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Mazda RX-8

Mazda RX-8

Test Drive an RX-8 or request a brochure

There’s nothing quite like Mazda’s rotary engine coupe – that has a 1.3 litre engine under the bonnet that powers the car like a 2.5 litre.  Though some argue that it unfortunately drinks more like a 3 litre!  When the first models were available back in 2003, the unique styling of this interesting motor was a top selling point.

Featuring suicide doors at the rear (that open the opposite way to normal) and a nice leather interior as standard, there’s a lot to like about this car.  Various specials and iterations of the car are available, though the 190bhp and 230bhp version remain up to today.  Space isn’t huge in the back, but it’s hardly tiny either and so is suitable even for four adults on a shorter run.

Of course, a coupe is only as good as the performance it has to match the funky looks and in this case, the Mazda RX-8 doesn’t disappoint.  It can rev all the way to 9,000rpm and does so in such a smooth fashion it’ll take your breath away.  It is quite unlike anything else.

Repeatedly, the RX-8 scores quite highly in a variety of surveys, only to be let down by what some consider to be overly high fuel consumption figures.  Around 25mpg is not uncommon, or even lower.  Another issue is the need to regularly check oil levels.  The Wankel rotary engine needs care and regular 12,500 mile (or yearly) servicing.

Possible Problems

Generally considered reliable, there is however some areas which you need to consider before forking out any hard-earned cash on an RX-8.  These include the heat shield between exhaust and fuel tank – make sure it hasn’t been left off after a service.  Suspension has been known to fail on early cars, see the recall list below for more information.

The Wankel engine is a special bit of kit – it won’t take too kindly to very short journeys or idling for long periods – which can in fact result in damage to the exhaust ports, which in turn affects the catalytic converter.  Other watchouts include the clutch (make sure it isn’t slipping), the oil system (a lack of oil is a disaster for this kind of engine) and the headlamps.  Xenons as standard are cool but just make sure water hasn’t got in.

May 2004 – Shock absorber heat insulation issue. August 2005 – Ball joint separation leading to a loss of steering. August 2005 – Heat damage to fuel tank at high revs. August 2005 – Possible fuel leak problem.

There are plenty of other cars that will drink fuel in the gulping way that a Mazda RX-8 does, but few that offer so much performance for the £6,000 mark – a figure which you can happily pick one up at now.  If you don’t mind doing the run to the forecourt or the regular oil checking required then this car certainly has a lot to offer.  Just make sure that you buy one with a good set of wheels – this car packs a punch and you don’t want to go sideways around a roundabout!

{ 283 comments… read them below or add one }

martin March 16, 2009 at 8:41 am

Good summary, though I’d add oil consumption and management. the handbook says check the oil at every 3rd refuel. OK it’s a specialist kind of engine but why did they not make checking the oil andtopping up simpler. You have to remove this cover and then it’s so fiddly.
Still those schoolboy drawn styling cues are fab
cool bananas

Mr Butterscotch March 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm

That’s certainly a very good point Martin – the RX8 loves oil almost as much as petrol!

Gary July 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

It’s a myth about the oil drinking – yes you should keep a check on it but I’ve had an RX8 for 18 months – covered 15000 miles and used 5 litres in top ups of oil! My old Cortinas and Escorts used to use more than that towards the end of their lives!
An Audi forum mentioned an RS4 uses more than the RX8 – as one guy found out when he took his back and was pointed to the small print in the handbook telling him how much it would use per 100 miles!
Martin – “removing this cover” means taking off the engine cover – it un clips and clips on again no screws bolts etc – hardly rocket science or a time consuming job!
Don’t know where this list of recalls came from – yes ball joints should have been checked – don’t know anything about shock absorber heat shield – why – the shocks are no where near the exhaust! There was a recall for heat shield to be placed between the exhaust and the petrol tank because of heat issues. Also oil cooler pipes should have been replaced on recall because of potential corrosion. Similarly the alloys can corrode badly Mazda replace them under warranty but after that your on your own. Not sure where the bit about idling for long or short journeys comes from either?
Xenons are not standard – only on 231 model not on 192 model. Overall I’m very happy with the RX8 and can’t think of another car in the price range I would rather have.

Mr Butterscotch July 13, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Hi Gary,

VOSA lists the three recalls over the lifetime of the RX-8. Various review sites (and the Mazda owner’s manual) state that the engine shouldn’t be run on a fast idle for considerable time, due to risk of damage to the car.

There’s no doubt that the RX-8 is a serious bit of kit, but it did appear 99/100th for running costs (100 being worst) in the 2009 driver power survey.

I’m still considering an RX-8 as my next car however, as the other car I was looking at, a Subaru Impreza WRX, comes 100th in the list!

Gary July 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

Hi Mr Butterscotch,
I must check the handbook for that one about idling – must admit I haven’t read every word but must have missed that!
Running costs I must admit are high – petrol is the worst bit, I do 30 miles a day round trip to work plus some running around. If I lived any further from work the RX8 wouldn’t be an option for commuting!

Mr Butterscotch July 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Hi Gary,

Honestly, what kind of MPG do you get from the RX-8? I’m still tempted to get one – I think the interior looks excellent.

The way that the engine revs, it actually reminds me of my bike. The power curve is incredibly linear, smooth and it doesn’t feel like it’s even running on something as coarse petrol, something that a car show commented on (I think it was Clarkson)!

I’m a big fan of the RX-8, the styling is very cool.

Gary July 18, 2009 at 11:17 am

Hi Mr Butterscotch,

Waded through the handbook the other night – the only reference to idle I can find is in the “Running In” section (first 600 miles) where it says “Don’t maintain one constant speed either slow or fast for a long period of time” but once you’ve passed 600 miles anything goes. Still don’t know where this guy got the idling causing “damage to exhaust ports” never heard of this and nothing in the manual!
I was at Knockhill Racing Circuit the other night and two of the club members had their RX8’s out on the track -then left them to idle for ten minutes to cool down between runs!
As to the MPG – I do my 30 mile round trip five days and some runnning round the town and get 22 mpg. On a long journey this’ll go up to about 27.
Yes it was Clarkson who said it feels like it running on double cream! The link to the Top Gear clip is
The owners club ( has lots of info on it – much aimed at people new to the rotary and it usually good advice – remember while reading it the problems you’ll see are the things people need advice on – there are thousands of owners happily driving around without any problems – you never hear from them! You dont have to join till your ready – you can browse much of the info by just registering.
Hope this has helped – if you need anymore info just ask either myself or on the owners club site –

Robo January 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Awrite guys

Avv been driving for 10 months n a was wondering if a rx8 is worth buying at the age of 18 because a make enough money to buy one but am not sure if i can afford to pay the insurance because ive always loved the look sound and shape of an rx8 so can you please give me some advice

Mr Butterscotch January 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Hi Robo,

If you’ve only had your license for 10 months, you may find the RX-8 expensive from an insurance point of view – it is group 16. You could always get a quote first and find out if you could afford it though? You don’t know till you’ve checked.

A J Myers January 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Can anyone please advise?

My ‘local’ Mazda dealer says that my Catalytic convertor needs changing – they have quoted £2,400 to replace it with other asssociated authentic Mazda parts as required (price also includes labour). This seems a bit high to me. They also quoted non-Mazda parts (cat) and this comes in at around £1,200-1,400. I don’t doubt that it needs changing based on the autopsy, but thought I’d seek any advice before deciding what to do.

Cheers, Andrew

Mr Butterscotch January 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Hi Andrew,

Try taking your car to a local specialist/independent garage. You should get it cheaper.

Paul Hornby February 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Well it has been interesting to read all these comments so let me give you some important facts from a long time owner.
I was one of the first to get the RX8 in 2003 and have had it till now so I have been through it all, so hear goes and remember these comment are after full maintinance by the Mazda Dealers and only 51.000 Miles.
1.The car has been recalled for the flooding problems to have a new chip fitted with some but not absolute success as I have had a further 2 flood downs since which can be so inconveniant and at times embarasing.
2. I do not drive it madly but still only get about 18mpg around the town and max 22mpg on a long run so it is not at all good.
3.Oil is a problem as I did not expect to have to check and fill as often as I have so again not good.
4. I had to fight hard to get Mazda to repair rust and replace the alloy wheels when they all blistered badly after 3 years which would have cost me well over £1000.00 to fix/replace so it is very poor quality there but they finaly responded positivly when I thretened to write to there Director in Japan after 5 exhasting months and 8no letters.
5. Finaly I had the Major 6 year service last month Jan 2010 at a cost of some £460.00 only to be told that the car now requires a new catalytic Converter at a further cost of £1860.00.which was the reason the car was slow now to gather revs and remember this is on a car that has only done 51,000 miles.
So in conclusion enough is enough I have loved the car itself for its other benifits hence my putting up with the car for so long but overall I have had to accept that the car has a realy unrelyable engine and is therefore in real terms a lump of crap so and am now in the proccess of buying my next car and it will definatly not be a car with such a heath robinson engine, so good luck to anyone who is stupid enough to take the risk.

Gary February 11, 2010 at 10:05 pm

In reply to Paul Hornby – to answer your points in order:
1. I am a member of the owners club and I’ve never heard of a chip change to stop flooding? It’s a design flaw in the fuel system when the car is cold.
2. From Mazdas first production Wankel engine in 1965 it was never claimed the Wankel engine was economical. I have already stated my car’s consumption in a previous post.
3. Similarly everyone knows from the very first Wankel engine that it used oil and had to be checked. The usual conversation begins with “ooooh – those thing use more oil than petrol”. Again the oil consumption on my car is noted in a post above. Personally I offset the cost of the oil against not having to have timing belts changed – I had a timing belt break on a Nissan 200 – now that was expensive!
4. I agree Mazda are not good at owning up to the corrosion problem and it’s a bit hit or miss as to whether they’ll cough up or not. Luckily I just have wheel corrosion which is solved by a refurb every so often.
5. If your daft enough to pay Mazda £1850 for a Cat when you can get one fitted anywhere for around the £500 mark then more fool you! A ’03 BMW 318i Cat is £435 discounted on the internet- try pricing that at a BMW garage!
You’ve given your honest opinion and have obviously tried to live with it having kept the car for five years but I would stress this is a specialist car with a unique engine. If you want care free economical motoring buy a Mondeo or an Insignia (and wait for the recalls and problems to develop on them)

A J Myers February 11, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Dear Mr Butterscotch/Gary, thanks for confirmation re: not using a Mazda dealer to fit a Cat. Do either of you know a good specialist garage near Milton Keynes/Northampton who could fit one for the price you are talking about. I’ve been to 2 places, albeit exhaust specialists, who are not keen to touch it.
Cheers, Andrew

Gary February 12, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Andrew – I dont know why ordinary fitting centres “are not keen to touch it” – any of them can obtain a Cat just as you and I can through the internet and its only six bolts the same as other Cats (!) – unfortunately I’m in Scotland and too far away to recommend anywhere. My local help centre is Farmer Autocentre which are only in Scotland – they nursed my RX through the MOT with emissions failure when I had a front Lambda sensor fail and it took a bit of tracking down to cofirm this. Keep looking around I’m sure you’ll find someone who will supply and fit for a reasonable price. On the other hand you could buy at
and try some of your local garages who might fit it. It can’t take more than an hour’s time so £75-100 tops for fitting. Make sure you get the fitting kit as well to renew the gaskets etc – unfortunately this might need sourced from Mazda as it isn’t always supplied with the Cats from the net – the trials of owning a specialist car – but it doesn’t alway have to break the bank – good luck.

Gary February 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm

By the way ignore the “192 BHP” statement on the link I indicated above – if you look you’lll find a link to the 231 BHP which is usually the same price – probably because they have the same exhaust systems!

cyp February 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

Hi ,
Ive been driving for 3 years now and i am 21 i am looking for a new car and was considering the RX-8. The only thing is is insurance expensive on this car because i cant find the 1.3L to put into my insurance quote its like its never heard of this car before. Also i don’t understand what it means by 1.3L… sorry for all these questions but i need to know more about this vehicle before buying.
Thank you

Mr Butterscotch February 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Hi Cyp,

As Gary mentions above, the RX-8 is a specialist car which comes with a unique engine – the Wankel rotary. 1.3L is the engine size, as in 1.3 litre. However, as the Wankel uses a rotating motion instead of pistons, a large engine size is not necessary for good performance. As all Mazda RX-8 cars have the same 1.3 litre engine (there are a few variants in terms of BHP), that’s probably what your insurer is looking at. To be technically correct, due to the way in which the Wankel engine operates, there’s a variety of ways to calculate engine displacement. Generally speaking though, the 1.3 litre Wankel unit puts out performance similar to a four stroke piston driven engine of the double that size. It’s worth noting that the RX-8 is insurance group 16 (quite high) and is also in the highest tax band.

illy.. February 25, 2010 at 12:30 am

I’ve been asked by my brother…who’s having a 6 month posting to Iraq to look after his RX8.
He’s had it about 3 yrs and bought it second hand from a mazda dealer.
Been driving it about a week so NOT a major long time. he’s pointed out about the ‘Flooding’. and he shown me the Tow Hook Eye in the Boot and reminded me about How to Bump Start……. (Your having a Laugh….!!!).
His answer to this is that if your driving from cold then DRIVE don’t do a cold start then stop (What happens if you get in the car in the morning on way to work then have to get somthing from the house only to find out House Key on Car Keys……again Your having a Laugh….!!!).
ANYWAY reason for being here is searching Google for what type of Engine Oil 5w-20W or 5W-30W…..
AS on M4 today heading for Sunny Reading and notice Engine Oil Light lit up…….OH Good better Pull over before I completely Nacker Engine whilst in Motorway Service car Park Trying to Check what I should be putting in (Note Raining Cats & Dogs) Start up and head to wards Petrol Station…….Only to find out that Oil Light has gone out….!!!!! and stays out for the next 10 miles of journey along M4…..Saw another Blue RX8 54 Plate…Taking it easy on inside lane..

Ladies and Gents My points carry no weight here not been driving for the full 6 months yet……..!!!
However if your going to FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS CAR…. Be Ready………..Full Wallet (with healthy Credit cards), and a 5 litre can of Engine Oil

Jim May 3, 2010 at 5:48 pm

@ Paul Hornby – wow, this car has been a terrible experience for you. Why did you keep it for 7 years ?

I’ve had my rx8 since 2004. Done almost 60,000 miles now with no serious problems. The height adjuster for the xenon headlights was replaced. A couple of recalls were made. I replaced the battery. Oil consumption has been a non-issue. I check it every 1000 miles or so, often there is no need to add more.

Petrol consumption is bad – 23 mpg or so for me, and that’s good by rx8 standards. It’s the price you pay for the razor-sharp handling. The rotary engine is very small and narrow, so narrow it can be placed well back in the car, and very low down. Great for balanced handling, poor for MPG.

Jenny May 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm

i’m hopefully going to purchase my first ever RX8 over the weekend. I’m totally aware of the fuel and oil consumption and bearing in mind i split my time between cycling and driving to work the cost doesn’t worry me. However i have just read about the cold start issue and i’m a bit concerned about this for two reason first, i only drive 6.6 miles to work and secondly on our drive we have to put two cars behind each other and therefore we will move one car to get the other out and now after reading about the cold start issue i’m really concerned as i’ve got my heart set on a RX8 and now i’m wondered if this is the right car for me? Can anyone give advice? also i was looking at the 192bhp, but should i really go for the higher powered one?
Many thanks

Gary May 19, 2010 at 11:51 am

Jenny, Maybe too late if you’ve bought last weekend but my advice would be. The cold start issue is a bit of a pain – about a month ago, after two years of ownership I forgot and started /stopped it almost immediately – I got away with it! I know – that’s not really answering your question.Your 6.6 miles is fine, mine starts to warm after a mile or so and (on my car anyway) as long as the needle has moved off the’C’ it’s ok to switch off. Your swapping cars in the drive is a bit different – whenever my wife asks me to “move the car out of the drive” I have to sit with it for five minutes waiting on it warming before I switch off since, at idle, it takes longer to warm up than when driving. Hope this helps.

Gary May 20, 2010 at 11:49 am

Further to the recent points above – again about oil consumption. One thing which doesn’t need done on the RX but does on most other cars these days is the timing belt every 40-60000 miles – my old Mondeo cost £130 for the belt to be changed (40000 miles) – that easily buys you 25 litres of oil which at the consumption of my RX would last over 40000 miles – I think that balances the books and can maybe quieten the “all that extra money for oil” brigade!

Mr Butterscotch May 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the clarification there – you raise some excellent points. The RX-8 is a great car, though the price of petrol still causes concern with the 25mpg returned.

K J May 23, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Hi Guys

I am having the same problem with not being able to get an insurance quote due to the 1.3l apparently not existing with insurance companies.

I drive 20-30 miles per day round trip to work, So the fuel thing is the ONLY thing putting me off. I have decided, on the 1.3l can anyone tell me what BHP this is? Also how many MPG should I expect from the 1.3l?

Thanks in advance.

