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Acura RL Maintenance and Repair



  • What the heck, I'll chime in, too, because I get tired of reading how buggy and unreliable the RL is. I've had mine for 18k miles and 18 months now and it has only been to the shop for oil changes and other routine maintenance. Yes, they've done the software updates but all cars get those these days.

    This has been by far the best new car I've owned in terms of quality and reliability.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    It's called Audio Pilot. When I was testing out an '05 RL, there was an option in the Audio/Setup menu to turn Audio Pilot off. The way it was explained (and advertised in manufacturer print material), the Audio Pilot is the noise cancellation system.
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131

    I, too, rarely look in at this forum, in which the RL - and its dealers - have come in for harsh criticism. My experience exactly mirrors that of jjacura: this is the finest car that I have ever owned. Additionally, my dealer has been scrupulous in his attention. This leaves me puzzled. Are these strong, negative postings simply reflecting the infinitesmal things that must go wrong simply because they're the product of human endeavor, and must therefore be discounted as representing Acura's body of work?

    Based upon past and present Acura ownership,my enthusiasm is undiminished - every drive around the block is a pleasure!!

  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Wish I could post a smiley Emotorcon in the Title.:) It is a pleasure to see your post George!
    I have turned 19,000 miles and all is amazing with the RL. In 5 weeks I will be making the drive from Wisconsin to Arizona :shades: and back for a month and so the miles will pile up. Looking forward to smooth power driving through Colorado where if I decide to tackle the Rockies the SH-AWD will prove to be a real asset. (Last time I drove over them was in April of '66 in a Volkswagen bug :lemon: during a snowstorm at Loveland Pass with an 18 wheeler coming at us using 3/4 of the road. :surprise: ) I do know that the roads have been improved substantially since then and in August don't anticipate any problems. :D

    Question regarding tires. I plan to keep the OE Michelins on for at least another winter but was considering going to the Pilot Ultra Performance All-Seasons in the future. Does anyone have them now and if so how do you like them?
  • jtsjts Posts: 15
    Gee, I'm glad I spoke up the other day about how happy I am with my RL. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Thanks to all for the backup on this one.
  • shs111shs111 Posts: 39
    I just wanted to check in with my fellow Acura RL owners. While I have really loved this car for the year I've owned it, I am a bit annoyed with some of the minor issues including the most recent, the AFS Warning Light. I brought it in to the dealer (Boston Acura) to have them check it out about a month ago, they said that they couldn't find a problem. In the past week the problem has gone from bad to worse . . . what was formerly an intermittent problem that was typically addressed by turning the car off is now an ongoing problem. For those of you who have had this problem: what did your dealer eventually uncover, and how was it resolved?

    I think that Acura should require its dealers and their service departments to subscribe to and read this forum. So often they shrug their shoulders and say "We've never seen that problem before" . . . when in fact it's been discussed several times here on the forum.

    Thanks all.
  • johnhaydjohnhayd Posts: 11
    I too was worried about all the 'issues' is the 2005 RL. Like others, I noticed the complaints on the board decreased with time. I'm a VERY happy owner of a 2006 RL with tech package and backup camera. NO problems so far. when I've brought the car in for routine service, the service department (pleasanton, CA)has been exceptionally nice: nicer than even the excellent BMW dealer across the street that I used before I bought the acura.

    I also enjoy the adaptive cruise control and use it much more than I originally expected: it really reduces stress on drives with medium traffic.

    re: temperature gauge: mine never gets up to the midpoint either, even in 90+ degree weather with the A/C on in heavy traffic.
  • jtsjts Posts: 15
    If the Michelins that you are thinking of purchasing are the Pilot Sport AS, I have them on my wife's MB C Coupe and they have been excellent so far. I have a number of friends that are on their second set, many with AWD cars. I will probably put them on my RL when the time comes. They are likely to be similar to the original tires in snow but better on dry and certainly better in the rain.
  • bucketsbuckets Posts: 6
    does anyone know where in cabin air filter is located? i had a vw passat which air filter was in engine compartment at cowl. i know some vehicles have it near glove box. thanks
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    JTS Yes thanks....good to hear about those tires...One more thing ... I understand they are even quieter and give you a slightly more comfortable ride as well.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I became interested in this because the Manual contains NOTHING about the location and I knew that it should be a simple replacement to make...
    - open the glove compartment
    - pull down the fabric at the back (it is held up by velcro)
    - open and then unsnap the upper tray. The tray is held on by three easy to remove clips.

