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I just bought a 1984 rx7 12a that runs great and is in good shape with 138,000 miles. I was wondering about their reliability and what concerns I should have as this is my 1st rotary. I hear good and bad and wish I new what to believe. Please help

As I understand it, if you take care of them they do OK. Keep close tabs on oil level, they burn it. You’ll want a repair manual and also join the RX7 forums/clubs, they’ll have lots of info. Is a ‘12a’ a later engine?

Texases has given you good advice and I second it.

I would find a specific forum for your car.

With regards to reliability I think you may be okay for a 26yr old car. It obviously has been taken care of to make it 26 years/138k and still running well.

12a was older, 1979-1983 RX-7s, then the 13b came out.

[i] Keep close tabs on oil level, they burn it.[/i]   To add a little to that statement. They intentionally burn oil by design.  

I loved mine.  Great car, but it was a little tough using it as a family car.

The ignition systems, and fuel injection systems are very unique due to the rotary engine. This means you need to locate a mechanic that knows rotary motors. Even some Mazda dealers mechanics don’t know the rotary that well anymore since they aren’t making them anymore. Rotary user groups are going to be a big help in providing practical information for a new owner.

And I think this one maybe had a carb, not fuel injection, so OP will need to find a carb guy, they’re getting rare.

They still use them in the RX-8


Hehe. To clear up possible confusion, “them” refers to rotary engines, not carbs.

Ah yes the Wankel. The horsepower of a V6, the torque of a 4 cylinder and the fuel consumption of a V8 :slight_smile:

Like the others said, keep an eye on the oil level, and definately find a mechanic that knows about the rotary engine, and check out RX-7/RX-8 forums on the internet. These cars do have good following.

If you don’t know anything about the car, you should definitely find yourself an appropriate RX7 forum, research every little bit about your car to see if the previous owner(s) have made any modifications to is (like disabling the oiling pump and only using premix to lube the apex seals), and get together with some of the better forum members that live near you, and get them to look over your car to see what all has been done to your car.

Keeping the cars running is easy to do, if you have a baseline on what condition the car is in currently. Keeping the ignition system fresh is very, very, very important. Weak spark leads to carbon fouling and/or flooding, which can then lead to compression loss from apex seals that don’t work correctly, and hard starting, plus loss of power.

I just bought an RX8 brand new a couple weeks ago, and I love it.
Great handling, good power, and very rewarding to drive.
Aside from the poor fuel economy, there isn’t much more to ask for from a car.