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Acura TSX Clutch Problems



  • 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: 857
    .....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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    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.

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  • 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: 857

  • 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?
  • Mine smelled like that for a few months. It is that newly worked on smell... it went away gradually. I think it's normal. I got mine replaced at 25K a year ago and the new clutch has been working great.
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    If it smoked really bad when you burnt it, you may just be getting the lingering smell. It's a good thing you realized you are riding the clutch - now you can do something about it - stop doing it!
  • lll0228lll0228 Posts: 13
    I was surprised to find this thread, I was hoping that I was the only one... I have only owned my 2004 MT for under a year. I know the previous owner and she was not a clutch riding driver, nor am I (I am certified to race in multiple countries). I was quite surprised to find that it started slipping after I put 6k miles on it (bought it with 44k), and I hardly drive much at all, thanks to the Seattle Metro buses.

    My mechanic couldn't believe what he saw either, the clutch plate was worn all the way down to the rivets. And it left marks on the pressure plate (second picture). Please ignore the rust, it set in after a few days left exposed in the humid weather up here in the Northwest. I didn't pick up the car rightaway.



    I will be sending these photos to Acura. I know they are not responsible for this kind of clutch failure since it's well beyond warranty, I do wish that they would know it happened. I have owned many MT cars, this is the first time I have to do a clutch job at under 50k miles; and it's a Honda, for goodness sake. Even my older Jetta lasted 'til 100k. I am not too happy about this, to be honest, but the rest of the car is nice enough.

    I also have to give CMarr Automotive in Seattle a big kudos for doing this right, being incredibly responsible and charged me much much less than what it could have been at the dealerships. Nice work guys, thank you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Just on the face of it (no pun intended) from the pictures it just looks like normal wear. Don't see any busted springs. Maybe the previous owner wasn't as skillful as you? I suppose that some serious testing of the pressure plate's applicable force might be in order, if one were tuned it to that type of testing. Perhaps a clutch rebuilder could tell you something.

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  • lll0228lll0228 Posts: 13
    She is not as skilled as I am (never been to high performance schools), but she did not ride the clutch. That I know for sure, I have sat in her car before a few times. She is also a very gentle driver.

    Even if she did a tiny little bit, that's a lot of wear for barely over 40k. I would contend that, for a modern Honda, that it would take a lot of serious abuse to wear out a clutch at under 100k.

    I am also not a fast and furious driver, I don't drive hard at all and I've never taken this car to the track. Oh well, at least it looks like I am not the only person that encountered this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    It's hard to know. Another way to kill a clutch is to lug the engine (be in 5th gear instead of a more appropriate 3rd, for instance), or do use the transmission to brake the car, or to use the clutch to hold the car on hills.

    clutches are like brakes---they are expendable items, and as such it is extremely difficult to get satisfaction from a manufacturer on premature wear. Sometimes dealers will take "good will money" that they have at their disposal (dealers who have performed well in sales) and put that towards a 50-50 settlement on a new clutch.

    But still I would be as discouraged as you over a 40K clutch failure. It's just so hard to "prove" what happened unless you can see broken parts in the clutch.

    Was the flywheel "burned" at all? Any oil leakage? Any leakage from the clutch slave cylinder? Complaints of hard shifting in the past? Excessive wear on the throw out bearing collar? Damage to the flywheel pilot bushing? Any binding, signs of wear, bending, of the transmission input shaft? ---- all these might be tell-tale signs of why the clutch failed.

    I have seen a little "buzz" an TSX clutch issues, but I never did see anyone getting a free clutch out of it.

    My suspicion is that the clutch may not have been well-matched to the car, but it's very hard to get any tangible info.

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  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    The only time there's wear on the clutch is when the disc is not fully engaged to the flywheel. The only things that affects the wear is the time spent in this not fully engaged state (slipping) and the material the disk plate is made of. The former is within control of the driver while the ladder is something that is Honda's responsibility. It's hard to tell from this board (and others) how much of this issue can laid at Honda's feet - but it could certainly be that they got a bunch of lemon disc plates causing this issue. Being in the business to make money, Honda will try to avoid addressing this issue via the "it's a wear item" loophole (even within the warranty period). The onlyway this will get any traction is if the problem is widespread enough. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case, yet.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    A faulty clutch slave cylinder could hurt the clutch, too.

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  • I was reading through the notes on this and I am sorry that happened to your car lll0228! My clutch went out at 25K. I guess I got really lucky because my local dealership, Ron Tonkin Acura in Portland did cover the entire new clutch repair. They did this for me because I have always taken my car there for it's maintenance and also it was the second Acura I had purchased there. I am replying bc I noticed above that Mr. Shiftright had never heard of one being completely covered. I was astounded myself! I definitely feel loyalty now to Tonkin and will go there for all of my regularly scheduled maintenance!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Oh I meant I never heard of one being covered out of warranty. In warranty, and at 25K miles,you have a much stronger case.

