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Acura RSX Maintenance and Repair



  • hi,
    i always was wondering about this: my car usually is outside in the cold during the night...and i usually start it for about 10 minutes to warm up the engine before i take off...the thing i was wondering was if it puts an exceptional load on the engine if we turn the heater on while the car is warming up? i mean the indicator on the left side gauge is still below minimum at this point...just wanted any inputs...i would like to get into a warm car when i am ready to take off...thats all...has anyone done this without encountering any problems? thanks...
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    First of all, turning the wheel while stopped isn't such a hot idea, because it flat-spots the tires and puts a strain on the power steering system. I'd suspect the "grind" you're hearing is the power steering struggling under the load of trying to turn the wheels of a stationary car. Most PS systems will groan a bit if you attempt this.

    That's what I suspected also. Although they said that the noise was coming from the back end.I have not herad back from them on this so I susopect it was a troll.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    i always was wondering about this: my car usually is outside in the cold during the night...and i usually start it for about 10 minutes to warm up the engine before i take off...the thing i was wondering was if it puts an exceptional load on the engine if we turn the heater on while the car is warming up? i mean the indicator on the left side gauge is still below minimum at this point...just wanted any inputs...i would like to get into a warm car when i am ready to take off...thats all...has anyone done this without encountering any problems? thanks...

    The way the heater gets it's warmth is by warm water/antifreeze mixture that the engine uses. There's a valve (have you heard of a thermostat?)on the engine that pops open when the correct temperature is reached in the engine. When that happens, the water used to cool the engine is also circulated up into the dashboard and through a mini radiator similar to the one on the front of the car. Air is then blown across this mini radiator and out into the compartment.

    So, no, there is nothing harmful in turning your heater on early...unless you fell that cold air is harmful. :-)

    The problem is that the car is not going to get very warm by just sitting there idling. It needs to be worked to get up to some nice hot temperatures and the only way to do that is to drive it. You will still get some heat out of the heater...enough to get the chill out and to melt the ice on the windows, but nothing like if you drove it.
  • rsx_varsx_va Posts: 33
    Unlike running the AC, running the heater puts no extra load on the engine at all, just redirects some of the naturally occurring engine heat.

    But warming up the car for 10 minutes is completely unnecessary, and just wastes gas. Even in the coldest weather, you can start it up, let it idle for 15-30 seconds, then take off. Drive it gently until the engine begins to warm up. You'll warm the car faster this way and use less gas. Put on a pair of gloves for the first five minutes of driving to be more comfortable.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    The warm up time depends on where you live. Here in New England, I often have a 1/16 to an 1/8 inch of ice to scrape off. Letting the car warm up for 5 minutes during these times allows the ice to soften enough to scrape it off.
  • True. It depends on where you live, and it is not a requirement to heat up the engine nowadays due to the EFI, unless the car is using a carburetor. I warm it up for safety reasons because I don't want to drive with the windshield all fogged up. I believe you can get a ticket for that if a cop sees you driving around with an obstructed windshield. But during Spring or Summer, just turn the key and drive! :)
  • I was wondering if any other RSX's have a whining problem. There is a noise that comes from the engine and varies with rpm's, as you increase your rpm's the whining pitch gets higher. It sounds like when you are going at a high rate of speed in reverse, but I'm headed in the forward direction. Another explanation of the sound is it's like I think a turbo would sound as it was winding up. I don't know what this noise is, nor do I know why it would be doing this. Any explanations you can think of?

