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Newer rx8 vs older rx8 reliability or price

Old 07-03-2012, 01:59 AM
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IL Newer rx8 vs older rx8 reliability or price

Hey guys ill try my best to keep this short and simple. Im looking to buy a used rx8, I have a mazda protege 5 but its falling apart(rust) since it has 135k miles and i need a reliable car to get me from work and school as I'm starting college soon. Im hoping to get at least 1 thousand for the protege and put 1500 or 2000 down for a downpayment. I don't want my payment to be more than 300 at TOPS. Would i be better off purchasing an 05 or 06 for around 10-13k or go for some a little more expensive maybe 15 or 16?
And honestly how much can you talk these cars down?, you never pay sticker price for a car but seeing rx8s do have a bad rep(not saying there bad cars) i would think you could talk them down more than other cars
So 1. Are 05-06 rx8s dangerous and not worth it even though they are cheaper?
And 2. how much can you talk these cars down?
3. Would i be better off with a mazdaspeed 3? ( had to throw that one in there)
Thanks a lot guys! -Rick
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:35 AM
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Early 05 models were not equipped the proper flash to begin with. Which means that they were not injecting enough oil and some of the engines were failing. However, it is likely that the original owner got the ECU flash in time for the engine to still be fine. None of the 06's had the bad original flash, therefore they are a lot less likely to fail, but it is always a possibility. Every dealer is different, but I got my grand touring 2005 with 47k on the ODO for 12,500. I do not believe however that any dealer is going to give you a better deal because you are buying a "bad car." As to if you would be better off buying a mazdaspeed 3, it's all up to what you want. I looked into those when i bought my car and thought they drove like absolute **** compared to the 8.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:03 AM
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i say get a 06, with the 04s and 05s, the damage was done and the flashes came too late.

i paid 18.5 for my 08 40th anniversary with 30k miles just fyi.. theres one for sale on the forum with 18k miles going for 14k, but you need to finance :/

the best way for the rx8 to be called "reliable" is if you purchase it with less than 50k miles and still has a chunk of its 8yr 100k mile warranty left.. also you need ~5k for a new engine rebuild in the bank that CANNOT be touched.

Understand that the engine WILL blow and if you are okay with dropping 5k on it then great, enjoy the car. If you are not comfortable with this then i would recommend another car.

im a college student as well, but i have money dedicated just for a rebuild that way i dont have to worry about the engine going, besides i still have 4 years left on my warranty and 65k miles.

i havnt had any problems yet due to its new age, but from what ive read, most people say that their rx8s barely break compared to their other cars, but the downside is that the engines go.

I usually never reccomend the rx8 to any of my friends in college because i know they wont be able to handle it. Its a pretty rare car to see on the roads, which means we need to represent and its not acceptable to drive around in a dirty car that hasnt been washed in forever. Nor is it acceptable to bring the car to the carwash as they leave swirl marks and make the car look like ****. I also know that they wont have the ability to have 5k tucked away not to be used on a new engine, school is priority and when you stop taking care of the 8 to pay bills, a $400 maintaince turns into a 5k new motor.

oil needs to be religiously checked every 2 gas fillups (i usually check once a week) and same with coolant needs to be religiously checked, ignoring these can lead to a new engine.

spark plugs wires and coils need to be replaced every 30k miles which can get expensive

tires arent cheap for our car since they are 18s and are wider than some other cars.

parts definitely arent cheap to fix things, aftermarket power adders or anything aftermarket is never cheap either.

Oh and one tip, if you realize you cant afford the rx8, dont test drive one, it will be difficult to match without putting you in more debt.

Last edited by EricB; 07-03-2012 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:18 AM
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even with the ecu update, the pre09 engine still suffers from lack of oil nozzle and lack of oil pressure. its better than nothing, but not ideal.

rx8 gets bad name because there are so many morons who never maintain their car and rx8 its not very forgiving when it comes to that, then it goes down, but the morons not gonna blame their own dumb self, instead, its always the car never the owner.

