Higher Mileage TSX 04-08 Drivetrain Woes…Engine Vibes and Clutch Creaks

I had two customers in recently with failures that surprised me. One, I should have not been too surprised about. But the other one…well, I guess I could have expected it as well!!!

Issue 1: Broken Rear Engine Mount.

Tell me if you have a 1G TSX 5AT and these symptoms sound familiar:

  • Engine vibration while in gear at a light
  • Even more vibration with the AC on
  • Occasional clunks from the drivetrain

Guess what…check your rear engine mount. I wish I took a pic, but sure enough I had a 60,000 mile TSX in a couple weeks back with a broken engine mount, most particularly the rear one. I was fooled a bit myself into assuming that this part would not be so vulnerable as to break in under 100,000 miles, however I was dutifully proven wrong.

The rear mount is easy to see, but not super easy to reach. And when inspecting you can only see half of the mount because a metal bracket covers the top (this limits engine movement, or the throw of the mount). You need a 17mm socket and a long, 24″ extension (1/2″ drive) to reach the bolts holding the cover on. Get the tools, pull the bracket, and do a full 360 degree inspection of your mount if you are getting weird vibrations.

In this image you'd be removing #7 to inspect the rear mount, and the same tool setup to inspect under #10 for the front mount.

And for Pete’s Sake, don’t assume the problem is an Ingalls ETD or UR Pulley. These parts transfer vibration to the cabin, but don’t cause excessive vibrations.

If you want to replace your mounts with new factory ones, here is a tip for you automatic folks: Tip: to get a cheapie upgrade on mounts, replace them with Manual ones! They are ever-so-slightly firmer, and may last longer for you next time!

Order a new Honda Engine mount HERE, and order uberRR Hond-R Street or Race engine mounts, straight from the UK, right here!

Issue 2: Creaking Clutch and Sticky Shifts

So, I get this email from a LONG time customer, like one of the first TSX customer’s I’ve had, in fact. He has about a bazillion miles on his 2004 6MT (more like 225,000 or so to be more accurate). And his car is practically impossible to get into gear. The pedal feels like it isn’t doing much besides making a funky sound.

We yanked the pedal out and found this:


And the other side was about to go as well!

Now, we have gotten a lot of squeaking from the clutch depressing but nothing like this. I don’t think this is a really common problem. But then I remembered that no fewer than 2 of my past CRXs had suffered from broken clutch pedals. This CAN happen. The metal is under stress and it flexes ever so slightly. After hundreds of thousands of clutch depressions, the metal can fatigue and break.

The replacement part is not too expensive…about $75. And the replacement was not too tough either. Adjusting it was a bit fussy, but with the factory service manual we got the car buttoned up, good as new! I don’t expect we will see this failure occur often, but we are happy to get the parts for you if it does and supply the instructions for install and adjustment!

7 Responses to “Higher Mileage TSX 04-08 Drivetrain Woes…Engine Vibes and Clutch Creaks”

  1. Eric says:

    Thanks Marcus – there’s some great info here.
    For a 6MT that vibrates unless the clutch is feathered a LOT when starting from a dead stop, would the rear or front mount also be a likely culprit? I suppose it could be the clutch after 130,000 miles (177,000km) but it still grabs pretty hard.
    Did the broken mount have obvious signs (cracking, full separation?) of being broken?

  2. MrHeeltoe says:

    Hard to say on which mount would cause more of a problem but I would expect the rear would still be the first to look at. I would tend to think it was mount over clutch since a grabby clutch is more likely to create vibration WHILE feathering. Sounds like your car might be lurching a little?

    The broken mount was very obviously broken as evidenced by the cracked rubber with wet insides exposed, although it was only obvious after removing the bump-plate.

  3. Ivan says:

    After reading this the other day in my email I finally decided to check today to see if the broken clutch pedal is the reason why I couldn’t get my car into gear today. Unfortunately I have to say that I am one of the unlucky few. Looks like I’ll need to order a clutch pedal from you w/next day shipping for Tuesday, if possible. Thanks Marcus for the info…I just wish now that I would have checked a lot sooner!

  4. MrHeeltoe says:

    Send a message to us at support@heeltoeauto.com and we’ll get the parts added to the site to order ASAP. sometimes this stuff happens but really overall the car has been a a good one, right?

  5. Ivan says:

    The car has been awesome otherwise! I’m approaching 160k miles this coming week. The only other issue I’ve had is the HVAC problem that all the other 2004’s had to deal with.

  6. Ivan says:

    Thanks for the quick shipping Marcus! I finally got the pedal installed yesterday and what a difference it makes! I had almost forgotten how smoothly my car could shift! I guess until the pedal bracket snapped last week I didn’t notice the problem slowly progressing. Next is a BBK!

  7. Henry says:

    I have the Issue #1, which mount should I get? The links are broken.

    And do you still recommend that Hond-R brand? Do they support that vacuum line thing? Is it crucial to have that vacuum line thing connected?

    Thank you!