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Acura TSX Maintenance and Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Have you experienced any problems with your TSX? Please share any solutions here!


  • 151ranch151ranch Member Posts: 109
    I have rust spots from chips also... but it is quite obvious that the rust occurs where the paint is missing. Are you trying to say that there are rust spots on top?

    Honda's paint quality is less than average. It has been my experience that Honda products scratch and chip very easily, especially with the TSX's hood.

    If the rust occurs where the paint is chipped, I really don't think Acura is going to help you.

    What color is your TSX? Because it seems like the Carbon is particularly susceptible
  • damorminodamormino Member Posts: 82
    After perusing the Forester brochure I downloaded, I don't think the Forester's list of luxury features even compares to that of the TSX. I would expect the TSX to be more luxurious, more sporty, and better quality. Forester seems to have more features geared toward the outdoor type - hiking, skiing, biking, etc.

    wgn4snow: What trim level Forester did you compare. The 2.5X, 2.5XS or the new 2.5XT. I would think you would need to get the 2.5XT to get a good stereo. It's the only one with an additional 120 watts and a subwoofer. The 2.5X and 2.5XS apparently comes with really cheap speakers. But the brochure offer upgraded features as an accessory for those models. I would expect that a 2.5XS with upgraded speakers would have less power than the TSX system, but might sound better.

    By the way, from what I understand, the Forester 2.5XT will smoke a TSX from 0-60 and a quarter mile. (I still don't think it will handle nearly as well as the TSX.)

    Let us know if you have more impressions on the TSX and the stereo if you decide to buy.
  • wgn4snowwgn4snow Member Posts: 17
    damormino: We tested the Forester 2.5 X. The rationale for the Subaru was cost savings + some degree of utility (i.e. room for stuff). If we get into XT or even XS prices, there is no comparison: the TSX would take it hands down. The XS does add 2 more speakers, but they are tiny tweeters in the front doors and do not add much. If we buy a Subaru, I am already budgeting to rip out the stereo and replace it completely. The lack of an alarm, no immobilizer, minimum C$1,500 for a decent stereo, $200 for rear window tinting... the price of the Subaru quickly starts to climb.

    The main beef with the Subaru was the back seat and the roughness of the engine when compared to the Acura's inline 4. There was noticeable engine noise in the cabin with the Forester, even at moderate highway speeds. Also the rpms at moderate highway speeds were much higher (3100 rpm at 70mph cruise in the Subaru vs. 2200 rpm in the Acura (same speed/same road).

    As to the TSX's speakers, I should clarify that I was looking for the vibration, hence the Rite of Spring selection (not may favourite piece). It goes from very quiet to VERY loud very quickly. In general the sound system sounded fine.

    The only "performance" complaint for the TSX is the turning circle, which is a bit large. That however is countered by its very precise steering at highway speeds.

    Having eliminated the Subaru, I will look at the CRV again (just to be sure). If the local Honda dealer is discounting end of year EX's there may be a substantial price difference between the TSX and the CRV.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    I am totally puzzled why this discussion has taken place. Why would two such vehicles be compared? While both are fine in their own right, they are made for two totally different markets.

    The Forester has Impreza running gear with a mini-SUV body, the lower cost of the two-level Subaru line. The only logical Subaru to try to compare with the TSX is the Legacy GT sedan. Even those are not directly comparable, but an infinitely closer match than the Forester.
  • damorminodamormino Member Posts: 82
    wgn4snow: I think your assessment is very accurate. The TSX is much more refined and luxurious than the Forester. From a quality and comfort standpoint, the Forester is probably closer to a Honda Civic (not even as nice as an Acura RSX). What I mean is, the level of materials would be more consistent with the Civic. Even the new, top-of-the-line Forester XT (a turbo model that is faster than the TSX) is going to below the TSX in that department. Subaru competes with Honda, not Acura. So a CR-V is much more likely to match the Forester in terms of materials and such. One thing you might find interesting: a leading consumer magazine generally always rates Hondas and Toyotas above Subarus in just about every class. One exception is small SUV's. In this category the Forester ranks first, ahead of the Toyota RAV4, Toyota Matrix and Honda CR-V). Road noise is always present and body roll is pronounced. The RAV4 handles better, but the engine is a dog. You might want to read those reviews if you can access them.

