Cat replacement, carbon build up etc - RX8Club.com



Series II Technical and Trouble shooting Discuss technical details for the Series II RX-8 and any issues or problems you are facing

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Old 12-06-2017, 10:47 AM   #1
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Cat replacement, carbon build up etc

I'm looking for an idea of cost of after market parts if I'm replacing a catalytic converter, plugs and coils due to carbon build up. Apparently the build up is bad and there's no telling how much damage it might have done to the engine, so when the dealer quoted me (not even going to post that number), they said there might be engine failure after the process.

Add to that that I still need to do brakes on it and replace one of the front headlights along with the mileage being at 160k, I'm think is it time to move on?

2009 r3
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:13 AM   #2
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Not sure where you're located, but getting rid of the cat altogether would be the move to make (would have been even better 100k ago...) If you need a cat, there's a BHR catted midline for sale in the FS section.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:48 AM   #3
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Honestly best solution for the notorious shitty cat problem, is to either source an oem one in good enough condition to be used for state inspections or an aftermarket one which there are threads here on to find one that would buff. Obviously this is a slight pain you’d have to deal with once per year however much better than ******* your engine and having to keep buying cats. But to be honest it just depends if you care enough for the car to keep it, if not then let it go, the series 2 platform has been stagnant since its realease which is sad because its such a capable car on track and in the twistys. So ultimately up to you if you want your motor to last a little while longer but doing above method is the most logical way of going about it, or just move to another platform entirely if you don’t like the idea and or the means to swap the motor for a more capable one. Im in the same boat right now as well in terms of just wanting to be rid of the car, especially now that I live in houston and there are absolutely no backroads vs Tennessee where it was backroad heaven.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:30 AM   #4
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What date was the car first bought? The engine and cat are under warranty for 8 years after initial purchase and 160k km for the engine, possibly same for the cat (don't remember canadian law.. and you're in Canada, right?)

Coils, spark plugs and wires can all be bought at a parts store like NAPA for MUCH cheaper than the dealer and installed in your driveway in about 30 minutes. It's really not hard.

The cat is the big ticket item. Buying new is silly expensive, but perhaps good condition seocnd hand ones can be found on this very forum or ebay/craigslist/kijiji.

Also the explanation makes no sense. Replacing coils (while highly recommended) doesn't fix carbon build up, there is no way to diagnose carbon build up, there are simple solutions to carbon build up if it is present, and they cat can be examined to know exactly how much damage there is AND an engine compression test will tell you (and Mazda) if thr engine needs to be replaced, at which time Mazda can proceed to replace it if you are still in the warranty window.

It sounds like either they haven't done any diagnosis and are just rolling with expensive assumptions, or they have but you don't have the experience to convey them here.

What actual issues are you having? While they have the car get a compression test done, and clarify the warranty, then you will know if the car is worth investing in.

Brakes and headlights are not expensive work either if you don't do it at the dealer . Quite easy to do yourself and get the parts at NAPA or similar. Seriously, if you like the car and eant to keep it, get that compression test (which only Mazda or a rotary specialist can do properly), and make decisions from there. All this stuff has simple solutions except the engine.

Last edited by Loki; 12-07-2017 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
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Well, if you sell your car like that, nobody will be willing to pay much for it. Either way, you will want to fix it up.

For ignition components, I think Mazmart has the best price. I checked 3 sources(local dealer, NAPA, and clubplug.ca) in Canada for the price of spark plugs. They all want CAN$40+ for each spark plug. Meanwhile, Mazmart sells the entire set for US$65, and even with all the extra fee from shipping, duty and exchange rate in mind, they are still cheaper.

I believe someone got a quote for an S2 OEM cat and it's about twice as much compared to the S1 OEM ones, for some reason. Considering how a high-quality HJS cat + BHR mid-pipe combo is about as much as the S1 OEM cat but is infinitely lighter and flows better, I'd recommend going the HJS + BHR route.

Brakes are not hard to do, and if you are talking about the HID low beam bulb, they are totally DIYable as long as you take safety precautions(disconnect the battery and wear gloves).
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
It sounds like either they haven't done any diagnosis and are just rolling with expensive assumptions, or they have but you don't have the experience to convey them here
.

Partially, I work 7 days a week and it's killing me to keep up with anything, but also some inexperience. Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

Talked to them a bit more to clear up my understanding. Apparently the plugs caused some issues, porcelain broke up and that moved around it seems. Also the plugs ignite the fuel but if they don't work they can't. Some issues may arise from this?Also something about how that effects the engine and the honeycombs of it. I'm a bit foggy on that part.

The last drive I had the engine light was actually flashing and giant power drop, I could only manage to get it to the dealer down a couple blocks.

In the long run, if it's fixed the only concern is if it's given a compression test and it comes out low.

In any case my understanding is I'm replacing coils, plugs and wires, the cat, brakes and the light. Sounds to me it's less labor more parts, if I managed the right ones the cost comes out less than 2000? Or does that sound senseless.

I got brakes done about 3-4 years ago, got about 80k off them, I payed 650 for that which is still high but that's all I could find.

There's no way I'd buy anything from the dealer I know that and not doing the light there either, they quoted like 500 for the light alone..