Gary May 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

The car is officially a 1.3L but you’ll find the insurance companies treat it as a 2.6L – around group 16 (depending on insurance company numbering).
Unless you have an import there are only two engine types a 192 bhp and a 231 bhp. These have exactly the same engine capacity (1.3L), the higher power is achieved by extra injection ports on the 231 bhp and the fact it revs to 9000rpm where the 193bhp only revs to 7500rpm.
I have a 192 and commute along A and B class roads to work (about 15 miles) it returns 22mpg if I’m good! I can use a dual carriageway to get there too (about 19 miles) and this increases it to around the 25mpg. Not sure how this compares to the 231bhp?

Trouty May 28, 2010 at 3:05 am

I have just purchased an R3, and WHAT A CAR! I firmly agree with Gary and Mr Butterscotch, look after your RX 8 and it will do you proud, neglect it and you only have yourself to blame. There is alot to consider before buying this type of car, remember it is unique. I got great advice from my Mazda dealer so only time will tell. Also give Mazda Insurance a try, they offer a great policy and came in cheaper than anything the comparison websites could come up with.
A 600 mile run in is also a lot less than 3500miles of other cars! Let the fun begin.

clive May 30, 2010 at 9:55 am


I’m looking to buy a 2004 RX8 off a friend, who has owned it for 4 years. I’m aware of all the issues discussed but my one real concern at moment is the catalytic convertor. It’s just had an MOT which it passed but he told me they thought the catalytic convertor seemed to be quite hot , but passed it when they tried it a second time. This has recently been replaced due to some problems the car was experiencing but was replaced with an import ( from China I believe ) not Mazda’s expensive option, and it was carried out at a main Mazda garage. I’m also aware the warning light is often on, but this also relates to the catlytic sensor in the exhaust.
I am now wondering if this is a serious issue and whether I should change my mind about buying it.So I have a few questions in my mind. First of all, would it be beneficial for the garage to recommend changing it ( again ) as it’s not a Mazda part? What does the catalytic sensor do in the exhaust, if that is faulty I believe it will set off the warning light? If your catalytic sensor is picking up a higher emission what problem does that create, is it just emitting more polution but not affecting thde car? Of course it could be a faulty catalytic convertor ( or badly fitted one ) so I guess I’m in for an expensive replacement straight away or can it run for some time with a faulty one? Anyone put my mind at ease???

Mr Butterscotch May 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Hi Clive,

It does sound like there’s an intermittent problem with the car. Before you buy, I’d recommend getting the vehicle examined by either Mazda or an independent specialist as you could be asking for problems as it stands.

steve June 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm

ive corrosion on my boot lid the car is an rx8pz its small blisters on the vertical face and below the highline brake light ive reported to mazda the car is a 56 plate never been damages been into the dealer and they have confirmed the rust but refuse warranty so are there any others with simular situaton i can use as ammunition as they claim not to have come accross the problem before ??? ( ive only been researching for 30 mins and have uncovered 3 complaints about the same thing ))

mark sommerville July 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

my m8 just bought 2004 rx8, the 231 model, very high spec,leather heated seats, dvd,satnav etc, 27000 miles on,mint condition, cost him 6grand. not as quick off the mark as his 230 bhp scoob but definetly not slow plus fast at high rev, we went for a good 2 hour drive and i think its awsome, everything about the car is unique and i love that, i was goin to buy 3 series bmw or something along those lines but not now, , it ticks all the boxes, sounds amazing and is a head turner, im aware of problems people have had but i think if u look after it properly and treat it nice it will be sweet, plus im a mechanic so not a problem there, definetly a special car and ive have been told you should only buy one if you have good knowledge of whats under a bonnet, for the younger guys who want one, im 21 with 2 years no claims and can get insured on 1 for around £900, which im very happy to pay considering im over £1500 for anything with a turbo. wasnt aware of corosion problems though so glad i found these reviews, will keep an eye out for that

dawne August 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm

bought a 2005 r8x three weeks ago, saw one in 2003 and always wanted one did not know at the time that it was a rotary engine. years rolled on and i did my research but still bought on impulse, got a full spec 231. Fuel consumption is dismal I have filled up twice in three weeks and only do 14 miles to work and back three days a week plus the odd runs. I used to fill up once per month,( seat Leon) oil levels have barely moved, BUT …fun factor meter is at high, turn off the music and listen to the engine it is music enough, handling is awesome, corners like a dream and the power is instant if in the right rev band. the car is comfortable and is so well balanced ( except when setting off from traffic lights and forgetting it is rear wheel drive, hello sky lol) This car is stylish and not for the inexperienced driver yes to quote clarkson it does feel as though you are driving on double cream but crikey it sure needs several barrels of it for just a few miles but oh what fun.

Mr Butterscotch August 9, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Hi Dawne,

Thanks for your honest review on your new car. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely cracking, I just think that I’d need more fuel economy as I’m covering a lot of miles these days! Perhaps something like a SEAT Leon FR with the 170 diesel engine would be more my thing…

UK Barcafan August 12, 2010 at 7:57 am

Hi Dawne, just a small point about the oil gauge, you may or not know that it doesn’t move. It is either showing just above halfway as normal, or dropped right away as a warning. So we still need to check manually every second refuel. Don’t wait for the gauge! 5W30 Fuchs Titan I use.

Have had a few small niggles, misted tail light and sensor in the coolant bottle causing the warning light to come on intermittently, but both replaced without question by Mazda under warranty.

I am keeping a close eye on the beautiful alloys as they are prone to corrosion, but mine have only the minutest bubbling around the hub after two years driving.

Great car and echo all the comments about fuel economy and £435 road tax, but does anybody really buy this one-off masterpiece for the green factor?!!

Ken August 18, 2010 at 11:42 am

Hi all,

I have been looking at buying an RX8 for a couple of months now only to be told by one or another owner or ex owner that they would NOT buy another! As you can imagine this is slightly off putting, I drive a fuel user at the moment (Mondeo Titanuim X 3.0 Ltr V6 21mpg!) so 25mpg is really good in my book. What are the sevicing costs like and i have been told something(?) needs retipping at these. also that the plugs are very expensive (anyone have any info?) I would be looking at a 231 bhp vehicle so what would the tax be on this (again i pay £425 now) any help out there?

Matt August 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Hi guys! I doubt ill get a reply by 2morow, but im going to look at and hopefully buy a 2005 192 rx8 with 22k miles on it. ive been reading extensivly about the rx8’s, i know ideally they should be red-lines if not daily then at least weekly to help keep the carbon build up off the engine seals (it only has 2 injectors, the r3’s have 3 to combat). however having never driven one, im not sure how it should be sounding from cold start – nor can i accuratly gague for compression loss. is there anybody who can give me a few tips as to what i should be watching out for ? im hoping she hasnt been doing nothing but short trips, because if she has then i just wont buy it. they are a very specific engine and must be maintined – im fully aware of this!

anything u can give me will be great!

Gary August 21, 2010 at 11:42 am

Hi Ken,
As I’ve said in previous posts the car isn’t a bog standard Mondeo / Vectra so you have to expect extra costs – no doubt some people find this off putting and this is possibly where the “wouldn’t buy another one” comes from. I would think your fuel (depending on the distance driven) would be about the same. Nothing needs “retipping” the only things that have “tips” are the rotors themselves – this ins’t a service procedure and would only happen if the engine required a re-build! Service costs are reasonable apart from, as you say the plugs – Mazda will charge a fortune for these -lots of NGK etc on Ebay for under £100 a set. I bought my last set from there and gave them to Mazda to fit. Remember plugs are only needed every 37,500 miles. Also buy your own oil – (Opie Oils – Fuchs Titan 5W-30) since this will be half the price of Mazda Dexelia. Other people rant about these costs but I always remind them that they need their Cambelts changed – the RX doesn’t have one so you save on this.
Road tax depends on age of car. I think it’s £440 for 2006 (06 plate) onwards but I only pay £220(?) because mine is older than this.

Julie Hayden September 1, 2010 at 10:12 am


I have just had my boot lid spoiler ripped off by an automoatic car wash! Is this a known issue? Has anybody else had this problem?

Many thanks


dawne September 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

hi uk barcafan
am manually checking the oil on every second refill via the dipstick as recommended and am carrying oil in the boot in fact mazdas own for the rx8, am not so ditzy as to rely on an analogue guage that tells lies, and in fact on the rx8 only shows oil pressure. The only warning that i am aware of is the oil light coming on when the oil is really low. I may be new to ownership of the rx8 but have owned high performance cars in the past and am used to getting down and dirty under the bonnet. Having said that I love this car and it’s handling i had a few concerns re the short start stop but have got that sussed wouldn’t drive anything else ( unless the price of petrol goes up lol)

Chris September 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Dear all,

I’ve found with regards to oil top-ups, Kwik fit do a free oil check and top up of up to a litre (they do use 5W-30 though), so I just wheel mine in there every month, get them to check and top it up and it doesn’t cost a penny. Pretty brased after a year of doing it but hey, if they offer it why not do it!

Richard September 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Hi guys,

My 55 plate 231 RX8 in brilliant black is up for sale if anyone is interested? 49000 miles, red & black leather. Lots of extras fitted factory new including: Lowered suspension, front, side and rear styling kit including air dams. Exhaust surround, light-up leather gear nob. Please email me for pics or more info. I’m looking for £6500 ono. It has 12 months MOT and 6 months tax. It was serviced 2 days ago!

[email protected]

Gary September 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Be careful – 5W-30 covers a lot of oils! The only two oils recommended for the RX8 is the Mazda Dexilia (which I refuse to pay their price for) and Fuchs Titan. These are semi-synthetic as opposed to fully synthetic or mineral. God knows what Kwik-Fit are using!

Ilie September 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Hi everyone,
I fell in love with RX8 recently and consider buying one. I own a 2001 Mercedes CLK 2.3L now. Wanted to upgrade to something newer and cheaper to run. I thought the 1.3l engine would give me a better mpg ratio. (I get an average of 16mpg on my 1.1 mile drive to work. I may seem a little lazy, but I carry the laptop with me and don’t want to take it out in this weather[I consider it to be a good excuse]). On the motorway the CLK delivers up to 30mpg (once got 31mpg). I am a young driver, too, and the insurance quotes I got for RX8 scared me at first, but then I received a very good offer from RAC. (cheaper than what I pay for the CLK now).

Anyway, after I read this article, I am not so sure I should get an RX8, sadly. It’s pointless, considering I only drive it 5 minutes a day (2,5 min to work and 2,5 min back) because I have to wait 5 minutes for it to warm up before I can switch off the engine…. Is it true, and how bad is this “don’t-turn-it-off-immediately-after you start”? Do you think this will affect the car?

UK Barcafan September 23, 2010 at 10:50 am

Hi Ilie, from how you say you are going to be using the car, I don’t think she is the one for you. The RX-8 does need to be driven and she will definitely sulk if only in 3rd gear the whole way to work!

As regards turning the car off after 2.5 miles, that would be OK as she will just about have warmed up to have cleared the fuel in her system. There is apparently a slight issue with flooding the engine if you turn the engine off straight after starting. This has never happened to me but I always make sure the temp gauge is pointing to 12 0’clock, or failing that give her a good rev to at least 5000rpm to clear the system.

MPG is a big concern on urban town driving. I get about 18 mpg around town, increasing to around 24 mpg on a motorway run. There is a guy who reckons he gets 32 mpg by driving in sixth gear at 60mph (3000 rpm), but who wants to drive this wonderful car so conservatively? Not good for the engine imo!

I think you need to look at other options.

Millefan September 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Just bought my first RX8 PZ. Handbook recommends 95 RON or above. Know someone with 190 engine who’s used standard unleaded for 60,000 miles with no problems. Any advice anyone?

UK Barcafan September 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Hi Millefan, Congrats on your purchase! Re the fuel, there is no benefit in using super unleaded in our cars, 95 RON is absolutely fine in the 231 engine.

Brian Hall September 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Thanks Barcafan. Got a bit confused – thought standard unleaded was less than 95 RON – muppet!

Mr Butterscotch September 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Hi Brian,

Some European Countries and the US continue to use lower RON fuels (RON being Research Octane Number). The theory being, more powerful/higher tuned engines require fuel that burns more efficiently/readily in order to provide greater combustion.

Some cars will produce more power at higher octane rated fuel, at least so the theory goes.

Phil MC September 29, 2010 at 9:25 am

Hi Guys,

Been reading all the reviews and taking note on people asking if the car is worth getting for the short journeys? i am on the opposite end of the scale – i drive 100miles a day ( 60ish one the M25 ) and wondering if anyone has any experience of problems with this – apart from the fuel costs!

Looking at purchasing a 230 54 plate with 40k on the clock.


Andrew September 29, 2010 at 9:41 am

Re: short journeys. I think this caused the downfall of my catalytic converter. I reversed the RX8 out of the drive and parked it on a grasss verge to let a delivery lorry in. I obviously hadn’t ticked it over long enough or gave it enough revs. Big mistake was to get the RAC to look at it – 2 hours later of no success, they took it to a Mazda dealer who cleaned it (i.e. plugs etc) up in 30 mins and warned it would need a new cat at some point. Nice car to drive though, although thirsty.

Am looking to sell to finish off a house build – Phil, it’s the spec your looking for, but it may need a new cat – but 57,000 on the clock.

cyanide69 September 29, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I’ve owned RX-8’s since early 2004. I’m currently running the PZ special edition (amalgamation of Prodrive and OZ wheels – 1 of only 500 ever built – exclusive to the UK) and am still highly enthusiastic about RX-8’s.

The RENESIS engine is happy running on Regular 95 RON, no need for Super 98 RON. I’ve always used the cheapest around – supermarket brands no problem and average 23mpg. I recently did a long run on the Shell Fuelsave stuff and achieved 25 mpg with a fully loaded boot extracting 320miles on a full tank and that included stints of beeping the revs! (For those that don’t know, once you hit the red line at around 8500rpm, a satisfying beep is emitted signalling you to change up a gear – immense fun!).

So whether it was the road conditions, or my driving style (in that I drove it more intelligently and mixed driving styles a bit but kept it all smooth) or the type of fuel used I’m not sure. But I can advise that the engine runs most efficiently between 3000rpm and 5000rpm. Never accelerate hard in 6th gear, it will gulp fuel. Change down to 5th or even 4th to keep the revs in the sweet spot as this engine is designed to rev high. Periodically, or at least once each journey, allow yourself to experience the beep – it helps clear any carbon deposits and exercises the 3rd port to prevent it from sticking.

This isn’t a stick it in 6th all the way type of car – you have to work the gears – and that add’s to the fun factor as the gear shift is positive, short and sure. It’s an out-and-out drivers car. If you’re travelling up an incline on a motorway, drop it down a cog to avoid sipping more fuel. Don’t think of miles per gallon when you drive the RX-8 because you can be sure that you’re getting more smiles-per-gallon than any other car on the road!

As for oil consumption, it’s neglible and not a big deal. I have stints of high revs and check the oil after a couple of fill ups (refill with Mazda Dexelia or Fuchs Titan) thinking it needs topping up but have found it’s the same level as before! Remember that most car manuals advise you to check oil levels every week so it should be part of your maintenance routine. The thing is, I love getting hands on under the bonnet, I find it’s the joy of the ownership experience – everytime I take the engine cover off, I’m amazed at the size of the rotary unit!

Cold starts – touch wood, I’ve never flooded the engine in 6 years of ownership but if I do have to switch off the engine, there is a recommended procedure – rev to 4000rpm, hold it there for 10 seconds and then switch off (without letting the revs drop beforehand). That will clear the system of fuel and leave your cat undamaged from unburnt fuel. I’ve done short runs too – literally a 5 minute drive with no problems.

One last thing – ensure you join the RX8 owners club (paying the registry fee – not just accessing the common non-members area). The membership fee will pay for itself easily with the discounts you’ll then be eligible for (10% discount on servicing for a start). The help and advice you’ll get from the members area are second to none!

UK Barcafan September 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Phil MC, the RX-8 would be fine driving at 60 in 6th gear, would probably even verge on being economical!

But you would need to make sure that you rev to about 8000 revs in 2nd & then again in 3rd gear at least once during the journey, which is great fun and of course helps the engine’s longevity!

UK Barcafan September 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Phil, just one major point with the car you are looking at, particularly due to its age, make sure the car starts within a second or two at the most when she has been warmed up. This is very important as it is a good indicator that the CAT is on its way out if she doesn’t fire-up quickly. So take the car for a good ten minute test drive, turn off and after about five minutes start her up again. If you get a sluggish response, walk away, or you will have a major expense in the future which will outweigh any apparent bargain!

cyanide69 September 29, 2010 at 9:39 pm

That’s very good (and most importantly – correct) advice from UK Barcafan.

From early 2006 onwards, Mazda installed higher power batteries and an improved starter motor. If you’ve got an older model, there’s a chance that the previous owners may have had this done under warranty if they complained about hesitant starting. That’s what I did with my 2004er when it didn’t have any problem starting but did it for peace of mind and it did indeed improve the starting.

A full service and maintenance history would show if this was done including any recalls such as the exhaust heat shield which affected the early run of cars. Even if the warranty has expired, you’re eligible for getting any recall issues sorted.

