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Acura TSX: Care & Maintenance

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Taking good care of your TSX? Talk about wash, wax, polish, and maintenance routines/schedules here.


  • kman12kman12 Member Posts: 6
    One salesman told me I can use low lead (regular) fuel for the 2004 TSX. Another told me that would take away from the car's performance and said only to use the top premium fuel. Another salesman recommended the medium grade octane gas.
    I'm curious ot hear from other TSX owners about this.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    Actually, everything you were told is technically correct. The TSX can run on low grade, mid grade, or high grade.

    The issue with octane is that high octane gas burns later than low octane gas. Low octane gas is no less "powerful" or less clean, it just burns earlier. Now, in a high compression engine like the TSX, you want it to burn late. In a lower compression engine, you want early burning (like in an Accord). Hence, the TSX likes the higher octane gas. The Accord 2.4, in contrast, will not benifit at all from Premium and may even run worse.

    In the old days, if you used too low an octane, you got engine "pings" that could cause damage. That won't happen in the TSX, because the engine has a knock sensor. If you use a lower grade gas, the TSX will adjust itself to prevent pinging. So, there is no risk to using lower octane and your engine should be fine.

    Here is the problem though: in order to get maximum performance, you need premium. Otherwise, the knock sensor will intervene to prevent pinging. The result will be about a 15% loss in power.

    Personally, I've experimented with regular, medium grade, and premium. I did notice a big difference when I went from Premium to regular. I didn't notice any difference when I went from Premium to medium. Under the right conditions, however, I imagine that regular might work fine.

    Right now, I'm running Premium. It isn't that much more expensive and I want to maximize performance. But, I feel confident that Medium grade would work OK too, and regular would probably be fine in a pinch.
  • samirrathodsamirrathod Member Posts: 16
    I would have to disagree with your assessment on fuel economy/performance in an Accord. My 01 Accord V6 saw a 10% fuel economy improvement when i switched from 87 to 93. So, for about 15% more $$, I'm getting 10% better fuel economy, and I feel like the extra 5% is worth the $$. It will keep the engine cleaner and running smoother.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    The V6 is a different issue. The Accord V6 actually does benifit from premium fuel. The 4-cyl in the Accord, because the way it is tuned does not. Lots of drivers have reported gains in fuel efficiency and power by using premium with the Honda V6 engines.
  • pkrbkrpkrbkr Member Posts: 6
    I'll be picking up a TSX later this week in Wisconsin and immediately driving it back to Arizona. Does the owners manual give any break-in recommendations?
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    yeah. Don't rev it too much for the first 600 miles, try to avoid hard breaking, and try to vary the speed and RPM. You don't want to stick to a constant RPM for long periods during break-in.

    Practically, with the K24 engine, none of this matters much. Hondas don't really need an extensive break-in and I think you'll be OK whatever you do.
  • williamwilliam Member Posts: 5
    1 suggestion dont use the cruse control for i "belive" 600 miles because it can cause ur pistons to make a grove in the engine and whrere the pistons cant fire all the way asn they should. which of course is not good )x_x
  • jselingojselingo Member Posts: 9
    Sorry for the cross-post:

    I just bought a TSX and live in a state that requires a front license plate. I also occasionally park the car on the street. I'm looking for a heavy duty and deep front license plate holder so that if someone backs into the car they hit the plate before the actual bumper. Anyone know where I could get one?
  • indy6packindy6pack Member Posts: 10
    Do you think it is ok then to only run it on regular all the time?
  • bvillabvilla Member Posts: 3
    i live in canada, and i don't think there is an owners' website that services this market. i've signed up for the honda america owners' site, which has some great features, but it doesn't help me here (with service, etc.).

    i'm just curious if the site is as good as it looks. are people using it? what works, what doesn't?

    jealous in toronto
  • aquaticexploreaquaticexplore Member Posts: 89
    don't know why you would need it, but there are a few tsx web sites if you use google. The most prominent one consolidated with other acura sites and, IMO, now blows. There was another site as well (I found my group pruchase in Toronto thru it 2 years ago), but it too seems pretty lame now.

    Cost of the car (35000km) in terms of expenses beyond gas, oil is: $0. Previously had a 99 Accord - also a pretty trouble-free car (1 light bulb).

    Truly a wonderful vehicle.
  • rico23rico23 Member Posts: 29
    i read somewhere that the tsx doesnt have a timning belt it actually has a chain so you dont have worry about changing this?
  • johnny420johnny420 Member Posts: 473
    The TSX does have a timing chain and I can find nothing in the owners manual about ever needing to change it out. This unlike previous Honda/Acura's which had a timing belt that required changing at about 60K miles. :D
  • vasq5vasq5 Member Posts: 3
    I recently purchased a 2006 TSX. I've read a lot about how easily the paint chips, and as such, am thinking about having edge guards installed. Does anyone have any opinions about how well these work to protect the doors. Are they aesthetically pleasing? Any other recommended accessories to protect the paint?
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Member Posts: 811
    door-edge guards only protect the edge of the doors not the whole door- I have them on my 06 tsx as they came with the car-along with mud guards, wheel locks, trunk tray and all-weather mats. My car has lots of chips-should have put on a clear bra when it was new. Great car-almost 96,000 miles on my now 3 year old car.
  • vasq5vasq5 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks! I know that the edge guards will only protect the edges of the doors, but I figured if they work, that's better than nothing. Do you like yours? Do they look okay?
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Member Posts: 811
    I personally think they look good but I try not hitting things when I open the doors so I can not tell if they work.
  • vasq5vasq5 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks! I'm pretty cautious as well but there are already some small chips from the previous owner, so I wanted to prevent the paint from chipping further.
  • tunatootunatoo Member Posts: 2
    About to do my first oil change on the 2008 TSX I purchased. Was under it looking at the plastic cover that has to be removed. The manual made it look like one bolt to remove, but I thought I saw two, plus plastic rivets along the front edge.

