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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions



  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Sounds like a grounding problem alright. The buzz is caused by the HID electronics - it converts the 12V of the car up to several hundred volts so it will "arc" in the headlamps. Probably just oxide on a "pushon" ground terminal.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,197
    Haven't visited here in a while. Just curious, how many miles do you have on your RX8? IIRC, you were one of the first to buy one (like me).
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The car isn't mine, I just get to drive it from time to time (and work on it). It has about 28,000 km on it now. It was one of the early ones that had a problem from the factory that caused a bearing failure, so it has a replacement engine. It failed at around 10,000 km. First car in Edmonton, and we have experienced all the reported "bugs" (and Mazda has been quick to fix them all). It is currently right up to date with the new ones mechanically and electronically.

    There is a funny story about it being the first in Edmonton: The owner and I were to leave for a one month trip to the far east when the car was due. It arrived the day before we were to leave. The dealer put his plates on it and we took it for a drive around the city for a few hours. While doing this, another driver was distracted by the RX-8 he saw, and he drove through a red light and ran into a pickup truck. No injuries, but the pickup driver was not impressed and the light runner was embarassed! We returned the car to the dealer, who kept it locked in the showroom while we were gone.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,197
    Sounds like Mazda has done little more than to upgrade the ECU and some other things here and there.

    So, the '06 is essentially the same as the '04s when they were introduced.

    Any word on the RX successors?
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    The 06 upgrades were mostly on the AT, it is now a 6s-pd and has around 214 HP now. The entire line gets minor updates such as the keyless start smart key, new paint color choices, and some of the later 05's have included screens on portions of the under carriage. It remains to be seen if they are on the 06's, or any other minor updates will be included. I don't know of anyone that has received theirs yet.
  • tomatnavytomatnavy Posts: 27
    the latest issue of road and track has the Mazda kubruna concept car on its cover--the word is that this may become a rx7 in 2008 or there after.
  • rxsallyrxsally Posts: 2
    after the dealer put new spark plugs in my rx8 it runs very high (rich) with out giving it gas it goes by itself it will go up hill is this normal?
  • rxsallyrxsally Posts: 2
    I had a bad vibr.. it was my motor mounts they have been on back order for 2 months just today after going into the service depart again..they told me they are now in stock they didnt call me to even tell me my parts are in ....after a 2-month wait. Service is bad..
  • When I back out of my driveway and forget (or can't) turn sharp, the bottom drags the concrete and it's rubbed the coating off :sick: . Anybody know of a source of strips about 2" high that can be installed in the rain gutter to stop this? I'm temporarily using a 2x4 under the right rear wheel.

    '05 Nordic Green
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Home Depot sells large rubber pieces shaped in a very flat "V". We bolted them to the concrete gutter. They have a groove at the point of the "V" to allow water to run in the gutter.
  • I've been all over Home Depot and Lowe's; do you remember what department you found that in? Sounds exactly what I need!

    '05 Nordic Green
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    They are not always in stock. Best to ask them.
  • chessiechessie Posts: 9
    My car has been in court now for 7 months just waiting for mazda to take it back. had the car 1 1/2 years, and been in the shop close to 20 times. New problems mind you I have already had the catalitic convertor repaced they worked on steering, spark plugs, brakes, starter, so on, the new problem is that once I drive the car smoke (not exhaust) comes out of my tailpipes, and my garage smell like something is on fire. Conveniently the dealership says they can not find or notice any problem. Mazda really ruined this car for me, they way they have handled this situation makes me understand that I will not buy a mazda again.
  • gatorj24gatorj24 Posts: 2
    Hey all,

    I took delivery of my RX-8 about 5 minutes ago. On the drive home I tried to turn on the radio. Nothing happened. So I tried every other knob on the control. I tried to switch to CD. That button didnt work either. Heck, I tried everything. Even the venting for the heat, etc. Nada. Pretty much nothing on the console is working now.

    OK it gets weirder. I drove the car 10 minutes before I bought it. It all worked then. The only difference is the dealer cleaned the car before I drove it him.

    Anyone have *any* clue? The dealer is now closed, they dont open until Monday, and I am now here with a new car that seems busted, and I feel pretty depressed.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    You took delivery at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning and now the dealership is closed?

