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I have an 04 TSX 5 speed auto with 230,000 mi and it is extremely rough idling, especially in gear with my foot on the brake pedal, and even moreso under load from the AC. I’ve replaced the front vacuum operated motor mount with OEM and the other three with cheap mounts from eBay, I replaced the timing chains (including the balance shaft chain), spark plugs, repeatedly changed the tranny fluid and filter, cleaned the throttle body, inspected the MAP sensor which was nice and clean, and cleaned up ground terminals. The alternator, AC compressor, water pump, and PS pump, as well as the tensioner assembly have all been replaced. I’m truly at a loss. I tried the propane enrichment method of searching for a vacuum leak and didn’t seem to have one, and there are no CEL’s whatsoever. I’ve found countless threads describing this problem with these cars even at low mileage but I can’t find anyone who has spelled out a solution that fixed it. Many have described the dealer taking their money over and over only to give the car back with the same issue and needless new parts replaced.
 

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You've done quite a bit of work so far. Is your exhaust stock and have you had your ECU flashed or do you have Flash Pro? Just a thought...

I had Flash Pro installed and those exact issues were introduced. They got worse after my exhaust was modified further.
 

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I have an 04 TSX 5 speed auto with 230,000 mi and it is extremely rough idling, especially in gear with my foot on the brake pedal, and even moreso under load from the AC. I’ve replaced the front vacuum operated motor mount with OEM and the other three with cheap mounts from eBay, I replaced the timing chains (including the balance shaft chain), spark plugs, repeatedly changed the tranny fluid and filter, cleaned the throttle body, inspected the MAP sensor which was nice and clean, and cleaned up ground terminals. The alternator, AC compressor, water pump, and PS pump, as well as the tensioner assembly have all been replaced. I’m truly at a loss. I tried the propane enrichment method of searching for a vacuum leak and didn’t seem to have one, and there are no CEL’s whatsoever. I’ve found countless threads describing this problem with these cars even at low mileage but I can’t find anyone who has spelled out a solution that fixed it. Many have described the dealer taking their money over and over only to give the car back with the same issue and needless new parts replaced.
Have a friend or family member sit in the car and have them do all the things that you described that make it happen and watch all 7 engine/tranny mounts (dont stand infront if it, duh). This is a common issue that i saw on alot of older acuras amd hondas. Alot of times it was either one or more of the 3, tertiary (small) engine/tranny mounts located at the bottom of the engine or tranny on the subframe just above the lower control arms, or the one of the 2, secondary (medium) engine or tranny mounts (located off of the timing cover for the engine or under the airbox and battery for the tranny). If the engine is stable to your satisfaction, check the plugs and test the coils while youre in there.

If you get to a point where all is lost. You can probably bring it to a dealer for less than $100 and they will find whats wrong and you can take that home and fix it yourself dont let them bully you into saying its unsafe, just tell them that youd donit if you could but its the missus and she hates the car .



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16 years and 230, 000 miles.... Has a compression test been run on the engine? Simple to do.

I'm thinking a weak/worn cylinder is causing the rough/uneven idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alot of times it was either one or more of the 3, tertiary (small) engine/tranny mounts located at the bottom of the engine or tranny on the subframe just above the lower control arms
It’s funny you say that, I forgot until just now that when I dropped the subframe to do the timing chains/oil pan gasket (since you’re forced to take the pan off to do the bottom chain and the subframe has to drop) I completely forgot about those subframe mounts and I totally ripped the passenger side in two by hanging the subframe without disconnecting those. I thought since it just sort of “rests” on there and the rubber was still attached on one side, that once it compressed back together it would be fine. So you’re saying those 2 or 3 subframe mounts (I only remember 2 but rock auto lists three) could cause this violent shaking?

That’s a good idea to do a compression test too, I’ve considered it as well since I have certainly revved the thing up plenty. It was just deflating to have the chain make no difference at all. I had an accord get to 420k and I changed the chains and the idle smoothed our like It was brand new. It does feel like the engine has a lot of vibration in it in general. I’m tempted to grab a JDM engine to drop in, although my old source tigerjapanese vanished, they were always super cheap on engines and trannies both for more “basic” Honda’s. I grabbed several for civics and accords $500 or so delivered IIRC.
 

