Soften 2013 Acura Suspension

I have a 2013 Acura TSX that I love everything about except for my wife and daughter saying they’re getting
Carsick because the suspension is so stiff. I’ve tried lowering the tire
Pressure 2lbs but that didnt help. I’ve read that one could: 1) go down a rim size
And get new tires with a higher aspect ratio, 2) get new shocks 3) get new springs
Or 4) trade in the car for something that rides softer. #4 is out of the question. It has
About 6000 miles on it and currently has the original 225/15 R17 tires on it. I plan
On keeping the vehicle like my others which is about 10 years. What are my best
Options? The Acura service people aren’t helpful other than telling me there is nothing
Wrong and that it meets specs. We just drove down the highway today and even
On a.smooth road it looked like my wife had a tremor in her hand as she was
Trying to read stuff on her phone.

Reading anything while sitting in a moving vehicle will make your wife carsick. Trying to follow text, eyes constantly have to adjust to keep letters in focus. This put strain on the eyes and the positioning muscles and will cause headache. Not a big leap from headache to dizziness and carsickness. Let her sit and ride next to you without reading and see if that makes a difference.

The OEM rims are 17" and 18". I wouldn’t use anything but those, and the 18" will have a harsher ride. I also don’t advocate changing the suspension. Maybe your wife should take a break from the smart phone if that’s the only time she experiences problems. That’s what I do when my wife drives. If I start to feel uneasy, I put away the phone, iPad, or book.

My wife and daughter get car sick even when not reading. You do really feel every
Minor crevice or any little unevenness in the road. If I’m driving at night I can
See the reflection of the headlights on the side of the road continually vibrating. It’s

I did buy it because 2 other Acura models I own
Are still running strong with 200,000 plus miles.
I don’t drive it as a sports type car going
Around corners at 30-50 mpg. I bought it
Because it should last forever

Call they list a 16" set of snow tires and wheels for your car, so they should be able to set you up with a 16" set of summer/all season tires on new wheels.

The 16" tires are 215/60 x 16. Your current ones are 225/50 x 17, so it should soften up the ride.

But I am confused - car sickness is often caused by a soft, wallowing ride, not a firm, controlled ride. So new tires/wheels may not solve their problem.

Texases has given some excellent advice, but I want to add that if tires with a higher aspect ratio don’t do the trick, then the obvious next step will be to replace the shock absorbers.

Premium aftermarket shocks–Koni comes to mind–are almost always adjustable, and as a result you could have the installer set them for their softest setting. There are also other brands of premium aftermarket shocks (Bilstein?) that are adjustable.

As to replacing the springs, I don’t think that this is a likely solution, as aftermarket springs are almost always made to cater to the performance crowd that is looking for a rock-hard ride, and as a result aftermarket springs would likely only make the problem worse.

I’ve got the same thing on my 12 TL. I noticed a lot harser ride than on the 08 TL. My wife complains the same way so I try to drive gentle. I think they were trying to give it more stability or something in their design and don’t know what else can be done.

I wonder if the Acura has some sway in the back end. The reason I say that is that I used to get carsick when I was a kid–it started after my dad traded a 1939 Chevrolet for a 1947 Dodge; That Dodge was replaced by a 1949 Dodge and I still got carsick. However, our family car became a 1954 Buick, my carsickness disappeared. I read later in an old Consumer Bulletin (not Consumer Reports) that these Dodges did have a sway in the back end and, if family members had a tendency toward car sickness, to stay away from Dodges of those years.

Do you currently have what folks call “low-profile” tires? If so I expect you’ll experience a good deal of ride improvement with a more normal econo-box style wheel configuration, a smaller diameter rim and to make up the difference, a tire that is taller; i.e. the distance from the rim to the tire running surface is greater than the current tire. If that is what you mean by higher aspect ratio, I agree. Tire choice makes a difference too. I don’t have them myself, but Michellene “Defenders” are one of the best selling tires these days and seem to get good comments here about their performance and longitivity.

It could be that the ride is perceived to be harsher than normal because you were all acclimated to an aged vehicle with a softer ride. You state you keep your vehicles 10 years and odds are the suspension was a little on the mushy side; a trait that comes on gradually and often without notice.

A smaller rim size and taller profile tire would soften the ride a bit but you would have to make sure that any smaller wheel rims do not have a clearance issue with brake rotors and calipers.

