Flooded RX8

Flooded RX8 – How to Start a Flooded RX8 Mazda Fast

The Mazda RX8 is a great performance car for a relatively low cost. Rather than your conventional engine, the RX8 has a rotary engine and as you may know, rotary engines can suffer from flooding relatively easily. Once you have a  flooded RX8 they can seem impossible to start, but in the article below I will show you how to start a flooded RX8 Mazda without the huge mechanic bill. Learn everything you need to know about the Mazda RX8 engine in our guide.

Problems – Get It Started Fast

RX8 engines are known to have lots of problems some won’t start, some have hot start issues and some have misfires. But most owners will come across the not starting problems.

On this occasion, the flooded RX8 engine was caused by moving the car from one location on the drive to another, without letting it warm up enough.

Proof It Works

Here you can see our flooded RX8 starting using this method.

How to start a flooded RX8 in 15 minutes

What you need:

  • A car battery charger
  • Set of high-quality jump leads or portable jump pack
  • Another car to jump off
  • One phillips screwdriver

how to start a flooded Mazda rx8 - You need

De-flood Your RX8 Process Fast

First, we are going to disconnect the power from the fuel pump and then crank the engine over to clear out some of the additional fuel that is in the engine, then we will reconnect the fuel pump and jump start the car to get it started. Unless you are very lucky, it is unlikely to start on the first try and could take 10-15 iterations of this process to get it started. Make sure you leave around 30 seconds between cranking the engine over to allow the starter motor to cool down.

Step 1 – Charge Up

Put the car on charge beforehand to ensure it has maximum power to crank the engine over.

Starting a flooded mazda RX8 (2)_1000x750

Step 2 – Remove Rear Seat

Remove the rear passenger seat by pulling the base of the seat upwards to reveal the fuel pump cover.

Starting a flooded mazda RX8 (3)_1000x750

Step 3 – Remove Cover

Use a phillips screwdriver to undo the 4 screws on the cover and lift off the cover.

Starting a flooded mazda RX8 (4)_1000x750

Step 4 – Look at the fuel pump

Here you see the fuel pump and the connector that we will be disconnecting.

how to start a flooded Mazda rx8 - fuel pump

Step 5 – Set up jump leads

Set the car up for a jump start. I used heavy duty jump leads as you may be cranking the car over for around 15 minutes on and off, use another powerful car for the jump start, and make sure the other car is running at the time of jumping.

how to start a flooded Mazda rx8 - jump it Flooded RX8 - rx8 flooded engine

If you don’t have another car you, might be able to get away with a mobile power bank. I have successfully done this a few times.

Step 6 – Disconnect and Crank

Back in the driver’s seat, ensure the car is out of gear and remove the fuel pump connector from the fuel pump. Once removed crank the car over with the clutch depressed for 30 seconds to clear out the excess fuel from the engine.

how to start a flooded Mazda rx8 - reconnect after a few minutes - Flooded RX8

Step 7 – Keep Cranking and connect pump

Whilst still cranking the engine, plug the fuel pump back in, apply 1/3 throttle and continue to crank the engine with the clutch depressed for 30 seconds. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until the car starts to fire up. When the car begins to catch, don’t let go of the key until you’re sure it will stay running. It can take many attempts to get it started. See the video below for an idea of how the process looks.

Step 8 – Take the car for a run

Once running take the car on a good 20-minute run ensuring all fuel is burned off out of the exhaust properly. Fixed.

Flooded RX8 – Recommendations – Get a Boost Pack

I found that I was getting a bit nervous of stalling the RX-8 whilst out and about. Without a jump car it was impossible to get the car started again. But with a mobile jump pack I have been able to get the car going again. It might not work in all instances, but you can crank the car over around 20-30 times with these packs for are a great help.

Mazda RX8 Motor Swap

If your RX8 engine is truly broken then you might want to consider an engine swap, we have a full guide looking at everything from V8s, 1JZ, 2JZ or even 13B-REW engines. If you are specifically interested in swapping to an LS engine, we have a detailed guide as well. Take a look and plan your new engine. After that pick the best RX8 body kit for your fully running car.

Approved Tools

These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.


  • Ollie Bell Says

    Flooded my engine and followed these steps, had to repeat 6 and 7 a few times but it did the trick. Unplugging the fuel pump is essential! Thanks!

  • luke simms Says

    What is the difference between this method and removing the fuel pump fuse which is much more easily accessible

    • It’s just personal preference really. I found it easier with one hand on the pump connector and the other on the ignition key. Either is fine.

  • Phil Bate Says

    Unplugging the fuel pump or its fuse are unnecessary. Fully depressing the accelerator while cranking disables the fuel injectors for this very purpose. Check the user manual.