if u have to ask u cant effort it.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranievesjr View Post
Hey guys ill try my best to keep this short and simple. Im looking to buy a used rx8, I have a mazda protege 5 but its falling apart(rust) since it has 135k miles and i need a reliable car to get me from work and school as I'm starting college soon. Im hoping to get at least 1 thousand for the protege and put 1500 or 2000 down for a downpayment. I don't want my payment to be more than 300 at TOPS. Would i be better off purchasing an 05 or 06 for around 10-13k or go for some a little more expensive maybe 15 or 16?
And honestly how much can you talk these cars down?, you never pay sticker price for a car but seeing rx8s do have a bad rep(not saying there bad cars) i would think you could talk them down more than other cars
So 1. Are 05-06 rx8s dangerous and not worth it even though they are cheaper?
And 2. how much can you talk these cars down?
3. Would i be better off with a mazdaspeed 3? ( had to throw that one in there)
Thanks a lot guys! -Rick
https://www.rx8club.com/new-member-forum-197/new-potential-owners-start-here-202454/
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:29 AM
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Im thinking a 2006 would be my best bet then due to the extended engine warranty. That way I have some breathing room compared to a 2004 or 2005

How many miles should you consider low, and still purchasable? under 50k, or pretty much the lower the better?
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:56 AM
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Of course the lower the better, if you can afford it.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:49 AM
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Get the ones with a few years warranty left on it, just to give you some headroom, just in case some issues occurs.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:40 AM
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just a tip, it's purchase date on the warranty, not model year. my 2005 rx8 was made in 2004 and purchased in may of 2006. mine had the flash before it left the lot, and my warranty is good until 2014. if you really want the car, it is simple to find things like this out.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:53 AM
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Wow i didn't know it was the purchase date over year model. Good to know!
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:17 AM
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it could be found very useful, especially since you may find an 06 that was bought in 05 and not have the warranty you think you do. if you are looking at a car at a dealership they will easily look up the purchase date for you.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranievesjr View Post
Wow i didn't know it was the purchase date over year model. Good to know!
Yes sir, and all you have to do is give the VIN to a dealer and they can check on this. For instance, mine is a 2004 and the engine warranty expires in August, so mine was first purchased in August 2004. Most 2004's have already expired their engine warranty.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:51 AM
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Is there a difference in price if buying out of season??, say this winter. Because I guess if prices would be a little cheaper say november I would wait until then too really start looking to purchase. I wouldn't think the price would drop much though
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranievesjr View Post
Is there a difference in price if buying out of season??, say this winter. Because I guess if prices would be a little cheaper say november I would wait until then too really start looking to purchase. I wouldn't think the price would drop much though
maybe, but i think dealerships move cars around sometimes, they may send them elsewhere.. besides... if the rx8 on their lot didnt ATLEAST come with all seasons i wouldnt dream about taking a test drive on summer tires in the snow.

if you are buying a car that old, look at the milage, you may be able to haggle down on a few things... check the rotors and check the shocks and springs, i think if you push down on a corner of the car and the car bounces up and down a few times the shocks are blown. Also make sure to visually inspect every inch of the car... any deep scratches or chips let them know about it.

When i bought mine there were only 5 at dealers near by to me.. (within 150 miles) i went to all of them and test drove them all. Dont settle at the first, and get a compression check if its in or out of warranty.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by EricB View Post
Understand that the engine WILL blow and if you are okay with dropping 5k on it then great, enjoy the car.
This is simply untrue. In fact, most RX-8s have no major engine problems to speak of.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by New Yorker View Post
This is simply untrue. In fact, most RX-8s have no major engine problems to speak of.
You are both correct. You need to accept that engine failure is much more likely than piston engines. If you can't accept that then you have no business buying a rotary.

If the engine survives long years and long miles, gratz! But don't expect that to be what happens.
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:48 PM
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yea i wouldn't bother test driving in bad weather, that'd take away from truly feeling the car and snow and summer tires. NO way!

Hopefully in the next month or two ill be able to find a good one. Im in no rush thats for sure i rather wait to find a good one than hurry because i want this car so bad LOL
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RIWWP View Post
You are both correct. You need to accept that engine failure is much more likely than piston engines. If you can't accept that then you have no business buying a rotary.

If the engine survives long years and long miles, gratz! But don't expect that to be what happens.
Exactly!!!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:34 PM
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Any of you guys know how this car is in the snow? I live in illinois near chicago and sometimes winters

are brutal. I figure i would need snow tires, how are your guys 8's in the snow?
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:35 PM
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https://www.rx8club.com/rx-8-discuss...t-here-202454/

Cold Weather

I would recommend working on getting a set of alternate rims and winter tires. The rims can be complete garbage (mine are mismatched ), but it makes any winter condition drivable, and even fun! (as long as you are still clearing the snow with your air dam, but if you aren't, no one else should be on the road there anyway, the government would probably be shut down) If you take this route, buy them sometime in the summer when no one is looking and you can pay significantly less.

