12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Acura ILX - Damper Replacement

March 11, 2013
2013 Acura ILX Fornt Left View
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Long-Term 2013 Acura ILX Update - SPRING 2013 (1 OF 3)
Miles to Date: 10,270
"After being driven around in our ILX, he confirmed that we weren’t insane."
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.
2013 Acura ILX Rear View
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.
Body style 4-door sedan
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Engine 16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement 2.4 liters (144 cu in)
Power 201 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque 170 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 22/31/25 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.8
Turning circle 36.1 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 17-inch aluminum
Tires Michelin Pilot HX MXM4
Tire size 215/45VR-17
Headroom F/R 37.9/35.9 in
Legroom F/R 42.3/34.0 in
Shoulder room F/R 55.6/53.5 in
Wheelbase 105.1 in
Track F/R 59.4/60.3 in
L x W x H 179.1 x 70.6 x 55.6 in
Passenger capacity 89.3 cu ft
Cargo capacity 12.3 cu ft
Weight 2978 lb
Weight dist. F/R 61/39%
Fuel capacity 13.2 gal
Est. fuel range 330 miles
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT Power sunroof Heated exterior mirrors Leather-trimmed sport seats Acura premium audio system w/7 speakers SiriusXM satellite radio w/trial subscription Heated front seats Power 8-way adjustable driver's seat Rearview camera Xenon HID headlights Fog lights 6-speed manual transmission MP3/auxiliary audio jack Push-button ignition Bluetooth Automatic dual-zone climate control USB port Hill start assist Brake assist

Long-Term 2013 Acura ILX Reviews to Date:

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Photo Gallery

  • Pulling the wet and snowy ILX into the shop.
  • Getting lifted.
  • Our ILX sits in front of Ann Arbor Acura, ready for service.
  • The sound is coming from…somewhere. This might take awhile.
  • Brinkman takes a look at the dampers and doesn’t see anything kooky.
  • Everything might look OK, but something is definitely wrong.
  • See the space between the gas tank and its bracket?
  • A chunk of gray foam takes care of that.

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