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Acura TL Bluetooth/HandsFree Link Problems

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  • My 2005 Acura TL would not start this morning. I replaced the battery in July. When trying to start the car, I had lights but the battery would not turn over the motor. After jumping the battery, the car started. Reading all of these blogs I suspect an HFL issue. My HFL stopped working in April and I did not think about having it fixed. After reading these blogs, it makes sense. Also, I noticed that there is something in the electrical system that is drawing energy from the battery while the car is not on. The Acura Stealership wants $120 an hour to diagnose an electrical problem and say it will take 2-3 hours to diagnose. I have read the blogs and found the Service bulletin as well as replacement HFL.

    Big Question??? Will the car continue to work and stop drawing from the battery if I remove the HFL and NOT replace it with anything? I do not need the Bluetooth feature and I would like to save the $180. But only if this will solve the problem and not cause any future problems.

    If you have suggestions, I would really appreciate it!
  • I've had no problems with the HFL, until recently... Took it to my regular service guy, after my battery would drain when sitting for a very short period of time. Battery is brand new, and the charging system is working properly. There is, however, between a 2.5 and 5 amp draw on the battery when it sits. They've tracked it back to what they think is the HFL.

    I can't find a fuse/circuit diagram anywhere to make sure, but he noted it was a 40 amp fuse (#15) under the hood, and fuse #6 from inside the cabin.

    I've called Acura, and of course they want to run a $125 per hour diagnostic to likely tell me the same thing.

    The Service Manager at Acura told me this is a known issue, and will likely result in either needing to disable or replace the HFL module...cost of $750.

    In some other threads on this forum, I have seen the replacement part, and TSB 05-020, where it actually appears to only cost $180 for the part, and the billable hours for the change is .3 hours.

    I'm hoping someone else has a little background in this, or maybe knows where I can find a circuit map to do some of my own verfication.
  • I've had no problems with the HFL, until recently... Took it to my regular service guy, after my battery would drain when sitting for a very short period of time. Battery is brand new, and the charging system is working properly. There is, however, between a 2.5 and 5 amp draw on the battery when it sits. They've tracked it back to what they think is the HFL.

    I can't find a fuse/circuit diagram anywhere to make sure, but he noted it was a 40 amp fuse (#15) under the hood, and fuse #6 from inside the cabin.

    I've called Acura, and of course they want to run a $125 per hour diagnostic to likely tell me the same thing.

    The Service Manager at Acura told me this is a known issue, and will likely result in either needing to disable or replace the HFL module...cost of $750.

    In some other threads on this forum, I have seen the replacement part, and TSB 05-020, where it actually appears to only cost $180 for the part, and the billable hours for the change is .3 hours.

    I'm hoping someone else has a little background in this, or maybe knows where I can find a circuit map to do some of my own verfication.
  • I would suggest using service bulletin 05-020 and follow the directions of prying the tab of the overhead lighting console, pulling down, taking out the 4 bolts, and disconnecting the bluetooth module. This takes about 10-15 minutes and is very simple to just unplug it.. I never work on cars and this was very simple for me. I changed out my module and it works better than the original--so I guess it may have never worked 100 percent correctly. I think if you try taking out the fuse you may lose other items connected on that fuse. Only 10 minutes to disconnect the module and you will know for sure.
  • Add me to the list! My HFL died last week! When I bought the car, it was one of the reasons that persuaded me to pick the car! Very disappointed that it costs so much to replace the unit! Not a very happy camper here! And to think, I am deciding what new car to buy right now....this latest example has me looking elsewhere! Acura used to be such a great car!
  • Thanks to all of you digging deep on this! Will order part and put it in myself! Again, thanks!
  • Wow! What's with everyone's bluetooth failing at the same time? My 2006 TL HFL started acting up last week. Button doesn't do anything, or sometimes work (usually not). Got it to pair today but it dropped in the middle of a call.
  • I have the same issue described with my 2006 Acura TL. I am planning on using bulletin 05-020 to replace the HFL unit myself. This would be my first foray into messing with electronic components in a car. Am I correct in assuming I should disconnect the car's battery before opening up the roof console and replacing the HFL? Or is that overkill for this type of project?
  • No reason to disconnect the battery. Overkill yes. You will need a set of feeler gauges--at Lowes for $6 or $7---to take down the overhead light console without causing any damage. Real simple......
  • Hello all - just want to report one last thing before you give in or either replace the HFL...

