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Acura TSX Clutch Problems



  • Well it happened to me. Last Friday I got into the TSX and no clutch. Had it towed to Walker Acura here in New Orleans. Monday evening the service manager calls and confirms clutch is shot and repairs will not be covered under warranty because this is a wear and tear item. I express dismay, since the car only has 19,000 miles on it. He will not budge. I call Acura Client Services and am basically told " too bad" clutch considered a wear and tear item. I explain I am 58 years old and certainly do not dog the car. No avail.

    I have been driving manual transmissions since I was 15. My current daily driver is a 2002 Corvette 6 speed with over 80,000 miles. Never a clutch problem.

    I am highly disappointed with Acura. This is my second Acura ( I had a manual CL a few years back) but likely my last. I expect this kind of blow off from GM but not Honda. Fortunately I am an attorney so I will pursue this in small claims court if need be. Again,my beef is with Acura, not the dealer. From other posts on this site I see premature clutch failure is a recurring problem that Acura just does not want to address.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Before I sold the car in 2005, the T/O bearing on my 2004 TSX clutch started going out at 18,000 miles. The dealer fixed my car under warranty.

    It's my opinion that the drive-by-wire throttle is a contributor to the problem. Throttle tip-in is more sensitive/sudden than on manual cars of a few years ago (with conventional cable actuated throttles), and it's more strain on the clutch to get a smooth engagement/disengagement.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    It's very hard to judge clutch failure without having the parts in front of us.

    If you pull off the pressure plate and the springs fall out, that's probably a defect. Certainly a bad TO bearing is a defect (in the warranty period I mean).

    But a clutch disk worn to the rivets and a flywheel burned blue---well that's probably the driver. (presuming the pressure plate is functioning well and intact).

    Sometimes (often?) it's a combination effect....the hydraulics malfunction and the driver keeps on rolling in spite of that, making life harder for clutch and synchros.

    Even geography is an issue. A clutch in San Francisco is going to fail more often than one in Kansas. This goes without saying, all other things being equal. And one in snow country probably wears faster than one in Arizona.

    And one that tows a trailer, etc.


  • Thanks. I am bringing the parts to my Corvette mechanic. It just seems to me, absent intentional abuse, a clutch should not fail in under 20000 miles.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    That's a good idea. Maybe he can spot something.


  • Well it looks like this might have a reasonably happy ending after all. Got a call from the service manager today that Acura, as a gesture of " goodwill", will cover all the parts and labor for the repairs except for the cost of the clutch disc itself, which the manages says will be under $ 400. So what started out as a $ 1500 to $ 2000 or so job will cost me less than $ 400.

    This seems reasonable to me and goes a long way to restoring my faith in Acura and its dealers.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    that the cost (or price) of a clutch disc is under $400.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Must be one of those gold-plated disks used for racing! :P


  • Wow, terrible! I am sorry to hear that. I wonder what the deal is with Acura TSX clutches? Hasn't Honda been doing this right for many years?

    I sure hope you are somehow able to make things happen! In my experience, it was the dealer that ultimately made the call to cover my clutch fix... they told me they would take care of it but only bc I had bought 2 cars from them and taken it there for all of its servicing.

    I say good luck to you!! It is outrageous for them to not cover that in a situation like yours.
  • Wow, awesome! That sounds MUCH more reasonable than nothing covered! So glad to hear your luck turned around! =)
  • My clutch failed on my 2005 Acura TSX at 50,000 miles. The dealer claims there was no defect in the clutch parts and instead that the clutch wore away slowly, which the dealer attributed to riding the clutch. According to the dealer, there were no signs of sudden failure or burn up of the clutch. While I disagree that driving abuse or riding the clutch caused the problems, the dealership agreed to cover 2/3 of the costs and is charging me $650 for what was originally quoted as a $2,000 repair. As always, the Acura dealership was responsive and professional. Still, the underlying question of whether there is a design or defect problem with the Acura clutch that causes it to wear prematurely remains open.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 853
    .....Still, the underlying question of whether there is a design or defect problem with the Acura clutch that causes it to wear prematurely remains open.
    This has been a really interesting discussion. Looks like Acura is either really professional about clutches or there is some design doubt (or both!!)

