2008 Acura RDX • 4 cylinder AWD Automatic • 30,000 miles

Hi, We recently purchased a 2008 Acura RDX and have had it for three days. On the thrid day when I tried starting the car in the morning (about 10AM, temperature: 55F) I heard a loud noise similar to if a speaker blew up or if you tapped a micropohone hard to see if it was on. I turned off the ignition and tried restarting and got the same noise again. I drove it for a bit and restarted it and it did not make the noise again. What could be causing this?

Your input would be highy appreciated!

Thank you
February 8, 2011.

Hi: Do you hear the sound when the starter is engaged or after it started? Did you check to make sure the starter is tight? Also, did the sound come from the engine compartment or did it seem to come from under the vehicle?

Let me know.


Hi Joe,

I heard the noise when I cranked the engine. As I turned the key and the engine turned on is when I heard the noise. Regarding the origination of the noise, it came from the engine compartment.

Also, I was digging through the menus and the message center had a message suggesting the ABS may not be working properly but the date does not match. None of the dashboard lights are on though (check engine, ABS etc). Please see image attached. (Sorry about the resolution, it was taken from a phone camera). Could this be in any way related?

Thank you for your help!


Feb 8, 2011.
Actually, the picture is very clear. I have to be honest, I don't believe the ABS is the problem. I've played in bands all my life, so your description (the microphone) is very clear to me. I hear that sound in my head and try to imagine what would cause it. My thoughts include a possible loose starter motor (since it only happens when you first are starting it, a loose flywheel or torque converter could make a popping sound when the starter engages or disengages, or even and engine back fire through the intake.

Since none of the lights are on (check engine, ABS.) That tells me that the computer hasn't picked up on any electrical problems related to the engine such as sensors, solenoids, misfires. That leads me to believe it is something mechanical (not electricly operated). Thus, I would start by checking things that engage when starting such as the flywheel, starter. To see if anything is loose. Keep in mind, a single back fire through the intake can go unrecognized by the computer since it only happens at that one time, so we can't exclude that from a possible issue.

Next, since the ABS isn't lit, the system should be functional. If the light comes on, then it becomes a concern. The fact the computer says it may not be woring properly doesn't mean it isn't working. But, it wouldn't hurt to have the computer scanned to determine why that message is there.

Like I mentioned, start with the basics. Even check motor mounts. Open the hood and have a helper start the engine for you so you can stand back and check for anything that can lead us to the problem.

Let me know what you find.