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Car just stopped on its track

My car’s a Mazda RX8 year 2006. It has only 29000 miles on the mileage. I have been parking it outdoors in the snow-it is winter here now in Finland. Couple of days ago I idled the engine for a while and after it warmed up turned it off without driving around. Yesterday, I decided to drive it around . It started with no trouble but suddenly stopped in the middle of the snowy road and wouldn’t budge. Has this got to do with idling of the engine without driving it around? And if so ,what shall I do. I just managed to park it with the help of some people pushing it. Battery seems to be ok for lights work , etc. Apreciate your help. Alexa

I don’t know if your action caused the problem, I doubt it, but it certainly is not a good idea. Starting and idling are both hard on any car.

leaving the car along in the cold is just fine for the car.

There are a number of possible problems. I would suggest looking for a good local mechanic.

Does it have a CEL (Check Engine Light?) Any history of problems or issues?

Troubleshooting it will come down to the fundamental three; does it have fuel, spark and compression?

Unfortunately, there is very little you can do without specialized tools. Hooking up a pressure gauge to measure fuel pressure, checking spark plug coils and verifying the engine is developing cylinder compression are easy to do with the right tools. Someone should be able to narrow it down quickly.

Idling it like you descibed isn’t going to cause this kind of failure.

Best of luck to you! Hope it’s something simple like a fuel pump relay…

Regarding compression testing, just bear in mind that the procedure is done differently on this rotary engine than it would be in a “conventional” IC engine that has actual cylinders. Not every mechanic is knowledgeable regarding these engines.

IIRC, normal compression in these engines is ~75 psi, which converts to ~513 kpa.

First of all I like to thank each and every one you good people for your responses. I have gone to the car today and noticed that when I turned on the engine for the first time, with another car helping to jum start the battery for battery seemed to be weak, lots of smoke came out of the gas pipes. Is there such a thing as engine choking, etc?! If so, and managing to start the engine, will that be it?! Needless to say that the engine did partially turned on but didn’t really start.

Its unfortunate but you are decribing several types of failures at once. First FORGET about starting and idling it…The ONLY thing this may have done is signal your charging system has failed…you started it…it ran and was not getting charge to the battery…then you started it and drove it till the battery power fully died… Then after you push parked it…IT NEEDED A JUMP…WHich further supports my theory. After you jumped it…it turned OVER…but did NOT start… I think you just stumbled upon a failed alternator…or dirty batt terminals not allowing charge to reach the battery… and or the battery simply died…which they do sometimes.

Factoring in that your car just stopped running…and THEN needed a jump…tells me that your batt died…or your alternator died…or you cant get charge to your battery.

FIRST I would clean your batt terminals and then fully charge or try to charge your battery…See what you get …IF it wont charge…Dead battery

If it does charge…try to run vehicle…and drive it LOCALLY…if it dies out again…and needs a jump… then you arent getting charge to your batt = bad alternator…or failing battery… THAT ROTARY…needs a good STRONG BATTERY to start in the cold of Finland… This is well known about pretty much any motor in the COLD…

Do the tests I have outlined…they will prove out either bad battery…dirty batt terminals…or failed alternator…My money is on one of these… As always if I had the vehicle…I would be able to suss it out in minutes… but I dont have that luxury


Took my Mazda RX8 to the actual Mazda Dealer for repair-the one I described that it stopped on its track. They just contacted me saying they had to change the spark plugs plus the battery . They are charging me €670 which is equivalent of about 800 US dollars.The reason being that Spark plugs for this kind of Rotary engine are very expensive. Mind you the car only has 29000 Km on its mileage. I was under the impressio it won’t need spark plugs before it is driven for 60,000 Km. Any tips on this? Much obliged.

The rotary uses 2 plugs per cylinder, and I think 6 plugs in all. The are likely a pretty special and pricey plug, not sure how much each. The total bill seems very high, but you do have a very unique car and expensive repairs go with the territory.

You really need to see the itemized bill to see what the dealer actually did and charged. They may have charged you for time to diagnose the problem(s). My guess is the plugs fouled due to the cold weather and idling without driving. I’d not do that again. If you don’t need to drive the car, then just let it sit there. Once you start it drive it and get it to warm up properly before you park it again for the night. Rotary engines are different and I’m not sure how well they tolerate extremely cold climates like Finland.

Your driving is in the low miles per year category, about 5,000 miles a year. Spark plugs needing replacement after 6 years in the case makes sense due to the miles per year. You should be doing oil changes on this car based on time, not miles driven, in accordance with your owner’s manual. If I had a rotary car in Finland, I’d likely change the oil every 6 months regardless of miles. Just an FYI on the oil change.

The odds of spark plugs causing your car to suddenly die are very close to zero.

Your 2006 mazda came with a 5yr battery and it’s been 5 yrs. Your whole story tells me you witnessed your poor batteries death. The plugs fouled because there was not enough charge to create the spark needed to start your engine. Battery failurs at the beginning of the winter are common. Also check antifreeze/coolant, better yet, take it to a shop (not the dealer) and ask them to check it for winter driving, do it again in 5 months for spring driving.