However, if it continually doesn’t fire up quickly on a warm start then there’s a potential expensive CAT problem on the way.

Phil MC September 30, 2010 at 9:35 am

Cheers guys.

Lots of good points for me to look out for.

That particular car has just been sold so i need to continue looking!!

Arif Manji September 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Hi there guys,
I am considering buying a 2007 (07) RX8 231. Its in excellent conditition and has only covered 26k with full Mazda service history. However, the RX-8 is a CAT-D but has been fully repaired.
How much would you guys pay for this car?
Its silver, got Satnav and the stardard equipment.
I see these car go for high prices.
Any ideas?

cyanide69 October 2, 2010 at 10:37 am


I would say £6600 – £6900 would be your target price for that. Don’t go higher than £6950 as there are similar cars on Auto Trader with warranty included.

cyanide69 October 2, 2010 at 10:51 am

Also be aware that 12 months Road Tax is £245 for cars registered before 23rd March 2006 and £435 for cars registered after that date.

Arif Manji October 4, 2010 at 7:32 am

I purchased the car yesterday (Sunday 03/10/2010) and got it for a good bargain price of £5450 with FMSH and 2 keys and RX8 manual and things, its a real beauty. However, is the Mazda warranty been invalidated because its a CAT D?
The service is due within 1000 miles, but as its done 26,000 miles, I don’t know what service it requires?
What coolant does it take? As while I was driving it home, the light came up on the dash for 2 minutes and went off and never came back on for the 110 miles home, temp was normal. I need to physically check it today evening.
I checked online to see what the warning was and found it was the coolant light. Can anyone advise?

cyanide69 October 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Congratulations on the new addition to the family Arif! Welcome to an exclusive club. That’s a fantastic price you lucky so and so.

I believe that if there is any warranty period left (which I don’t believe there is as it’s an 07 Reg meaning latest possible expiry date for an 07 is 31st August 2010) then the warranty is not invalidated by a Cat D accident. For example, if it was just a rear end shunt or dent to drivers door, that’s not going to affect the engine.

Recommended service schedule is every 12,500 or 12 months whichever comes first. With the mileage on yours being so low, it probably means that your 3rd year service is overdue. This is one of the more expensive services as the complete set of spark plugs must be replaced. I purchase the official NGK sparks from eBay and supply them to Mazda to be fitted. They end up being half the price that Mazda charge for the part.

Since July 2006, all Mazdas have had a Digital Service Record so Mazda will be able to tell you which service is due as it’s all recorded in their system. You get a printout of the DSR every service, so check back through your documentation for this. But at the very least, your car is now due for it’s 3rd service. Ensure that you get your RX-8 serviced only through Mazda, not an independent garage, because Mazda have all the expertise with rotary engines. It’s not that expensive to service either.

Coolant light – I suffer the same fate in my 56 reg. The coolant sensor has failed so the warning light will come on intermittently or stay illuminated after some high rev driving especially. It seems to be a common fault and somewhat expensive to fix as the whole coolant expansion tank has to be replaced rather than just the sensor itself. So I ignore it and check the coolant level during my normal maintenance checks and it’s always constant. The coolant type is nothing special so you can top up with whatever coolant you find.

Join the owners club – they give much more answers and in more detail than the above.

Arif Manji October 5, 2010 at 7:55 am

Thank you cyanide69! I am really glad to hear that the warranty is still maybe valid on my RX-8. It was only the drivers door that was damaged and a scrape on the rear door, no frontal or rear damage.

I was thinking of buying the service parts from Mazda and doing it my self? Or would you advise to give it to them? How much would they charge for this service? I hate going to collect it with a suprise list of things they have done and an invoice for £600!

I checked the coolant yesterday evening when I got home from work, im not currently using the RX-8 as it needs to be taxed and my private plate needs to be transfered from my existing car (99 Honda Prelude 2.2 VTi). I found the coolant was low and will need to be topped up. Is this special coolant it takes or can I get the same colour one and add it on? I take it Mazda will do this if I give it to them to service right?

Yeah I will do, is this the: or
There seesm to be quiet a few.

I’m quiet nurvous going to the dealer as I’m sure my wallet will be alot more lighter then when I went in :).


cyanide69 October 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Hi Arif,

You’re welcome to source the service parts for yourself as they usually can be found elsewhere cheaper than Mazda supply, but I would definitely let Mazda carry out the service to maintain that MFSH record. When booking in your service with Mazda, get a quote for the service and then tell Mazda that you’ll be supplying certain parts and they’ll re-quote you with a cheaper price. Specific quality engine oil for the RX-8 can also be sourced cheaper (from the infamous oilman) but some dealers are fussy saying they only recommend Mazda Dexelia and it is at your own risk to use oil other than that.

According to the owners forums, the coolant cap will indicate if it requires type FL22 coolant. If not, then use any coolant. Again – full details in the forum – just search for “Engine coolant”.

In fact it’s best to leave it to Mazda to do the coolant topup during the service anyway on this occasion. It may genuinely be the cause for the coolant light to come on but tell Mazda that you suspect the header tank sensor seems to be faulty and they’ll replace it for you under warranty (hopefully!). I believe the part alone costs around £200 but it’s a fiddly job to do it yourself.

Also – don’t forget that you’ll need to put your RX-8 through it’s first MOT as this will be required on the 3rd year anniversary from when the car is registered. This will be found inside your RX-8 Service Book as well as the pre-delivery inspection check printout. Do this at the same time as the service. MOTs can be post-dated by up to 1 month so carrying out the MOT 1 month before expiry of the warranty gives plenty of time to have MOT issues to be address under warranty (except of course wear & tear items : tyres, brake pads and discs and such).

The two websites you highlight are the main ones to look at. The former is US based, the latter UK based and is of course the one I visit most as it is most relevant to UK owners. Both forums can be joined for free for membership and general access to the forums, but the UK based one ( also has a club membership giving access to additional areas of the forum and also giving you discounts for a nominal annual fee.

I look forward to seeing your first post to the forums in the “Hello…I’m new here” thread in the “Lobby” section – have fun!

Arif Manji October 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

Thanks cyanide69 for the info.

I was going to get the RX-8 MOT’d at the weekend by my local garage and then was going to get Mazda to Serviced it next week, do you think that is better? Or shall I let Mazda MOT it at service stage? (Scary!)

I’m pretty sure the light came on because the coolant is low which I will not top up and give it to Mazda to add and investigate. But having the RX-8 MOT’d prior to getting it serviced is a good idea or not?

I will join on the RX-8 forum site tonight! :) Will say hello and mention the help and support you have given me through my purchase stage as it was quiet scary!

Another quick question, when I was bringing the car home from where I purchased it from, I remember when on full lock, it seemed to be grinding or scraping something and reluctant to go unless I started to turn. I couldn’t see anything it could be scraping or grinding againts. I will have to get the jack out on friday (if not too dark) and see if anything is wrong. Just wanted to know if this is known problem or not? I’m sure it hasn’t been lowered and has been kept 100% standard.

Thanks again RX8 buddy,


cyanide69 October 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Let Mazda MOT it because it is actually cheaper as some servicing items overlap with MOT checks but primarily because of any potential issues that maybe covered by the warranty. See the “MOT Warnings” sticky in the “RX-8 Garage” -> “RX-8 Hints and Tips section of RX8OC.

Not sure about the full lock grind – best ask Mazda to check it out under warranty.

PS. Welcome to the Owners Club Forum too!

GILLIAN October 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Hello, I purchased a 2006 Mazda RX8 PZ last saturday and have put in £60.00 worth of petrol in 7 days and I do not do many miles just local area!
I previously had a Mazda 6 sport insured with Churchills and have got the insurance for the RX8 for the same price as the other car through swift car insurance .
My question to any owners who have some knowledge about the RX8 PZ is that I would like to know how it handles in the snow ?? Will I be skidding all over the place? Someone has told me that because of the wide tyres it will be all over the place.
Also I find it very ropey in a morning to drive and seems to chug alot until it gets going. I find it quite a hard car to drive and find I have to concentrate alot. I am a very experienced driver but think I may have took on more than I can handle with this car and definetly think it is not for the inexperienced driver.

Millefan October 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Hi Gillian. Only had mine for a couple of weeks so no experience of snow. With any rear wheel drive, in the snow, you need plenty of weight over rear axle to increase grip, so consider a couple of bags of sand in the boot when snow is forecast. As with all slippery conditions – high gear, low revs and slip the clutch. Just refilled mine and got around 19 mpg on urban cycle – no surprise there then! Mine runs pretty smoothly from the off but don’t let the engine labour or it will feel lumpy, or even stall. Suspension pretty stiff and a bit noisy – just like it says on the tin!! Happy driving.

richard October 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm

With regards snow. If there’s any snow settled on the ground then i wouldn’t bother. I had an RX8 for 3 and a half years and the only time i drove in the snow was an absolute nightmare….terrifying, and i’m not exaggerating. Spun the car twice on a 200 mile trip from Leeds to Ipswich. It took seven hours and I was overtaken by EVERYTHING. It doesn’t “do” snow. Fortunately for you it rarely snows here…so you have absolutely nothing to worry about

richard October 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Full lock grind is a known issue. check out and do a search. Pretty sure it was dealt with via a recall a few years ago

richard October 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm

this is still for sale if anyone is interested:

Hi guys,

My 55 plate 231 RX8 in brilliant black is up for sale if anyone is interested? 49000 miles, red & black leather. Lots of extras fitted factory new including: Lowered suspension, front, side and rear styling kit including air dams. Exhaust surround, light-up leather gear nob. Please email me for pics or more info. I’m looking for £6500 ono. It has 12 months MOT and 6 months tax. It was serviced 2 days ago!

[email protected]

Steven October 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Thinking of getting a RX8 more for practical reasons (sounds daft i know) i have a honda S2000, i need more seats and boot space.
Questions i have are
a)Is the oil consumption similar to that of a 2 stroke motorbike ?
b) Fuel type: Does running on super make it run faster/better
c) servicing intervals and costs (main dealer average prices)
d)would you suggest the higher bhp version is more fun ? (which is the top spec version ?
I know that compared to my S2000 it is (performance wise) a step backward but with an extra addition on the way, need more room.
lastly could someone explain to my the ‘cold start issue’?
thanks people in advance

UK Barcafan October 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm

a) Oil consumption is minimal. Approx 1 litre per 3,000 miles.
b) No.
c) Every 12,500 miles or 12 months. The 3rd service is the main one around £400. Over three years, probably £800 in total.
d) The 231 only really outperforms the 192 at top speeds and strangely there is no difference in fuel economy. I have the 231, which has six gears as opposed to five on the 192 and which also has a few minor “extras” and finishing touches!

The cold start issue has been mentioned above I’m sure, but basically don’t start the car when cold and then switch it off straight away (for example when backing out of the garage to clean it). This would increase the chances of flooding the engine with the large amount of unburnt fuel required to start her. So allow to warm up or rev to 4000 for 10 secs to clear before switching off. A flooded engine is apparently a major problem if you are unlucky enough for it to happen, but with care, it is simply not an issue.
By the way, there is absolutely no way that this car is a backward step from your S2000. OK it would be a touch quicker away from the lights, but that’s all and the RX-8 is far sexier than the rather ordinary looking Honda imho!

Steven October 21, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Thanks for that, appriciate it. I absolutely love my S2000 and i’ll miss her, it’s a real drivers car, i reseached a while to find something with more seats and offering the same feeling. I’m definitely sold now on the RX-8.

Cheers again Barcafan

gix1127 November 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm
Arif Manji November 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

Hi gix1127,
I would advise you to join the forum – and advertise your RX-8 on there if you have not so. I’m sure you will get all the info and advise you need.
How much are you looking for?
Good luck with the sale.

Arnold Galtine November 9, 2010 at 12:13 am

I don’t think so. According to, after launching in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 hit the global market with a serious bang..well RX-8 is one of the icon when it comes to sports racing like drifting. with it’s high rev engine it became very suited for drifting plus it’s wheel base are perfectly balance like the MX5, well for sure it won’t hold it’s back on it’s competitors.

David J Kossoff November 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I found a catalytic converter at for £262.98 delivered.

mmark November 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

help flooded my rx8 and cant get it started anybody got any tips

UK Barcafan November 24, 2010 at 9:24 pm

HI mmark, the recommended procedure is to fully depress the accelerator pedal (which cuts the fuel injection) and then crank the engine for 7-8 seconds. Release the ignition switch and accelerator pedal.

Step two is then to try and start the engine as normal (without depressing the accelerator pedal). Don’t crank her for more than 10 seconds or you will damage the starter and drain the battery.

If you have no joy at this point, then you will need to get her towed to Mazda I’m afraid. It is one of the anomalies of the car.

Is it the first time you’ve had the problem? Not the end of the world though!

Fingers crossed for you mate, its freezing out there!!

Mr Butterscotch November 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm

For what it’s worth, no car likes to be flooded. I had to get The AA out for my car and it was simply a case of keeping the clutch depressed and attempting a standard start.

mark December 1, 2010 at 7:41 am

to barcafan thanks for that though did try it to no joy so heres a tip for you all if you flood it
i phoned mazda and got put through to a guy in service and he gave me the official way of starting and the unofficial way.
first the official way was to get the car lifted to mazda dealer and let them do it (approx cost £250)
unofficial way (which i tried and it worked ) get somebody to tow you at approx 15mph put car into 2nd gear take foot of the clutch and hey presto started fine though expect lots of smoke on iniatial firing up.hope this helps anybody who has same problem i had

Mike December 15, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Hi guys. Thinking about getting a 2004 RX8 (231bhp). I used to own a Honda Integra Type R (JDM) so fuel and oil aren’t my major concern, but I do have a specific question about boot size. Basically, I’m in a band and I need to be able to fit my amp in there. In the boot is preferable to scuffing the seats! My amp is 26″ x 20.5″ x 12″ (perfectly “box” shaped if that helps). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

shane January 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Hi Mike the boot is rarther large for a coupe but the problem i had was the opening to the boot was a lot smaller the best thing to do is to go to a dealer with your amp and see if it fits you might have to angle it in. you will see what i mean when you look at one

Ben January 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Hi All.

I am thinking of buying a RX-8 06 so I don’t have to pay the high tax band, happy with £220pa and only 25K on the clock. I am aware of all the good and bad that comes with the RX-8 and I am truly in love with it have been for many years, A car has to have charm and character. Life would be so dull if your drive to work was the same every day,

I do have a question about fuel consumption as I know this is high in the RX-8 but compared to similar powered cars it actually comers favourably. I run a estate agency so I do a lot of stop starting. I drive 13m to work and 13m back at night but in the day I would do 2 to 3m start stop. So if I make shore it has heated up will I be ok. + what consumption will I actually get round town, what do all RX-8 drivers get, I do about 150m a month just in town but my drive to work is the best for a RX-8, long twisty B roads,

For years I have been in love with this car and I so badly would love to own one, but feel if town driving is going to kill it I could not bring my self to do that to such a fantastic car.

I am a car freak I would love it like I love my partner, mom, dad and any air. So I know I would look after it but will she look after me,

I just bought my partner a new MX5 coup sport teck and love driving it, so sold on Mazda.

Denis February 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hi guys, can someone please help me out here? I’ve bought a 2004 Mazda RX-8 231, 44k miles. The engine only starts when it’s cold, once it’s running and you switch it off, it won’t start until the engine is cold again. The MAZDA garage put new coils, then battery, now saying I need a new ENGINE?!?!?!?!?!? Guys… tell me about this 8 year / 100,000 miles extended (good will) warranty from MAZDA. Is that for all the Mazda RX-8s? Will I be able to get a new engine for free under that warranty? I’m so upset right now =( Please reply… I went through the whole post here from 1st to last and didn’t find an aswer. =(

UK Barcafan February 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Regrettably Denis, your beloved car is showing all the classic signs of low compression. Has your Mazda dealer run a HOT compression test to ensure it is engine failure? It doesn’t sound good mate as the other possibilities would have been dodgy ignition components (ie plugs, leads or coilpacks) and it seems that they may have changed them already. Get the results of the HOT test and post it back up as that will confirm more likely than not that you’ll need a new motor. Any rattles or loss of power would also back this up, as would higher oil consumption. What about the cat, have they commented on that? Make sure you know it isn’t the cat that has just gone. That would then lead to engine failure shortly after.

Don’t drive her until the diagnosis is clarified as you may wreck the engine if it is just the cat.

I’ve never heard about the warranty you mention and sad to say in view of the car being over 5 years old I doubt very much you would even get a contribution from Mazda. Have you owned the car long? If not, I suppose you could try trading standards “not fit for purpose” and all that?

Otherwise I would go down the engine rebuild route. Hayward Rotary in Newbury who are very reputable will do one for about £3k with a two year warranty I think.

All the beat and really sorry about your problem.

Denis February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The guys at mazda said that it’s the engine compression which has failed. What I’ve learned from this lesson is NEVER to buy an RX-7 or RX-8 from an auction, unless it has some long term engine warranty. I’ve sent it back to an auction to sell it (as I can’t return it due to that it was SOLD AS SEEN). I wouldn’t pay £3k for an engine to be rebuild or whatever as for the money I’ve paid for the RX-8 + engine, I can buy a 08 Honda S2000 or a 08 Nissan 350z.