    Also, the strut problem that is floating around. Is that mainly a front strut problem or a rear strut problem? Reason for asking, wondering if a noice is coming from the rear strut or from the hatch just being loose.
  • rsx_varsx_va Posts: 33
    I have noticed a rather strong whine, or high-pitched mechanical drone, that seems to come from the transmission tunnel of my RSX S. The noise is similar to a car running in reverse, but not as loud or grating, and varies with RPM as you said, but only while the car is in gear. I chalked it up to poor cabin insulation, one of the cost-cutting measures Acura apparently used to keep this car's price low.
  • I am beginning to realize that the 2nd gear synchro grind is caused by bad shift-timing. I am getting to know my car more,and so far after 4 months of having my 05 Type-S, I've never had any 2nd gear synchro grind on any single day for 2 months. Somehow, Honda's 6-speed close ratio gear box can't be driven in the same manner that a driver has gotten used to in a different car. After driving a 97 Mitsubishi Mirage for 7 years, I've gotten used to the way that car feels and how it drives. Hence, I've passed that driving manner on to my 05 Type-S, which I believe caused the 2nd gear synchro grinding in the first place. I could be wrong. I'm just expressing my thoughts hoping that there are other RSX Type-S owners who have the same experience. Your feedback is very much welcome. :)
  • I have a 2003 RSX 5-speed, and I don't believe the 2nd (and 3rd) gear grind is a shift timeing issue. I've had mine grind at low rpms with shifts I know were slow, solid, and accurate. I've purchased new an '89 Accord, '96, '99, and '02 Civics, all 5-speeds and never had this problem(or anything similiar). I fail to see how my shift timing changed suddenly when I purchased this car. Honda needs to admit to this defect, but they are too thick headed, because the know they usually get it right. This has burst my perception that Honda is perfect, but they do make entertaining cars. Im ready to buy something new, but not sure yet if I want to take a chance with another Acura. Unfortunately i'm kind of drooling thinking about what the '07 RSX will be like.
  • This is my first Honda vehicle with a manual tranny so I really don't have much driving experience with a Honda MT, although I do also have an AT 97 Honda Civic EX Cpe and it's not relavant to this issue. My friend told me that Honda has a long history of having slow synchros, along with a light-feel designed clutch. He also did mention that he has some 2nd gear synchro grinding on some of his Hondas before, although it happens far less that the S2000 and the RSX. I remember this grinding issue really became famous during the first year of the S2000 years back and apparently it has not disappeared. They've let the RSX inherit the problem instead. But since you mentioned owning multiple Hondas with MTs on all of them, I do believe that you have more experience in Hondas than any of my friends. It's just funny how Honda couldn't make this synchro grinding issue go away after releasing thousands of vehicles out of the production line. I guess this would be my last Honda MT vehicle. And I wouldn't be surprised if the new 06 Civic Si would have the same synchro grinding problem as well. If it wasn't for the gas mileage (considering the distance I drive most of the time and the fluctuating gas prices), I would have bought a WRX instead. :)
  • I've had the same issue with my 05 type S and just now (a year later) the dealer just replaced the syncros for 2nd and 3rd gears due to excessive wear. It was however covered by the normal warranty. According to them it's a known issue but I haven't checked the TSBs. It's funny 6 months ago they told me that it's normal that I have to rev to 3000 rpms in order to shift to 3rd gear. Now all gears are smooth.
  • Wow, that's good to know. Thanks. I never had any problems shifting from 2nd to 3rd but I did a have a problem shifting from 1st to 2nd a month ago. Somehow it went away and I hope it doesn't come back. Since you mentioned that you have rev it to 3000 rpm to shift 3rd gear, with the dealer telling you that it's normal, I guess that confirms that Honda's triple-cone synchros are indeed slow. I've heard other people switch to a different transmission oil and thought of it, but I realized that it could void the warranty since it's not the recommended type of oil to use. Anyways, I'll just keep my fingers crossed at the moment. By the way, are you also having some clunking noises on the front struts? Mine does clunk a little at times, but I'm not so worried about it because it's not a safety issue and it's covered by warranty if something bad happens.
  • Pretty much the same experience here. I have a 2004 type S that I have been driving for 3 months now. I have to admit that the frequency of the grinds has reduced over time. But as soon as I believe that I have mastered the shifts, it happens again. So I don't think it is a shift timing issue. Somebody mentioned to have gotten the synchros replaced under warranty. I will give that a shot at the local dearlership.
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    my last four Integras and my RSX front drivers seat leather has cracked twice and been relaced twice. Is it because of it's kidney shape?It's got to be cheap leather,because none of my friends cars leather is as dry and rough like mine. :lemon:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,621
    it depends a lot on the quality of the leather and the treatment the owner gives it. The leather you get on a $50K car is going to be better grade than a $30K car.

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  • Thanks for your feedback, guys. It is good to know that everything is covered by warranty. It's just I really hate going to the dealership for something like this. It doesn't grind now, and I hope it continues that way. When the time comes that I have to take it to the dealership for maintenance, I'll have them look into it if there is some excessive wearing on the synchros.
  • vickatvickat Posts: 43
    Hi everyone,
    last Sat, after cold nite, started up my RSX'03 base auto, 66K miles, and drove slowly for ~ 1mile. Hit the highway, and when speed reached 60 mph, car began vibrate, with steering wheel shaking badly. First thought was, bent rim. Slowed down to 50 mph, drove for ~10 miles, all shaking gone.
    Could that have been frozen brake caliper? All theories welcome - thanks, Victor
  • rsx_varsx_va Posts: 33
    Was the car parked outside with ice or snow on it? I've had this happen when ice built up on one side of the rim, causing a balance vibation. After a while the ice melts or shakes off and the vibation goes away.

