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Acura RL



  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Honda often does the big releases in the Spring to catch interest when other companies aren't in the limelight. And they like their 'leaks' often dragging out and building "suspense" around a model release. They love us to keep wondering ...
    which I'm doing.

  • I have a '00 RL with almost 30,000 miles on it. Will someone help me understand the following:

    OIL: The manual and literature I continually receive from American Honda Motor tell me to "insist on Acura Genuine oils and fluids." Specifically, they advise that the "correct" motor oil is Acura's "all season blend of highly refined mineral base oils combined with Acura's unique chemical additive package."

    At the three nearest dealerships I asked what oil they use. One uses Pennzoil w/ no additive, the second uses Kendall w/ no additive, and the third (75 minutes away) uses Acura w/ additive. The two service departments don't even stock the company brand. Although I personally believe that any name brand motor oil of the proper weight is perfectly acceptable, what's the story with the dealers?

    Does American Honda know dealers do this or do they not care? If this is the situation with motor oil, what about transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc.?

    GASOLINE: I park the RL in an attached garage. Often it will sit 3-5 days without being started. As I am not a high performance driver, I've tried 89 octane. When I start it after several days of non-use and 89 octane in the tank, it acts like I'm feeding it a mix of 50% water!! For the first minute it misses badly and the fumes of raw gas are pungent. When I'm running 92/93 octane this has never occurred after 3-5 days.

    I've tried this several times with 89 octane of different brands and I get the same result. It only occurs after the RL sits several days with 89 octane, and never with 92 or 93 octane. After the first minute following start up, both octanes perform very similarly. The temperature in the garage didn't vary significantly during these start-ups. I've come to the conclusion that the 89 octane gasoline sold around my neck of the woods is neutered to something much less than that!

    AIR CONDITIONING FILTER: I'd like to change the air conditioning filter (also known as the cabin filter). What's the procedure? In an effort to generate more income, the manual simply advises to have the dealer change it. I don't think so. A local parts house carries a premium cabin filter for this RL for $23.00.

    Can anyone enlighten me on any of these matters? Thanks.....
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Oil: You're right, there's no difference. Acura probably has a licensing agreement with some oil company that permits them to put another label on it, or maybe they do it for them. Kind of like changing labels on fad beers; there are companies that specialize in these things. You can save significant money by doing the oil changes yourself, if that's what you're interested in. The brand is no where near as significant as it is to change it according to a regular schedule.

    Gasoline: You will be much happier if you use 91 octane or higher. The ECU is resetting itself, most likely, to be able to handle the lower octance by adjusting the spark to compensate. While it's going through its program, your car acts like an old Plymouth. The car can handle regular gas, but your performance is reduced and the car isn't as happy. In my opinion (many disagree) this is an "pennywise, pound foolish" area to economize in -- you spent quite a bit of money to buy the car. If you spend a few cents more/gallon, over the course of the year you save maybe a hundred dollars or so. Figure it out.

    A/C filter: sorry, I can't help with that. But I'll bet you can pay the dealer to do it with what you save by changing your own oil a couple of times. Or you can buy a service manual, available on order via Barnes & Noble or probably online.

    Good luck
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    How to access/replace your A/C filter


    I will be held responsible if something goes wrong using my steps so I highly recommend getting service manual. (I didn't use the manual because I watched my dad do it, but its a lot easier with it).

    Short Phillips Screwdriver (needed to remove the fabric in the glovebox)

    2 A/C filters


    1. Move the passenger seat as far back as possible.

    2. Open the glove box and unscrew the 3 plastic screws that hold up the fabric in the glove box. Carefully pull back the fabric to get access behind it. The washers attached to the fabric are plastic and fragile. If you can reach around the back of the fabric, it may be easier to remove.

    3. Once the fabric is out of the way, you will see a cable. At the end of the cable is a latch with 2 levers poking at you. Squeeze the left lever and it should pop out the entire plastic square that is connected to the cable.

    4. There are 2 screws at the bottom of the glove box that need to be removed. If you lie on the floormat and look up under the glovebox, you'll see the 2 screws; one on the far left and far right. They act as the glovebox anchor.

    5. In the glove box on the sides are plastic anchors that hold the wheel used to help the glove box move in and out. The other sides of the anchor are clips. Squeeze the clips and pop out the wheel anchor. With one wheel popped out, you can remove the glove box panel. On the left you'll see a wire connection. Disconnect that to completely remove the glovebox panel. (The connection is for controlling the trunk release on the driver side door).

    6. Once the door is removed, you'll see a black panel. There are 3 screws to remove. Two are on each sides of the glovebox hindge. The third is a single screw by itself facing you if looking straight ahead and down.

