We previously mentioned a thud from our ILX’s rear suspension – a sound like a ball bouncing around the cargo hold whenever the Acura went over curbing or bumps. Hoping to figure out the cause, we looked under the car but could not find an obvious culprit. We couldn’t help but conjecture that the dampers were gone, but that seemed unlikely for a brand-new Honda product. The ILX subsequently made it through its first service without raising any red flags.
The odd thud continued, however, so we met with master technician Dan Brinkman at Ann Arbor Acura. After being driven around in the ILX, he confirmed that we weren’t insane. That said, this was a noise Brinkman hadn’t encountered before, and he wasn’t sure what was causing it. Back at the shop, he put the ILX on a lift to take a look at its chassis. After some pulling and pushing, he found some play in the gas tank mounting. Brinkman took a chunk of foam and shoved it between the tank and its bracket, filling the gap. Simple fix, right? We were relieved—until we went on another test drive. The “thump in the trunk” persisted.
Brinkman got gung ho. He wired the ILX’s rear suspension with his “chassis ears,” devices that are placed in the vicinity of a noise to help mechanics pinpoint the source. After a couple of long drives with a fellow mechanic, Brinkman concluded that the sound we’d been hearing was coming from the rear dampers. He called Acura’s tech line and learned that seven ILX owners nationwide had experienced the same thing; they advised him to replace both rear dampers under warranty. After a call to his parts guy, Brinkman had the dampers later that day and we picked up our ILX the following morning. During the drive back to the office, we didn’t hear the annoying thud once.