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04-08 Acura TSX Axle Vibration Issue...found and fixed

You are reading one of the most popular articles published on Heeltoeauto.com to date. Since this writing on January 6th, 2012, we have had drivers of Accords, Civics, TLs, and TSXs of all generations contact us for our solutions for inner joint replacement. As of today, August 31st, 2015, we have released our new, stronger solution to Honda/Acura vibration on acceleration. Read more about how we've solved the problem below, here: New Fastline Performance Inner Axle Joint Kits

 

There have been numerous instances of vibration in the TSX front end when accelerating. Usually at lower or more moderate speeds, the shimmy in the steering wheel can also be felt throughout the front end of the car. We've recently heard this issue is pervailent on S2000s as well.

The issue was attributed to an axle shaft problem very early on, but even replacements of axles has not proven to be a reliable solution to the problem. In fact, Heeltoe had sold for at least a year a new replacement aftermarket axle we believed to solve the problem. However when the issue arose in our own HTSpecTSX, said axle failed to resolve the issue. In fact, the inexpensive aftermarket axle we (an most all others) were using proved to exhibit worse vibrations that the factory units!

On a hunch, we purchased some new inner joints to install on our TSX's original axles. When we removed the old joint cup, we were impressed to see the problem so blatantly in front of us!


See the wear there? We'll zoom in for you...

The joint bearings ride on this surface and put a torsional load there to transmit power to the shaft then to the outer joint. When there is load on the axle it forces the joints bearings against this pulverized area of the joint causing a really nasty vibration! There is wear on the other two loaded surfaces as well but we are showing the worst one here to save space.

So there you have it. Replace the inner joint and you will be set! We have not determined a great method for knowing what side is the culprit side but it seems like more people have an issue with the right side (USDM passenger side) so we suggest starting there. The joint and boot kits are available on heeltoeauto.com and are linked to this article for your convenience.

 

While we were in the joint we noticed something else that you might want to be aware of. You know how mechanics tell you the lowering your car is bad for the axles? They usually tell you this when you have an outer joint noise or problem. However lowering the car has little or no effect on the outer joints. Rather, the inner joints can experience some abnormal wear.

The axle has a tripod on the inner end that mounts three bearings that ride in the cup of the inner joint. This is so the axle can vary in length as the suspension articulates. When you lower the car, you are actually making the axle compress all the way when you hit large bumps, and this can cause the bearings to bottom out in the base of the axle cup. See the image below. We've highlighted some witness marks on the inside of my inner joint cup. We have not yet seen this result in an actual failure of the axles, but it is something to be aware of.

 


About the Author

Marcus di Sabella Marcus is the founder of Heeltoe Automotive. He's been working with cars (mostly Honda cars) since 1996, and has been providing enthusiasts with excellent products, services, and web experiences since 2002. He's been published in Honda Tuning, and holds a degree in Engineering Technology.
Related Items

Honda Genuine Inner Axle Joint and Boot Kit, 2004-08 Acura TL and TL-S
Honda Genuine Inner Axle Joint and Boot Kit, 2004-08 Acura TL and TL-S

Honda Genuine Inner Axle Joint and Boot Kit, 2004-08 Acura TSX
Honda Genuine Inner Axle Joint and Boot Kit, 2004-08 Acura TSX

Honda Genuine Inner Axle Joint and Boot Kit, S2000 AP1 AP2
Honda Genuine Inner Axle Joint and Boot Kit, S2000 AP1 AP2


33 Comments

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Jamie
10-04-2016 03:52 PM at 3:52 PM
I have the same issue. Mechanic just replaced a bad axle with a rebuilt, shake never completely went away and came back strong within days, replaced again with another rebuilt, shake came back days later, just replaced with a new axle today but mechanic says there is still a little shake and he is stumped at what it could be. So now what? I feel bad that my mechanic keeps replacing these for free
Thanks!
Administrator Note:
You need a new FACTORY axle. Remans and aftermarkets are not going to be helpful.

