1990 Mazda RX7 GXL 13B Rotary from North America
Excellent performance, but not at all worth the hassle
Alternator belt snapped and all belts had to be replaced at 190,000 kms.
Clutch was totally gone at 192,000 kms.
It always idled badly and would shut down if air conditioner was turned on.
Some electrical items would not work once in a while, such as windshield, sunroof, power windows.
The Apex Seals on rotor 2 just blew last week, the car is no longer driveable.
The RX-7 was a really well-handling, fun and sporty car. It could turn with stock suspension like it was on rails! It was super-fast and the engined revved really fast and really high.
Cabin comfort is pretty good, too. The seats were nice and noise was pretty low. It was tiny inside, but it was comfortable, although somewhat hard to see out the windows when merging or changing lanes.
Despite all the good looks, comfort and capabilities - this car is only meant for those with money to waste fixing the troublesome rotary.
I changed the oil every month as a preventative thing, as the engine naturally injects oil into the rotor housing. Despite doing this, the engine just died one day.
No exaggeration here, let me tell you my story: I drove to work in the morning and the car was perfectly fine. Then when I got off work at night, the car had a super hard time starting. And when I finally got it started, it shook like crazy, didn't have power and was really loud. Finally, I got it diagnosed as a blown Apex Seal. In order to fix that one lousy part, the entire engine would have to be disassembled. Needless to say, I've had enough of this car.
If it isn't one thing, it's another with this car. It also had the tendency to develop rust really fast.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 4th December, 2003
6th Mar 2004, 10:04
Did you always warm it up properly before driving?
Did you service it every 5000?
Are you sure that it's not just an apex seal stuck in it's groove?
4th May 2005, 20:59
I'm surprised you hadn't anticipated a seal failure at nearly 200,000km's! Rotary engines have a shorter life, it's the price you pay for the performance, and I don't know any RX7 owners, myself included that weren't aware of this at the time of purchase.
20th Aug 2005, 22:10
I agree with the comment about a stuck apex seal. This happens typically in the rear rotor causing it to lose compression which in turn will cause very rough idling/driving, but the rotary will almost always get you home. I've had a few that have gotten me home on just one rotor and home was far away. DON'T give up yet, anything WORTH doing is NEVER easy.
2nd Dec 2005, 13:39
My engine is amazing... no problems, ever. The only problem I've had is the security system draining the battery.
My only complaint would be that it isn't fast enough.
9th Aug 2008, 23:11
What did you honestly expect from a 20 year old car? You don't have the passion to own an Rx7, I'm glad you sold it.
Rotaries are like hot women, high maintenance but well worth it.
26th Oct 2008, 18:05
I just bought a 1990 Rx7, and this year the lady put two batteries in it, and now it won't start, there's nothing, you turn the key and the car doesn't even make a noise it's as if the security system has shut every thing off. Does anyone know how to fix this.