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Acura RSX Maintenance and Repair



  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    113K on my '01 Prelude, actually. :D
  • unagidonunagidon Posts: 20
    you own a RSX and a Prelude? Which do you like more? I used to drive a 98 Prelude (base), and really liked it. It's more "forgiving" I find, in the city to drive, and has more power. However, I find the RSX (base) much lighter, and agile, so it's a toss-up for me.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    I went from a '98 GS-R hatch to the Prelude. The RSX-S was on my list of contenders to replace the GS-R until I drove it and decided that there wasn't enough of a difference to justify dumping the Integra.

    On the way home from the Acura store, I stopped and tried a Prelude. Game over!

    My other car is a 00' Impreza 2.5RS sedan. Slow, but fun.
  • tnjrobi1tnjrobi1 Posts: 41
    I've had my RSX-S since March 28, 03. I've noticed that since the weather is getting hotter here in TN my clutch has some chatter on hot days while the A/C is on. (It makes a chattering noise when I have it pushed halfway in, once I go past the halfway point it quits making the noise.)

    Is it normal for the clutch on the RSX-S to make a noise when you push the clutch in? If so why does it only seem to do it when the outside temp is over 85 deg. F?

    Other than this noise my RSX-S has been great. I already have 4,500 miles on it. It gets around 25 MPG around the city and around 31 MPG on the interstate.

    The only complaints I have are:

    The A/C really sucks the power out of it.
    The seats are a little stiff for long trips.
    The road noise is a little loud.
  • abcbuckuabcbucku Posts: 2
    Just bought my '03 Type-S last week - 650 miles on it now

    No probs so far - I do notice a notchy 1st to 2nd and also the car is rough/jerks slightly when I remove my foot from the gas in 1st/2nd/3rd at low speeds - but, as said before, I think this is all normal when you buy a manual!

    I'm just worried becasue my VIN ends in 19thousand something and was told that their are some problems (and possibly a TSB) with anything under 31thousand, plus all these oil/rattling discussionsare giving me some discomfort. So, should I be worried?
  • rsx_griefrsx_grief Posts: 12
    Wow, how did you figure out the MPG(both city and interstate) so accurately?

    Back to your Q. i know clutch merely pulls on a cable when you press on it, and i think there is a spring that pushes it back when you release it. When i release my clutch, after about 90%, i some time hear a twang. Perhaps the chattering noise is coming from this spring.
  • rsx_griefrsx_grief Posts: 12

    The VIN # of my RSX is under 31,000. Where did you hear that there are problems with TSB? TSB stands for?
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    TSB = Technical Service Bulletin

    It's like a mini recall sent out by a manufacturer for the service techs at the dealers.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    For more information, check out this Edmunds' article: You, Your Vehicle and the Technical Service Bulletin (TSB).

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • abcbuckuabcbucku Posts: 2
    well I heard about them in The site is under maintenance now, but may be up again soon - just do a search for TSB in the Acura/Honda -> RSX section
  • rsx_griefrsx_grief Posts: 12
    Hi Spence,
    Looks like your hunch may have hit something here; i.e., last time I filled up the car with fuel, i did it after driving 10 miles to a gas station after the low fuel indicator light came on. When i filled it up, the fuel nozzle kept clicking off, and i was only able to fill it with 10.073 gallons. The gas capacity for RSX is 13.2 gallons. According to RSX Owner's Manual (page 156), this may indicate a problem with the on-board fueling vapor recovery system, and i should consult the dealer. By the way, last time i was only able to fill it with less than 10 gallons, and the average MPG turned out to be 33 miles/gallon, and i do about 60 highway/ 40 city driving.

    One other thing. i've always heard squeaking noise coming from the rear of the car since I bought the car, and after examining the hood on the hatchback, i concluded it was loose. However as i got used the noise, i was able to discern two different noises. The noise from the hood happens whenever I go over a bump, but periodically another squeaking noise occured. i couldn't figure out the other noise, but few days ago, i measured the distance from the rear quarter panel to the tire, and the right rear side is about 1/4 inch lower than the left side. What do you make of this? Thanks in advance for your helpful insight and suggestions.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    When the low fuel light comes on, you still have a bit over 2 gallons left in the tank, so the fact that you could only put in 10 gal. is not realy suspect. I regularly run my Prelude until the needle is below the "E" mark, and have yet to put in more than 14.7 gallons (my tank holds 15.9.)

