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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

Just joined in hopes of running an issue by all of you. I purchased a 2021 TLX (FWD) a month ago, and it has been in the dealer's shop with an undiagnosed issue for two weeks. Whenever the vehicle is at highway speed for about 20+ minutes, there is a loud knocking sound that comes from the front end whenever the steering wheel is rotated between 90 and 180 degrees with left (counterclockwise) rotation being worse than right.

Obviously, I can't rotate 90 to 180 degrees when at highway speed, so this sound is reproduced when immediately slowing to parking lot speed following 20+ minutes at highway speed. I assume that the fact that the issue only emerges after significant demand is indicative of a heat/thermal expansion issue, but I really don't know enough about cars to guess beyond that.

The dealer has no idea what is going on and has been in discussions with Acura (corporate?) to determine the next steps. They've asked the dealer to run a few tests, but there have been no suggestions of what is causing this.

So my question is does anyone have a suggestion I can offer the dealership? Anyone with a similar issue? Not too excited about a brand new car being in the shop for 2+ weeks with an undiagnosed issue.

Thanks,
Ray
 

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Welcome to the forum. Congrats on the 2021. Not too good to have it in the shop already! Hope they gave you a good loaner!
Noise at high speed: something's loose.
Noise when you turn the wheel 90-180: something in the steering system.
I can only offer you hope that they find the source.
Keep us in the loop on the status.
 

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Pull out your phone and record the sound. A knock, a tap, a click can all be interpreted differently and it's best to hear the actual sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Noise at high speed: something's loose.
Noise when you turn the wheel 90-180: something in the steering system.
Thanks. I should have been clearer. It doesn't make the noise when driving at high speed. It makes the noise when turning the wheel only after being at high speed for a while. We first noticed it when we drove about 30 miles on an interstate and stopped to get gas.

Pull out your phone and record the sound. A knock, a tap, a click can all be interpreted differently and it's best to hear the actual sound.
Good suggestion. I actually did record the sound. Give me a bit of time, and I will post it to YouTube or something similar.
 

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2021 TLX 2.0T ADV/AWD Majestic Black Pearl/Ebony
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Other questions: Does the noise change with engine RPM? Or how fast the drive wheels are turning? Does it make a difference whether the steering wheel is turned quickly or slowly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Other questions: Does the noise change with engine RPM? Or how fast the drive wheels are turning? Does it make a difference whether the steering wheel is turned quickly or slowly?
Great questions. Still planning to get the video up later today.

It doesn't seem to change with RPM. Keep in mind though that to safely turn the wheel 90 to 180 degrees, I have to drive pretty slowly. That being said, I've reproduced the sound at idle speed and at about 2-3k rpm in first gear and maybe about 2k in second gear more or less. In terms of speed, I've done it at idle and up to maybe about 10-15 mph or so.

Speed of rotation does not impact whether the noise appears or not. However, if I turn the wheel slowly, it does seem like I can make out a few more knocks, but I think that is due to the fact that the individual knocks kind of blend together when I rotate the wheel quickly.

Of note, if I pause rotation at the exact degree in which I hear the knock, the knocking does not continue. It's as if the knocking requires the steering wheel to continuously move and increase in rotation from 90 to 180 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is the video. Wait for a few seconds for the knocking to begin.

I am holding the phone close to the dash because the sound sort of sounds like it is coming from in front of me, not from the steering column. At times, it sounds like a blinker or that I am pushing buttons, but that is the sound emanating from the front underside of the car.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

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It’s a bit hard to pick up the sound from the video. Did you take another ‘21 TLX for a drive to see if you could replicate the noise? I’m guessing it’s an issue with your car, but you never know.....
 

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I also had a hard time picking up the noise you are describing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also had a hard time picking up the noise you are describing.
Listen again and crank up the sound. About halfway, you can really hear the knocking and clicking. Even more so near the end when I reverse. All of that sound you're hearing is coming from the front underside of the car, not inside the cabin.

