I understand the oil checking and what not but what about reported problems? Have some of these problems been fixed in the later 05 models? I do not want a car that will constantly need to be in the shop - thats the last thing I want on my mind while in college.
    2) Performance - It seems to me that many of the problems many people speak of are due to cold weather and whatnot. In California the weather is more or less tame - will the car perform better in my sunny socal weather? I currently make an 8 min (approximately) drive to and back from school Mon-Fri. Is this short driving not recommended because the rx8 should have about 10 minutes to heat up before shut off so it will be less likely to flood? Remember this is SoCal weather so for the most part it will warm up faster.

    ANY help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The stylish/innovative "4-door" design combined with the rotary engine just pulled me in towards the rx8 and I have fallen in love. If the problems scare me away I may be more swayed towards the Acura RSX or something along those lines. I am working/worked hard for my money and do not want to be in loaner vehicles all the time...
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Going from a Civic to an RX-8 is going to be like going from a Piper Cub to a jet. But the jet's gonna need a lot more fuel. If you are sure you can psychologically deal with paying three times more for fuel then go for it. If concern over the fuel payments is any concern, the fun of the RX-8 could be spoiled for you.

    On the maintenance issues, JUST MAKE SURE YOU GET A GROUP 2 2005 or later. Group 2 2005 RX-8 models have all the recall items fixed at the factor already.

    California dreaming I am, as Boston is a frozen winter urban scene, but I can still drive to the neighborhood McDonalds for breakfast, LESS THAN A MILE AWAY, and by using the rev to 3000 RPM for 10 seconds shut off procedure, I've NEVER had a problem starting my RX-8. I don't have a garage, and the temps are 10-20 degrees F.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The dealers have been told in no uncertain terms _ALL_ recall items must be done on all RX-8s before they are sold, so this shouldn't be an issue.

    The RX-8 is reliable. You should be ok with your eight minute commute. As trispec said, be prepared to pay/use more fuel. If you want to play you have to pay. ;) The car has lower torque than many are used to, so be sure to take a test drive to ensure you're good with that.

    Be aware the RX-8 is one of the most integrated electronic vehicles on the market. Most things on the car are monitored/controlled by the PCM, the car's computer. So messing with it (mods.) gets complicated. Particularly, the audio system is difficult to "enhance", so be sure you get what you want from the dealer.
  • Dennis

    Interesting that you drive both an RX-8 and an S2000. These are two of the cars I am considering for my next car in addition to a MX-5. Could you comment on the pros and cons of an S2000 versus an RX-8 in your opinion? Any thoughts on this would help me with my decision.
  • trispec/pathstar1
    Thanks for the input, I was dreading my question being passed up. Well, for starters my mpg would be about half as much as I get now meaning I would have to fill up about twice as much as I do now with 91/92 octane. No problem, you don't get a rotary engine for nothing ;) Mods don't mean much, on my civic I didn't do much but with the rx8 I'd pretty much leave it stock, I wouldn't want to tamper with anything. If I wanted low end torque, I would purchase the saturn Ion Redline or Cobalt SS. Friday night red light drags are of no importance. So, for the most part, any rx8 purchased from a mazda dealer would have all of the recalls fixed? If I bought it from a different dealer and brought it to Mazda would they replace the parts no questions or claim "no wear" therefore no new parts. I guess that question is circumstantial on the dealership but what do you guys think...
  • I had an interesting experience driving up a steep hill in Boston after a recent snowstorm that put a lot of slush on the road. The TCS in my 2004 RX8 would kick in, reduce power output and keep the car from moving ahead. So here is what I did. Turn the TCS off, press down the accelerator, let the rear tires spin and clear the snow out. Immediately after, turn TCS back on, and the traction control enables the rear tires to grip and climb. If stuck again, repeat. It works! I dont know if this helps but thought I would share with people who have to face uphill climbs. BTW I have Blizzaks.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Nice. I was over in Hyde Park in Boston with hills of unpacked snow to go over into my neighborhood. I first tried to hit the hills with some speed. The DSC/TCS would slow the spin and power down till it was stuck at which point I'd turn the DSC/TCS off and spin my way to the top hill.

