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Faq - Update

Old 06-10-2005, 02:36 PM
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Faq - Update

Thanks to everyone for their input as to what questions should be included in our FAQ. Special thanks to Markd for going the extra mile and writing several of the Q's and A's including the links. Also thanks to No More Oldsmobiles for starting the abbreviations page. This is only a start. More will be added as time permits.


It should be noted that many questions asked over and over by new owners are easily answered by reading the Manual that came with your car and also the Quick tips Booklet. Please read thru them and then try here for any answers you are still seeking. After that please scroll down thru the forum pages to see if there is a sticky thread that addresses your concern or if there are other threads that may help. You can also use the Search function to try to find your answers. Do all of these things before posting a new thread with your questions. Remember it is better to bring up an older thread on the same topic then to start a new one.

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Last edited by zoom44; 09-21-2011 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:37 PM
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A/C: Air Conditioning
A/F or A/F Ratio: Air-to-fuel ratio
ABS: Antilock Brake System
ABS: Anti-Lock Break System
ACC: Accessories
ALR: Automatic Locking Retractor
API: American Petroleum Institute
APV: Auxiliary Port Valve
AT: Automatic Transmission
ATF: Automatic Transmission FluidCAI: Cold Air Intake
CAN: Controller Area Network
CCM: Comprehensive Component Monitor (also called continuous monitoring)
CEL: Check engine light
CM: Control Module
CPU: Central Processing Unit
DC: Drive Cycle
DSC: Dynamic Stability Control
DTC: Diagnostic Trouble Code
EBD: Electronic Brake force Distribution
ECU: Electronic Control Unit
ELR: Emergency Locking Retractor
EPS: Electric Power Steering
F/P: Fuel PumpFB/SA: 1st Gen RX-7
FC: 2nd Gen RX-7
FD: 3rd Gen RX-7
FFD: Freeze Frame Data
FI: forced induction
FP1: Front Primary 1 Fuel Injector
FP2: Front Primary 2 Fuel Injector
FS: Front Secondary Fuel Injector
GPS: Global Positioning System
HU: Hydraulic Unit
IG: Ignition
INT: Intermittent
KAM: Keep Alive Memory
L/F: Leading Front Spark Plug
L/R: Leading Rear Spark Plug
LCD: Liquid Crystal Display
LED: Light Emitting Diode
LF: Left Front
LH: Left Hand
LO: Low
LR: Left Rear
LSD: Limited Slip Differential
M: Motor
MAX: Maximum
MIN: Minimum
MOP: Metering Oil Pump
MSP: Multi Side Port
MT: Manual Transmission
NA: naturally aspirated
OBDII or OBD-II. On-Board Diagnostic system.
OEM: Original Equiptment Manufacturer
P/W CM: Power Window Control Module
PCM: power train control module
RF: Right Front
RH: Right Hand
RP1: Rear Primary 1 Fuel Injector
RP2: Rear Primary 2 Fuel Injector
RR: Right Rear
RS Rear Secondary Fuel Injector
SA/FB=1st Gen RX-7
SAE: Society of Automotive Engineers
SAS: Sophisticated Air Bag Sensor
SDAIS or S-DAIS: Sequential Dynamic Air Intake System
SST: Special Service Tool
SSV: Secondary Shutter Valve
SW: Switch
T/F: Trailing Front Spark Plug
T/R: Trailing Rear Spark Plug
TCS: Traction Control System
TFT: Transmission Fluid Temperature
TNS: Tail Number Side Lights
TPMS: Tire pressure monitoring system
TSB: technical service bulletin
VDI: Variable Dynamic Effect Intake
VFAD: Variable Fresh Air Duct
WDS: Worldwide Diagnostic System
WOT: Wide Open Throttle
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:38 PM
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Q: Where can I find more info on how the rotary engine works?
A: and are great resources for learning the ins and outs no the round and rounds of the rotary engine

Q: Why did my TPMS light come on in the morning but later go out? Is something wrong?
A: Yes there is something wrong. One or more of your tires need air. Make sure to check the tire pressure in the morning before driving, so the tires are cold. Use this measurement to calculate how much air you need to add. If you drive before checking the pressure, the tires will have warmed. You then wont add sufficient air and your light will probably be on a gain in the morning.

Q: When I parked my car today and shut it off it sounded like the engine was still running. Or the fan was running. I turned the key back on and it stopped. What is this?
A: The car comes equipped with electric cooling fans that are temperature activated. On warm days or after hard driving the fans will stay on to help cool the engine after the car is turned off. Don’t interrupt this process by turning the key; let the fans do their job.

Q: Why do I have to add oil to my car and how often should I check it?
A: By design the rotary engine injects oil into the combustion chambers to lubricate the seals between chambers. This oil is burned off. So you have to top off your oil in between oil changes to keep the proper oil level. Mazda recommends checking your oil every other fuel fill up. This will help at first until you get a feel for how much your individual car is using. Adjust your time between checks to fit your oil usage.

Q: What is a flash?
A: Flash is the term used when talking about a programming upgrade for your cars pcm. The dealership plugs their WDS into the OBD-II port under your steering wheel. They can then see what level your car is on and if there are any updates available for your car. Flashes can be used to change any of the functions of your car controlled by the PCM. In this car that is nearly everything to some extent. Some times the service center will place a sticker on the inside of your hood to show that a new level has been loaded into your PCM. However most dealerships do not have these stickers in stock and they are hard to replace. So in most cases you will not get a sticker/label.
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:47 PM
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Q: When I locked the car today with the remote the lights didn’t flash. What’s wrong?
A: When you push the lock button on the remote the doors lock. The light flash is to tell you that the alarm has armed. If they don’t flash the alarm has not armed because the car detects one of the doors, the hood or the trunk is not shut properly. Check all of these and try again.

