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Mazda RX-8 Problems and Solutions



  • 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. ;)
  • nannerhutnannerhut Posts: 7
    the squeal of the breaks not really a problem? Are you serious?! I just spent $356 to have my rotars smoothed out and brake pads replaced and in a typical slowing at a stop light of about 10 seconds 8 of those seconds are spent squeeking so loud all cars and pedestrians around me stare. I can even hear it through my car stereo. Maybe you're ok with this, however I am not. Mazda was the one who convinced me to get the ceramic brake pads saying that they perform better and are of a higher quality. Are you telling me that it's typical for performance cars on a race track squeek and they break? My air conditioning problem is a big one. I'm a bit bothered that you dismiss a lot of problems and acting like everyone here complains. This is a problem site so I am voicing my problems. However, I have a small child that is in a car seat in the back and I can't get out of this vehical without either of us having sweat up and down our backs with the a/c going constantly. My air conditioner not working is a major concern. I still love this car, however just because I'm an RX-7 and RX-8 fan does not mean I should have to sit quietly by when I have so many problems with my vehicle. Mazda should fix these problems whether or not I am one person complaining, or the majority.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Yes, I'm saying that race cars on a race track have sqealing brakes. Until they warm up. On a race track the brakes are usually very warm due to heavy use so you don't usually notice the sqealing if you are watching the race.

    As I said, some owners aren't bothered, some are.

    I haven't "dismissed" the weak AC unit, or any other "problem". You can call it a problem if you like, but it does work, just not well enough for where you live. The one I have experience with works just fine where I live. Have you addressed the A/C issue with Mazda? They have a "fix". It has helped some owners. Others still aren't cool enough.

    What I said was the car was NOT plagued with problems as the original poster claimed - and he didn't even own the vehicle. Like any complex mechanical contrivance, there are bound to be some things that fail, some that are underengineered, and some that are just plain wrong!
  • jlawrencejlawrence Posts: 2
    My question is why even buy an RX8 with an AT? They had to tune down the engine just to get it to work right, and is sounds like it didn't help! I have an 2004 MT RX8 and not one problem yet, no noises, no ac problems, nothing but pure enjoyment! My advice is if your going to buy a sports car, (especially a rotary engine) then get the 6 speed MT! why in the world would you get an automatic anyway?
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Sweat Yellow! As far as I can tell, there's only one Yellow RX-8 in the entire Boston metro area. Now that's a rare beauty. I've yet to actaully see one up close.

    How is the glasre looking out over that bright color when driving. I test drove a pearl white RX-8 and decided I couldn't deal with the brightness of the hood.

    The popcorn/rattle can be heard when driving up against a jersey barrior when the RPM range is low 2-3K. After idling in traffic, for a long period, the popcorn/rattle is quite pronounced. Boston traffic creates this situation everyday.

    I think that in traffic idle conditions, the rotary apex seal is not as good at completely sealing and so gas simply can't burn completely in the engine. The gas ends up being ejected and burning in the exhaust system.
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    I love it (the glare). It gets alot of looks and thumbs up from other drivers as well. :)
  • yellowrx8yellowrx8 Posts: 18
    how do you post a picture on this site of the cars?
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    how do you post a picture on this site of the cars?

    You could always open your own CarSpace and post a whole gallery for us to see :-)


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • nannerhutnannerhut Posts: 7
    i have addressed the a/c problem with mazda mulitple times. I even have the a/c amplifier. It still gets cool, just not cold. Mazda said this is how all of their air conditioners are, and if they replaced it, it would probably perform the exact same as what I have now. I live in north Los Angeles county and last saturday our temperatures reached 115 degrees. I drive into downtown los angeles monday thru friday and put about 120 miles on the car every day. And after driving an hour and a half to work, my brakes still squeek. I believe them to be "warmed up" by then. I'm getting them check right now to see what else can be done.

    i really don't mean to "diss" the car. I do love it. Even with these problems, I still love it. I just am getting a bit warn down from going to the dealership constantly and now that I'm over 50,000 miles and out of a warrenty it's bothersome that every time i get it back its rarely below $350. They gave me a loaner car while my 04 RX-8 manual transmission was in the shop and my loaner Ford Focus air conditioner was more than double the cold and power output as my just doesn't make sense.

    and I do appreciate all the advise from this forum. It has really helped us trouble shoot and understand our vehicle better. We knew buying this car we'd be using it as a commuter car and we do put a lot of miles on it. We love the fact that the engine gets "better" with time.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There are lots of reports that the A/C is weak in this car, even after the amplifier. Perhaps you could try "ceramic window tinting". The big name in this is Huper Optik. It's supposed to be wavelength tuned to reject more infrared while still passing a reasonable amount of visible light (so you can still see ;) ). I've just recently read several reports of how good it is from new customers on other forums.

    You did sound frustrated! Hope you get the problems resolved.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    OK. I can't imagine 115F. That is hot you know. In fact, anywhere in the world, 115F would qualify as hot. My sister was in Saudi for five years where the princes drove Rolls with 120F AC capable cars.

    My wife drove her boss's Infinity G35 Coupe today in 85F Boston heat (we call that hot at least). Her comment was that the AC was really weak. She never complains about her Saturn LW200 auto AC, but she was appalled at the G35 AC. She also said my RX-8 has a much smoother ride.
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