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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions



  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Yep. I called up Jon Etheridge from the Car and Driver article . He said they were still gathering the various pieces needed for the kit from all over the country and world.

    Pathstar posted enough cautions for me to wait and see, although the low end and midrange 80% torque increase looks mighty fine. Fine enough to think about some of those super wide tires.
  • grinningrinnin Posts: 13
    I frequently do the same thing trispec. Rev to 3000-3500 for a few seconds and kill the engine as the revs wind down. My dad had a 79 RX-7 when I was a kid (one of the first two shipped to Milwaukee) and he always did the same thing with that car. I have not had a single starting issue here in New England with my 2004 6-sp.
  • I just bought a rx8 and it seems to have really squeaky brakes it only has 4000 miles on it but i think someone may have scraped a curb real good judging by the look of the rims! I also seem to hear a rattle but unsure of where it is comong from...did you ever solve the question?
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Break squeak is normal, but there is a service procedure that supposedly fixes it.

    As for the gurgle/popcorn/rattle sound that I still hear at lower RPM ranges when accelerating, I've concluded that it's part of the exhaust systems explosive detonation of the remaining gases as left over from the engine.

    I've only registered the issue with Mazda as there are no other problems like check engine lite, loss of power or engine roughness.

    The noise seems to be less and less noticed however and so hopefully, it's just a continuing break in issue, like the limited slip differential vibration. Do you have the limited slip differential issue?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Brake noise is caused by hard pads (performance type usually). The Mazda RX-8 pads are known for this. They have new pads that are supposed to be quieter, and they -may- change them for you under warrenty.

    If the rims were damaged, check the tire sidewalls carefully. If there is evidence of damage on the sidewalls, I'd be tempted to have the tire pulled off the rim and inspected internally. It is possible to damage a tire sidewall by scraping it hard on a curb - and you don't want it blowing out at 75+ MPH! If there is no damage evident on the sidewalls then the tires are probably ok.

    The exhaust can cause rattles - the most common cause is loose heat shields. I've even seen gravel between the heat shield and the exhaust pipe cause rattling.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Wow, totally missed that he was asking about a real rattle. Funny though, I remember the heat shield on my '87 RX-7 rattled.
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Hi again all,
    Yes the brake squeak can be fixed under warranty. There is an updated brake pad and shim kit that Mazda has out. It fixed mine. As far as my rattle noise, mine has still to be fixed. I have had the computer removed and re calibrated and flashed. Still have the rattle, even changed fuel brand as per the tech line request. No change. Mine goes back in again on July 3rd. If this doesn't fix it then I will be talking to the Mazda regional manager of my area about them replacing the car.
    In fact I was out car shoping yesterday, the most any dealer will give me for an 05 RX-8 sport with 7200 miles is 19,000. That was even from Mazda. The retail is 25,000+.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Ouch. But I thought there was a noticed performance increase for your RX-8 AT after the rebuild on your PCM.

    I still hear the gurgle/popcorn/rattle but only after the car has warmed up. I believe there is less of the noise as well, but I could be less sensitive to hearing it at this point.

    PathStar seems fairly sure that's the normal explosive exhaust burning up left over gas. My gas millage is unchanged.

    I have registered the issue with Mazda USA.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    i just got my squeaky brakes fixed. I mentioned it in the service dept at the Mazda place when i was in for an oil change. they told me my brakes were fine and showing normal wear = no problems.

    When I got home to the internet, I looked up the TSB's for the car and saw there was one. I called them back and told them there was a TSB for squeaky brakes and they ordered me a new brake kit immediately. I still have a squeak from time to time (not nearly as bad as the squeeling demon sound they were making), but I'm satisfied with the fix.

    Those TSB's were listed on a Mazda dealer website and I'll be happy to post a link here if I can find it again.

    PS Both front sway bar links were also popped out of socket and they fixed those during the bake job.
  • lhesslhess Posts: 379
    hope this isn't a repost or against the rules here, but here's the site where I got my info:
  • northfootnorthfoot Posts: 7
    My RX8 (2005, purchased in June of that year) had been running fine until one week ago. At that time (warm weather and warmed up engine) the engine warning light came on, and shortly after this, the car stalled out whenever I tried to accelerate. Car has been at dealer for 1 week. First, spark plugs were replaced to a hotter burning version. Also the car’s computer was flashed. No improvement. Now, the dealership thinks it may be the ignition coils, which need replacing. Any ideas as to if they are on the right track?
  • xfree143xfree143 Posts: 1
    I parked my RX8 (2005)last night and today it will not start. It turns over but acts like it has no fire at all. I will have to towed to the dealer Monday but does anyone have any ideas? Is this a common problem? :mad: :sick:
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The ignition coils can fail. In hot weather they can actually go into thermal runaway. Ask the dealer to show you the ones they removed. If you see any bulging/cracking they are suspect. They have a transistor inside as well as the coil and poor heatsinking. Should be warrenty.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Sounds like it was flooded. There are two possible ways to get it started.