It’s a bit hard to pick up the sound from the video. Did you take another ‘21 TLX for a drive to see if you could replicate the noise? I’m guessing it’s an issue with your car, but you never know.....
So the dealership was able to recreate the noise in a different TLX. They followed the same process (drive at highway speed for some time then slow down and turn the wheel). However, in that vehicle, they were only able to recreate the sound when the wheel was turned almost to full position, not between 90 and 180 degrees.
 

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I definitely hear the noise you are talking about in the video. I haven’t seen this on a 21 but the noise sounds similar to the rack bolts or control arm bolts not being torqued correctly from the factory. I have seen this on other models and usually when they are new as the machines or humans who put these cars together sometimes make mistakes. I’d be frustrated too if my new car was making noise like that though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I definitely hear the noise you are talking about in the video. I haven’t seen this on a 21 but the noise sounds similar to the rack bolts or control arm bolts not being torqued correctly from the factory. I have seen this on other models and usually when they are new as the machines or humans who put these cars together sometimes make mistakes. I’d be frustrated too if my new car was making noise like that though!
Thanks. That is exactly what dealership thought might be the issue, and Acura asked them to re-torque just about everything. They told me it didn't help though =(

If it is the bolts, there was a TSB for the earlier models. I’ll attach the link for reference. It may be something worth mentioning.

Thank you. I will bring this up with them.

Of note, I received a call Friday morning from my service rep. He said they ordered some parts and are fairly confident they have identified the issue. Unfortunately, I was stepping into a meeting at the time and completely forgot what he explained. I will update this thread once I am able to speak with him again.
 

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Definitely let the group know what the dealership does to resolve the issue especially if they were able to replicate the noise in another TLX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So they diagnosed it as an issue with a tie rod end. The report states, "Tie rod end, outer left - replace."
As mentioned, they retorqued just about everything. The issue has decreased significantly, but the noise persists at a lower volume than before. We'll see if they want to do anything else.
 

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I really appreciate you posting this information. I purchased a 2018 TLX with about 20K miles back in August and it appears to be making the same noise you are experiencing. I plan to take it in to be looked at next month and I will make these suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update to this post:

The noise returned, and they replaced the outer right tie rod end. It seemed to help until a couple of weeks later when the noise returned again. This time, Acura Cares or something like that reached out to me and said that they are going to request an engineer to go to the dealership and work with the techs. There is still no clear diagnosis.

I have now had my car in the shop for a cumulative total of more than a month.
 

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Purchased 2021 TLX AWD back in Oct. Have not heard that noise, but will pay closer attention. Hope they find solution for you.
 

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I’m so glad I found this forum because I am experiencing exact same thing on my 21 Aspec ShAWD. I took it to dealer this past Saturday and they didn’t have a loaner for me so I’m returning back Thursday. Emailed them a video. For me I had to turn the wheel stationary to make the sound, it was hard for me to focus on the sound while car was moving bc of all the background noises but you can definitely hear it moving at 20mph or less and while steering left.

I’m sorry to hear you had to go through all that Ray. I was really liking this car and this issue kinda bummed me out. Have you heard anything from them since or did they have a permanent solution?

Thanks,
Sujoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Sujoy,

I just received my car on Saturday after being in the shop for a total of two months. I suspect that this issue is going to force a recall as my loaner started doing it too. I'll summarize the repairs below, but in short, you need to be persistent with them. They eventually flew an engineer to the dealer who identified the problem. During the four attempts at fixing it, an agent with Acura Customer Care got in touch with me. He and my service adviser are very familiar with the problem. I recommend calling them and letting them know Ray gave you their contact.

Service Advisor: Juan Macias 713-596-2333
Allan w/ Acura Customer Care: 310-781-5047

Repairs:
1. Left and right outer tie rod ends replaced - did not fix the problem
2. 5131C0 Steering gearbox, electric power steering - replaced
"2854 EPS rack making creaking noise internally 5131C0/042 3.2. Performed the noise concern diagnosis with the (marksman 2) to pinpoint the noise concern as per techline recommendations and found the noise is coming from inside the electronic power steering rack. Also recorded the noise and sent it to techline specialist via email. (Leon Imholte Ref# 4411054). Removed and replaced the power steering rack assembly"

Car seems to be working normally now.
 
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