Acura RSX Maintenance and Repair

revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
Here is the new place for owners to discuss Acura RSX problems and solutions. Thanks for your participation.

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  • uthinxuthinx Member Posts: 21
    Edmunds service section is correct. The first oil change should be at 5000 miles. A while back my dealer (Ray Laks Acura) sent me the revised maintenance schedule and it specified this. Today when I asked them they were quite insistant that 5000 was the correct mileage for the first oil change and that at that point the engine would be fully broken in and exhibiting its maximum performance characteristics. The original brochure had stated 3750 miles.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    In the Helpful Links on the left side of the page, you'll find a direct link to Edmunds' Maintenance guide where you can look up service schedules, recalls, and tsb's (technical service bulletins). Keep your eyes open for other related articles and discussions to be linked to that area. Hope this is helpful.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • cjmajestycjmajesty Member Posts: 2
    Is it better to use synthetic motor oil at the first oil change or should you start off with a blend & then eventually go to full synthetic, or should you use synthetic at all. I heard that the best oil for Hondas/Acuras is Honda motor oil.Even better than synt, revka what do you think.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    I'm not familiar what Honda/Acura recommends in terms of synthetic oil, so I'd be hesitant to make any recommendations. I do know that opinions vary on this subject. To play it safe, you may want to ask your service manager. You may want also be interested in some of the oil discussions on our Maintenance & Repair board. To start, here's Engine Oil - A slippery subject. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    We have an RSX-S in our household, and I drive it sometimes. Not long after buying the car a clicking noise developed from the front left wheel (or maybe it is from the suspension). The clicking happens when accelerating and braking, and sometimes when going though potholes. It is like an on-off toggle - like something is shifting - once you start braking you get it, then there is no clicking no matter how much you brake. Then you accelerate - you get a click, and the car is ready to click again upon braking.

    Anyway the dealer duplicated the noise but couldn't figure out what it was. By the way it was not the brake pads, apparently.

    Also, I get the click when moving the steering wheel abruptly from side to side when that car is stationary.

    Now, lately, I started noticing some changes in the handling of the car - I get this floaty feeling, but only sometimes. Then under hard acceleration all of a sudden there is a pull to the right. It is totally not linear and happens only sometimes. It is most definitely not torque steer. Also, when going though a pothole, again only sometimes, the car shifts/steers to the right. It is quite disconcerting, as for a split moment you get the feeling that you no longer control the car with the steering wheel.

    Can anybody suggest what may be wrong? Thanks in advance!
  • dkneedsnwcrdkneedsnwcr Member Posts: 35
    With respect to the handling, check the tie rods. I know somebody who's car started feeling vague and floaty. He took it into the dealer and they discovered he had loose tie rods.

    For the click, I don't know, I don't have it in my car.
  • jps7jps7 Member Posts: 1
    I once had an american made SUV that had the same floaty feeling. The cause was a broken computer system. This SUV came with Power Assist stearing, same as the Acura RSX. This feature is suppose to determine how fast your are traveling while taking a corner and assist with greater or less pressure to the drivers steering wheel ( only way I know how to explain it). Anyway, when the computer caused this problem, I was driving through the Rockies with five adults in the vehicle, tried to round a corner doing 70 MPH (speed limit is 65) and nearly flipped the SUV. Since the SUV was extremely heavy, I almost oversteered too much to correct the floating feeling. Scared me to death. My guess is the sensation won't be as bad in a RSX, but I'd have it checked. Good luck!!!
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    Thank you all for your replies. Will post again after my next vist to the dealer.
  • eman6628eman6628 Member Posts: 41
    Is there anyway to prevent the air condition to turn on when switch the fan setting to defrost?
  • tntitantntitan Member Posts: 306
    Go to the Honda Owners CRV board and see post #6798 for a way to circumvent the A/C when using the defroster.
  • aabeaabe Member Posts: 1
    Anyone have any problems with 2nd gear, or any problems with control of the car when downshifting??
  • suijuris94suijuris94 Member Posts: 4
    When I picked up my RSX-Type S five days ago, I specifically asked the dealer when the first oil change should be and he reassured me that the manual, which says to do it at 10,000 miles, was correct. Also, the manual says synthetic oil is okay as long as it has a certain seal showing it meets certain specifications. I forget the name of the certifying entity, though. Sorry! I can't see how it would hurt changing the oil more frequently than recommended though. Is there a risk there??
  • acbeacbe Member Posts: 16
    I was told by my dealer that it says 10K in the manual to show just how long you can go without an oil change, however he recommended about every 3500. About the synthetic oil, I really don't know but I have always gone directly to the dealer service center for oil changes...even though it may cost a bit more, at least I know it's done properly...and they use a special "honda" oil from what I hear....whether synthetic or not, again...I'm not sure. If I were you, I'd just call your local acura service department and I'm sure they'll answer any questions quite honestly and thoroughly; they've been great with me, especially since I'm not very "mechanically savvy". ;)
  • dkneedsnwcrdkneedsnwcr Member Posts: 35
    If you drive it hard (I think it's on Acura's owner website), then you change it every 5000miles. If you just cruise in the thing, then 10 000 miles.