    Once removed, the filter is easily visible and clearly marked. Pull out by pushing in the 2 side clips and the entire housing easily slides out.

    That's it - no tools needed. There is only one OEM filter which you can buy on-line approx. $37, or less expensive aftermarket filters at auto parts stores for $23
    (Dealer charge for this replacement is worth checking out, you might be surprised at how much you can save.) ;)
  • jtsjts Posts: 15
    On my wife's car they have a nice ride and quite frankly I don't hear them so they must be reasonably quiet. They get great owners comments on Tire Rack's website as well. I will put them on my RL next.
  • shs111shs111 Posts: 39
    Pleased to report back that the problem was finally diagnosed and (hopefully) fixed. For future reference, the issue relates to the Headlight Adjuster Leveling Sensor, which can get "stuck" and creates the warning error. When it gets "unstuck" the warning error light goes away and they can't find the problem. The service guy had the sensor replaced, and hopefully it'll do better this time. Apparently a known problem in the design of the RL adaptive headlights.

    And of course they also washed the car, which always helps me feel that I didn't completely waste my time. Great car, just those few bugs that get annoying.
  • mack99mack99 Posts: 6
    I bought my RL one year ago. There were initial problems with the front right door lock not working from the inside. And a slight rattle in the dash coming from the small round air vents located on the far ends of the dash. The dealer fixed these items that week and I haven't had the first complaint since. The car is extremely quiet with no rattles, tire problems or ignition switch problems, etc.; that some others have complained about. I'm very happy with it and look forward to my commutes to/from work.
  • kennyg8kennyg8 Posts: 225
    I read an article published on MSN stating that, after the warranty period passes and you have to pay out of pocket, repair costs for high tech cars such as the RL are sky high because these cars can only be fixed by dealers, and your independent garage mechanic at the corner (who charges you less) would not have the know how or equipment to troubleshoot these cars. I think there is some truth to the statement. However, I do not mean to say that we should be buying and driving grannie cars that can jeopardize our life and safety. WHat do you think? Is buying an RL worth the risk of high repair bills?
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    Is buying an RL worth the risk of high repair bills?

    I don't think the risk is any higher than any of the other luxury cars, with the possible exception of Lexus. Most people I know who drive BMWs and Mercedes, won't keep them beyond the warranty period because of potentially high repair costs. As more and more cars add more and more high tech gizmos, most will have high repair costs as they age.
  • That's why the extended warranty is a good investment.
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    Technology is an excellent reason not to own a modern day car beyond its warranty period (unless you bought a comprehensive extended warranty).

    A few months ago a friend had all the 'idiot' lights illuminate on her STS. She took it to the dealer (her trusted local mechanic of 15 years could not decipher the code the car's computer gave). Dealer determined her ABS pump was faulty as was the computer that controls the ABS and air bag deployment - a $2,700 expense with 53,000 miles on the odometer.

    To make a long story short, she called Cadillac corporate about getting reimbursed for this expense (on an item that should not fail considering the mileage). They were gracious in honoring her request after the warranty period and reimbursed her 100% (excluding three days of a rental car).

    Kudos to Cadillac for their actions. But in retrospect, they didn't need to come through and as stated, cars are becoming more and more reliant on technology.

    Owning a car beyond its warranty period is foolish. And on a side note, probably the two better brands to buy from (if one was calculating a brand as the best bang for the buck) are Buick and Acura. Well built cars available for under $36K with a 4 yr/50K factory warranty. Infiniti and Lexus are close behind but their ES350 and G35 models have been plagued with quality control issues. Still...they are relatively affordable with good warranties.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I've been knocking on wood for 21 months now regarding the 2005 Celestial Silver RL in my garage. No warranty repairs needed so far at 19,000 miles. If I decide to keep the car beyond the standard warranty period I will consider buying an extended warranty at that time. Off hand does anyone want to volunteer the costs and information about the time frame and options ...etc
  • hadhad Posts: 32
    Early in the 2005 year Nov 04 the AFS light came on 4-5 times the last time I was within 2 blocks of the dealer in the daytime and did not turn of the car. They looked at it but could not see an error code sine 2/05 the problem never reoccured. The AFS warning came on without the lights be on?

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