UK Barcafan, thank you very much for your help, you seem to be an expert minded person, and know what you’re talking about when dealing with RX-8s. The problem was spotted by yourself immediately, and by the way, the coils and battery + plugs were all changed.

Marc Reilly February 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Well having read all the comments regarding fuel consumption and oil levels i am still going to proceed with the purchase of my RX8.

I ma buying 54 plate RX8. Has 36k on the clock for 4995, personally it think it is a good deal. What do you reckon? 1years MOT/6months Tax.

I have few questions?

I only drive 2miles to work per day however I do get up to speeds of 60mph in that distance being single carriageway will this be a problem with start/stop problem?

What would be the best oil to use in this car with comparison to price?

My sale is agreed friday 25/02/11.


Mr Butterscotch February 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Hi Marc,

The correct oil, according to the Mazda manual, is a 5w-30 semi-synthetic (apparently Fuchs Titan is popular with owners). The rotary engine requires TLC, so I wouldn’t think of it in terms of ‘best oil to use in this car with comparison to price’ but more in terms of protecting your investment.

If you’re doing two miles per day you should be ok – just don’t start the car, take it off your drive, then stop the engine. Rotary engines will inject a lot of fuel to start and that fuel has to be used in order not to flood the engine (bear in mind that stopping and starting a car without real travel, whatever the engine, isn’t a good idea).

UK Barcafan February 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Marc, your prospective car sounds keenly priced but it is crucial that you buy one that has been well looked after by an RX-8 enthusiast.

The most important point will be to make absolutely sure the car starts almost instantly from WARM. If it doesn’t fire up immediately from warm, it is a sure sign of trouble ahead and plenty of expense to take the gloss off the asking price.

Good luck because if you get a good one you are in for a lot of fun!

Marc Reilly February 19, 2011 at 5:52 am

Thank you both very much.

So do you suggest taking the car for a test drive, stopping the car, waiting a minute or so and then start the car? And see that it starts well.

I have been given a years warranty with the car. I bought it from a dealership.

Im looking forward to it.


jeff February 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Just been out to a friends RX8 (2004). It had a fuel leak. I fixed the leak but upon starting the car there was a huge/massive amount of white smoke fron the exhaust so I switched it off. My friend says there was none before. Do you think it is just unburnt fuel in the exhaust system?

Greg March 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hi guys….

I have been reading all the comments and found them very interesting and useful,

I am just about to buy a rx8 (07 year) I drive 120 miles once every 7 days, I understand that the mpg is low but need to know if the rx 8 is right for this type of driving??

Hope someone can help,

Many thanks Greg

stephen March 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Hi just bought my first rx8 192 04 plate stunning to look at but after reading all the comments dont know weather I’m coming or going my car starts ok but after a run of about 20-40miles how long do I need to leave it cool down before it should start again because mine just don’t feel right HELP!!!!

Mike March 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm


Try not to scare yourself reading these comments, I know it’s hard but sometimes you just have to take things on board while not letting it affect you too much. If your RX8 starts up from cold first time then that’s obviously a great sign. You shouldn’t have to let it cool down before starting it again. If it struggles to fire up again while warm you need to get it checked out. It could be something simple but it could be an engine rebuild on it’s way.

Providing you and the previous owners have kept the engine lubed correctly and have looked after it you should be able to use your car like any other car. But there’s no way of knowing how previous owners have cared for it.

Despite all the scare stories around, the rotary engine in the RX8 is as reliable and solid as any other engine as long as it’s cared for correctly.

If your still worried and your finances allow it, try looking into a warranty package to keep the engine covered at least for a year or so. That way you can drive with piece of mind that any damage previous owners may have done will more than likely surface in this time.

Enjoy the car, drive it and care for it and you should be ok.

Hope that’s helped!

dawne March 10, 2011 at 12:23 am

hi stephen,
you don’t need to leave it to “cool down” it should start up again without any problems if it is warmed up and after 20-40 miles it will be. When you say it doesn’t “feel right” can you be more specific. Just remember it does have a fuel safety cut out and in this colder weather even though the temperature guage in the car may be reading warm it doesn’t mean the coolants are at the correct temps to be hitting the revs and the car may lose power on you especially between 4 and 6,000rpm.

Kayte March 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm


Been reading this with great interest. I own an RX8 54 plate 231 bhp car with all the extra’s – had it for 2 years and had a lot of fun. Driving home on Weds night, my car died (engine stalled effectively). Got it going again, but it died just down the road….

Mazda now telling me that I need a new cat, coils, plugs, plugs and a battery. Cost is £2.5k + VAT (and prob labour too)…. OUCH.

It was serviced and MOTd a week earlier with no issues. Not sure what to do now – its a lot of dosh.

Any advice gratefully received..

stephen March 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Stephen rx8
The thing is I start the car first time its fine but when I knock it off it just will not start again until it cools done 10 maybe 15 min will it cost a lot to sort out? Not happy as I only had the car 2 weeks but she does look stunning I must say.

UK barcafan March 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

To stephen.

mate you’ve bought a car with severe problems. Read my posts above about the likely diagnosis when non-starting from warm.

Take it back to the dealer you bought it from and insist you want your money back as its not fit for purpose.

The car should start when warm end of.

UK barcafan March 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Hi Kayte,

Sorry to hear about your problems. I would definitely source the cat yourself from Mazda Rotary Parts. They will be MUCH cheaper than Mazda.

Hope it works out for you.

steven mattthews March 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm


i have agreed to purchase a 2004 231 rx8, with 48k . it has a full service history and i noticed that plugs and a starter motor were fitted at 20k. i have never owned one of these before and after reading some of the above comments i am more than a little nervous !
When i dtrove the car all seemed in order except that on the 2 occasions that i started the engine it fired quickly enough but seemed a little hesitant for a couple of seconds…almost like a normal engine thats not firing on all cylinders or damp?? the dealer has agreed to get the car serviced at a mazda specialist where the plugs will be changed…cost to me 360.00 inc vat ! i am coming out of a mercedes s55 amg so not too concerned about the fuel/oil cnsumption, but i dont want to take on a potentially expensive problem. i have asked that a compression test be carried out also

grateful for any advice / thoughts before i do the deed :-)


Ambitious March 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Hello hi, i am looking to buy an Rx-8 i am a first time driver, i have to confess i am in love with the car.. it is stylish, looks and handles like a beast. Just wondering if you can offer me any tips on insurance, maintance and what to keep my eye out for when buyin one.
Are wankel engines on the Rx-8 same as Piston engines used on spitfires and Cessnas?

Kt April 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Hi I am going to test drive an rx-8 tomorrow. It’s 2008 reg and the garage state that it has had it’s 3 year service which I know is the big one. As it’s not a Mazda garage where I’m thinking or purchasing from I was hoping someone could tell me what a 3year service should entail other than the spark plugs so I can check what has been done?

Tom22Dhd April 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

So I have read through this whole thread and it has been very helpful if not a bit worrying! I knew about the MPG and oil and this doesn’t bother me. The only thing that is a concern now is that I am going to buy an 04 52k 231bhp on saturday, with FSH and MOT till 02/2012. Will I be able to see on the SH if it has had the recalls needed and will it tell me if it has had a new cat/plugs etc?? I now know to take it for a spin and then start it again after afew minutes from warm but how do I know that it has been looked after!?

Mr Butterscotch April 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Hi Tom,

If the vehicle has a full service history then it probably has been well looked after. Check the VOSA site or the dealer to make sure that any neccessary recalls have been completed on the vehicle.

Simmy April 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I have just bought a a 53 plate 231 rx8. It feels fine to drive at speed, but have to rev it VERY high in gears 1-4 to get any power. I am prepared to look after the car but don’t want to fork out huge costs. Is the car fairly slow in gears 1-4 or is this a sign of a major problem….
The car was serviced by mazda only 6000 miles ago at 62000miles and has plenty of stamps in the book so i’m hoping it can’t be anything too serious. Is this a ‘plug’ issue i’m reading about or sign of catalytic converter needing replaced?
Also, how do I know if the rotary tips need replaced? Please help!

Tom22Dhd April 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hi Mr Butterscotch – Thanks for your advice! I am now the proud owner of a black 54reg Rx8 231!!! I have one slight concern at the moment and that is starting the car! Don’t get me wrong, it does start, however it is a bit sluggish (the dealer mentioned a possible ‘lazy starter motor’). I took it for a test drive and then started it about 5ish minutes after returning (checking the CAT) and it was fine but since then it has sounded a bit painful when starting, sometimes taking a few attempts!?? The one other thing is tyres, I am looking at some Falkens 225 45 18’s…any preferences? Sorry for the essay, hopfully will be advising soon, rather than asking!

Carl Barlow April 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm

If people are bothered about costs when things go wrong you can get parts and labour costs with AA breakdown cover so long as the car is serviced in accordance with mazda .
You can claim £500 five times a year check it out

UK Barcafan April 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm

With respect Carl, when things fail on the RX-8, you’ll probably need £500 to cover labour alone!! Also, would the cat even be covered with them?

Tom, best tyres for the car seem to be the Bridgestone RE050, or Vredestein ultrac sessanta seem to get good press from those in the know.

maz June 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

just bought a rx8,ltd edition kuro, 07 25,ooomiles, absouloutly love it, very thirsty but knew that,alot of car for 6,500, friend emigrated and bought it to help him out ,excellent decision looking forward to a summer of fnn.

Simon June 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I am considering buying an RX 8 however I have hear that that the engine begins to cause problems and renders the car unuseable after it reaches 60,000 miles. Does anyone know whether there is any truth in this or had any similar experiences? The Rx8 i am looking at is 2006 with 53,000 miles on the clock. I would be grateful for any advice.

Paul June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm


Am looking at buying an RX-8. Have been for a while. I am aware of all the ‘issues’ involved and am not overly worried.

My question is that I work offshore, 6 weeks on, 6 weeks off. As I’m away for up to 7 weeks, the car won’t be used. Will this cause me any headaches when I get back and try to use it.


cyanide69 June 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm


RX-8 being rendered unusuable after 60,000 miles is totally UNTRUE.

I have seen examples in Auto-Trader being advertised with more than 100k on the clock, even one with 132k miles.

As with any car manufacturer, engines are fully tested in many conditions whilst they are developed and are put through at least 100k miles (probably more) as a standalone unit and then again installed in the car itself. Mazda certainly did this with the RENESIS and don’t forget that this is the engine that won International Engine of the Year in 2003 and Best New Engine award.

As with buying any 2nd hand car, look for a full service history with services made following recommended intervals, receipts of all work done and most importantly go for test-drives that are at least 20mins on varying roads. Also read earlier posts in this thread and look for advice from the Owners Club forum. Good luck

Richard June 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Paul….6 weeks on 6 weeks off won’t necessarily be a problem. Only risk would be a flat battery and that’s not a given. If it did become an issue you could leave it on a trickle charger while you’re away.

Carl…Warranty direct…if you haggle and stall enough will offer you a rotary specific policy which covers everything. They’ll let you make unlimited claims and each claim can be to the retail value of the car.

Tom…the RX8 doesn’t start as “quickly” as many other cars when you turn the key. 2 or 3 seconds of turning is completely normal. As has been said countless times on this thread: is THE place to learn everything you could possibly need to know

Roy June 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Just bought an ’05 RX8 231 from a main dealer, FMSH and 22K miles. It’s a retirement present to myself in recognition of nearly half a century of loyal self employment ! Joined the owners club who seem to be a knowledgeable and friendly bunch and will be attending their local meet early next month. No issues so far – hope it stays that way.

UK Barcafan June 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

With fuel prices so high the car has depreciated dramatically, but I reckon the RX-8 is great value to buy now.

£6,000 will get you a four year old 231 with around 25k on the clock, that is probably in immaculate condition.


confused June 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Hi, I have a Mazda RX8 04, for last 6 years, I have had many parts etc chamged including the Cat about 3 years ago, recently it has not been starting on a warm start, I have been reading your comments and took my car to Mazda who carrie dout may tests including a diagnostic test at a total cost of £400 only 6 weeks ago, I was informed that the engine and everything with regards to that was fine, nothing wrong, I was told these things are common with this type of car, yeah right!. I was suggested that I should replace the coils and starter motor, that would fix the problem, I have just had all 4 coils replaced as well as plugs, runs great but still have the issue with starting from warm, it seems that no one including Mazda know how these engines work. If the engine is fine, what else could this be, any help or anyone in similar fustration.

Joseph June 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Just DON’T buy an RX8! Simple, don’t get me wrong its a GREAT looking car with a whole host of features but you get what you pay for… it worth it for all the eventual hassle and expense to keep the damn thing on the road, no, save yourself a lot of trouble and just look at other cars! I was absoluetley gagging for an rx-8 until I spoke to a few people and garage owners, and read forums…..just look back on here as an example….not worth the hassle…its like having an expensive girlfreind, looks good but costs you the earth down the road 😉

UK Barcafan June 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Don’t agree with that sweeping comment. Owners usually only post when there’s a problem with their particular car. There are approx 22,000 of the cars driving around and the vast majority are perfectly OK. Mine for example is almost 4 years old and has only ever been serviced annually. She is a lovely car that makes me very happy every single time I get behind the wheel.
At current prices they are a great buy.

UK Barcafan June 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm

To confused….

No wonder you are frustrated after all the effort and expense you’ve gone to trying to get to the bottom of your problem, you have my sympathy there! It is however pointing to a loss of compression in the engine imho. Was the compression test a HOT one? That is key as the readings would be different when cold. Were the results over the recommended minimum of 6.9 Bar at 250rpm (standard i.e excellent(!) would be 8.2 Bar)
You have done everything else I would have suggested with regards to the ignition system (coil pack, spark plugs and leads) and so assuming the battery is in good condition and they did uprate the starter motor, then I would imagine it can only be low compression on one of the rotors, sorry I can’t be anymore helpful.

Good luck mate, you deserve it having had the car so long.

Carl June 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I agree with UKBarcafan i have had no problems with my 07 RX8 it has a full service history only had to change one tyre so far compared to the ford focus i used to have .It had new alternator new battery new starter motor new coil the drop links snapped and then the ecu was failing .
When fuel prices become too much for me i will buy a cheep car to get to work and save the RX8 for the weekends and trips away as it is soooo good to drive

confused July 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm


Thanks, I have not had the upgraded starter motor changed as yet, still original from 2004, had no issues ever with it, I am only concerned incase this will not work and still have the problem, if changing the starter motor would fix the problem can you tell me how, why is it not starting on a hot start with the original motor, why would a new one sort this issue out, I recently had an oil change and filter and that seems to have helped also, not so loing in the cooling period? Happy to change if it will sort the problem, as £400 plus at mazda. Thanks

UK Barcafan July 5, 2011 at 8:51 am

Hi confused, while I couldn’t guarantee changing the starter motor would fix the hot start, this should have been changed for free as a recall years ago (All 04/05 models had weak starter motors).

Its possible that repeated long starts have finally taken their toll on your starter, which in turn could have led to a drop in compression through the constant flooding during startup.

If I was you, I would approach your local friendly dealer (lol) and ask why this was not sorted as a recall and see if they can cut you a deal.

Get onto it asap before compression is affected anymore. (What were the results from your hot test btw?) Good luck mate.

Andrew July 5, 2011 at 9:00 am

Agreed, it is a great car to drive, despite the ‘niggles’.

The pricing for a service at Mazda is not too bad either, but when things start to go wrong, then they start to pile on the £’s.

I’ve still not found a good/definitive list (nationally or locally) of specialist garages who can (want to) take work on, which in the long run would be a lot cheaper than Mazda. (Plus Mazda dealers are far and few between)

UK Barcafan July 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I live in the South and would recommend Hayward Rotary in Newbury to anybody who is in the unfortunate position of needing major work. An engine rebuild at around £3k is a substantial saving on Mazda prices.

Millefan July 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

RX8 PZ ready for my 1st service, after 6k use, now at 24k miles, prior to track day at Croft in Sept. A garage in Preston (my home city) seems to be offering good rates but don’t know any more about them. Anyone had experience of John Handley Motors, just off Brook St.?

Carl July 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

my o7 rx8 with 24k is in next month and i have been quoted £200 for the 5 year service interval from mazda

Millefan July 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Thanks Carl. My local independent is quoting £140. Just don’t know yet whether I can be sure of a good job.

