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Acura TSX Clutch Problems

It appears that my transmission or clutch blew out with less than
9K on the car. Has anybody experienced similar problems? Does
anyone have any suggestions what I should do with the car or what the dealer should do? I have been generally happy with my
TSX until now. It is quite embarassing to have your new 2004 car
literally drop dead in the middle of an intersection and later have
your car hauled back to the dealership on the back of a flatbed.
Any comments or suggestions are welcome


  • Hillside Acura Service in Bayshore, NY called today and confirmed
    that it was blown clutch. They told me that the WILL NOT cover
    the repair at ALL. They said that obviously the clutch was blown
    by a long period of shifting neglect. Never mind that this is the
    third stickshift that I have had over the years and the car was
    taken for scheduled maintenance in October and checked out fine.
    This is totally UNBELIEVABLE. I am so angry at this point that I could strangle someone.
  • Don't strangle anyone! I'm not telling you what to do, but I have 130,000 miles on my old car's clutch and transmission and if they pulled this one on me, I'd call a lawyer first thing!
  • I talked a district manager at Acura Customer Care who instructed
    the dealership to fix the problem under the warranty. The service manager said the car should be ready in about a week.Thank you
    for all the input and support.
  • your dealer has some nerve pulling that crap with you.
  • Anyone have an audible click when they depress their clutch? Last night I drove for the first time without my radio on and noticed it - so I'm not sure if this has been happening all along.
  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    Did I miss any subsequent posts from the person on this forum who had the clutch go out at 9 or 10,000 miles? Just curious about his experience and cost.
  • I've had my '04 TSX since last jan. and it has about 16,000 miles on it. last week, my clutch started to stick and when i took it into the dealer this morning, they said it could be "wear and tear" or a manufacturer's defect but it needs to be replaced either way...has anyone else had their clutch go out after 1yr/16000 miles???
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    I don't have a TSX yet, but I recall the Car & Driver review saying that the electronic throttle control was unnecessarily hard on the clutch.
  • so the dealer got back to me on my clutch problem and they said that it was worn out??? after 16,000 miles and only a year? i don't believe that i should have to cover an expense as big as this soo freakin' soon, especially when the rest of the car is in perfect condition and i had a major service done on it at 10,000 miles in which they told me everything was fine!
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    If I were you, I wouldn't rest until Acura paid for it. Even if you learned to drive manual on it, there is no way it should be dead already unless there was a defect. Two examples...


    My friend's '91 Acura Legend, new cluch after 170k miles


    My girlfriend's '93 Toyota Celica, still original after 105k miles and 3 people learning manual on it.
  • My TSX is 2 years old with 30,000 miles on it, was told by the dealer that I had complete clutch failure. Wear and tear item, not covered.$1700 to fix. Acura has had my car for 2 weeks now, waiting for the parts, because they are so hard to get, hmmm, I wonder why.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Posts: 548
    So, your clutch failed and that is costing you $1700 to fix, eh? In other words, your TSX had the world's most expensive clutch. I can't begin to imagine a clutch costing nearly that much to replace, nor do I believe that Honda/Acura is not willing to perform warranty repairs on a 2-year old car.

    Sorry, but none of this sounds very believable to me. Either your dealer is not being very honest with you, or you are not being very honest with us.
  • I'm sorry that you are having a problem with my honesty, but that is what Acura service told us. When we fist dropped the car off, the price was $1340 before tax to fix the clutch which I believe included the pressure plate, clutch pad and throw out bearing. Now today the also told us the the flywheel should be replaced at an added cost of $200 which brings the total to around $1700 with tax and all. We called the 800 number for Acura consumer assistance and were assigned a case worker to investigate the fact that we thought this should be covered by warranty. The case worker basically called the service dept. at the dealer that has our car, asked them about it, they stated it was a wear item, case worker said it would not be covered thank you for calling Acura. So we thought we would do a little looking on the net to see if anyone else might be having trouble with the same thing and came across this forum and thought we would chime in with our experience. Didn't think we would have our honesty questioned.
  • Sorry to hear about your pains. Regardless of it being a wearable item- if it fails FAR before the expected life span, it should be "covered" under warranty even if it is not printed in black and white.

