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Acura Legend



  • heck yeah, use 6th gear.
  • There are times when I throw the car into 6th and times when I stay in 5th. It depends on the driving conditions and my expectations that I may need to accelerate or decelerate (I try to decelerate with my engine if possible).

    The benefit of 6th gear is slight fuel economy improvement. The cost is torque. At 75 mph, you must throw the car into 5th gear if you want to move fast. The power at 2200 rpms is pretty weak. I prefer to keep my rpms above 3000 with 2800 as my minimum. I may lose the ability to drive an additional 25 to 40 miles on a tankful of gas but it creates opportunities for feeling the strength of the engine and the sound of the engine.

    BTW, When i accelerate, I am usually shifting at around 5500 rpms on a regular basis as I get through the low gears. It puts you right into the powerband of the engine at about 3500 rpms in the next gear.

    A BMW fanatic who has worked and raced his own cars once told me that cars should be driven above 3000 rpm since they are more efficient. I cannot confirm that statement, but I know that the Legend is more fun to drive above 3000 rpms.

    if you want fun in the legend, try doing 50 or 60 mph on the offramps of highways.
  • Yes, above 3000 is where you want to keep the Legend, whether it's a auto or manual. But, if you're under cruise control and on an interstate or something, definitely use 6th gear for lower noise and better economy. The Legend is nice in that once you cross 3200 or so RPM, the acceleration is pretty brisk even in 5th or D4.

    If you live in West Texas or something, though, man that 6th gear would be nice for setting cruise at 100 or so on a flat road.
  • thanks much for the driving tips, sharkwalk and qzback.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    My Daughter's 91 had the speedometer go to zero for a second and the D4 start to flash while she was driving home for Thanksgiving. The flashing continued for her trip (about 160 miles). Now we can't get it to repeat this. It shifts and runs fine, the transmission fluid is at the correct level. The owner's manual says that the flashing D4 indicates some transmission problem.

    Since I cannot reproduce the problem (and I have driven it more than 50 miles, under the same conditions that she did) can these things self correct?

    Should I have the filter and fluid changed?

    Am I missing early symptoms of a transmission failure?

    Anybody else ever have this happen?

  • I'm sorry to hear about your trouble. As a fellow '91 owner I can't say that I have experience with such a problem. I don't believe that a transmission problem could correct itself but the D4 light could have just flashed for no reason. It sounds like your transmission is fine because if something was wrong it would be shifting harder than normal and have some slippage. Is the fluid in good condition (reddish color and not brown)? How long has it been since the fluid was changed? Transmission fluid should be changed every 2years or 30,000 miles. I don't believe anything is wrong with your tranny but look out for slippage and noisy, abrupt shifts. Good luck and if you have any specific questions just ask!

  • I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving holiday!
  • I am new to the Acura market place (or relatively new - have never owned) but have owned Hondas and Mazdas. I have found what appears to be a car worth considering - 92 LS automatic. 55 k miles. "mint" condition, or so I am told. This weekend I will probably drive, but would like to be sure this is a worthwhile auto. These posts certainly lead one to believe so. But to approach this from the other angle - what could go wrong first on this automobile? Timing belt in 50 k miles? Water pump? I am just looking to learn what I should look closely at, other than the obvious.

  • Definitely check out this car. If you like Hondas, the Legend will be worth checking out. It combines Honda reliability with luxury and style. Inspect the entire car thoroughly to look for any major blemishes or signs of a past wreck. Make sure the owner has most if not all records for the vehicle. Even though it only has 55k miles, you have to keep in mind that it is over 8 years old and some things wear out regardless of miles (brake lines, hoses, etc.). Before you buy, have it inspected by a mechanic to make sure everything is good to go. You might need to have the timing belt changed if it hasn't been already. T-belts wear out over time and should be changed every 6 years or 90k miles which ever comes first. The water pump doesn't really have to be replaced at the same time as the timing belt. It unlike the t-belt will let you know when it is about to go out. Also, before you buy don't forget to check the trade-in and retail values of the car to make sure you are getting a good deal. If it is being sold by a dealer, the price is probably close to retail but is also slightly negotiable. You may also be able to get them to throw in the T-belt. If it is being sold privately, it should be priced in between retail and trade-in. You shouldn't buy a car at full retail price from a private party. Good luck and if you have any questions just ask.

  • Microsoft CarPoint (is that a dirty word around here???) mentions a few things to look at on this model, including the speed sensor / ignition module, and the radiator cracking. Is this a concern?

    If I can negotiate the buyer to pick up the timing belt, what would this run? $400?

    Lastly ... If purchased, I might put on some custom 16" or 17" wheels/tires. Are the old wheels something I could sell? Are there acura sites that I could visit to pawn these off?