    I honestly don't think it will hurt you if you change it earlier. I've been told that they've put some detergents in the oil for you to break in your engine. But that's hearsay.

    Other than that, the only thing changing your oil more frequently is going to hurt is your wallet.
  • liebel2liebel2 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone tried a k&n air filter in place of the stock filter?
  • joe249joe249 Member Posts: 95
    Running 89 or 91 premium seems to me would make engine run at a high temperature. So I change every 3000 miles.Can't hurt can it?
  • ncrsxsncrsxs Member Posts: 2
    I've had my Type-s for 7 months now (9700 miles) and 2nd gear is still notchy when the car is cold. Goes away after 5 minutes of driving.
    Still having a lot of fun with the car.
  • joe249joe249 Member Posts: 95
    If you can believe this . Change oil at 5000 but,not the filter until 10k. I do it all at 3k or, 2 months.
  • 5port5port Member Posts: 395
    Try changing your manual transmission fluid to Redline MTL (Manual Transmission Lubricant). Its a synthetic that has improved the shift feel in every car I have put it in. It comes in 75W-80 and 75W-90. Can be found at most speed shops. Takes a few days to work its way in, you will notice the difference.
  • khannagkhannag Member Posts: 4
    I've been very attracted to the black leather interior offered by Acura. However, I just test drove an RSX and I felt a little claustrophobic inside the car. It also seemed like on a hot day that interior would make the car really hot.

    Would love any any feedback from other people who own the car?
  • d5tanleyd5tanley Member Posts: 16
    i've experienced an serious lack of traction a few times at low speeds when the tires are wet. not in the rain, but after driving through a puddle or washing the car. has anyone else nocited this?
  • jfigueroa1jfigueroa1 Member Posts: 209
    for what i know the new rsx Carrie the i-vtec.
    now the question is: have any of the owners had any problems with the check engine light coming on and off? or when you step on it hard and passing the 4000 rpm where the i-vtec engaged it feel lithe hesitation?
  • joe249joe249 Member Posts: 95
    Let's go back to it.Why fix something if it isn't broken? Surfing Town Hall is like trying to find something at the grocery store after they put things in different Isles IMHO.
  • erictooleyerictooley Member Posts: 13
    I like my RSX, but it's LOUD on rough pavement (i.e., most freeways in Portland). Anyone installed noise abatement materials like B-quiet or Dynamat? Does it only make sense to take out the seats and do the entire floor? Or would a door + trunk project help appreciably?
  • kgilkersonkgilkerson Member Posts: 7
    For having a premium sound system (I own a Type-S), I am very dissatisfied with the sound quality in my RSX. The subwoofer in the floor doesn't seem to produce very much bass - does anyone else experience this, and is there anything I can do about it besides buying aftermarket parts? I would appreciate any input...
  • d5tanleyd5tanley Member Posts: 16
    i recall seeing somewhere else that there was a wiring problem with some of the subwoofers. you might want to contact your dealer to see if your's is one of the models with the defect.
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Member Posts: 290
    If your car is new, most likely the wire swap has already been performed by Acura. I think this was resolved in Jan. or Feb. of this year.

