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Acura CL Transmission Problems



  • Had 74,500 miles on the original automatic transmission when I noticed a soft or slipping 2 - 3 shift. Dealer replaced trans this week. Wife picked up the car today and brought it home. All seems well at this point. I got in the car and tried to start it with no luck... multiple attempts. Car cranks but will not start. Called service dept and the rep said "Sounds electrical, nothing that we did caused this, how much gas is in the car?" I had 3/8 tank. He suggested I coast the car onto a level surface and try again. I did, no start, just cranking. Now the car is in the street in front of the house and I'm pissed to say the least. Called service rep and he said "If you can't get it running, have it towed in on Monday, you'll never make it in today before we close (Saturday) good luck." Called an Acura mechanic from the midwest (friend of a friend) and he suggested trying another key. Voila, my wife's key works fine but not mine. Called the Acura service rep again... he's starting to recognize my number on the caller ID display. I tell him of my key issue and he says "Bring the car and the working key and we'll cut you a new key for $49.95, your key must have gone bad. You can come in on Monday."

    I tried the valet key and it will not start the car either. When I called the mechanic from the midwest he said that the tranny replacement includes a computer replacement as well so the non-working keys can likely be acquainted with the new computer using the Acura tablet (something like that he called it)

    So what is the deal... do I need a new key or can my existing keys be introduced to the new computer?

    Coincidence? Bad key at same time transmission goes bad? I think not, I've been driving the car everyday for the last two years with no "key problems" and now that exact key no longer works.

    Should I pay for a new key or two or should the dealer service dept be able to revitalize my key and the valet key? Your help and experience appreciated.

    BTW, I only had to have two motor mounts replaced which were covered under the extended warranty which expires in 500 miles.
  • Mark,

