1986 Mazda RX7 1.3 rotary


The RX-7 is the most fun car, the fastest car, and the most reliable car I've ever owned!


No major problems with this car. Lots of small quirks one could expect of an 18 year old car, nothing worth mentioning.

Most of it fixed with 5-56 and a screwdriver.

General Comments:

I knew what I was getting myself into when I bought this car, for instance that I had to change the oil at correct intervals, be careful not to stop the engine when semi-warm (to avoid flooding), avoid overheating etc etc.

Even though I once seriously overheated the engine, causing a coolant leak, it ran fine (as long as I added coolant ALL the time) for 4000 km, most of the summer. I then decided to remove the engine and install a rebuilt, tuned engine, plus new gearbox, new exhaust, etc, before I killed the poor engine completely.

I installed a switch on the dashboard for the fuel pump, if the engine becomes flooded and won't start, I just switch off the pump, crank a couple of seconds and turn the pump back on, problem solved. Also doubles as anti-theft =)

Durability / Reliability: This isn't the same thing. I wouldn't use an unreliable engine in an airplane, and I guess that's why lots of airplanes have rotary engines.

Most people believe rotary engines and RX-7's are unreliable, but quite the opposite is true. With three main moving parts, how much can fail, except parts like the apex seals, which are parts exposed to lots of wear and have a limited life expectancy?

On the durability matter, I can agree that a poorly maintained and abused rotary engine won't last very long, usually around 130-140000 km before a rebuild is needed.

Anyhow, even though I meticulously perform maintenance on my RX-7, I push its engine to the limits and beyond on a daily basis, I have just been waiting for it to break down, but it never happened!

I'll never buy another car with a piston engine, if I do, it's because I'm going to install a rotary engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th April, 2004

28th Jun 2004, 10:56

Rotary engines in airplanes are considerably different than the RX-7 engine. Airplane rotary engines use ordinary pistons and cylinders arranged in a circle, while the RX-7 (Wankel) engine uses a rotor of sorts that is spun around, much different than an ordinary piston setup.

3rd Jul 2004, 17:05

Actually they do use rotary engines ie. WANKEL rotary engines in aircraft. They are excellent choices because of their power to weight ratios!