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Acura RL Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    That is so surprising, for two reasons. First, at many dealerships, service and repair is a great profit center. Second, if they provide good service to someone who didn't buy there, it encourages them to buy there the next time. That's how my dealership got me as a loyal customer. I bought my first Acura elsewhere because I got a good deal, but I took it to this dealership for service because it was close. The service was so great that now I wouldn't go anyplace else to buy an Acura, even if I could get a somewhat better deal elsewhere.

    My dealership provides bennies to customers who buy there - preferential appointments, free oil changes and free state inspections, etc., but I know they take all comers because I see many other dealer names on emblems, license plate holders, etc. on cars when I go there.
  • Acura doesn't seem to look after its customers or supervise the dealers very closely. Ours is pleasant but performs extra services without consent, and gets offended when payment is refused.

    I'm very happy with my Acura, but I won’t buy another because of the regrettable dealer experience.
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131
    I'm sorry that your experience at Rallye was so disappointing. It's true that I bought all of my Acuras there for the past eleven years, and that I have established a relationship with them, but knowing Michael, the Service Manager, I can't imagine him behaving in this manner or precluding people who aren't Rallye customers. I suggest that you call and ask for him personally and explain your problem. Be forthright. Please post again after you've spoken with him.
  • drgkjedrgkje Posts: 21
    This is definitely surprising and not like my experience in northern nj.

    First, I don't think Acura, as a brand, stands for this. So, if you haven't already, you should write as well as call Acura's regional customer service. Your opinion MAY count. Recently, there was an issue with my post-service survey, surprisingly, a few minutes after the survey call, I got a call from the service manages asking why I was unhappy.

    I bought my car (used 04) in Florida in Jan 06. In Feb I took to one of the local dealers for some minor issues & oil change- they were very accomodating in every way except they did not give me a loaner. In March I took it to another local dealer, they were even better and gave me a TL as a loaner.

    I would definitely complain to Acura
  • It isn't actually random, it has to do with which key last unlocked the door. Whichever key unlocks it are the settings that are used. If my wife touches the door handle first, it goes to her settings, even though I've got my key and am on the driver's side. Drives her crazy - seems to bother her more than me when it happens.
  • I purchased an 06 RL in late December 2005. Loved the car for the first 2900 miles. Then it started to drag. Ran sluggish. Sounded "throaty". Check engine light came on, check emissions light, and check sh-awd light. Take it in, am told they cleared the codes, and since they didn't come back on, my car is fine. They determined that the codes were "thrown" because the car thought the engine got too hot. However, because they could not duplicate the code, they refused to do any work on it, or even check it.
    Called the hotline and was told that obviously this is a case of me not accepting that the dealership found nothing wrong with the car, and if the car is fine then there is nothing to be done. On the drive home, car acted worse than ever. Now it has no acceleration when you punch the gas if the car is revving under 2000 rpms. After punching it, the car takes between 1-2 seconds before doing anything, (I mean full seconds, one one thousand etc.)the odometer goes up to 5000 rpm and then the car lurches forward. So when cruising down the freeway, there is no passing power and no way to get out the way if an emergency situation arises. I was told I need to give the computer a second or two to determine what I am asking it to do. (Those two seconds can mean the difference between life and death.) This also happens on city streets when cruising, or slowing down to corner. Anytime the car is under 2000 rpms. Car also is now making a grinding metallic sound as it hits the higher rpms after being punched (above 5000). Car also is now shuddering when coming to a stop.
    Service director verified all complaints (except the shuddering) and then proceeded to tell me that he drove other RL's and they had the same issue, so these are not a "problem" to be fixed, they are a "characteristic" of the vehicle. He test drove it and repeatedly, when driving at 40 mph if he punched the car, the car sometimes shifted into 4th gear, sometimes 3rd, and sometimes 2nd. According to him, this is normal. This "normal" characteristic makes it difficult to drive when your car reacts differently each time under the same circumstances.
    American Honda Corp. sent DSM to test vehicle. He also test drove the other RL's on the lot and found they had the same problems. Therefore he agrees these are characteristics of the vehicle. They refuse to run any diagnostics on the vehicle or even attempt to fix anything. Mind you, the only thing that has been done on the car is that the service director drove it (he is not a mechanic he admits) the DSM drove it (he is also not a mechanic) and since they can't verify that my car drives
    "differently" than other RL's they won't pay the mechanic to diagnose the vehicle. The corporate response is that you "don't need to be a mechanic to fix a vehicle" and why should they pay for diagnostics if two non-mechanics can't verify the problem. After all, they "can't chase every ghost when customers complain." I thought that is what the warranty was for?
    They have had my car two weeks and I don't think they have opened the hood. Am told if the car doesn't say it is broken in its computer, then it is fine.
    If this is fine, then Acura RL's have tremendous drag on their engines while attempting to accelerate, they have no reliable power for passing or accident avoidance, they make grinding metal sounds, and shudder when coming to stops. Buyer beware - this did NOT show up until I had had the car for 3 months. I loved the car at purchase but when the honeymoon was over, BAM!
    Again, it is worth repeating - they have verified these complaints and say this is NORMAL.
    Don't know if it is a faulty defective transmission, faulty defective drive by wire, faulty defective computer or faulty defective catalytic converter (the last one is the service director's hunch).
    Whichever, anyone else enjoying these characteristics?

