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Acura TL 2009



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm not sure what the hell you claim you were seeing on your tour of the Acura plant, but let me say that the idea that "break in" is a thing of the past is ABSOLUTELY WRONG. If anything, proper break in for high compression, high revving, high performance engines is much more critical to achieving maximum performance and longevity than it was to your dad's push rod Buick. Or Chevy Corvettes.

    I currently own a 2005 Porsche 911 S and 2004 Acura TL 6-speed. Formerly owned a Honda S2000. In the case of the Porsche, it is specifically stated in the owners manual that one should not exceed 4,200 rpms in the first 800 miles. This for an engine that redlines at 7,100. For the Honda, the instruction was not to exceed 4,500 rpm for the first 1,000 miles on an engine that redlined at 9,000 rpm. In both case, but especially the 911, an additional break in recommendation was not to drive the car for short hops during break in - the 911 has 9.5 quarts of Mobil 1 that take at least 15-20 minutes of driving to reach operating temperature. The 911 is a workhorse as far as sports cars go, but the one "problem" of rear main seal leaks coincided with not allowing the engine to reach full operating temperature and expand the seals and gaskets fully DURING BREAK IN.

    I'm not a mechanical engineer. But I have spoken extensively with senior engineers from Honda, Acura, Porsche and BMW. Every one stressed proper break in as critical.

    Do whatever you want to your own car, but don't spread some urban legend that break in isn't important. And if you don't believe me, ask someone who actually knows the engineering behind a Porsche, AMG, BMW Motorsport, Ferrari or Honda S2000 engine. Is the TL in that league? No. But it's close enough to warrant care and consideration.
  • Welcome back.
    What is your take on the new TL?
    I think more than likely its going to be my next car, I test drove the FWD version and really liked it.However I am opting for AWD, pearl white with the umber interior along with those FCS 19" wheels they offer as an accesory.I am waiting for the hype to cool off then I will try to work a deal.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ....Billy - damn glad to see you around. It's been a long time since we did the "my Maxima is quicker than your TL-S" and vice versa, but those were great times. :) :)

    I haven't personally seen or driven the new TL yet. A couple of trustworthy sources have told me the TL-SH-AWD is very impressive in the handling department, so I think you are going the right way with AWD. One of my few complaints on my 2004 TL 6-speed is that FWD and nearly 3,500 lbs (vs. 3,000 for the 95 Max) makes the handling front heavy. The AWD version is still front heavy and front drive biased, but apparantly the SH-AWD system goes a long way to mitigating most of the handling issues.

    Me, I'd opt to wait for the 2010 with a 6-speed manual.

    One thing I'd caution you on with the 19" wheels is making sure you budget big bucks for tire replacement. I got 155k miles out of three sets of tires on my Max (15", 215 HR60). Total replacement costs of under $550 per set. I only have 32k miles on my TL 6-speed w/ the HPT package (17", 235 ZR 45) and I am on my third set. At closer to $900+ per set for decent tires. The second (first replacement) set was a big error on my part - listened to the Tire Rack advice that Avon Tech tires were nearly as good as Michelens. They lasted a whopping 13k miles, flat spotted after sitting for an hour, were noisy as hell, vibrated like they were out of balance and never tracked straight on the highway. Lost air to add insult to injury. So go for those 19" wheels if you want, but be prepared for some serious bucks over the years on replacement rubber. And if you try to penny pinch with Avons, don't say I didn't warn you.

    Take care - hope all has been well with you.
  • How about a second suggestion to get back on topic?

    I read up about 20 posts to find the basis of this ranting and, as best I can tell, you and habitat disagree with what constitutes proper break in. He lists some specific advice he has received, you berate it, apparantly out of disdain for the sources (i.e those "common as Accord" Porsches) and then offer your own highly technical "just don't do anything stupid for the first 1,000 miles". That's great, Mr. Einstein, now let it rest.


    As for the TL, I did get an unexpected opportunity to drive a new SH-AWD TL here in Pittsburgh yesterday and must admit I was impressed. My wife and I had gone to look at the MDX as a possible replacement for our SUV and instead I ended up on a 40 mile test drive of the TL with the manager to pick up his daughter at the airport. The car we took was not for sale - apparantly an early release test car that already had 1,200 miles on it. I'm not a fan of Acura's automatic transmission - they would gain a lot by making a DSG or SMG the standard offering. But the handling was a significant improvement over the front wheel drive TL and noticably crisper than even the more expensive RL. This car should definitely be on the shopping list of anyone considering a mid size entry to mid level luxury sedan.
  • My paln is to use the Summer Tires for the Summer and then use the stock wheels with a decent set of winter tires for the cold months. I dont drive alot plus I use my old camry for commuting to the train.
  • 604doc604doc Posts: 182
    You guys are harshin' my mellow. :(
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,591
    " cars I have owned (only one of which in 30+ years and 10+ vehicles was more expensive than a 2009 TL)..."

    Lucky you, how'd you pull that one off! My '05 TL is the most expensive car I've yet bought. Evil Wife's RX300, however, much more expensive than my TL. Now, how'd that happen!? ;)

    I'd be in the market for a new toy (serious Jag XK lust going on), but Mr. Market has moved me down a socio-economic class or three... :cry:

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • go_mdx1go_mdx1 Posts: 135
    Simple question....

    Has ANYONE on this forum actually purchased and taken delivery of a 2009 TL?? If so, please share your first quick impressions (defects, gas mileage, features liked and disliked).