It’s difficult to see how a stiffer ride could lead to carsickness.

How about some gel cushions for your wife and daughter?

I’ll be honest. I think you simply made an irresolvable purchasing error. IMHO you’ll likely spend shovel loads of money trying to get this vehicle to be something that it simply is not. I’ve seen people try countless things to change the basic ride of a vehicle, and they all have side effects, and none of them make the vehicle what the owner wanted. Vehicle dynamics are complicated. It’s easy to make a vehicle ride stiffer, but not so easy to make it ride softer.

I predict that in the end you’ll just end up trading the car. I recommend that you begin looking now, do lots of test driving with everyone in the vehicle, and just get what you wanted in the first place.

Okay, I admit it. I’ve had to do this myself. I had to trade a two month old car that was giving me back pain (I have a bad back). I lost $2500 on a two month old car, but I’ve never regretted it for a moment. I consider it a health expense. A cheap one, even. $2500 for not getting sick (in my case severe pain) is a cheap price to pay.

“I did buy it because 2 other Acura models I own
Are still running strong with 200,000 plus miles.”

The humble Hondas have this same durability, and generally have a softer ride.

I think the car itself is the “problem”

My car is a 2005 Camry. It is UNSPORTY, boring . . . and comfortable

My brother has a 2010 Mazda 3. It is SPORTY, fun to drive . . . and uncomfortable

Let me clarify further. The Mazda 3 is very stiff versus the Camry.

The Mazda 3 has 60K and the Camry has 73K. So we’re not talking about tuckered out old cars

I am with the gang that says you are better off changing cars. Acura’s are designed to be stiff/sporty, to change that, would be costly and might also compromise handling/braking etc. Not to mention void warranty on some parts.
Thankfully, the resale should be better than domestic brands, check blue book and edmunds and see how much of a wallet wash it will take to keep your family happy & safe.

I have changed cars within a few months of buying them couple of times. Mostly used cars, but nonetheless it wasn’t fun, but as mountainbike says here, I never regretted the decisions.

Change cars… and test drive extensively first.
You’ll go broke throwing guess dollars at your situation. Too many maybes.
Different size tires ? different brand and type ? maybe.
different shocks …springs. ? one , the other or both ? maybe.
How about A-arm / suspension bushings ? body insulators ?
Seat springs or upholstery ?
Sway bars ? bigger, smaller or not at all ?

When I got my 08 Ford Expedition
I was pleasantly pleased with its ( for a truck ) amazingly smooth and comfortable ride in comparison to my others and previous ; 91 & 92 Explorers, 79 pickup, 06 Escape hybrid, 80 Bronco , 68 van.
I can not place it exactly but its more that springs and shocks. I drive hard and like firm handling which this truck has with no alterations from o.e.
Yet it is the smoothest, quietest drive and most comfortable seating of anything previous.

If you really like it, then I might try the tires/wheels. Maybe. I really doubt you’ll find shocks/struts/springs that would be softer than stock. Typically they are available to match stock, or be firmer.

I agree with @VDCdriver, change the shocks to Konis or Bilsteins. Honda tunes shocks with too much bump dampening. That may not mean much to you but other shock makers tune differently.

A big part of the problem is the springs, though. The spring rates front to rear are wrong. Every Honda/Acura product I’ve ever driven or ridden in has the wrong spring balance. It makes the car pitchy. Every one. You can help the balance by adding weight to the trunk but that will hurt the mileage.

I personally would change the shocks first to see if that solves the problem. Next I would consider aftermarket springs. I like Eibachs and but they will be a bit stiffer and they will lower the car by an inch or so. They will have better balance but I doubt you will like the compromise.

Maybe its best to sell it if new shocks and struts don’t fix it.

I don’t think changing cars is going to help, they are all coming with 50 series tires now. You might actually get a better ride with a half ton pickup.

Did a lot of test driving lately and the Camry (except se model) seems to have the best ride, but not by very much, it has 50 series tires as well. BTW a stiff choppy ride can make you carsick faster than a soft wallowy ride.

You might look at just changing tires, some ride better than others. Most of the cars I test drove came with Bridgestone Turanza EL400 tires that did not rate well in the customer surveys at Some high rated tires for ride include the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity, the Michelin Defender and the General AltiMAX RT43 (not to be confused with the Altimax RT which did not do as well).