    P.S. when choosing my name for this forum I made up sadrlowner but was told that name was already taken.
  • Funny... same here. My wife took the keypod out of her purse so she wouldn't win the race to the door handle anymore.
  • Sadrlowner, that is bizarre... both that the car is behaving that way and that the dealership (and Acura) is treating you that way. I have a 2006 RL with similar mileage and the only symptom that even partially rings true is the drag on the engines at low RPM, but I did notice that on multiple RL's before purchasing. If they choose to ignore you the best thing that could happen is to have the transmission seize up completely...when the car is towed into the dealership they can tell you that all RL's tow the same way. :(
  • cavteccavtec Posts: 7
    :lemon: Problems aren't limited to you.

    "They all do that" must be taught at Acura school. My RL had sluggish performance, severe throttle lag at 50 mph, poor fuel mileage (16 mpg) and a host of electrical gremlins. Acura's response " no defect, they all do that." Acura went as far as to sent another RL out for a test drive to prove they are right. The test car got 11 mpg, had the same lag, an a variety of gremlins.

    Sorry Acura, the RL just doesn't cut it. :lemon:
  • Follow up:
    Turns out the reason the car was acting so poorly was that it was in "backup" mode and stayed there. Apparently, after a code is thrown the car goes into backup mode, kind of like Windows safe mode, until it is sure it has been fixed properly. After the code is cleared, it can take up to 30 days for the car to cycle through all of its internal diagnostics to feel it is "safe" to come out of its shell again and work up to par.

    The awful part about this whole experience was how the dealership did everything it could to ignore the problem, the corporate headquarters avoided the issue and even when it became clear what had happened, I was still told 'but it could be bad gas too" - anything to blame the issue on me. They even refused to write up the service repair order explaining about the backup mode issue even though that is what the mechanic told both my husband and I in front of the service manager.
    While on the test drive, the mechanic says "yes, I remember driving with you when you came and the car ran really rough but that was because it was in backup mode because the check engine light was on". "So, how long does this mode stay in place?" "Up to a month after the light has been reset." "So, then that explains why it continued to run rough when I got it back from the dealership only a few hours after you had reset the code." "Well, not necessarily. It could be something else, like bad gas." "But you just said it was riding rough because it was in backup mode." "Yes, but that was while the light was on, so I knew that was the problem then, after that it could have been anything else (like something you did wrong)>"

    Unbelievable. Even when they KNOW what is wrong, they still won't admit it.

    Anyway, if you car runs like a golfcart, check to see that it is not in backup mode.
  • mitchtmitcht Posts: 3
    Sorry to hear you're having these many problems and no one to attend to them. Let me be frank - I don't own any stocks of Honda Motors nor any member of my family works for them. So I have no reason to defend them. But the facts have to be presented as they are.

    I own 2 Honda products:
    1. 1998 Accord 4 cylinders with 130,000 miles. It is such a superb product that my wife rather drive Accord than her 2005 Toyota Camry with 14,000. Mind you, Camry is very good car but in comparison - 1998 Honda Accord out does 2005 Camry.
    2. My other car is 2005 RL. I bought it in Sept 2005. It has over 8,000 miles. This car is loaded with all sorts of features. I got more bang for my buck. I love this car. I look forward to driving at each opportunity. I got 26.1 MPG at the average speed of 57 MPH; compare to what Acura declare in their Sales papers (18 - 26 MPG).

    Is it a perfect car? No! I've experienced 2 problems with this car. One the grinding vibration between 1500 - 1700 RPM as many have mentioned. Two - I've driven this car up to 108 MPH and noticed that the tire vibration between 70-80 MPH. don’t know why between 70-80 and why not at any other speed. Since the tires were rebalanced I have not taken the car for high speed test. Other than these 2 problems I've not encounter any other issue.

