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Old 03-13-2005, 12:09 AM   #1
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Post RX-8 Issues-Automatic Stalling at Idle

Hi! I'm Zac. While I dont have an RX-8, my Dad has a red RX-8 with all the options except the small, chrome, traingular, decoratve piece on the front and rear (fun car but the old man always drives it himself, so I rarely get to drive it) and my best friend's girlfriend has one too. The RX-8 was my Dad's first non American car ever; and he is 60. He loves it, and after having two minvans because of children, it is a pleasure seeing the enjoyment his vehicle brings him. Quite frankly I do not know much about the rotary engine and I need to continue my research, as I am more acquainted with Nissan (piston engine obviously :p) than I am the rotary.


My best friend's girlfriend has had some odd problems with her car ever since a drugged driver hit her in a parking lot (front end collision) and caused nearly 8 grand worth of damage. I told her I would do some research to try and help her, and having no clue where to begin, I decided to turn to everyone here! :D She has one of the first ones to come to the US, and it is a 4 speed semi-automatic, yet she only has about 15k miles. The climate in Baltimore, MD is relatively cold currently, and the car is kept outside. She complains of a few things:

1.) The car shudders like hell when she brakes (most likely a warped rotor as I have felt the shudder and it feels exactly like a warped rotor...so in essence this is not a big problem of its own). The car also feels like it may have a bent wheel but that is easily repairable (Ye Old Wheel and Tyre fixes alloy wheels around here).

2.) She claims her car dies when it is idling at a stoplight or stopsign; no warning, no signs, just dies. I have not been in the car with her when it has occured so I cannot describe it much better. I know nothing about the timing in your cars, A/F ratios or whatnot but could it be this? I have some doubts if it simply dies without warning. Could this also be a grounding issue? Could clogged injectors cause this? Premium gas in Baltimore, MD is 93 octane and that is exclusively what she uses, predominantly Shell V Power. I am reading up on the ECU flash and to what I understand, the flash itself should not cause anything like this. She does not get a CEL to what she has told me.

3.) To what I understand, the RX-8 powerplant is multiport fuel-injection. Is there any reason a good fuel cleaner, speceficaly Techron by Chevron, would not be as effective on a rotary as it is on a piston engine? I have used Techtron for years and I am always thrilled with its availability, low cost, safeness, and best of all results. What can I say, I'm a relatively young driver but I like the old schoolness and proven results of Amsoil and Techron. :p


If I have said anything that sounds ignorant or unknowledgable, I apologize in advance as I am not used to such a unique powerplant. If anyone has any ideas, I greatly appreciate it.

-Zac-
And here is my Dad's car and my car in the garage (kinda dark).
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:48 AM   #2
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Zac--Cool of you to post on behalf of your friend!

I'm not mechanically savvy, but I can give one obvious response: Since she has a 50,000-mile warranty, why not take it to the dealer to have them service the car, at least for the idle/stalling problem?

I drive an auto 8 and have not had that problem so far, except sometimes in the mornings when the car sputters a bit when the engine is still cold. But the rotary engine can be fickle to cold weather. Does she warm up the engine before driving around? That may be the culprit. She also may want to get her battery checked, as I recently discovered (through this forum) that the 8 comes with an inadequate battery.

PS. Your pics didn't show up. Guess the people at Nissanforums truly live up to the rivalry :p
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Old 03-13-2005, 02:24 AM   #3
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Whoops! I fixed the attachments by using this board's abilities (most boards don't allow you to upload without paying a fee so I am impressed). She has gone to the dealer but the problem is sporadic and they have not been able to reproduce it. Considering no codes are aparently thrown, I doubt OBD2 (which I am assuming the RX-8 has) can be much of a help for diagnosing a problem. Given the nature of the problem, it has the possibility to be dangerous although the problem is only happening currently when the car is not moving.