  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Thanks for your reply. She drove it back to college on Monday morning (about 250 miles) without the transmission light flashing. Since I bought it used in August, I don't know when the fluid and filter were last changed. The fluid looks fine, but I'm going to have the maintenence performed while she has it home for Christmas. There are 110,000 total miles now.
  • cale- radiator cracking is one of the more common problems with the Legend. Also, a tendency for the driver's seat to "rock" is another common one.
    I had to have my radiator replaced at around 50K miles because it had cracked.

    You can go to and ask more questions there.

    The timing belt/water pump job is more like $900 from the dealer.
  • qzback is right about the radiator though I haven't had such trouble. I had my timing belt changed at a local mechanic whose labor rates are much lower than Acura's so it only cost me $300. You really don't need to worry about the water pump, all it needs is to be inspected. It will show certain symptoms if a failure is eminent. I have 116,500 and my water pump is still going strong (knock on wood). Good luck with your decision!
  • I have two Acura Legends, a 1991 and a 1995. About two months ago, I had the problem described. The problem started with the speedometer suddenly going to zero and then back to normal. The next phase involved the D-4 light blinking. As with yours, the problem disappeared for quite some time and would then return. The problem was the speed sensor in the transmission. The cost to repair at the dealer was about $250 if I remember correctly.
  • My 1995 Legend has a metallic rattle sound seemingly coming from the off-driver side of the car in front of the firewall. It only happens when the car is cold, and occurs at about 1500 rpm's. It lasts only a second or so and I suspect some kind of heat shield. Anyone else had this problem?
  • Since purchasing this sedan I have noticed that the power to the speakers will partially fade out, and fade in, on the right side. If I thump the dash the speakers will have full power. There isn't any hiss or static when the fade-out occurs, so I assume the power amp is working properly, but I wonder if the radio itself is the problem. Any suggestions?
    Also, my ABS light has recently come on and I got it to go out by quickly jumping the positive lead on the battery to the sheet metal in the engine compartment. Does this sound kosher?
    Thanks for the input.
  • apowell1,
    I am not sure what that rattle you are hearing could be. I probably isn't anything major since it only lasts a few seconds but if it gets worse, have it checked out.

    Since thumping the dash fixes your speaker problem most of the time, you probably have a loose connection. Your local car stereo retailer could probably fix it for you. Your ABS light is probably trying to tell you that there is a malfunction or problem somewhere in the system. I would definitely have it checked out by your local dealer if I were you.
  • apowell - if you find out, please let me know; I've experienced the same problem.

    My rattle tends to happen only after left turns, but under similar circumstances.
  • I just bought a used 1988 Legend. Anybody know what differences there are in the 86-88 Legends and 89-90 Legends? I am particularly interested in the differences in the suspension and powertrain.

    Does anybody also know if the first generation Legend uses shocks or struts? The think I need new shocks. Shocks are cheaper to replace than struts, right?
  • I am not sure about the suspension but the '86-'88 Legend sedans had a 2.5 litre V-6 151HP, 154Lb-ft of torque and the '89-'90 had a 2.7 litre V-6 161HP, 162Lb-ft. All coupes '87-'90 had the 2.7.
  • The first generation Legends '86-'90 have shocks and I got the years messed up, yours has the 2.7 V-6.
  • apowell1 and qzback -- see my post #84. Does your rattle seem similar to that? Mine seems to emanate from the driver's side close to the firewall too. However, mine is always present after the maintenance I had done, just worse when cold.

    Also, since the brakes were done, I hear a rumble on the right front wheel when I turn right at low speeds, i.e. when using the brakes mostly. Is this something to be concerned about?
  • goodness, I dunno. My rattle comes when I power-on after a left hand turn. I actually did a U-turn in a parkway and went to 6k RPM in 2nd gear and had this horrible rattle start to emanate. I backed out of it all the way and it didn't continue. Something is wrong, but I don't know what it is. Maybe transmission or could be suspension, I don't know. My rattle seems to come from the right front of the car, though.
  • Well, my problem is gone for only $250. It was the heat shield for the Catalitic Converter. The dealer diagnosed it over the phone. My car is very quiet now even at 20 degrees.
  • Thanks, apowell1. I'll have my dealer check it out. qzback, you're on your own!(joke)
  • As mentioned before, I have two Legends, a 1991 with 120K and a 1995 with 50K. I have had the 1991 for nearly eight years, and just bought the 1995. They are really excellent cars, that is why I searched for a 1995 instead of buying new. They just don't make anything that compares in my mind except possibly a $40000BMW but that is too much to pay for a car as far as I am concerned.

