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Older Acura TLs



  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    If using regular causes engine damage, then it will be more expensive for that reason, but I have never seen it proven that you save fuel by using premium.
  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    Why would you want to use gas that's not recommended for the car? Depends on how the engine management system works, but expect either reduced performance to avoid detonation or engine damage due to detonation.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    When a car that is tuned for premium uses regular then the ignition timing has to be retarded to avoid knocking. That will reduce power and fuel economy. How much will vary but I've seen specific numbers from one person who tried it (not in a TL) and their fuel economy dropped about 12%. As always, YMMV.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    at what speeds do the vibrations come on ?

     I have a new TL, with only 1500 miles on odometer....and have not taken it past 90 mph.

    It was smooth from 0 to 90 mph , at least mine is.
  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    My 2004 TL (6 speed manual) pulls to the left and the steering loads up much more in a turn to the right than in a turn to the left (it almost falls into a turn to the left and feels as though it's fighting gravity in a turn to the right). The dealer has replaced both front tires, which has improved the situation a little, but has not fixed the problem. The alignment, front and back, has been verified to be within factory tolerances. Anyone any ideas? Anyone aware of a service bulletin that addresses this?
  • mdhaukemdhauke Posts: 202
    I am wondering what parts of the dash, door, counsel, and seat are leather. I have this new leather cleaner and conditioner from Zaino that I want to apply but am wondering which parts are leather and which parts are not. Like for the seat, are only the edges leather or is the middle part too? How about the dash? Can I apply the leather cleaner and enhancer to everything?
  • I'm torn between these two cars. I've driven nothing but Acuras since I was in college, but love the performance of the 330i (particularly w/ the sport package). Living in Atlanta, the FWD vs. RWD in snow issue is virtually nonexistent. I've read some comments about the interior of the TL not holding up (sagging upholstery and worn leather seats) which concern me. Any advice/opinions?
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    I'm getting about 19 mpg mixed driving (but mainly local) and about 24 mpg freeway only.

    my TL has 1600 miles, auto, w/nav.

    did your mpg improve since June ?

    I was hoping to change oil to synthetic, and maybe that will help .
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    I wish for such a DVD system also..

    I paid over $90,000 on the cayenne, and it did NOT have as many features as the TL did...well, comproble features....

    the DVD system installed in the TL would be about $1600 in aftermarket ...

    the TL just has so many features that BMW, MB, porsche, do not have....

    so instead of those, we went for TL....

    even the Audi was not as nice...
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    On a 750 mile highway rountrip over the weekend, I averaged 29 mpg on the outbound leg, 27.5 mpg on the return leg. Those are actual measurements, but the trip computer was also accurate. Average speed showed as 72 and 69 respectively, which meant I was really driving most of the highway portion at 4-5 mph higher, since I had to go a few miles to get to/from the highway and had to stop a couple of times for tolls. The return leg was in a light but steady rain much of the way.

    I am not particlarly impressed with this highway mileage. It is 1-3 mpg less than the 6 speed is rated (30). By comparison, my 1995 Nissan Maxima 5-speed, rated at 27 mpg highway, would averaqge 28-31 on the same highway trip. My S2000, rated at 26 mpg highway, did it in 31.5. And in 6th gear, at 75 mph the S2000 is turning 4,500+ rpm; the TL runs at about 2,600 rpm at 75 mph.

    Even more unimpressive is the "mixed" mpg of around 17 mpg. The TL and S2000 had identical city ratings of 20. I have intentionally "babied" the TL for a tankful of mixed driving and still only gotten 17-18 mpg. I averaged 22 with the S2000 under similar conditions and drove it a heck of a lot more aggressively. According to my logbook, the worst mixed use tankful I ever had in 2.5 years on the S2000 was 18.9. In my Nissan Maxima, I only had 5 tankfuls (out of over 500) that averaged below 19 and my overall average in the Nissan was/is 24.03 mpg. So far in the TL, it's 18.71 and that includes 2,000 highway miles out of 5,500 total. In mixed driving, my TL gets about 25% worse gas mileage than the Maxima, 15-20% worse than the S2000 and only 10% better than our Trooper. It's marginally quicker than the Maxima, it is way the heck slower than the S2000 and it's 1,200 lbs lighter than the Trooper.