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It’s funny you say that, I forgot until just now that when I dropped the subframe to do the timing chains/oil pan gasket (since you’re forced to take the pan off to do the bottom chain and the subframe has to drop) I completely forgot about those subframe mounts and I totally ripped the passenger side in two by hanging the subframe without disconnecting those. I thought since it just sort of “rests” on there and the rubber was still attached on one side, that once it compressed back together it would be fine. So you’re saying those 2 or 3 subframe mounts (I only remember 2 but rock auto lists three) could cause this violent shaking?

That’s a good idea to do a compression test too, I’ve considered it as well since I have certainly revved the thing up plenty. It was just deflating to have the chain make no difference at all. I had an accord get to 420k and I changed the chains and the idle smoothed our like It was brand new. It does feel like the engine has a lot of vibration in it in general. I’m tempted to grab a JDM engine to drop in, although my old source tigerjapanese vanished, they were always super cheap on engines and trannies both for more “basic” Honda’s. I grabbed several for civics and accords $500 or so delivered IIRC.
Yeah! Sometimes the little stuff like that can make a huge difference! You gotta remember that the engineers put them in for a reason and probably a good one. You can pick up all three of those from autozone for under a hundred dollars and those bolts you can probably get from a hardware store if they got lost. However, Id suggest going through a dealer as they usually arent too expensive and will for sure be the right threads and length (have to be careful with those alli cases we have).

If youre going through all the trouble of checking compression and sparkplugs, it may not be a bad idea to pull the valve cover and check your valve clearences as well. In my time working at a dealer, there were a few mystery cases of this exact problem being caused by an overdue valve adjustment. The exhaust valves tend to tighten up over time (and the intake ones like to loosen) and can cause some gas to be violently "recompressed" during the last stage of the cycle because its not all escaping as intended and that can sometimes cause what youre describing on cars with not much more mileage that 60k. Hope that helped. Let me know what you find.

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It’s funny you say that, I forgot until just now that when I dropped the subframe to do the timing chains/oil pan gasket (since you’re forced to take the pan off to do the bottom chain and the subframe has to drop) I completely forgot about those subframe mounts and I totally ripped the passenger side in two by hanging the subframe without disconnecting those. I thought since it just sort of “rests” on there and the rubber was still attached on one side, that once it compressed back together it would be fine. So you’re saying those 2 or 3 subframe mounts (I only remember 2 but rock auto lists three) could cause this violent shaking?

That’s a good idea to do a compression test too, I’ve considered it as well since I have certainly revved the thing up plenty. It was just deflating to have the chain make no difference at all. I had an accord get to 420k and I changed the chains and the idle smoothed our like It was brand new. It does feel like the engine has a lot of vibration in it in general. I’m tempted to grab a JDM engine to drop in, although my old source tigerjapanese vanished, they were always super cheap on engines and trannies both for more “basic” Honda’s. I grabbed several for civics and accords $500 or so delivered IIRC.
Also the mounts for these cars tend to suspend the eng and tranny rather then support it. Think of those fair rides with the cage in the middle and half a dozen lines stratching away from it that are realeased. So without those on, the engung can swing side to side slightly and that may be just enough to cause your issue.


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Discussion Starter #9
Also the mounts for these cars tend to suspend the eng and tranny rather then support it. Think of those fair rides with the cage in the middle and half a dozen lines stratching away from it that are realeased. So without those on, the engung can swing side to side slightly and that may be just enough to cause your issue.


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Man, thank you so much for all this information. I’d go to the local dealer and try to chat up the service advisors/techs but they totally hate that if you aren’t having them do the work. It helps if you stop in parts first and you are holding parts you just purchased but even then, they tend to get very annoyed very quickly if they realize you’re going to do the work yourself. So, I truly appreciate someone with valuable experience at a dealer taking the time to share. I just ordered the subframe mount that I know I ripped, and in the meantime I might go ahead and do that valve adjustment. I bought the feeler gauge set a long time ago with the intentions of doing it and never got around to it, I figured it was a long shot, and I’ve also not done one before, although I’ve watched the Eric the car guy video on it and it seems simple enough. One other question, since the upstream oxygen sensor on these is an A/F sensor, could that sensor degrade in performance to the point of rough idle without throwing a CEL? At $180 I don’t want to replace it just to do it, but I do have a live-stream scan tool so I could look at values, I just don’t know what I’m actually looking for. I recently discovered Honda’s factory repair manuals for other cars and they’ve been worth their weight in gold, so I’m considering buying it for the TSX, although with an issue like this idle problem, I don’t know that there would actually be useful diagnostic flow charts in them that would successfully narrow it down.
 

