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Acura TL 1999-2003

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
I'm adding this discussion because most of the messages in the "Older Tls" discussion are about the '04-'08 generation.

I'm the original owner of a '99 with 108,000 miles. It's been a very satisfying, low maintenance ride. I'd be interested in hearing about the experience of other owners of this (second) generation TL.


  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Actually, the "Older TLs" discussion started with the second generation and progressed to the third when it became available.

    But it is reasonable to split them up, so let's go with this one. Just keep in mind that the first third or half or so of the original discussion is indeed about the second generation.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    "keep in mind that the first third or half or so of the original discussion is indeed about the second generation."

    Thanks for clarifying this. Do you think you should transfer the first third or so of the messages to this discussion, then?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Would if I could, but I can't. Sorry. :(
  • I own a 2002 TL-S with 101,000 miles on it. The only issue I had with this car was the transmission which went out on me on the freeway at around 80 mph. Scary ride. I had about 86,000 miles on it. I wasn't the original owner so I was never informed about the recall for this. Thankfully I didn't have to pay for a whole new transmission. Other than that I think this car is drives great. Smooth and powerful. Unfortunately there is a preventative service recommended (105k mile service) that Acura is charging an arm and a leg for.

    There are some cosmetic defects to this car. Like the tape that tears off around all the windows and the blistering of the left and right garnishes (that black shiny thing between the front and rear windows)... Costs a grip to have it re-done.

    Question.... Anyone know why other TL transmissions keep getting replaced? I mean I read somewhere this guy had to have his transmission replaced like 4 times! What gives? What are the chances that will happen to me? I do not want to relive that freeway experience again.

  • shiva70shiva70 Posts: 7
    I got off the interstate this morning, and made a left at the bottom of the ramp after a stop sign, and my 1999 3.2 TL (82k miles, bought in sep'98) just stopped.

    Any thoughts?

    I moved 5-10 feet after giving gas. After doing this 10-times - I shifted to park and back to drive, all was well.

    Engine never shut off, but it is scary that it would just stop like that.

    P L E A S E advise !
  • u151208u151208 Posts: 7
    Sounds like you need a new transmission. Everything you just said happened to me. Luckily for me, you and others, we have warranties on our transmissions. (the transmissions on all our model acura tl's have a defect). There are thousands of reported cases just like ours. Google it and you may have already stumbled on tons of articles and blogs.

    Take it into your nearest Acura dealership and they will replace your tranny for free plus give you a loaner for a few days. So long as the miles not over 109k you will be fine.
    My TL drive like new.

    Best of luck!
  • u151208u151208 Posts: 7
    Oh BTW, just an FYI,

    This link may help in case it is a transmission problem....

    There was a lawsuit settlement pertaining to your issue as well as other Honda vehicles. Just input you VIN NUMBER and it will tell you if your vehicle is included.
    (Though it is MUCH more important to go to an Acura dealership for further evaluation of your vehicle).

    I would carefully drive your TL to the dealership or get it towed to be on the safe side.
  • shiva70shiva70 Posts: 7
    My dealer did not say anything about replacing tranny for free, in fact, he said, acura does not like dealers opening tranny w/o good cause, and he said opening up tranny and checking is a 8hr / 1000 $ deal.