    It sounds like you car is getting great mileage, though. Does it still feel rough on some days and not on others?

    I'm not sure what would account for a .25-inch difference in the wheel well areas. I'd bring this to your dealer's attention and ask them to inspect the rear suspension for potential mis-alignment.

    To my knowledge, the RSX's hatch seems to be a trouble spot for noise and rattles. Both of my Integras had mild hatch clunking, but not until they reached the 90,000-mile mark.

    Be well!
  • rsx_griefrsx_grief Posts: 12
    Hi Spence,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

    With my Integra, i often went below 'E' and i knew i had a gallon or two left in the car. But in this case, i'm only able to fill the car with about 10 gallons of fuel after the low-fuel warning light comes on at 'E'; and that indicates there is over 3 gallons of fuel still left in the tank?

    My RSX still feels rough, but 93 Octane gas makes it run smoother. Yeah, i'm getting good gas mileage, but at what cost?
  • kayek1kayek1 Posts: 5
    I posted several months ago in this thread concerning my disappointing experience and finally had enough. I fixed ALL my problems... I got rid of my RSX Type-S! Purchased a Mercedes C230 Kompressor for only $4000 more than the original 2002 RSX price. No more rattles, no more rough ride, no more replacement struts, no more transmission 1-2 synchro replacements, and most importantly, no more getting ANGRY at the rough ride and loud noises every single time I got in the car. The Mercedes is a dream. For only a small amount more, you get 5 times the quality. If you are looking to buy an RSX, go check out the Mercedes!
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    The MB Coupe is a really nice car, but it has a boat anchor of a motor, and lacks the RSX's reflexes.

    Good to hear you found something to make you happy. Nothing's more frustrating than trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear.
  • Is anyone else having problems with a strong, rotten-egg smell coming out the exhaust and air vents? I have a 2002 RSX and I can't drive it with the windows down or the fresh air coming in without being bothered by the smell. I've notified Acura and brought it to the dealer several times, but they said it is a "characteristic of the car" and it might go away with time. I now have 13,000 miles and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I've tried every type and grade of gasoline. A service rep for Acura said this is a common complaint (for which there is no fix) but I haven't seen anything posted on here about it. I've owned several Acura's and never had this problem before purchasing the RSX.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    The smell is a byproduct of the catalytic converter in your exhaust system. A lot of new cars (mainly japanese) put out that smell...mine did it for awhile also. It should go away when the car gets broken in more. I have 41,000 and don't smell it anymore.(it went away around 20,000)
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    I'm happy for you that you now have a car you are happy with (C230 coupe). What kind of trade in value did you get for your RSX-S?

    I thought about the C230, but no local dealerships had the M/T version of that car, so I only was able to test drive the auto, which was way too slow for me, not to mention not as good a handler. I'm assuming you got M/T?
  • vickatvickat Posts: 43
    Hi everyone,
    Just bought 03 RSX base, and found its engine bay is "see-through". Front wheel wells aren't sealed from inside with shields; look into the well, and you can see through the engine bay and into the opposite wheel well. I wonder if you driving down wet road and make a turn, front wheels would splash water/snow into the engine bay. Checked all the RSX's on the lot - same picture. Internal side of the front wheel wells does have 4 punched holes, ostensibly for the shields. Whadda I do, try to seal'em myself?
    Thanks for the input - Victor
  • kerrydkerryd Posts: 3
    My '03 RSX w/ 6800 miles over heated a few days ago. I had it towed to the dealership and it turns out that something must have struck it. It has a small hole in it after they re filled it anti freeze it was leaking in a steady stream.

    Whats strange is that when I called there the first thing the woman that answered said was, Maybe a rock hit your radiator, like it was a common occurrence. Has anyone heard of this? Isn't this a sign a poor design? If you look at the right side of your car where it looks like a fog light should go the hole was right behind there. Shouldn't it be protected?

    Is $750 about right for a radiator?? Repairmen love to take advantage of me.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Bummer about your troubles.

    When I started having A/C trouble with my '98 GS-R, I needed to have the condensor and radiator replaced. Turns out that all the highway driving I do had caused the radiator/condensor fins to become bent (small stones and other debris) and even clogged (tar, dust & road scum). Long story short -- $1200.00 later, everything was back up to snuff.

