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Older Acura TLs



  • billyperks, I have the Pioneer XM receiver in my TL. I had it installed last summer during XM's free install special at Circuit City, so installation cost me nothing. The other option was purchasing the parts and having it installed at my Acura dealer, which last summer cost $509. The advantage to the Acura dealer is that they know how our rather complicated center console/dash comes apart, the guy at Circuit City had to wait while I got the instructions online before he could start. He still did a remarkably good job--no rattles afterward.

    Anyway, I bought the Pioneer GEX-FM903XM receiver. - - pe=Tuner It cost $189 last summer, and there is a $50 rebate on it currently. It was installed behind the back seat (e.g. no one can see it from trunk or cabin). It has a wired remote that I placed on the junk drawer at the bottom of the central stack. To see an example of the setup, see here - - - - 8ef900fa3ad4e1&threadid=42693 . I also bought the Terk SR-1 antenna ($79 last summer, now $59.95), which looks like a fat regular antenna. I bought this because I didn't want my gorgeous black paint ruined by the SR-2 antenna which, while smaller, adheres to the top of your car.

    The unit I bought uses FM modulation (22kHz), and I set it to broadcast to 87.9. This allows me to keep my stock radio and head unit. The sound quality is excellent! However, there is also a connection to allow digital-quality (44 kHz) if you choose to upgrade your head unit at the same time. I didn't want to go through that hassle.

    The range for XM radio extends well into southern Canada, as I found on one of my frequent trips to Niagara Falls and environs. The idea of listening to the same station across the entire country is intriguing to this frequent traveler. There are other radios that are more easily installed, e.g. the Delphi Ski-fi, (see install here 8ef900fa3ad4e1&threadid=51389 ), but those options weren't available to me last summer. Any questions, email me.
  • I've experienced neither transmission nor customer service problems with my '02 TL. I realize that the fact that Honda has extended the warranty suggests that there is a greater potential for problems than may be typical for Honda, but the warranty extension is itself a positive response from Honda.

    I am not inclined to rail against a manufacturer based on comments by others in a message board and do not understand someone who would take an active role to address a perceived problem with which they have no personal knowledge or experience.
  • Thanks for the info.
    My dealer told me to stay away from Circuit City, according to the Dealer, they will do a sloppy job.
    They recommended a Car Audio Shop around a block from the Dealership.I am going there Saturday to inquire more about the setup and their prices.

    From the pictures you posted it seems like a ton load of work to install.I really don't want to take my car apart like that.I have this anal attitude about any car I own.I want everything to be picture perfect,squeaks and rattles freaks me out.:)
  • I promise this isn't a perceived problem!!! My car is at the dealership at this moment with problems on my second transmission. I am a Honda/Acura lover, but the quality of my TL doesn't match that of my Vigor. I still like my TL (although, it is a "softer" car than my Vigor)...and I'm 44 & don't like "soft." My daughter will soon be 16 and she will get a Honda product. As long as Acura takes care of my problems, I will be happy; however, I drive over 30K miles a year, and 100K miles warranty isn't enough for me. I want to have the confidence in this car I have had in all of my other Acura/Honda cars. Hopefully, one day I will. I truly hope you do not have any transmission failures. I would love for this to be an isolated issue, but unfortunately, it isn't.
  • I share your concerns and do not question that there is transmission failure rate atypical of Honda. The question is, what can owners reasonably expect of a manufacturer in such a case?. The warranty has been extended, as it should be to maintain customer confidence. Whether the extension is sufficient is probably an issue on which owners and manufacturers will not agree. Owners would like a lifetime guarantee, a manufacturer wants the least costly solution that will maintain his market image (and sales).

    I'm not happy that my first automatic sedan has a cloud over its transmission, but my alternatives are to rely on the Honda warranty and customer service, or sell the car. How will a petition help?
  • I think your points are valid. As I said, I've had no problems with my TL personally and am very happy with it, my dealer (excellent service!!) and Honda products in general. The extended warranty was an excellent first step that will act to maintain the value of my TL. My (and others') concern is just with Honda's response to its loyal customers. This tranny problem is VERY atypical of Honda products, which is all the more reason to vigorously pursue it, and to let its customers in on the problem. The petition is merely one vehicle used to let Honda know that its customers are concerned, nothing more. Hope this helps!

    I wouldn't want to take my own dash apart either, too complicated! I lucked out in my install, but I was insistent on getting that "free" install. :)
  • akal50akal50 Posts: 112
    People are praising Acura for extending the warranty, but I doubt you'll feel good about the warranty if your transmission fails and you're in an accident. This is the type of move I would expect from Ford or Chrysler, not Acura. What's obvious is that Acura has a serious problem with their transmissions and has decided that it would be cheaper to offer an extended warranty instead of doing a recall.