The neg battery terminal decided one day to come loose on my car just randomly...that was a trip...
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:55 AM   #4
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Seems that your dad's car is an auto as well; does he have any of those issues? Mine is OK, sometimes the idle at 750RPM is a little rough though. I take it to neutral at long lights, less shudder - but RPM drop a little also. I used Techtron already and except some strange odor from the exhaust, no issue. I plan to use it again today or tomorrow, actually. Shell V-Power contains it - or a variant of it. Also, if the car is not driven much, could have a lot of water condensation in the fuel tank. So maybe treat two consecutive tanks. Plugs should affect cracking the engine too - if it take too long to crank (and it should take longer than piston engines, but not more than 3 seconds, regardless how cold it is - and never press the gas while doing it), then plugs or battery can be culprits.
It is not clear if she has the latest flash updates - those should take care of fouled plugs she might have. Should be done free, there is a TSB out there for early cars. Dealer should pull the plugs out and check them - or you could help with that
As for the shudder in brakes, if she has the sport package (larger rotors), there is a TSB to replace the pads free. With that occasion the dealer will turn the rotors and solve the problem as well.
Driving when the engine is cold works better if she keeps it in manual mode and does not let the RPMs drop bellow 1500. Car shifts in 4th gear around 25mph (to save gas) and a cold engine does not have enough torque yet and feels confused But should not go beyond 4000RPM either - lubrication might be missing on a cold engine too. In other words, before she hits the highway, better have a warm engine, and higher RPM will do it faster.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:45 AM   #5
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bxb40
Driving when the engine is cold works better if she keeps it in manual mode and does not let the RPMs drop bellow 1500. Car shifts in 4th gear around 25mph (to save gas) and a cold engine does not have enough torque yet and feels confused But should not go beyond 4000RPM either - lubrication might be missing on a cold engine too. In other words, before she hits the highway, better have a warm engine, and higher RPM will do it faster.
Whoa, interesting! That would likely explain the many threads AT 8 drivers are starting about bad jarring at 35-40mph in 4th gear. Will have to investigate further to see if you are right...
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bxb40
Seems that your dad's car is an auto as well; does he have any of those issues? Mine is OK, sometimes the idle at 750RPM is a little rough though. I take it to neutral at long lights, less shudder - but RPM drop a little also. I used Techtron already and except some strange odor from the exhaust, no issue. I plan to use it again today or tomorrow, actually. Shell V-Power contains it - or a variant of it. Also, if the car is not driven much, could have a lot of water condensation in the fuel tank. So maybe treat two consecutive tanks. Plugs should affect cracking the engine too - if it take too long to crank (and it should take longer than piston engines, but not more than 3 seconds, regardless how cold it is - and never press the gas while doing it), then plugs or battery can be culprits.
It is not clear if she has the latest flash updates - those should take care of fouled plugs she might have. Should be done free, there is a TSB out there for early cars. Dealer should pull the plugs out and check them - or you could help with that
As for the shudder in brakes, if she has the sport package (larger rotors), there is a TSB to replace the pads free. With that occasion the dealer will turn the rotors and solve the problem as well.
Driving when the engine is cold works better if she keeps it in manual mode and does not let the RPMs drop bellow 1500. Car shifts in 4th gear around 25mph (to save gas) and a cold engine does not have enough torque yet and feels confused But should not go beyond 4000RPM either - lubrication might be missing on a cold engine too. In other words, before she hits the highway, better have a warm engine, and higher RPM will do it faster.
My Dad's car is also auto...he has 20 something thousand miles, got it the summer of '04, always garaged it and has not had a single problem. Our garage is also heated, so neither of our cars really see much cold weather as they are generally indoors, so cold starts have never been a problem for either of us. I've always gotten the idea that rotarys dont like cold weather any more than piston engines do.

I'll tell her to get the ECU flash if she hasnt yet. She does have the large rotor package as does my Dad (Those suckers are massive!!!). Are the brake pads recalled because of dusting? My Dad's brakes bite like hell and dust like hell too (more than track pads I have seen lol). That was his biggest complaint so I told him to get Carbotech Bobcat 1521s, the same compound I run on my SE-R.

And as far as lubrication, she checks the engine oil constantly, but is still running dino. I do not know if she lets the car warm up or not before driving. I'll give her your advice. Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:48 PM   #8
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Sweet RX8 and Spec V
Thanks :D
My SE-R is not a Spec tho, it's an auto! (Vanity tag comming in says NOT A V) lol. The auto is about to be rebuilt by IPT (Import Performance Transmission) to be added to a boatload of mods. I'm almost out of things to do for the car tho... Shoulda bought RWD...
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Old 03-13-2005, 04:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by markd
Whoa, interesting! That would likely explain the many threads AT 8 drivers are starting about bad jarring at 35-40mph in 4th gear. Will have to investigate further to see if you are right...
So, did you test this? Basically, drive in second up to 40 mph, then in third all the rest - at least until the engine warms up. Then you switch to auto mode, if you like that one. I usually drive in manual mode - minus on long highway trips.
Gas milage does suffer from overal higher RPM though.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac
Thanks :D
My SE-R is not a Spec tho, it's an auto! (Vanity tag comming in says NOT A V) lol. The auto is about to be rebuilt by IPT (Import Performance Transmission) to be added to a boatload of mods. I'm almost out of things to do for the car tho... Shoulda bought RWD...

