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Back to the 2004-2008 Mazda RX-8 Device Page

Troubleshooting Guide

Complete List of RX-8 Symptoms and Causes

Car cranks but won’t start

Old battery

A old battery may lack the required current needed to crank the car fast enough to start it. As car batteries age and are repeatedly drained and recharged their capacity to store a charge is decreased. Eventually this lack of charge will make it harder for it to crank the car and eventually will leave it unable to start at all.

The easiest way to solve this problem is by replacing the battery with a new one, please look at Battery Replacement Guide.

Engine flooded

The RX-8 engine runs very rich when it is first started, meaning as it warms up it it has a higher then normal amount of fuel in the engine. Shutting off the car before it has a chance to warm up can flood the engine and leave it unable to start again. There are several methods to deflood the engine ranging removing and drying the spark plugs, to taking it to a dealer. Keep in mind that continued cranking while the engine is flooded can drain the battery. This results in the possibility of a low battery preventing the car from starting even after the engine has been deflooded.

Low Compression

The RX-8 has a rotary engine which requires apex and side seals to seal off the “combustion chambers” within the engine. As the car is driven these seals will eventually wear down, and carbon deposit is can form on the side of the engine causing leakage between the combustion chambers and changing engine geometry. While symptoms of compression loss include long cranking time, rough idle, and frequent stalls, the only way to accurately diagnose compression loss is with a rotary specific compression tester. If your engine is suffering from low compression there are several engine cleaners that can possibly restore some lost compression, but in the end the only complete fix is a complete engine rebuild or replacement.

Headlights/Dashboard/Dome lights are not on

Car Battery

If the lights anywhere in your car are not turning on, your battery may be dead. Check to see if you can start your engine. If the engine turns on then your battery should be working properly. However, if the engine will not start, refer to the Car Cranks But Won't Start .

Blown Fuse

If the engine will start, but the lights are not turning on, the problem is most likely a blown fuse. A fuse serves as a breakable part of the electrical circuit that will break instead of damaging any essential part circuit. To replace a fuse, refer to the Fuse Replacement Guide

Engine revs slowly/ high end power loss

Clogged Air filter

If the air filter is clogged the engine will not be able to suck in enough air to combust the necessary amount of fuel that the engine requires. The car’s ecu will compensate for this by decreasing the amount of fuel to match the air flowing into the engine, causing slow acceleration and high end power loss. The easiest way to fix this is to replace the air filter with a new one. Please look at Air Filter Replacement Guide.

Clogged catalytic converter

Just as a clogged air filter will prevent the engine from sucking in air to combust, a clogged catalytic converter will prevent the engine from releasing the combusted exhaust. As a catalytic converter gets old it begins to clog. This will keep the hot exhaust gasses in the engine, which along with decreasing power, also can lead to engine overheating. A failing catalytic converter can, but not necessarily, glow red after a hard drive. If your catalytic converter is failing it is important to replace it as soon as possible to avoid overheating other components.

Squeaking sound when breaking/ brake light on

Brake pads need to be replaced

As the car is driven break pads will eventually be worn down. When the break pads get too low they must be replaced.

Tire is Flat

Tire Needs to Be Replaced

The stock RX-8 does not carry a spare tire, but instead has a "fix-a-flat" kit stored in the trunk. This kit includes tire sealant and a pump that should be able to reinflate the tire for a short period of time to drive the car to a tire shop or somewhere where the tire can be replaced.

Traction light stays on

The traction light (this looks like an amber colored figure of a car skidding) sometimes turns on and remains on without a noticeable difference during your drive. This may be caused if you have disconnected the battery recently, please look at Battery Replacement guide. It also could be a sensor malfunction, a wire loose, or some other minute detail that is upsetting the complex computer of the Mazda RX-8. If you have installed aftermarket wheels with different sizes front to rear, that may cause a false sensor signal to the ECU, please look at Wheel Replacement guide. Complete symptoms of this light problem as well as other light notifications can be found in the owners manual.

When Do I Need to Rotate Tires

Tire rotation is done to ensure even wear on all tires. Due to the unequal weight distribution of the car some of the tires may wear faster, or wear only on one side necessitating premature replacement. This problem can be mitigated by rotating the tires every 7,500 miles. By rotating which corner of the car each tires sits periodically you can even out the wear on the tires and prevent any of the tires from flatting or loosing traction early.

For help rotating tires please check out the Tire Rotation Guide.

When Do I need to Change the Oil

Engine oil in the RX-8 lubricates the moving parts of the engine, but is also injected into the rotary compression chambers to provide lubrication for the apex seals. As you drive the car the oil picks up impurities in the engine and can lose some of its lubricating properties. Because in the RX-8 the oil is introduced inside the engine it is even more important that the engine oil remain clean and fresh. Because of this it is recommended that you replace the engine oil every 5,000 miles. Be sure to periodically check the oil level as well, as it is burned in the combustion process and can drop to dangerously low levels if more is not added periodically.

For help changing the engine oil, please check out the Oil Change Guide.

my car mazda rx 8 2005 over-heated do I need to replace the seals.

pls advise wt an email to

david - Replica

my mazda Rx8 ie refusing to start,it was over -heating an we replaced the seals after it was standing for some months ,we did try deflooding the engine but still it does not start

it just cranks only please be so kind to advice @

david - Replica

my mazda RX8 was over heating then i replaced the seals after it has been standing for

some months we did try deflooding the car but it refuses to start it just keeps

on cranking pls be so kind to advise @

david - Replica

Hello I have a mazda rx8 and it will not start. When I turn it on the lights and everything comes on on the dashboard but when you turn the key nothing. I can jump it and it may turn over and sometimes it wont. The battery light stays on and so does the check engine light. Thank you

Georgette - Replica

Does anyone Have any knowledge on the code p0011 3 on a 2004 Mazda RX8 I also need to know about code 420 I'm a female that recently bought the car and I'm single and I cannot take it to the Mazda shop and I'm needing help troubleshootingand the manuel is killing me. P0113 code said hi level sensor 2 but that was the only information I was able to obtain thank you in advance

Camille Montgomery - Replica

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