    IIRC, I have the same 6M transmission (don't know about the clutch) on my 2005 Accord 6M coupe...........77k: zero clutch mishaps.

    The 2010 TSX I4 6M is a contender. Two questions:

    1. Is it the same clutch/pressure place et al for the present generation?

    2. Anyone who has driven both Honda V-6 6M and 2nd Gen TSX 6M: your comments on clutch engagement (My 6M is vague) most appreciated.

    Holidays best, ez....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I know you'll cringe when I say this, but a clutch is an expendable item on a car. It's not supposed to last forever, although some do---but most don't last the life of the car. 50K does seem premature but not outside the statistical spectrum for clutch failures. If there was a "defect" it would have shown up long before IMO. The clutch takes a lot of stress and strain. I think the dealer who jumped in on replacement costs was being more than fair, and gave the driver the benefit of the doubt.

    It is possible that the clutch *design* might have made compromises that could shorten life somewhat. This is often the case say on hi-po cars.


  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    we must be in the minority then-never had a clutch go bad in the numerous vehicles we have owned-most of them going over 100,000 miles and a few over the 200,000 mile mark. My 3 yeat old tsx has almost 96,000 miles with a excellent clutch
  • hinzohinzo Posts: 2
    :cry: my clutch just died on my 2004 TSX today and had to toe the car in :cry: . I was driving the highway on cruise-control going up hell. The engine revved up to 5k and felt like the clutch/transmission jerking, just in a little bit tried to downshift and wasn't able to switch gears anywhere..

    It has 64k on it, and no warranty. I started to have weird problems for about a month. The car stopped accelerating as it used to; tough time going up hills and the engine revs up higher to 5k/rpm when hitting on gas paddle; some smell from bellow the engine after a ride. I thought it’s something with the sparkles and decided to wait until the next oil service.

    I had a major service done on the car recently and no mention of any tear on the clutch. If it's a tear/wear piece then why wouldn't they check for it as they do on the breaks?!

    I still need to wait until Monday for the diagnosis. I am a little scared to hear how much it would cost.

    I think Acura service charge way too much on any service. In my last major car service, they had to replace the brake pads. I don't understand why they would charge full price (1 hour of labor) when they already had the tires taken apart and already paid 450+ on the service!

    Apparently, this is my last MT car. But I still like my Acura!
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 853

  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    As the owner of numerous manual transmission vehicles-it sounds like the same problem I had with my 1987 maxima-the solution-not enough fluid. Never had a bad clutch (knock-on-wood). My 06 tsx, bought new 11/06, has the original brakes with lots of life left, original clutch and runs excellent after almost 96,000 miles. I have all the service done by the acura dealerYou probably spent more that one time than all the service I have had done. (basic oil changes/tires rotations/balances and the cabin filter changed. I learned never to ask for a certain mileage service. With the oil changes they go over the car.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    They don't inspect the clutch like they do the brakes because the clutch is inside the bell housing (you have to remove the transmission from the car to gain access). All you need to do for a brake inspection is look behind the wheels.

    If you are having trouble with your clutch (for a month), it's up to you to tell your mechanic that you are having trouble, otherwise, he'll never know.

    Dealerships do charge too much for maintenance, but I don't understand why you think they shouldn't charge you for the brake pad service. They have to remove the wheels, remove the calipers, remove the old pads, inspect/clean the calipers, pistons, guides, etc., install new pads, re-install the calipers, then re-install the wheels. None of that would be included as part of a scheduled service, and an hour (flat rate) of labor seems reasonable to me to replace brake pads.
  • hinzohinzo Posts: 2
    Got my car today. It ended up costing about $1500 at the dealer. It is not that bad especially that I got a TL loaner car for free for 3 days. I relized that I usually ride the clutch when I am stuck in traffic and there are lots of hills here in the NW.

    As far as acceleration everything is back to normal. I still smell the clutch though? Is it because it's new or it's something I need to be aware of?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "I still smell the clutch"

    What does it smell like? How do you know it's the clutch and not something else?
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