Engine Rattle At Cold Start, Excessive Oil Usage


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
82,800 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. dealer quoted vtc actuator replacement and timing chain (2 reports)
2009 Acura TSX engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Acura TSX:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Acura TSX Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 102017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Oil change was done 3 weeks ago. Took it to the shop yesterday 08/30/2017 and they tell me my oil is almost gone. Engine knocks when oil is low. Car repair place told me to check recalls because Honda engines had a recall for excessive oil consumption. I shouldn't have to put oil in my car every couple weeks.

- Cherrita R., Wilmington, US

problem #4

Jun 142016

TSX Technology Pkg 5Speed Auto 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,959 miles

My car is a 2009 Acura TSX, bought in August 2008, I am the only owner. Current mileage is 93,900. When I first heard the loud grinding noise (early 2016), I went to Los Gatos Acura service and the advisor said it is a battery issue and replaced the battery with a new one. Initially it occurred only on cold days.

When the issue continued to get worse along with engine oil level going low every few hundred miles and vehicle not moving forward when starting from stop light, I went to Capitol Honda (June 2016) and they tested the car and recommended to replace VTC actuator, and told me that it is not covered under warranty. They also said that the vehicle not moving forward was due to transmission slipping issue and I should monitor it. When I took it to Los Gatos Acura dealership DIRECTLY in Sept 2016, and without diagnosing they said I have to pay $1100 on the VTC actuator replacement.

I went a back to Capitol Honda (Feb 2, 2017) to ask them what is the real problem with my car, transmission failure or VTC, the advisor told me that the its is the transmission failure and that I should stop driving the car ASAP. He didn't even check it or diagnose it himself. He also told me he would buy the car himself from me and do a side work to repair and sell it. He also gave me the option to take it to his friend, who only works on transmissions to check and confirm the issue! He was taking advantage of my helplessness as a girl who is not savvy about cars.

Finally, I took it to a small repair shop near by and they diagnosed it and told me it has to do with many Honda/Acura models- excessive oil consumption and VTC timing and this kind of issue would be covered under extended warranty. He also mentioned that there was no issue with the transmission.

Only when I called Acura Client Service in Feb 2017, that I confirmed that my car could have been covered under extended warranty for this specific issue within 8 years or 125K miles, whichever comes first.

Unfortunately, I lost a lot of time between the two service centers - Capitol Honda and Acura of Los Gatos and now my car is 8.5 years old. It seems that I am not covered under extended warranty anymore. I have been running around between service centers, without resolution. Both service centers were taking advantage of me in terms of me being a girl who doesn't understand cars and trying to make money fro a repair that's covered under extended warranty. Now I don't know what to do or how to proceed.

- roks, San Jose, CA, US

problem #3

Oct 202016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

This car was leased right after the new body style came out. It's an '09 but we actually got the car in early summer of '08. This is the first car that my wife has been totally in love with and for that reason, it has been maintained religiously. About two months ago, she got the "oil level low" indicator. When I checked it, it was down about a quart, which I thought was strange. But about a month later we got the indicator again and sure enough it was low. It just happened for the 3rd time so that's when I decided to investigate on line and found others with the same problem. This is totally unacceptable on a 70K mile car. Honda really needs to do something about this, more than just recommending adding oil every thousand miles.

- Chris D., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #2

Jan 012014

TSX Tech 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine rattle at cold start, excessive oil usage engine rattle at cold start, excessive oil usage engine rattle at cold start, excessive oil usage engine rattle at cold start, excessive oil usage

I have a 2009 Acura TSX 2.4L Auto Tranny. It's burning about 1-1.25 qt per 1000 miles. I have all the documented paperwork. Neither the Service Dealer nor Corporate will step up stating that it is on the other to make the call. This is ridiculous, I've done my own due diligence and have found out that the 2008 Accords that share the exact same engine also have this oil consumption issue. What is the point of having the Extended Warranty????? Don't want to sell it yet because I don't want to rip the next person off.

Acura Step Up!!! That's all i have to say...

Update from Oct 1, 2014: For everyone that is having this same issue, it's most likely the engine pistons and piston rings that need to be replaced.

- chino8678, San Mateo, CA, US

problem #1

Jul 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

As stated noticed engine rattle at cold start for about 2 seconds and few days later I received Check Emissions light and VSA light. Car has been using oil and this has recently increased to about 1 quart per 1500 miles.

I took the car to the dealer and the diagnosis is a bad VTC actuator and another code which says the valve timing may be off. Car is running fine. Dealer is assuming a stretched timing chain with no actual investigation of the chain and the tension-er only the timing code which from my investigation can be a host of issues related to the VTC actuator. My quote for the repair is $1200. The dealer has admitted the VTC actuator is bad but the timing chain is suspicious to me. Unlike a belt, the chain is supposed to be maintenance free. Unless the tension-er has failed the chain is fine. If the valve timing is off it would not run correctly. There is more than one cause and they will hide the true cause by installing a new chain. Even the dealer admitted they can't guarantee a stretched timing chain is the issue without removing a cover. THEN WHY ARE YOU SELLING ME A TIMING CHAIN BASED ON AN ASSUMPTION.

Poor customer service from the dealer. You should communicate with the customer better, explain the steps to determining the cause of the timing being off then consult with me on the correct repair. I never replace parts based on assumptions.

I called Acura being a lifelong Honda customer and because I missed the warranty period for the drivetrain which is 70,000 miles to ask for assistance. The other issue is that I maintain the car well. 8 oil changes in 77,000 miles which I have proven with receipts. I replace the air filter regularly and make sure the oil is topped off. Acura's response was an immediate no assistance. I received the runaround such as produce oil change receipts which I did and still no assistance. They say I can keep taking it to the dealer for diagnostics at my expense. Honda/Acura will not even answer the simple question of what is going to be checked. The only answer I get is engine disassembley? Again the runaround by Acura client relations.

Here are some other facts related to this issue which shows Honda/Acura knows there is a defect. - Acura service bulletin 10-024 for the cold start rattle and VTC actuator replacement - Acura service bulletin 13-006 for the excessive oil usage related to the VTC actuator - Honda class action lawsuit for 2008 Accords with VTC actuator problem. Symptoms are exactly as described above.

Acura has only stated that oil change interval is not what they want to see. This is false. I follow the minder. The next step is that they want me to return to the dealer for them to disassemble the engine at my expense. Acura stated 3-4 hours of labor. I asked what they are looking for and I got a response that I should contact the dealer. Again the runaround. What I expect is that they are looking for major engine damage such as bad rings from oil in the combustion chamber related to the VTC actuator issue. Anyways all of this at my expense. If they find engine damage I expect at my expense.

This car sucks. The handling of the issue (which is a known defect) sucks. I have owned 7 Honda's and today I am embarrassed to admit that. Yes, I am getting it fixed but this is the last Honda for me. Terrible product, terrible response from the company, no assistance for a lifelong customer, and what really bothers me is that this problem is a known issue with many Honda vehicles. See the 2008 Honda Accord in carcomplaints.com and the hundreds of complaints. See Acura owner websites for the same complaint.

I have given them the chance to resolve, Honda/Acura has turned their back on me and I too will turn my back on them. I will never buy a Honda/Acura again. You should never buy their products. The cars are defective, they know it and they won't support it. Consumer beware!

- fwiencek, Aurora, OH, US

Not what you are looking for?