    blane: True, comparing a TSX to a Forester is unconventional. But there are many post throughout these discussions from people who don't know what kind of car they want. If you must have a sports car, than you can eliminate all other types of cars and just look at cars in that class. But if you are looking for a vehicle that is fun to drive, takes your mind of work when you drive home, has room for the family, is extremely reliable and comes with everything you want stock, your choices will span several classes. I am not sure how adviseable it is to tell someone not to consider a vehicle just because it isn't in the class of vehicle they were considering in the first place. If that had been the case, I never would have looked further than the Honda Odyssey minivan when buying a primary vehicle for my family. As it was, I ended up with a luxury SUV - the Acura MDX.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    This discussion is for TSX owners to share problems and solutions and not intended for model comparisons. I'm not sure which board would be the best place to debate the merits of TSX compared to the Forester as one is a sedan and the other an AWD wagon.
  • wgn4snowwgn4snow Member Posts: 17
    KarenS: Sorry about that... It started as a question comparing the TSX stereo and with that of the Forester. In my enthusiasm I may have let things get out of hand.

    One issue with HID headlights that I've noticed recently: when you are waiting to make a left and an HID-equipped car approaches from the opposite direction and goes over 2 (or more) small bumps, the very narrow headlamp beam makes it look as if the driver is flashing his headlights at you (i.e. "go ahead"). Now I will wait until an HID car is approaching so slowly that I am certain he/she is letting me go. If you have HIDs, please be aware of this, ...and be careful out there. :-)
  • automophileautomophile Member Posts: 780
    I believe that what you are seeing is actually the rear view mirror vibrating, not the rear window. I have noted this in several of my cars with heavy bass playing. To test, try holding the mirror when you notice it. I'll bet the shaking stops!

    It is the result of having the now heavy mirrors on the end of a long, resonant arm. Perhaps you have noticed that some cars have a rubber thingie that goes between the mirror arm and the windshield to add stability. If this really bothers you, perhaps you can make or find one.
  • jkobtyjkobty Member Posts: 99
    2004 Red Acura TSX with beige leather and woodtrim package and woodtrim steering wheel.
    Problems so far
    1. leather color seems to be literally wiping off, the front seats are starting to have 2 shades of beige color.
    2. AC water drain hose was not connected properly, resulted in a massive water leak that spanned the front passenger and rear passenger areas.
    3. Front rotors already started showing scoring marks.
    4. The alloy wheels get filthy the same day after you wash the car. Too much black brake dust.
    5. Wood trim on steering wheel has started popping up(peeling) from the window side.
    6. car has 3000 miles on it. Checked oil level, about a centimeter down from the full mark, and it is already dark color.

    Anyone having similar problems?
  • damorminodamormino Member Posts: 82
    That's a lot of problems for an Acura. Perhaps the TSX was rushed to market before some bugs were worked out.