    Yes, it is a poor design, and the parts are expensive. Depending on your insurance deductible, you could make a claim on the radiator. With a $500 deductible, I did, and got most of the repair costs back.

    My suggestion is to get some aluminum screen from a home supply store and affix it with zip-ties in front of the radiator, behind the bodywork. It'll give you better protection from small stones and keep the other gunk out of there, too. I did this on my Integra (post-repair) and have done the same for my Prelude. Works great, and cost me $11.
  • kerrydkerryd Posts: 3
    $750 plus tax and I have it back. I still love the car but a little worried about the dependability. Acuras are supposed to be so reliable! These things only happen to me.

    Thanks for the tip about the screen, himiler. Will do.

    What about oil changes? My salesman insisted it only needed to be changed every 7000 miles and the service department is saying 3000. I driven an average of 1700 miles per month and I do about 80% highway (in N. NJ so there is traffic about 50% of the time) 20% city.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    I drive ~1,500 miles weekly (90% highway), and get my dino-oil and filter swapped every 5-6K, just to be on the safe side.

    You'll be well within safe limits for your car if you do changes every 4-5K.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    My suggestion is to get some aluminum screen from a home supply store and affix it with zip-ties in front of the radiator, behind the bodywork. It'll give you better protection from small stones and keep the other gunk out of there, too. I did this on my Integra (post-repair) and have done the same for my Prelude. Works great, and cost me $11.

    It works great. I bought some gutter guard at Lowes for $2.00(Home Depot will have it also)
    Used a piece of cardboard first to get the size right, and cut it with some snips/cutters. Make sure you wear some gloves.
    I then slipped it in from one side, behind the license plate holder and then used one small zip tie to hold it to the vertical brace on each side of the license plate holder. A trick to getting the zip tie in from the front is pre-bend it so it maintains a U-shape before feeding it in from the front.
    (or you can take your whole bumper off, but the whole install from the front of the car took me about 20 minutes...not including cutting the gutter guard)
  • vickatvickat Posts: 43
    Recently got my RSX base, with leather-wrapped steering wheel. What's the better way to clean/preserve this leather thingy? There must be some sort of wax, but I'd need so little amount for wheel only!
    Thanks in advance - Vic
  • d5tanleyd5tanley Posts: 16
    My rsx-s was making a mettalic rattling sound at low rpms, so I took it in to the dealer to have them take a look. They said it was a defective needle bearing and angular ball bearing in the transmission and replaced them along with some sleeves and an interlock. Since I picked it up, the transmission seems much more notchy than before, and when I am in 4th gear, the stick moves when I take my foot on and off the gas pedal. I'm planning on taking it back to the dealer today, but was wondering if anyone had any insight.
  • As a recent RSX S buyer (June 2003), I have some thoughts. It's an 02 and had 10,000 miles on it and the shifter was really notchy going into 2nd from 1st, I thought I was going to have to get the synchros replaced or something. I have found though as time as wore on, the notchiness has all but disappeared, and when it is there it's usually when the car is cold (i.e. not having been driven for a day or so) and isn't as bad as when I first had it. also, I think it takes a while to get used to using this shifter, it's not like driving a traditional gearbox, it needs to be worked in for a little and massaged. I am guessing the new parts just need to be worn and broken in... however if they persist longer than say 4-6 months of regular driving, take it in.

    And in terms of the gear lever movement, I have noticed on other sticks I have driven that same thing happening, especially my sister's 97 civic. Again, it's a matter of wearing stuff in I think. good luck....
  • d5tanleyd5tanley Posts: 16
    I'd experienced notchyness in 1st and 2nd gear before the transmission work, it just seems worse now. I talked to the service guy at the dealer and he said to give it a few days to let the new parts break in.

    I've also noticed gear lever movement in other cars, but once again, mine didn't do it before I had my transmission 'fixed', so its kind of troublesome. I'm going to give it a week and see how I feel then.

    Thanks for the input.
  • No problem. Sounds to me after your last post that something they did either triggered another problem or didn't fix the one you had. Let us know what they find out, if anything....

    good luck!
  • I have a base RSX. The CD player is a pain. I have to take my eyes off of the road to open the jewel case and load the CD. Does anyone know of an aftermarket CD changer that will work with the RSX's radio?
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