Cold itself is nothing to worry about unless your ignition system is weak. Stay on top of your ignition system (learn to subconsciously pay attention to the stability of the revs and how smooth, or not, the power band is, etc... Start feeling that hesistation and roughness, and it doesn't go away with WOT runs to redline, your ignition system is starting the downhill. Doesn't mean it will go right away, but the longer you wait, the greater and greater your flood risk, power loss, and mileage drop.

Also throwing in that I have driven my 8 through the last 4 New England winters. The car you have doesn't matter for anything but sheer ground clearance. FWD vehicles and SUVs are more likely to have more winter friendly tires on OEM, sports cars are more likely to have OEM summer tires, and this is where the difference is. As long as you have ground clearance though, my 8, with winter tires, will out-drive any SUV or jeep on OEM tires. My work is on a hill, the highest point in the state, and each winter I regularly climb the last steep hill into work, often winding my way around stuck SUVs and trucks.

Outside of tires, the 8 is low torque, more weight over the rear than most big engined sports cars, and a great set of driver aids. My only concern for driving it in the winter at all is the salt. The only time I got stuck was when it started dumping snow and the plows were not sent out until literally half of the state was stranded in gridlock and ditches, and the snow was simply too deep to push through. The low ground clearance was a bonus though, I was one of the first stuck, and thus got one of the only tow trucks. The tow truck got stuck on my street about 30 yards from my driveway after dropping my 8 off. Even he needed the extra weight at that point.

If you drive winter on summer tires, you will crash.
If you drive winter on all seasons, it will be touch and go, careful driving, prepare to be stuck periodically
If you drive winter on winter tires, rule the road and enjoy up to ~4-5 inches of fluffy snow on the road surface before you get stuck.

It's all in your tires ALWAYS. Every car.

Last edited by RIWWP; 07-05-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:46 PM
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I used all seasons last season in the saint louis area, it was rough. this year if it snows i will simply drive something else and leave my girl cozy in the garage.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:53 PM
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Lol shes gonna love you for that!
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:15 PM
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Sam hows your 05 treating you? and when did you purchase it, i like the price but 04 and 05s worry me.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by EricB View Post
i say get a 06, with the 04s and 05s, the damage was done and the flashes came too late.

i paid 18.5 for my 08 40th anniversary with 30k miles just fyi.. theres one for sale on the forum with 18k miles going for 14k, but you need to finance :/

the best way for the rx8 to be called "reliable" is if you purchase it with less than 50k miles and still has a chunk of its 8yr 100k mile warranty left.. also you need ~5k for a new engine rebuild in the bank that CANNOT be touched.

Understand that the engine WILL blow and if you are okay with dropping 5k on it then great, enjoy the car. If you are not comfortable with this then i would recommend another car.

im a college student as well, but i have money dedicated just for a rebuild that way i dont have to worry about the engine going, besides i still have 4 years left on my warranty and 65k miles.

i havnt had any problems yet due to its new age, but from what ive read, most people say that their rx8s barely break compared to their other cars, but the downside is that the engines go.

I usually never reccomend the rx8 to any of my friends in college because i know they wont be able to handle it. Its a pretty rare car to see on the roads, which means we need to represent and its not acceptable to drive around in a dirty car that hasnt been washed in forever. Nor is it acceptable to bring the car to the carwash as they leave swirl marks and make the car look like ****. I also know that they wont have the ability to have 5k tucked away not to be used on a new engine, school is priority and when you stop taking care of the 8 to pay bills, a $400 maintaince turns into a 5k new motor.

oil needs to be religiously checked every 2 gas fillups (i usually check once a week) and same with coolant needs to be religiously checked, ignoring these can lead to a new engine.

spark plugs wires and coils need to be replaced every 30k miles which can get expensive

tires arent cheap for our car since they are 18s and are wider than some other cars.

parts definitely arent cheap to fix things, aftermarket power adders or anything aftermarket is never cheap either.

Oh and one tip, if you realize you cant afford the rx8, dont test drive one, it will be difficult to match without putting you in more debt.



How did you afford that when in college? And what are your monthly payments look like?
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