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RX-8 Quick Tips

We've replicated the original Mazda RX-8 Quick Tips guide as supplied with every new RX-8 for those who have lost it, or it simply didn't come when purchasing your used Mazda RX-8

The original Mazda RX-8 Quick Tips Guide

In our quick reference guide, we've replicated the original Mazda supplied RX-8 Quick Tips guide that was supplied with all new Mazda RX-8's in the UK. In many cases, these Quick Tips guides have often been misplaced or simply not transferred between owners meaning that vital information may not have been passed down through the cars owner history and potentially causing damage to many an engine. It is a failure to adhere to these quick tips that has helped give the Mazda RX-8 a poor reliability record and ultimately caused the huge misconception about these great cars.

We'll be posting far more details guides and instructions from our own research, development and experience in the near future, but in the meantime let's see what Mazda had to say when they initially released the car to the world.

Let it run - don't turn off a cold engine!

To keep the engine in top condition, the engine coolant temperature gauge needle should, ideally, reach the middle of the normal operating range between C and H before turning the engine off. If you can't, Mazda produced a quick guide on the appropriate starting and stopping procedures for the RX-8 Renesis which we've replicated below:

Starting Procedure

Should the engine fail to start, please use the following procedure.

  1. With the ignition off, press the accelerator pedal to the floor and hold.
  2. Turn key to start the engine, keeping the pedal to the floor.
  3. If the engine starts, release pedal to avoid over-revving the engine.
  4. If the engine does not start, continue to hold key in the start position for 8 seconds.
  5. After 8 seconds, release the pedal and engine should start.

Note: Continue to hold engine revs at 1,500-2,000 rpm until engine runs smoothly. Allow the engine to reach operating temperature before switching off, using the stopping procedure.

Stopping Procedure

Should your Mazda RX-8 not reach normal operating temperature before the end of your journey, please use the following stopping procedure:

  1. With the engine running and transmission in neutral, increase engine revs to 4,000 rpm.
  2. Hold revs at 4,000 rpm for 10 seconds.
  3. Turn off the ignition while the engine is running at 4,000 rpm.
  4. With the pedal held in this position, allow the engine to stop turning. This purges any unburnt fuel out of the chambers.
  • If the engine fails to start with the above procedure, give us a call on 01249 408888 or contact us for assistance.
  • Do not keep holding the ignition switch in the START position for more than 8 seconds if the engine does not start.
  • Please avoid 'racing' the engine immediately after starting.
  • If these tips are not followed, the engine may be damaged as a result.

Oil, Traction Control, Tyres & Fuel

Check the Oil

By design, rotary engines consume small amounts of engine oil to lubricate internal engine components such as rotor tip seals. The amount of oil used depends upon how hard the engine is driven. Driving the car without enough oil can severely damage the engine.

Mazda recommends checking the oil at every second fuel fill. Before inspecting the oil level, warm up the engine to normal operating temperature. Stop the engine and allow the oil to settle for a minute. Remove the plastic engine cover and standing in front of the bonnet, the oil dipstick is located to the right side of the engine. Remove the dipstick and wipe with a cloth. Reinsert the dipstick and remove to check the level. If it is near or below 'Low', add enough oil into the oil filler (mounted centrally under the engine cover) to bring the level to 'Full'.

RM Note: The distance between 'Low' and 'Full' indicators on the dipstick is roughly 1.7 litres.

Add only 5W-30 oil or 10W-30 oil with the grades specified in the Owners' Manual. Mazda recommend you use original Mazda Dexelia oil. The special oil kit supplied originally with the car when it was new can be re-supplied by your Mazda dealer Part Number RX8C-OP-FFE.

The use of synthetic or semi-synthetic oil is not recommended. The use of these oils may result in excessive carbon build-up.

For added safety, an engine oil level warning light on the instrument panel will indicate low engine oil level. If the engine oil level warning light is illuminated, check, and if necessary, add oil immediately. The activation of the engine oil level warning light will automatically cut power to the engine, reducing the oil usage until supply can be replenished.

If you are unable to add engine oil straight away, do not drive at high speed and keep the engine revs low until you have the first opportunity to refill.

As dynamic as it can be.

The Mazda RX-8 excels with an even weight distribution between all four wheels, which is key to realising its optimal driving dynamics. This distribution was realised by mounting the compact RENESIS rotary engine as low and as far back in the car as possible in a front-midship layout. Complemented by the location of the fuel tank within the wheelbase, the engine positioning helps to achieve a 50:50 front/rear weight distribution and a low centre of gravity.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)

The DSC automatically controls braking and engine torque to control side slip when driving on slippery surfaces, or during sudden or evasive manoeuvring, enhancing vehicle safety. The DSC has a two-stage OFF-mode.

  • OFF1 suspends the DSC function but retains the limited-slip differential functionality and attitude control during braking, thus maintaining a degree of driver support.
  • OFF2, activated by a 7-second hold of the control button, completely disables the DSC system (limited-slip differential will continue to operate during both stages of DSC off), allowed a very skilled driver to take full advantage of the Mazda RX-8's driving dynamics. It is important to note that the DSC system can only be re-activated at this stage by switching off and restarting the engine. Mazda recommend leaving the DSC switched on. Our RX-8 race car has had the DSC permanently removed.

Tyre Pressures

Make sure you check the tyre pressures regularly. This will maintain optimum driving dynamics and help maximise fuel economy.

Tyre Pressures   Up to 4 persons Full Load
225/45R18 91W Front 220 kPa (2.2 bar, 32 psi) 220 kPa (2.2 bar, 32 psi)
  Rear 220 kPa (2.2 bar, 32 psi) 270 kPa (2.7 bar, 39 psi)

Fuel & Service Intervals

The Mazda RX-8 needs Premium Unleaded fuel with an octane number of 95 or above (conforming to EN 228). The tank capacity is 61 litres.

Service Intervals are:                  
Months 12 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108
Miles 12,500 25,000 37,500 50,000 62,500 75,000 87,500 100,000 112,500

Get in touch


  • RotaryMotion

  • Unit 8 Portmarsh Enterprise Workshops

  • Maundrell Rd

  • Calne

  • Wiltshire

  • Sn11 9pu


01249 408888

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