    At least you can listen to that 360-watt, 8-speaker premium sound system that delivers high-fidelity, full-range sound. According to Acura it sets a new standard for "luxury". I'll bet when you're listening to that great sound system, it is easy to forget about all the other problems with the vehicle.
  • jkobtyjkobty Member Posts: 99
    Actually it is my wife's car so I only drive it occasionally. The red color was not in stock so we ordered it in may and it took almost a month to get here. I can understand the Ac drain hose problem to be something they just forgot to hook up, but you would assume that they have some kind of inspection and quality control standard like iso9xxx. But the cheap brakes, and cheap leather are not an excuse. This is supposed to be an Acura for God's sake!
    It has not been in for the first service yet, I will see if they honor their warranty. When I showed it to the mechanic fixing the draining hose he dismissed it as normal, whatever that means.
    Other than that, it is quite a delight to drive
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Member Posts: 1,978
    complaining about the sound system. About the pseakers in the front door rattling. Doesn't sound like it is up to Harmo-Kardon or Mark Levison standards.
  • jkobtyjkobty Member Posts: 99
    The sound system sounds fabulous in the TSX, but I did notice the vibration everybody is talking about but it is definitely NOT the rear window. It is simply the rear view mirror which does seem to vibrate like crazy, and can become annoying if you keep checking your rear view mirror.
    Ignition: I have experienced this on a few occasions now where it takes a while to start the car unless you turn the ignition key, keep it in the on position until the fuel level guage is activated, and then you crank it. It then starts fairly quickly. Is this a problem, or do you think it is a feature of the ULEV technology where all gas fumes are recycled back, so it takes a while to get some gas transfered by the fuel pump back into the engine?
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    has 3,000 miles on it. I haven't had any of the problems you guys describe, but the sunroof has developed an annoying rattle. Otherwise, it is tight, rattle free, and no major issues.
  • s852s852 Member Posts: 1,051
    "Oh, it has this problem and that problem and it rattles and I can't play much bass or treble and the rear view mirror vibrates if there is much volume, but, other than that, I still think it's terrific!"
  • kivigkivig Member Posts: 3
    Take your TSX out in 5 inches of snow? Does anyone who owns a Tsx have a problem with the car being only 4.7 inches off the ground? Me being a person who has a 35 minute drive to work would need an explanation for why the car is so low?
  • jrock80jrock80 Member Posts: 66
    Maybe it is just me, but does it seem that Honda's level of quality has really been reduced in recent model years? I had purchased a 2003 Accord EX V6 last October only to have American Honda buy it back from me under the lemon law. I understand this is a biased board being entitled problems and solutions, so naturally we will hear about all of the problems but it doesnt seem to me that Honda is maintaing the level of quality that they were once known for. I can say first hand that I was pretty dissapointed when my 2003 Accord died at 15,000 miles. I hope others dont have the same problem. It just seems to me that people are buying the Honda name anymore believing in what their products used to signify only to find that Honda's today aren't like the Hondas that were built 10 years ago. I am not trying to start an agrument here, but to me the old adage "they dont make things like they used to" is becoming less cliche and more of a reality.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Member Posts: 1,978
    a company that has integrity. Curious, did you buy another Honda or what are you driving now ?
  • hydra2hydra2 Member Posts: 114
    There is no doubt that the relative quality of Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus along with Nissan and Mazda is still better than the average Detroit offering. This seems to be true whether the cars are made in Japan or NA. However, these cars are not perfect and the gap between them and detroit is much narrower than in the past.

    Those "no defect" cars of the past on which the japanese built their well earned reputation for superior reliability tended to be standardized cars with few options, while Detroit was plagued by quality issues made worse by allowing extensive customization of options.

    The Japanese deserve much credit for adding the complex options, power and handling to their cars, while keeping the selling prices reasonable and maintaining reasonable but not perfect reliability. The inevietable trade offs cause us to complain, because everyone wants to buy a perfect car, but after the griping is over most repeat buyers conclude that for all of their imperfections, cars like the tsx are still better than most Detroit offerings. So relatively speaking the reliability and refinement is excellent to superior considering the cost and content compared to past offering and current competition.
  • kapsikapsi Member Posts: 3
    Hey, is there a way to fix the rear view mirror vibration when you play the music loud? It is sorta irritating specially while driving at night.
    Please let me know
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Member Posts: 621
    I noticed that the RVM is very sensitive to low-frequency vibrations caused by either loud bass (music) or road vibrations. The reason for this is that the mirror is attached to the windshield. Apparently the windshield surface acts like a big radar dish, catching and amplifying the vibrations and transmitting them to the mirror. This kinda sucks, I know, but I've not thought of any other way to fix this issue.
  • automophileautomophile Member Posts: 780
    I have noticed this type of vibration for years - even 'way back in the 60's!

    I don't know what can be done, especially since the new mirrors are heavier due to internal electronics, and the speakers are better with stronger bass.

    Maybe you can finagle some damping foam behind the mirror to make it more stable?
  • kapsikapsi Member Posts: 3
    I am getting my TSX tomorrow. Is there anything in particular that I should take care of during the initial miles?
    Also, should I stick to the recommended premium unleaded fuel?
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    Your owner's manual will have all that information and the sales person will go over everything with you on delivery. That being said, most mfrs recommend varying rpms and speed, keeping the rpms below a certain threshold, and avoiding hard braking for a specific number of miles.

    I suggest you read the section in the manual about break in before leaving the dealer.

