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Acura RL Maintenance and Repair



  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131
    The Service Manager at my dealership expressed no reluctance to raise my headlights. I do agree, though, that despite being better, they don't fulfill their task well. I had previously called Acura Customer Relations and warned that they would be held responsible should the poor lighting system be implicated in deaths or injuries. The lighting is the only thing that detracts from the RL. I have 10,000 miles on the odo and have not yet had a malfunction, nor has a defect appeared. I love how the car handles and I find the interior luxurious and tasteful.The electronics and sound system are incomparable - easy to use and easy to listen to. I couldn't have made a better choice.
  • You're fortunate your Service Manager is helpful. His counterpart at my dealership said the headlights are on specification and refused to adjust the aim. Frankly, I doubt they even checked.
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131
    My advice would be to take the Service Manager aside, and in tones without anger, impress upon him in human terms how frightened your family is at night, and that your night time obligations aren't being met out of abject fear. Mention in detail the handful of occasions that caused you great alarm as a result of non-visibility and near accidents. Tell him that your wife is fearful about driving with you at night. Tell him that you can't conduct your life in this nanner and that you're frightening your children with sudden unecpected movements prompted by the sudden appearance of a strange opposing vehicle, that was virtually not revealed until the last critical moment when you made an avoidance maneuver that caused my wife to climb over the back seat and comfort the children. This is purely intolerable. Your job is not to anger the SM, it's to impress hm in human terms. Bring yout wife in once. Have her express her dismay. These are your lives,. No time to be sqeamish. Be strong - don't fold!!
    Good Luck!!

  • crxsi420crxsi420 Posts: 2
    The chargin system failure alarm is right. You have an issue with the charging system. The battery can hold enough power to run electrical 12volts. Since electrical doesn't pull a lot of power, the battery can keep them running with out problems. Now when you start the car your battery will loose volts, and anything less than 10volts won't start your car. I'd have the battery tested (any parts store will do it for free) and that should fix the issue.
  • crxsi420crxsi420 Posts: 2
    Here is the thorn that has been in my spine for weeks now.

    My 1995 Acura RL gauges went out on me a few weeks back. Nothing works on them, no lights, gas, tach, speed, temp, trip meter. The only thing that does it the blinker indicator arrows. I have checked ever single fuse known in the car with my volt meter, all of them are good. I've checked every dimmer and light relay/switch i could with my volt meter, all seems normal. Now everything else in the car works with no problems, all electrical works as well. Could this be the VSS (vehicle Speed Sensor)??? Or the actual gauge cluster itself? Can the VSS shut down everything on that cluster?

  • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I had a similar conversation with our Service Manager, saying we were surprised on two or three occasions when objects suddenly appeared in the headlights and put it down to the very abrupt low beam cut-off. The result was disappointing.

    We like our RL, but have given up on the Acura brand. The road service department left us stranded, and the dealer's penchant for selling profit-boosting unnecessary services has resulted in squabbles. Though Acura products feel better, we have set aside the purchase of an MDX in favor of a Lexus RX 330.
  • i got my gun metal aluminum 18 inch rims and michelin pilot tires from curry acura for about 2500 including shipping to hawaii. they came with the tire pressure sensors. i paid 70 dollars to have a local rim shop change the tires but you probably could do this yourself. stick with the aspec acura rims, otherwise your warranty may be invalidated if you use other non-acura aftermarket rims (so i was told by my local acura dealership).

    here's the link: give them a call and speak to joe.

    i'm sure you'll love them as much as i do. they really add to the aesthetics of the rl.
  • drgkjedrgkje Posts: 21

    I looked in the service manual but it only covers 96-04. However, the basic schematic is the same over the years so the following from the '96 pages may be worth a try.

    Most of the warning lights, gauges, and gauge-illumination are powered by a relay; for 96, it is the 3rd relay from the battery on the radiator side. The relay coil and contacts are powered by 2 separate fuses...assuming you have checked all three.

    The same relay also powers the outside heated power mirrors. So...
    * are the power mirrors/heaters working?

    There are a few lights that are not powered from the same relay: turn signal indicators, high-beam indicator, charging system indicator, low oil indicator..

    I understand the turn signal indicators are working....are other lights above working? High-beam should be easy to check, the charging and oil lights should come on when you turn the switch to on.

    If these lights are working, I would suspect the wiring feed or connection from the relay to the cluster. If these lights are not working, you will probably have to take the cluster out to check for damage.

    So far I have not seen any link between VSA and gauge

    I'll study the manual further and see if there are any links to other systems (other than the power mirrors)
  • When my wife and I both enter the car (each with a keypod) it seems fairly random which keypod is picked up as primary for the drivers settings. Is there someway to get it to recognize the person coming through the driver door vs the passenger (timing maybe :) )? Or is there someway to reset it to 1 vs 2 if it picks up the wrong person (not just the seat)? Thanks,

  • Moving to the north shore of Long Island, NY. I thought I would start using the dealer near by. I called Rallye Acura, Roslyn, NY -- for an appointment for routine service. Simple enough? Nope!

    I thought it kind of strange when the first question was "Did you buy it here?"

    They asked for my name/number and said they would call me back. (Again, a little strange!) No call ... I called back the next day! They said they would call - "When they had an opening!" Huh??? I haven't heard from them in a week! Talk about being "Blown off!"

    So ... While searching for a 'better' dealership online -- I found that Rallye won the "Precision Team Dealer of Distinction" for 4 of the past 6 years. Huh??

    1) They only service the cars they sell ... Wow, they must sell a lot of cars!
    2) They must really suck up to the customers they already have.
    3) They have Acura SNOWED big time!

    Later, I asked about the dealership from someone that lived here her whole life. I was told to never buy there! They are a bunch of "stuck up snobs"! She was judged the minute she walked in the door by her 'relaxed attire' -- The salesman assumed she wasn't able to afford the car. Quote: "Are you sure you can afford this car?" What the ...!!!

    They have lost at least 2 sales/future sales via this arrogance!

    Go ahead -- Give them a call. I'll bet you get the same response. (Mind you - they didn't even bother to check the schedule!!)
  • 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.
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