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Old 03-24-2014, 04:38 PM   #1
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2004 rx8 dies while driving, dead battery

I purchased a rx8 about a year ago and never had a problem with it until about 2 months ago. I was driving across town and the car seemed to want to die when I pressed the accelerator. I had to keep lightly tapping the gas pedal to get it back to normal. The problem stopped after this had happened. I turned it off at a friends place for about 30 minutes. When I went out to my car to start it up the battery was dead. I figured the battery was bad so had it replaced. It worked for about a day and a half until my car died while driving, power and all. When I went to start the car up again nothing happened. I pushed it off the toad and into a parking lot, let it set. Came back to it the next day, jumped it and it ran for 15 minutes before it died again while driving. I figured power was being lost somewhere so I replaced the alternator and spark plugs. The car still seems to be having the same problem. Starts up and dies within 15 minutes or so. I'm hoping it's a bad ground, the car still has wiring in it from the previous owner for a sound system. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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Have you checked your fuses? Are you at all familiar with the operation of a digital multi meter (DMM) for troubleshooting purposes?

Is your new battery dying, even with a new alternator? Can you successfully push-start the car?

Someone will be along with a "new and potential owners start here" link, but it helps to give as much information as possible in the meantime.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:49 PM   #3
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Possibilities:
- Ignition coil failure and/or plug wire failure
new plugs don't mean much if the coils feeding them are dead or the wires can't get the spark to the plugs., coils need to be replaced every 30,000 miles, and you are already down ~30whp by 30,000 miles JUST from old ignition. It isn't much farther to idle stability problems. Your problem could be that your ignition at idle is far to unstable to maintain an idle once the coils get hot.

- Fuel pump failure
Dying while the engine is running and not being able to re-start it for a time is a major symptom of fuel pump failure. Basically the fuel pump starts to overheat until it shuts down, then needs to cool before it will start working again. It could be supplying sub-par fuel prior to failure, making that first gasp of air from opening the throttle lean out the engine, killing power, then eventually shutting down on you.

- Low engine compression
Our engine makes more compression the faster it spins, and it makes more compression when it's cold than when it's hot. Combined, it could simply be that the compression at idle when hot is not enough to keep it running, and not enough to get it re-started. Let it cool and the internals shrink just enough to allow you to restart it later.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:50 PM   #4
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If you're looking at a dead battery every time, you're still either not getting a charge from the alternator or you're draining it faster than it can charge with that custom stereo wiring or something. I'd also suggest figuring out how to test wiring with a DMM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:52 PM   #5
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I only see a reference to a single battery failure, which has been replaced. I don't think this is a grounding, wiring, or alternator problem. Has all the symptoms of ignition, compression, or fuel pump failure.

If the battery is indeed being run down, I would attribute it to cranking it again and again trying to get it fired, and then the engine only gets 15 minutes to charge it before shutting down and more cranking. That's hard on ANY battery.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:11 PM   #6
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When it starts up it runs great until it decides to completely die out, I'm somewhat familiar with a DMM. Not quite sure how to use it to check wiring on cars. If it was a compression issue why is it draining my battery so quick? Also I forgot to mention it's an 04 with 83k miles on it. The only thing I haven't done that someone has told me was to replace the coils or starter?
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aknar17 View Post
If it was a compression issue why is it draining my battery so quick?
Because cranking is HARD on the battery, and you are probably cranking it when it first dies, probably more than once, then cranking more to re-start it, and then the battery only gets 15 minutes of recharge time before the engine dies again. No battery will hold a good charge with that kind of abuse.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:17 PM   #8
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I never cranked it hard after I replaced the battery. After I jumped it I let the car sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before I would drive it again. When it would die while driving it I would have no battery power whatsoever left to even try starting it on the side of the road. The only way it would turn over is if I jumped the battery again.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #9
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Ah, ok, you hadn't made that clear, just noted that you jumped it, not that you HAD to, or the reason why you did.

Start cleaning grounding points. Get the one under the battery box and on the engine block specifically.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:25 PM   #10
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Sorry about that, I was hoping it wasn't anything like a compression problem. I read that the starters on the 04 models were recalled. Do you think it could be something to do with that or solenoid draining it so quick? I'll have a look under the battery and other places. I'll look into the usage of a DMM on cars and see if I can't pinpoint where this may be coming from.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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The 2004 starters were never recalled, and this isn't a starter problem.

I'm not convinced that you don't also have a compression, ignition, or fuel pump problem, but those won't cause the battery drain. I expect that once you solve the battery drain, you will still have another problem to deal with, even if you ignore it.


*You are thinking of the weak starter TSB, which is NOT a recall, and the last 2004's bumper to bumper warranty that it would be covered under expired ~6 years ago
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:43 PM   #12
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Ok, if there was a compression problem, would that attribute to a blown seal? The check engine light has come on as well as the check oil light.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:50 PM   #13
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Compression problems could be worn seals or blown seals. Your symptoms don't sound like a blown seal.

It also might NOT be compression. It could be simple ignition failure. Our coils fail regularly, and you haven't indicated that you have changed them at all. Or a fuel pump failure. But a 2004 with 83k on the original engine, compression loss from age is a very real possibility. The symptoms of stalling could be any of the three easily, or even another problem.


The CEL doesn't help us or you unless you get the code(s) behind the light. Get your codes read. The oil light means it's low on oil if it's steady, or you have an OMP problem if it's flashing. Are you aware of needing to top off oil regularly? The engine burns oil intentionally, so you have to stay on top of it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:50 PM
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