Mazda RX-8 Owners FAQ

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited July 2014 in Mazda


  • omicron_incomicron_inc Member Posts: 6
    ... the purpose of the little dangly piece of plastic in front of the rear wheels? It's about 2x5 inches, and hangs down from the body just in front of the rear wheel well.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    And maybe some aerodynamics.
  • omicron_incomicron_inc Member Posts: 6
    Aerodynamics? They're so tiny that I kinda doubt it... I was thinking more along the lines of noise reduction... but who knows? I also noticed they are in front of the front tires too.

    And appearances I guess I could see, but I think they're ugly... like pieces of trash that got caught under the car while driving.

    Wonder if I should just remove them, and what they would affect. Hmmmmmmmm.

    Thoughts, anyone?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    Better watch those speed bumps too. Seriously. I've seen some driveways that crest so sharply some low-ground-clearance vehicles gouge them (and mess up their underbodies, of course).
  • memmermemmer Member Posts: 1
    Has any one had any extensive driving with the rx-8 in snow? I live in Wisconsin where the winters can get a rough. Any input would be appreciated
  • mex8mex8 Member Posts: 3
    I don't have too much experience on deep snow. I save the Jeep for that. However, I have driven on ice. The traction control has saved my bacon a couple of times. The large wheels and 50 50 balance have meant that there is great control and braking.
    For a sports car, it is great. I am sure an investment in good performance winter grip tires will keep you upright between the ditches.... :)
  • flipper897flipper897 Member Posts: 10
    Hello -

    I recently bought a new RX-8, 6-speed manual and I am very happy with it.
    I have a couple of questions though, I hope someone can help.

    It's been quite a few years since I've driven a stick, and I'm pretty rusty.
    First question: Quite often I'm not sure what gear I'm in so I keep a close eye on the tach. At freeway speeds, say 65-70 mph, if the engine is turning around 3500 rpm, am I in 6th gear?

    Secondly, I seem to have a problem going from fourth to fifth. Quite often the revs increase, so I must be going back into 3rd, I guess. Not to worry, I've never overrevved the engine, I got as high as 5000 rpm so I shifted back to fourth. Any tips on going from fourth to fifth gear? Do I move the shifter to the right and then up? It seems to balk when I try to go to the upper right & that's when I think I'm going into 3rd gear by mistake.

    I would appreciate any advice - thank you. Phil
  • ramsesramses Member Posts: 8
    Well Phil I just bought my Shinka on Friday the 12th, But from my experience with shifting, You should go over right then up. Do not worry about revs cause rotarys likes those high rev hense the 9000rpm redline and it will beep at 8500rpm. I do understand the problem I still think I'm going into 3rd sometimes myself and I have 90% of my time driving is using manual.

    To answer your first question I have had mine going 65-70 mph in 3rd pushing about 5500rpm with plenty of room to still get up and go. So it sounds like you are in 6th to me. But with high revs means low gas mileage. But anyways it is probably the best looking and overall car I have very owned. Very pleased driver, super pleasant dealership too, they even called me saturday to check up on me and how I have enjoyed my purchase so far. Great customer service I give the an A+ for it.

  • flipper897flipper897 Member Posts: 10
    Caleb -

    Thanks for responding. Prior to reading this, first thing after I got up this morning, I slapped myself upside the head & thought - "get in the car and practice shifting!". So that's what I did, in the garage with the engine off, out of the Arizona heat & it's what I suspected & you are correct, fifth is to the right, then up. I'll never forget it now - had I not had a brain cramp I probably would have resolved this weeks ago and never posted, haha.

    Another thing I discovered, the car has a warning sensor for tire pressure, it went off about a week ago, Mazda sets the timing beeper at 28 pounds. I called the dealer, they said to set them at 35 pounds (the owner's manual says 32 but the dealer should know best (I hope).

    Thanks again for your help Caleb & enjoy your RX-8 - I love mine!!

  • secondcitysecondcity Member Posts: 28
    My wife had difficulty shifting into reverse. I realized that the stick had to be pressed down (towards the ground, not towards the back seat, before being directed into its slot to the far right/and then bottom. I did not realize that I always did this (pressing on top of the stick the stick down to the ground) on instinct and I was getting so frustrated with her inability to get to reverse. She kept going into sixth and killing the engine/popping the clutch. There is about a half inch of play when you press down towards the ground on the stick. It has made it a hell of a lot easier for her to get into reverse. It must be a safety device to prevent people from going from 5th to reverse while driving.