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micky
07-11-2016 05:51 AM at 5:51 AM
Hello
I have a problem with vibration too in my Honda Accord VII gen (CL9) Type S. In my car steering wheel shakes a little and vibrates when I reaching 120km/h and it vibrates to 140km/h. When I'm driving in with constant speed 120 it vibrates. When I'm switching on cruise control it vibrates. I think that it vibrates more when I driving down a hill and it vibrates more when I sway left and right on a drive lane.
I've change inner CV axle and it didn't change anything. What have I checked? How to diagnose my car.
Administrator Note:
You may not have used a factory part. For a guaranteed fix of the vibration our #1 recommendation is a new genuine OEM inner joint or axle.

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casey
07-02-2016 11:56 AM at 11:56 AM
You miss spelled "published" in the first sentence of the first paragraph. Lol
Administrator Note:
Fixed that, thank!

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Luciano Valentine
03-19-2016 09:59 AM at 9:59 AM
I recently purchased an 08 Acura tsx and it has 65k on it. I have a shake at 20 mph and it quickly goes away as accelerate past 20. New oem axles from the dealer are gonna run me around $600. The axle joint kit for both sides is $530, Im wondering if I should spend the little extra money and get new axles or just rebuild the old ones. Thanks
Administrator Note:
Unfortunately, the only way we can promise the vibration would go away is with new genuine OEM factory parts.

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Zhe Wang
02-01-2016 06:30 PM at 6:30 PM
Hi, I have the vibration when accelerate from 50kph on my Euro R Cl7 ( JDM ). Should I buy your Tsx inner joints or are they different? Thank you.
Administrator Note:
The FLP joints are great for strength and many people have gotten rid of vibrations with them installed. However for some customers the vibration has persisted. As such, the only way we can promise the vibration would go away is with new genuine OEM factory parts.

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Jclawson
01-29-2016 05:10 PM at 5:10 PM
I have an 04 TL 6spd with this problem. I've only owned it for a couple years so i have no idea if the axles have ever been replaced. Is there anyway to tell if they are OEM axles worth rebuilding?
Administrator Note:
You should be able to look on the dampers on the shafts, and they should have letters molded into them. Look for "SDA" or "SEP." These would indicate that the OEM axles are in place.

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Chris
11-24-2015 09:10 PM at 9:10 PM
Similar to Jaime's comment, I also had my control arm bushings tear and I replaced them thinking it was the cause of the vibrations. Now, a year later, it's vibrating again and I found your info and ordered your CV parts. I'm curious if you think the shaking caused the bushings to tear?
Administrator Note:
Hi! If you only replaced one side before, most likely the time has come to do the other side. It could be that new parts that were put in have worn now, too. We have since come out with our Fastline Performance Inner Joint kits which should be more resilient.

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Nobel
11-18-2015 08:41 AM at 8:41 AM
Hi
I have the same problem with my cl7 accord euroR. I feel the vibration on the steering wheel around 90-100kmph and it stops over 100kmph. And i have to go on a 360 mile trip and is there any danger if i go without repairing. Thank you and please review my comment and please give me some advice.
Administrator Note:
You won't have much danger if this is not repaired, but we would recommend to fix it before it becomes to bad. Obviously extra vibration can have downstream impact on other parts such as ball joints and bushings. Don't panic, but wait too long.

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Robert
10-23-2015 09:45 PM at 9:45 PM
I appreciate your site and products. I believe my 07 Acura TL-S A Spec has the same issue; vibration in 2nd gear, and I believe it's starting at 70mph speeds (mildly I might add). I would like to know if there is any great danger if you wait to repair it, and if I decide to do it myself, am I getting into something I might regret, so get a professional to install it. Will they try to steer me away from your product and persuade me to to an axle change, which may not fix the problem as you said, or they may not take care to install your product right, so I'm best served to try to do it on my own. What are your suggestions?
Administrator Note:
No, there would not be a big risk to reliability if you don't replace it for a little while. These parts are pretty easy to replace but not really conventional. I think if the shop you are going to is not willing to do the work or you don't trust them, rely on your instincts and go somewhere else. Note that we do have a tutorial video on YouTube for reference.

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Jesse
08-31-2015 11:30 AM at 11:30 AM
So, i also have this problem like many others. It starts around 20mph on acceleration goes away around 24mph then comes back when cruising around 68-74mph. My question is when getting this kit you are essentially replacing the inner Axle joint... so if i just bought new axles why would this not fix the problem? Sorry if i am missing something here and its a dumb question, Im just a little confused
Administrator Note:
It may, however new axles have not been a historically reliable fix. We have found aftermarket axles to possibly cure this vibration, but then cause other vibrations themselves! We support rebuilding the factory part with a new inner joint.