    I have an associate with a 2002 M5 (400 hp V8) and he gets 16 mpg city and up to 26 mpg highway. At least I didn't have to pay a $2,200 gas-guzzler tax, but I sure would have expected better out of the TL.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Considering the 04 TL is at least 450 pounds heavier and 70 more in horsepower than your 95 Max, your mileage isn't bad. I made a 900 mile New York City to Williamsburg/Virginia Beach roundtrip two weeks ago in my 03 Max and I got 27 mpg (about 95% highway with approx. 800 passenger and 100 luggage pound weights). Around the city with stop and go traffic, however, I average only 16.5 mpg.

    As to comparing the TL to the M5, the money you saved on the purchase price will more than offset any difference in mpg numbers :-)
  • Hi-

    I started this forum because I havent seen any talk in any other forum relating to the offical release and production dates for the 05 TL.
    I ask because, I pre-ordered a 2005 acura Tl Black-on black in JULY. I was told that the 05 models will be in by september. I havent seen one thing relating to 05 TL's yet anywhere. I called my acura dealership (in BK, NY)and I feel like my salesman is giving me the run around. I placed the order in July for the 05 because he sounded to sure and confident that the models will be in sept. However, now when I call, he does not even have a build date for me. And he said there is no way of him knowing when it would be. Funny he was quick to tell me a date when he wanted my $$ for a deposit.
    My problem now is I just sold my car, so i have no car, thankfully I commute into the city everyday for work via public transportation.
    My question is basically, does anyone know of any dates for the production to begin on the 05 TL. And also, does anyone know of any price increase or changes to the style. I heard they may be putting turn signal lights on the mirrors like the TSX has. Anyone else hear/confirm that?

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    My point with the M5 was that the BMW gives you Porsche 911 performance in a 4,000 lb passenger car for gas mileage that isn't much worse than the TL. The TL's performance is marginally better than the 10 year old Maxima at significantly worse gas mileage.

    It's a bit perplexing. The TL's 6-speed is geared for fule efficiency, not performance (compared to the S2000). And it's a 10 year newer car that has the latest ULEV technology, compared to the Maxima. And yet, it's real world performance - at least mine - suggests it's a considerably less efficient engine than all of the others if you were to do an "MPG per horsepower" type of calculation
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,727
    I would think that highway MPG is most heavily affected by:

    1) Final drive ratio

    2) Aerodynamics

    3) Rolling resistance

    Horsepower and weight are much farther down the scale on the open road.

    Also, even sixth gear in a manual transmission usually is lower than top gear in an automatic in the same car.



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  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Agreed. Which is why it is perplexing that the 6-speed TL, which at 75 mph is only turning at 2,600 +/- rpm gets 27-29 mpg whereas my 6-speed S2000, turning at 4,100 rpm got 30-32 and my 10 year old Maxima, turning at 3,300 rpm gets 29-31. This is the exact opposite order of the EPA ratings, which are 30 for the TL, 26 for the S2000 and 27 for the Maxima.

    The TL certainly looks more aerodynamic than the Maxima and in terms of rolling resistance, the S2000 has the "stickiest" tires of the three by a large margin. I'm not being particularly scientific, but clearly the Acura TL is not at the forefront of efficiency / performance technology compared to, say, the Honda S2000.

    P.S. Just confirmed with a friend who has a 2004 330ci convertible 6-speed that on a weekly 250 mile highway roundtrip, he consistently gets 33-35 mpg with the top up and only about 1-2 mpg less with the top down. That is fully 20% better than the TL, in a vehicle that weighs 300 lbs more and has (I assume) lower aerodynamics and greater rolling resistence. Not to mention, in a car that in hardtop form, outaccelerates the TL in spite of a "rated" 45 horsepower disadvantage.
  • qwallsqwalls Posts: 406
    I just placed an order for a 2005 TL today. I was told production is supposed to start this month, and they expect to see the first cars arrive in October...maybe late September, but more likely October.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    I think your TL is achieving its objective.