    I own an RSX-S, and the Bose system does stink very much. It sounds good on paper (in-dash 6-CD changer, 7-speaker sound system, AM/FM/CD/cassette, etc.), but sounds poor in real life. I plan on buying a Basslink all-in-one subwoofer to replace the Bose Richbass Woofer in the hatch.
  • kgilkersonkgilkerson Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the advice - I was hoping I wouldn't have to pay an additional fee to upgrade the system, but I guess I have no choice!
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Member Posts: 274
    Years ago my CRX was also road-noisy. I took all the interior panels off, stuffed all the space behind/ underneath with fiberglass house insulation, reinstalled panels. Quieted the car quite a bit for almost no investment.
  • joe249joe249 Member Posts: 95
    Woofer? What woofer? Beowoulf,where are you going to put your new woofer on the doughnut?
  • trevian2trevian2 Member Posts: 22
    Can any RSX type S owners comment on driving in bad weather? Either rain, snow, ice, slushy crap. How about the typical midwestern winters? Does the car handle well in these conditions? Thank you in advance.
  • willg1961willg1961 Member Posts: 12
    I have a Type S and the manual calls for service every 5,000 miles. My dealer who has always been reliable schedules maintenance every 3,750 and includes free oil changes. Should I accept this system or should I be wary of doing additional services which may not be necessary over the life of the vehicle. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
  • acurarsxnut1acurarsxnut1 Member Posts: 6
    Hello everyone, I haven't been in this discussion before about problems and solutions but I have been in a discussion with RSX vs WRX and almost got thrown out for bad mouthing the WRX. Anyway, I love my RSX. I'm sure I'm not alone, but here are a few things about the car that bug the hell out of me. I have had my car since August 18, 2001. It has a little over 25,000 on it now and I've gotten as good as 37 mpg overall. I change the oil/filter every 5,000 miles, and use Mobil 1 Tri-Synthetic oil. I've been using that since I changed the oil after the first 5,000 miles. My dealer and other dealers said not to run the car over 5,000 miles with oil/filter using conventional oil or even synthetic oil. I like to run my car to the end of the powerband often, and I've noticed after about 3,000 miles I have to add about a half a quart of oil or so. I'm thinking this is bad, but has anyone else noticed this problem? Let me know.


  • acurarsxnut1acurarsxnut1 Member Posts: 6
    Does anyone like their tires in any weather other than dry? I don't! They ride good and are fairly quiet, and are wearing well for 25,000 miles on the car. I rotate them every 10,000. When I get in the rain, I have to baby the car. The front end starts to scoot and the rear end gets loose if I approach a turn 5 to 10 mph over the recommended speed. That is scary sometimes. I know one thing that limits the car is the weight distribution being about 70/30, but the tires basically just suck if the roads aren't dry. I have a heck of a time too, trying to get traction sometimes at a stop light on any incline. I've actually started out in second before to reduce the torque.

    I've been looking at different tires on, plus ones that are 225 instead of 205 for more grip. If anyone has any suggestions about a name brand performance tire which would be good year round and has VR rating let me know.


  • acurarsxnut1acurarsxnut1 Member Posts: 6
    I wish this BOSE stereo had more bass! It has great highs, and I like that you can turn it up all the way without distortion, but my gripe is that when a certain tone of music comes on, the covers on the rear speakers vibrate. It sounds horrible, and I thought when I first noticed it that the rear speakers had blown. I got in the back seat cranked up the music wide open and held in on the covers and it stopped the vibration. Has anyone else ran into this problem, and what has been done to correct it.