Chris July 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I currently have an 05 Civic Type R and fancy a change. I have found an 06 RX8 231 with 38,000m for £5,500. With having the performance of the type R I dont want to trade down and see the RX8 as the ideal change as both are very similar permformance wise. I had thought that the RX would be cheaper on tax & insurance but its coming out slightly more. So with regards to oil n petrol consumption & services as mentioned would you know how the 2 stacked up against each other? I was looking for a like for like price/cost swap.

carl July 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm

my 07 RX8 192 driving normally around town the least MPG has been 19MPG and on a long run driving within the speed limits and not exceeding 4000 revs 24MPG is the most i have had .On a full tank i get on average 270 miles.
Have done about 5000 miles and have spent £70 on mazda oil but still have 4ltrs left unused.
I would like to drive this car as it can be driven but if i try my ears ache from the speed limiter sat in the passenger seat

Emmo July 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Hi guys and ladies!
I’m a proud owner of an 04 190bhp silver rx8 . I have had my problems! But all are diminished by the overall experience of the car, people always comment on it’s design and engine, it’s covered 34 k, its got a full service by the main dealer,
Advice: if you want one get one, yeah the fuel is a sod! Yep you have to check the oil! But hey don’t you do that with all cars?
Flooding: never had a problem, even turned if off from cold and started it many times,
My one problem- to date was one fine freezing day it failed to start! Flooded straight off! Took me a while , some Internet investigation and a eBay purchase and it was sorted! Basically each spark plug ( 2 lead and 2 follow) had coked up, ( got a set of four off eBay new for £. 54 quid, ) all the coils had failed! Basically the coils are sat on the body work, the high voltage breaks down the insulation and arks to the body of the frame! Leading to a shite spark at the plug! Cost me 120 notes off eBay. Easy to fit, a bit of a fiddle. Have to re move air box and most of the plastics. It took me un rushed 2 hours!
Then it fired on the first turn! Mazda quoted me 1500! With the possibility of a new engine!
Moral of the story! Nothing is to complicated to fix! Get one you will never ever regret it! It eat corners! Sound amazing! Fits two baby seats in the back, carries one push chair in the boot!
If any one reads this and has any problems email me and I’m sure it can be worked out!

Robby August 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Can u put LPG in a 07 plate, Masda RX8 192 with out harming the performance or damaging the car?”

carl August 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

RX8 o7 reg 26000 miles failed emissions test to day mazda tech has no idea as no warning lights are lit having to do diagnostics anyone any ideas as to high emmisions

Robby August 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hi Carl

If u r meaning the CO2 emission test allowance for pass on MOT test, I do believe it’s under CO2: 267. Any more you’ve failed.



carl August 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Yes failed the co2 emission test mazda garage dont know why

carl August 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm

High emissions solved required a software update for fuel management according to mazda tec not free tho £70.00
i might get more than 19mpg fingers crossed

Waqqas Shah August 18, 2011 at 1:33 am

Hi all,

Taken about 45minutes to read all the thread as im interested in buying a RX8 rather than a VW Golf(mainly because ive already owned one).

I understand the fuel consumption, the servicing that needs to be done every year an also the amount of oil that this car requires an finally the importance of the stop-start ‘feature’.

I just have one question. As a driver you have the urge to maybe speed up to overtake which requires you to put your foot down an then you either slow down an brake to get back into lane or just carry on because you love the sound of the engine. in other words what im asking is whether you can drive this car like you would with any other car or like a 22 yr old car enthusiast would drive it or does it require you to drive at steady speeds throughout the full journey.


Andrew August 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Not sure if I understand the final part of your question. I tend to drive it like a normal car, put your foot down, ovetake and pull in as normal.

Probably best if you took one for a test drive.

Robby August 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Hi waqqas

Look I’ve driving the Masada RX8 as normal…!” you’ll get a much improved fuel performance and doesn’t harm the actually car. When need to the power, the RX8 provide it when you need it.

But like others are saying you are buying this car for the fun of it and when you are, it hits your pocket…!”‘but hey haven’t men been doing that since you’ve been dated women by paying out. But this girl is sex on wheels…!” she will give you best profomance of your life and give you the best bone driving the RX8.

Waqqas Shah August 19, 2011 at 1:06 am

Hey Robby,

Thanks for that. Thats what i wanted to know because alot of people seem to be complaining about the car an i was curious to whether you could drive it fast on motorways an not worry about it overheating or breaking down all the time like a citroen.


Char August 24, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Hi , i have just bought an 04 RX8 192 jap import it has the full sat nav system but this is all in japanese! any idea’s on how to convert to english , I see on you tube it can be done but every place I have emailed they have quote between £1500 -£2000 and want to rip the system out and replace it ?! any help would be grateful thanks

Tom22Dhd August 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Hi all,
I posted on here a few months ago when I was looking to buy an RX8. I did so and am now a very happy owner! I got the car fairly cheap (£3300 54 plate 60k), about 1k under actual value. Last week though my worst fears were realised when I took it to Mazda as it was cutting out when idling at lights etc and they told me I needed a new CAT, plugs, leads and O2 sensor! I obviously didn’t get Mazda to carry out the work (£2500) but bought the parts and took it to my mechanic (£600 inc labor).

So, getting to the point, my engine light still comes on although it doesn’t stall…at the moment. It normally happens after driving for around 45 min – 1hr and stays on for a few days, then goes again?? Also, I think I have come to the conclusion that when turning the air-con on (which is sh!t anyway!) the engine cannot handle it when idling and feels as if it is going to stall again! The CAT is also blowing slightly since fitting but I don’t think this would be making the engine light come on??!

Any advice would be much appreciated. I am going to be replacing the coil pack next week as well just in case.

Thanks in advance

carl August 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Your point about the air con sound like it needs a recharge as my air con in my 07 RX8 is very cold and very good.
I would sort out the blowing cat just to eliminate that.
Mine also feels like its going to stall on idle with air con on.

UK Barcafan August 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Tom, I would hazard a guess that the engine warning light is coming on due to the sensor in the coolant bottle being defunct. This is a very common fault on the RX-8. There isn’t actually a lack of coolant, but just no sensor to say its OK! If that is the case you’ll require a whole new coolant bottle which is around £200 regrettably.

Waqqas Shah August 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

Hey all.

Just got one more question to convince me to purchase the RX8. The in car sat nav that is provided, could that be used as a in car dvd player or would a seperate one need to be purchsed and if so, how would you go about it.


Tom August 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hi all.
Left my RX8 in for service last week as was running sluggishly. Got the bad news yesterday of complete engine failure requiring full replacement. Car is a 2007 231BHP with 82000kilometers on clock but is now out of warranty. Car has full Mazda service history and has always been serviced inside the recommended service intervals, oiled each week and not abused in any way. Any advice of how to pursue goodwill with Mazda UK would be very welcome. Am pretty much in a state of shock about it.

UK Barcafan August 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Hi Tom, really sorry to hear about your bad news.

I would definitely be pursuing this with Mazda UK, particularly as the car is less than five years old, which seems to be the point after which they won’t entertain any claims.

Also in your favour is the full Mazda FSH and the lowish mileage of 50,000 miles. It might also be worth noting in your letter that you are an avid RX-8 fan, maybe a member of the Owners Club, which demonstrates you have looked after the car with regards to its quirks and its specific needs.

I reckon you have a fair chance of a goodwill claim, but they are renowned for being really slow in settling these claims and you will have to hound them on the telephone!

It will be worth it though Tom, just keep the faith and imagine your lovely new rotary engine at the end of it. Good Luck, Andrew.

joe August 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

well it looks like i will pass on this car…did read all info.Mazda rotary engine as it s problems…let s will have no
rotary tips left…turbo s go.and so on..i have a friend as a1986
and a 1997.Rx7..the miles..56000..ded…the other 48000 dead
i would think they will stay in the carport for the next 30yrs
i would like to say if i have time in my life to have one i would
buy one…they are a sports car..did you no Mazda are the only
ones to build this engine over the last will see all
info on the the net…good luck and drive safe..

Hobbes August 31, 2011 at 8:10 am

Just bought a 2004 RX8 with 74k on it (26k / 3.5 months left of warranty [I’ll drive appx 10k in 3.5 mo.]). Holy crap do I love this car.

If you buy one DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and get the manual transmission flavor. With this you can hit the 9k rpm mark needed to keep the engine clean.

Need to buy oil tomorrow…Q: 5w-20 or 5w-30?

Q on Fuel: 87, 89, 91, 93 or 94 octane?

PS: I live in TX, USA; not sure if gas ratings are setup the same.

UK Barcafan August 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hi Hobbes in the U S of A! Yes it is a great car for sure!

Oil is 5W-30, Fuchs Titan XTR is the oil of choice by most afficianados.

Fuel for the car in the UK is the 95 RON type, which isn’t the same as your AKI rating. It looks like you’d use your 91 rated gas, but I would double check that!

Gary September 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Hi, also thinking of buying a 04 or 05 RX8 and reading about the flooding issues with start/stopping the car, one suggestion has been for starting problems is to remove the fuse to the pump when starting.
I have read that this was superseded by Mazda, via the car’s software, stopping the pump if the accelerator pedal was held down for more that 10 secs. In both cases this is after the engine has been turned off when cold, flooded and you are trying to restart it.
If you do need to turn it off shortly after starting it from cold, rather than revving the engine and then turning it off, has anyone suggested in the past, wiring the supply to the fuel pump via a switch (in line with the fuse) and using the switch to cut the fuel thereby stopping the engine if it was still cold? To me is seems logic that it would then be impossible to flood the engine – unless someone thinks it’s not a good thing to do?

Tom22Dhd September 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

Hi All – Replaced the coil pack last week and all was sweet! The car was running alot better and I THINK I was even getting more mpg!!! The engine light has also stayed off…HOWEVER, the car is still cutting out when ideling and will turn over but not catch again for 10-15 min. This does only happen when I have been driving for a while and when it’s a warmish day. Any ideas please?

Kevin September 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Hi all
I have a RX8 190bhp on a 06 plate and have owned it for 3 years, with a few problems:
After driving on a motorway for 30mins or more at speed, when I then come to a standstill and then pull away its like I am driving on gravel (grinding noise) for 10-15 meters than stops.
Then last week when doing a long journey 270miles I came off the motorway and on to country roads, when the engine lost power and I had to be recovered. I am now told that I need a new engine (including fitting & VAT approx £5000.00) I have looked at recon but they are getting bad press. Any ideas?
I know all the normal problems: Flooding, turning off before the engine warms up, and alway red line it at least twice a day, Oil consumption checked every 2nd fuel refill (about a litre every 1200 miles) Fuel consuption has been about 22mpg average but can get 28mph on motorways at “speed”, but steady!!!
Any ideas would be welcome, I love the car but didnt really expect or deserve a bill like this.
Thanks for reading.

Kevin (fed up RX8 owner)

Sham September 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I love my rx8, when I drive to work and back the car has time to cool down an fire back up straight away, but if the car Is warm and I switch it off. I will have to turn it on or off like 10times to fire it up,or if I leve it to cool down for 5mins, i been doing this for years, some one 1st told me my engines will need replacing but i done 20k miles with that problem.Other then that car is fantastic. Is their any solution to start when warm. Was thinking making a manual switch for fan. To cool it down quicker lol.. What’s the car got to do with the warm stRt up issue??? Can you not Decat it then?

Robby September 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Hi everyone

What’s going on about the fuel consumption, my M8 done 447 miles for full tank of patrol, I had speeds from 60/65/70/80/90/104 miles an hour, I was absolutely well impress with my car, urban/ ultra-urban, avenging 34.10 miles to gallon. I’m not longer fearful of using it’s impressive speed, the needle hardly moved once on a straight road, IE duel carriage ways,motorways, long distance excellent. Obviously if you driving around town, change up or down, then will feel the affects of drinking the petrol, it’s a bitch for that.

Happy driving Robby.

Sham September 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hi, guys, any solution on the start up issue when warm.???

UK Barcafan September 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Hi Sham,

Are you still running with the original coils and HT leads? If the engine is fine then it is likely to be an ignition problem rather than an engine compression problem (although unchecked with lots of flooding will lead to a motor problem!).

I would be looking to change the coils and HT leads if they haven’t been done in the last 30k miles.


Carl September 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Robby if you are getting 34.1 mpg i suggest you let mazda know as they cant get that from an rx8 they only get 26 mpg.
I suggest someone is telling porkys or not calculating properly.
Driving steady and over a long distance the most i have got was
25.4 mpg as soon as the foot goes down it can drop to 19mpg

Andrew September 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Same here Carl.

UK Barcafan September 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I can confirm that I get 32 mpg from my 231 when driving pretty much at 60mph and 3k revs.
However I don’t think this is recommended, firstly for carbon build up and secondly for boredom and frustration knowing whats under the bonnet!!

Sham September 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Ht leads and coil, il get that done is the a way I can check if they are faulty… This problem that I have is so odd, I went to 4garages each one tells me different thing. 1 said engine goin, 2nd guy said spark plugs, 3rd guy told me some sensors, and lastly ecu, oh i forgot one said cat, and the oddest thing car drives fine and starts always when cold. But soon as it’s hot I turn it off it wouldn’t fire back up, so I have to wait like 5mins then it’s alrght to start. There are 3 ov us with the same issue, the rest just liv with it. An owned their car few years now. Is that bizare or what, my rx7 never did that I’m thinking going back to that.. Just cos in petrol staition I have to leve it runing. And some time the guy be like you have to turn it off so imbarrising when it doesnt start, Plzz see if it could be any thing else, but I’ll do the leads this week end. Chears Andrew

indika September 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

i need to get done a engine overall, where can i get done it in london

UK Barcafan September 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Oh yes, forgot to mention, if you are mechanically minded and want to inspect the coils for wear and tear, you need to look for evidence of “white spots” appearing on them. This apparently is the tell-tale sign that they are wearing. Problems starting lead to increased fuel sloshing around where you don’t want it and will lead to low compression.

Anyway, I will be changing mine when I get to 25k miles in the near future as a precaution, even though it isn’t a Mazda service item.

UK Barcafan September 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Hi Indika,
Are you talking about a complete engine rebuild or just a thorough service?

If you need a rebuild due to low compression, I would go through Hayward Rotary in Newbury (50 miles away I know). Don’t let that put you off, they will do a brilliant job and the engine will come with a warranty, all at a big discount to Mazda prices.

Kevin September 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Just an up date on my blown engine, it may help someone. First I contacted Mazda UK who offered me 15% of labour and the Local dealer whould match that, giving 30% off labour. I then conplained and Mezda UK then said they would give 15% off parts and labour. Still to expensive as fare as I am concerned.

However they did ask to see the invoice for the last service which was not done by a Mazda dealer. I emailed this across and was informed that the garage used had used Fully sinthetic oil which is not recommended by Mazda and after talking to a technical person at mazda was told this can effect the life of the engine. I then contacted the garage that told me that Fully Sinthetic oil is the one to be used and that all the Oil websites that the garages use recommend this.

I have been on to trading standerds who tell me I do have a case, as I have in writing from Mazda that Fully sinthetic oil should not be used.

So anyone who has had there car serviced and not used Mazda could have the same problem.

I will up date this and let you know how it goes.

I am looking for a low millage second hand engine, I a, not prepared to pay £3000.00+vat to mazda just for the engine and recons are having some really bad press at the moment. any ideas. I am in the northwest.



john mccafferty September 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

ok here goes,
rx8 where do i start…….. the car itself is awesome,drives awesome handles even better.
not a great deal of acceleration from standing start due to low torque, here goes im getting 14mpg around town and oil,im sick of people saying it uses loads it doesnt use alot at all.
if your gonna buy 1 make sure it has a fsh,get compression test and run it for 10 -15 mins test drive and switch it off,leave it a min and try and restart if it doesnt,run…… run while u can and save urself and money.
i made that mistake bought the car and now 7 years old with a fsh and 36k on the clock ive been told it needs a new engine.
3.5k to be exact OUCH.
if u stick to tge checks ive just said then u will have an awesome car and wont suffer the same fate as me….
Summary- buy a looked after car and treat it right it will look after u…. drive it hard like its supposed to be driven like and make sure u red line it once a day to clear the carbon build up out of the chamber, if u want good mpg go buy a kia 1.1 deisel lol
im off to cry now over my new acquired repair bill…

Julie September 25, 2011 at 12:25 am

Im am 17 and really thinking about buying an 04 rx8. Its a beautiful car, has 60,000 miles on it for 10,954$. Is that too much because I had told him to give me a better deal because I was paying cash, what do u think would be a good price?
And also im gonna be drivin to school which is 10 miles away then to work which is about 15 minutes away, what stepes should I take take so I wont cause problems to my car? -thanks

Mark September 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Just bought one of these… love it so far, but I’ll tell you what I learnt from the mazda garage / sales guy who has one himself:

1) engine flooding – yes it is a problem when the car is cold but this is easy to prevent. When the engine is cold don’t start it up and then shut it off straight away (for example say you were pulling it out of the garage onto the drive to clean it)… when it is cold the engine pumps more fuel in (hence why it revs higher when u turn it on) and if u shut it off straight away fuel is still in the chamber and isn’t burnt = engine flooded!

An easy way to prevent this is a) to not shut the engine off until it has heated up (look at the engine temp) and if you really have to turn it off b) rev it to 4000+ and shut it off while you are still revving at 4000… this will burn any excess fuel off so it doesn’t flood the chamber.

2) engine already has flooded – okay so if your engine has already flooded you don’t have to get your hands dirty and start taking the engine apart, and also you DON’T have to ring up mazda and get them to fix it…. firstly here is what you DON’T DO…

Don’t blip the trottle while turning the engine on… you do this in a normal car if you have ran out of fuel obviously to get more fuel into the engine… but if u do this you will simply pump more fuel into the engine and make the situation worse…. here is what you SHOULD do…

Floor the throttle fully (this cuts off the fuel pump so no more fuel will go into the engine) then try to start the engine, you will have to keep the key turned for possibly 10-20 seconds but once the engine eventually does start the excess fuel will burn and your RX8 will be fine! (make sure your not in gear!!)

