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Suspension Rattle Anyone? - RLX

 
Old 04-24-2015, 12:42 PM
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As the weather is warming here in the Great White North, the suspension is calming down and no longer clunking even on rough pavement.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:16 PM
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2014 Acura RLX rattling noise

Hi to whom it may concern,

I have the same car as you with the same problems. I was wondering if you got your car fixed do to the fact t that you posted your complaint back in 2014. If you can reach out to tell me if you got the car fixed. My # is 860-987-7620

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:11 PM
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Welcome to AZ, Donhamon! You should direct your attention to this TSB: http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/B14-040.PDF

Copy, take to your dealer, done!

HTH
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:36 AM
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Don,
The advice about getting to the dealer is quite good.. however,,,RLX's do rattle.
The rattle persists on my car - but after the 6th set of dampers it is clear that Acura has a damper design that rattles - some more and some less.
My experience is consistently that the more recent damper replacement sets are almost as quiet as cars such as entry level sedans (but not as good, say, as a corolla or accord, or fusion), but then they get worse over a thousand miles or so. (I get used to it over time, then get reminded about the comparative silence of other cars after a car rental.)
I have done some extensive diagnostics on my own with microphones placed on various parts of the chassis, and ALWAYS the top of the shock tower is the source of the rattle. This confirms what the dealer found on my car using their NVH equipment. And the noise I record on the shock tower is the same as the noise on the video on the Acura web site which describes the acura RLX damper sound effects
It IS the dampers, and not the ball joints. sway bar links, control arms, etc. I even purchased a set of dampers on my own for a SH model - same result, or even worse.

The rattle does 'kick off' on certain types of road conditions. It is not unusual to experience no rattle at all on comparatively smooth pavement. But the 'right' type of pavement bump sets off the rattle like no other car on the market.
Perhaps an aftermarket set of dampers might solve the problem, but that is highly unlikely to ever become available given the extremely low volume of production for this car.

You will find various opinions about the extent of the rattle - all valid. But they do depend on the overall type of road surfaces on which the car is driven.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:54 PM
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^^^ Virtually every Acura model has damper issues. What the RLX experiences is similar to the rear dampers in the RDX. Some have described it as 'loose lumber' rattling about. For the 2016 RLX Acura upgraded the shock tower mounts which has lessened the issue, but ultimately it is the dampers themselves.

I have said before Acura needs to switch damper suppliers, if not the entire design. The quality of these dampers is simply not what is expected from a premium sedan (as you contrast to mainstream sedans). Honda took big hits in quality that last few years and the 2014 PAWS RLX was one of the worst (get NOT Recommended by CR it cannot shake off). The JDM LEGEND was delayed to address the issues that the previously launched 2014 RLX was reporting. Former CEO Takanobu was blamed for encouraging cheaper parts suppliers. I would say the damper supplier is a top one. As a result the senior management of Honda took pay cuts and were shamed for the quality problems at Honda. Ultimately Takanobu stepped down and was replaced with an engineer Hachigo who's mission was to return quality to Honda and stress quality over quantity. The redesigned and praised CIVIC is an example of the effort. Unfortunately the Honda models are benefiting from this cultural shifty before Acura models are (Although the RLX / LEGEND serve as flagship of both brands and the 2014 issues have been addressed in the 2016+ MYs).

From what I read, there are not a choice of aftermarket dampers available to this car. I await reading someone has found them and reports an improvement, as I would likely change them when I change tires. It is a shame, as I do feel the dampers perform OK but the sound can alter that perception and is not what is expected in a premium vehicle.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:13 PM
  #326  
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Originally Posted by KenRLX View Post
The rattle persists on my car - but after the 6th set of dampers
SIX????? Wow. Just wow. Maybe it's time for us to McGyver together an aftermarket set of shocks for the RLX.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:34 PM
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Yep.... SIX.....
Kudos to the Acura service techs trying to resolve a known problem.
Messy raspberries to the engineering team for sticking their head in the sand.

I will say the TSB damper kits (Damper, spring and top mount) started out 'just as bad' and got 'sorta better' over time. I was one of the first to receive an early prototype of the 'updated' damper kit and there was little change.
The most recent versions of the damper kit have the somewhat subdued spring rate, slightly lighter damping, and updated top mount assembly used on the 2016's.
On my last visit to the dealer about 3 months ago, it took them only a short drive on their own in the parking lot for them to proclaim - this is horrible! So on went another damper kit. Again kudos to the service team because I merely asked if there was a design update, not that I wanted a new damper kit.
One of those six was a set of dampers with a 2016 SH part number that I purchased myself. Same thing.
The rattle was subdued with this last set but not eliminated, and it is getting noisier with the passing miles.

To anyone receiving a TSB damper kit, it would be wise to check the build date. The most effect (but not a fix) will be with a kit made sometime in 2016 or later.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by KenRLX View Post
One of those six was a set of dampers with a 2016 SH part number that I purchased myself. Same thing.
The rattle was subdued with this last set but not eliminated, and it is getting noisier with the passing miles.
I thought that the 2016s were immune to the problem. Reading this is a big downer.

On the plus side, Acura is obviously continuing to work on the problem and your dealer is really working with you.