    It is my understanding that modern clutches are designed to last approx. 100 k. before replacement. I would ask what the expected life of the clutch is on a TSX. I would then ask for them to show you the clutch and why they think you were the cause of the failure- abuse will be very evident- if you are not the cause or they cannot say that this is why the clutch failed, I would ask for them to pay for it. Ultimately they can refuse you, but IMHO, they have a weak leg to stand on for not paying for it.

    Customer pay repairs are the most profitable and far outstrip the money made on warranty- warranty is kind of like Medicaid for cars.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 156,654
    Full clutch job and a flywheel at the dealer.. $1700 sounds about right..

    You could probably get it done much cheaper at an independent, but a little late for that now..

    If your clutch goes in the first 10K, you might have a beef.. but, if you expect a dealer or Acura to pay for a clutch after 30K miles, you'll be sorely disappointed..

    You might be the best manual-shift driver in the world, but many people aren't.. and you can burn out a clutch in one day, if you are really bad or new at it...

    In summary, there could be many reasons for your clutch wearing prematurely, but after 30K miles, there is no way to prove any of them... The dealer/manufacturer will always assume it is because of driving habits...

    And this isn't just Acura... every make has the same policy..

    Sorry about your luck..


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  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    Asking a manufacturer to replace a worn out clutch is like asking them to replace worn out brakes or tires. Completely dependent on driving style. There are lots of shops that work on Hondas and other J-Land imports and you'll pay a grand or less. No reason to support high priced dealer service.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Posts: 548
    Marvincbr - I apologize. Based on what some of the other posters here are saying, I stand corrected. I should not have questioned your honesty.

    In any case, I hope you get this problem resolved at minimal cost to you. I really do think Acura should stand behind you on this one. Assuming you have not done anything negligent, your clutch should last a lot more than 30,000 miles.

    I wouldn encourage you to send Acura a certified/registered letter. Calling will not preserve all your legal rights.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Makes me wonder if I shouldn't reconsider having a used 2004 6MT on my potential purchase list. If the clutch potentially isn't covered under the warranty, I could be looking at a repair that would eat up any savings from buying used.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 156,654
    Clutches are almost universally NOT covered by warranty... by any manufacturer.. they are a "wear" item..

    So, even if you buy new.. it still won't be covered... but, on the positive side, you'll know how the car was driven..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • gmtgmt Posts: 6
    This is the third TSX forum I have visited. The reason I started seeking you all out is because I recently began hearing a strange howling/squeltching noise coming from my clutch when pulling out in 1st, mostly on an incline. This is my 4th new Acura, (2004 TSX, 6M) all of which have been manual. After chatting online, I have confirmed that other TSX owners have had the same problem. Apparently, there is a problem with the throw-out bearing. Are you having clutch problems prematurely? If so, you're in for a real B.S. deal.... My car has been at the dealer for two days now. They are still having "discussions" with Acura because the clutch isn't under warranty, and I am raising all hell. I only have 20K on it, but others have reported even less miles. If anyone has had a bad throw-out bearing replaced under warrantly, please post the name of the dealership. My dealer said it would help them make the case to ACURA. If you are having the same problem, have your dealer contact the GM at Proctor Acura in Tallahassee... It would help my cause as well!

    Big G
  • uncledaviduncledavid Posts: 548

    In all honesty, I wouldn't let this particular issue stop me. Over at the TSX enthusiast site, there are several hundred 6MT drivers. They all run their vehicles hard, and some have already got 50,000+ miles on their cars. Yet, there haven't been many (if any) reports of clutch failures. I think this is an EXTREMELY rare event.

    If the power is not great enough for you, or the you are worried about the stiff ride, I would stay away from the TSX. But, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say that this will be a very reliable vehicle overall.

    Just my opinion though...
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473

    Can you be more specific on what exactly you're hearing? Does this "howling" sound like it's coming from inside the cabin of the car, or is it more something you can tell is coming from under the car or outside the car?