    Good luck.
  • jkobtyjkobty Member Posts: 99
    first scheduled service/warranty fixes.
    We had our first service(free of charge) and Acura has corrected the off centre steering, and they ordered a new steering wheel to fix the peeling wood trim issue. They however ignored the following problems as being "Normal"
    1. Rotors already showing scoring marks(circular grooves). Vibration in steering when applying the brakes from a speed over 40mph.
    2. Leather color fading
    3. vibrating rear view mirror due to loud stereo.
  • trickydicktrickydick Member Posts: 37
    Did you have the parchment leather interior?
  • bevtranbevtran Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone notice that the TSX burns a lot of gas? Just like an SUV, or even worst. I had a Pathfinder before the TSX and to go to work which is 12 miles, it might have used about 1/8 of a tank, but on the other hand, the TSX uses about 1/4 going the same 12 miles. I only use the car for work Monday through Friday, and I need to fill the tank every week. I recorded the miles per tank is about 275, which is below what the book says. I also feel that often the car would jerk when I accelerate from a Stop sign, like driving in 1st gear on a stick and not changing to 2nd gear. Any suggestions?
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    Are you measuring by taking the miles per tank divided by the gallons pumped or are you just measuring based on the fuel gauge? If you are using the latter, that can be highly inaccurate. Also, Honda fuel mileage tends to improve with age.
  • alyosha1alyosha1 Member Posts: 7
    The dealerr wanted to make 11.5% profit on selling this car to me, I did my part in helkping you guys with these problems, I said - no, thanks. Maybe they listen and fix it for you, so the car will become attractive again.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    Are you using premium gas? If not, the knock sensor might retard firing to prevent pings, and the result can be a loss of power and economy.

    Second basic question: Are your tires inflated properly?

    You might see relatively weak fuel economy when the car is breaking in, but you should certainly see better than SUV MPG.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Member Posts: 621
    Using "miles per tank" as a gauge to compare fuel efficieny between different cars isn't a good tool.

    Your Pathfinder had a 21.1g tank and its fuel gauge drops somewhat linearly from Full to 1/2, but moves slightly faster in the bottom 1/2, and the low fuel light glows brightly with about 3-4 gallons left. (You get slightly fewer miles in the bottom "1/2" of the tank than in the top "1/2".

    Conversely, the TSX has only a 17.1g tank and its fuel gauge drops very quickly in the first few dozen miles. The TSX fuel light also glows ridiculously early.

    Depending on your driving style, you should be able to get at least in the neighborhood of 350 miles from your TSX before the needle points to the red line at "E".
  • automophileautomophile Member Posts: 780
    uncledavid is correct - Although the car will run properly on low octane gas, the timing will be significantly retarded to prevent pinging, resulting in a loss of power and gas milege.

    In my Solara, I tried several tanks of each, and found running regular cost me about 15-20% in gas mileage, so it was actually cheaper to run high octane gas, and I got more power as well.

    I hope that your problem is this simple.
  • aggie1995aggie1995 Member Posts: 318
    12 miles each way to work x 5 days a week = 120 miles

    Yet you said you fill up every week and go 275 miles per tank.

    How are the other 155 miles being driven? Short trips? Highway?

    Regular or Premium Gas?

    Calculate your real MPG. Take the 275 miles per tank you get and divide by the number of gallons you fill up with.

    Mileage should get better as you get closer to 10,000 miles (typical of all Honda/Acura products).

    Jerk when accelerating from a STOP????? What do you mean? Maybe you just aren't used to the throttle input on this car compared to the Pathfinder.
  • trickydicktrickydick Member Posts: 37
    I've had my TSX a few weeks ago and have been very happy with it. I knew the ride was stiff when I bought it so no surprises there.

    Although the car accelerates great when I'm moving (anywhere from 15 to 50mph), I've found that it takes a moment (less than a second but more than a millisecond) for the acceleration to kick in from a dead stop. It almost feels like the car is waiting for turbo to kick in, but I know it doesn't have turbo. Is this normal? Does it have to do with the 4 cylinder VTEC engine?

  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    I think this problem is related to the drive-by-wire system. Although Acura sells that as a preformance "feature" it is really designed to keep emissions at a low level. The situation in which you'll notice it most is acceleration from about 5 mph. You get a "lag" for a fraction of second under those conditions.

    The VTEC doens't kick in until high RPMs, so that is probably not what you are feeling.

