TSX Love – The Humberto Camarena Story

This is something I’ve been giving some thought to for a little while now. Sharing TSX stories. I’ve recently joined a couple Facebook TSX groups and have found the loyalty and following of the TSX was much broader than I originally suspected. Each group has over 5,000 members, but what’s more, is the quality of people that make up the members. There is exchanging of parts, sharing custom build tips, problem solving & much more. There are owners like me who love the car stock & others who are, & have heavily customized their TSX to better fit their style & personality. When I say customizing, I mean anything from ground kits & euro badges, to modifying the front inner structure to accommodate what ever they have the time, money & desire for.

But what struck me is the overall sense of family. For the most part, no matter the owners style, or goals with their TSX, everybody is supportive & encouraging. Ready to help out where they can. Even as far as one member came into to some rough health issues & needed surgery. Some members have rallied behind this TSX family member and donated money to help out. I have a feeling many may not have ever physically met this guy. But when the member in need offered thanks on Facebook, it was another members comment that really struck a chord for me. He responded to this member with “We’re all family here”.

It was then that I knew it was time to start reaching out to these people, my TSX people, and getting, & sharing their stories with everyone. I will be reaching out to some of these members as the next year goes by, and asking if they would like to share their TSX story with my readers.

So with out further delay, Here is the first of hopefully many TSX stories. I present to you a young man who has recently conquered high school, & is about to tackle the real world. He has been following this blog for a little while now & I recently reached out to him and asked him for a write up and pictures.

Here is, Humberto’s Story…

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“There’s a quote that says, “If you don’t look back at your car when you walk away from it, you bought the wrong car.” Well I guess I did buy the right car since I often find myself staring back at my TSX as I walk away from it. Hello guys my name is Humberto Camarena, I’m 19 and I am a happy TSX owner! First of all I would like to thank Josh for sharing my story, and for sharing his awesome in depth TSX adventure!

My TSX story started back in the first quarter of 2013, my brother was in the market for a nice used car to replace his recently sold Chevy Silverado. We were pretty much set on getting a 7th Generation Honda Accord, and after looking at several of them we realized that most weren’t in the best shape, (Salvage tittles were present pretty often) and some where a tad over priced for their millage and year. So after doing another quick search on the internet, I decided to look into the TL’s, and for our luck, it was the same story from the Accords. Then I decided to try out the TSX’s, we never actually considered one, nor did we ever think we would end up with one, but after searching we narrowed down two choices and decided to contact the sellers and take them for a test drive.IMG_20150621_174838

First on the list was a Milano Red 2004 TSX with 117,000 miles on the clock. There was something about the car that caught my attention and although it didn’t have the navigation system as I was hoping for, I still loved that it was red and that it already had the factory wing spoiler and nice 5% rear windows limo tint with the front windows being 35% (Legal limits in Texas). Something else that was brought to my attention was the OEM addition of XM satellite radio option, the 04 model year didn’t come with factory satellite radio and my car is equipped with the rare add-on option, I believe there was also a cassette, and MP3 CD player add-ons available (I later discovered that the whole system had an option for auxiliary, meaning that I could just plug in a RCA cable that would have a 3.5 mm port for my phone to be plugged in).

On top of that it was fairly priced and it had relatively low miles compared to the others we’ve seen. So on a hot March Texas afternoon we met with its owner at a gas station. We took a good look at the car, and made sure to inspect all areas possible. It was in great shape, interior, engine, and the automatic transmission. The only exception was the Milano Red, which to be expected in Texas, it was discolored from its original red to a pinkish red color in some areas (not something that concerned us since the rest of the car was in great shape). The test drive was the last piece that sold us on it. It was just a really great car. After talking to the owner about maintenance history and negotiating the price, it was ours for $7,500.

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I couldn’t believe it. I loved everything about it, and I knew for a fact that it would end up being mine! For the next few months we were happy campers. Everything worked great on the car and although my brother did own it for the rest of 2013, I was able to take it for a few spins here and there. After saving some money from working hard from my previous summers, I decided to make my brother an offer to buy it from him, and it ended up in my hands after some hard convincing and negotiations! My first car! I was the happiest 18 year old!! I worked really hard for it, and I knew everything had paid off at that point. Although my TSX has been fairly good to me, it has had its fair share of problems associated with the 2004 model year. I was lucky enough to have the last owner replace the A/C system that went bad on him, but aside from that, that was the only major issue the previous owner had with the car.

