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Acura CL Transmission Problems

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  • :lemon: You would think that Acura would be a better car!! I have to laugh at every new Acura car ad I see. I bought my Acura new and have had 3 transmissions, first one went out at 28,000 mi. I Need to buy another car and I am almost tempted by the new Acuras but....I will just have to hold myself back!! Apparently Acura is so STUPID OR ARROGANT that they think that word of mouth will do them no harm. Acura owners need to start some kind of Internet campaign against them or bumper sticker crusade to show them that WE CAN AND WILL WARN OTHERS!! I guess no one at Acura reads these columns.
  • alemikaalemika Posts: 1
    OK. I love Honda Motor Co. I've driven a Honda/Acura and their motorcycles all my life. Since I'm wanting to purchase an 03' CL simply for it's rarity (I still maintain a sweet 95' Legend), I'm frankly blown away at what I've been reading about their 01' - 03' horrible transmissions failures.
    So my only question is this - Am I "safer" with a manual tranny CL???

    THX.
  • madchen20madchen20 Posts: 8
    It is my understanding that this transmission problem exist from 1999 up to the 2005 models. Acura knew about this problem and refused to own up to it. After they fixed over 16,000 cars they stopped helping. Most people with these year model cars are on their 3rd transmission. It is also my understanding that the 2.0 and the standard transmission if you can find one... ARE BULLET PROOF!. Everytime I see a 2.0 im just sick, and every 3.0 CL I pass I want to roll the window down ask them how much trouble they have had with their car. I would say, that if you found an '03 CL that HAS NOT HAD A PROBLEM, it may never have one. There were defective parts in the original and even in the replacement transmissions. These transmissions went out around 20-30K miles and then again around 50K. So, choose wisely. :lemon:
  • I have an '01 3.2 CL bnought new in June 2000, with 113,700 on the clock, and until 3:00 PM EDT today, I had no problem with the car. But at 2:45, while driving in suburban traffic, my tranny went south...sudden downshifts, slipping upshift, "Check Engine" light, "TCS" light, and finally, it reverted to "limp-home" mode and wouldn't shift above seciond gear. Called the local dealer, and got sympathy, and a comment that most CL's don't last this long...along with a quote of $4400 to install a rebuilt box. Called Acura Customer Service, spoke to a very nice fella who was sympathetic, but would make no commitment until the car was inspected by a dealer. Oddly enough, just yesterday I responded to an Acura survey and repotrted that I was very happy with the car...what a difference a day makes! Anyway, I now an faced with a car that was worth about $5K until this afternoon, and is now worth about $500 for parts. Has anyone had any success in getting Acura to help defray repair costs?
  • pukindogpukindog Posts: 3
    Mine went again two months ago at 147000 miles. The dealer called Acura; There response was that the car had too many miles on it for any kind of compensation. It did not matter that the tranny was replaced four other times. The dealer gave me 10% off his price for "good faith". Still cost me plenty for the tranny, computer box, and torque converter.
    Funny, I really like the car albeit for the crappy transmission.
    Jeff
  • madchen20madchen20 Posts: 8
    The transmission on my CL went out at 21,000 miles!!! Here is practically a NEW car and what do they do.. they put a REBUILT TRANSMISSION IN IT! AND GUARANTEE IT FOR THE REST OF THE CAR WARRANTY. When it went out the second time at 67K they would not honor the warranty and wanted $4500. Acura has known from the start that these transmissions were faulty. I took my car to a reputable transmission shop and told them what Acura said. The car was running very slow because the transmission would not shift. They said it did NOT need a whole new transmission but maybe a part. They started by changing the fluid which helped tremendously. The transmission mechanic said it might possibly need a torque converter. I think to this day that is really what is wrong with it. I have now been driving this car for 3 yrs since that incident. The transmission still has an occasional "bump" in the transmission when it changes from 3rd to 4th. but its still running. Last night I sustained hail damage which almost totals the car but I am going to drive it until the new tires I just put on it fall off. !! :sick:
  • As I've stated on this thread before, my '98 3.0 CL is on it's third transmission. To GolferBob - I'd definitely get a second opinion from a Japanese car specialist before dropping the coin on your transmission. He'll know where to get a quality rebuilt transmission for less money. My third transmission is a rebuilt one and now has over 110,000 miles on it.

    The key for me has been what others have stated. I drain and fill - not flush, just drain and fill - the transmission fluid every 10,000 miles religiously, no exceptions. I use only Acura-brand transmission fluid - no exceptions. This 10K mileage is not derived from the Acura service manual - it's from people on this thread who have posted valuable messages.

    I'm also on my second engine, thanks to oil starvation problems in the 1998 engine that Acura never admitted to. Thanks to folks on this website, I now change my engine oil every 5000 miles with Castrol Syntec 5W-30, full synthetic - no exceptions.

    So, keep reading these threads, and don't rely on Acura. Acura has never admitted to any problems, and wouldn't do squat for me when I brought them up to them years ago. They advised to add oil treatment to the oil when I had a clicking noise in the engine. The transmission went out at 62,000 miles - 2K miles over the engine warranty.