Awwww.... I learned how to drive stick in a Spec V just about 3 weeks ago. It was like the best car experience in my life. However the Torque Steer Massacred me when I test drove one 3 days later.

Anyways the Spec V I learned in was my friends. He spent about $4,000 upgrading it with Nismo Parts. But he traded it in the day after I drove it for a 04 WRX. He wont let me drive his WRX eventhough I let him drive my 8.

Oh well, have fun with your Nissan

And as far as Auto 8's stalling at idle, mine hasnt yet and I still havent had any problems such as flooding or transmission.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Diabolical RX8
Awwww.... I learned how to drive stick in a Spec V just about 3 weeks ago. It was like the best car experience in my life. However the Torque Steer Massacred me when I test drove one 3 days later.

Anyways the Spec V I learned in was my friends. He spent about $4,000 upgrading it with Nismo Parts. But he traded it in the day after I drove it for a 04 WRX. He wont let me drive his WRX eventhough I let him drive my 8.

Oh well, have fun with your Nissan

And as far as Auto 8's stalling at idle, mine hasnt yet and I still havent had any problems such as flooding or transmission.
Yeah...not enough aftermarket support yet for the B15 SE-R ...and the torque steer is murder lol. I'm prettymuch fully bolted and after tranny build, nitrous and slicks, I probably wont break anything better than high 13s...which is somewhat depressing. But after that's built, I want to start a project car. I've always loved the RX-7s... :D
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac
Yeah...not enough aftermarket support yet for the B15 SE-R ...and the torque steer is murder lol. I'm prettymuch fully bolted and after tranny build, nitrous and slicks, I probably wont break anything better than high 13s...which is somewhat depressing. But after that's built, I want to start a project car. I've always loved the RX-7s... :D

Well my friend ran a 14.7 in his Spec V... So you must have some serious mods in store for your SE-R...

Props to you if you can make it run High 13's... There is a guy on The V Board that can run 12's in his Spec. FWD Street Car running 12's is sexy.

Good luck on your Project
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:41 AM   #13
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Well my friend ran a 14.7 in his Spec V... So you must have some serious mods in store for your SE-R...

Props to you if you can make it run High 13's... There is a guy on The V Board that can run 12's in his Spec. FWD Street Car running 12's is sexy.

Good luck on your Project
The built auto and nitrous is going to give me the edge on top of full bolting and weight reduction. The guy that ran a 12.9 was boosted with a PTI kit (T3/T4 I believe, if not it was a GT28RS) running 8 PSI...sadley he got into a pretty bad accident and the car flipped. On a better ending note, he and his passanger were not hurt. IIRC he is currently in Iraq.
And thanks! It has been a sorta long project and everything is starting to flow together which makes me happy and sad at the same time. I may get into a rotary project come mid summer...if not maybe a DSM. I need a car to tinker with, otherwise normal life drives me crazy.

And my friend is going to the dealer tomorrow (actually it is today now) or tuesday. From the last few times she has gone, it has seemed she has not been treated very well (female and rather young, so of course most of society assumes she knows little about cars). I'll also show her where to get Techron; man do I love that stuff...nothing like seeing a 20%+ increase in gas mileage. :D
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bxb40
So, did you test this? Basically, drive in second up to 40 mph, then in third all the rest - at least until the engine warms up. Then you switch to auto mode, if you like that one. I usually drive in manual mode - minus on long highway trips.
Gas milage does suffer from overal higher RPM though.
Bxb40, I was not able to test your theory. The weather has warmed up here in the South, so my engine doesn't stay cold long enough--by the time I pull out of my parking spot at the start of the day, the temperature gauge is already past the initial two ticks. It's supposed to be in the mid-40s tonight, though, so I'll see if I can give it a go in the morning.

Sorry to be hijacking this thread, btw. :o
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:31 PM   #15
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My auto RX8 stalled today at a stoplight with the A/C running - almost couldn't get the car to start. I have had the same problem - surging and lost power when pressing the gas pedal.

My dealer told me that I had some bad gasoline - and that I should put in fuel injector cleaner every other fillup.

That seems a little extreme.

By the way, I have just over 20,000 miles.
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:01 PM   #16
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Your problems are not unheard of. I was saying in my post about our 6spd 8 getting a new engine that NUMEROUS automatic RX-8s in our city are having the "dieing at idle" problems. And they don't do it all the time, you just have to catch them in the act.

All of these problematic AT 8s are having the engines replaced.