    Just curious. Thanks.
  • manavimanavi Posts: 150

    Any update on your TSX clutch problems?
  • 7hondas7hondas Posts: 1
    After owning 7 Honda/Acura cars, all with manual transmissions, I have never had a clutch failure. That includes a Civic with over 250,000 miles on the original clutch, and a 97 Acura GS-R that was driven anything but easy (traded with 138,000 miles).

    I'm buying a TSX in the very near future, and I'm on the fence between a 6 sp and auto. I was concerned whether Honda / Acura has fixed the automatic transmission problems they had in the past, but now I wonder if they are starting to have manual transmission problems.

    How are the automatics holding up?
  • ronabironabi Posts: 39
    7hondas, I have had my 05 TSX 5AT only three months, but I want you to know that I am more than pleased with the AT. It is smooth as glass and at least as responsive as any other AT I have had over many years of car ownership if not more so. That said, I am not a racer, and so don't have some of the same interests that many of the 6MT fans do. While I am not qualified to speak about how it performs over time, I can say that based on my limited experience and on the testimony of others with longer term ownership, I do not expect to see problems of any kind.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Posts: 548
    The problems with Honda Automatics were largely restricted to the 6-cyl engines, and were most problematic in the Acura TL line. There have been some reports of tranny failures in the Accord V6 engines and I believe they extended the warranty on the Prelude line as well.

    Personally, I put 170,000 miles on Accords with Automatics and never had a single problem.

    The AT on the TSX is the nicest one Honda has ever produced. The slushbox in my Accord shifted roughly, and was not always in the right gear. The TSX sometimes hesitates a bit before downshifting, but it is really smooth and never hunts gears.

    I still think the car is happier with the slick 6MT, but the 5AT is a reasonable compromise for those of us who live in traffic.

    The TSX does have some issues though (stiff ride being my major complaint, and I don't like the tires) but I don't expect the reliablity of the AT to be an issue.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 156,654
    I lost a tranny on an '01 Accord 4-cylinder.. Must have been more than just mine, because the warranty was extended to 100K on the tranny (not due to this single failure).

    However, no drama... just sounded funny, and we took it in...

    I still put Honda up against any other make for reliability.. 54K miles on that one, and that was the only problem... and Honda took care of it..


    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • lmmorganlmmorgan Posts: 3
    New to the forum, with the TSX on my "short list" of 3 or 4 other vehicles.

    I'm concerned about the clutch discussion. I once owned an '89 Integra (purchased new) and loved the way the car drove/handled but found the overall ownership experience VERY poor. Coincidentally, one of the things that went wrong was the clutch, at 19K. Arguing with the dealer that I had never had a clutch on any car last me less than 100K did no good.

    It seems this may be a notoriously weak component, if I'm still hearing the same sort of stories 15 years later. :(

    Incidentally, the tramlining thing was common to my Integra as well. A set of Pirelli P77s in lieu of the OEM Michelins helped a lot. Fixed the cars tendency to seek trees and ditches in the rain, as well.
  • manavimanavi Posts: 150
    Frankly, I think the clutch issue is overblown. I think there are 2 or 3 people that are posting on multiple websites about how they have had the clutch go out on their TSX prematurely. Tell me what other cars you are considering and I bet I can dig up 2 or 3 for each one that are also complaining about premature clutch failure.

    With car reliability, you have to play the odds. And, right now, when all is said and done, Acuras are one of the most reliable cars you can buy, period.
  • newt2newt2 Posts: 1
    I have 2004 tsx. Recently clutch pedal creaking. Very annoying. Is this a symptom of something much worse? Anybody have advice.
  • al_ral_r Posts: 1
    I know exactly the sound and feel you are talking about. I had the same problem. First the dealer put lubricant on some sort of "fitting" on the clutch cable. This worked for about a week. The dealer has ordered a new clutch cable and is changing the entire thing.
  • pjfrypjfry Posts: 2
    I'd like to weigh in on the clutch problem as well. For the past month or so I have also heard the slight whine when accelerating from a stop in 1st gear. Then a few days ago the clutch failed on me. When I accelerate in any gear the engine revs quickly to about 6000 RPM yet the car barely moves. I took it to the dealer today, and even though I have yet to hear from them they told me it is most likely a clutch problem, and if the technician deems it to be because of "my driving habits" then they won't replace it under warranty. I am glad to hear that others have had this problem, because ANY clutch, especially one from Honda should not give out at 10k miles. I'll post updates on the cost and whether or not they cover it under the warranty. From the discussions thus far it seems highly unlikely that they will cover it.