Worst case scenario your battery might not be able to take 15-20 seconds of trying to start in which case you could be screwed however this is the CORRECT way to deal with your mazda.

3) Oil – these cars take a lot of oil as we all know whether we have bought one or not however if you want to make sure your car runs correctly and doesn’t break you need to put the right oil in!!

These cars don’t take normal oil, they take 5W30 oil which is a lot thinner than normal piston engine cars…

Okay that is my advice for anyone either buying or owning a mazda… I appreciate I have only had my RX8 a day or 2 but the fact is these cars are not normal cars, they are rotary engine cars and you have to look after them differently. If you follow the advice straight from mazda you shouldn’t have problems.

4) Get a warranty! – Don’t buy one private (unless it is still under warranty)… buy one from a mazda dealer and you will get a years warranty standard and you can extend it if you want, this way if anything goes wrong you’re covered….. :)


Miss Divine September 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm


I am 21 years old and am looking to purchase an RX8, I nearly went off the idea due to the high tax price but thanks to these articles I have found out the age of the car I can afford, means it will be £260 instead of £460. Does anyone have an 2004-2005 RX8 who can tell me how reliable they are at that age?

I can afford the car, tax, insurance and hopefully petrol as i only do 5000ish miles a year. Please can you let me know how much all this Oil will cost me along with MOT costs and any other expenses I could incur from becoming an RX8 Owner.

I want to get this car as an alternative to a company car which would cost me over 8k for 3 years anyway(but would be brand new all costs included except petrol.)

Any advice would be great!

Kevin September 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Miss Divine

I hope this helps!

Oil consumption, Check what oil has been used, If the car has been serviced by Mazda it will be their own oil (Mineral) however if the car has been serviced not by Mazda it will probably be a fully synthetic Oil. Mine uses about 1 ltr every 1200miles.

It is important to red line the car at least once a day.

When buying, be careful with mileage you will see alot blow their engines at the 60,000 miles,

If replacing with a rebuild only buy from a specialist Rotary company or find a good low mileage secondhand, a new one from Mazda will be about 2900 + VAT and fitting.

The only other thing is flooding the engine, from my experience dont touch the pedal when starting untill the engine fires, and on short runs rev the engine at 4000rpm for 10seconds before turning off.

Fuel consumption: 21 round town 28 on motorways, if you start having fun this will go down a lot!

Its a great car to drive and a lot of car for the money. Good luck.


UK Barcafan September 30, 2011 at 9:40 am

Hi Miss Divine,

If I was looking to buy an RX-8 on 04 or 05 plate (or any plate actually!), I have three words of advice for you that will absolutely ensure you get a wonderful car that has been well oiled and not a lemon……


This will cost you about £50 or so from Mazda but will absolutely beyond doubt show you the health of the rotors. It will be the best money you will ever spend on your car.

Making sure your car starts instantly from hot as well as cold is a good sign, but still get the test done, you won’t regret it.

A properly maintained and lubricated RX-8 will go on as long as any piston car, so its essential to choose the right one, rather than a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Take your time, walk away from the bad one, its a buyer’s market and a great time to take the plunge. Armed with a bit of knowledge, you will get an awesome piece of technology for very little money!


Gary October 1, 2011 at 8:26 am

Just phoned the Mazda dealer in Swansea (FRF Motors) and they want £170 +VAT to do a hot compression test!!

UK Barcafan October 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

Must be honest, didn’t realise it varied that much!! Worth shopping around as I know of one guy who got it done at Mazda in Bognor Regis (lol) for £47.50 inc VAT. It is effectively around one hour’s labour, so ask them why they want that much! (Mazda Oxford near me want £150 so they are OTT too!).

The long and the short of it is though, it is money well spent before buying the car.

Kevin October 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Mazda RX8 2006 blown engine at 62000 miles update>
Well here goes: I have now had a second hand engine fitted from a 2007 rear ended right off. 32000miles, £1680.00 + £500.00 for fitting with a 6 month warrantee. But why do so many blow at about 60,000 miles.

My thoughts after lots of research and talking to ex Mazda technicians and top tech people at some of the main oil companies!

1. What oil should I use! Well in my opinion not even Mazda are sure, according to Mazda UK Fully synthetic is not the oil that should be used in the RX8 engine (I have this in writing) However after sending a copy of the owners manual to Comma oil, they confirm that Fully synthetic is one of the grades of oil listed in the manual. Mazda for god sake get it right. All the independent garages use oil manufacturer databases for the oil and all recommend fully synthetic. If this is wrong Mazda should take responsibility for giving out the wrong information. If Dexelia is the only oil to be used than by law Mazda must state this!!!!!!!

2. The other reason for the engine life being shorter could be this: In a normal combustion engine you have pistons that as we all know go up and down. Research shows the average life of an engine is approx 160,000-180,000 miles. With the rotary engine, a rota travels approx 3 times further than a piston does. That could be the reason the engines are only lasting one third of the time of a normal engine.

3. Most of us know we should red line at least once a day to clear build up of carbon from within the engine, no mention in the manual!

4. This is not an economy, but don’t try to drive it like one, if you do, you could be damaging the engine, and it is a car that needs to be driven.

If you decide to buy a reconditioned engine, be careful:
1. Read the warrantee, although they give a good warrantee on reading the small print, you may find that the servicing intervals are much less and in some cases the engine must be fitted by them and be serviced by them.

2. My experience is that the “GOOD” companies, who specialise in reconditioning the Rotary engine, are not much cheaper than a new engine supplied by Mazda.

You will find some RX8’s out there that have high mileage. Like a normal engine you will have some that last longer than the average.

In the USA RX8 cars were given a 100,000 mile warrantee after problems started to appear, yet Mazda UK fail to admit any faults.

Mazda: Love the car, your customer service, although extremely polite is as good as useless as regard to knowledge.

If you brought your car from a dealer you may be able to get compensation from them if the engine blows at low mileage. Speak to trading standards. However if the car is more than 5 years old, Mazda have no responsibility to do anything although they did offer 15% of parts and labour if work is done by one of their dealerships as a good will gesture. (aprox £4500.00-£5000.00).

If in doubt, contact Mazda Customer service, the only way we could get any help is by overloading Mazda uk with the complaint, also contact trading standards, but it is only on mass that could make a difference. To late for me but good luck!!


UK Barcafan October 11, 2011 at 12:52 am

Sorry Kevin, but this type of wild surmising post is not helpful.

A rotary engine will last just as long as a piston engine and probably longer if it is correctly maintained. The oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles ideally, use FUCHS TITAN XTR. I don’t know why you are getting so worked up about which oil is needed as this is widely used and recommended. It is a great 5W30 oil and is easily as good as Dexelia.

Yes Redline and work the engine every trip, its designed that way, but ensure its fully warmed up before going over 4k rpm.

Check the oil every second fill (I have a look every week when I wash the car) and while you’re in the petrol station, each tank will benefit from 150ml of Motul 710T 2stroke motorbike oil. Yes the controversial topic of PREMIX, but in mine and many far better judge’s books an essential part of caring for the rotors. Mazda will never advise it, but this process will assist the job of the oil metering pump, which had a third central nozzle added to it on the R3 car (compared to just the two on the series 1 model). This clearly boosts oil coverage and essential lubrication. No other reason.

So please have a more positive outlook on the rotary, it is a work of art and just needs love and proper attention, not constantly to be derided and questioned over its reliability. It really frustrates me.

Kevin October 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm

UK Barcafan.

I think your comments prove my point regarding oil! FUCHS TITAN XTR oil is a semi synthetic oil. However my point was that anyone having their car serviced in a none Mazda garage will find that they are having fully synthetic 5w 30 oil.
Comma oil and all the other data companies used by independent garages get their information from the car manufacturers. My point was that MAZDA state that this motor oil should not be used. You are correct a semi synthetic 5w 30 should be used. I just feel that Mazda should state this in the manual and give this information to the data companies.

As far as having an oil change every 3000 miles, you are probably right; however I can not find anything stating this in the owners manual and have not been told that by Mazda.

My problem is not with the car, it is with Mazda UK who are blaming using fully synthetic motor oil as an excuse when these engines blow, and I was told that it would have made void any warrantee in place.


Dan October 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I just been skimming through this article…….the oil consumption is a bit of a myth. i have checked mine every 1k miles and the dipstick is always at least 2/3rds full. The fuel consumption is not the best, but you know that when you buy one, although i did get 350 miles to a tank the other week (mainly motorway)

I am actually selling my 2007 231 model which only has 23k miles on it. It’s on Autotrader if anyone is interested –

Pam October 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

My husband and i have just bn to view rx8 2004.we have taken it out for test drives and we have fallen in love, especially my husband. it seems to be immaculate.
we’ve asked for compression test to be done which is happening tomorrow. but after reading all these comments I’m now dubious about purchasing it.
It has 57000 miles on clock, and has had 7 previous owners. Should we be wary?

UK Barcafan October 25, 2011 at 10:25 am

Pam, wow seven previous owners that would set alarm bells ringing for me! But yes, the compression test will make your decision for you. I bet the car is seriously cheap to buy and worse case scenario would be a rebuild further down the line (£3k). That said, still best to try and get a good one ‘cos you can’t give them away at the moment. (Been trying to sell my immaculate car which is a four year old 231, ’57 with only 25k miles. £6450 and I haven’t had one call from Auto Trader! They are absolute bargains if you know what to look for).

Imdad November 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm

How many miles will i get on £20 petrol! Ill only be driving it once a week, im not a rich guy but for 3000 pounds it seems a bargain! Shud i take the plunge?

Warren November 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm

If you are so pro the rx8, why sell it?
I recently bought a dcat 06 with 45k for 3.5k. Fuel is my main complaint, but I knew that going in… Still a shock at the pumps though… Oh and the stiff clutch. Need to check the hot start to be sure of compression, although I had no problem starting after a fill up. Might try tmw once at work.
Never knew about the red line a day till reading this forum. Is that correct?.. Not like it’s a problem for me :)
You also say positive things, but then say, and I quote “can’t give them away” which is not so positive. Mixed messages dude!
I am so lost in my own mind on this car, did I make a mistake..blah blah…. I will be gutted if it blows on me.

Mr Butterscotch November 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Hi Imdad,

Unfortunately I would say that if you haven’t got the funds to run the car, I’d consider looking at something that’s a little less problematic. Unless you have the capital to support this unique motor, you may find it empties the wallet rather quickly, even with a low list price.

UK Barcafan November 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Hi Warren, I am totally pro the car as I’m sure you’ve read and reluctantly needed to sell to free up cash. As I said “you can’t give them away” and there was no way I was going to let my beautiful car go for a ridiculously insulting price, so you may be glad to hear I’ve decided to keep her for the meantime!

With regards to “redline”, the most essential point to remember is never go over 4000 rpm until the engine is at normal operating temp with the gauge fully up half way. I never race the engine in the first 15 minutes to ensure the oil has reached optimum temp. Its not essential to “beep” or redline every journey, but if you do a lot of short trips then make sure you give her a blast once every other trip if possible. I try to shift up around 5000rpm generally.

Good luck with your new REX, but now you’ve bought the car there’s no point spending out on a compression test, no news is good news! Do some research on premixing your fuel for added lubrication and see what you reckon.

Cheers Andrew.

Warren November 17, 2011 at 12:01 am

Thanks for the info Andrew, I am lovin the car. Compression looks to be fine. My new baby has no probs starting hot or cold. Just one turn over and she fires up. Just got to get used to the fuel usage and oil consumption as our family car is a diesel. ;-/
Got a few niggles with electrics to sort but overall I am in a happier place now with my purchase, just trying to enjoy it now. My kids love it and she has already been nicknamed “dads race car”, by my 3yr old.
“it’s a state of mind” should be the rx8 motto.
Happy driving….

james November 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I have skimmed through the posts here,
I am looking to get a RX8 in the next few days… I am aware of oil comsumption, red lining, cold stops, and warmimg up the engine before heavy reving. I presume thats the main points in caring for the car?
I only cover around 10-15 miles a day so the MPG is not a massive issue.
My main concern after research this car is blown engines _ apart from that its the general agreement is that if well cared for it is a reliable car…are there any other issues I’m missing?
Ive already passed on one RX-8 as the compression tests result were borderline. Im going to test drive another in a couple days – I have asked for the comression test results in advance- they have replied with one figure of 67psi which obviously cant be right- I assume they have given me this figure as it has been tested in the same way as a piston engine???

UK Barcafan November 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

James, unless they meant 6.7 (not 67) as one of the three readings per rotor, I would assume they have tested it as a piston engine like you say (psi is the giveaway I believe)… Just shows you the ignorance about the car!!

You are doing everything right mate regarding your research, so I really hope you get a good one. One tip just to remind you around starting the engine. Switch ignition on, put your seat belt on, get comfortable, wait for the airbag light to go out and then crank her. This will reduce even further any chance of flooding by ensuring a nice clean start! Also If you get a low mileage example, research premix and come to an informed decision. All the Best, Andrew.

UK Barcafan November 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

PS! Before cranking, depress the clutch to reduce the strain and put your other foot on the brake pedal, apparently that helps too!!

Hey Warren, good words in your post! It is indeed a “state of mind”, you have to fall in love with the RX-8 and in this day and age of cynicism, your 3yo made me smile with his impression of your car! One recommendation for the future would be to change the coils if they haven’t been replaced and you’ve got over 30k on the clock. A dodgy ignition system can lead to much worse with the engine further down the line! They are prone to fail around that mark and a new set will get you off to a flyer each time as well as help engine longevity. All the best, Andrew.

James November 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for the reply Andrew,
I’m going to see a 2006 Evolve with 31k miles
Its was defininitly PSI as I queried it … I did explain that there should be 6 readings- 3 for each rotor and the rotor speed should be 250rpm. I said if all of the readings are above 7bar at 250RPM and the test drive goes well I will almost certainly make an offer on the car.
The guy replied saying he has spoken to Vospers and they said it should be 69psi and the car is 67psi!
I will have to just go and test drive it then explain it in person -I will not make a purchase without a good pressure test…above 7 right?



james November 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm

7 bar would mean over 100psi. So they must be getting it wrong

UK Barcafan November 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm

James, 6.9 bar on all six readings is the absolute minimum on a hot test. Personally, I would be hoping to see readings consistently in the mid to high 7s. Bear in mind that standard compression is 8.2 bar but this is probably unrealistic to expect! So yes anything over 7.4 imho at 250RPM is a good sign. (Make sure it is a HOT test at 250RPM).

Good luck trying to explain this to the dealer mate lol!! All the best, Andrew.

alan November 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Hi , loads of help and handy hints on here , i have just purchased a 231 on an 04 plate with 90k miles , i am picking it up tomorrow , paid £1800 , what should i be looking to do at this mileage, did i pay the right price and as winter approaches are winter tyres advisable? cheers all , great car and i cant wait!

smoothcrooner December 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm


Loads of good hints and help on this site. I’m hoping to trade in my BMW 3 Series for an RX-8 very soon, hopefully, by the end of the December. I’m hoping for a 192 on an 04 or 05 plate, so wish me luck.

Tom December 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Hi guys, i just bought an 05 plate RX8 (231 bhp) with 54,000 on the clock for £3500, i dont think i gt a bad deal! But someone has told me the engines have problems around 60k and can be expensive?! ive had it for about a week and completely fallen in love with it! What a machine!! I know it drinks petrol but u dont buy a sports coupe if u want mpg! Any advice would be awesome!!

smoothcrooner December 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Hi guys. I’m now the proud owner of 04 plate RX8 (231). The issue I’m having, well, not an issue per se, but my gripe is as to what engine oil am I supposed to be putting in it. A few commenters on this site have suggested the semi-synthetic Fuchs Titan 5W 30 from Opie Oils, but isn’t the rotary engine designed to do away with any sort of oils with synthetics in it? Isn’t the rotary engine designed to use mineral oils? Isn’t this due the way the engine burns up oil, and by using synthetic oils, this leaves residues that clog up the engine?
The engine oil indicator has now popped up and I’ve parked up the car till I get some definitive answers.

UK Barcafan December 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Fuchs Titan XTR 5w-30 is labelled as a semi-synthetic oil yes, but is actually a heavily refined and modified 100% mineral oil. It is therefore perfectly compatible with the Renesis engine.

Get some in sharpish because that oil light should not be allowed to come on.

carl December 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Well untill mazda recommends a different oil i will only use what mazda says to be on the safe side.

Mr Butterscotch December 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Not owning an RX-8, I can’t give specific advice on what sort of oil to use. However, as UK Barcafan has said, Fuchs Titan XTR 5w-30 is labelled as a semi-synthetic oil and appears to be the choice for most RX-8 owners, if the forums are anything to go by.

smoothcrooner December 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm

In my eargerness, I’ve now over filled my RX8 with Mazda Dexelia engine oil this evening, by about 2 litres. Is this usually a major issue with rotary engines?