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Now, in our first year of owner ship the car was great, absolutely no problems, and when we had the dealer do the 120,000 maintenance interval (which included the transmission oil change, coolant change, and brake fluid change) we were told the car was nice and healthy! A few miles down the road is when things started to show up here and there, and I take it to no surprise since I do daily drive my car (around 20% city and 80% highway) and for its age and miles things do tend to fail. Below is a list of all the parts I’ve replaced on the car:

  • New Shocks all around (one of the front ones failed and decided to replace all at the same time)
  • New ball joints in the upper control arms (this was done at the same time of the shocks)
  • New lower control arms (this was due to the main bushing cracking)
  • Belt pulley and belt (pretty common thing in any car really)
  • New replica right side head light (Water condensation has been a major issue with the 04 model, and although is a replica, I made sure it was a good quality replica which is shows)
  • Tie rod ends (old ones where completely shot)
  • New Rack and Pinion (This has been the most costly repair so far)
  • New power steering pump (After the failure of the rack and pinion the power steering pump started to leak also, I believe it was due to the fact that I had to drive the car home 40 miles without oil in the system since the rack leaked all of it)
  • New VCT/VTEC solenoid valve gaskets (I noticed my car leaked oil but I couldn’t figure out from where it was coming from, until one day that I was able to jack the car up and discovered that It was coming from that Vtec valve, and a quick search online made my assumption true. For those that have a leak coming from the rear of the engine and believe it’s coming from the valve cover, make sure you check the Vtec valve first, those gaskets are prone to fail).
  • Set of Michelin Primacy Pilot MXM4 225/50 ( $120 for the set of which were basically new! Talk about a deal! A local guy had just taken them off his Accord since he upgraded to Michelin pilot sports)
  • Radio screens lights dimming (My car is non-navi equipped and this seem to be a common issue, its only thing left to fix so far, which is the replacement of the radios mother board, hopefully I will fix it soon)
  • All LED interior and plate lights conversion ( was actually the first thing I did to it)

After all of these things, it’s been normal maintenance, every 5,000 miles oil changes consist of 5w-30 Mobile One Advance performance synthetic oil with a matching Mobile One or Bosch Distance plus oil filter (previous owner used the same, and I’m happy to say it doesn’t burn any oil, which I believe is a common problem with the K-series engine from Honda) also Shells 93 octane gasoline has always been used since we purchased the car. I like to work on my car myself, most of the things listed I’ve replaced myself with the exception of somethings, so I like to take pride and know I did it!

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From time to time I like to stretch my cars legs, since it is after all a sports sedan, and it has taken all the beating without complaining too much! Now that I see that Josh has been able to put so many mile on his TSX, it has inspire me to keep my TSX for a longer time and maybe at least take my TSX to 300k! (She currently just turned 140K)

For the future I don’t know what it holds for Tasha and I (yes I did name my TSX Tasha) but I know for sure that once I’m done with college I want to be able to restore her back to factory condition. It’s been something that I’ve always wanted to do, and hopefully I’ll accomplish! Along the way I hope to take her on a few road trips. The one road I want to do is from Texas all the way to NYC! I love NYC and I know for a fact that it’ll be even better taking my TSX for the ride! Next I can possibly say a road trip to California stopping in every state along the way and maybe even meet Josh’s TSX! I believe those two would definitely be the road trips that I would love to undergo with my Tasha.

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All in all, it’s been a joy to own a TSX, it truly is a fantastic car and I can recommend one to anyone looking to get it as their first car, and although mine has had some minor obstacles along the way, transmission and engine has been rock solid thus far! It has also led me to meet some awesome people along the way that share the same car enthusiast passion as I do.

Thanks again Josh for sharing my TSX story and I can wait for you to reach your 500k goal in your TSX!”

Thanks for sharing Humberto! I enjoyed reading about you & your TSX & I’m sure others did as well. I’m looking forward to getting to know other TSX owners over the coming months. As always, thanks again for stopping by and supporting the last 49,000 miles to my goal. Be safe out there!DSC03324

About clymerdude

A Property Damage Appraiser in the State of Idaho.
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20 Responses to TSX Love – The Humberto Camarena Story

  1. tysonhugie says:

    This is a great idea for a feature, and Humberto’s story is a perfect kick-off. Milano Red might be my favorite color on the TSX. I agree with your comment about the “family” of Acura fans – it’s pretty awesome to have such a great network. I know of lots of other TSX owners who would probably love to share their stories. I look forward to reading more of them here…

  2. Thanks again Josh for the feature!

  3. gardel says:

    Great stuff! My car is like Josh’s -white- but with the same interior and also 2005. I am at 142k right now and no problems at all!! Car runs great. Never heard that quote before, but I do look at my car each time I walk away!! By the way, you car looks great, and the Milano red still looks red!

    Just like you, I was looking at a 2005 Accord, but they were severely overpriced! The TL’s having some expensive issues… I decided for the tsx and am so glad I did. I love driving the thing. I can afford a newer ride, but don’t want any other car. I just want to keep my tsx and will probably keep it for a long time. By some reason all the electronics, screens andwhat not of the newer cars annoy me. I believe I am a purist, and like the tachometer-speedometer in the cluster alone. This car reminds me a lot of an Alfa Romeo I drove once. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

    • clymerdude says:

      Agreed Gardel, Humberto submitted a good right up. Which Alf Romeo did you drive that reminded you of the TSX? & what was it about the car?