    Can anyone give me the lowdown on this? I was afraid of snapping the rivets and ending up with a rattle after putting it back on. I hate to pay the dealer to do this, as I've always done all my own oil changes.

    Thanks for any advice here...
  • biker4biker4 Member Posts: 746
    All of the fasteners must be removed to get that shield off. Do a search on YouTube for a video that shows the entire procedure. You can also go to the TSX section of Acurazine for more info.
  • megan360megan360 Member Posts: 1
    Every time I turn off my car I have to struggle to get my key out of the ignition. I turn the wheel, push in the brakes, try everything but it seems to be getting worse! Do I need to take it in? What could the issue be and how expensive is this to fix?
  • marys236marys236 Member Posts: 90
    I have a 2009 TSX with 32k miles, just had the 30k service done and found out the rear rotors were warped and had to be replaced. Just had the rear brake pads replaced in January, so I'm trying to figure out how the rear rotors could have gotten warped only 8 months later. Has anyone else had that problem with the TSX? I thought warped rotors were caused by letting the brake pads wear out, without replacing them. The maintenance on this car is killing me, that's $700 total on the rear brakes in 8 months ($200 in January when they did the rear brake job, $500 today to replace the rotors and rear pads again).
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    Before you blame Acura, I would make sure the rotors were actually warped...

    Read this about the myth:
  • marys236marys236 Member Posts: 90
    I'm more concerned with finding out if I can get the dealership to reimburse me for the cost. From what I've been able to find out, there are known issues with TSX rear brakes. I'm now trying to find out if there was a TSB or anything that would require the dealership to perform the repair for free. Wish I had known about all of this when I was at the dealership getting hit with a $500 repair bill.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    Good luck with that.
  • marys236marys236 Member Posts: 90
    Yeah, it looks pretty hopeless. No TSB that I can find, there was a recall in Canada, but not in the US, due to the class action lawsuit over the rear brake pads. The brakes on the 09 TSX apparently just suck, and the best thing to do is replace with better after market rotors and pads. I'll be glad to turn this car in when my lease is up in 8 months.
  • mwmossermwmosser Member Posts: 11
    Hello all-

    I have a 2008 Acura TSX 6MT that we purchased in July 2010 as a certified used vehicle with 9000 miles. The car is now 3 years old but only has ~20k miles. I am taking it in on Friday for an oil change and tire rotation and the dealer is saying that there are things that should be changed/replaced due to age, regardless of mileage. The list they gave me is:

    Transmission fluid (every 30,000 miles/3 years): $89.95

    Engine Coolant (every 45,000 miles/3 years): $69.95

    Hydraulic Brake Fluid (every 3 years, independent of mileage): $109.99

    Engine Air Filter (every 15,000 miles/3 years): $49.95

    A/C-Pollen Air Filter (every 30,000 miles/3 years): $89.95

    Since my wife drives it 15 miles every workday in stop-and-go traffic, in Texas heat, I am ok with the transmission fluid change and engine air filter and maybe the engine coolant change. I think the other stuff can wait till at least the winter or even spring. Of course these dealer prices are $$$ but I knew that when getting this car, so we will deal with it.

    Any advice and/or thoughts on low-mileage maintenance? I think from here on out we will be on a 12k-15k / year mileage schedule, but the previous owner hardly drove the car at all. I do not yet have the previous maintenance records from the dealership for the previous owner's time with the car.


  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    What does the manual call for under the severe service level??
  • mwmossermwmosser Member Posts: 11
    Don't have the manual here with me but these numbers are from the severe schedule (which is what we have here with the traffic and heat). Decided on tranny fluid change and air filter (engine, not cabin) change but not brakes or coolant this time around. Those will wait for a while.

    Question was really concerning the idea of "time-specific" maintenance versus "wear-specific" maintenance. Do parts/fluids wear out over time, without use, or not?
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    Fluids tend to break down or become contaminated over time.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Member Posts: 811
    Since the previous owner only had 9,000 miles on the car I doubt much service was done.
    From what I was told transmission fluid change is not at 30,000 miles-more like 100,000+ or in your case by years (do not know exactly)
    I do know the brake fluid should be changed at 3 years no matter the mileage. I had that done not to long after my car turned 3 years old (over 90,000 miles. I also had the manual transmission fluid changed.
    At 110,000 miles I had the spark plugs changed and also the coolant
    I have both filters changed at the same time which is about 30,000 miles. I do mostly highway driving. I own a 06 6MT tsx, bought new 11/17/06. It has almost 126,000 miles. Love it. excellent car.
  • biker4biker4 Member Posts: 746
    Fluids may deteriorate with time but not parts. I wouldn't go more than a year on motor oil, regardless of mileage. Brakes only need to be done when actually worn.
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