    If you're receiving 27-29mpg and EPA is listed at 30 then that's about as close as you'll ever get. I think (not positive) but the highway testing is only going 48mph average with a max of 60mph in a LAB...and you’re doing 75mph!

    Comparing to the S2000, the TL has a much larger cylinder swept volume with 2 more cylinders; rpm doesn't tell the whole storey. And they are pretty close in mpg, which is actually quite impressive for the TL.

    Comparing to the Max...maybe Nissan makes better engines ;)
    In reality the TL is making substantially more horsepower with a slightly larger engine, and getting near identical (according to you) mpg.

    Yes, BMW's are the price reflects.

    I really don't see your concerns.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    My concern is simple. The actual gas mileage I have been getting with the TL is well below what I would have expected and compares very unfavorably to other cars that I and friends own or have owned.

    I get as low as 15 mpg in mixed driving. I don't commute to work on the DC beltway or in bumper to bumper city traffic. I'd hate to think what the mileage would be like under those circumstances.

    Everyone's city and mixed driving habits differ, but setting the cruise at 70-75 mph for a 300+/- mile highway drive has always produced actual mileage better than EPA estimates for me. Except in the TL. Put even a relatively small amount (30%) of non-highway driving in the mix, and the overall mpg drops to BELOW the "city" rating.

    For the record, the cost of gas is not an issue with me. Hell, my other consideration was a 545i 6-speed which costs $25k more than the TL. But I am concerned that either (a) my car has an engine issue or (b) the basic design of the new TL engine is inherantly inefficient and that could signal other engineering issues or problems down the road.

    So I don't think the TL is achieving it's objective. Certainly not from a fuel efficiency perspective.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I have been doing only almost exclusive city driving. For the first 1000 KM, when I babied my TL, I got city mpg slightly better than my CL did. But for the last 4 - 5 fill-ups, my mpg has dipped by about 2 - 3, so now I'm getting about 1 - 2 mpg worse than my CL did. (For the record, I'm now getting about 18 - 19 mpg city. But it's imperial gallons)

    Also for the record, my '95 Maxima automatic for the most part hovered around 20 mpg city for the 4+ years I had it -- not much better than the TL despite being almost 400 lbs lighter, a smaller engine, and 80 hp less.
  • 2005 are slated for October release.
  • Myself and several associates have ignored the premium only directive from the Mfgs. This involved Acrua's, Lexus', and Infiniti's. I personally drove two Legends a combined 270,000 miles with no issues. Recently received from a friend two articles from publications such as U.S.A. Today which interviewed a BMW and a Chrysler engineer. Both indicated that in order to completely meet the MFG. stated performance claims, premium is required. Using regular creates a drop-off, but is only measurable under optimum test conditions, and the statistical differences are close to micro. As for gas mileage; they note that it is equally difficult to note a measurable difference. They point out that the marketing initiatives regarding the performance claims are the reason for the manufacturer's premium fuel statements and advise that the designs regarding knock retardation etc, will prevent any engine damage.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    From reading your post, it appears that you and the two engineers, among others, are of the opinion that there is little or no difference between using premium and regular gas.

    However, the last sentence of your post seems to contradict (or at least cast doubt upon) the prior statements. To wit: how and why are "marketing initiatives" related to "performance claims" and "premium fuel statements"? Also, how and why would the use of premium or regular gas affect (or require) different designs to retard knocks and/or engine damage? Kindly clarify. Thanks.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    You and I pretty much share the same comment and observation regarding TL's mpg performance versus other cars. The one difference is your use of the metric or "imperial gallon" measuring system, which forces me to look for conversion charts. Hey, get with the program and use the "modern" U.S. system, which is used worldwide :-)

    Also, why are you using combined systems - miles per imperial gallon -- instead of km per imperial gallon? or km per liter :-) What is the real conversion factor when you compare miles per gallon against miles per imperial gallon?
  • Lets also remember that Honda engines are notorious for requiring at least 5,000 if not closer to 10,000 miles to properly break in and achieve normal gas mileage.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    What they're saying is using premium allows the engine timing to be advanced which will normally yield more power and better fuel economy, all else being equal. So to meet the advertised hp claims and 0-60 times they have to use premium, thus the owner's manual requirement. Regular gas is more explosive and under high heat and compression it will detonate before the spark plug fires. This is what you hear as knocking. It will damage the engine.