    Do the time and post dates work here??
  • gatorj24gatorj24 Posts: 2
    Sorry I copied that post from another posting I made elsewhere.

    I actually picked the vehicle up on Saturday night at 6pm. I had test driven the car just before making the decision.

    Here is what is so weird. The radio does work. If I control it from the steering wheel everything is fine. The issue is *none* of the buttons on the dashboard face work. The radio, or the clock, or even the AC/blower mode.

    Of course though with the controls on the wheel I can only do volume and switch between the presets. I cant load a CD, or switch to CD mode etc.

    I'm sure on Monday the dealer will handle it, but its a damned bummer to have a new car and not even be able to listen to the radio.

    I kinda hoped someone might have a hint as to how I can try to reset this thing....
  • rx8wannabrx8wannab Posts: 17
    I would dearly love to buy an RX-8 (I would get a 2005), but am wondering about a few things...I’d appreciate your experience. First, how do you deal with the engine flooding issue when you take the car in to have the tires rotated, or new brakes installed, or whatnot—anytime the car is out of your hands and in a situation where it is likely to be driven a few feet and then the engine turned off? No one will be as careful with the car as the owner, even if you tell the guy at the front desk. Is flooding a sure thing if the engine is run only 1 minute, or just a possibility?

    Second, do people really check the oil every 2 fill-ups? It seems crazy for a car with that requirement that you have to pull off a plastic engine cover (and does that get too hot to touch?) and then do some contortions to reach the dipstick.

    Any comments you have I’d love to hear. I test drove over the weekend and love the looks, but reading some of this forum is scaring me off. I want to rationalize buying this car...
  • ukjimukjim Posts: 63
    Here is an only slightly biased reply, I am sure you will get many others.
    I owned a Red RX8 '04 from Feb 05 till yesterday when I traded it in for a Saab convertible.
    Mine was a fairly early '8 and but it had all of the chip upgrades. I NEVER had a problem with flooding at any time, even in cold weather in RI. I only checked the oil once a month between services and only had to add a quart of oil occasionally. Given the relatively small tank and low gas mileage, checking the oil every other fill-up would mean every week for me, a totally unacceptable proposition. The car is a blast to drive but I found that now living in CA means that I had to run the A/C all the time because the cabin gets very hot due to the proximity of the engine to the firewall and the exhaust pipes that run under the transmission tunnel. If you live in a warm climate I suggest you test the car on a hot day and make sure it is fully warmed up to see what I mean. The poor gas mileage is not helped when you have to run the A/C all the time. To be fair, I loved the car and drove it hard, but a change in job made it unsuitable and having a MT in LA traffic gets old quickly. I also wanted to sell it before I exceeded 20K miles and it depreciated further with the release of the '06/'07's
    One of the costs of the superb handling is what I consider a pretty harsh ride, the low profile tires are also fairly noisy even on relatively smooth LA roads.
    It's a beautiful car, it stands out in a crowd and performs well all round, but at a cost. Good luck and enjoy.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    04 flooding. None yet and I've put it in some situations that it potentially could (by accident or just not thinking.) Not to mislead you, there are 8's out there with flooding problems. I don't think it's such a big issue once you get used to it. I always take my car to the dealer for maintenance and they know how to handle it.

    Oil? No, I don't check my oil every 2 fill-ups. But, that's because I've learned I don't have to. My car uses very little oil. You'll get used to yours and you'll know when to check it.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Engine flood issue has been completely resolved as of 2005 Group 2 vehicles and all other model years have been fix via flash upgrades. Even discussing this old issue at this point appears to be more miss information as techniques to solve it are "old wives tails" these days (sorry if that sounds sexist).

    The frequency of oil checks for me is every third or fourth fill up. I have a 2005 RX-8 AT, so some might say, I don't really have an engine that's capable to burn oil the way the RX-8 MT can because I can't rev her past 7500 RPM. But to those who say they keep their RX-8 revving like that, I say, not here in Boston.

    On a 2000 mile trip from Boston to the mountains of North Carolina and back, I added one quart of 5-20 weight. The only minor bothersome things on the oil are as follows:

    1) You must remove the plastic engine cover to reasonably get to the dip stick. It's easy, but an extra step non the less.

