COAL: 2004 Acura TSX – Family Connection Leads to Family Car

While I am more of a small car person, I was encouraged to get a larger, more family friendly vehicle instead of the Mazda 2. When my mother announced she was buying a brand new Honda CRV and asked me to sell her 2004 Acura TSX, an opportunity presented itself. I could take on the larger Acura as I felt it had plenty of life left in it, plus it was the more fun-to-drive manual transmission version.

My mother had bought this TSX back in 2005 as a lightly used car so I knew the history for almost all its life. She had kept up with all the maintenance at the dealership with a few big dollar items along the way like a new clutch. Like any used vehicle it did have a few cosmetic issues like scratches and scrapes as well as a fender that needed to be popped back in.

After my usual after-purchase cleaning, the interior looked like new again.

The engine is a 2.4L KA24 inline four cylinder with a 7100 rpm redline and hooked to a six speed manual gearbox. This not a muscle car by any means as you need to rev it, but it is quite a zippy engine.

The Acura had a wind deflector that I did not care for on it. It was not long before it was removed and sold. I did not get much for it but it boggled my mind that I was able to sell the deflector at all.

Since the deflector had been installed for well over a decade it unfortunately it left a bit of a paint defect that eventually faded a bit. The overall looks were upgraded by its absence.

The biggest issue with the car was that the all season tires were shot. They even self-identified as needing replaced. Luckily it was just about winter, so I was able to toss on the winter tires and delay tire replacement several months. Usually I have been able to source used tires and rims, but not so with the Acura (besides I liked the design of the stock alloys), and so i bought brand new tires for the first time in at least a decade.

The car came with a set of decent winter tires mounted on 16″ (stock is 17″) Honda Accord steel wheels. The taller sidewall meant the speedometer was still correct.

During my ownership the Acura has been quite reliable with the exception of batteries. I have replaced the battery twice now. Each time you have to enter a code to re-enable the radio. The code should have come with the car but must have grown legs and walked away at some point. To get the code for US cars is as easy as entering your VIN into the Acura website. No such luck in Canada as they make you visit the dealership to get the code. Luckily the local Honda one pulled it for me.

If you are thinking two batteries in a short time is too many, then you are correct. The starter was never great on this car and failed to actually start the car a couple times. Batteries and starters seem to be one of the few weak points of the early TSX and mine is no exception. I ordered a new starter and replaced it myself which is pretty involved as it is under the intake. It works again but still takes a while to crank each time.

As of this writing the TSX remains my daily driver providing reliable service. The A-spec factory body kit is quite attractive and the purple/blue color is also very nice.

My whole COAL series so far