    **Let me preface this with my HFL was still "working" it just would not recognize or sync with and phones**

    I was about to replace mine when i decided to try the old one again just for Sh!ts and giggles... lo and behold i realized that the HFL is actually 2 pieces that connect at a relitively thin connector. since there didnt seem to be a solid connection. when i pressed them back together and tried to reconnect the phone - VIOLA! - came right back on! i just used some electrical tape to wrap around the two pieces (keep in mind not to cover any of the slots or holes for mounting).

    **Also i need to mention i did this with the car still ON. ive read alot about how the bluetooth module gets stuck while "booting up" and never finishes..
    but perhaps, like pcs sometimes do, it doesnt shut down properly leaving it kind of in limbo.**

    so...
    1. make sure car is running
    2. dismount and disconnect bluetooth
    3. check that connection is secure between two boards (electrical tape)
    4. with car still running, reconnect power wires
    5. test bluetooth with phone - first make sure connects and makes calls, then move on to making sure it reconnects after car is shut off and then back on

    Disconnected the battery for about 15 min and tried again - still worked
    Restarted car multiple time - still worked
    Shut off bluetooth on phone, and turned back on - still worked

    If all those pass then you may have just averted at minimum a $200 mini-crisis.

    Good luck!
  • Hello all - just want to report one last thing before you either give in or replace the HFL...

    **Let me preface this with my HFL was still "working" it just would not recognize or sync with and phones**

    I was about to replace mine when i decided to try the old one again just for Sh!ts and giggles... lo and behold i realized that the HFL is actually 2 pieces that connect at a relitively thin connector. since there didnt seem to be a solid connection. when i pressed them back together and tried to reconnect the phone - VIOLA! - came right back on! i just used some electrical tape to wrap around the two pieces (keep in mind not to cover any of the slots or holes for mounting).

    **Also i need to mention i did this with the car still ON. ive read alot about how the bluetooth module gets stuck while "booting up" and never finishes..
    but perhaps, like pcs sometimes do, it doesnt shut down properly leaving it kind of in limbo.

    so...
    1. make sure car is running
    2. dismount and disconnect bluetooth
    3. check that connection is secure between two boards (electrical tape)
    4. with car still running, reconnect power wires
    5. test bluetooth with phone - first make sure connects and makes calls, then move on to making sure it reconnects after car is shut off and then back on

    Disconnected the battery for about 15 min and tried again - still worked
    Restarted car multiple time - still worked
    Shut off bluetooth on phone, and turned back on - still worked

    If all those pass then you may have just averted at minimum a $200 mini-crisis.

    Good luck!
  • Hello all - just want to report one last thing before you give in or either replace the HFL...

    **Let me preface this with my HFL was still "working" it just would not recognize or sync with and phones**

    I was about to replace mine when i decided to try the old one again just for Sh!ts and giggles... lo and behold i realized that the HFL is actually 2 pieces that connect at a relitively thin connector. since there didnt seem to be a solid connection. when i pressed them back together and tried to reconnect the phone - VIOLA! - came right back on! i just used some electrical tape to wrap around the two pieces (keep in mind not to cover any of the slots or holes for mounting).

    **Also i need to mention i did this with the car still ON. ive read alot about how the bluetooth module gets stuck while "booting up" and never finishes..
    but perhaps, like pcs sometimes do, it doesnt shut down properly leaving it kind of in limbo.

    so...
    1. make sure car is running
    2. dismount and disconnect bluetooth
    3. check that connection is secure between two boards (electrical tape)
    4. with car still running, reconnect power wires
    5. test bluetooth with phone - first make sure connects and makes calls, then move on to making sure it reconnects after car is shut off and then back on

    Disconnected the battery for about 15 min and tried again - still worked
    Restarted car multiple time - still worked
    Shut off bluetooth on phone, and turned back on - still worked

    If all those pass then you may have just averted at minimum a $200 mini-crisis.