  • willg1961willg1961 Member Posts: 12
    Regarding the oil and the RSX I have only 3,000 on my Type S and had to add a quart of oil prior to the first oil change so I guess it is somewhat of an oil burner due to the i-Vtec engine I suppose. As far as the tires are concerned, I switched mine because my wife needed new tires on her Volvo and I wasn't crazy about them. I put on a pair of 205 Vredestein Quatrac 2 tires and they are a major improvement. Great handling and very sticky in the wet weather. I can't recommend them more highly. You can't buy them at, but you can probably find a dealer near you. Finally, regarding the Bose stereo which everyone seems to complain about I have to agree that it lacks a little in the volume department especially with the windows down. I do think, however, that the quality of the sound is very good. I'm involved in the hi-end hi-fi business and think the RSX unit is one of the more balanced sounding systems available.
  • 719b719b Member Posts: 216
    assuming you started out with a full crank case before you drove your rsx-s off the lot, i don't think you should just brush off a quart low after 3000 miles. either you didn't break it in properly or there is a problem. get it checked and don't accept it as normal
  • uthinxuthinx Member Posts: 21
    You will need: foam tape (thin), wide blade screwdriver, cloth, ample caution
    Pry the covers off using the screwdriver cover with the cloth(to prevent scratching) starting AT THE TOP. BEWARE! The bottom of the covers have tabs that insert into the surrounding area, lift the cover up at this stage and do not pry out the bottom!
    Now attach small pieces of the foam tape around the speaker that will fit against areas of the cover and keep it from rattling. Replace the covers STARTING BY INSERTING THE BOTTOM and your rattle/vibrations will be solved. I did this on mine with no problems, but if you muck it up it is your responsibility.
    The moral of the repair is that design engineers shouldn't count on their tolerances being followed perfectly in the manufacturing process. : - )
  • acurarsxnut1acurarsxnut1 Member Posts: 6
    willg1961 - I didn't really have to add any for the first 5,000 miles, but my dealer or the book one of the two I can't really remember said not to rev the car over 4,000 for the first 600 miles. After that it was a free for all. The care doesn't smoke, so I don't think it burns it, it just uses it. I know it doesn't leak for a fact. I guess when you rev out enough to 7900 it just starts to drink the oil somehow.

    719b - Your right, I'm going to take my car to Hagerstown Honda's quick lube this Friday on my way on vacation to get the oil changed and see what they think. I suppose I'll take it to Rosenthal Acura for the 30,000 mile checkup. Have any of you had any of that so called required maintenance done other than oil/filter and tire rotation? I'm interested in what they usually charge to get that BS done.

    uthinx - Thanks for the directions on how to take care of the speakers. I was always scared to mess with it in case I might break the tabs off, then I would have to pay to fix it instead of Acura. Did you mention the problem to the Acura dealer at all, or is this what they told you to do? Anyway, I think I will try that out and see if I can do it without screwing anything up. Thanks again to everyone.

    Have any of you talked in that RSX vs WRX chat? Man, they are nuts in there. I think the entire chat is biased towards WRX. I laid into them good, and man they really like to fire back. Bad comparison of the two in my opinion, but I guess to each his own.
  • acurarsxnut1acurarsxnut1 Member Posts: 6
    I'm looking into buying cat back exhaust or maybe even an air intake too. I owned a 2000 Mercury Cougar before this car, and installed dual Borla Cat back. It sounded great, but it could have been louder. Do any of you have any suggestions? I looked through Sport Compact Magazines issue last month on the RSX and there were definitely some options in there too. I could get a air intake exhaust kit for $189. But, are you only going to get what you pay for? I'm kind of scared about the whole air intake thing. Does anyone ever asked an Acura dealer what it would do to the warranty? I wasn't sure how they would handle modifications under the hood.


  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    It's a conspiracy against the RSX and you!

    What you need to learn is to make your arguments sound rational, and not get so excited. You sound ridiculous in there (not to mention paranoid), calm down.
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Member Posts: 290
    Sorry for the delayed response to your post (#31). I was away on a business trip the past 2 weeks or so.

    I meant to say that I will replace the Bose Richbass woofer, or at least drastically augment it, by putting an Infinity Basslink all-in-one subwoofer somewhere in the hatch area. It will obviously not fit in that spare tire area.

    I'm still trying to see if I can use both a Basslink sub *and* the OEM Bose woofer. On the other hand, the Basslink would way overpower the Bose, so maybe I'd be better off taking out the Bose to save weight and maybe sell it on Ebay.
  • amonteamonte Member Posts: 12
    I've got a RSX-base with auto stick and I've noticed a few unusual things about it over the last couple of weeks. I've had the car for almost 2 months now - one of the things that I noticed is that when I start in the morning and pull out of my spot, when I first put it into drive and hit the gas, there's a bit of a "lag". When I allow the car to warm up for 15-30 seconds, this doesn't seem to happen. Has anyone else experienced this?

