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Acura Direct Injection Engine idle “ticking” explained (Video)

The first time Torque News drove a pre-production direct injected V6 powered Acura, we wondered if something wasn’t faulty with our test mule. The cars engine idle note didn’t seem quite right.

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New technology, while a wonderful thing, takes a bit of getting used to for many a seasoned driver. The day of the “quiet” idle whisper of the internal cam V8 and V6 engines of yesteryear, while a pleasant memory for the long of tooth, fade to distant memory in the rear view mirror of the kvetching 50 and 60 something MDX owner, or younger road warriors concern as to the reliability of his or her latest automotive purchase.

Fading recollection of sound blanketed hood and multiple layered firewall mechanical engine generated sound muffling, gives way to “what the heck” is that clicking, ticking, and sometimes whining noise coming from the engine room of my new MDX?

An out of place mechanical noise originating from under the hood or chassis of one’s shiny new ride, may evoke near cell-memory- activated knee jerk reactions, often enforcing buyer’s remorse, or at the least, cast doubts as to near-future reliability of their latest new car, SUV or crossover.

No worries: Acura and Honda Earth Dreams ™ direct injected engines just sounds different

In the following video, we poke our collective heads under the hood of 2015 Acura MDX, and listen to the direct injected 3.5 Liter V6 run at idle. Note: the climate control is on, as is the ELS Audio System; we've dropped a bit of load on the engine in the attempt to discern any changes in emitted engine and support systems generated noise.

What we determined

According to our contacts at A.H.M.,our initial conclusion as to electronic fuel pump noise is spot on! Due to the highly pressurized direct fuel injection, a heavier, and generally noisier fuel pump is enlisted to feed the “Common Rail,” resulting in: GDI x EP = A lean,clean-burn, a broader torque band, and a slight increase in horsepower while reducing exhaust emissions.

The clicking sound you hear emanating from your direct inject Acura or Honda Earth Dreams ™ engine is normal. * Note: However, as recommended by American Honda, never dismiss or ignore unusual noises come from you Honda car or light truck; for safety sake, always report unusual noises or noted changes in your vehicle's operating systems to your dealership service center.

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Dan (not verified)    May 15, 2015 - 6:29AM

I was surprised at first to hear the clicking when I first bought my RLX a year ago, but I think some of the surprise stemmed from the fact that it's so quiet inside the car that I couldn't hear any of that noise. BTW, I don't think the MDX has the Krell audio system.