1988 Mazda RX7 GX 1.3L Rotary from North America


Passenger side pop up headlight unit jammed half way up, and the motor kept turning trying to pop up the light even witht he key off, which would drain the battery if it sat overnight.

Electrical glitches, such as my Add Coolant buzzer constantly and randomly going off when the coolant is topped right up. Common problem with these cars.

Poor ignition ground. Sometimes does not start, and depending on what position the key is in while in the "ON" position, the blower motor decides to work only if the key is tilted more towards the driver.

Power antennas kept breaking due to cold weather. Later removed, along with entire audio system. Problem solved.

Needs an alignment. Starts to shake at 140+ kmh.

Driver's side seat has small rips in it, and the top of the steering wheel is felixible and mushy, unlike the rest of it. Must be due to heat exposure.

Brittle dash plastics. Pieces crack and break. All Series 4 (1986-88) cars were known for this. Issue was addressed by 1989.

Strange whooshing noise coming from rear passenger side strut tower when hiting bumps.

Small oil leak from the oil cooler line.

Some spots of minor surface rust emerging.

Wipers only work on low speed. I have no washer, no high speed and no intermittent. Almost all RX7s suffer from this problem.

Blower motor only has off and high speed functions.

Intermittent clock. Does not display right time and turns itself on and off. Common problem on these cars.

AC does not work.

5th/6th injection ports stuck closed due to either lack of backpressure made from custom exhaust system, or lack of being revved over 3800rpm. Commom problem on Series 4 cars like this one.

General Comments:

I paid $1500 for this car. After the test drive, I thought I was getting a real bargain, but the more I worked on it, the more I found wrong. However, I bought it with the intention to be a project car, although it is my daily driver as well.

Anyways, this car is equipped with a 1.3L 13B Fuel injected rotary engine, putting out 146hp. I bought it with a complete 2.5" exhaust system and added a K&N air filter. This car is stupidly fast!

I like it because it is a base model with no power options, therefore making it not only lighter, but also much more simplistic than the loaded and turbo models.

Handling is very good for stock form, but could be stiffened up a little bit with stiffer sway bars and front and rear strut bars, as well as a decent set of adjustable coil overs.

Seats in the base model car are uncomfortable and unsupportive.

The rotary engine is an amazing piece of engineering. An RX7 is definetly the best car I have ever driven. I definetly recommend one to anybody. If you've never driven one, you owe it to yourself. They are also so simple to work on and learn about.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2004

23rd Mar 2007, 22:07

Get a fuel cutoff switch. It's probably flooding the engine. It happened to my 88 and now it starts everytime.

12th Nov 2009, 13:48

I have been having some problems with my base 88' RX7... the only issue I have came across lately is my car not being able to start. My battery is brand new along with a brand new alternator... I'm not sure if it is the starter or what not, but last week it started up fine. Who knows? When I started it a few days ago, my exhaust was spitting out mad amounts of smoke. I don't know... If you have any suggestions, let me know.

12th Nov 2009, 13:50

How much did you pay for it???

24th Feb 2010, 10:47

Make a fuel pump switch to stop your car from flooding.

1988 Mazda RX7 SE 13B Rotary from North America


An absolute steal if you can find a well-kept model


The windshield wipers work sporadically, sometimes not at all.

The moon-roof will not close all the way.

Driver side seat belt does not retract quickly.

General Comments:

Even though I have only had this car for a few days, it feels extremely strong. The engine revs freely and easily, and the transmission engages quickly and easily as well.

When you drive the RX7, you never feel as if you are out of control. It never tells you anything that isn't happening, and it never asks too much of you - except maybe a heavy right foot.

The low seating position takes some getting used to, and late afternoon glare can be annoying, but that can be fixed with aftermarket tint.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2003

25th Oct 2004, 14:51

I just wanted to comment on the issue with the seat belt. I had the exact same problem and then it failed to move at all. The good news was there was a recall on some Rx7's. You might want to check your VIN with the local Mazda dealer and see if it is covered under the recall.