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Man, thank you so much for all this information. I’d go to the local dealer and try to chat up the service advisors/techs but they totally hate that if you aren’t having them do the work. It helps if you stop in parts first and you are holding parts you just purchased but even then, they tend to get very annoyed very quickly if they realize you’re going to do the work yourself. So, I truly appreciate someone with valuable experience at a dealer taking the time to share. I just ordered the subframe mount that I know I ripped, and in the meantime I might go ahead and do that valve adjustment. I bought the feeler gauge set a long time ago with the intentions of doing it and never got around to it, I figured it was a long shot, and I’ve also not done one before, although I’ve watched the Eric the car guy video on it and it seems simple enough. One other question, since the upstream oxygen sensor on these is an A/F sensor, could that sensor degrade in performance to the point of rough idle without throwing a CEL? At $180 I don’t want to replace it just to do it, but I do have a live-stream scan tool so I could look at values, I just don’t know what I’m actually looking for. I recently discovered Honda’s factory repair manuals for other cars and they’ve been worth their weight in gold, so I’m considering buying it for the TSX, although with an issue like this idle problem, I don’t know that there would actually be useful diagnostic flow charts in them that would successfully narrow it down.
No problens at all man i was in the same place!

So, about the dealer. its always and option.we had alot of people with older cars come in that would pay for the diag and then go home and fix it themselves. Of course, it doesnt make people very happy, but if its something that you need to do to get the job done, screw em!! Dont let a service advisor pressure you into paying for something you can do in your driveway! If its somewhere that youre a regular, it may not be wise so it can be a judgement call.

And that manual. My thought process about it is, if youre buying a tool thats going to save you more time in the long run and costs less than if you just brought it somewhere to get done then its a good buy. There is valuable information in there for sure. Im not sure about the manual you have but we had tons of digital diag flowcharts that were pretty helpful at times. And wiring diagrams are always handy. Even for something like a valve adjust can have useful info. Theres a very specific procedure and order that the valve adjust has to be done in that requires moving the cams certain amounts at certain steps and working backwards and thay info can be invaluable. For your specific issue there may not be too much information, but there should be diagnostic information to rule out or confirm things like motor mount issues, sesor failures, etc. Even if it lacks info for a specific problem.

For the sensor, thats a definite possibilty, alot of times those upstream sensors can get clogged up and cause issues. However, youd probably get a code, something along the lines of sensor inefficiency/low volt(but anything is possible and its worth looking into). Id leave that problem for last and id leave that one for the dealer if you need to do it. Many times, even with the right socket, that sensor in particular will shear off just below its socket and will need to be drilled out, and the socket re tapped with an oversize sensor installed (PITA, ask me how i know) you might be able to get away with paying just for labor if your dealer is willing to install your part (you get some wierd looks and they wont be happy with you, but its worth a phone call). As far as confirming that diagnosis, i dont know the go/no-go values for that sensor on that car off the top of my head but that information can sometimes be found in manuals or online if you look around (look for tuning information like hondata, i remember coming across quite a bit of that type of info when i was goofing around with my flash pro.).
Sensor issues can be hard to diag at home properly without ton of expensive factory tools and data equip, especially without codes. so if it comes to that it might save you dome time and headache to bite the bullet and take that one to the dealer. Say something like "i went to my dads old mechanic and he said in had a bad __ but i wanted to check with you all first"

Goodluck and glad to help!

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Alright, update, I performed a compression test and got 200/190/195/190, so it’s all decently high and within a pretty close window. I proceeded to pull the valve cover and check valve clearance, the exhaust side was on the tight side of still being within spec, and the intake side was gapped out of spec a little so I brought all the intake valves back down to the lower end of the spec range, then I also found a cracked hose from the valve cover to the draft tube, but that didn’t seem to affect it either since I repaired that and there’s no real improvement. I don’t know what the compression level should be, but unless they are collectively low together, I’m officially close to stumped. I’ll install the subframe mount when it arrives in a couple of days but I’m starting to wonder if I should just go ahead and upgrade to a V6 TSX now and stop pouring money into this. I would have Acura diagnose it at this point but I’m wondering what happens if they’re wrong, or they decide it was an extra hard diagnostic process and I have a bill for 2-5 hours waiting for me when I pick it up.
Oh one other obscure thing I once read someone dealt with on a TSX auto was the torque converter somehow had degraded and caused intense idle shaking, obviously pulling the tranny is a LOT of trouble just to test that out.
 