The word from my inside guy is that the oil metering pumps are not supplying sufficient oil to the motor, thus premature Apex seal wear is ocurring. The dealer gave us a larger OMP with our new engine. It's a new design by Mazda.

Most would ask why the problem is largly occurring with the AT RX-8s. Well, my theory is that the 6spd guys aren't noticing it because when the car is idling, the tranny is in neutral. The engine doesn't have a load on it at idle, whereas it does with the ATs.

You can wait till yours starts giving trouble or you can go to the dealer and ask about a new OMP. Some cars may not give problems at all. Who knows until we start getting more and more miles on our babies.

Hopefully Mazda has updated the '05s already with what they need. I'd hate to see them scrap the RX-8 because it is costing them so much money.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:06 PM   #17
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Armed with your information I took my car to the dealer. They are running tests and are talking to Mazda Corporate. I have been unable to drive the car for 7 days. I driving a rented neon (Mazda is paying for it). The most recent tests look like I may be getting a new engine. Thanks for your information. The dealer said the engine will cost $15K - I am glad it is under warranty. I may see if they will just buy the car from me and apply it toward a new 05 RX8. I will keep all informed.
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Old 04-22-2005, 12:42 PM   #18
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myrx8, give us an update on how your dealer is handling this matter. thanks
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Old 04-22-2005, 05:54 PM   #19
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Would the larger OMP consume more oil? I assume it will, so it would be interesting to see reports from people with updated OMP....
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:48 PM   #20
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myrx8, give us an update on how your dealer is handling this matter. thanks

The dealer has been great - I hope they can fix everything. I miss my RX8 - today I was passed by three 8's on the road - now I see how my car looks form a distance.

As soon as I hear anything - I will keep you updated.
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:31 PM   #21
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myrx8, are you keeping the 8 after the new engine?
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:37 PM   #22
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Your problems are not unheard of. I was saying in my post about our 6spd 8 getting a new engine that NUMEROUS automatic RX-8s in our city are having the "dieing at idle" problems. And they don't do it all the time, you just have to catch them in the act.

All of these problematic AT 8s are having the engines replaced.

The word from my inside guy is that the oil metering pumps are not supplying sufficient oil to the motor, thus premature Apex seal wear is ocurring. The dealer gave us a larger OMP with our new engine. It's a new design by Mazda.

Most would ask why the problem is largly occurring with the AT RX-8s. Well, my theory is that the 6spd guys aren't noticing it because when the car is idling, the tranny is in neutral. The engine doesn't have a load on it at idle, whereas it does with the ATs.

You can wait till yours starts giving trouble or you can go to the dealer and ask about a new OMP. Some cars may not give problems at all. Who knows until we start getting more and more miles on our babies.

Hopefully Mazda has updated the '05s already with what they need. I'd hate to see them scrap the RX-8 because it is costing them so much money.
I got a '04 8 not too long ago, and everything seem o.k. - so far. From what you know and what your Mazda dealer stated, is there an OMP defect in general for all (at least 04 model) RX-8s??? Or does this sound like just a case by case basis??
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Old 04-25-2005, 11:56 PM   #23
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i dont really know if mines have the same problem but then sometimes it cranks for a while fort the car to start and after that it would have some studdering problems. and about a week ago after i started my car, it just died right away for no reason so i dont know if thats a big problem. need some advice or help please...thanx!! oooh and by the way i drive a 2004 AT rx8 which was built in 2003
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:34 PM   #24
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myrx8, are you keeping the 8 after the new engine?

I am hoping once they decide to give me a new engine that I will try to get them to buy the car - give a credit towards a purchase of another RX8 - My dealer said the new engine will cost 15K plus installation. Kelly Blue Book is around $21K-22k for mine. I would take the credit against another RX8 (and the free maintenance since I have that on mine now).

If they don't replace the engine - It may be traded in - I am getting sick of my car being at the shop every other month and having to worry about the car crapping out again.
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:29 PM   #25
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okay ive got to post about this before this gets furthur out of hand. If there was a series of problems with OMP in lo-power 8s to the point that many engines were getting replaced because of it AND there was a new OMP there would be several other ways for us to know about it besides a "my guy at the dealership said so". no offense intended Mazdaspeedgirl.

1st there would have to be at least TSB on this. maybe even a recall because stalling is a safety issue. there isnt one. 2nd there would be a new part number for the "bigger" OMP. anybody seen this? i havent looked yet but im sure i havent seen one come out. To me that means this isnt the big widespread problem that this dealer person has made it out to be. but i will dig deeper to see if i can find furthur info.

myrx8 what has happened with your car tht its been at the shop every other month?
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:29 PM
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