    Loooks like I have to get to a dealer !
  • u151208u151208 Posts: 7
    Did you go to the Acura servicing dept? Your experience was indeed symptoms of your transmission about to go out. If thats not good cause then I don't know what to tell you. Go somewhere else :)
    Acura is obligated to replace that, but they will first determine if it is indeed due to the defect of course. Sometimes it could be due to negligence. But you do not have many miles. For a 99 thats pretty good. In fact I had about 89k miles on my TL when the tranny went out on me.
    When I was on the freeway my tranny stopped working. The transmission seemed to automatically shift from 5th to 2nd gear going 80 miles an hour. YIKES! I pulled over feeling my engine was still running strong but it seemed like my transmission was not in gear but I had it in drive. Tapping on the gas only revved up my RPMS. I shifted it to park, then back to drive, then it was back to normal. Luckily for me the Acura Dealership (servicing) was 4 blocks away. I told the servicing dept. about what happened and they were 90% sure it had to do with the defect. The total cost to the work was over $4k, but I didn't have to pay anything. It took them 3 days to complete the job (order a transmission without a defect of course and the labor) and they gave me a nice 08 TL loaner... Anyway I hope I was of help. Did you check the VIN NUMBER website?
  • Hi. I was wondering which kind of fm tunner would work for 2003 acura tl typeS. NOTE: I purchase Belkin ipod tunebase fm II- f8z176 and it doesn't fit my tl; so i had to return it. Anyhow, please reply if you have any suggestions. Thanks
  • shiva70shiva70 Posts: 7
    Yes, I went to the servicing dept, they could not find anything wrong, they said they rode it, no problems. Acura said I am outside the extended warranty period, so IF the problem is tranny they said they might give 5-10% (which is paltry). The extended warranty period was for 7 yrs 9 mo, unfortunately, for me it is 9yrs 9 mo since I bought. So I am in trouble, but car is now driving without problems - but it is a BIG problem waiting to happen.
  • shiva70shiva70 Posts: 7
    I checked the VIN # website, although mine is "Affected", I am out of the warranty period (even the extended one), so I am out of luck.
  • u151208u151208 Posts: 7
    That's a bummer. I guess I missed that part of the warranty, my apologies.
    Well, perhaps its best you do one of two things: ride it out and hope for the best, or trade it in for another car while the transmission still works (though it will be someone else's problem later. Can you live with that?)...
    Good timing. The newly redesigned 2009 is coming out.
  • kcall2kcall2 Posts: 18
    I own an 01 TL, purchased new in March 01. Since the first week when we went on a 3000 mile road trip, the car has performed beautifully, and still delivers 22-23 MPG in town, and always over 30 MGP Hwy. Have always serviced with the selling dealer, and all maint/oil changes, etc have been done.

    Problems. Had a mass air valve fail in 05 after the car was parked for a week - 500 miles from home. When I started the car the rpm's immediately went to 4k, then began an up-down 2k-4k cycle. Since it was Sunday, and didn't want to stay in Galveston any longer, decided to head home, and if it died, call road service. Short story - drove it home, turned over to Acura svc in OKC the following day, no problems since.

    Went for 75k MI service last week, and reported a seat cover looking shabby. It was the vinyl part on bottom of backrest near door. Svc manager ordered new seat cover (value $540.00), and Acura is going to install Thursday - no charge. I'm thinking they really want to sell me another car!

    All in all, I'm a totally happy camper. Between the attractive purchase price ($26645 delivered) excellent service, great economy, and a blast to drive, will buy another TL in a minute when the time comes. (yes, even the ugly 09) ;)
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Congratulations on the great luck you've had with your '01 TL. I've got 113,000 miles on my '99, and while I'm very pleased with it overall, I've experienced more problems than you have with yours. For example, the catalytic converter had to be replaced at ~105,000 miles.

    They're well designed and built cars. I['m anxious to see the '09, but I don't like the fact that it'll be bigger and heavier than the TL of our generation.
  • I am considering this purchase from a private owner. She told me she has an extended warranty on the trans. I don't know if it was repaired/replaced but will soon find out. Is $8 or $9K a good deal for this car. She is asking $13.5K or b/o.
    Does the 2003 have a good track record except for trans problems?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    "Does the 2003 have a good track record except for trans problems?"

    In a word, yes.

    " Is $8 or $9K a good deal for this car."

    What's the mileage on this car?
  • 47, 000 miles and I plan to start negotiating around $7 or $8K but I am willing to pay a fair price for the vehicle. The body seems to be in very good shape. Thanks for commenting
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Check Edmunds "Used Cars" and Kelly Blue Book (KBB) for prices.

    Of course you want to get the best price, and it's within your first amendment rights to bid any price you choose, but "$7 or $8K" seems like an unrealistically low, unfair to the seller, price.

    A couple of other relevant factors you didn't mention are whether this car is equipped with navigation, and whether it's a "S." Depending, in part, on these things, the seller's asking price may not be unreasonable.

    Please let us know what happens.
  • The car does not have navigation and its not the S model. The sellers fiance is an auto mechanic so something tells me they would not let the car go for an unfair price. I do not know if he maintained the car. Thank you for your comments,
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