    Re: Speaker problems-Bose system
    My speakers made crackly noises, sometimes faded out, sometimes worked fine. The problem was the power amp in the trunk. It is between the back of the back seat and the protective cover to the trunk. The cost for an Acura replacement is about $700. I considered replacing the entire system, but was informed by my service rep (at Tischer Acura in Laurel MD) that I could go to a auto radio shop(also in Laurel) and that they could fix the problem cheaper. They installed a Phoenix Gold Power Amp. for about $300. The system now works swell, probably better than new.

    Re: Used 1992.
    Problems to look for include 1)cracked radiators. Mine cracked at about 50K, 2)brake rotor problems, which can be mostly eliminated by torquing the front lugs to the proper value (I think 80 ft.lbs)but having all the lugs torqued to the same value is what is most important.3)Bose stereo problems as previously mentioned. 4) the rocking seat, for which there is an Acura service bulletin.

    According to Consumer Reports, and from all the research I have done, the 1994 and 1995 models are more reliable than the 1991-1993 models, but they are all excellent. I can say that the 1995 is quieter and seems to ride and handle better than the 1991, but the 70 K miles difference may be a factor. In either case, they are excellent cars.

    Re: Rumbling noise while turning
    Check the CV joints
  • You mention a service bulletin on the rocking seat. I have a 1993 with a rocking seat and my dealer claims they can do nothing. Where can I find the bulletin? I have also had trouble with my Bose and have had the head unit, amps and two speakers replaced under warranty. On cold days, I still get a static or buzzing noise until the unit warms up. Does anyone have any thoughts on a fix? Other than the seat and the Bose POS it is the best car I have ever had.
  • Alright - after reading some of the entries over the past week, I decided to post my own story about the speaker problem. First of all, I have a '94 GS. The problem with the speaker is the driver side one - the door mounted Bose is the only one which gives me problems.

    I first noticed the problem a few months ago, but it only happened a few times - usually, I would turn off the radio, wait, then turn it back on and everything would be okey. But, over the past three weeks, that one speaker has gotten really bad! A hissy, strained, broken up, crappy sound comes out everytime I get in the car. The only thing I could compare it with is when a radio station is just out of range, but you can still pick up the station, just not clear. Well, the weather has gotten much colder out, and this might be one of the problems. Tonight I was out and had the radio on - well about 5 minutes go by and it starts to come in clear! Maybe it "heated up" but this had never happened before - when it plays bad, it has always played bad for the whole time - but this time (for some reason) it was okey after 5 minutes.

    Either way, I plan on (perhaps) taking the door cover apart next week (when I finally get some time off!) - I will be looking for perhaps just a bad connection with the speaker. It was also suggested to me by my father that the speaker might be shot, but I don't think so because all the other ones are fine and nothing has ever happened to the system before which would cause this problem. I might check out the amp if the wiring is okey with the speaker at the door, but it is only one speaker!

    Boy, I love this car!

  • Thanks for the link to the service bulletins. I have seen them before but I reviewed them again and I still could not find the bulletin regarding the rocking seat that apowell 1 mentioned. On the other hand, who could miss the multiple bulletins on the POS Bose.
  • Hi folks. I've been lurking around the Acura & Legend list for some time. I have had a 5-speed '86 since '87 (previous owner traded it in for a new '88)...and I now have 210K miles on her. I can certainly relate to all of the posts about the "love affair" with the Legend - for I am only now toying with the "keep or buy new" argument. [Tangent: If I do buy I want to remain in the same "class" of car...but to do so I am finding I'd have to pay $40-$50K...grrrh.]

    From a repair history I can truly say that she has not been without fault - but my average total yearly repair cost has remained around $1000-1500. Some years have been higher...but on the whole she has been a *fantastic* car.

    This year will probably be her breaking point since I am trying to work out a vexing starting problem.

    The problem appears to be similar to the key ignition problem mentioned earlier; however, in my case the car always attempts to turn over...but never "catches". Usually it takes two or three trys...but sometimes, on cold and wet nights it might never catch.

    When the car finally does start I see/smell oil/gas out the tail pipe. After that first hard start she has little or no problem - and still manages to pass emission inspections.

    I have been to a few dealerships and they basically have recommended replacing the fuel injectors - but they admit they are just "guessing". And, of course, they are more than willing to guess on my dime!

    Has anybody run into this before? The problem is similar in nature to a Mazada problem my better half had years ago that turned out to be an ignitor problem...but the dealerships nay-say that idea.

    I would rather not play "replace-da-parts" game...and I've already be stranded does anybody have any suggestions?

    driven2perl "only wish she handled better in snow...and could take a supercharger!"
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