So I'm guessing it's worth repairing, I have a mechanic who does decent work for me, I trust him more than these guys.

Last edited by diomedes; 12-08-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:35 PM   #7
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The flashing light and loss of power are really bad signs, you need to stop driving the car, or it will stop for you.

Without getting technical, I suggest the following course of action: compression test (at the dealer!) to confirm the engine is worth saving. If it is not, refer to my comments about warranty above. If it's out of the special engine warranty, the repairs will be about 8k.

If it passes the compression test, your immediate next course of action should be to replace the coils, spark plugs and wires and remove the catalytic converter for inspection. If the cat is dead, you have options between 500 and 2000 dollars, but PLEASE consult here before spending money. Some cats will die inside a year on an RX8.

Make sure you mechanic knows rotaries. If he hasn't worked on one, consider finding a rotary specialist.

For brakes, you probably don't need rotors so the cheapest option is to just replace the pads. They're $160 for all for. $600 is crazytalk.

Last edited by Loki; 12-08-2017 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:18 PM   #8
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Oh driving it is absolutely out of the question. I already asked them if a compression test they said that the cat and plugs have to be done before that. I'm going to guess you see otherwise?

They said something to that effect, the parts can be replaced but what if they're done and the engine isn't worth saving.

It's not under warranty I got it in 2011 and it's got 160k on it.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:38 PM   #9
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Oh driving it is absolutely out of the question. I already asked them if a compression test they said that the cat and plugs have to be done before that. I'm going to guess you see otherwise?

They said something to that effect, the parts can be replaced but what if they're done and the engine isn't worth saving.

It's not under warranty I got it in 2011 and it's got 160k on it.

The warranty is 8 years, 160k km. Depends when precisely it was originally sold. Mazda should know this.

They're incorrect on having to replace the cat and ignition before performing the test. I would love to see what their justification for that is. It's like having to fix a broken arm before you can take your temperature.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:44 PM   #10
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Then I shall call them and see what they say. Mind you these are the same people that quoted me 500$ to change a headlight..

I did get it from a dealer back then, I should ask them if there's still an applicable warranty I guess. Seems unlikely.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:49 PM   #11
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Its a special Mazda program for the rotary engine. It has no limitations except those. Your best bet is actually to call Mazda of North America and give them your VIN and they will tell you exactly what you're eligible for.
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:31 PM   #12
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It's out of warranty and lots of my work I did outside of Mazda so it makes it irrelevant even if it lasted this long.

​​​​​​​Anyways, they said they can't do the compression test until plugs and coils are done. Leaving the cat for later. Since in its state it could cause a negative result. I'm guessing I'll be going ahead with that then the test.
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:39 PM   #13
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Ugh. Typical dealer The compression test involves using the starter to spin the motor while pressure transducers read the pressure in each chamber through the spark plug holes. The engine doesn’t run (fuel pump fuse is pulled), so the ignition coils are totally irrelevant to the process. The spark plugs just need to be in 1 piece.
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:42 PM   #14
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Ugh. Typical dealer The compression test involves using the starter to spin the motor while pressure transducers read the pressure in each chamber through the spark plug holes. The engine doesn’t run (fuel pump fuse is pulled), so the ignition coils are totally irrelevant to the process. The spark plugs just need to be in 1 piece.
^^^ Exactly. The only way I can see to make the dealer's story correct is if they don't want to warm up the car for the test on bad coils, and don't want to test the engine cold.

Also at dealer pricing, the coils and spark plugs are going to be expensive. Anyone should be able to do that job, I'd bring it somewhere else for that and save several hundred bucks.

Is there not another dealer you can go to? Or a rotary specialist? Where are you located?
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:41 PM   #15
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Typical indeed. Their prices are out of this world... no way I'd get it done there. Never going to happen, but to their credit they'll do the work if I bring them after market parts. Would that be recommended instead of hauling the 8 on a flatbed some 80 km to where I usually have my guy do the stuff (I have caa so it costs me nothing, but then I'd have to haul it again back for the compression test if I'm not mistaken. The dealer labor can't be that over priced for plugs and coils when I supply it, can it?

I'm a bit north of Toronto Ontario, Richmond hill.
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:08 AM   #16
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So my understanding is I need to order this :

BWD/Intermotor coils
Plugs, NGK RE9B-T RE7C-L (2 of each)

In order to replace the spark plugs and coils, I'll get the dealer to replace them since it's less hassle and then move with the compression test.

What online store is best for getting these with good shipping and all?
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by diomedes View Post
So my understanding is I need to order this :

BWD/Intermotor coils
Plugs, NGK RE9B-T RE7C-L (2 of each)

In order to replace the spark plugs and coils, I'll get the dealer to replace them since it's less hassle and then move with the compression test.

What online store is best for getting these with good shipping and all?
Yeah that's fine. If you have a NAPA near you, they should have them. Perhaps even Canadian Tire. As far as online stores, Amazon?
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:29 AM   #18
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Yea Napa had the plugs, but at 58 each which is from what I saw more pricy than expected?

They recommended blue streak or equin for the coils which run at 71 each. They didn't have bwd but Canadian tire had all of one. 4 are needed, from what I read. That seems to add up a bit, is it about right?

Last edited by diomedes; 12-11-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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