When your car is like a fine wine...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1989

Dear Tom and Ray:

My 1979 Rotary Engine Mazda RX7 has over 130,000 miles and has never had a problem. In fact, the older it gets, the better it seems to run and the less oil it consumes. At some point, I assume the engine will die. What should I look for in a rotary engine to indicate the time has come?

RAY: The sign that the "time has come" is the same for both rotary and piston engines. Some morning you'll get up at 5AM, look out your window, and see a flock of buzzards circling the car. That's your clue to start shopping.

TOM: We actually don't know how long this engine will last. We've never seen one burn oil, and in our opinion, Mazda really made this one right. It's particularly remarkable considering the crazy way you RX7 owners drive these things.

RAY: In all likelihood, the car will show signs of age someday. These will include a decrease in power, harder starts in cold weather, poorer mileage, and some oil consumption. You may also find that those guys hanging off the backs of garbage trucks have taken to snickering and pointing at you as they pass you going up steep hills.

TOM: But our advice is to stop worrying about this RX7, Charles. Your time would be better spent worrying about how your going to pay for your new one.

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