  • Del Worville Says

    Don`t you think this advice is a little irresponsible!
    To suggest making and breaking the 12 volt supply to the petrol tank whilst live (cranking) is not the thing to do, a random spark and any possible petrol fumes do not mix believe me!
    This method is totally unnecessary when you can just floor the throttle or remove the fuel pump fuse.
    Someone needs to brush up on safety procedures before tinkering with a petrol tank.

  • drfreud Says

    please don’t think i’m stupid, i can’t get the fuel pump fuse out-literally. I can pul the rest, is there something special about the blue? Laugh later…I’m not paying someone to fix my car, i’m trying.
    (front right blue fuse)

  • my rx8 don’t want to start and am not sure if its flooded or compression loss. and my challenge is that I don’t have the tester and mazda Namibia wont do it because I imported my car from UK. but all I know is I had a misfire, and when checked it was 2 coils dead,and the mechanic used to start the engine with 2 coils but later it couldn’t start, when new coils came the car couldn’t start.

  • Colin Says

    Tow the car at low speed, ignition on, and let out the clutch in 1st gear. All fuel will be ejected rapidly.

    Not every flood can be cleared via cranking, especially in early cars with the slower starter. The tow start has been the most effective technique, in my experience.

    • mark john hill Says

      I am having the same problem ,started my car backed out the garage and stupid turned off when cold FLOODED it s a 2004 231 will it start with a tow?it s my last option

  • I can confirm that an RX8 231ps (mine’s a 2007 vintage) will disable the fuel pump if you fully depress the accelerator pedal BEFORE turning the ignition key. The beauty of this, is that any failed start can be followed by a purge (pedal to the floor before ignition) and then try again. I did 3×6 second purges, then the 4th time I’d do a 1 second purge then release the accelerator pedal whilst cranking which would cause some firing. The successful start required continually cranking whilst the engine revved which I think is superbly illustrated in your video. Thank you for posting this which was a great help (though I didn’t have to disconnect anything).

  • alfredo Says

    i disconnect the fuel pum now it say i have no gas but it used to have gas but now im all confused

  • Roger Says

    I’ve spent two days trying to start my 04 reg RX8 following the advice given. Must have cranked the engine in total for about 2 hours on each day, even Green Flag had to give up. Interested in the tow method but I’m parked facing downhill and without the engine running means I couldn’t brake if I had to. Can anyone help?
    I’m getting desperate now!!


  • Roger Says

    No it’s not fired at all. It’s cranking over very strongly. I don’t think there’s a secondary issue as it was running perfectly before I moved it just 100yds for my son before turning the engine off. I know now that I shouldn’t have done that and that I’m to blame for it flooding. I think also that if there was a secondary issue, then Green Flag would have found it. Green Flag said to just keep on trying (and then left) but I’m worried we could burn out the starter motor.???

    • I agree be extra carefully to give the starter time to cool. I have ran this process a few times now and sometimes its 5 minutes, I think 30 mins was the worst.

      Other things that might help I know there is two types of start motors available, one with more power, might be worth checking which one you have in case you can upgrade both for now and issues in the future.

      I would just keep trying. Video it and send me a link, I would be happy to see if I can assist.

      • Roger Says

        Thanks Paul. I’ll try starting it again later on and will video it. How do I send you a link though? Not done this before on this site. Thanks for your interest/help.
        Email: rogjanjones@yahoo.co.uk

  • Nick Pratt Says

    If rx8 is flooded tow for 500 yards or so dont touch throttle till it fires then will smoke like fuc take for a run till smoke clears and Roberts your farthers brother

  • Mary Says

    Hi, my 2009 rx8 is flooded. It’s automatic and I was wondering if this procedure would still work for it? Do i just keep the gas depressed the whole time while cranking and then plug the fuel pump back in and continue cranking? Please help. Thank you!

  • mark john hill Says

    So people will a flooded mazda rx8 231 start by being towed,come on chaps and lady will it work, ploease HELP

  • lukas Says

    hi i tried everything but when it stars even if i rev it at 3k or 4k rpm when i let the gas pedal go it shuts off please help me what shall i do and before that i was driving and the car shut off by its self while driving

  • Tom Says

    Thanks so much for this it helped fix my 07 rx8!!

  • Andrew Says

    Thanks!! It worked on mine

  • James Hodgson Says

    Thanks for this. It worked like a dream for me. Attached a power pack to the battery, 5,15 second turnovers with the fuel pump disconnected. Plugged back in and started straight away. Had been struggling with other methods!

  • Gaynor Says

    I have trouble starting my 13 year old RX8 every time I use it. It’s done 37,000 miles. Will this just get worse?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.