    I'm driving this car until it dies, and will never purchase a Honda/Acura product again. Thanks to all on this thread for all of your valuable input and suggestions - Good luck GolferBob, we feel your pain.
  • rstarr_5rstarr_5 Posts: 1
    We were driving when all of the sudden our car started smoking from the under it. It was as quick as we saw the smoke the car would not accelerate. We have not had any prior issues with the car or the tranny. It never slipped or made any kind of noise. Any ideas what we could check? Thanks, much appreciated!
  • To add to this forum I too have had to replace my tranny twice and I'm having slippage issues with my current transmission. I fear I will need to replace it yet again, or make up my mind to buy another car, not an Acura, as much as I love their cars I hate that I have this issue and its such an expensive hit. The first time I replaced it, it was under the 100,000 warranty, the second replacement was out of pocket, $3500 with labor. I have over 320,000 miles on this car and besides the transmission the car is in perfect condition except for a couple minor scratches. I held on to this car hoping for another 2 door coupe from Acura but it never came :( . My previous car was a 1998 Acura CL 2.2. Honda\Acura don't you realize you are loosing repeat customers because of this issue? WAKE UP! Oh I think I may test drive either the G37S coupe or the Hyundai Genesis 3.7 coupe. BMW 3 series are good cars but over priced and cramped.
  • Hello everybody.
    I have just purchased my first Acura, it is a 3.0 CL 1999. The car is going well even having 127k miles. But i have just a little problem with the check engine light, it would come even if the car has nothing. The first time it appeared i went to the scan and it says "No description available for the code" or something like that. They just turned the light off and went for a few days. Today the check engine light come again. I dont know what's going on with the car, it has nothing in the exhaust tube nor in the engine itself.
    Someone has an idea?
    Thanks for the time.
  • madchen20madchen20 Posts: 8
    edited October 2012
    OK... I had the same problem twice on my 99, 3.0 CL, the first time at about 68k and the second at about the mileage you have. The problem was the EGR valve. The first time it was replaced, it was replaced for free because it was DEFECTIVE on that year.. the second time I had to pay almost $300 to have it replaced. The other thing that is a problem on the car that makes the check engine light come on is the gas cap. If its not on right, the light comes on. You have to drive it for a while after you make sure the cap is on right. My last problem with the check engine light, is that the catalytic converter is bad. That light will also come on if your oil gets low. By the way, the other recall on that model besides the transmission was the ignition lock. You should check to see if this work was done on the car. :surprise:
  • medium1medium1 Posts: 4
    The ERG valve itself usually isn't the problem its just carbon buildup from the valve into the intake manifold. A dumb or crooked mechanic will replace the EGR valve. You have to remove the intake manifold and clean the passage way with carb cleaner. It's a real easy job and can be done with out replacing any parts just a couple cans of carb cleaner.
  • medium1medium1 Posts: 4
    The Honda transmissions were not strong enough for the V 6 engines but the engines are rock solid.
  • I have a 99CL 3.0. Yep the drivers window dropped, replaced cheap with better mechanism.

    Now the tranny problem, IT IS THE PCM/ECU/PGM! Few people know this, you will not find anything about it - dirty little secret!!

    I think the 98 and surely the 99s that came from the OH plant had a computer with a bad software program and over time it will destroy the transmission, torque converter et al.

    My problem began at 37,500miles, and after a year of being told "It is a normal function", their light bulb went on and I got the already redesigned ECU, but now at 50,800miles and listening to years of whiring and shift clunks (not normal) I may be looking at the torque converter going and that means a tranny rebuilt, too.

    This car has been amazing, the fools at Sunnyside Acura did something you NEVER do to a front wheel drive (pre-new ECU), called "shifting the beam" so the poor car has been trying to manage til I can afford to fix their 2nd BIG screw up. They did more, but the 2 issues are on Acura/Honda and greed and the stupid dealership!

    The car deserves fixing! In the snow with descent snows on in 3rd gear, I've driven by 4 wheelers (SUVs, etc.) slid off the side of the road in blizzard conditions - I Love My Car!
  • mgentilemgentile Posts: 1

    My wife purchased a 2006 TL for herself and we have had several issues. Mind you, she drives like an old lady for her age. First, the power steering hose needed to be replaced (covered under warranty). Second, the front end (passenger side), suspension needed to be replaced. My daughter was driving the Acura and the front end tire (passenger side), bent completely inward. Thank goodness she was driving in the city and was driving less than 35mph as opposed to on the freeway. The night before my entire family was in the car driving on the freeway. Now, the transmission went and the car only has 92,000 miles! I was driving in the city and the car stopped moving! I immediately turned on the hazard lights since it was apparent the brake lights weren't working! The crazy thing is I never had a check engine light come on to warn me that there was a problem with the car! Called Acura to ask them if I was still covered under warranty and their response was no. So I then asked them if they were going to cover the cost of repair because my car only has 92,000 miles on it. Again, they said no. So I asked them if they would take off the labor charges and I would pay for a new transmission and they still said no! I ended up taking my car to a transmission place and the mechanic told me he has seen many Acura's and Honda's with the same problem. My Acura's Torque Converter was shot and burnt so badly as was my transmission! What the hell! I will never purchase another Acura or Honda! I am actually searching for another car for myself and it's going to be a Toyota! There is definitely a defect in these cars. My family and I could have been killed twice if driving on the freeway! Acura has not heard the last of me!

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