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Older Acura TLs



  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    A cars' manual says "use premium" because that's what the car is engineered to use. Regular fuel is more explosive than premium; therefore the engine management system has to take action to ensure that the fuel doesn't explode, but burns evenly. The compenstatory action it takes will reduce performance to some degree. If the engine management system did not take such action, you'd hear knocking under load and engine damage would eventually result. I had a Cavalier years ago that knocked so badly that it required premium even though regular was recommended. This tends to happen with older engines, where deposits accumulate inside the cylinder head, effectively raising the compression ratio. The higher the compression ratio the more likelihood of the fuel exploding rather than burning evenly, hence the need for a higher octane fuel.

    Fuel is incredibly cheap in the U.S. I can't really see worrying about a few cents on the gallon when filling a car that cost $32K and that gets almost 30 to the gallon on a trip.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,652
    I agree with you...

    I'm regularly surprised (oxymoron) that people question what is written in their manual. The manual was written with the intention that people would follow it. If using regular fuel is a determining factor when purchasing an automobile, then I'd definitely review the manual before I purchased it.

    I would not try to install a cheaper or lower quality oil filter, or air filter, or oil or anything. I would get the best price on the specifications listed.

    I purchased an APS camera a few years ago. When I did I knew that the film would cost more because it was engineered that way. I always buy the 'quality' film on sale and in bulk, but I do not think "hey, could I squeeze 35mm in here, would it be ok".

    Yes you could put regular fuel in a car that specifies premium fuel. You could also put on square's your car and your repair bill.
  • I live in a city without an Acura dealer but with a Honda dealership. I called the Honda dealership to see if they would do warranty work on an Acura and was told that they could do the work but I would have to pay for it and get reimbursed from Acura. The closest Acura dealer is 300 miles away. With all the transmission problems and various reports of rattles, am I crazy to even consider buying a TL?
  • You aren't crazy because of the transmission problems... You are crazy to consider any car that doesn't have a local (50 miles or less) dealer for warranty problems... Even the best car will have "some" problems, and 300 miles is a long way to go... I think the TL is a great car, but what are your other (local) choices?

    It isn't quite as nice, but I'd get an Accord EX-V6 with nav, save $8K and sleep easy..


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • mdhaukemdhauke Posts: 202
    300 miles to the nearest dealer??? You live in Montana or something?
  • Almost. Lubbock, Texas. Fort Worth is the closest dealer. It really is a shame because I love the car. I'm driving a 2000 Lincoln LS V8 Sport with 100,000 miles that I like and this is a car I believe I could enjoy as much, if not more.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    If you are concerned about the transmission, you could get the 6-speed. They are bulletproof and, given that you live an an area 300 miles from the nearest Acura dealer, you probably don't have a "city traffic" excuse for needing an automatic. (We live in DC and still don't use that excuse).

    As far as being 300 miles away from a dealer and needing warranty work, at least you aren't buying an Alfa Romeo. I would check with Acura on their policy of reimbursing repairs done by Honda. I suspect that they may be more easily accomodating given your circumstances.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    You could always get another LS. They're going for about $10K off sticker now.
  • Does anyone know when the 2005 Acura TLs will be in the dealerships?

    And... what is the difference between the 2005 models and the 2004 models?


  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Can someone confirm the wording on 04 TL's manual. Is it premium required or recommended? I think 03's has it like it's 'designed to use premium...'.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    Hi habitat:

    what do you think the brake pads are made of when they say they have upgraded brake pads for the
    A-spec edition cars ? Do you know if regular TLs can be upgraded with the same Brembo brakes thats found on your TL ? Any idea how much it costs ?

    We got the auto cause we have small kids and lots of cell phone calls...hence the need for the navi and bluetooth. Both wife and I drive manual....and now I kinda wish we had gotten the manual with navi....oh well...

    have fun all ... :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I have no idea if Brembo brakes can be added to the TL automatic.

    I haven't driven a TL automatic enough to know if the 6-speed Brembo brakes are that much better. One thing's for sure, they generate a lot of brake dust. I now sympathize with BMW owners that always need to clean their wheels. My rears always look bright and shiny, while my fronts look like they just emerged from a coal mine if I don't wash them weekly.

    P.S. Best brakes I ever had were on my former S2000 and I don't think they were Brembos - and they DIDN'T generate hardly any brake dust.
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    The 2004 manual (Service Information Summary page) states as follows.

    "Gasoline: Premium Unleaded Gasoline, pump octane number of 91 or higher."

    In addition, the Gasoline Type section on page 164 states: "Your Acura is designed to operate on unleaded gasoline with a pump octane number of 91 or higher. Use of a lower octane gasoline can cause occasional metallic knocking noises in the engine and will result in decreased engine performance."

    Interestingly, with regard to knock in aircraft piston engines, the FAA states in its flight training manual: "Tests have proven that pressures in excess of 4,000 PSI are reached during detonation. Since these pressures are virtually instantaneous, the effect on the piston is the equivalent to a sharp blow with a sledge hammer. This shattering force is what is sometimes heard in an automobile as it is accelerated rapidly.... This form of combustion causes a definite loss of power, engine overheating, preignition, and if allowed to continue, physical damage to the engine."
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    Has anyone had experience with drive through car washes? I have held off taking my TL through because the low profile tires do not protrude much beyond the alloy rims and I'm concerned that the wheel guide rail at the wash will damage the rims.
  • I'm betting that the "upgraded" brake pads, aren't any different, just larger.. covering a bigger portion of the larger discs that come with the A-spec package..

    Just guessing, though..


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • I run my wife's car through an automatic wash, and she has very expensive 8" factory alloys.. No curbing or scratching at all...

    But, I asked around to find places that were frequented by luxury car owners. I had two recommended to me... They aren't in the greatest neighborhoods, but their attention to detail is phenomenal.. About half the worth of an auto-wash is the drying and touch-up work after the car comes out..

    After the first time I spent over an hour just cleaining my wife's alloys, I tried the recommended auto-wash.. It was worth the $13, just to get the wheels clean...

    (not as anal as some people)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • kfhmailkfhmail Posts: 199
    Can anyone confirm new/changed colors for the 05 TL (interior and exterior).

    I would still love to see a white exterior with the ebony/black interior.

    Also, the gray interior would look a lot better if it was not two-toned (a mixture of black and gray on the dash and door panels. I thing gray seats/carpet with black trim would look nice.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Thanks nkeen and there seems to be no doubt that TL is 91 octane-bound. It seems that the only two near-luxury cars that do not require 91 is ES and I35. I guess performance costs, naturally.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Actually, the I35 does require premium (link) but you are right about the ES 330, which surprises me. :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It wouldn't surprise you if you have driven the ES 330 against it's competition. It's Camry based engine is about as pokey as it gets for a "near luxury" car. A few interim "tweaks" notwithstanding, Toyota/Lexus tends to milk its rather unsophisticated engines much longer than Acura, BMW, Infiniti or Mercedes. Example, the 4.7 liter V8 found in the GX470, LX470, Landcruiser, Sequoia, etc. It's finally getting a boost for 2005, but where else in 2004 could you have found a 4.7 liter engine only producing 235 horsepower in $40,000 to $65,000 SUV's? And getting about 14 mpg to boot. Not exactly class leading technology, those Toyota/Lexus gasoline engines.
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