    Good luck!
  • I completed this myself a couple of days ago. Super easy. I would add one thought to anyone who is thinking about attempting this. If you are comfortable building or repairing your PC, then this will be no problem for you. The HFL replacement is much more like replacing the video card on a PC then anything else I have ever done on a car.

    Also, shop around a bit for the HFL unit itself. I was able to find it cheaper by ordering directly through the parts department of my local dealer. It was about $30 less than ordering from several of the OEM acura parts online stores.
  • My HFL failed last year, same stuff, not pairing and then not even finding the phone or any phone for that matter - no battery problems but who is to say whats next... The dealer initially wanted to charge $175 to diagnose and then a nice $850 to replace the unit. Finally got it fixed for about $200 out the door. Not a bad price considering that the unit sells for $170. My advice is that you work with your dealer as a "loyal Acura customer" and have them submit the repair for Goodwill. They will split the cost. This is a huge problem for Acura since they claim to be a technologically advanced car. It worked for me, good luck.
  • esabbesabb Posts: 1
    My HFL was working fine on my 2005 TL until about 2 months ago. Now it seems to drop calls and while I am on a call, my voice keeps cutting off so that every other word is understood. I thought it was my phone but when I switch to the phone my voice is fine and every word is understood. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • That's great news... thanks for sharing!!! Anyone have any idea on how to remove the device from a 2005 TL?
  • My 2006 Acura Tl bluetooth also stopped working. I researched and after hours and hours of research, I got the answer. Oemacuraparts has the bluetooth module for $185 including shipping and tax--its under the interior lighting section--TELEPHONE ASSY., HANDS FREE *NH528L* (MOON LAKE GRAY)--they also have the two other colors. They shipped me the part in 3 days---its the exact part and color of my current overhead console. I looked up service bulletin 05-020 and this tells you exactly how to take this apart--very, very easy. I took it apart ahead of time to know what I was doing and it took me 8 minutes to replace this and put back once it came in. I also have navigation and did not replace any delay part that is mentioned in the service bulletin. Once I replaced this part, the bluetooth worked correctly immediately. You do have to reprogram it and store all your numbers again, but this was by far the cheapest and easiest fix out there.

    This is my post at #207 and if you google the service bulletin you will step by step instructions... You can get feeler guages that worked great at Lowes for about $7 and it will prevent you from doing any damage to the overhead light console. Super, Super easy and anyone can do it as I am not very mechanical at all.
  • My system was locked also. I did all the items on the service bulletin, except I took off the Black cover on the Bessel itself to reveal the Handsfree Link Circuit Boards. I took those off and cleaned all the connections with alcohol and a cotton swab and assembled it back together. Put everything back and VIOLA it works like a charm. (make sure it's dry before putting back together) Good luck.
  • tl06manualtl06manual Posts: 3
    edited February 2012
    I need some help, please! I have a 2006 TL. Bluetooth stopped working around 4.5 years and recently started to drain battery badly. I tried to follow the bulletin 05-020 last night. Every step was not a problem but the 20p connector in step 2 stuck there and couldn't be taken out. So I was only able to see half of the board after removing the four bolts. How did you disconnect it?

    Have a trip this Saturday and the battery is dead after one day not driving. So worried! Thanks a ton for any help!
  • Managed to disconnect the 20p connector finally, but it didn't seem to solve anything after I fully followed the bulletin. HFL still not working and staying at "booting up". Not sure if it is because I didn't have the car running. Will try that again with car running tonight. At minimum I want to solve the battery draining problem. Is that something I can tell instantly or I have to let the car sit for a couple of days and see if the battery is dead again? Thanks!
  • jkjhooksjkjhooks Posts: 3
    If you disconnected the HFL, and left it disconnected, it will not work, and will continue to "boot up" if you keep trying to use it.

    If it's draining, and you disconnect it, leave the care the normal amount of time that is has been taking to drain, and if it works, I think you've found your problem.