    As far as shifting from 4th to 5th, this was my first 6-speed, and I too had difficulty. It just takes time and practice to get used to the feel of shifting this car. Over-all it is one of the smoothest shifting vehicles i have driven. Good luck.
  • lhesslhess Member Posts: 379
    just couldn't get the correct angle to push down and pop it into R for a while. also, I hit 4th a couple of times on my way to 6th. Luckily, I could feel the pull before I completely released the clutch and saved myself.
  • flipper897flipper897 Member Posts: 10
    When I road-tested the RX-8, I never did have the occasion to go into reverse. The day after I bought it, early on a Sunday morning, I wanted to go grocery shopping - & I couldn't get the car into reverse (they had never told me how). I used my other car for shopping, then after returning home I looked through the owner's manual. It said straight down, then down to the right & it worked smooth as butter. Mazda did the right thing - it's a lockout device, the last thing you want to do, obviously, is go into reverse at the wrong time.

    As for shifting from 4th to 5th, you're right - I'm gradually getting better. It seems a bit vague to me still. This morning I consciously tried going to the right, then up to 5th, I still wasn't sure until I looked at the tach and the RPMs had decreased - so I was there. Practice will cure this, I'm confident.

    Good luck to you & enjoy your RX-8 - it's a terrific car & a real head-turner.
  • secondcitysecondcity Member Posts: 28
    i AM ONLY 33 , AND I stress ONLY. All I have driven are 5 -speeds --almost my whole driving-life. My first cars were all Toyotas. My past favorite was a (new at the time) turbo Toyota MR2 back in the mid '90s. I really thought that at that time that the MR2 shifted well--it may even have had a little more torque--but it does not compare to the smoothness of the Rx-8. I even bought a (new-at-the-time) 'Toyota Celica GTS (automatic-what was i thinking?)-which has had decent reviews for its handling and economy--and the RX8 blows those cars handling and performance away-(and matches the base model Boxster whose [non-permissible content removed] I softly kicked on Lake shore drive today).
    Back in March, I was looking at the G35 coupe, 350z, S2000, and Porsche Boxster--and i came away impressed with the Rx8's looks,comfort, handling, and backseat roominess. I was most impressed with its manual transmission. The 6 speed configuration is a bit different than the standard 5 speed=and it takes just a little practice to feel comfortable. Compared to my old so called- "reliable" cars--this car shifts much smoother. EVEN better--it is a head turner--

    For future RX-8 owners:
    I know Mazda is coming out with a higher horsepower automatic in '06, but I continue to recommend the manual for those that expect decent/-excellent performance. Believe me-There will be a higher demand from our younger "fast and furious Crowd" of second hand buyers seeking manuals 2-4 years from our original purchase.
    Flipper, I hope you enjoy your car as well!
  • bblairbblair Member Posts: 2
    Hi, this is my first time to any of the Mazda forums, so I hope that I am posting in the correct one.

    I'm giving serious consideration to purchasing an RX-8, though probably not the Shinka ($$), and have been pretty impressed at what I've found in my research.

    I noticed on the Mazda website that they recommend the use of premium gas for the RX-8. Is "recommend" the same as "require"? Has anyone here driven one using regular, unleaded gas? If so, have you noticed any problems? With today's gas prices, I hate the idea of using premium!

    I also have heard that the rotary engine burns quite a bit of oil and that one might have to put oil into it between regular oil changes. This I could live with, but I was wondering if this were true.

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    You don't have to use premium, though the car runs better with it. I presume you are talking about the manual. I think it's less important with the automatic, as it runs a little less HP. We've had good performance with mid-grade (89 octane).

    The rotary has always injected oil into the intake to lubricate the apex seals (equivalent to piston rings). They inject a little more than required to be safe, so hence the notion it burns a lot. If you run at lower RPMs you will go through to the next oil change without adding any - though it will be at the "min" line. If you "play" frequently, you may have to add 1/2 qt. between changes. Most owners check it every 3 fillups or so. It will warn you long before it's a problem (oil light is very sensitive). Most carry a qt. in the trunk. The oil pan carries a lot of oil - it can hold up to 7 litres, though only 5 are called for in the service manual.

    BTW, oil is now less expensive than gas!
    Maybe it's time for a diesel rotary! ;)
  • flipper897flipper897 Member Posts: 10
    BBlair -

    Hi and welcome to the forum, I am new also, I purchased a new RX-8 6-speed manual in late June.

