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Advice for 1st-Time RX-8 Owners
Submitted by detrich on Monday, March 7, 2005 - 11:04pm

First off, great web site and keep up the good work! Ok, now on to business....

I test drove an '05 RX-8 for the 1st time about a month ago and loved it so much that I ordered one, which Mazda says will be built 1st week of April and delivered (Los Angeles) in late April or early May '05. (Can't wait!)

I've driven sticks all my life, but never a rotary before. So, being that I am new to this type of engine altogether, i'm wondering where I can find some helpful guidelines on how to drive & care for my new RX-8 when it gets here.

General questions that I have, for example, are what is the proper RPM to shift at for the break-in period and post-break-in period etc? Or, how to avoid common problems- such as the engine flooding scenarios that I've been reading here.

If any of you know where I can find summarized info of this kind, or wish to post some, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
Detrich =)

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subject:
My general rules
author:
date:
March 13, 2005 - 10:04am
Well, for better gas mileage, shift around 4000 rpm. For sporty driving, shift at 9000 rpm...

General rule is 1000-1500 miles for a break in period.

To avoid flooding, never-ever-ever-ever start your car up, move it and shut it down in a period of time less than 5 minutes... in other words always give it time to warm up. 5 minutes minimum, before shutting it off. Most of the time this happens when you have the car in the garage, want to wash it, so turn it on to back it out, and shut it off right away... What you should do, is turn it on, back it out, and keep it on while you collect all your supplies for washing your car. once you're ready to begin washing, pop your head in, and take a look at the temp gauge. If it is above the 1st or 2nd line from Cold, then you're ok to turn it off.

Other than that, you should take it up to 9000 rpm at least once a day :)
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subject:
Re: My general rules
author:
date:
March 14, 2005 - 10:40pm
Thanks for the tips Dan. A quick follow-up question though...

Is engine flooding a problem specific to RX-8's, or is it a problem with just the automatic models?

I guess I'm a bit surprised to hear about this problem, because I've been driving for almost 20 years, and have never seen this problem in any of the cars I've owned. In fact, I start & then stop the engine on my current '99 bmw 323i all the time- just like you described, to wash the car or to park closer to the curb etc. And, I'm sure I did the same when I had my '91 honda civic and '88 toyota corolla. All three cars I've owned have been stick-shifts though.

Detrich
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subject:
Flooding has been a minor pro
author:
date:
March 14, 2005 - 11:06pm
Flooding has been a minor problem for most rotaries... I think the problem with the RENESIS may be a design flaw, but could be the weight of the oil used.

In past rotaries 20w50 was used heavly. I think the RENESIS uses 10w40, which is lighter wieght. Low compression in flooding situations happens when the oil is washed away from the chamber by fuel. In past rotaries, new oil that was heavier could be replaced from the mechanical oil pump... I'll have to check, but I think the RENESIS uses a electronic one that may not have enough juice to inject oil at low-compression-flooded engine situations.

Regardless, Mazda is working on the problem, their engineers are top-notch, and are true rotorheads. They will find a solution.
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subject:
The Renesis actually uses 5w2
author:
date:
March 16, 2005 - 6:51pm
The Renesis actually uses 5w20 oil. Mazda emphasizes not to use synthetic as the "long term effects are unknown." But, I know of quite a few who use Mobile 1 and the like and have experienced no problems.

As far as rotary ownership is concerned(RX8 specifically) there are some key points that you need to be aware of.
1. It WILL burn oil as it is designed to so don't freak out. You need to check it often. The norm is every other fill up is sufficient. Be prepared to add a quart every 1000mi-1500mi depending on driving style.
2. Gas mileage is not very good. So, if you bought this car for it's efficiency you are going to be disappointed.
3. It WILL flood if you are not careful. The above post mentioned to wait until the temp guage is 2 ticks above cold. Mazda's recommendation is to wait until it is above the halfway mark. The problem is the RX8 runs real rich at cold temps hence the flooding concern.
4. You will at some point in time check the oil and come across a frothy milkshake looking residue on the dipstick. This is normal and caused by condensation and means that the operating temp of the engine is not warm enough.
5. To get full enjoyment out of this engine/car you need to utilize the full compliment of rpm's. In other words the higher the rpm's the more power. Shifting ALOT is in order. In time you'll get used to it. The RX8's gearbox is so smooth and the throw is so short it is actually enjoyable to shift.
6. Every jackass with a riced out civic or a domestic ride with a rumbling 350ci under the hood is going to want to show you how much more manly his car is than yours and dust your doors off at a redlight. Guess what?? He's going to win more than likely. Our car wasn't built to rocket off the line. Once you hit about 5000 rpm is when she really starts to kick. So, don't bother racing. One, it's STUPID and two, it's not a smart move if you value your pride. This car is well refined, smooth, corners on rails, turns heads every day, etc.... Take heart in the fact that you are driving a much better car (overall) than he is. So, ignore the few boneheads out there.
7. Have fun!!! And get used to driving without the radio just listening to the sweet hum of the rotary...

Oh yeah, one other thing. Keep an eye on the speedo. When your crusing @ 80 it only feels like about 55. It takes awhile to get used to that. Texas 8 (Greg)




"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."--General George Patton (1885-1945)
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subject:
rx8 oil
author:
date:
October 8, 2010 - 6:53am
where do I get 5 w 20 non synthetic oil??
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subject:
Which Oil?
author:
date:
May 3, 2005 - 5:54pm
I don't know about other countries, but in Australia the oil "Mobil 1" is a SYNTHETIC oil. In a Rotary (Particularly the RX8) it is IMPORTANT to use a mineral oil. Don't believe me? Read your manual, and/or ring your dealer's workshop.

I actually ring those 1800 numbers on the oil packs to check with the manufacturer's technicians that the oil is mineral.

Regards,
Mark.

Melbourne, Australia.
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subject:
re: The Renesis actually uses 5w2
author:
date:
March 17, 2005 - 1:16am
Thanks Greg- esp for the info on the motor oil. Very good to know beforehand.

Yah, we have our share of rice rockets on the roads here in LA. I'm usually more annoyed by the SUVs though, because they obstruct both your way and your view- typically driven by absent-minded people chatting on their cell phones during the busiest commute hours... (No wonder people shoot each other on the freeways here.)

My friends who own G3 RX-7's are fairly disappointed by the RX-8's performance & appearance. But, I'm not as critical as they are. So, I think I'll love my RX-8 regardless. If anything, the wait is turning out to be harder to endure than I expected.

Thanks again!
=) Gerry
(Ugh... a month and a half to go still... Hope Mazda's on schedule!)
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subject:
Or...
author:
date:
March 17, 2005 - 12:55pm
Or spend your time at RX8Web.com
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subject:
Anytime. Do what I did and s
author:
date:
March 17, 2005 - 8:58am
Anytime. Do what I did and spend the remaining wait time here-- www.rx8club.com

"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."--General George Patton (1885-1945)
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subject:
Re: Engine Flooding
author:
date:
March 16, 2005 - 1:35pm
Great to know, and thanks again!

=) Detrich
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