    I have taken my car to the dealer for these issues and regular car services. Each time I went to the dealer they were more than cordial to accommodate me. I can not ask for more than this from dealer and the Tech support.

    IMHO - Could this car be improved? YES!
    1. Fix the grinding vibration between 1500 - 1700 RPM.
    2. Turning circle is wider than it should be allowed for a car of this size.
    3. Increase the size of the trunk. It is good size but not big enough.
    4. Trunk net should be standard part of the Car and it should be hung closer to the end of the trunk (closer to bumper) not in the middle of the trunk - as it is now.
    5. This is not the car issue but how Honda handles advertisement budget. It appears RL advertisement budget has to be the lowest of all other Honda car models. It is hardly advertised.

    Before I bought my RL, I spoke to many Acura car owners. I found a very high number of them to be repeat customers. It says volumes about their product and customer service.

    MitchT.
  • drgkjedrgkje Posts: 21
    Good to hear you are happy or at least not as sad...
    I don't own an 06 yet but have been thinking of getting it.

    2-1/2 questions:
    reading your post, it appears that this so called "back up mode" has no visible lights or warning messages..right? If that is the case, Acura needs to address this. Most trivial conditions have warnings, e.g., washer fluid low. Even if there is no warning light/message, any indication the dealer should have seen it on their diagnostic tools and cleared it?

    Does the owner manual say anything about it?
  • I have a 1999 RL in which the tilt steering wheel is stuck in a position that is too low. I can hear the electric motor when I move the switch to adjust the position but it will only move in and out and not back up.

    Any ideas on what is wrong or what needs to be done to fix it?
  • The warning light came on first to let me know that the car noticed something wrong with the emissions. When I brought it in to fix that,they did clear the code. While the code is on the car goes into backup mode to protect itself from harm. However, after the code is cleared, the car stays in backup mode while it runs through a few cycles to make sure it really is fixed and the problem has not returned. The cycles can take anywhere up to a month to complete before the car feels it is safe to return to normal mode. No matter what they have tried, the mechanics cannot "force" this cycle to complete itself. It has to do it on its own. That is why they have to return it to you in backup mode.

    At least this is the story that the mechanic told me. The owner's manual doesn't say anything about it, and I have not been able to find anyone else at Acura to verify it, and I asked the service director, the district service manager, and a seasoned Acura mechanic who is now in customer relations.

    But, I did notice the other day, that I hear a vibration/grinding kind of noise when I punch the car quickly and the engine revs high. I thought I saw something about others hearing this too. Can someone point me to the line of posts about it? Or is this different.

    Other than that, the car is now running fine.

    I agree, that the car is a technological wonder and for the money I don't think there is anything that comes close. It really has been my dream car.
  • rdharamsrdharams Posts: 17
    I have a 2000 RL and it been pretty much flawless so far. Recently while I was trying to change the CD selection to play a different one, I got a "E01" error code on the dash playere, and the CD player stopped working. Furthermore, the CD caddy in the trunk would not eject. It seemed stuck.

    The dealer looked at and fixed the problem and said that if it happens one more time, and they will have to change the CD changer in the trunk.

    About 2 weeks later I got the same problem and took the car back to the dealer. Dealer ordered the new part, but Acura got back saying they do not make the CD changer for the 2000 RL anymore!! Acura advised the dealer to get it fixed by a local repair shop. A local audio repair shop in downtown Houston fixed the issue by replacing the motor and lubricating the mechanism.

    My concern is why Acura has stopped making replacements for not too old vehicles (2000 in my case). Moreover, I am concerned that the CD player will break again and I will be left without a proper sound system in an expensive car. One of the key reasons I bought the brand new car was the smooth ride and a the bose sound system...

    First, has anyone else on this forum experienced this on their 2000, 2001 or 2002 RLs? If you have, I would appreciate what you did to fix the issue.