    First, hold the accel. pedal to the floor and crank the engine, 10 sec. cranking, 30 sec. cool down. Do not release the accel. pedal until it starts to fire! Holding the accel. pedal to the floor shuts off the fuel injectors so you don't add even more fuel to a flooded engine. It usually takes up to five minutes of this to get it started. You may need to recharge the battery if it was flooded too badly. Note that once it starts it will smoke a bit due to the excess fuel inside the engine. DO NOT shut it off until it warms up!

    If this doesn't work and if you are a little mechanically inclined, remove the spark plugs (note which location each was removed from - there are two different types and you want to put them back in the same location - leading and trailing plugs). Inject a squirt of oil into the front and rear rotor housings leaving the plugs out. Turn over the motor - this will eject some oil and fuel (hold the accel. pedal to the floor so it will not inject any more fuel into the engine). Once you've done this, you can reinstall the plugs (check them to see if they are clean and clean them if not - if they were soaked with fuel they need to be cleaned or replaced). Then you can start the engine (do not touch the accel. pedal). Note that it will smoke a bit from the excess fuel and oil inside so don't panic. Don't shut it off until it warms up.

    It is still possible to flood an RX-8 but it has become less common these days with the newer flash in the PCM. You should always let the engine warm up before shutting it off (wait until the temp gauge starts to move off the lower peg).
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Ok all we got out car back from the dealer yet again. Now the tech line is saying that the rattle/popcorn noise is a normal condition. My wife drove another 05 A/T which is the same as ours and it did as well, but was about 1/4 of what ours is doing. I know a few guys that have M/T and they dont have this noise. I am thinking that they dont know what it is so they are now at the point of well must be normal. I have had the computer undated now twice in under 2 months, changed fuel brand, and still it rattles. It got worse after the first flash so we will see. :confuse:
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    The many popcorn/rattle conversations we've had with helpful folks here, especially PathStar, have built my confidence that the condition is normal. The popcorn/rattle is there, but much less than before. I use to be able to hear the noise in the cab with the windows rolled just sitting in the drive way after a cold start. Now I'm only able to hear it with the windows rolled down, after the engine has been completely warmed up under a strong take off.

    My 2005 RX-8 AT has 13K miles. She appears to be burning the same amount of gas (13.5 city/23 highway), but oil consumption seems to be less. Driving around in the heat of summer for the first time, seems to really be breaking in the engine and tranny much more than the previous cooler fall, winter and spring temps. The engine seems much livelier, idles smoother, and the Lim Slip Dif vibrates less on corner take offs.
  • heenoheeno Posts: 7
    As a owner of 93 I'm considering a new 2006 RX8, 6 speed. Anything I should know about t his car, any packages or options I should consider or stay away from. Thanks
  • nucmednucmed Posts: 2
    :sick: I purchased a 2004 Mazda RX8 in March of 05. I hadn't had any major problems with it until about a month ago. As I was driving down the highway, the car wouldn't accelerate. When I proceeded to get of the highway, I took it out of gear to downshift and the car shut off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, and they said it was a program that needed to be downloaded. So apparently the problem was solved. Then this past weekend it happened again. Is this a common problem? or is this an indication that i bought a :lemon: It is so frustrating, I don't know what to do. :sick:
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There are many possibilities re causes for this problem. The MAF connection is the first one I would check. It may have gotten wet and corroded.
  • northfootnorthfoot Posts: 7
    I just got my car back from service after repeated stalling (2 weeks repairs). Multiple services performed (hotter spark plugs, PCM flash, recalibration of eccentric shaft position plate, new plug wires, new ignition coils and new fuel pump). All this done under warranty. Point of story is many possible causes for stalling out. Many thanks to Pathstar fo his advice. Questions:
    1. Would driving at higher shift points near redline help prevent these problems, at least in part?
    2. Could using a brushless car wash have caused water to get in and cause these problems?
  • nucmednucmed Posts: 2
    Well got a phone call today from the dealer. He said they will be replacing the entire engine. He said something about the combustor not working.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    1. Driving at higher shift points helps keep carbon buildup to a minimum in the combustion chambers and exhaust. It may also help to keep the spark plugs burned clean, but that is debateable. The spark plugs are in little chambers of their own, to protect them from the apex seals. There are small holes in the chamber to the inside of the rotor housing (one is about 1/4" in dia. and the other about 3/16"). I think they way it works is turbulance injects the air/fuel into the spark plug chambers, and when the plugs fire the gas in there ignites and the flame front advances through the small hole, so higher revs. etc. would probably have minimal effect on the plug heating.
    2. If you're talking of the brushless carwash you drive thru, no. The hood is closed. Jets of water would have a very difficult time getting to anything sensitive. If you used a high pressure washer on the engine bay, then yes.
  • nannerhutnannerhut Posts: 7
    Took my RX-8 2004 back to the dealership. My husband loves this car, and used to own a RX-7...but we've been have so many little problems lately that it's really become a thorn in my side. I just took it back to the dealer for sqeeky brakes, and the craziest thing happened. My passenger-side sun visor totally broke and won't fold up.. I just got in the car and saw it in the down position (which is odd since we don't use it..ever) and tried to put it back up and it wouldn't go. We probably have had it flipped up and down less than 6 times! The plastic just literally shredded apart. After inspecting the drive looks like it's about to break too. Mazda said this has been a problem and the new ones should hold up better. We are no longer under warranty and it's going to cost us almost $150 per visor. We have had the car flood on us once (we are so careful now) but even with the new starter, it doesn't work all that well. Having my a/c checked for the millionth time, and even with the a/c amplifier my car still does not cool down properly. It get's "cool" at best. I am now too noticing the popcorn sound..not so much a major problem..just very annoying. And two weeks ago I noticed the gear shifter starting to have superfical cracks. The car is only 2 1/2 years old. I know this things are minor...but all of these little things keep adding up. It's really driving me crazy.
  • Its unbelievable that there are so many problems with this car and poor mileage to boot. You could live with the mileage if it was reliable. The flooding issue is a real safety issue in my mind. What if it doesn't start and you are in a dicey neighborhood? They don't even advertise them anymore in Boston. CR also rates the 6 as having major problems.