    7. Once the 3 screws are removed, you'll need to pull off the cover. The black cover is held in place by 4 clips (2 on the far left and 2 on the far right hidden behind the cover) that fasten the black panel in place. I pull the bottom
    towards me first to get those clips off and then pull the top to pop off the top clips.

    8. Once the cover is removed you will see a white plastic panel that you can remove to get access to the filter.

    9. Once the white panel is removed, you can pull out the bracket. I believe if you press the "Fresh Air button", it makes it easier to get the bracket out. (It might be the Recirculate button, but not 100% sure). Just remember which way the bracket is facing so you remember how to put it back in.

    10. Once you get the bracket out, you can swap out the filter.

    11. With the bracket back in, push back the white cover.

    12. Line up the clips on the black cover and snap that back in. Put the 3 screws back that you took out.

    13. Line the left wheel into its slot and snap back the anchor for the right wheel after its in its slot. (I removed the right wheel earlier)

    14. Pull the cable as far as you can and hold it with your right thumb. Use your right index finger to locate the hole and use your left hand to insert the square cable clip back into that hole.

    15. Reconnect the trunk release.

    16. Clip the fabric back into place. Be careful, the washers are very fragile can can easily break (trust me. :-)). Once they are in place, use the 3 screws (removed earlier) to keep the fabric in place.

    17. Reconnect the 2 screws that anchor the glovebox door at the bottom.

    Where can I get filters for $23. My dealer sells them at $80 a piece.
  • Just in case anyone would love a great deal on the few '03 RL's built, the dealers now get $3500 from the factory for each one they sell. This dealer incentive expires Feb 28th. Does this tell us something about the new '04 release date??

    Also, the '03 CL's have a $1000 dealer incentive which expires March 31st.

    Finally, if you have the really deep pockets and want an '02 NSX, a $7500 incentive will expire on March 31st also.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Are there any incentives on the 2003 TL?
  • jwilson1: Thanks for the feedback on the oil and gas matters. I do change the motor oil myself, except when the dealer offers a $19.95 change w/ filter plus a free wash. What do you think about dealers not using the Acura labeled oil? Kind of "flies in the face" of American Honda's posturing!

    Reply to post #1100: I really appreciate your detailed instructions for the cabin filter change. That big dealer price is why I decided to do it myself. I'll bet the labor cost is wild! The filter is at Advance Auto Parts (Checker Auto Parts on the left coast). My local Advance sells a Puralator #C35425 for $21.99 and a Fram #CF8762 for $33.99. I think both are just one filter and, as you said, it takes two.
    Neither is carried in stock: they can get both in 1-2 days. I'm going to order the Puralator and see how many are in the carton....I'm betting just one, so I'll just order another.
    The Advance web site only lists the Fram filter.

    Also, I believe Checker Auto Parts doesn't carry the Puralator brand.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    thanks for the filter info. My dad just couldn't understand how a paper filter should cost in the $50-80 range so he cut one out of a 3M Filtrete house filter and taped it to the filter bracket.

    It seems to work except it lets too much air through. We also tried a thicker 3M filter but it didn't let enough air through. I even went and tried a carbon house filter that I fitted in the filter bracket. It did remove outside odors coming into the car. For now, I'm using the Filtrete homebrew filter.

    I'll check out advance auto parts. There seems to be 5 stores near my area!
  • satiresatire Posts: 71
    First, I saw somewhere (can't remember where) that Honda was showing off a "concept" Accord coupe. It had a 300HP 3.2 V6. Now put that in my RL and I'll love you for days Honda. Perchance this is the engine of tomorrow's RL?

    Secondly, a friend of a friend just bought a 2002 RL (like me) and has found a serious problem. Apparently (and keep in mind I'm getting this info second hand) there's some sort of body problem in a select few RL's the rolled off the line. Said problem causes the car to make a lot of noise at speed. Big to-do when he took the car back to the dealer. Regional reps called in. "Major repairs" mentioned. Etc., Etc. I'm trying to get more details but has anyone else heard of this kind of problem? If so, details please.

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    My guess on 2004 RL engine:
    3.5 liter DOHC i-VTEC: 260 HP, 5-speed auto SportShift

    Chances are that we could see an RL Type-S with the same engine tweaked to 300 HP (given the 3.5 liter V6 DOHC i-VTEC in Acura DNX prototype was rated at 300 HP), possibly with VTM-4 (AWD).

    I wouldn't be surprised to see the 3.5/V6 mated to IMA for 350 HP or so in AWD format with 6-speed clutchless manual.