    My new Avon Tech 550 all seasons probably were spinning more than your Bizzaks, but I got over all the snow and sleet. On the packed stuff I had no slips or spins, but in my RX-8 AT I can start nice and slow in 2nd gear. Hardly any torque hitting the backend.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The recalls are required. Any dealer should do them without charge, if not they could get into trouble with Mazda NA. There are several recalls on earlier models, but the 2005s have most of them addressed already (fixed at the factory before shipment from Japan). The early 2005s still have a few to address. As I said, they should have been done already. The dealers were told to do them on all cars on the lot.
  • I have a 2004 RX-8 GT with the Bose 6 CD system. For some reason, most (if not all) CD's that I have which are burned will not play. I receive a "Check CD" error message. I have either Windows Media Player or iTunes to use to burn CD's. Can anyone tell me what the problem might be?


    Jake in Orlando
  • hey got a question, last night i was driving and as i was trying to go fast the enginge just revved, then finnaly caught up. after a while of this problem it starts becoming worse and worse to where when i really need to go over 30 its not doing it. turns out teh clutch burnt up on me..anyone else have this problem?
  • I have a 2005 RX8 with approx. 10,500 miles. Recently-when our weather dropped below 20 degrees, my coolant light would go on for about two minutes and then shut off as car warmed up. I took it directly to the dealer and they reported all coolant levels were normal. Our weather has dropped again into the low teens and single digits recently, and my coolant light (Which looks like a mini White House, but in red!)started going on for about two minutes and turning off as car began to warm.

    IS there an explanation for this. I figured PATHSTAR may have experienced similar issues because of the cold winters he has experienced.

    Any advice or tips would be appreciated. I do not want to cause any engine damage. At least I have it on record with Mazda that this light issue has appeared. Other than that, car runs like a dream. Blizzak Winter tires make driving through snow easy.
  • Although I am not an RX8 owner, I have read in many forums and know about many of the issues. What you are experiencing isn't uncommon and I believe its actually due to the coolant becoming so cold it shrunk in mass thus lowering it below the sensor level. The reason the light shuts off is due to the engine warming up consequently warming the fluids expanding them.
    On a side note: Ah, I don't know what to do! Stuck in choice between the Acura RSX-S and the RX-8!
  • moadhmoadh Posts: 15
    I own a 2004 Mazda RX8 which has around 20,000km on it. I imported it from the states to Dubai, U.A.E (btw its the only rx8 in the city, which makes it simply the center of attention) but the issue im having is ordering spare parts. we only have one mazda dealership here and they are in all honesty INEFFICIENT. everytime i want to order a part (even if its a brake pad), i have to wait a month till they order it from japan! in any case, i was wondering how many spark plugs the rx8 uses so that i can order them in advance?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Four plugs total, two of each type, that is, two leading plugs and two trailing plugs. You have a choise of three temp. ranges. I recommend in Dubai you use the standard heat range (should be in the owners manual).
  • moadhmoadh Posts: 15
    For all owner-maintenance related issues, i use a 5,000KM interval. The mazda dealership recommended this since the weather here (in the summer) is extremely hot! But thanks for your help :)
  • cynteccyntec Posts: 2
    Hi, this is the first time I've ever used a forum, but my RX-8 is driving me crazy and I need to find out if anyone else has this problem or knows what to do. I've had my car for a year and a half and after the first half a year it started giving me problems. The first time it happened I was driving when I heard a CLANK. The car started to lose power and then stalled and wouldn't start up for a while. When it did start up it vibrated horribly. Since then I've only stalled once but The car is forever losing power so that it hardly moves. Even on the highway I have to keep pressing the gas more and more or else it looses power. It happens randomly and I can't figure out why. I've taken it to five different dealerships and they all tell me that they can't find anything wrong with it so they can't do anything for me. I did not pay the amout of money I paid for this car to get a LEMON! Can anybody help?
  • moadhmoadh Posts: 15
    Did you try checking either the battery or the fuel pump? it could be one of the either, very strange tho! never heard this complaint before......
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