    2) In the colder weather, there's this gunky condensation in the dip stick tube that take three or four dips to clear out of the tube, before you can really read the end of the dip stick. Some might argue this, but the gunk tends to smear down the stick and since my eye sight ain't as good these days, I say, being anal on this point is ok. There is a plastic insert that's supposed to solve the gunk build up, but I haven't asked my dealer to install it.

    3) You need to keep a couple of quarts of 5-20 weight oil cause not very many regular stations keep this lite stuff in stock.

    But here's my favorite thing about all of this. It's fun to mess with with an RX-8. I love to pop the hood, open all the doors and even leave the trunk open. Open hoods and doors is like a universal invitation that folks use as an excuse to ask about the cool car. The RX-8 never fails to turn heads. And I never fail to brag about doing 85MPH down the whole length of the eastern seaboard. Mid life crisis hell, I'm a 50 year old teenager. Woooooohaaaaaaah! I'm let'n those twins rotors howl all night long, oh yeah!

    Sooooooooo much fun...... just buy it. Everything else, becomes a priviledge of ownership thing. But if you get the RX-8 MT don't go revving her like a maniac, even in west Texas. Good luck.
  • djspldjspl Posts: 2
    Whenever I apply the brakes above 45 mph I get a very pronounced shake near the wheels. It's steady and even, most would say it's the antilock brakes, but it feels nothing like other anitlock brake equipped cars I have driven, it's a more violent pulse. Hard pedal pressure or just scrubbing speed, it's always there above exactly 45mph.

    Below 45 mph everything is smooth as glass, I don't even feel the AL brakes pulsing at all. Hard stops or soft stops.

    The brakes work fine, but this can't be right. I had my dealer check them and of course they couldn't re-create the problem because they didn't drive the car. They eyeballed the rotors when they rotated the tires and saw nothing.

    Is there an antilock brake adjustment at all?

    Thanks for any help.
  • fhohio1fhohio1 Posts: 1
    Actually, although Ford doesn't own a majority of Mazda shares (common stock), it has enough to control the Board. So Ford really does call most of the shots at Mazda. Now, whether that had anything to do with the RX-8 decision or not, I have no idea. FYI.
  • flatpickflatpick Posts: 43
    I own a Red RX8 '04 took delivery Oct '03 Chlt NC

    I had the early issues w/ oil lights, had recalls done and software updates done....have 23K miles on it..85% of that is 5-20 miles jaunts w/ ocassional road trips in the 150-500 mile range...never had any flooding problems...always try to let it warm up between short ride, but have on several ocassions in past 2 years shut it off in hurry not thinking, but no problems so far....I check oil every two weeks NOT every two fill experience is that the engine burns about 1 qt every 2500 - 3000 miles and I add a lil to get it up to center stick every two weeks...

    I been changing oil every 5k Miles....ave mpg 16.5 - 17....I'm 41 and drive it fairly agreesively and have fun with likes mistake....handles better'n any thing I've had before Rx7's, Mustangs, Hondas, but lil low end torque and that's OK by design limitatons....most functional backseat of any of'em thanks to clam shell doors...IMO it looks as good or better than anything in its price range...

    Poor A/C, not for the tall....goodluck
  • rx8wannabrx8wannab Posts: 17
    Thanks for all the answers from everyone. I feel much better about the car now. I don't mind the torque issue; I don't plan on drag racing (I'm not 21 anymore). I like the handling, mostly, since my daily commute in a few months will be 20 miles thru the Malibu Canyon in S. California (nice and twisty!).

    Glad to hear the flooding issue is overblown. I'm negotiating with dealers right now...BTW prices on new 05's are great at the moment! I'll be able to get an 05 AT sport + dealer installed moonroof for less than $24.5K (in N. California).
  • djspldjspl Posts: 2
    well, my problem was rotors after all. For some reason I didn't think warped rotors would show no (none, 0, nothing) symptoms below 45mph and then shake violently braking beyond 45 mph.

    I'm driving an '04 AT Sport at 15K miles with the larger brakes and can't recall driving this car so hard as to heat the brakes up that much.