    The other thing I noticed is that the overall acceleration of the car seems to change - some days it feels as if it has plenty of pickup, while at other times it feels labored and sluggish. Does anyone else experience this, or know what factors contribute to it? Could outside heat/humidity effect performance? If so, would it be this noticeable?
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Member Posts: 290
    amonte, don't throttle your car until it's sufficiently warmed up.
    Hot, humid weather will hinder your RSX's peak performance.
  • grainofsaltgrainofsalt Member Posts: 1
    I was considering replacing my Legend with the rsx s. Several things bothered me. The 200 hp engine only has 145 torque. One of the poorest hp/torque ratios i have seen. It seems honda simply beefed up the engine to get a higher red line to account for the extra hp. However the real power isn't there.
    From the acura web site:
    To achieve this 40 horsepower boost, 3-rocker arms were used for both the intake and exhaust valves. the new "intelligent" i-VTEC™ system accounts for much of the difference in performance in the Type-S. A higher redline, tougher engine components,

    recent posts about being down 1/2 q to a q of oil during the first few changes spells big problems to come. It seems that the engine might not be able to handle the high revs. For the money being spent they should put in a solid v6 like the tiburon or eclipse. Stay away from this.

    Second the handling was poor on the front end. Similar if not worse than the Legend. They still haven't fixed the poor weight distribution. A recent post about wet traction is troubling. when you spend 25k on a car you shouldn't have to change tires to make it safe.

    this car will be a problem
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Member Posts: 290
    A V-6 may do more harm than good. This RSX-S will beat the Tiburon and Eclipse you mentioned in any race any day. If you know how to drive a high-revving engine, torque is not important *once* you get to the sweet spot. Granted, a high torque will move you faster at lower RPMs. That's why the RSX-S has 6 speeds - to keep you in the sweet spot, or close to it, even after shifting.

    BTW, the RSX-S has 142 ft-lb of torque, not 145.

    And handling is fine, as is the weight distribution. The car was criticized for using the McPherson struts, but so do BMWs! You do have a point about the tires. Just don't race when it rains/snows and you'll be fine. The RSX-S should have come with, or at least have had an option, to be equipped 17" Dunlop or Potenza tires.
  • gbt2gbt2 Member Posts: 7
    I have had a RSX Type-S since March of this year and have 4000 miles on it. I have had to add two quarts of oil. The first one went at 1500 miles and the second at 3700. Dealership looked at it and said no leaks and I should not be worried by the loss. Any one else experience this and is this really normal or should I be worried?
  • bluong1bluong1 Member Posts: 1,927
    My $.02, I own cars with a low torque/good rev (Civic) and high torque (Protege5). Both have the same maximum hp (127 vs 130). I must say I much prefer the later one. I don't want to rev my engine all the time. On the high way, most of the engine will run between 3-4000 rpm, when one need to accelerate, the high torque engine is more responsive. In fact, the low torque engine require you to down shift because you need to rev more than 5500 rpm to get any benefit. So unless of you keep your engine constantly at the *sweet spot* of 5.5-6000 rpm, there is no advantage to have a low torque/good rev engine. In addition, when accelerate, down shift will cost already few tenth of the second (if you are good driver).

    Yes, RSX has poor weight distribution of 70/30 whereas most others FWD are 60/40. The BMW you mentioned has a perfect 50/50.

  • ratass_2002ratass_2002 Member Posts: 17
    1)When I turn right into a drive way(ex: front house driveway) usually the turning angle is very sharp, as opposed to turn in a corner. Sometimes my car makes a noise. It sounds like something rubbing against something else. I wonder it's not the tire touching something or the suspension.
    Not there for the left turn. My friend has the same problem.

    2)My right lock switch for the door is not working at all time. Is that normal?? Any switch to enable the looks switch?? I am not happy with it.

    Design problem. What the hell did they put a ugly plastic section in the back seat for? It's so small in the back that you wish to lie down across the seats but that plastic crap gets in the way:) Also Why they made the hand break so long.
  • luvmyrsxluvmyrsx Member Posts: 2
    I have had my S-type for just a little over three weeks and am getting just around 20 miles per gallon. The window sticker and say mileage should be 24 city/31 highway and I cannot even get the city mileage!! My driving is 75% highway and 25% city. Is anyone else experiencing this type of low gas mileage?
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