Warren December 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Smoothcrooner, yes this is an issue as it will put extra stress on the engine imo. Even a normal piston I engine would battle and put extra stress on the crank shaft.

I would drain it out and try again, probably a good oil flush even if it’s not intended.

Hope you get it all sorted.


UK Barcafan December 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Don’t even start the car if you have overfilled it beyond the full mark by two litres!!

You will cause massive damage to the air filter and probably wreck the MAF sensor.

Drain and change the oil is the only way forward.

UK Barcafan December 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Without wanting to kick you while you’re down smoothcrooner, you really want to add the oil in increments of no more than 200ml at a time and recheck. To move between the low and full marks on the dipstick a total of 1.7litres is required, but always just add small amounts at a time.

Hope you can drain it (by removing the sump plug) before any damage is done. I would replace all the oil bearing in mind it seemed to be low beforehand and so probably due a change anyway. Just out of interest where was the dipstick level before you topped up?

Keep the faith, you will get it sorted, but deffo don’t start it until you’ve done the above. Good Luck, Andrew.

Andrew December 20, 2011 at 12:01 am

Okay, having owned an RX8 for a few years, and having recently sold it before the apparent price ‘crash’ – and subsequently reading all recent comments, my only advice would be not to buy an RX8! If you are paying a low price then be prepared to expect to pay more in the future in maintaining it.

Buy something you are going to enjoy and not continuously worry about. How many RX8’s are going to be around in 10 years time?

UK Barcafan December 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I bet your new car isn’t as much fun as an 8…

Andrew December 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm

… you’re absolutely right Andrew – Ford Fiesta (sign of the times I’m afraid). I don’t recommend them for fun …

Mr Butterscotch December 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I think the range of comments here really does sum up the RX-8. If your heart is set, get one and you’ll enjoy it. Just don’t go in with your eyes closed.

Daniella January 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

Hi, I have just brought myself a wonderful 54 RX8 (231) in Strato Blue with a sun roof. The car is running great and would like to know which is the best oil and coolant to use.

Oil: Which is the best Dexelia 5w-30 or Fuchs 5w-30?

TomS January 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Hi guys,
i purchased my rx8 a couple of weeks ago and am pleased with it, im ot fussed about the fuel consumption and oil issues but a few people have told me the engines only last 60k and u will start having problems, the one i bought was an 05 plate with 56k on the clock for a great price of £3500, just wondering as its cheap is something gonna go wrong?????

AJ January 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hi all,

Firstly great site, a wealth of info and words of encouragement. Have been considering an RX8 for a while and now the kids have no need for the pram more of a reason to buy one!! I did own a RX7 quite a while ago but a house purchase forced the sale plus not pratical with only 2 seats where as the Rx8 is the perfect combination. After reading the whole thread I am aware of the daunting aspects of owning an RX8 but as long as i do my home work and at the very least have a compression test hot and cold carried out before purchase I am hoping to cover all bases, (fingers crossed). The reason why i wanted to join this most informative site is to hopfully gather some answers to a few questions which i would be most greatfull.

1. I noticed a few problems with CAT convertors, would a full stainless steal exhaust system eliminate this and be MOT passable on a 55reg or below?

2.Due to possible cold start up issues, if i accidentally stalled the car whilst still cold do i run the risk of flooding this way?

3.Once the engine is warm is a quick stop start possible or should time be allowed inbetween?

4.I was thinking of purchasing the 231bhp version mainly due to having 6gears i understand though that the 190bhp version has more torque, but are there any other comparrisons between the two?

5.Does anyone know of any specailist garages in the northwest area?

Many thanks in advance.

Kyle January 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Hi Guys

Just read through all these comments and wow, what a range of views. I am just about to get an RX8 and have found an 04 with 84,000 miles but with a new engine put in which has only done 3,000 miles. So I guess my question is what do you guys think about this? Are all the other aspects of the car going to be ok at 84,000?

I would (as everyone would) a no hassle RX8.


UK Barcafan January 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Hi Kyle,
If the engine was replaced by Mazda, or rebuilt by a reputable Rotary Specialist such as Haywards, then jobsagoodun! I would personally be quite comfortable with that.
I would assume that coils, leads and plugs were done at the same time, so you could have found a bargain.
However if there is no warranty with the new engine then fork out the £75 or so to Mazda for a hot compression test adjusted to 250rpm as above.
Regards Andrew.

UK Barcafan January 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Hi Kyle,
If the engine was replaced by Mazda, or rebuilt by a Rotary Specialist such as Haywards, then personally I would feel very comfortable with that. I would assume that coils, leads and plugs were replaced at the same time, so you may well have found a little bargain!
However, if there is no warranty with the new engine then it is definitely worth forking out the £75 or so to Mazda for a hot compression test adjusted to 250 RPM as above.
Regards, Andrew.

Warren January 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Kyle, I have had my 06 now for going on 2 months. Now that I have stopped looking at the petrol gague I am absolutely loving the car. I have not had any issues other than the dreaded rust bubbles around the centre boot tail light, which I a soon to fix. A little rubbing, primer and paint will sort that out. Other than that she has been a lovely car to drive.
My only other problem is oncoming headlights, you sit low so they hit straight in the kisser…. But that’s just me. So if anyone can recommend some decent night driving specs.. I am all ears.
Like I said in an earlier post, it’s a state of mind owning a rx8, and it’s up to each individual to get out of it what you want. There will always be nay Sayers, that’s just life.
I did have to smile sitting behind a Prius at the traffic lights though… Thinking we are so at opposite ends of the scale.. :-)

Enjoy it mate if you get it. What you have to remember is that it wil be a 8yr old car, don’t always bLame any failings on it being a rx8…also they need lovin just like any other.

Peace out, flower power…. Wow I went awola bit there…. Lol

I find it one of the most engaging cars that I have ever driven. And there have been a few. Best parts of my day are going to work and coming home, things I used to think we’re only enjoyable on my zx6r

My wife even enjoys a drive when she want to feel like an adult, and not just a moms taxi… My other car is a verso.

Good luck with your choice dude.

Alex January 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

Hi Guys,

I ve been reading all posts and I believe this page is very helpfull for anyone interested in buying an RX8.
I own a 2005 231 bhp RX8 and managed to do 160k km before total engine failure. Compression problems started at 150k km.
I have experienced most of the problems mentioned in the posts but i believe that they worth the excitement that this car can offer when it is driven.
I would not suggest rebuilding the engine or buying a second hand unless some gurantee is given.
A rebuilt, at least in Greece where I live, costs around 3000 Euro.
You can buy a new one from Mazda for 5000 Euro.
The only dissadvantage is that Mazda only gives one year warranty for the motor and not 4 years or 100k km.

Manu January 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm


Interesting point here but i was just hoping someone could summarise briefly for me what the main things to check on an RX8 are. I dont drive that much and am looking for a fun cool car (used to own a Mini cooper S!) to keep for about a year or two so the costs of fuel, oil servicing dont really hinder my decision

I am going to see some this weekend and would be helpful to know what things to be vigilent of?

much appreciated

Martin January 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Im currently looking into the purchase of an 09 RX8 R3. I was wondering if anyone knows of any real improvements made to the engine for the R3 model, or is it pretty much the same engine as in older models and I can expect the same problems as mentioned on here.
Any info would b very helpful

Kyle January 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Thanks for your comments Warren and UK Barcafan. I am really looking forward to getting it. Hopefully buying the car all goes to plan.

The engine is a refurbished built by With new coils ect so should be fine.

I’m just worried about a few things such as catalytic converter, steering, gearbox and clutch. Due to the High milage.

Thanks again for all your help and advice, can’t wait :)


UK Barcafan January 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Hi Martin, the R3 is beautiful with the additional styling and gorgeous alloys, but as for the engine there were no significant differences from the earlier model. One point of note though is that Mazda redesigned the oil metering pump on the R3, adding another nozzle to ensure uniform coverage of the rotors on start up (I premix my fuel with 150 mls Motul 710 2 stroke to compensate for this very thing on my series 1 car).

Manu, we’ve covered what to look for above with a prospective car, but in summary, drive the car for 15 minutes, switch it off and then try to start it again after 5 minutes. The car should start just as well from hot as cold. So if it doesn’t start within two seconds when warm then walk away, as that is a probable low compression symptom. Ideally spend £75 on a compression test as stated above.

If the car has covered over 30,000 miles then ask if coils, leads and plugs have been changed as they should be done at 30k intervals. Be wary of any engine warning light and don’t be fobbed off by the seller with any explanation of why any of the above issues are happening. Just move on to the next one!

Regards Andrew.

carl January 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

i have had my 07 RX8 for a year now and have no problems to date starts hot or cold everytime.Had one service a software fuel upgrade at service only replaced one tyre oil level is always kept topped up using mazdas oil and the rex is driven every day to work if you can afford a full tank of fuel every week and want a sports car then get one.I love driving this car

chris January 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Hi all,

You all seem a knowledgable bunch so hoping ill get some very useful and positive feedback!

I am looking at purchasing a 07 plate kudo from a main dealer. it has 1 owner from new and covered 30k. £7500. and has lots of history all at main dealer. I have read nearly all the posts and have a few niggles in the back of my mind one of which is the 37500 mile service what should be done? dealer has said they will give it a full service so i want to be sure anything major has been carried out.
Also can anyone tell me what major things should have been done? and what major items will need to be done in the future? car will be driven 40miles a day to and from work and has a good mixture of roads inc duel carriage ways so plenty of opportunity to rev high and keep the engine clear!!!

many thanks to all who reply.

UK Barcafan January 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm

The only thing to look at would be new coils spark plugs and leads. Mazda don’t change them as a service item but they are likely to be wearing out and its good practice to change these items every 30,000 miles. You can source them for £400. Personally, I think that car is overpriced. Just sold my 57 plate 231 with 25k miles for £5,400 and it is in mint condition with long mot and 12 months tax.

James January 31, 2012 at 12:02 am

Had my 231 for 2 and a bit months- it s got 34k on the clock so I’m getting new coils and leads. Also got an extractor pump to change the oil – question is which oil??? Synionic’s or dexeila?????

chris January 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Thanks UK Barcafan i have continued searching and found similar priced cars that which you have just sold…

many thanks for the info

carl January 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm

you could allways see if the main dealer would match similar cars prices i always do that and they will drop the prices or offer warranty deals.i bought mine last march 07 192 bose stereo black and red leather fsh mint 22,000 miles and paid £6500

Gary January 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm

To give you some idea of the price I bought 4 IGNITION COILS,NGK SPARK PLUGS and a NGK WIRE SET from zapparts on ebay last October for around £200 (+ £20 import tax when I went to pick it up at Parcelforce).

Also, I have started premixing the petrol the last couple of months and it’s made a fantastic improvement to the car. It’s such an improvement I’m a bit worried that there may be a fault with the oil delivery system to the rotor tips!


Paul February 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

After many years of wanting one these cars I have gone and bought one. Had a good look around at various prices. Managed to find a red 231ps on a 56 plate for £2700 with 6 months mot on. Inspected the car, drove it for a good 20 mins until nice and warm, swtiched it off, restarted it and started fine. Thrust bearing on clutch a bit noisey but quite a common thing on these I believe. Clutch doesn’t slip and gear changes are fine. Has a good service history and had it serviced as peace of mind on wednesday. Pleased with the car, love the colour, sound and performance (I previously owned 3 RX7’s egi’s).
I have a come accross a problem which I hope is not terminal and that is water in the oil! I am having no problems with starting it from hot or cold, no excessive oil consumption (other than usual), and I am not using any coolant. Could this be an oil cooler problem?

Carl February 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

1st breakdown since owning this car AA couldnt fix towed to Mazda found one coil gone and this was covered by the AA repair insurance that I took out so thank you AA for paying the cost.Which was more than the cost of my breakdown cover.

UK Barcafan February 26, 2012 at 7:58 am

Hi Paul, does the “water in the oil” resemble a milky substance that shows up on the dipstick? If so, that is condensation and is a normal characteristic of the car.
Hi Carl, great that the AA covered the coil, but if I was you I would definitely change the other three as they will almost certainly be in a similar state of wear. As I’ve said before, the ignition on this car must be tip-top to avoid flooding and associated longer-term problems for the engine. Change the coils routinely every 30,000 miles.

Regards Andrew.

nellie March 5, 2012 at 3:22 am

hi, i have just purchased a 2007 rx8 with 76k on the clock, i have got it from a reputable dealer in the wigan area who has done the usual checks etc etc when buying a used car of them. i have got a free 5 year warrenty off the garage as well. but for peace of mind i would like a service done.
does any one know of a garage in the wigan area that services rx8s in the manner they are to be serviced by….
we dont have a mazda dealer in wigan as it closed in 2008
great site :)

gaz March 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm

hi guy and girls thinking of buying an rx8 but am hearing alot of bad storys about the car i do like it alot but out of 6 garages ive bin to today 3 told me there really good and lots of fun and 3 of them told me to say clear of them but just dont know wot to do am meant to be buying one at the weekend full service history and it has had a new engine the bloke got it all there for me to look at just need convicing i think the petrol think doesnt bother me coz it should only cost me about 30 quid a week for work and other trips hopefully il get it bk with a big smile but out of the coments ive seen on ere there just 2 things with this car if the cats gone it 400 quid to sort out if the engine goes then its game over but i think its the same with every car isint it coz i paid 600 quid for a cat on a vectra gsi so in that term its cheap any help would be nice hopefully before sat thanks u guys you never know there might be new member to the mazda club on sat is there owt i should be looking out for when i go looking just seen ur comment nellie i know that there r 3 garages in wigan that wont touch rx8 one is in golborne the othe other is in ince and the last one is in lowton so just giving u a heads up

mark mayhow March 13, 2012 at 9:01 am

A quite pointless vehicle with eye watering running costs and a expensive engine rebuild always around the corner. Worth a pitence

Reddevil March 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm

am interested in a 2004 model.Have been advised that will start fine and run when cold but will struggle to start from warm? why is this?

UK Barcafan March 15, 2012 at 11:24 am

Hi Reddevil, that car doesn’t start when warm because the engine has low compression.

The engine will need a rebuild at some stage, which will cost approx £3k at a Rotary Specialist. If you can get the car for £1k and spend £3k on the rebuild then that is not a bad option as the car will be “as new” with a warrantied rebuilt engine.

Warren March 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

That means there is a problem with the compression on the engine. Stay clear.
I am in the process of selling my 2006 model… depends where in the world you are :)… with NO hot start problems.

Carl March 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm

mark mayhow said A quite pointless vehicle with eye watering running costs and a expensive engine rebuild always around the corner. Worth a pitence

If you have never driven one you wont understand the joy of driving an RX8. This car has cost me less in servicing than the focus or vectra that i used to have its a four seat sports car and with any sports car fuel consumption is rubbish compaired to normal car people drive to work.How you drive it and maintain it as with any other car shows in garage bills.Treat it rough expect big bills its not a normal car.
Dont comment when you have not got or getting an RX8 when you dont know what you are talking about.
Fast cars drink fuel its a fact and the engine will last just as long as conventional engine.
Rant over

Jim rx8 March 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Just bought a rx8 kuro 2007. Love it! The people on here moaning about fuel consumption need to sort there lives out!……If your worried about fuel why even buy one in the first place??

Jamie March 22, 2012 at 9:00 am

Hi all, I bought a rx8 last week and love it, im new to rx8 so forgive me if this is a stupid question. As I drove to work this morning I noticed the oil pressure warning light on and then a few minutes later it turned off. Is this normal? The oil pressure gauge has always been just past the middle mark since I’ve had it.

Jamie March 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Sorry it wasn’t the oil pressure light. It was the engine coolant light! lol

UK Barcafan March 23, 2012 at 7:59 am

Yeah hi Jamie, that light (one that looks like a house) comes on intermittently when the sensor in the water coolant bottle has failed. It is a common fault but will require a complete new water bottle to fix it as the sensor is built in. This costs circa £200 with Mazda. If you bought the car with a warranty you should be covered for the work.
Regards Andrew.

Jamie March 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

Ok thanks barcafan, I’ve got a warranty with it so will get it checked out!

Wayne March 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Hi all owned an 8 for 3 months and it is the best purchase I’ve ever made bit pricey on fuel but getting behind the wheel more than makes up for that, I do have a question do anyone know about issues with the car not starting every so often for example I went to take DVDs bk the other day bout 6 miles away after dropping them off got in the car an it would not start I sat waitin for 10 mins until finally started is their a uprated starter motor I could get or anyone got any other ideas?

UK Barcafan March 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Hi Wayne, stacks on this above, but basically hot start problems are a common fault with the RX-8 and a bad sign. If I was you I would get a HOT compression test from a Rotary specialist or Mazda dealer (circa £75). This will probably confirm the engine has low compression and will need a rebuild at some stage (circa £3k). In an ideal world you have bought the car with a 12 month warranty and you will be able to get the work done or get a refund.
Don’t bother with an uprated starter or coils etc until you have established that the engine isn’t failing.

Regards Andrew.

