Acura RDX Tuning

"Thanks for reading my RDX tuning guide."

Fitted with the awesome  2.3 L K23A1 Turbo engine and inline 4 putting down 240bhp. Later models came with the 3.5 L J35Z2 V6 until 2019 when it was replaced with a more efficient 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine

As a turbocharged engine it marked an unusual choice of powertrain for Honda who tended to focus on high revving NASP engines, but they did it well and the engine responds well to tuning upgrades, retaining the reliability you've come to expect from Acura.

Tuning tips and articles

A popular car for tuning up is the RDX and our members have some interesting projects on the go. We see lots of DIY modders wasting money on their RDX doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our pointers to avoid making the common mistakes

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Improving the handling for many tuners first priority in your RDX tuning project. Drop the car by as much as 35mm and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Our aim in RDX engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

Following our guidance for tuning your RDX you will attain a practical sporty car that will potentially embarrass bigger cars.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Tuning modifications.

These mods performance upgrades are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started.

Getting the best motorsport modifications for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 (competition) mods just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Remap, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm).

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Competition cam, Engine balancing, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

Your goal when tuning should be a wide torque band. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a motor sport car.

The point of our guides is to give a little insight into the world of tuning mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best sport mods and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a bolt on uprated parts goes on a NASP engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a performance chip. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sport cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.When pushing up the power you will need to increase to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

If you find you have flat spots and surges after your motorsport upgrades you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Contrary to popular belief there is usually a small if any power gain to be had by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope! Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can get this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 2 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional polishing and ported. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. When you tune up your RDX you will often find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutchRemaps offer massive power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a flashed ecu on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

We've also come across some owners playing with twin charging conversions and making some very high power figures.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

Superchargers however will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine .

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the RDX large alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Due to this we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 18 inches, although we know some of our members have with bigger wheels with no problems.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss RDX options in more detail with our RDX owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Acura tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below. We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

PLEASE HELP: I NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO COVER THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE AND KEEP IT RUNNING. I do not charge you to access this website and it saves most TorqueCars readers $100's each year - but we are NON PROFIT and not even covering our costs. To keep us running PLEASE Donate here

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Feedback

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article




Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 300,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).


Popular articles

Diesel tuning
ECU Remaps
Double Clutch
Safety mods
Induction Kits
Customize a car
Tuning Chips
Modified Car insurance
Track day insurance
Diesel Remaps
MPG Calculator
Cleaning a DPF


Directional Vs Asymmetric

Directional vs Assymetric tyres
Read more...

Rebore Engine

Reboring engines
Read more...

De Locking

Delocking a car how to delock a car
Read more...

Styling Themes

Choosing a theme for your car styling project.
Read more...

Driving Tips

Life saving driving tips
Read more...

French Low Emission Zone Permit Scams

French Low Emission Zone Permit Scams
Read more...

MPG Calculator

MPG calculator UK miles per Gallon – calculate MPG
Read more...