    As for the clutch being a wear and tear item, as people have been posting, I agree. But, if you bought tires that were supposed to last 40k and they only lasted 4k under normal driving conditions then clearly something is wrong and it's not normal wear and tear. The same applies for a clutch.
  • pjfrypjfry Posts: 2
    I said I'd follow up on my clutch troubles. The dealer did not want to replace the clutch, but Acura Customer Care told them to do so as a "courtesy repair." So I got it done for free, which is good. But the dealer of course still assumed it was my fault and treated me like crap for the rest of my experience with them. Which brings me to my next point. I have read a few posts praising Pohanka Acura. I have had nothing but bad experiences with them. Their service people ignore me until I practically smack them to get their attention, and then when they do speak to me they are extremely rude. But fortunately for me I have a choice in dealers, and I have chosen never to go back to Pohanka.
  • manavimanavi Posts: 150
    I'm glad you followed up and let everyone know the outcome of your clutch issues. Wow, 10,000 miles and a new clutch.

    As far as the dealer, you could always rip them in the dealer service survey you're bound to be getting in the mail in the near future.

    I think you're right to just take your future business elsewhere, though. Vote with your wallet.
  • jet1234jet1234 Posts: 16
    Do you mind if I ask what year your TSX is (04 or 05)?

    Also, I've only heard negative things about Pohanka Acura's service dept. Sorry to hear about your experience.
  • Has anyone gotten this fixed?? I'm going in for my 3rd try.. They've lubed it (worked for about 3 days) and then replaced the entire clutch assembly. About a week later--creak, creak, creak.... I love the car but am tempted to trade it in on an automatic... Oh, and don't get me started on my window problems.. I'll find the appropriate post to complain about those.. Oh! and its a 2004 TSX..
  • I have a 2004 TSX with 36k miles on it. M/T w/ Navi.

    Two weeks ago, all of a sudden, my clutch started acting really weird. The pedal is very loose halfway and clutch never seems to fully engage anymore.

    Now, I drive fairly conservatively, and I've never had probelms with my M/T '99 Integra which was at 70k, so I don't think the clutch is worn, but the dealer is almost insisting it's the clutch without really giving my car a look and says I need to fork over $1500 to get it replaced.

    However I got them to admit that they've seen no other signs of abuse on my car, and that a clutch wearing out at 36k seems really really weird for a 2004 TSX.

    I'm suspecting a spring on the pressure plate gave out which is why it's not fully pushing the clutch into place? But honestly, I'm not a mechanic and I'm not going to pretend to be.

    All I know is that I don't drive hard, and I don't think that a worn clutch is the problem. Or at least, my driving did not contribute to a worn clutch.

    Any thoughts? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    - Joe
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    If something happened all of sudden it can't be a wear thing since that usually is a gradual thing. Try to be firm but don't argue with the dealer. You probably are right about the spring. A broken spring on a 2 year car should be covered by warranty - it's not a wear item. Get Acura HQ involved if the dealer won't budge.
  • Same thing happened to my 05 tsx @ 21k mi.

    Dealer has it now and is fixing it without argument.
    Meantime, I have a 06 tsx loaner.

    They've had it for about 5 days. I'll keep you posted.
  • Dealership says that they'll replace my trans, but that there is extreme clutch wear.

    They also said they found some metal filings in the transmission fluid, and had to replace 1st and 6th gear sprockets.

    While I resent the implication that somehow I rode my clutch to the point of burning it out @ 21k miles, they're fixing it without argument, replacing the trans, clutch plate, and everything else.

    Think maybe I can talk them into keeping it and giving me another car?
  • I think since they're doing you right by completely replacing your tranny, clutch plate, etc, there's little chance they'll give you a new car instead.