Q: Why is the Rear View Mirror so low? It blocks my view!
A: The mirror has 2 joints. If it is blocking your view move it up on the hinge closest to the windshield.

Q: Can I use synthetic oil?
A: Mazda recommends against using synthetic oil in the RX-8. The simplest answer for this is that they haven’t tested it for use in the rotary. So they cannot recommend it. There is still much debate on whether it is good/safe/better to use in the rotary and the final answer may never be agreed on. But since its better to be safe than sorry you should stay with dino oil during your warranty period.

Related Link

Synthetic Oil Discussion
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:54 PM
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Q. I'm thinking about buying an RX-8. What kind of gas mileage should I expect?

A. Officially, Mazda says 18-city/24 highway. RX-8 owners, however, have had mixed results with their cars. Some claim as little as 12-14 mpg, while others claim at or slightly above the official range. Some of the factors that can affect fuel economy are: factory fault (some 8’s, for some reason or another, have poor gas mileage straight from Mazda), shifting points (recommended: shift between 3,500 and 3,750 RPM for maximum fuel efficiency), road and weather conditions, and driving style/aggressiveness.

Related threads & websites:

MPG Discussion / Complaints
Gas Mileage Ruminations (U.S. Dept. of Energy)

Q. How do I break in the rotary engine?

A. There are a number of suggested methods for breaking in a new rotary engine. Three techniques have been compiled:

Method #1 (from Mazda manual)

- First 600 miles: Drive at varying speeds road and engine speeds; avoid full throttle, rapid acceleration or kick-down of transmission. Do not use special “break-in” oils.

Method #2 (from Racing Beat)
- For the first 1000 miles (1609km) do not accelerate under full throttle, and do not exceed 4000 RPM.
- For miles 1000-2000 (3218km), expand the RPM upwards - but do not accelerate at full throttle.
- Over 2000 miles (3218km), full throttle and high RPM is acceptable.

Method #3 (Mazda manual + Japanese Rotary Mechanic’s Procedure)
- 0-600 miles (965.4km) Follow the Manual, but keep it under 4000 RPM
- 600-800 miles (1287.2km) Open it up a bit, vary accelerations and speed RPM < 5000
- 800-1000 miles Drive the car, enjoy it but still keep RPM < 6000
- 1000-1250 miles (2011km) Drive it as it's power curve intended it to be RPM < 7000
- 1250-1500 miles (2413.5km) Test the car frequently from RPM 6000-9000 in every gear

Related threads & websites:

Breaking in question, need answer ASAP
Racing Beat’s RX-8 Break-In Procedure

2004 Mazda RX-8 Quick Tips (see page 22/23)
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:57 PM
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Q. Do I have to use premium (91-octane or above) fuel?

A. No, but it is highly recommended. Mazda states, and many RX-8 owners have verified through their own experiences, that lower-octane fuel could cause engine problems, including “knocking” as a result of engine mistiming and/or misfiring. Engine knocking occurs because lower octane fuel, which burns at a different rate than higher-octane gas, can throw off the timing of the combustion cycle in the rotary engine. However, although many 8 owners have acknowledged the existence of these problems while using low-octane unleaded gasoline, still others have used 87-octane fuel and not experienced any problems. Similarly, some owners have noticed improvements in gas mileage while using lower-octane gasoline, while others have not. Thus, note that Mazda recommends only premium fuel but does not require it. Use lower-octane gasoline at your own risk.

It should be noted that some AT Lo-power RX-8s have been experience accelerated carbon build-up resulting in stalling issues, loss of compression and engine replacement. Carbon build up is caused by many factors but one is incomplete combustion. Premium fuel like 91octane or higher burns more completely than lower octane fuel. So AT owners who make a lot of short trips or who are stuck at low rpm’s often should stick with 91 or higher octane.

Related threads & websites:

93 octane

Repeated Stalling - AT

2004 Mazda RX-8 Quick Tips (see page 24)
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:09 PM
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Q. What is flooding, and how can I avoid it?
A. By design, the RX-8’s rotary engine uses both gasoline and oil. “Flooding” occurs when, as the owner’s manual states, there is “excessive fuel in the engine.” To avoid flooding, Mazda suggests a “short driving trip procedure” for trips that are too short to warm up the car adequately:

1. Start car

2. Move vehicle

3. Warm engine for 5 minutes at idle

4. Raise engine speed to 3000 RPM for 10 seconds

5. Return to idle

6. Turn off engine

To help further remove the excess fuel, it is recommended that you rev your engine to at least 3000 RPM before shutting it off.

In the event of a flood, the following start-up procedure should be performed:

1. While the accelerator pedal is fully depressed, turn the ignition switch to the START position and crank the engine for 7 to 8 seconds.

2. Release the ignition switch and accelerator pedal.

3. Start the engine as normally without depressing the accelerator.

Related threads/links:

Engine Flooding Info/Questions

2004 Mazda RX-8 Quick Tips

RX-8 Owner’s Manual (see p. 7-20)

Mazda Service Bulletin: Correction of Owner’s Manual
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:13 PM
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Q: Where can I find information about TSBs and Recalls?
A: follow the link in this thread

Q: I have a check engine light how can I find out the code?
A: Your Dealer can find the code by hooking up your car to the WDS. You can also do it yourself if you have a scanner like the Hymee Scanalyser or the Harrison CanScan

Related Links

Hymee Scanalyser

Harrison CANScan

Q: Where can I find a list of what the CEL codes mean?
A: CEL code list.

Q. How do i eliminate the blind spots?
A. Adjust your mirrors using this method

Last edited by zoom44; 09-21-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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