    The dealer could tell I was irked at the cost of paying for turning the rotors on a lightweight sportscar with 15K on it AND the larger, more expensive brake kit. He checked with Mazda and they covered it as a warranty situation. Happy ending for me on this one.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It isn't hard to warp the rotors on most cars. They heat up quickly when you stop from highway speeds, and if you then sit at a light with the brakes on you cool one part of the rotor much more quickly than the rest (the caliper and brake fluid absorbs the heat energy). This will warp the rotor. The solution is after stopping from higher speeds, let the vehicle move forward a foot or two every 5 sec. or so two to three times if possible. This will spread the cooling out over the rotor and prevent the differential cooling that leads to warping. Of course, to do this you have to stop short of the intersection - 6 to 8 feet gives you plenty of "spread room".

    The speed effect (warped rotors not showing up at lower speeds) is partly due to resonance in the system. At higher speeds the mechanical parts can no longer "give" and you feel the fact that the rotor is warped. This is amplified by the braking force varying due to the warped rotor.
  • baknpatbaknpat Posts: 3
    While backing my son's car out of the garage, I made the mistake of adjusting the seat back. As a result of it's quick response, my foot slipped off of the clutch and the engine died. It really died! Now my son says I broke his car. We called the maintenance dept of the dealership only to find that all of their Mazda mechanicas are gone for a week. Is there anything i can do to get it started again. I tried to start it until the battery went dead. We recharged the battery but it still will not start. I went over the book and could not find any help. I thought maybe it was flooded, but, after waiting overnight, it still would not start. My son is now driving my car and I have to walk to work. I am desperate...... :cry: :cry: :sick:
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Most likely flooded. Waiting will not fix the flood. You have to remove the spark plugs as they are fouled with gasoline and will not ignite the fuel. Note that each rotor has two and they are different the top one is the trailing plug and the lower one is the leading plug - top trailing, lower leading - do not mix them up! Once the spark plugs are removed you can turn the engine over and that will pump the excess fuel out the spark plug holes - hold the accel pedal to the floor to ensure no more fuel is injected into the engine. If you squirt a little oil in there first it will work better - only a little though. Clean the plugs or replace them. Once you have done all of this the car should start. Be aware, it will very likely smoke a lot at first due to the fuel and oil still inside.

    Once again I repeat how to start a flooded rotary -
    1. Hold accel. pedal to the floor - do not release until it starts firing. When the accel. pedal is held to the floor of a rotary engine that is not running the computer shuts off the fuel injectors - a safety and unflooding feature built into all rotary engine Mazdas since 1989.
    2. Crank engine for 30 sec. at a time with a few min. between - to allow the starter motor to cool off. It will take up to 5 min. to start it doing this.
    3. If unsuccessful the spark plugs need to be cleaned/replaced. You also need to remove the excess fuel in the engine. Unlike in a piston engine where it can leak into the crankcase, a rotary has only a very convoluted path to the oil system so you have to remove spark plugs and crank the engine. Adding a little oil through the spark plug holes will help the apex seals pump air and the excess fuel out - both through the spark plug holes and into the exhaust.
    4. Once you have removed the excess fuel reinstall the cleaned spark plugs or the new ones and start at #1.
  • jason0820jason0820 Posts: 21
    Can you flood the rotary engine this quick, if it's only, say, a slip of the clutch to stall the engine?? Doesn't it take time for the excess fuel to settle and "swamp" the sparkplugs before you have a flooding situation?? I thought if you start up immediately after shutting down the engine cold (accidentally), there was no flooding issue. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    When you start a cold car (any fuel injected recent model with any type of engine that burns fuel) it goes into "choke mode". This means extra fuel because it needs to burn rich when cold. If you stall it you will not necessarily flood, but if you aren't careful when restarting it there is a chance it will flood. Usually the problem with the rotary is liquid fuel gets swept into the spark plug "chambers" and soaks the plugs. On piston engines this is hard to do as the plugs are above but on the rotary the plugs are on the side and the apex seal sweeps past them pushing liquid fuel into the small chambers where the spark plugs reside (the chambers allow the apex seal to pass the plugs without touching them).

    It's not common to flood that easily but it is possible, especially if the operator is not familiar with the rotary quirks. If you stall a cold engine hold the accel. pedal to the floor when restarting, until it fires, then release fully. This ensures the fuel injectors are shut off. The reprogramming that was done by Mazda also shuts off the "choke mode" until the engine actually starts (based on time) but still allows fuel to be injected.

    Make sure the car has had the latest "flash" - it may have been missed. Not all dealers are competent.
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