    Yes, gas prices are awful but I've been using super unleaded - I figure it this way:
    The gas tank holds approximately 15.9 gallons - if it's bone-dry when you fill up, it will cost you 20 cents extra per gallon over the cost of regular so that's roughly $3 per fillup. I'm sticking with Mazda's recommendation - unless you do a LOT of driving, $3 per tank is reasonable considering it's a terrific sports car that you're likely to fall in love with immediately.

    As for oil, I've yet to need a quart, according to my dealer I may need to add a quart about every 6 tanks or so of gas. I think it will depend somewhat on whether you're a conservative driver or a leadfoot.

    If you choose to get the RX-8, best of luck with it and enjoy it!

  • bblairbblair Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input.

    When you put it in terms of $3-4 extra per tank, it doesn't sound so bad. Of course, with more frequent stops for gas (relatively small tank) and low mpg, it may add up in the long run. But perhaps it won't be as bad as I had originally thought.

    I've been considering the RX-8 and Mustang (and perhaps the Eclipse), but really am leaning towards the RX-8, so I'm just trying to weigh my options.
  • gambit_rx8gambit_rx8 Member Posts: 3

    I've had mine since last Oct. and I used to screw up 4-5 sometimes, but I found the easiest way is to push it at a diagonal forward and away from you. It is an awesome car :) You can also learn much from rx8club and's a good place to go waste time.

    btw, you are in 6th if you're goin 65 @ 3500 rpm's

    Gas saving tip: a second intake port opens when you go above 3750 so if you keep it under there (72 in 6th) you'll get slightly better mileage
  • zinny72zinny72 Member Posts: 4
    I live outside Philadelphia & my fiance works out of state. He left me his Aviator while he was away because they were calling for snow. Needless to say he returned home to the snow falling. He was horrified trying to drive in the weather. Don't bother to try to drive it in the snow!!!
  • trispectrispec Member Posts: 305
    Did it have all season tires? Performance tires on any vehicle don't grip in the snow.
  • allimamaallimama Member Posts: 2
    I am new here, and just browsing...but I have a strong opinion against driving in the snow...I live in VA right outside of DC, and I bought an RX8 manual last December... the second day I owned it the weather turned suddenly from rain to snow and froze over in less than 10 minutes. My husband and I will NEVER drive that car again in ANY inclimate weather...there was no control what so ever, we were 'sliding' backwards down a hill into on coming traffic...and that is just the half of it. we had to abandon the car and get someone to pick us up.

    DO NOT buy this car if you live and a wintry-area and dont have another alternative!! Luckily we have another car, and I love it for the summertime.

    I have never had to add oil, and always use premium - although who knows with the rising gas prices...i may put it up on bricks for it's bad mileage! :D
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    You shouldn't blame the car. It comes with "summer performance" tires. As has been posted here and on other boards frequently, if you don't change these for winter driving, anything bad that happens is your own fault. The stock tires are dangerous even on bare pavement when it's cold. Use winter tires and the car is very capable, even on ice - we use Nokian WR "all season performance" tires in the spring, fall and winter. They are awsome!

    I'm Canadian. The Nokians are made by Fins. You have to know all season tires made by people who live in their or our climate have to be good on ice and snow!
  • optistaroptistar Member Posts: 1
    my rx-8 has 225.45/18's on it.
    does nokian make a tire to fit?
    did you change the wheels?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    They don't make that size. We used 225.45/17 and AR 5 spoke aluminum replacement wheels (wheels cost about $100 each). That gave us more ice clearance in the wheel wells. You could use 235.40/18, which Nokian make. See for a list of sizes they make.