    Thank you....
  • gfish49gfish49 Posts: 24
    Can we get back on topic? Like to read more about the car and not that this other stuff that has nothing to do with it.
  • You mean our oohh so loved 09 TL- at least for me.
    I cant wait for Spring to arrive.
  • Just bought an 08 TL for 28988. Although I will admit the 09 looks better in person than it does in photos, it still doesn't look nearly as good as the outgoing model, not to mention the fact that it is several thousand less. Also only 2.9% financing!!! To me it's a no brainer, anyone thinking of an 09 , go with an 08. And if you want AWD for 40k+ I'd go with the new G37 or 335.
  • I saw the same cars at the Mall yesterday. The TL does look much better to me in person than it did in the pictures. They say it is 6" longer and 2" wider and it shows. I agree, it is a much larger overall vehicle than before. Did you notice it now has Weather Radar as part of the Technology Package? Way Cool!
  • Honda and Acura cars do have a so called "break in" period, but it's not the same as you describe. I know most motors were manufactured and installed lighter weight oil to allow parts to "set in", then required changing to the "regular" oil after so many miles. My Acura Owner's Guide says this; "Help assure your vehicle's future reliablility and performance by paying extra attention to how you drive during the first 600 miles. During this period, avoid full throttle starts and rapid accelleration. Avoid hard braking for the first 200 miles and do not change the oil until the multi-information display indicates it is needed." Somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 miles. That is only common sense! It doesn't say you can't take it on long trips or take it up to high speeds, it just refers to the rapid starts or accelleration. hardly the same as your Porche.
  • When Acura builds a SH-AWD vehicle, it changes the entire vehicle. It does not take a Rear Wheel Drive car and simply add the Front drive system like BMW did. The 2009 TL SH-AWD and the 2009 TL are different platforms and are designed and built separately. That being said, you're right, it is still a Front Bias system with only 70% of the power able to be directed to the Rear Wheels, but once there, 100% can be directed to the right or left side as needed. My personal feelings are, I can feel the difference on the curves when accelerating on dry pavement. The SH-AWD version feels like you're on rails. You have the MDX, but there is no MDX without SH-AWD to compare, so I recommend going to your local dealership and trying the two TLs, one right after the other. You'll get what I mean. See if you don't feel the difference for yourself.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Exactly! All pretty much common sense stuff. As I said, just don't do anything stupid, and you'd be ok. Is not brain surgery.
  • Is the AWD available NOW in certain parts of the country?
    There is a poster here on Edmunds who gave the car a review as if they actually owned the car.
  • It won't be available until the end of November, but I have driven it pretty extensively and love the hell out of it.

    I just happen to work for Acura. I don't own it yet!
  • It doesn't say you can't take it on long trips or take it up to high speeds, it just refers to the rapid starts or accelleration. hardly the same as your Porche.

    A pilot, I assume? I won't digress, but so am I, and my company provides engineering consulting services for HondaJet, Mitsubishi and a few others. Perhaps we can start a forum on microjets to discuss the latest and greatest there.

    Regarding break-in, unfortunately the owner's manual recommendations fall short of what I do for all of my cars and what every knowledgeable mechanical engineer I know would recommend. In addition to "nothing stupid" catchall, the two recommendations I would add are (1) avoiding short trips during break in and (2) varying engine speed (rpms) on long trips (i.e. no cruise control).

    Bodble is right, it's not brain surgery, but those additional recommendations are pretty valuable to proper break in. Short hops that don't allow the seals, gaskets and engine parts to reach full operating temperature and fully expand and contract result in improper "seating" of parts and over the long term can lead to oil consumption, leaks and other problems. It also can cause moisture and condensation in the exhasut system to form (i.e. not fully evaporate). The varying of engine speeds helps prevent scoring of the cylinder walls, and will also result in a "better" break in for long term durability.

    It also doesn't take that brain surgeon to know that almost any car, Porsche or otherwise, that has been subjected to 30,000 miles of 3-4 mile or less roundtrips has probably suffered more engine wear than a vehicle with 100,000 miles of mostly highway driving. But it is particularly bad for a car, Acura or otherwise, to be broken in with those 5 minute hops. The difference being that Acura probably only has 5 quarts of oil to heat up, whereas a 911 has 10 and takes a little longer to reach full operating temperature.

    The problem here isn't one of "urban legend", it's of marketing practicality. Most folks buying a Porsche would have little trouble adhereing to a "don't drive less than 20 minutes or 10+ miles" during break in. But try making that recommendation with an Acura or Toyota, and the consumer response would be negative. Hence the weak language in most owner's manuals. And if that average joe starts burning oil at 50k miles rather than burning clean at 150k miles, so what? Most would never figure out that what they did in the first 1,000 miles may have made the difference.

    I'm an engineer, but as a friend who is a cardiovascular surgeon puts it, "you'd be surprised at how many people eat Big Macs and don't think it's stupid". So using "stupid" as the metric is not a safe bet.
  • Yep, a Private Pilot and the forum idea sounds great, but I'm only only a single engine land pilot, not commercial or jet aircraft licensed.
    With Hondas and Acuras lasting easily more than 200,000 miles with normal drivers, not avid Aficionados like us, they don't seem to be as temperamental or as easily injured as some other motors, regardless if it's Mom running only to the store on the weekends, or Step Son driving the wheels off of it day and night. With Stainless Steel Cylinder Sleeves, Titanium Rings and all those great Aluminum alloys together, they really tend to last even without special treatment.
    I'll be the first to admit, I treat my cars different than most and even I've had some cars who's engines failed, blowing oil after even the most perfect break-in and treatment. Then there are those motors that have been ill treated from the get go and only seem to grow stronger from it! It's alomost just the luck of the draw. Since Luck favors the prepared, I plan on maintaining my vehicles well and trust the Manufacturer to hold up his/her end of the bargain.
  • It was not you- some poster called Becky.
    If you go to the new car page and pull up the TL, there is a section for the Ediotrs review and Consumer review.The poster gave her review as if she actually purchased the car.
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