I'll also throw a shout-out to the service techs at my preferred Acura dealership as they are working hard on my car right now. It's these guys who keep me buying Acuras at this point, to be honest.

I suspect Honda has learned a lesson about going overly cheap for components, if I read Tampa's post correctly.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:24 PM
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Nice to finally see this problem recognized with open dialogue instead of dismissiveness. Very unfortunate to see Acura really hasn't done squat about it.

But alas I don't have my RLX anymore. My 16 ILX suspension is by far a more superior design to what was in my 14 PAWS, and the "loose lumber" rattle noise (great description btw) that used to frustrate the living daylights out of me is significantly reduced to the point where it's practically null in my ILX. That and the entire suspension system in the ILX is much more true to the sporty, tight, yet compliant suspension feel that I came to love about Acuras from my old 3G TL. It enjoys being tossed around with no complaints, aches, or noisey arthritis.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by neuronbob View Post
I suspect Honda has learned a lesson about going overly cheap for components, if I read Tampa's post correctly.
Yes you are correct. I have been monitoring the part #'s for a change that may indicate a revised damper in introduced. Part of the poor quality aspect as it does not occur in all cars. Many report it with the RDX and MDX, but a fair number do not experience the issue. That inconsistency is representative to the quality of the supplying parts vendor.

I have not experienced it in my SH. But I had noticed it on 2014 & 2015 PAWS models. I do not recall any SH owners experiencing this characteristic, but the weight distribution of the SH is different and perhaps is a factor. But if someone finds an aftermarket damper and has success, I see an AZ group buy on the horizon.

Last edited by TampaRLX-SH; 01-12-2017 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by holografique View Post
Nice to finally see this problem recognized with open dialogue instead of dismissiveness. Very unfortunate to see Acura really hasn't done squat about it.

But alas I don't have my RLX anymore. My 16 ILX suspension is by far a more superior design to what was in my 14 PAWS, and the "loose lumber" rattle noise (great description btw) that used to frustrate the living daylights out of me is significantly reduced to the point where it's practically null in my ILX. That and the entire suspension system in the ILX is much more true to the sporty, tight, yet compliant suspension feel that I came to love about Acuras from my old 3G TL. It enjoys being tossed around with no complaints, aches, or noisey arthritis.
Good to hear you are having a better experience with the ILX. Keep in mind all Acura's now use MacPherson struts with the exception of the RLX and NSX - which remain double wishbone with dampers. I believe the struts are a different parts supplier than the dampers, which still are used in the rear (and from what I read - the source of the complaints) of the other models.,
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:33 PM
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^ Thanks Tampa. It has been a night-n-day difference and has brought the fun back to driving. Also wasn't aware of the MacPherson struts vs double-wishbone between the RLX/NSX and the rest of the lineup.

While I still plan to leave the brand when the ILX lease is up (going to Audi), it has been a nice return back to the enjoyable driving experience of what Acura came to be known for. Only reason I didn't jump ship when I turned in the RLX was all the negative equity and 8k mileage overage that would have made it very expensive to leave at that time. I really do wish them luck and hope they can get their ship back on track one of these days.

Last edited by holografique; 01-14-2017 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:40 AM
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2016 SH front suspension rattling too..

So I have a 2016 SH and the front suspension is starting to rattle as well. I actually have it in right now to have it repaired.. It will be interesting to see if they come back with "oh that issue only happened to the 2014, not the 2016".
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:20 PM
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So I just heard back from the dealer.. They are replacing the struts for the rattling.. Hopefully these last more than the 41k I got on the first set!
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:46 PM
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At 84,000 mine strut noises are back, but I'm not dong anything about it. As I'm getting older I have a few rattles in the bones too, so why should any car not have some? Still love the car. Just does not get old........yet.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by RLX-Sport Hybrid View Post
At 84,000 mine strut noises are back, but I'm not dong anything about it. As I'm getting older I have a few rattles in the bones too, so why should any car not have some? Still love the car. Just does not get old........yet.
I'm at about the same mileage, and I still don't notice a rattle.

I'll tell you what, though. Every once in a while, I'll catch myself a little weary of having to be as smooth as the KC2 requires to get something done quickly. :-)
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:05 PM
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Well, so that was disappointing.. I got the car back (a few weeks back, just did not have a chance to update) and the "rattle" was still there.. I tried to ignore (and was hoping that warmer weather would make it go away), but alas it did not. So I called the dealer back, and I went for a ride with the tech, and he immediately noticed it.. back on the lift, checked everything (everything was "tight") and even called Acura tech line.. Who stated that there was nothing wrong, and there were no other reports of issues like this.. hmm.. wonder who is not telling the truth here... So anyway, I went to a different Acura dealer, and they too heard the noise and suggested I go back and "demand" a warranty exchange since these were rattling. They said they could not do the exchange since they did not perform the original work.. Hmm again, but there were in the same state, so maybe that is true (I have to go back to the original dealer) but if I were out of state (moved) wonder if that would be the case.

So there was no need for demanding anything, the dealer was great and will be ordering new struts today.. I did advise them about the build date, but not sure if they can really do anything about that, and since its 2019 I am pretty sure most are post 2016 versions anyway (considering I have a 2016).

Wish me luck, and I will update the thread.
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