    Talk to a Nokian dealer for your options. The replacement wheels don't have the tire pressure monitors, but all that means is you will have a light on during the winter driving season.
  • 05140514 Member Posts: 1
    The Pirellis have really helped. The factory installed Bridgestone are great on dry hard pavement, but are like riding a sled on even the lightest snow. The Pirelli Snow Sport 240 works well on my rear-wheel drive RX8, and it works better when you turn off the Dynamic Stability Control in the car. The 50-50 weight distribution of the car with two 40 pond bags of kitty litter in the back allowed me to travel more than 550 miles in snow packed highways (Pennsylvania Turnpike and NJ Turnpike) last winter during the January storms. Hard braking on slushy snow is not bad, but nothing like a steady pace (I did pass many other cars) and gentle braking (this is highway braking, not your neighborhood braking at lower speeds).
    The Pirellis are significantly less costly than other brands, Maxda would do well to sell these tires as factory installed tires on the RX 8 which has a notorious reputation for winter driving capabilities. The wide profile may be a disadvantage, however the cost may be prohibitive if you also invest in thinner wheels- however this would disable the computer controlled Dynamic Stability Control.,
  • southward_21southward_21 Member Posts: 4
    I've got 2 questions i could use yalls help on. I have a 2004 Mazda RX-8 and when i floor it it has a hesitation and takes a second to kick in. What can i do to prevent this. Also what can i do to take off the top speed limiter. Thanks
  • reidswitchreidswitch Member Posts: 3
    Picked up my 06 RX8 last month. Grand Touring package, Nav, you name it... I noticed rattles commming from the dash and in the head liner above the B piller. The rattles are loud and the dealer said it is normal for the car. They pulled out the dash and all the panels and put in foam to control the noise but didnt help much. Is any one else having this problem. also the door handle where the lock makes noise and moves when it gets hot outside. Please let me know.
  • rz22grz22g Member Posts: 1
    My sister-in-law has a 2005 Mazda RX8. Recently a warning light has come on. She described it as a 3/4 round circle with a line that starts inside the circle and extends out. She cannot find her manual and I have searched the internet with no results. Can anyone advise what this light is?
  • ghobbsghobbs Member Posts: 1
    The symbol indicates that she has low tire pressure. If any of the tires drop below 32psi the light comes on check the tires pressure correct the one thats low the light will go off.
  • nergal_lvnergal_lv Member Posts: 17
    GET NEW TIRES!!! stock 18's on my Shinka are wonderful on dry roads!! Drove it a little 3 days after a snow storm, roads were pretty clear by then, and the traction control was on almost all the time. Horrible tires in the snow. I would encourage you to check snow tires or at least all seasons. Sam's Club can order snow tires about $60 cheaper (per tire!). If you go with all season tires, make sure you research them online BEFORE you buy them. Like cars, not all tires are created equal. Have found excellent reviews for Avon Tyres and Conti's AS
  • nergal_lvnergal_lv Member Posts: 17
    Don't skimp on the premium. The few dollars you will save per year will not compensate for the loss of HP... afterall if you were going to be frugal you should have gotten a Celica.
  • trispectrispec Member Posts: 305
    My Avon, from have been awesome so far 18K. I drove the original equipment, but when the first snow traction issue scared the crap out of me and my wife, I went for the all seasons Avons.

    The all season Avon's have 90% of traction of the performance tires and 90% of the traction of the snow tires. They cost less than half as much, and the tread wear on the Avon all season is 360 vs 180 for the performance originals or the non-rated snow tires which simply melt away it seems.

    All seasons are very quiet compared to the performance, so on the highway at high speed, on good road, there's very little tire noise.
  • nergal_lvnergal_lv Member Posts: 17
    Anyone have experience with the Cooper (Zeons) All season tires for the RX8? I was hoping to get some input before getting replacements. I typically encounter minimal snow conditions (2-3 storms/yr usually 3-5" at a time).
  • longcatlongcat Member Posts: 1
    This is my first experience with a Mazda and I love my RX8! What a car! We got this one, '07 with 17,000 miles on it. The performance is great and it is a pleasure to drive. I had a little hard time getting used to the reverse.... noticed others have had that problem too. But it does shift like a dream once you are comfortable with the car. I have owned Jags, Alfa GTV, MG's and Eclipse (s) and we had considered buying an another Eclipse, but the 2009's just didn't have it. It has all the power that one could ever want and it is definitely a head turner.
    I use premium gas (why skimp?) I generally drive in city traffic and get around 19-20 mpg. I am not hard on the car, but I give it a run once in a while. :)
  • dbushman357dbushman357 Member Posts: 1
    After a recent flat, I am driving on a doughnut until the new wheel gets in . The radio does not work and the ABS light is on. Are these two things connected?
  • rx8divarx8diva Member Posts: 2
    It is a high maintence car and it is rotary egine so you should def. use preium gas espcially with all the problems rx8's already have you don't want to bring another problem upon yourself cuz you are not using the right gas! High gas price was a concern of mine as well before I purchased but that is just a sacrafice you have to be willing to take to own a beautiful car! :shades:
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