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Acura TL Electrical System Problems

I have an 1996 Acura TL 3.2. I have electrical system problem. When I first start my car in the morning it usually starts up normally. However, after I have run the car for 30 minutes or so if I stop and restart my car, I often have problems. It doesn't start slowly like a run down battery might do but instead I get nothing. No turnover at all. I can try it numerous times without the car engaging at all. But if I wait for the car to cool down from normal operating temperature, after 30 minutes or so, it will start up without any problem. Once again, its not a slow start, its no engagement or a normal start.
I have already checked the battery and its fine and I've replaced the starter with only a small change in vehicle behavior. Strangely enough, a few months ago my car would experience this same type of starter problem but only when it had sat overnight. No slow start, just nothing. But once I would get it started I could stop and restart my car as often as I wanted all day without any problem. I'm perplexed. Would love to hear from someone who understands this problem.


  • dashman1dashman1 Posts: 1
    TL 03 s-type, digital odometer/temp gauge/trip meter goes on and off intermitently, brought to dealer, or course lights came on while they were holding it. Shortly after getting it back they are off again. They go off for weeks at a time. Can anyone help with a suggestion?
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    I had the same probelm you described with my '04 TL. When the guy checked it, it showed as being "good" but somehow he could tell it was a heating problem - he commented that just like batteries don't do well in cold weather, they don't do well if they're too warm, and my battery was retaining too much heat, or something.

    Replacing the battery worked for me (this was done under warranty, so it didn't cost me anything, but time). Anyway, the problem has not returned and it's been about 8 mos.

    Hope this is helpful. :)
  • I also have a 1996 Acura 2.5 TL and my car is doing something very similar. I've had the starter replaced twice now and the car works fine for about 2 months and then the symptoms return. I never have a problem with a cold start, but when I've driven my car for a while and it has warmed up (especially on hot days), I turn the key and nothing. If I wait awhile, it will turn on at times or if I do nothing for a good 30 minutes, it will work. The sure way to start it is to turn the ignition repetitively and quickly and eventually it will start??? Makes no sense and the mechanics don't know what it is. Some say the relay, others say its electrical, fuel one seems to know. If you find out what the fix is or if someone knows what it is, please let me know.

  • Anyone out there ever experience a smell which can best be described as the smell after firecrackers have been popped with their vehicle? This happens intermittently with my car on an average of 2-3 times per week but when taken to dealer it never seems to occur.
  • My electrical problem: The car randomly turns off, just as if you would have turned the ingnition switch to the "off" position..After several attempts it will restart..This problem usually happens after I have driven the car for awhile. It has happened both while I have been stopped and also while going. It is easier to start back while running down the road and in gear by just turning the key to the start position...When the car is stopped, turning the key will restart but the engine cuts right back off, and will only stay running after several tries. I took the car to the Acura dealership and they replaced the ignition switch, but the problem is still happening...Somedays, it will go all day without occuring..Help!! I need my car!!
  • moira1moira1 Posts: 3
    Hello to mcamis! I'm having exactly the same problem with my 99 TL. It's in the shop right now and they're telling me to install a new ignition switch. Were you able to solve your problem, and if so, how? Thanks so much!
  • My stop light in the back window, only half lights up and it is kinda dim. I took the light out and put a battery across it and it was very bright and all of the LED's worked. So I measure the voltage on the connector in the car and it only read 7.8 Vdc on the connector with no light hooked up. I checked the ground and that was also OK. Has anyone had this problem and is it the Stop Light Switch that is at fault. If so where is it located. Thanks for you help. Mike
  • This car is the worst; it has some weird electrical issue. It losses power when you drive it some times and the light on the dashboard come on intermittently when it is losing power. I always heard that Acura are good cars, but I will have to go back to the Nissan . I took it to a mechanic and since it is fine some times and only flashes and losses power they cannot pinpoint the problem. My friend who owns a small dealership has the same problem with and he is having the hardest time figuring it out. I see that many other people have the same problem with the electrical parts of TL. Also, the SRS light will not go off. I need to fix this car I just bought it and it is a piece. Does any one know where the electrical problem is. Please email me, at

    I will not buy another Acura... these cars have very hard problems to fix.
  • Moisture got into headlight. Dealer said entire unit had to be replaced. Cost $1200+.
    I think original assembly was fine after inspecting it for cracks, holes. Moisture may have entered from back of headlight assembly from bulb insert location which is usually sealed by gasket after reinserting light. Acura, Stanley (who made light assembly) and dealer told me to take a hike. Any suggestions?

    Andre Libert
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Buy hiking boots! No, just kidding!! :P

    Do the lights still work? If so, why not just leave it as is?
  • No the lights blew with all the condensation
  • The assembly with working lights came to $1200+. I see nothing wrong with the old assembly and would like to tell the dealer to take it back and give me a refund for it. They can install it in someone else's car at a discounted price.

    The real issue is whether they had to use a new assembly at all? If they had just installed the lights which were burned out, and made sure the seals were tight, this would not have occurred.
  • voton1066voton1066 Posts: 1
    My car has randomly been idling too high, then overheating (according to the gauge), and when it does so it downshifts real hard when you try to stop. If I cut it off, it's always worked fine again after I start it back up in a bit. It hasn't set off a light or code, and the dealer has never heard of such a thing and thus can't fix it (it won't happen when I'm there). Now the last two mornings the battery's been dead, and I've had the battery checked and there's nothing wrong with it after I jump it off. This obviously makes it an electrical problem, but I don't know what. It's my only car and I need it, but it isn't safe to drive. Please help!
  • tmaskertmasker Posts: 2
    Hello... curious if any of you were able to get the electrical problems resolved with your 99 TL's. I have a 2000 TL that is shutting off randomly while I'm driving.Thanks in advance for info that can be sent my way... tmasker
  • moira1moira1 Posts: 3
    Hi! It was the ignition switch - it was replaced and I've never had any trouble since. :) Hope this helps!

  • tmaskertmasker Posts: 2
    Thank you for the reply... It's good to hear that the new switch solved the problem. Safe travels!
  • 2tomcats2tomcats Posts: 2
    Mike: I have the exact same problem on my 2004 TL. When you press the brake, the high mount stop light in the rear window is dim, most of the time. If I start the car, ocassionally I can get it to go full brightness. I did a voltage check and when dim only 7 volts, when bright approx 13 volts. So I know the problem is not the light itself (all 16 LCDs work on bright - ocassionally). Did you find the cause of your problem? Thanks. Bill
  • tatued35tatued35 Posts: 1
    i work offshore, and the car sat for about 2 months, when i got back to it today, the batt was dead, jumped it off,started right up,but my ac will not work,tried to add go, was already full,then when i got ready to leave a friends house,no headlights,running lights but no headlights, started checking relays, the light would come back on when tapping the relays,but not stay on long, coolant fan will not work there anyway i could have fried several relays by jumpstarting the car?
  • finl0573finl0573 Posts: 1
    Occassionally my 08 TL will have trouble starting--very random. Has anyone else had this problem? It is as though the battery is not strong enough and the car will not turn over, but thenm magically starts.

    Acura replaced the battery and the cables attahed to teh battery or so they say. I know they at least looked at the battery because they forgot to reinstall the cover plate.

    The problem went away for a year, but is now back in full swing.

    This happened from day one of owning the car with zero miles on it.
  • i'm having the issue. started last night. at 27k miles
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