    Consider yourself very fortunate!! I bought a new 1999 CL 3.0 and at 67K miles, I'm on my FOURTH transmission! I've never missed a maintenance appt and only the Acura dealership has worked on my car. The dealership and Corporate Acura tell me "too bad". Will never buy or recommend another Acura after the way they treated me. Buyer beware! :mad:
  • I purchased a new 1999 Acura 3.0 CL and at 67K miles, I'm on my FOURTH transmission. No kidding!!! I've never missed a service appt and have all of the records. Only the Acura dealership has worked on my car. Now that the extended warranty is going to expire, both the dealership and corporate Acura are doing nothing to help me. Dump the car ASAP and don't buy another one! Good luck!
  • I bought my 1999 car new, had ONLY the dealership work on it - including all oil changes - never missed a scheduled maintenance appointment. At 67,000 miles, I'm on my FOURTH transmission! Although the transmission clearly was poorly engineered, the dealership and corporate Acura will not help me at all. My extended warranty is about to expire and I've contacted the state attorney general. We're headed to court.
  • That's surprising to hear. The transmission problems were related to the 2000+ TL and CL models equipped with 5-speed autos. Are they replacing your transmission with rebuilt or new transmisions? After 4 changes, I would think that the lemon law applies, and you should be compensated. Good luck...
  • I had the transmission rebuilt and so far no problems. that is the only problem I have ever had. The next car I get will be a manual shift. I'm tired of automatic transmissions. Plus, any mechanic I have ever talked to has a manual.
  • Yeah about that transmission....I have A 1999 CL 3.0 which I purchased a few months ago. It has 65k miles on it, the car had been perfectly maintained and driven carefully.... and the transmission is horrible! It knocks down into gears and revs out when switching up gears. I'm not sure whether to keep it or sell it, I just don't know who the heck is going to buy a car with a transmission like this, and I know if I buy another transmission, It will probably have the same problem....Does anybody know if it is definetly the trans..or could it be the auto clutch???
  • Well, I can tell you that Acura's are known for transmission problems according to a guy at work. Considering Honda built their reputation on cars that never seem to die this is just deplorable. My advice to you would be to get rid of it as soon as possible. It's not worth it. Also since you are coming up on the 100k mark you will have to have the timing belt changed out. This is usually recommended at around 100k, but the gotcha is that they also replace the waterpump. I believe this cost me about 1500 to 2000. This is something that that is recommended on most cars, but after spending 2500 on a rebuilt trannie or 5000 on a new one do you really want to spend that extra money on normal maintenence?
  • I too am having a problem with my 3.0 Cl gearbox getting stuck in park. Did you ever resolve this problem?
  • I had the trans rebuilt at a cost of $2551. A new one would have cost $5000. I did this a few months ago and so far no issues.
  • 101,000 miles and going strong on our 99 2.3 CL. The key is manual five speed transmission! Honda/Acura makes some of the best manual gearboxes/linkages, along with BMW. For automatics, go with GM, Ford, Toyota.
  • Kodie11, the brake lamp switch located under the brake pedal was failing. By not activating the brakelights, it was not activating the shifter release mechanism inside the center console. The service manual has an elaborate test procedure using a meter and pin jumpers to check the switch, but all you have to do is to see if your brakelights work! The shifter symptom is actually a good alert that you may be driving with no blakelights!
  • The only thing that has saved me is the the manufacturer's warranty (first two trannies) and the extended warranty I purchased (numbers 3 & 4). I purchased the car new at the Acura dealership in central FL. After repeated attempts at assistance, neither the dealership nor corporate Acura has done anything to resolve the issue. The Lemon Law applies to repairs for the same problem (3 or more repairs) during the first two years of ownership. I've contacted the FL State Attorney General's office and have started the ball rolling. I'm very, very disappointed at Acura. They had a very loyal customer, but now I feel like they don't value their customers.
  • 17 Hondas since 1990? Why the big turnover? It sounds like perhaps they haven't been owned long enough to experience the problems in this forum. My uncle is a car buff and loves Toyotas and Hondas; however, he trades up every 2-3 years (so he swears by them).
  • The 1999 CL models have a transmission that was designed only for that make/model. Other CLs and TLs won't have the problems that the 1999 CLs have. The problem is definitely a poorly engineered transmission. Dump the car! Fast!
  • YIKES! Thanks for the advice!
  • medium1medium1 Posts: 4
    Three weeks ago my 99 CL 3.0 with 99,000 miles made a very hard shift between 2nd and 3rd and has been doing it 1 or 2 times a day since. After I saw this forum I called the closest Acura dealer, not the one I bought the car at, and they asked me to bring it in. They gave me a free rental car and spent 4 days trying to duplicate the problem, anyway they ordered a new transmission and are replacing it for free. Now that, is good service. That was Miami Acura.
  • I bought my car new, had ONLY the Acura dealership do work on my car (including every oil change, alignment, etc.). They refused to do anything whatsoever. This is in Sanford, FL. While my car was still under the extended warranty that I purchased after the mfr warranty expired, I had the third and fourth transmission installed last year. That extended warranty expired and I asked corporate Acura to provide me something in writing that I can rely on. Acura again refused. Since I cannot afford new car payments - and I assure you, it WON'T be for another Acura -- I purchased another extended warranty. At only 70K miles, this transmission is starting to show signs that it's going. I don't know what is more frustrating - the car problems itself, or Acura's apathy. Simply amazing!
  • My car is about to turn over 73K miles and the fourth transmission is showing signs that it's going. It goes in the shop tomorrow. Hey - things are looking up: I got 6K miles on this one! #3 died on the trip home from the dealership upon installation! This will be #5 at 73K miles!
    Can anyone out there help me, P L E A S E !?!?! (My screen name, RoadTripGirl, is now a thing of the past - my roadtrips are to the dealership.)
  • medium1medium1 Posts: 4
    Is your car a 99? I didn't have an extended warranty and didn't even have to argue with the dealer, they just said bring it in and they gave me a free rental for 15 days. It took a while because they had 9 transmissions to replace but I wasn't paying anything so I can't complain. I just hope I don't have any problems with this transmission.
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