Nellie March 25, 2012 at 3:12 am

Hi wayne, look On YouTube and see if your problem and remedies are on there. Do you follow the switching off, shutting down procedure ie rev you car to aprox 4000 rpm for 10 secs then turn them switch the engine off look on you tube for starting and switching off, also if it is your engine that requires rebuild have a look on eBay as there is company’s

Wayne March 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

Cheers for the ideas, I have been using the switch off procedure since this happened, it hasn’t happened since. If I take it to a Mazda dealer r they likely to pull my arm off or can I take it to a local garage to get the compression test done luckily I have a good mate who owns a garage.

Nellie March 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

Hi Wayne. Has the non start happened more than the one time ????

Wayne March 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

No just the once but it do take a few seconds to start after turning the engine off. Which is why I was thinking about changing the starter motor, the car has done 43000 miles now so it probably time to change the battery as well.

Nellie March 25, 2012 at 11:16 am

Rx8’s are all the same for starting, they sound like their not going to start and sound awful, I have tried around 20 in the last few weeks before I bought an 07 plate and there all the same. One thing I have noticed, I some times catch my foot on the accelerator pedal getting in. Maybe you did the same and flooded it ?

Wayne March 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

Cool I’ll try be a bit more careful getting in. I think I will still try to get hold of a uprated starter to c if it makes a difference, don’t suppose you could recommend a site to get parts from or should I have Mazda dealer do the work.

Nellie March 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

Look on you tube at, rx8 updated starter and battery, there’s loads of info on there about starting issues and upgrades. Use eBay for the parts as they are cheaper, than the Mazda dealers but are same parts, in general they say that an rx8 takes anywhere up to 10 seconds of cranking to start so there’s a guideline, mine takes about 6 to 8 seconds to start from cold and 4 to 6 seconds when warm

UK Barcafan March 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

It should not take 10 seconds to start the car guys. RX-8s should start instantly if you have a good engine and ignition system.

Wayne, go to Mazda and pay for a HOT compression test, then you will know the true health of your engine. I would confidently bet that the engine has low compression. It is unlikely to be the starter if you are having to wait 10 minutes in order to get her going when warm.

Note that the switch off procedure described by Nellie is only if the engine is cold so it has no bearing on your issue.

Regards Andrew.

Wayne March 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Hi guys, thanks for yr comments took yr advice just got bk from having a hot compression test on the car cost of £155 but all went well nothing wrong with the engine thank god however they did say about changing the coils, plugs an leads which sounds a lot better than a rebuilt engine until they quoted me a price just for the parts they wanted £1150 that’s before labour. Is it something I can do myself if I source the parts elsewhere???

Gary March 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Bought the coils, leads and plugs for USA via EBay for around £240 (inc import taxes) from zapparts. Fitted myself in around 40 mins. I reckon I can do it the next time in around 20 mins. They are having a laugh at £1150

UK Barcafan March 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Great news Wayne! I would buy the coils plugs and leads from mazdarotaryparts as they are top quality and will cost about £420 delivered. Then get Mazda to fit them if you are not confident. (I assume you are not covered under warranty).

What were your results? Were they well over 6.9 at 250rpm? Post them up if you wouldn’t mind mate as I would be interested.

Regards Andrew.

Wayne March 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm

7.6 at 250rpm cheers for the advice Andrew now that I had that done i can get the other bits an pieces done this week an look forward to driving my baby again without the thought of it not starting once stopped yippee Road trip for me this weekend!!!!!!!!!

Wayne March 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Sooty mate got all exited. Not covered by warranty as bought private bout 3 months ago did do a bit of looking mind before finding the special one had to drive 130 miles to get it but it well worth it.

UK Barcafan March 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Was that 7.6 on both rotors and there should be six figures? That is a really good result if so!! The £155 is money well spent like you say as so many times I’ve seen guys waste money on the ignition system only for the engine problem to be masked.

I really hope your problem was short lived and you can get back to enjoying your pride and joy. Well done.

All the Best, Andrew.

Wayne March 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Yeah mate all six figures were above 7.3 Just about to order parts from mazdarotaryparts quite decently priced especially compared to the price Mazda gave me

UK Barcafan March 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Oh Great news then Wayne and with mazdarotaryparts you are getting genuine Mazda parts too!
Have a think about premixing your petrol too now that you know the engine is good. I’m a believer in the benefits of that added lubrication for the rotors.
Regards, Andrew.

Wayne March 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Cheers for the help, I will update when I have new parts fitted

jmalf56 April 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm

hello everyone,

I want to start off by saying I love my RX8. It is an amazing machine, I raced civic with tuned engines and smoked them with ease. I am in the Army and due to my recent injuries in Afghanistan I am back home in the great state of PA. Due to weather I must sell my car for something with AWD. BUT first must sell mine, so if anyone wants a 2004 Mazda Rx8 with 69,000 miles please give me a call or email. Unfortunately with medical bills I can not afford to ship the car to you, you must pay for your own shipping or come on by and pick her up!

[email protected]

Rob April 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I just wanted to thank everyone here for the helpful comments. I’ve owned a 2006 RX-8 since 2008, and haven’t had too many problems with it. I did fall victim to the flooding issue while I was still getting used to it, but I managed to deal with it (although I ended up replacing my plugs as a result as the car wasn’t performing as well as it should have been). I love driving the car, and just wish that the traffic wasn’t so bad where I live, as I love being able to open it up a little. On the positive side, my fiancee lives about 30km away, easily reachable by the freeway, so I still get the chance to open it up a little. I don’t commute with it so it’s pretty much a weekend car, and as a result, it has pretty low mileage.

One thing I haven’t been doing is regularly redlining it, as suggested here. I do tend to rev it into the 6000s, but based on the comments here, I think I’ll start making a point of getting up to 8500 now and then.

The one recurring problem I’ve had with the car is the airbag warning light, which started occuring more than two years ago. Sometimes, after driving the car for a while, the airbag warning light comes on. This usually occurs after I’ve been driving for 5-15 minutes, although sometimes sooner and sometimes later. Sometimes it doesn’t come on at all.

I always get my car serviced at my local Mazda dealership, and always get them to look at the airbag issue when I have it in. They have never been able to permanently fix it. Based on their tests, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the airbags themselves; I think it’s some kind of sensor issue. They have tried all kinds of different fixes, including clock springs in the steering wheel, sensors in the seat, etc. Some of their solutions have fixed the issue for a few months, but it always seems to come back sooner or later (in some cases, within a few hours).

To their credit, they haven’t charged me for any of the airbag-related service, even though my car is long out of warranty. This is because the car was still under warranty when I first notified them of the problem and they clearly haven’t addressed the underlying issue. However, I’m starting to get a little impatient, especially since these services usually mean I have to leave my car with them overnight (as they have to order parts). I really wish they would just figure out the root cause and fix it. The cynical part of me wonders if they are just using it as a recurring opportunity to milk Mazda out of warranty rebates, but I doubt that’s the case since I doubt they would be making that much off of airbag sensor replacements.

Anyhow, love the car but would also love to hear if anyone has also run into problems with the airbag lights. Might be something I could mention to Mazda the next time I have it in for service. Thanks!

nathan April 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Hi all, I too am thinking of buying an RX8 soon, and whilst I’ve enjoyed reading all of the above feeds, I’m stunned by the figures thrown around for an engine rebuild! I’m a time served Mechanical Engineer for British Steel / Tata, My first car was a 1990 Ford Escort RS Turbo (Bright Red), since then I’ve always chosen performance cars. I’m now 34 years of age and can say without a shadow of doubt that I am more knowledgeable and skilled than any grease monkey or Mazda Mechanic..
Does anyone know what is done in an engine rebuild? It can’t be more than changing a few bearings ( which I can measure and order for My bearing provider ) and the tips, If any machining needs doing then I can do that as well. If it’s just the above I cant see why the engine removal, repairs, refitting, and hot testing should come to more than £1500, I’ll even deliver the car back to you for that.

A gamble for the first to take me up on my offer maybe, but I will give more than enough security to hold whilst I have your car.

I would not be in My interest to rip any one off.

Let me Know, In the mean time I’ll continue to save for My RX8 and work on that.


Warren April 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm


Best thing to do is have a look at the RX8 forums, RX8 owners club is a good start. There are some good write ups on how to do an engine rebuild. If you are mechanically minded it should not be a problem for you at all.


Tom22Dhd April 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Hi All,

it has been a while since I have posted on here although I have been reading everyones posts with interest.

As a reminder, I was having severe problems with my 8 and it kept cutting out when idle (at traffic lights and junctions), and wouldn’t restart for 10-15 minutes.

I went through the process of replacing the CAT, plugs, coil pack leads etc. unfortunately, the problem didn’t go away. The car has been sat on the drive now for 6 months (been driving a BMW 1series coupe diesel, company car) and after some serious thought I have decided to bite the bullet and take the experts advice that the engine is knackered!

I have had a very reasonable quote for an engine rebuild of £2000 from a company called Rotary Motion. It’s booked in for the end of July and I can’t wait to have my Rx8 back on the road!!…despite everything!

To anyone who is thinking of buying one, I think I am in a good position to comment, they are amazing cars. I defy anyone to find a car that has all of the style, uniqueness, handling, power and standard fittings: aircon, leather, heated seats etc. of an 8 for the money! What I will say is make sure the car has had a recent compression test before buying and you will be fine!

I’ll update when the work has been done.

tom April 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

just reading all this makes me question why anyone would buy one of these, i get there are ppl on here that love these cars and will defend them to the death but every single trip will be a nail biting one, will it break down today? i owned a rx7 turbo and it was fun but the constant threat of failure made me sell it on, theres far to many bad points and like a comment before states, a poinless car, save yourself the hurt and hasstle and buy a evo, faster, better spec and more reliable

don April 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

hi there just about to buy a rx8 2004 76000 miles dont no much about cars ,just passed mot .,,,what will i look out for thanks

Carl April 21, 2012 at 7:30 am

Anyone having problems with the radio in the rex mine now searches every five mins . I either wait for the radio to find the station i was listening to or press the pre set station button and its back instantly then five mins later radio searching again frustrating on a two hour drive anyone have any clues please.

MZEROKWR April 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

I have been looking after my wifes Rx8 for the past 4 years, its an 04 Velo red 192 and she won’t change it for any other car. I have had a few issues and i have listed some on my web site.( The RX8 is a fantastic car but the issues you get do drive you mad but as my wife says “its so great to drive and looks fantastic” so i keep repairing it. Great days :-) Happy to answer any questions.

MZEROKWR April 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Take the car out for a good test drive and get it warmed up.
Do about 20 miles if you can and whern you get back to the garage turn off the engine, wait 2 minutes then restart the engine.If she doesn’t fire up within 10 seconds on the key leave it alone.
Also listen to the idle and whatch the tacho. You want a good steady idle at about 700rpm if it drops to 500rpm its not good and you might hear it knocking as it idles. check the tyres and always the service history. hope this helps.

rsvmillefan April 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

Hi everyone. Not posted for a while – still having a great time with my ’56 231 PZ. Just had 2 new rears fitted. Was using Potenza RE040s, now got VREDESTEIN ULTRAC SESSANTAs. Now done around 200 miles but still getting the DSC kicking in on corners at speeds where it didn’t before. Fronts are Potenzas with around 3 mm tread still left. Only other detail I’ve got is Potenzas are 91W whilst Vredesteins are 95Y. My other query is the squab of the driver’s seat. If I go over speed bumps too fast (only occasionally!) the squab rises and falls, feeling as though it’s loose. Any suggestions?


Nellie April 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Hi, up to 10 seconds to start an rx8 is the guide line that’s written in the rx8s owners handbook that comes with a new car, its under starting the vehicle, I suggest you read it before putting some people off buying an rx8. Unless you have an upgraded starter and a bigger battery …….. thanks

James April 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Hi posted before…go myself a black 231 35k miles. Hot compression tested – all 8.something
Had a few months now – just passed it MOT with no problems. But over the last week there is no power and the revs wont go past 7000.
I read stuff and MAF sensors and a blown CAT cuasing loss of power… anyone shed more light on this?!
I’ve ordered new coil packs and ignition leads and will be taking it to someone who deals with RX-8s on the weekend….What should I be telling him to look for?

Chan from Japan April 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Need clutch replacement on my RX8, anyone – any offers?

SeanTH May 1, 2012 at 1:56 am

Hi all. So basically I was set on the idea of getting an RX8 but after reading all the comments I’m a little apprehensive about getting one. People who own one are making fair comments saying it is a great car but it seems like a risk. I don’t want to buy one that is absolutely fine mechanically and 3 months down the line suddenly the engine goes..and also (I don’t think this has been covered yet) the whole issue with flooding the engine..can u do this by stalling? Coz obviously you are starting the engine and cutting it out when u stall. Can this flood the engine?? I can afford to buy the car, insure it etc. but I wouldn’t be able to afford a brand new engine. I love the car for the styling and looks, and the fact that you actually have to rev it high for performance but I’m terrified it’s going to be a money trap…

Warren May 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm

hi Sean,

I have never once floded the car when stalling, and have stalled a few times. There are pitfalls with any car you purchase, even expensive cars can have problems.
The Rex does need a little more care than most I would admitt, but its nothing to worry yourself about. If you follow some basic maintinace guides as described by various forums you should be OK.

One thing I will say though, is DON’T buy the car if you are not going to be totally happy with it or you will alywas be waiting for that “if” moment…. and will not be happy.

It took me about a month to stop looking at the pertrol gague :)

Sean May 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Thanks for the peace of mind :) sorry for the late reply. Ended up buying one and I’m pleased with it. It’s such an amazing car :)

Jamie June 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Hi all, I’ve noticed that my engine coolant is bit low, is it ok to top it up with just distilled water?

Adam June 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

So my Man-o-Pause is on the horizon and for my 40th birthday I’m considering an RX8 for a daily commuter. I’m travelling about 16 miles each way with a mix of stop-start traffic and a couple of nice stretches of Dual Carriage way.

My question is about the driving styles and real-world differences between the 231 and 192 engines. I love the idea of a fast revvy engine but I think I’d get a bit fatigued each and every day if I have to work really hard to drive it ordinarily. I’m wondering if the 192 isn’t a better option?

I understand that the price points are very similar, and you get a lot more kit on the 231, but as a daily drive can it be “easy” as well as fun?

Mr Butterscotch June 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Hi Adam,

I have not owned either but I’ve heard anecdotally that the 192 has more torque. Nonethless, the rotary engine is made to rev in the same way that the Honda Civic Type R and Renaultsport Clio is – max power is at the top of the band. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it as an ‘easy’ daily drive. It just means you will have to hold it in gear for longer than you would if you were driving say a family hatchback.

I’m a firm believer that a decent test drive is an ABSOLUTE MUST. Not that I’m trying to tell you to suck eggs but try ragging it as well as giving it a sedate driving style. This will provide you with the experience to make an informed decision.



dawne June 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm

hi all,
there seems to be an awful lot of panicking about the rx8 and the “problems” it has. I have owned mine for two years (05 plate 231 with 63,000 on the clock). It sailed through it’s MOT yesterday and apart from the oil top ups (3.5litres in two years) the only outlay so far has been spark plugs and usual servicing costs. It has been driven in temps of -10C with no problems, never failed to start and is as reliable as any other car on the road. I ‘beep’ it every time i drive it and have even stalled it when i have just started it with no flooding issues. I just love my rx8 . yes check it out before you buy but stop worrying about the ‘what if’ and enjoy!

Adam Manley March 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I am 40yrs of age, and what a ‘mid-life crisis’ car it is !
I took over ownership of my Dad’s red 54 plate 2.6 RX8 2mths ago, and I am blown away by it’s performance, ride quality, handling, and all round feel.
Yeah I got to check the oil more than a car with a piston engine, but that’s part of the fun, it’s a driver’s car, and real drivers like to have an immediate input into the car, what better way than making sure all the necessary lubricants and fuel is in place for your next light speed journey.
It is a bit thirsty, especially if you got the air con on, I regularly put £30 a day in it, but I do the miles in a car that, as Top gear describes it, it’s not a Golf with a different shell on it (in reference to the Audi TT).

Alas, I am now out of work and I have got to sell it, but i’m holding out til the very last moment before I do sell it, cos it’s gonna kill me driving a cheaper to run ‘normal’ car after driving the RX8

Mr Butterscotch April 8, 2013 at 10:35 am

Great comment Adam – glad to hear you enjoyed your RX-8 but sorry to hear you have to sell.

Adam Manley April 9, 2013 at 8:02 am

If anybody is interested in buying my RX8, please feel free to contact me for details.
2004 – 54 plate
2.6cc – 192bhp
55500 miles
MOT July ’13, Tax Oct ’13

If anybody has a serious offer please contact me on 07538 851 731

Millefan April 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Had my 231 PZ since Oct 2010. Great fun but now time to move on.
Looking for a private sale so here are the details:-
Prodrive conversion with all standard refinements – see article on Prodrive cars.
34000 miles (18000 of them down to me) Full service history.
No gremlins – car has been great for last 30 months.
Black/black leather 18″ OZ wheels etc.
Any sensible offer considered.
Contact Brian on 07740469053

Millefan April 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Forgot year (muppet) – registered October 06 – 56 plate

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