    How will the petition help? It'll send a message to Acura that they can't just cover up this problem. Thanks to the internet, more and more people are learning about this transmission problem. Many Acura owners, people who have owned Honda/Acura products for decades, are turning away from Acura. And some potential Acura buyers like me are having serious doubts about Acura. The only other way to get the message across is to stop buying their cars. But they may conclude sales fell for some other reason. This is more direct and clear.
  • I really don't think Acura is trying to cover up the transmission problems....or we would not have an extended warranty. I wish the word would NOT get out about the problems. Since I already own one, I do not want the value to drop....and I think it will as soon as the "world" knows about this. This is the first automatic I have owned since the early '80's, & I'm sad about this situation. However, there isn't another car out there as nice as the TL that doesn't cost thousands I'll keep it & hope for the best. My dealership assures me I can count on them to take care of me, if I have transmission problems in the future....not sure if that's just 100K mile future or what. I am not convinced Acura has the problem figured out, but hopefully, they will by the time I reach 100K miles. I enjoy reading everyones comments....just wish we didn't have anything bad to talk about...and there is definitely more good than bad!...or I wouldn't still have it!
  • My 2000 TL has 32k miles and the tires are starting to hydroplane badly. The treadwear indicators are not showing at all and they are wearing evenly. It just seems that the grip has gone away. Has anyone else had this experience? I hate to replace tires with lots of tread left, but I do not want to slide off of the road. What tires do you recommend for replacement?
  • I've had MXVs of various types on other cars that retained their wet performnce with wear better than most tires in my experience. I have Michelin XGT H4 tires on two other vehicles and prefer them for their superior transient response but I have no experience with them when worn.
  • dulnevdulnev Posts: 652
    I've replaced the stock Michelins on my 2000 TL when they had about 25,000 miles on them. They were plain dangerous at that time. Just like you, I looked at the tires and saw a lot of tread, but the wet performance was horrible. I would slide when cornering at very low speeds, when the road was wet. I replaced the tires with Dunlops Sport A2 or something like that. The wet performance of these tires was awesome!
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    The Acura TL is one of the vehicles on my wish list but I will not buy one until this transmission issue is answered by Acura/Honda. Why can't they tell us exactly what the problem was and how they fixed it? I have heard from forums that TLs made after May '02 do not have the "problem", but what is the "problem"? I certainly do not want to pay $27K for a car and then have to worry that the trans could go out at any time let alone a possibility of a sudden downshift at 70 mph. Please Acura/Honda, give us some honest answers.
  • was replaced in October and its starting to give me symptoms that problems may be coming soon. Its shifting rough again and kind of jerky. I have a 01 TL with 49K miles on it. I think it was replaced at 42k. I'll keep you posted.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    10 years ago I drove my friend's 99 auto Accord. Remember nothing wrong with its upshift. However when I applied the brake and slowed down the car, at some point the auto transmission jerked so abruptly that it seemed as if something much worse would happen the next moment. It scared me.

    Never bought Honda/Acura because of the bad impression.
  • Usually I am against putting on a bra on any cars, but after checking out some pictures on the TLS forum, I am tempted to try it.

    Does anyone know where I can buy the Half Bra with the Acura name written on it?
    Any idea how much it cost?

    Can any one give their input on the under body kit accessor.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • fastdriverfastdriver Posts: 2,273

    Try this site- I bought the full bra there for my CL-S. They have authentic Honda parts/accessories.

  • scott31scott31 Posts: 292
    Dear God don't put a car bra on your TL-S. It will destroy the paint. Get the clear stuff (3M makes it I think).
  • I am with you on that, usually I don't use a bra on any cars I own.I got to admit that I went to the Acura TL web site and saw pictures of the Half Bra on a TL and it did look good.I got caught up in the moment.
    How does the 3M product works?
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 292
    It's a clear plastic. You can't even tell it's on from a distance. It has to be put on by a professional. Pat Goss on MotorWeek loves it and has mentioned it on several shows.
  • shellzshellz Posts: 42
    If anyone was wondering if Acura had fixed the transmission problem for the 2003s, the short answer is NO. I have about 25,000 miles on my car and the transmission finally gave out.