    Two, does anyone know of an after market CD changer that would work in the RL? (Just in case mine dies after the Ex. Warranty expires)
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    To Sad06rlowner,

    I purchased a new tl that had a serious driveline vibration. When I complained, they told me it was "characteristic of the car"...just like they told you

    Just remember...Acura does not build lemons...and they don't fix them either.
  • drgkjedrgkje Posts: 21
    thanks..looks like acura still has not really ironed out all the bugs from this high-tech machine...i am tempted to hold on to my 04 for a while
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Sorry to hear about your disappointment with your dealer. It would be against the rules I believe to name the dealer. Just tell us where you live.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    The majority of the owners are really enjoying this car. If you come to this particular forum to get a recommendation about the car it's skewed by a very small number. I have 18,000 miles on my 2005 and have to give it a perfect score. Best car I've owned in 47 years of ownership.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    The majority of the owners are really enjoying this car. If you come to this particular forum to get a recommendation about the car it's skewed by a very small number. I have 18,000 miles on my 2005 and have to give it a perfect score. Best car I've owned in 47 years of ownership.

    Ditto! Except for the 47 years part - I'm not quite that old. :-)
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Okay, I've been gone long enough and thought I would emerge from out of my hole. 14,000 miles on the wife's pearl white RL and the car has basically been flawless.

    But RL sales have greatly underperformed compared to Acura's expectations, and each month the sales data appear to be heading south. Below are some thoughts on why that may be...

    1. The car needs a V8 (at least as an option). No if's and but's about that. Acura is thinking about selling a cheaper, decontented RL in 2007, and that's a big mistake. The current platform cannot handle a V8, so the next generation better offer one as an option.

    2. MSRP is overpriced by $5000, based on street prices. The car has had its share of techno gremlins (although they are exaggerated by a handful of posters on Edmunds). And a dealer network that can't always explain what's gone wrong. The keyless ignition is silly. I could live with a push button starter, but cranking on the keyless stalk is just dumb. When I also have to tote around a keyfob, where's the benefit? Step out of the running car with keyfob in your pocket and the car beeps and emits warning messages. Dumb.

    3. Front wheel architecture presents its share of shortcomings. SH-AWD is great, but Acura should have started with a RWD chassis and perhaps even offered a rear drive version. It's not a driver's car due to its inherent front wheel drive bias, and the car is still too heavy in spite of aluminum panels, due to AWD. One flavor for all buyers limits its appeal in the marketplace.

    4. We just bought an Odyssey Touring, and much of the RL's technology is found in this wonderful van. But if the Odyssey can offer a rear backup camera, front/rear parking sensors, and very cool Michelin runflat PAX tires, why not offer those same bells and whistles on your flagship? The RL needs more to distinguish it from a very competitive field. The Canadian RL offers cooled front seats. Why not the US spec version?

    5. Styling is subjective, but to most the conservative RL resembles a large Accord. Even the wheel and tire combo is snore-inducing. Why the same Pilot MXM tires you find on the Accord sedan? (See Pax reference above.) A little more pizzazz would have gone a long way.

    6. The backseat is way too tight for a luxury car. Five more inches and voila, the car could have stepped up big time in interior volume.

    7. No advertising. I see Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti, and Lexus ads everywhere. Acura's advertising budget must be 10% of its rivals. Similar to Audi, Acura doesn't seem to want to market its flagship like the competition does. And Acura lease deals are weak. Most luxury cars are leased. Acura's offers are not competitive.

    8. Killing the "Legend" name and going with lettered nomenclature was a mistake. Can the average person pick out an MDX, RSX, RL, TSX, TL, or RDX from a police lineup? Why nuke "Integra," "Legend," or even the admittedly silly "Vigor" names? People remember names. Not cryptic letters that don't mean anything.

    But I still believe the RL is a very special car. Unique and cool in its own right. I admit I'm a Honda nut (6-speed Accord, Odyssey, and RL in the garage), but I'm disappointed that when Acura could have hit a homerun, they chose to settle for a ground rule double.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Cstiles and Nebraska Guy, It is always a pleasure to see your posts. I don't visit the forum very often anymore but do keep in touch with one of our long time RL posters Acuraphile. Enjoy your RLs and best of luck to you both. JJ
  • steveinindysteveinindy Posts: 48
    I own a white 2005 RL. Soot from my exhaust often collects on my bumper. If I don't constantly wipe it off, it starts to "stick" to the bumper and becomes very hard to wipe off. I have mentioned it to my dealer more than once, and they have never previously offered a solution. I was starting to get upset because it is really a design defect that causes this, and I believed Acura should address it as such. I just brought my car in for the 15000 mile service and again asked that the problem be addressed. The service manager showed me an internal publication called Acura News that is circulated to dealers. It contained an article that said many 05 RL owners had this problem, particularly in light colored cars. It said that a design change was made for 2006, and that if customers were really upset, the dealer should offer to replace the exhaust tips with the 2006 tips, which are correctly designed to alleviate this unsightly problem. My dealer actually gave me a copy of this article, but then offered to SELL me the tips at $109 each. I did not think customers should have to pay for design defect changes, so I called the regional customer service line. I was told that most dealers were aware that Acura will pay for the switchout, and that this has been taking place routinely for some time now. The customer service rep gave me a case number and told me to have my dealer call. My dealer called and sure enough, my new 2006 exhaust tips have been ordered, and are being replaced at Acura's expense. If any 05 owners are having this problem, tell your dealer to replace the exhaust tips with 06 tips at Acura's expense. Good Luck! Steve C.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Thanks Steve. We also own a white RL, and this is good info to tuck away for our next service visit. The soot buildup is a minor annoyance, but it's still noticeable over time.