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OP, I'm going thru the same thing right now with my 2004.
I've replaced the front engine mount with Acura OE and vacuum system checks out. The passenger side mount was replaced before. All others arrive tomorrow - the rear mount from Acura, the transmission mounts from Autozone.

There are 3 engine mounts and 3 transmission mounts. You said you replaced 4 out of the 6? My upper transmission mount just beneath the battery tray is completely wasted, 3 of the 4 fingers are severed. I'm thinking that's the one causing the vibrations.
 

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So I replaced 4 of the 5 “motor mounts” but not the other 2 “cradle” mounts. The reason I didn’t replace the 5th was that it simply wasn’t damaged, I bought but but since it sits under the transmission between it and the subframe it’s a b**** to do just for the sake of doing it. The other four motor mounts as you said are the vacuum operated one at the front, the side mount on the tranny, the side mount at the timing end of the engine, and The rear mount between the subframe and the motor near the exhaust. The passenger side subframe/cradle mount was rippled in two and I’m in the process of replacing it, I accidentally cross threaded it, which I rarely do considering I turn bolts morning day and night, but I just ordered an M12-1.25 tap and die to clean that up. I was rushing and knew better than what I was doing. Anyway, I’ll report back once that one gets replaced. I need to smoke test the intake manifold to rule out intake manifold vacuum leaks for sure.
 

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Also, it’s bearable in P/N, but when I put the tranny in drive that’s when it gets far worse.
Mine is bearable in P/N, subsides in R, worst by far in D.
When you run the smoke, you might want to check your EGR panel for clogs.
Probably not a problem, but one does get desperate when an otherwise perfectly serviceable vehicle gets the shakes...
 

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I've only been counting 6 mounts, considering the cradle mounts as 2 separate mounts. Folks say there are 7. Anyone have a diagram of which one I'm missing?
 

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I've only been counting 6 mounts, considering the cradle mounts as 2 separate mounts. Folks say there are 7. Anyone have a diagram of which one I'm missing?
Theres the main front and back (2), the main driver and pass. ones (2) , then theres the ones that do tranny to subframe that are behind the driver wheel (2), and finally the one thats engine to subrame behind the passenger wheel.

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I've only been counting 6 mounts, considering the cradle mounts as 2 separate mounts. Folks say there are 7. Anyone have a diagram of which one I'm missing?
The seven one is behind the engine from this perspective and connects to the subframe. The 4 one is your main transmission mount that goes to the frame rail


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The seven one is behind the engine from this perspective and connects to the subframe. The 4 one is your main transmission mount that goes to the frame rail


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Uh oh. Now I'm REALLY confused. o_O

In the diagram 5 and 6 are mutually exclusive (AT vs MT). Each of those to individual circles holds, in my mind, a 5 & 6.
But I'm with you so far.
It's that seventh I'm unable to find.
You're seriously making me question whether or not I'm blind or a total dumbass! :LOL:
You wouldn't know the part number off hand, would you...?
I only see oil pan, a/c compressor and timing chain cover...
 

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Uh oh. Now I'm REALLY confused. o_O

In the diagram 5 and 6 are mutually exclusive (AT vs MT). Each of those to individual circles holds, in my mind, a 5 & 6.
But I'm with you so far.
It's that seventh I'm unable to find.
You're seriously making me question whether or not I'm blind or a total dumbass!
You wouldn't know the part number off hand, would you...?
I only see oil pan, a/c compressor and timing chain cover...
Not sure off hand for the a/t but on my m/t and the ones ive seen there are both 5 and 6. Ill look for part numbers and get back to you.

If youre standing in front of the engine bay. Next to the ABS motor you will see a big, cylinder shaped one that goes to the timing chain cover from the passenger "frame rail". There will be another big one thats slightly shorter and fatter below and slightly biased to one side of the intake manifold. Not particularly visible, there will be another under the battery tray and filter box that bolts to the top of the tranny from the driver "frame rail" (not sure about its configuration for the A/T). Next, standing in front of the car again, all the way at the back, deep behind the valve cover and just to the right of the exhaust manifold, youll see a similar, very large mount to the intake manifold i described. As far as i know for the a/t there are 3 much smaller mounts at the bottom of the engine/ transmission. One that connects the subframe and engine, this can be found near the lower control arm and power steering cooler hose on the passenger side. Two others in a similar location on the drivers side, connecting to the tranny


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