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  • mhayleymhayley Posts: 1
    My 2007 TSX 6-sp just blew its clutch at 29k miles. Dealer says it is a wear item and wants $1,600.

    I am age 55, drive normal and have not had a speeding ticket in 15-years. I've driven manual transmission cars since I was 16; I do not ride the clutch, I do not race or hot-rod, and I live in Miami where there are no hills. I do live in an urban area with a lot of traffic.

    This is my 3rd Honda with a manual transmission and it blows my mind that a clutch could fail after 28k miles. Worse of all, my lease expires in exactly 60-days.

    I appreciate the posts in this forum. I will see the service manager face to face this afternoon; you've given me some ammunition.
  • djfosterdjfoster Posts: 8
    If the service manager does not provide any satisfaction, call Acura Customer Care.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    acura customer care will probably tell you it is a normal wear item, therefore, not covered. You have better luck dealing with the service manager if you do not yell at them. They just might do it as a one-time goodwill service. Good Luck. My 06 6MT tsx, bought new 11/06, has 99,000 problem free miles.
  • civic2kcivic2k Posts: 18
    2008 Acura TSX, 6-spd, 23k miles

    I recently had the third gear synchro go out on me and took it to the dealer. I've never had to replace a clutch in my life let alone have a transmission REBUILT, and this is my baby (not a scratch/dent on her, I keep this in mint condition), and definitely DO NOT race it.

    I got a call from the dealer telling me my clutch was gone, and that they could replace it for $700 since the transmission was out. I fought it, called Acura Corporate, but they were of no help. The clutch was fine when I dropped the car off, but reading this thread scared me into saying yes. Anyway, dealer changed their story and told Corporate it was 25% worn, and that they only SUGGESTED I replace it (*AFTER* replacing it, of course), and that I was responsible for the charges. Long story short, I paid $400+ tax at the end of the day for a clutch replacement I don't even think I needed.

    Here's the problem I'm having now though: the clutch pedal feels WAY off, it feels very light (no feedback), and the engagement point feels too close to the floor. I assume it needs to be adjusted (though the dealership said they need to "test drive" my car first, and I'm sure they'll say it's normal). Keep in mind I consider myself a pretty good driver (doesn't everybody?) and have NEVER had to replace a clutch in my life, so this is new to me. Is it normal to fall to the floor so easily after these repairs? Also, clutch engagement has always been 2"-3" off the floor on this car prior and on my other cars...when they inevitably say it's normal, I can tell them to think again and adjust it, right?
  • No, that is definitely NOT normal! I had mine replaced at 25K, dealer covered it for me simply bc I had done all of my service there as well as buying the car there (This is where I say Tonkin Acura in Portland, OR is awesome!!). Anyhow, the new clutch smelled a bit for a couple thousand miles but the clutch peddle felt like normal- the same as when it was new. I am up to 40K now and it still works great!

    I sure hope those guys fix it properly for you!!
  • civic2kcivic2k Posts: 18
    Thanks. Mine did NOT smell weird at all, couldn't smell any odd odor. From what I've read new clutches are usually "sticky" and tricky to engage in the clutch actually SLIPPED for a while in the beginning (granted I picked it up right after a snowstorm, there were still flurries). The only other trickiness I have to deal with is an odd feeling clutch and an engagement point close to the floor. Hmmmm.

    The shifter has even popped out of gear a few times (this is new to me), but maybe it's the rebuilt transmission breaking shifted real clunky in the beginning but has progressively gotten better.

    After reading around a bit, I'm thinking (hoping) there's just air in the system. Wish me luck!
  • I Do wish you luck! I know how devastating something like that is when it happens to your like new car (I still think of mine as new)!! =)
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    much luck to you-
    I still consider my 06 tsx new even with the almost 100,000 problem free miles. I am very protective of where I park, wash it often and it is garage kept. I make sure the maintenance is done.
  • devstsxdevstsx Posts: 2
    Like the rest of you, my clutch failed at 57K miles. I own a 06 TSX that I bought new and I have been driving MT all my life a never had a clutch fail on me this early.

    I initially took it in to the dealer and they replaced the slave cylinder (warranty repair) but that did not fix the problem. I just had the clutch, PP, T/O bearing, and Flywheel replaced for a whopping $1500. I went to pick it up yesterday, the clutch is extremely light and releases to high of the ground....this is not normal and they say it is..i do not agree, and they say there is no adjustments?

    Secondly, I drove off the lot with it, took it out on the highway and it started making a turbine noise over 65mph...i took it right back and it is back in the shop....has anyone had these problems? The car was pretty much perfect before I took it it feels like a completely different car. I am really disappointed with the service...any suggestions would be welcomed!
  • Yep, never had to replace a clutch before. Been driving MT from 14 years now. The price they are charging me sounds ridiculous...$2400. I was going to have the tires done as well...set of 4...$1000+. Air bag sensor replacement (I didn't hit anything)...$325. Brake pads and rotor "resurfacing"...whatever. Chance I'll ever buy another Acura? Zero!!!!
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