    Some of this is wishful thinking as I feel Acura needs to take these steps to help RL stand out from the crowd.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    I tried Yokohama AVS dbs after replacing my first OEMs and they were great initially. Extremely quiet. After 10k miles, the tire made a lot of noise and the sidewalls were so soft that you could hear the a different pitch as you went around turns. I would not recommend these tires for the RL.

    I switched over from the AVS to my first set of SP5000s. The Dunlop SP5000s are very quiet as well but stay that way througout the life of the tire.

    I've already gone through one set and I'm on my second. (I got about 32k miles on these. Could have probably got about 5k more miles.)

    They cost around $83/each at the Tire Rack and $118 at National Tire and Battery. If you print out the pricing and take it there, you can get NTB to lower the price. Didn't even do any haggling. They lowered each tire by $21 and I ended up saving at least $80 on my purchase.

    If I had to rate the quiet level of these tires, it would probably be:

    (Out of a 10 being the best)

    Yokohama AVS db (under 10k miles): 10
    Yokohama AVS db (after 10k miles): 5

    Micheline MXV4 Energy Plus: 8
    Michelin MXV4 Energy Plus (near the end of its life) : 7

    Dunlop SP5000 : 9
    Dunlop SP5000 (near the end of its life): 8
  • tjonestjones Posts: 9
    I just purchased a 2000 RL and will need to replace the tires shortly. I am thinking of getting Yokohama Avid Touring. What do you think? What tires do you recommend for the RL? I want tires that are quiet, quiet and even more quiet. I'm not so concerned about the cornering ability of a tire, I just don't want it to roll over in a turn. Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    If you can't do a search, at least read the post immediately before yours!

  • I've been through the factory Michelins, Continental Tourings and now have about 5,000 miles on Dunlop SP A-2's and they're excellent- the best yet. For more information than you probably can process go to Tire Rack's website.
  • Regarding 488pionion's cold start problems, I too have a strong odor of gasoline and poor performance when temp's below about 35 degrees with my 98 RL. My vehicle's not garaged but I have never put in anything less than 92 octane. I posted the problems in a seperate RL thread but no reply. Any other thoughts beside low octane gas?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Sounds like it's making things too rich for too long. Like you I can only guess, but my first thought would be a sensor somewehere in the intake system -- personally, I'd use the dealer's diagnostic machinery to find it. Easy enough to do: he can leave it outside all night then start it the next morning.

  • jfavourjfavour Posts: 105
    I read the following on the car connection's daily edition for 1/17/02:

    "XM Satellite Radio, America's leading satellite radio service, will be available as an option on several key Acura and Honda models, Honda announced. Scheduled to be released in the spring of 2003, the 2004 Acura RL will be delivered with XM Satellite Radio hardware as standard equipment. This will be followed by the all-new 2004 TL sedan in the fall. For Honda products, a dealer-installed option will be available in the spring on the 2003 Accord and Pilot. The Honda Division of American Honda expects to have XM Satellite Radio factory-installed beginning with the 2004 Accord."

    It seems to indicate a new RL for spring of 2003 and a new TL for fall 2003.
  • Two weeks ago over a two day period my ABS light came on 3 different times after driving about 20 miles.

    When I took the car in for its 67,500 service last week I had them check it out. They said I had a leak in the Accumulator/Modulator. I have Acura Care so it would be covered under warranty.

    The ABS light has not come on since those three instances over that two day period. I have heard that the solenoids on the accumulator can sometimes stick causing the system to leak.

    When I start my car in the morning I will usually hear the pump run for about three seconds, which is supposed to be the normal
    amount of time. When I was having the ABS light come on the pump charged for about 10 seconds in the morning.

    Should I just have Acura replace it under warranty and not worry about it? Could it have been just a temporary problem and now it's okay since the light has not come on now for almost two weeks. I guess I'm concerned that they might screw something up since I hear it is a pretty complicated job costing about $1500.00 if you are not under warranty.

    Is this a common problem with Acura/Hondas?

    Your input would be appreciated.

  • If the dealer is willing to replace it with warranty, do it. I had to pay for one of those and it is not cheap.

    It is one of reasons to change the brake fluid regularly in the whole system. I think that is a key Acura/Honda mainenance task.
  • I see that some of you have been having cold start problems as well. I have noticed this behavior when it is below 40. It is exacerbated if the car has sat for a day or two with no starts.
    After many, many cranks of the key it does start. Problem is, it starts like a tank and runs like that in idle until I get on my way. Odd. I have new plugs, new fuel filter, have only used premium gas, taken care of all scheduled maintenance. Anyone have any ideas? Been a great car except for this. Just hope that one day it doesn't turn into a "won't start" issue.
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