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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2013 TSX 4 cylinder with 39k miles on it. recently i have been observing two issues

1) early morning cold start, engine rattles for 2 seconds and then after that it runs fine. after some research online i found its a VTC actuator. is it something that dealer replace under powertrain warranty? if not how much does it cost to replace it.
2) I recently did a oil change and found that, only 3.8 quarts came out instead of 4.2 quarts. does it mean its burning oil. I always replaced oil whenever tsx service light is on.

Help is appreciated. thanks in advance.
 

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I have 2013 TSX 4 cylinder with 39k miles on it. recently i have been observing two issues

1) early morning cold start, engine rattles for 2 seconds and then after that it runs fine. after some research online i found its a VTC actuator. is it something that dealer replace under powertrain warranty? if not how much does it cost to replace it.
2) I recently did a oil change and found that, only 3.8 quarts came out instead of 4.2 quarts. does it mean its burning oil. I always replaced oil whenever tsx service light is on.

Help is appreciated. thanks in advance.
1. Does it happen to you only on cold days or on every cold start?
2. I had the same issue before using 0W20 but the oil level became constant after I switched to 5W20
 

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Most likely an issue with the VTC gear. I would think it should be covered under powertrain warranty. I would provide video evidence of the cold start rattle because it won't happen when you drive to the dealership and the engine is warm. Maybe if you leave the car with them they can witness it when they start it up the next day.
The oil is going somewhere, if you don't have any leaks you are burning it. Less than half a quart over the entire (10k?) service interval isn't that much thou, probably well within spec. Maybe just start checking it every few thousand miles and top up for safeties sake.
 

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Most likely an issue with the VTC gear. I would think it should be covered under powertrain warranty. I would provide video evidence of the cold start rattle because it won't happen when you drive to the dealership and the engine is warm. Maybe if you leave the car with them they can witness it when they start it up the next day.
The oil is going somewhere, if you don't have any leaks you are burning it. Less than half a quart over the entire (10k?) service interval isn't that much thou, probably well within spec. Maybe just start checking it every few thousand miles and top up for safeties sake.
I called Acura, told them the problem, they wanted dealer to inspect it before they involve, called local dealer and he asked me to drop off the car. i will drop off the car either this Sunday or Monday. I hope they can replicate the issue.
 

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Just make sure they let the car sit overnight and try to replicate the issue the next day when the engine is completely cold.
 

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The Dealership was able to replicate the issue and told me VTC replacement cost $800. Acura changed the version and saying that powertrain warranty covers only 6years 70k miles, also VTC part is not comes under powertrain but its initial new vehicle warranty. I asked whether it will be covered under emissions warranty which is 7 year 70k miles, they said part is covered under emissions but vehicles operated in my state is not covered under 7/70k, that was applicable in only few states. end of the day they don't want to pay for the repair. I've escalated the case, i will update here if i hear something.
 

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The Dealership was able to replicate the issue and told me VTC replacement cost $800. Acura changed the version and saying that powertrain warranty covers only 6years 70k miles, also VTC part is not comes under powertrain but its initial new vehicle warranty. I asked whether it will be covered under emissions warranty which is 7 year 70k miles, they said part is covered under emissions but vehicles operated in my state is not covered under 7/70k, that was applicable in only few states. end of the day they don't want to pay for the repair. I've escalated the case, i will update here if i hear something.
Finger crossed, please update the case.
 

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That's ridiculous. Take it to corporate. Dealership is doing whatever they can to weasel out of it. $800 isn't all that bad really, but with only 39k on the odo I feel like fighting with corporate is worth the effort, hopefully they'll at least cough up half.
 

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If there is a way for the dealer to get out of footing the bill, they will find it. But yes your best bet is contacting Acura corporate and hoping they can help.
 

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Acura corporate said they are not going to cover the expense. I am going to complain about the VTC actuator issue to NHTSA. after buying 2 Hondas and 1Acura, i going to end my loyalty to Honda/Acura. never buying Honda again. very frustrated right now...
 

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Acura corporate said they are not going to cover the expense. I am going to complain about the VTC actuator issue to NHTSA. after buying 2 Hondas and 1Acura, i going to end my loyalty to Honda/Acura. never buying Honda again. very frustrated right now...
Now, now.. it’s frustrating, I’m sure but that’s nothing compared to what I’ve seen from other companies. I’d agree at your mileage I would think it would be covered but that’s a relatively low bill considering what you could be faced with if you owned a different car. I would get a quote from a reputable independent to do the replacement and they should also replace the chain tensioner while they’re at it since the tensioner needs to be accessed anyways to replace the VTC gear.

On the note of possible oil consumption.. what weight? And are you running the full oil change interval until the computer says service due? If so, I would recommend a good 5w-20 syn blend and no more than 5k miles.. trust me.
To make you feel better about your situation with corporate.. I have a customer with a Hyundai with the dreaded 2.4 engine failure. If you haven’t heard of it- many cars 2010- who knows when has engines lock up at various mileages. As low as 30, as high as 100. These folks had their engine lock up and because they are the second owners, the class-action settlement and or recall does not apply. 2 dealerships, 6 tows and no luck. They now have to swallow a 5800 engine replacement. Long story short, it could be worse.
 

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I guess the its the lack of oil in the cold start that is causing the sound, I searched online, some people wrote they started using 10W-20 which is thicker than 0w-20 and sound disappeared. some people tried to starter-bump before they start the engine so the oil circulates. i tried the later method and from past two days no sound even in freezing temperatures outside. is there any harm in doing so?
 

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The fact that it happens means your vtc gear is worn and likely not operating as well as it should. With that being said, if bumping the starter gets it primed with oil that will greatly decrease wear on the VTC gear as well as the cam and other related parts, at the expense of increased wear to your starter. Given the choice I would accept wearing out a starter early to keep my engine internals properly oiled. If switching to a 5w20 or 10w20 solves the issue without having to wear out the starter, I'd probably go with that method first. Since you are only changing the cold weight of the oil there should be no difference in how the oiling system functions at normal operating temps. I would try 5w20 first since it will affect cold start lubrication the least.
 

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After a lot of research on this subject on several forum, I came to my conclusion that the issue is due to a locking pin inside the VTC actuator. My 2010 has developed this noise this winter, after 107k. I've had this car for 3 years and the last 2 winters I didn't notice any weird noise like this. I was first suspected the problem is with the oil, oil filter anti-drain back valve... but found out that this problem is common on not just honda but any car with variable valve timing (VVT) like Toyota (try searching VVT rattle on start-up). Check out the youtube video below. Long story short, there is a locking pin inside the VTC gear that is supposed to lock the VTC to the "Home" position when we shut down the car, getting it ready for easy start up. However, some VTC gears, either defective or worn, have this pin unable to lock when we shut down the engine. Now, when the weather is warm, the gaps between the internal parts of the gear is small, keeping the hydraulic oil inside the gears' chambers, so even when the pin is not locking, the oil will dampen the back and forth motion of the VTC gear. In winter, the oil is drained easily from the VTC gear, without the locking pin locked, the gear can move back and forth until the chambers are filled with oil. You need to check out how VTC works to see how this happens. This is why bump starting the car can help since it can sometimes engage the pin in place.

 
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