Engine Pings During Moderate to Heavy Acceleration – 2009-2010 Acura TSX

October 22, 2011


Applies To:
2009 TSX – ALL
2010 TSX L4  – From VIN JH4CU2…AC000001 thru JH4CU2…AC009053


Engine Pings During Moderate to Heavy Acceleration

(Supersedes 09-041, dated July 21, 2011, to revise the information marked by the black bars)



Under WARRANTY CLAIM INFORMATION, a labor operation number was changed.



The engine pings during moderate to heavy acceleration.



The PCM software, combined with knock sensor sensitivity, may not adjust the ignition timing as expected.

NOTE: This condition does not cause internal engine damage. Some engine ping is a desired characteristic for optimal performance and fuel economy.



Replace the knock sensor, then update the PGM-FI software. If you’re working on a vehicle with A/T, also update the A/T software.

NOTE: On vehicles with A/T, you must update the A/T software to complete the repair.



Knock Sensor: P/N 30530-RL5-A01 Engine Pings During Moderate to Heavy Acceleration - 2009-2010 Acura TSX » small light
Intake Manifold Gasket (four required): P/N 17115-R40-A01 Engine Pings During Moderate to Heavy Acceleration - 2009-2010 Acura TSX » small light



Acura Long Life Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 (One gallon repairs about 20 vehicles): P/N 0L999-9001



HDS Software Version:
2.019.009 (August 2009) (gray) or later.

Control Module (CM) Update:
Database Update 05-AUG-2009 or later.

NOTE: To avoid an incorrect repair that would not be covered under warranty, use the software version listed above or a later version.

The updated PGM-FI software program IDs and P/Ns are shown below. If these or a later program IDs are the current ones displayed during the update, the software for this service bulletin is already installed.

 Year/Model/ Software  Program ID  Program P/N
2009–10 TSX M/T PGM-FI Software L5A030 37805-RL5-A03
2009–10 TSX A/T PGM-FI Software L5A530 37805-RL5-A53
2009–10 TSX A/T A/T Software L5A520 37806-RL5-A52



The normal warranty applies.

OP# Description FRT
121188 Replace the knock sensor. 0.6
125517 Update the PGM-FI software. 0.2
A A/T models only: Add for updating the A/T software. 0.1


Defect Code: 03214
Symptom Code: 03203
Failed Part: P/N 37820-RL5-A51
Skill Level: Repair Technician




  1. Replace the knock sensor:


  • Knock sensor replacement requires intake manifold removal.
    • In step 6 of Removal, the bracket does not need to be removed; just remove the bracket lower bolt.
    • In step 10 of Removal, the PCV hose does not need to be disconnected.
    • In step 13 of Installation, radiator refilling and cooling system bleeding is not needed; just top-off the cooling system reservoir with about 6 ounces of coolant.
  1. Update the PGM-FI software. Refer to Service Bulletin 01-026, Updating Control Units/Modules.

NOTE: On Some 2009 TSXs with Tech Package (VINs JH4CU2….9C000001 thru JH4CU2….9C033097), you must disconnect the AcuraLink control until 5P update connector before updating the PCM. For more information, including additional warranty flat rate time, refer to Service Bulletin 09-009, Disconnect the AcuraLink Update Connector Before Updating the PCM.

  1. A/T models only: Update the A/T software. Refer to Service Bulletin 01-026.





J2534 Software

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. offers SAE J2534 compliant reprogramming software for Honda and Acura vehicles FREE of charge. This J2534 software, when used with a properly built J2534 pass-thru device Engine Pings During Moderate to Heavy Acceleration - 2009-2010 Acura TSX » small light Engine Pings During Moderate to Heavy Acceleration - 2009-2010 Acura TSX » small light, will automatically check for the latest vehicle calibration information.


Important Notice

Do NOT program a control module unless you are directed by a service procedure or an applicable Honda/Acura Service Bulletin. Control Module updating should only be undertaken by a skilled professional using proper equipment and procedures, or module damage can occur. The process of updating to the latest software not associated with a specific symptom may not resolve other specific customer concerns. Unauthorized or self-directed programming may cause unintended and irreversible effects and lead to vehicle harm and/or customer dissatisfaction.

American Honda urges end users to always use the LATEST production release of the J2534 Honda Reprogramming software. Using the latest version of the software is the best way to ensure successful reprogramming of applicable control modules.

It is possible to damage the vehicle’s electronic control modules during reprogramming. Ensure the following conditions are met BEFORE programming a control module:

  • The vehicle battery must be fully charged before programming the control module. Stable battery voltage is critical during programming. Any fluctuation, spiking, over voltage or loss of voltage will interrupt programming.
  • Turn OFF or disable any system that may put a load on the vehicle battery.
  • Make certain all tool connections are secure. Do NOT disturb the tool harnesses while programming. If an interruption occurs during the programming procedure, programming failure or control module damage may occur.


Some modules may require additional programming/setup events performed before or after programming. Please refer to the appropriate Service Bulletins for details. (e.g. IMA Battery Module)

The information in Service Bulletins is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools, and equipment to do the job properly and safely. The procedures should not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers”. American Honda reserves the right to supersede this information with updates. The most recent information is available through American Honda’s on-line technical resources.


Warning: Certain control module systems require special procedures and or hardware to be properly reprogrammed. Before proceeding ahead, check the vehicle list below.

Honda J2534 Pass-Thru User Guide

Honda J2534 Pass-Thru Software Download





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