Pre-Purchase Inspection Points

If you have decided that an RX-8 would be the car that is right for you, here is a list of things to look for and/or ask questions about. Private sellers are more likely to know the answers, dealers less likely.

Note: These are in ADDITION to any questions that you should ask of any car you are thinking about buying, such as brake life, tire tread, paint, body, damage, accident history, etc... regardless of year, make, or model. These are RX-8 specific questions only.

Any item with a blue Mazda next to it can be answered by calling Mazda if the seller doesn't know, (or you think they are making it up / lying)
Any item with an orange year (like 2004) next to it means that the question applies for that year.

(in no particular order)
  • Compression test scores?
  • Engine ever replaced [Mazda]
    • Mileage on current engine [Mazda]
  • Engine Compression
  • Catalytic converter ever replaced?
    • Has it ever had any flashing cel, misfire, ignition failure, or flood on the current cat?
  • Mileage of last coil change
  • Mileage of last plug change
  • Mileage of last plug wire change
  • Has it ever been flooded?
  • Tail lights ever replaced? [2004, 2005]
    • If not, have the seals ever been replaced, or the tailights modified to drain water?
  • Oil consumption (ask in how many miles between adding a quart or half a quart, and have them tell you which it was)
  • MSP 13 performed by a dealer, and date / mileage [Mazda, 2004, 2005]
  • Gas mileage typically seen
  • Number of miles typically on the trip odometer when the low gas light comes on (yes, ask both gas mileage questions)
  • Starter replaced to the upgraded version [2004, 2005]
  • Temperature control knob ever replaced or repaired [2004, 2005]
  • Clutch pedal assembly ever replaced, re-welded, or re-inforced
  • Cranking time before starting when cold
  • Cranking time before starting when hot

If anything really concerns you, head over to to ask the question, or the Feedback and Support section of this website to ask the author.

Mazda North America Operation contact info:
By Phone: 800-222-5500 Monday – Friday, 6:00am to 4:45pm PST

Mazda North American Operations
P.O. Box 19734
Irvine, CA 92623-9734
Attn: Customer Assistance Center