    Our left HID headlight just went out. With the seemingly exhaustive diagnostic messages that this car emits, it's interesting that the car hasn't alerted us. Our Audi A4 used to emit such a warning.
  • bj9000bj9000 Posts: 2
    I wish my 05 RL was as good. The windshield washer does not clean. The drivers door won't unlock. Passenger and rear windows don't work from drivers window console. Front brakes rattle, and many more. Only 9500 miles. My first and last Acura.
  • cavteccavtec Posts: 7
    :lemon: not just a few unhappy owners... over 600 posts identifying problems and Acura's response. THe controversy is caused by the problems. Some people are satisfied with anything, and don't complain. Others seek value and quality. My 05 was so bad I went to arbitration for 4 major problems. One was enough for the arbitrator, who ordered the car repurchased without even considering the other three. Acura's response - they all do that.
  • bobrlbobrl Posts: 6
    Apparently Acura agrees with you on item #2. They gave a $3000. incentive to the dealers during may. If you found a dealer that was willing to pass it on, you could get your RL for $42K like I did.

    Also, the keyless ignition is not really that silly since you can pry off the keyless stalk with your key and start the car with the key in an emergency (i.e. dead battery in keyfob or otherwise inoperable keyfob)
  • archichrisarchichris Posts: 11
    Well, I'm back after not logging on for a few weeks. Like cavtec, I not only expect quality; I demand it, but I guess my kharma's flowing in the right direction, as I have yet to have a single problem/issue/vibration/glitch/aberration with my '06 RL, and have only one complaint: the voice response iPod link is truly farkakt. I'm blaming it on Apple, because it is so un-Honda like in it's totally non-intuitive operation. What should take less than 15 seconds, can take up to 2 minutes. The simple plug-in in my Honda Element is infinitely better.

    Re: gas, yes, the gas mileage in town is not great, but I never expected it to be, [coming from an Audi A6 quattro which got 13 mpg in town]. However, under optimal weather conditions [cool & dry] I have gotten as much as 32.8 mpg on the freeway with the cruise control set on 64 mph, and consistantly average between 30.5 and 31.5 mpg. on highway trips.

    As for the sales [or lack thereof], it's only a problem if Honda decides to drop out of the market alltogether. As long as they are struggling to break back into the market and gain market penetration; they have a large incentive to keep up the improvements and content, and we get to enjoy having a car that one doesn't see a dozen times a day [320/540, etc]. Re: advertisements, I have been seeing quite a bit more tv ads [far more than BMW or Audi] for the RL just in the past few weeks.

    Re: the dealerships, unfortunately Honda didn't initially set them up with the same criteria and standards that were demanded of the Lexus dealerships, and now that they have been in place for 20+ years, AmHonda really doesn't use whatever leverage it has to force any of the dealerships to behave or conduct business in an upscale "Lexus" way. Audi dealerships are exactly the same way, with most of them being shared dealerships with either Porsche or VW [haughty arrogance on one side, and the German-flavored GM mindset on the other.] Again, I guess that I'm lucky that my dealership is not filled with incompetants, and actually have been totally professional
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Car and Driver recently completed a long term test of the RL (40,000 miles worth). Consistent with C&D's lovefest for Honda, they praised the RL from all angles, especially in the areas of driving dynamics, comfort, ergonomics, powertrain, and amenities. All of this in spite of 8 unscheduled dealer visits for a variety of quirks, along with 2 dead batteries on their test car. Although most of the issues were minor, they concluded that this car had its share of new car teething signs.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... I have yet to have a single problem/issue/vibration/glitch/aberration with my '06 RL, and have only one complaint: the voice response iPod link is truly farkakt. I'm blaming it on Apple, because it is so un-Honda like in it's totally non-intuitive operation. ...

    Who designed their "keyless" ignition?? :confuse:
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