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Nico
06-18-2015 03:20 PM at 3:20 PM
I am having this problem on an 09 TSX. Are there different parts that should be used?
Administrator Note:
We have a listing for the 09+ TSX as well. We have sold a number of sets to CU2 owners.

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Sal Mazzurco
01-22-2015 04:32 PM at 4:32 PM
So for the last few years, right around 3k rpms (~60mph) my car vibrates like CRAZY. Feels like the front end is loose, the steering wheel shakes, etc.

Once you accelerate past about 65mph or so it seems to stop.

Inner axle need to be replaced?
Thank You


[mrheeltoe: yes, I do]

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Richard
12-14-2014 12:36 PM at 12:36 PM
Forgot to ask. The witness marks due to lowering. How much was that car lowered? I'm considering lowering mine, but nothing extreme, no more than an inch. Would this bottoming out be an issue

[mrheeltoe] The wear here is not due to lowering at all. Please don't mistake the wear in these axles having been a consequence of lowering because it was not.

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Richard
12-14-2014 12:26 PM at 12:26 PM
Sounds like a probable fix for my 04. Already done brake rotors and different wheel/tire combo. At cruise is fine, but hard acceleration through 100km/h is annoying.
Is an OEM replacement adequate? Or should I consider your kit?

P.S. Love your new look. Lot's of goodies for my 04 TSX M6 to keep me happy until TypeS ILX or TLX

[mrheeltoe] If there is a vibration on acceleration, you definitely want to look at those inner joints! Right now the OEM inner joints are the preferred replacements. And thanks for the compliment on the site!

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J Santana
12-03-2014 02:59 PM at 2:59 PM
after a plethora of research i finally come across this forum which seems to illustrate the exact same issue i am having with my car.
only one problem, i cannot find the link which directs me to purchasing the joint and boot kits.
Went to heeltoeauto.com as well and still cannot find the parts.
Not sure whats going on, using both phone and computer.
Can you provide the link as a reply to here or to my email?
Thanks in advance.

[mrheeltoe] Using our new site interface you want to first choose a car and engine on the left side of the screen. Then you will use the category selections below on the left to choose "Drivetrain and Shifter" then filter by "Axle."

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panayiotis
12-02-2014 03:56 PM at 3:56 PM
Hi. I have a problem with my car.i had vibration from the left side. The vibration start on the acceleration. We check the mounts and the axle heads and it still making the vibration. What its your suggestion?

[mrheeltoe] Based on what was found in this article, we recommend replacing the inner axle joints.

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Lenny Frias
10-22-2014 08:10 PM at 8:10 PM
I bought this kit and it totally worked. My tsx has 166k and it was shaking bad when traveling at about 45 mph. I came across this kit and thought I should give it a try and it worked! No more shaking. Thank you so much Heel Toe

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Buds
09-19-2014 09:42 AM at 9:42 AM
Well I have 2006 TSX AT which is doing the same thing. I feel this vibration when accelerating from slow speed or from stopped.

I am pretty sure this kit will fix it but I had a question about this. If I feel the same vibration when I press the pedal in Park (as in car not moving). Do you think it is still this issue and not any transmission problems?

Thanks

[MrHeeltoe]: If you are having an issue with vibration in park, while pressing the gas, you should inspect your engine mounts. See if it gets worse when you have it in D, foot on brake, and load the engine with the gas pedal (need to use both feet!). If it gets worse I'd look at mounts especially.

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Grant
08-29-2014 12:58 PM at 12:58 PM
I recently had both front axles replaced. The car drives much better, but there still seems to be a vibration just as you describe. Is this inner joint not replaced when replacing the axle?
***************
MrHeeltoe: Did you replace the axles with Geunine Honda/Acura ones? If not, I hope you still have the old ones to install new joints on! Aftermarket axles are about as good as bad original ones. Please contact support@heeltoeauto.com for more advice.

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John Passuth
08-22-2014 10:59 AM at 10:59 AM
I just order the inner joint kit for my '04 TSX and was wondering if there are any tips on removing the axle...more specifically on separating the ball joint? Any truth to this method? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISY8bGof3bQ

Thanks.

-JP

************************

MrHeeltoe: Oh yes, we use that method all the time!

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