    After all the work is done, the drivetrain should be close to as good as new.
  • I had a BMW 525 that had a transmission electrical failure at 1,200 miles. No, they didn't repalce the entire car, just the transmission. The rest of the car was perfect for 90k+ miles after that.

    You need a new transmission and clutch system. Why on earth would you need a whole new car??
  • cessna3cessna3 Posts: 2
    My '06 TSX 6MT is just over two weeks old now and just under 1000 miles. Since day one, I have had intermittent problems getting it to shift smoothly, mainly into 2nd and 3rd gear. About once-twice a day it actually lurches me forward in my seat as if the clutch is coming in on an engine that is braking heavily. Other times, it is as smooth as can it should be, I would think, for a car of this caliber!

    I have spent probably 200 of the 1000 miles just driving around trying to figure it out thinking it was me that did not have the rhythm, yet I have owned 5 MT's in the past with no problem and made a comment to the sales guy during my test drive (different car) that it was one of the smoothest MT's I had ever driven. It appears that it has something to do with a load on the engine such as the A/C clutch, yet it still happens with the environmental controls off. I had one service guy tell me yesterday that he thought it was probably normal. Another one at a different dealer this morning said it probably isn't, yet we didn't drive it. I have an appointment Tuesday.

    My questions are #1, for those who have a TSX 6MT, do you experience anything like this with yours or does it continually shift smoothly? and #2 is there anyone out there who has seen this before and did you find a solution? Please help! :confuse: What a bummer to be this frustrated so early in my TSX experience...
  • seazseaz Posts: 3
    Actually, I have a 2004 TSX 6sp and I've started to notice the same odd noise. It's loud, and passengers ask "what was that?" When coming out of first gear, particularly on an incline, I occasionally hear a 'howling' sound. I'm kind of upset about this, since the car only has about 30k miles and I have babied the car around. I just don't understand how it can have clutch issues so soon.

    I also noticed the 'clicking' sound when I engaged the cluch pedal at an early stage -- probably 20k miles. The dealer said they lubricated something and it actually stopped, but that fix only lasted about a week. Now it does it off an on, its rather inconsistent. And now 10k miles later, I hear the howling.

    Now I'm just waiting for a complete clutch failure. Is that what I can expect? From what I have read, it sounds like the dealer will not repair under warranty, either.
  • Hi, I just experienced the same problem with my 2004 Acura TSX - 5 speed. It was driving fine then, boom, on a moderate uphill grade, it lost compression, and 2 minutes later it died. I towed it to an Acura dealer who gave me a $1600 estimate. My question to you is -- how was your problem resolved -- was the root cause ever determined? Did Acura HQ cover the costs? Thanks, Dennis of Oakland, CA
  • I bought a used 04 TSX 6MT Navi with 15K miles in May. (Certified used) Recently the cluch started to make a creaking noise and wasn't very smooth up or down. I took it to a different dealer in my area for what I thought would be just a lube. Turns out they replaced the clutch master cylinder. They never even drove it. All under warranty. Great service, no problems since.
  • dhejnadhejna Posts: 5
    Hi, I took my 2004 TSX into the shop - they're placing the clutch - they said it is not under warranty - in fact - the dealer said car manufacturer's do not warranty the clutch. I wonder why they consider your's "under warranty." Thanks for the reply - the clutch is a $1700 job - car's got under 50,000 miles.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    The clutch certainly is covered under warranty, but most dealers seem to fight it tooth and nail, claiming driver abuse or something similar. A lot of people do abuse their clutches, but a clutch going out with less than 50K on the odo seems premature.
  • dhejnadhejna Posts: 5
    I'll have to read the warranty carefully. Thanks for the reply.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    could you please let me know where you got your information from. I thought the clutch is not covered under warranty- it is a normal wear item. Usually if the clutch is defective you will know way before 50,000 miles. We have been very lucky with the many manual transmission cars we have owned all going over 100,000 miles. We do mostly highway driving so that helps. Stop and go traffic pays havic on clutches.We never rest our foot on it either. Bad habit.
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