    Newer cars have knock sensors that detect this and retard the timing so the spark plug can detonate the air/fuel mixture before it spontaneously explodes on it's own. So you're safe using regular but the engine is not at it's most efficient operation.

    Whether and how much this affects performance and mileage will vary by vehicle/by engine. Some may have a noticeable change and some may not. I don't think you can say that just because one vehicle is ok that all vehicles will be.

    I look at it this way - at the very least you'll lose some power. Worst case you lose fuel economy and actually spend more to use regular than premium or if it actually knocks you could destroy the engine.

    The cost difference is around $3 per week on average, or $150 per year. Is it worth the risk to save $150/yr on a $35K vehicle? Not to me. YMMV.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,727

    Final drive... this does favor your TL. But, in the case of the S2000, I think the weight difference is so much less, that it is significant. Also, even though it makes 240 HP at its peak, it is a much more efficient engine at speed, due to its small displacement..

    Aerodynamics... Just visually, your Maxima seems much smaller than the TL, creating less wind resistance.. The S2000..well, speaks for itself.

    Rolling resistance: Even though the Honda has "sticky tires", the contact patch is smaller than your TL, and I'm guessing your Maxima's tires are even smaller than that.. Speaking of tires, wider tires have a large effect on aerodynamics as well.. If you compare two models of the same car (MINI Cooper and Mini Cooper S, for example), the model with the bigger tires will have a higher co-efficient of drag.

    I'm guessing that as pretty as the TL is to look at, it isn't as aerodynamic as it would appear.

    Or.. I'm completely wrong, and it is the weight and horsepower..LOL


    Summary: I think it is the big fat tires.


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  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sorry, I don't think "big fat tires" explain it. The 330cic I referred to a couple of posts ago has the high performance tire package - 18" wheels with 225 & 255 width tires. Collectively, larger and sticker than the TL's. And that car is getting 3-4 mpg above it's EPA estimate in pure highway driving. As for the S2000, even though the OEM tires are only listed as 225's in the rear, their contact patch is the equivalent of 245's and that is what they need to be replaced with in non-OEM tires.

    Also, aerodynamics really aren't much of a consideration in mixed driving. And in mixed driving, my TL is even further off of what I would have expected based upon the EPA ratings of 20/30.

    No, I think it's simply that the TL engine is not particularly fuel efficient for it's displacement. The 3.2 liter engine is less than 10% larger than the Maxima in displacement, but can barely beat the new 545i 4.4 liter V8 (40% larger) in actual fuel efficiency.

    It may have something to do with the 6-speed manual transmission as well, since I have friends that have an automatic TL and the fuel efficiency is a bit better.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    "Newer cars have knock sensors that detect this and retard the timing so the spark plug can detonate the air/fuel mixture before it spontaneously explodes on it's own. So you're safe using regular but the engine is not at it's most efficient operation."

    Does that apply to Accord's engine which, by its manual, is said to use regular only. Is Accord's engine fundamentally different from TL's, or it's more like Accord's published performance and MPG is based on regular, while TL's is based on premium?
  • mdhaukemdhauke Posts: 202
    When you drive with the cruise control you use more gas thus decreased gas mileage. Try it without cc and it will improve a few clicks.
  • go_mdx1go_mdx1 Posts: 135
    Has anyone else noticed excessive stretching in their 2004 TL's leather seats?? The car only has 2000 miles on it. It is to the point were I can pick up the leather and fold it over other sections of leather. I've never had this happen with my other Acura's.
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