    I went through this on my '05. It turned out to not be the HFL, but the door lock actuator and the window switch. Those draws come from the same area, and it takes some time to figure out the exact details.
  • my bluetooth stopped operating on my Acura TL 05, unaware since I didn't use it for my last phone I purchased...a couple of months ago my car battery died a few times and left me stranded the few times long story short called my Acura dealership whom I've been a loyal customer for 5yrs told me it was the bluetooth causing a parasitic draw on my battery and that they would disconnect it for free (since I didn't have $550 to replace bluetooth module)...after a couple of weeks battery kept dying went back to acura and they did a parasitic test ($135.00) and told me that it seems I need a new multiplex unit $950+ to replace and that maybe that'll solve my problem... I refused and went for a second opinion. Low and behold the Einstein at Acura that was supposed to have disconnected the bluetooth didn't unplug it correctly (unknowingly or knowingly) and disconnected my map lights instead since its housed in the same compartment...Either way I feel that they were taking advantage of me and went parasitic in my pocket for more ($)...my second opinion unplugged the HFL module and haven't had a problem since..be careful people do your research first...you can buy the part and do it yourself if you follow the Acura bulletin 05-020 or just unplug the bluetooth and the draw will go away if you don't want to replace it...I'm going after Acura for my parasitic draw test fee, since all along they were lying to me, at this point and after many stranded nights they should had replaced it for free!
  • I redid everything with the engine running. It seemed to reset the HFL this time. The battery drain problem is gone. The bluetooth went back on, connected a call, dropped it shorterly after and then went dead again. I wonder if it still has the connection problem or I shall order a new module.

    Thanks for the expertise!
  • mizzmariemizzmarie Posts: 2
    I just wanted to say - THANK YOU to everyone that posted information on their Hands Free Link problem. Mine quit working over a year ago and I just quit using it. Then I started having car battery problems and after researching (Two new car batteries later) I realized it was connected to the HFL. After finding the instructions on removing the module from my car, I disconnected it so it would stop the battery drain. I decided to purchase the part online for $208 after calling the local Acura service dept first. They quoted two prices for the part and felt I was getting ripped. Saved myself another $40. I received it yesterday, installed and paired my phone within 20 minutes. What a shame that Acura charges as much as they do to replace it for you. I will consider this on my next car purchase. I did my research first before spending $600 to $800 for the repair. I am a woman in my late 50s. If I can do it so can you.
  • tinmantttinmantt Posts: 4
    In advance, thanks for any ideas or suggestions. I have a 2012 TL Tech where the bluetooth sees the phone, allows it to install. It works fine for a few hours. When i come back to the car, the phone is "lost", in that it does not connect with the car's unit. The car still has my i-phone 4 on it's list, but it is unable to connect. If I turn the bluetooth off on the phone, then turn it on again, it sees it and it works. Dealership hasn't been that helpful. I have upgraded my phone to the latest OS (5.1), had an Apple store check the phone (I was told the bluetooth worked fine, after they ran a few tests). Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks so much.

    p.s.- Great car overall- way too complicated, but needed to switch out my 2000 TL wi. just under 200k.
  • I just bought a 2006 MSX w/Nav.,and I'm having problems "pairing" my I-Phone.
    1st problem is the FOUR DIGIT CODE.
    I don't know the previous owners code, so I'm stuck
    Any advice?
    Thanks in advance
  • janetlpjanetlp Posts: 8
    There should be a sticker on the left edge of the glove box door when you open it. Otherwise call the dealer. There's a sequence of buttons to push to get the code to display on the radio.
  • Thank you for your prompt reply to my 2006 MDX pairing problem.
    Unfortunately, the sticker on the glovebox was MIA.
    Tomorrow, I 'll follow your advice and get the sequence of command from the dealer to resolve the problem.
    I'll keep you posted.
    Thanks again
    jdurkinmdx
  • FYI Partial success!
    So far, this "cleared the system & password lock
    1) Press & release the "talk" button & say "System"
    (the response should be "This process will clear all phones... is this what you want?"
    2) Press & release & say "YES"
    ( the response will be "Preparing to clear.....")
    This will take about 2 minutes
    3) After the process, say "OK"
    The response will be "System cleared"

    'hope this helps

    (still haven't paired" phone, but working on it)
  • On my recently purchased 2006 MDX, I start the engine and the exclamation light, the VSA light, the ABS light and even the VTM-4 lights come on and stay on.
    I shut down the MDX, immediately restart the car....and the problem goes away!
    Any ideas as to what the problem is?
    Thanks in advance for your help
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