    I had been thinking of getting one due to my good luck with my 2002 Millenia S. I finally did have a mechanical problem with it. At 87,000 miles the passenger side front wheel bearing went. I replaced the brakes at 55,000 miles which is maintenance. Needed an adjustment to the gas tank lid and the air bag light came on. Problem was moisture in a wire under the driver's seat. Probably due to me sloshing coffee around in the car. Problems with tires due to bad potholes. That's it for problems in almost 4 years.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Please provide proof that it "has so many problems". So far, I've only see perhaps 50 owners with problems reporting. Out of at least 10,000 units sold. Most owners I've talked to are very happy. They even take the mileage without complaint - "you have to pay if you want to play".

    As far as flooding, the car doesn't flood unless you try really hard to make it. Most owners haven't seen a flood, and probably never will.

    Don't base your opinions on what you read here. Here you only find the owners with problems reporting.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Yep, this forum has a tendency to vastly enhance statistically insignificant issues. There are no where near enough forum members contributing to see the real picture good or bad. Judging by my own posts, along with a few others, the popcorn/rattle noise would seem to be a massive problem. But really, 99% of RX-8 AT owners never even hear it.
  • fishnhardfishnhard Posts: 20
    Ok not to sound like a smart a** but the name of the forum us problem and solutions! So for the most part you are going to hear about people with problems looking for a solution. That is why I started to use this. I know trispec and I have given each other info over the last several months. To update you with my rattle problem, I have had it back for just over 2 weeks now and so far the noise it gone. My dealer did another flash, I am assuming it must be the latest one. We will see how it goes. As for any of you who dont know what I am talking about, a brief recap. I bought an 05 RX-8 in Feb of 06. Had the brake squeak issue, and my dealer fixed it after I pushed the issue of ceramic pads and they called the tech line and found out about the updated pads and shims. No other problems there. Then the rattle/popcorn noise started. Had the computer removed and sent to CA for an update and flash, still rattles, changed fuel, still happened, took it in for the last time, flashed the PCM and so far fixed. I hope so. I can understand the frustrations of owners having small things go wrong, it makes you question the quality and the longevity of the vehicle. Others I drive with have not had the problems I have had. So you are correct in saying it is a very small % that are having problems. The bad part is that is all it takes to give a car a bad name is just a few to complain and bad mouth it. Don't get me wrong I have given Mazda a piece of my mind more than once. I have even tried to trade the car in, owe too much to do that right now. :P

    Take care all and enjoy the drive!
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Absolutely agree with you, "...all it takes to give a car a bad name is just a few...." Bad news travels fast and fast is pretty dang close to the speed of light these days.

    I just don't think any forum exists anywhere where a significantly large enough number of RX-8 AT owners can get together. Significantly large would only need to be 2-3% of RX-8 owners in total, but that would be a 100 times more than the current crowd here, as far as I can tell.

    Mazda would listen and do a recall for sure, but the concerned activists here are you and me with PathStar as our unofficial advisor and mentor. This forum, as with most forums elsewhere on the internet, are not regarded with any kind of real respect. Every corporation on the planet makes absolutely sure that their online forums have no power.

    As for my popcorn/rattle, what is your pure city MPG. I'm at 13-14MPG if I paddle shift at 3500RPM minimum, 15-16MPG if I light foot it on full auto.
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    I have a yellow 2004 RX-8 AT. Have not had the popcorn noise at all. Did have the brake squeal, but took in postings from here and got it all covered. Brakes perfect since the last dealer visit.

    Overall mpg in summer i would say is close to 20mpg. Winter months that may drop down to 17mpg.

    Have really had few problems with the car....
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    And not dissing anyone, but brake sqeal is not really a "problem". It's caused by performance pads. Put "ordinary" pads in there and you get less brake performance (which you wouldn't notice on the street) and no sqeal. Some owners aren't bothered by a little sqeal, some are. Mazda was building a "performance" car, that would be reasonably good on the track. Hence the sqeal. Perhaps they went too far, perhaps they should have let those few owners who want to track their RX-8 put in track pads themselves. I haven't checked to see if the Mazdaspeed 6 got the track pads too, but wouldn't be surprized. ;)
This discussion has been closed.