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What's the lifetime of a Mazda RX-8 engine?

What's the realistic lifetime of a Mazda RX-8 engine?

John Whelan (Dublin)

Jul 2013 Filed under: reliability

Expert answer

Hi John,

To say that the RX-8 is a bit of a mixed bag is to venture into the grassy uplands of dramatic understatement. Brilliant to drive, sexy to look at and surprisingly practical, if you love rotary engines, then it's a must-buy at some stage.

But boy does it have its problems. In the RX-8's defence most of the engine's problems are down to maintenance, but the problem is that we've become accustomed to cars working faultlessly without us checking on them like spoiled kids every few minutes. An RX-8 isn't like that; it needs constant care and attention. Mostly this is to do with the oil. Rotarys get through a lot of it, so you've got to check it regularly (like, every week) and keep it topped up with high-grade stuff. No cheap oil here. Failure to do so will mean the early wear of the rotor tips and that's when the engine is on the slippery road to oblivion. Cared for properly, an RX-8 engine can rack up massive mileage mostly faultlessly. But let it slip and we've heard of engines having to be replaced after as little as 40,000 miles.

Tread carefully.

Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Adviser

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