If you've ever looked into owning a car with a rotary engine, people will often tell you to watch out for blown apex seals. These are the seals at the tips of each rotor that seal the housing and create compression. Over time, these seals degrade, and depending on how much (or little) lubrication they get, can fail catastrophically. But, as you're about to see, Alex Kersten of found out the hard way it's not just apex seals you have to worry about in rotary engines.
In this latest episode of Car Throttle's "Living With a Rotary" YouTube series, Kersten brings his recently-purchased Mazda RX-8 to a rotary specialist shop to perform an engine teardown and find out exactly why is car is so down on power. Before the team goes about taking the engine apart, they do a compression test on both rotors, and find compression low on the second one—not a great start. Once they eventually get to cracking open the housings, they find one rotor has a spun bearing, which is very, very not good. It's the piece that holds the rotor center with the shaft, so if it comes out of place, the engine is almost certainly done for. Like with apex seals, things like oil starvation are what cause this.
If you want to see what a blown rotary engine looks like, and maybe learn a thing or two about how they work, check out Car Throttle's video right here.