Advice for buying new RX-8 - Mazda Forum - Mazda Enthusiast Forums


Mazda RX-8 This new generation of the famed rotary car offers extra room, with the peformance and feel of performance car.

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Old 03-11-2017, 01:56 AM
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Default Advice for buying new RX-8

Hello,

I just registered to ask about any advice for purchasing an 04 RX-8. Short version is: I found what appears to be a good deal, and am planning on placing a (refundable) deposit on this car in the morning. It's an 04 model, black with black leather, 6-speed manual, 86xxx miles. I've confirmed with the dealer my out the door price with taxes, tags, etc included is $4,500. Title is clean.

My last "fun" car was an 07 Acura TL Type S w/ automatic transmission that I loved, but unfortunately totaled a couple years ago (at 215,000 miles!). I'd been planning on buying something fancy like a BMW M2 in a few years, but given how this is super cheap comparatively, something I could buy immediately, AND would give me the opportunity to own a manual transmission RWD car to get some more experience on, I think it would be worth picking this up to have some fun with until I can afford to upgrade again later on. Plus I have a good car stereo from the Acura still that needs to go somewhere...

I've been reading everything I can about preventative maintenance on this motor, notably when it comes to the cooling system. My plan is to travel (6 hours away) and pick this up in the next couple weeks, but I will be taking it to a nearby shop for inspection prior to purchase.

Can anyone tell me a good summary of exact questions I should ask the shop to check for regarding integrity of the engine?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:35 PM
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This car bleeds oil...anyway you can have the seller have the car inspected prior to you traveling to pick up the car? Offer to pay for the inspection...I purchased an 04 RX-8 new years ago and loved it. Great car would definitely want a mechanic to look at it prior to travel.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:31 AM
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Definitely pay someone who knows the rotary engine to do the inspection, preferably a Mazda Tech. They will be able to run a warranty report and find out if the motor has been replaced yet and/or if the cats were replaced. Test drive should be a min of 1/2 hour and include interstate to get the engine hot. Die, stumble, hard restart when hot, are all indicators of a worn out engine. Motor mounts were also an issue with the rotary. Super fun car to drive, but requires a bit more care than your average vehicle. If you do buy it, don't be afraid to drive it hard. Rotary motors live in the high RPM range.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I went ahead and bought the car about a month ago now. I wasn't able to get a compression test done before buying since it was in a small town and no one would look at a rotary - so I knew it was a bit of a gamble.

I brought it to the dealership back home a couple days later and they said it "passed" the compression check - the numbers read 6.6, 6.6, 6.6 and 6.2, 6.0, 6.3. I think I saw a chart somewhere saying those numbers are more in the grey area, but I've also read they are meaningless without knowing what RPM it was tested at, and the printout Mazda gave me doesn't mention that.

Anyway, I've been driving it alot lately and haven't seen any signs of problems. Always starts right up, cold or hot (when hot it can on occasion take just slightly longer to start, but I hope it's nothing to worry about). Idles smooth at 1,000 RPM and doesn't seem to be lacking any power.

The power steering is out, and I've bought a used replacement power steering module for that. Also the stereo and A/C in the center dash does not work at all. No power whatsoever. The A/C does blow hot air and I have variable fan speeds, but that's it. I've read that this can likely be just a simple electrical fix. I have an appointment with a shop that will work on rotaries next week. They will look into those issues and also install a BHR Ignition System and spark plugs, MazMart water pump and thermostat, and SOHN oil metering system.

I'm hoping to get it all sorted out soon. Even without the power steering working yet, it's fun as hell to drive!
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:24 AM
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Power steering may be corroded terminals in on of the connectors, seen this issue before, I think its common.

Read this Post from our forum https://www.mazdaforum.com/forum/maz...teering-32297/
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:53 AM
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Unfortunately, There is not a grey area on a rotary engine. Compression readings they gave you would mean end of life for that one. Standard is 8.5kgf/cm2. Min. acceptable reading is 6.9kgf/cm2. There is a formula for psi readings should you ever do your own.
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