    The problem started small at first. Sometimes the transmission would slip for a split second but then recover. Then it slipped for a longer period of time but still recovered. Then it slipped and took an incredibly long time to recover. Then it was like driving a manual transmission that you don't know how to drive. It was horriffic. The whole process took about two weeks or 600 miles. Anyhow, you'll know if it's happening. But the VSA exclamation point light comes on along with the VSA malfunction light, the Check Engine light and the D5 indicator blinks--oh, and the car doesn't drive all that well...

    Good luck to everyone else's transmission!
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    What is the date of manufacture of your TL-S? Supposedly those made after May
    '02 do not suffer the transmission defect.
  • Purchased a 99tl last nov and have not experienced any of the tranny or brake problems common in this forum.But i do have a question about fuel economy. Using premium fuel i'm getting 15city/20hwy, nowhere near epa estimates (19/27). Dealer says its the winter gas blend(Ohio). Am i being unrealistic to get in mid 20s?
  • dulnevdulnev Posts: 652
    My mileage on a 2000 TL has always been in the 19-22mpg range, never above it. The mileage greatly depends on how fast and aggressively you drive.
  • I had a 2003 TL for an overnight test drive, yet I found one thing disturbing. When I applyed the gas form a dead stop I noticed a jerkyness. I also have this in my 98 Avalon, but it is worse than the TL. I was stroungly considering the TL, till I logged onto the boards and found out about the tranny and brake and tire toubles. Any thoughts??
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I think the tranny problems are overstated, but still there sees to be little reason to buy one over an Accord EXV6. I am sure some people had tranny problems, but where are stats showing they are more problems with a TL than with most other cars? The same few people posting their complaints 20 times does not prove a widespread problem.
    Regardless, the TL is old now and you might as well buy an Accord or wait to see how the redesigned 2004 TL turns out.
  • akal50akal50 Posts: 112
    I agree about the Accord. It may not look as cool as a TL, but it's still a great car and it's got some things that the TL doesn't have. Choosing between the Accord and the 2003 TL is tough. But the fact that a new TL is coming out makes it a lot easier. Plus this whole transmission issue has me scared. My 2000 Accord never gave me problems.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    I am interested in someone who has recently drove both of these vehicles. How do you compare the two in terms of driving comfort, seat comfort, quietness, and overall quality. Exterior looks is subjective so no need to provide your opinion on that issue. I do realize that the TL is "old" technology and the Accord is new but I feel sometimes the "old" proven technology is partially better. Thanks in advance for you opinions.

         bear2day and others- What kind of mpg are you getting on mostly highway driving?
         Other owners- Are you using premium gasoline for the non Type-S TL?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I think Acura needs to catch up and get in synch with model changeover of the Accord or they will always have a tough time the final year competing with the newer Accord.
    I remember back when the 98 Accord came out, it was the same thing.
    Maybe they should make a special edition TL for the last year with exclusive paint and interior colors and equipment to make it more attractive compared to the newer design of the Accord. They could have slapped in some real would and higher grade leather in the 2003 instead of waiting for the 2004 redesign. They could have also made the 260HP engine standard for 2003.
    I see no reason for anyone to buy a 2003 TL now that the 2003 Accord EXV6 has available navigation, heated seats, side curtain airbags, more horsepower etc..
    Xenon headlights and the weak-sounding Bose stereo in the TL is little incentive.
  • I drove both on the same day. The TL is more of a luxury car, but the 240 HP in the Accord was awesome!! I felt the seats on the TL were wider and more comfortable. The Accord has better visibility, and the controls on the steering wheel were easier to operate. The stereo was great, although it's not a Bose. The rear seat goes down, so you can carry some pretty large items, when needed. The TL has the better headlights, although most other divers coming toward you hate them. The TL also has the 'green glass' that's easier on the eyes. The leather in the TL us better quality, even an Acura dealer told me this. I loved the way the Accord drove, but I have to say, I think I am kind of leaning toward the TL. Based on the 2004 TL and the gas cost, the 6 cyl Accord takes regular gas, I guess we will see what happens in a few months. Right now, my 98 Toyota Avalon is still running like a champ--I just want something new, and VERY dependable. Good Luck!! Keep us posted!!
  • shellzshellz Posts: 42
    Marfay, I took delivery of my TL in March--so you're right, my transmission was probably before the "fix."

    TL vs. Accord
    I have to admit that I'm very impressed with the new Accord. Overall, I thought it felt like a more comfortable car than my TL. The interior was quieter with substantially less road and wind noise. The seats also, although I do have the sport seats, seemed a little more supple. I think that the new Accord would be a very worthy alternative to a TL considering that you can get a fully loaded one (V6 w/Nav) for around $26,000.
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