    Another cause can be tires that flat-spot when they sit in the cold, and they take a while to "round up" again.
  • vickatvickat Posts: 43
    Thanks, I think now, it was ice. took quite some time for it to melt it, though!
  • I just installed a AEM cold air intake on my 2004 RSX Type-S. I don't have a DYNO in my head, but I am definitely not feeling a power increase. The engine sound definitely got deeper and more throaty, but I actually feel a small loss in horsepower/torque. I am noticing that the air filter position is completely encased between the front bumper (w/ foglights) and back mud-panels, so I am considering removing the driver-side mud-panel to give the filter more air-flow (it's one of those new AEM "dry-flow" filters, too), but then I have the risk of exposure to hydrolock on rainy days. So, my questions for fellow RSX owners are: Why the heck is this cold air intake not making extra power, like on my other car (2000 Civic Si)? Is it because of the restricted air-flow? Is the 2004 Type-S's stock airbox already better than an upgrade to cold-air? Should I switch back to stock?
  • hey i just turned 16 and im about thinking about buying a 2002 rsx type-s. i keep hearing about that 2nd gear grind and it doesnt sound to good. does this happen with all of the cars?? or just some? and is there anything else i should know before i buy this car or if i even should???
  • vibsrvibsr Posts: 47
    At your age, insurance!! :surprise:
  • naaah its actually not that bad..
  • vibsrvibsr Posts: 47
    Well, I have an '04 base model with the 5-speed manual with nearly 35K on the clock. I haven't experienced any problems with it so far. I must admit though, the factory stereo is WEAK! The factory setup in my '01 Camry sounds much better. I'm not saying it's junk, just weak. Especially for an upscale make like 'ACURA'. I'm told that the Bose system in the Type-S is nothing to write home about either. Road noise on anything but smooth blacktop is a real challenge for the sound system in either model. In all fairness, this can be remedied with an aftermaket installation (don't forget to use insulation). Gas prices are marching back up again, and the advantage of the Base over the Type-S is that the Base can get by on 87 octane fuel. The Type-S calls for premium. You might want to take that into consideration. From a maintenance standpoint, don't half-step. Get it done the right way the first time! Use quality parts. Look for a model with plenty of life left in the tires. I'm on the OEM tires, but replacement V-rated rubber ain't cheap. I use synthetic oil. Again, it ain't cheap.
    PERFORMANCE: It's a relative thing. I can do 0-60 in between 7 and 8 seconds in my Base model. Downshifting to pass someone on the highway is not required. That VTEC is real happy when the revs cross the 3500 mark. In 5th gear, that puts me somewhere between 65 and 70 MPH. And she wants more pedal, too! The twisties are pretty entertaining with this car.
    WET BLANKET TIME: Most guys your age (can't help it, kid!) haven't had a license for too long. This is an easy car to drive sanely or insanely. Take your time in exploring what this car or any one like it can do. A 200 horsepower pocket-rocket can get a teenager in a lot of trouble in about 10 seconds. Have fun, but be careful with it if you get one. An RSX is one hell of a good car! ;)
  • thanks man that helps.. i dont plan on doing anything crazy for a while anyway, so hopefully i dont get into too much trouble
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    I fill up at Sam's club and I use 93 octane,because that's the only premium they sell.
    Well, I got sick of that and fill half the tank w/93 and I/2 with plus, 89 octane Exxon .
    I tried out for a week a Mada 3, 2.3 Liter and my Type S gets better milage and and it averages out the same money on gas. Also, the Mazda doesn't have the zip.
    Accura's are bullet proof and I have had 5 of them'
    The host of this forum says my leather seats crack because of the price I paid . I spent $25000.00 for fogs,spoiler,xpel clear mask. and I got rid of the woofer on the doughnut.
    My daughter, has leather and heated seats in her Subaru and it's soft and supple.( she,well I paid $23,600 for her wheels)Accura = cheap leather still to me.
  • I am very unhappy with my purchase of my new 06 RSX. From day one, I heard a noise like clicking coming from the engine. When I turn left, in 2nd gear, going about 20mph. I took it in for an service appointment. I even drove it for them, to let the service guy here the noise. Which he did. They kept it for 2 days. Called me and said "You can pick up your car now it is ready" I said, What was it, what did you do? They told me that they found a known problem, but not a known fix. I said I didn't understand. They explained it to me that they heard the clicking noise, they think it is coming from the transmission, but that is was just a noise and not dangerous. They had called around to other dealers to see about the problem, but no one had a solution to the problem. I informed them that I thought that was unacceptable, I shouldn't have to drive a car that makes a noise like this. It is very loud, other people who are outside or inside the car can hear it. One guy walked over to me in a parking lot and said I hear something in your car, you need to have that looked at. So I know people around can hear it. Anyway, I told the dealership, they need to fix my car, that I was not happy driving it, not knowing really what is wrong with it. They kept my car for about 4 more days. Then called me again and said I needed to come get my car, that they needed their loaner back. My car had been setting in the parking lot, not being worked on. They told me they continued to call around to try to find a fix, but nothing. They said they have a call out to the manufacturer engineer, when they heard from them they would get the car back and fix it. I was very unhappy so I called the manufacturer myself, she said she was aware of the problem, and that a engineer would have to send some specs since it was a 06 they weren't sure what to fix on it, and that they weren't going to just replace parts that didn't need replaced. I dont believe they know what is wrong with it. It has been a month, and no phone call. I followed up with the manufacturer myself because I am so sick of the clicking sound. She said they still haven't heard from anyone regarding this. Is it fare that I have to drive this car like this? Is there a chance that something is very wrong with it? I ask the dealership to put me in another car since this is not my fault that they can't fix it. They said it is a used car now, and they could only trade it in for me, which means I lose lots of money. This is not fair. What do you think it could be? What are my options for getting my car fixed? Thanks, sorry its so long!
  • Are you driving an automatic?
    Myself and alot of other drivers have the same problem with the RSX. Do a search of the forums on this site and type in "popping" to see the other posts. I am getting use to the noise but it's ashame to buy a brand new car and have a problem like this!!
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