    The "launch" of the TSX seems a bit problematic. I think that part of the issue might be the heavy wheels and all-season tires. I suspect that adding stickier tires would actually move the car off the line a lot quicker.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Member Posts: 621
    Also, the engine doesn't have as much oomph in the lower RPM range, so 0-20mph will feel more sluggish than 30-50, especially if you're driving the automatic. VTEC doesn't really do its thing until 6000RPM.
  • trickydicktrickydick Member Posts: 37
    VTEC doesn't kick in until 6000RPM? Considering it redlines at 7000, I would think the VTEC kicks in earlier than that. Are you saying you don't benefit from the VTEC technology until you're at 6000RPM? That just doesn't sound right to me.

  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    The redline of this car is something like 8,200 - not 7,000.

    And, don't forget, you are not dealing with just VTEC - this is an i-Vtec system. Hence, the flat torque curve.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Member Posts: 621
    The redline of this car is something like 8,200 - not 7,000

    The rev limiter kicks in at 7,500...
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    I've not heard anybody else that had a similar problem.

    Be very careful, at this point, to document everything that happens with the repairs. With a major problem like this, you should keep your eyes on the lemon laws for your state.
  • s852s852 Member Posts: 1,051
    I thought lemon laws only applied to problems the dealer was unsuccessful in repairing after several attempts.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    If his car is off the road or in the shop for a substantial period of time, the lemon law will still apply. But, the main reason I suggested he keep an eye on the situation in case things don't work out. Its good to have everything documented if he does need to turn to the lemon laws.
  • kman12kman12 Member Posts: 6
    I've had my TSX (6spd. manual) for about 2 weeks and am very pleased with everything except the gas mileage. I'm putting in 89 octane gas (middle level between 87 and 93). Would I get better mileage if I put in the higher octane (93)? Someone posted that things will improve @ 10K miles. Is that really so? Most of my driving is highway. I haven't calculated my exact mpg but compared to my '01 Accord which I just turned in, there's a major difference.
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    Yes, you may well see improvement by going from 89 to 93. The engine is tuned for 91. So, the knock sensor might intercede and handicap peformance and efficiency at 89 (although I doubt it). Although it is a pain, a tank of half 89 and half 93 might be optimal.

    Yes, you'll see improvement as the car loosens up. That is the typical Honda/Acura pattern.
  • morse3morse3 Member Posts: 5
    Hi all,

    I am considering the 2004 TSX for my next car and would like to know if the 2004 TSXs have address the known problems of the 2003s:

    -Buzzing of the speaker insulation due to high bass.

    -Vibrate happy review mirror.

    -Easily discolored leather seats.

    Did I miss anything else?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Member Posts: 621
    Only that the first model year of the TSX is 2004, not 2003.

    I've not heard anything about easily discolored leather seats, but the rear view mirror does vibrate, primarily at high bass levels.

    A fix for rattling door panels is reportedly under investigation.
  • tommyijrtommyijr Member Posts: 56
    3 months and 3500 miles and this ride is still excellent. I have the parchment interior and am puzzled by the discoloration comment, needless to say I have not experienced that. No door vibrations, no anoying little rattles at all. The rearview mirror will vibrate but I haven't lost sleep over it. Personally I love this ride, I traded in the RSX-s for it and couldn't be happier........
  • uncledaviduncledavid Member Posts: 548
    Rattle in the doors: That is reported by a number of drivers, but I've had no problem. It may depend on the kind of music you like to play. But, again, I don't find this to be much of an issue. I don't think Acura is going to address this potential problem anytime soon. I'll bet that most drivers won't even notice but a few TSX drivers have been really unhappy about this.

    Mirror vibrating: It happens all the time and it happened in both of my last two Honda cars (I had two Accords before my TSX). Occurs mostly when I blast the music. I couldn't care less and see it as a non-issue.

    Discoloration in seats - I've had no problem whatsoever in my quartz interior, and I've not heard this one before. However, the TSX, like most cars built in Japan, does not have dyed leather. The color is painted on. So, if you snag the seat with a metal button or something it is theoretically possible to wear some of the color off. But, I haven't had so much as a hint of a problem with the leather in my car. It seems pretty high quality.
  • morse3morse3 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for your input. My mistake on the initial year of the TSX. Because it came out so early in 2003, I thought it was a 2003 model.

    I was just hoping to find the TSX to be better built so I can ditch my Mazda6 (good design but poorly built).

    I think I'll wait for the 2005 model TSX to alliviate some of the stresses I have experienced with my first year Mazda6.
  • tommyijrtommyijr Member Posts: 56
    The TSX is Better Built, especially when next to a Mazda 6
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