      • gardel says:

        clymerdude, it was a 156 quadrafoglio, back in the days when it was a ‘new car’. Basically the road feel and stiffness is comparable. The road feel is what I like the most of the tsx, Ah, and the fit and finish, second to none.

    • Thank you! Originally we hoped to find a white TSX. I love how the pearl color looks, and actually a few months ago my brother was about to purchase one too, an 05 also but he let go since it was trashed and needed a lot of work. The other color that I really like on the TSX is the arctic blue pearl; only seen a couple in my area in the color and so goes for the milano red. About the accord, I like em a lot and that’s why they were our first choice, but I couldn’t justify the price, base lx was about the same price as my TSX at the time we were looking at them. Another thing that I’ve noticed that has happened to me a lot is that accord owners tend to bash the TSX a lot. I’ve talked to a few and they all seem to think the accords are superior to the TSX, I mean they are essentially the same, but the TSX offers unique features that the accord just doesn’t have. I love TL’s (I plan to hopefully get a Type S in the future), I’ve driven many of them, but I do agree they tend to have a lot of issues, I think its because people who own them just don’t treat them right, and the cracking dash issue is something that kept me away from them. At least 3 out 5 that I’ve driven have had a cracked dash. Something else is that you really feel is the weight difference compared to a TSX. All in all I hope to keep my TSX for a long time too, and since its my first car, I feel like its even more special.

  4. Carl says:

    Great story! Impressive that the paint shines to bright, my old 98 San Marino Prelude had fading as did numerous others Integras from the era. My Arctic Blue 04 shines bright as well. And the Accord owners are hating. We have the superior, more agile and nimble car. I compare the TSX to a 4 door Prelude.

    • clymerdude says:

      Well said Carl! I never thought about the TSX as a Prelude sedan… but it sure fits!

    • Thanks Carl! Love the Arctic Blue on TSXes! If I ever find one in my area in the future I will do anything to get it and park it next to my Milano red, haha! I too love preludes, its a shame honda doesn’t offer all those cool models they used to offer!

  5. Sunny says:

    I really like Humberto’s car in Milano Red. It looks amazing! I still have a couple years until I graduate college and that’s when I will be able to get something like a TL or a TSX. Humberto is pretty lucky to have a TSX that nice as his first car! I look forward to reading more of these TSX owner stories. They are really neat.

  6. Michael Charles Oliva says:

    Hey mileage beast,
    Hey rethought about keeping my 04 for as long as you but not going to do it. Have 150,000 and will be selling it due to all the maintenance I have had to do on it. I bought my 04 with 92,000 miles and you bought yours brand new and it’s an 05. I broke the two rules you should never break! Never buy a car the first year it comes out or after a complete redesign like the 09. Also to save money buy a used car only 3-5 five years old and I bought it being 6 years old. Most cars lose most of their value about 50% the first three years after that it slows down considerably. If I had bought an 05 even with 92,”000 miles I would still keep it. After you saying you only have had to replace the starter and AC in 400,000 miles I knew something was wrong with my car. I have had to replace the alternator,side motor mount,both front control arm bushings,resealed my steering pump twice,new radiator,headliner,new radio,replaced VTC gasket,left rear wheel bearings and more

    • clymerdude says:

      I also had to replace the lower control arm bushings. I also just replaced the alternator a week or two ago. but none of the other issues you’ve had. Maybe you could start looking for a well maintained 05-08? The TSX is a great car when taken care of. but becomes just like any other car when it’s not. Hope you stay in the TSX fam!

    • Hey Michael, thought the TSX has its problems here and there, I (after fixing many of the 04 problems), still think its one of those cars I want to keep for ever. Honestly all cars have problems, some more than others, and for fact, I thought of selling mine multiple times and problems emerged here and there. But then it made me realize that if was fixing all those problems and putting money on the car I mind as well keep it. I come from a family that loves cars also, and through their experience its not always the concept of the first model year problems. I remember back in 2005 my family owned three Chevys, a 96 silverado a 97 Tahoe, and a 98 Silverado. All with the same 5.7 V8s, and it was funny to us the the 98 always had more problems then the others, and all three were maintained equally. Bottom line if you replaced all the stuff in your TSX I would suggest just keeping it for some more time, you’ve pretty much replaced all the things that go out on them, plus buying another car doesn’t really mean it won’t have problems, like I said my family loves cars and buys and sells frequently and to their knowledge every car will always have its fair share of problems no matter what make and model they are.

      • Michael Oliva says:

        Yeah I have 154,000 on it now and and planning to keep it until 200,000 and then will see how things are going mechanically. I read an article in consumer reports that said to never keep a car past 200,000 miles because that’s when the really big ticket items start going like exhaust systems and catalytic converters. We will see

  7. Carlos says:

    Humberto did get a very very nice car as his first car. 🙂

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