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Acura RL



  • Regarding the initial “snow drive” posting some 5 days ago, I regret not responding until now, but I have been on the road here in the snow covered Midwest and unable to make too much time for the town hall here on Edmunds.


    I am 99% positive that your description of “feeling” the power shift from one wheel to another has nothing to do at all with SH-AWD, and everything to do with the stability control and anti-lock braking systems.


    If you actually could feel the shift from wheel to wheel – the power shift afforded by SH-AWD, i.e., I would suggest that you have a defective car. I cannot imagine Acrua’s engineers or management allowing an AWD car to be released to the public that had a system that could be detected by “average drivers” – or perhaps better said, “Customers.”


    I do not fault any driver for not knowing, not having been trained, or not being required to be trained on the most beneficial and effective way to use a significant control, safety and performance feature (or option) of this import and merit. However, and I find myself hesitant to even utter this thought, “these systems are so important, perhaps there should be some sort of requirement (government? shudder) for the driver to be certified or licensed or the seller to provide [required] training on these systems.”


    This may be a somewhat extreme statement – and please this is not intended to spark a political debate – but I think I can demonstrate why Acura and all the other car companies who offer such technology should also offer [virtually mandatory] “education and training” to their customers who purchase cars so equipped.


    I suspect there could be an argument that goes “the benefits of such systems and technologies, even to/for the untrained, improve the vehicle’s handling/control, safety and performance significantly to [somewhat] obviate the need for training in their MOST effective utilization.” In other words, a car so equipped with these systems will perform better and be safer (for the car so equipped and for other cars in close proximity). This additional measure of performance and safety is so great that additional training and education with respect to the optimum use are determined to be “desirable but NOT mandatory.”


    Let the lawsuits begin – eventually.


    After 10 days of training (4 2 ½ day sessions, each approximately 1 year apart), I have learned that these systems, ABS for example, do improve braking performance even when used improperly – when ABS engages, a straight-line stop or a steering stop is possible. Locked wheels and sliding tires (on dry, wet or frozen pavement) cannot be steered – sliding out of control is not only possible, it is likely without ABS.


    So what is the problem, with this one system for example, you ask?


    Most drivers with ABS depress their brake pedals with “x pounds of force” until the car slows or stops as they intend OR until the now familiar (to those with ABS systems) brake pedal pulsing or chattering is heard and/or felt. If the circumstances are, for instance, a snow slick covered roadway (appropriate for the past 5 days here in the Midwest at least) and an untrained driver depresses his brake pedal, the pedal almost immediately begins to “pulse” – and here is what happens: the driver maintains pressure on the pedal, steers the wheel (if needed to avoid or evade, or just to turn a corner, etc.) and either successfully negotiates the stop or turn – or runs into something (which also stops the forward progress of the car.)


    The problem with this is – the stopping distance, assuming the driver behaves as noted, actually increases. However, it is possible to decrease the stopping distance AND maintain steering control IF the driver would have increased the pressure on the brake pedal to [drum roll] the MAXIMUM that the driver is capable of applying. Trouble is, most people don’t (or won’t) do this. They believe the technology “took over” the moment the pedal starting pulsing.


    Before you protest and say, “What about Brake Assist?” – (The technology that increases the pedal pressure “automatically” based largely upon the speed with which the driver applies the brake) – point taken. Yet, the problem is, as good as this extra boost of technology is, or can be, it cannot think. If, for example, the driver starts a slow-down attempt with normal speed and pressure and continuously applies more and more pressure until the pedal begins to pulse, the brake assist wizard is significantly less effective.


    Stability (yaw) control’s effect can be improved significantly, too, if “education and training” in the basics of understeer and oversteer have been completed.


    Clearly, my opinion is that these systems are significant, important, and vital even. However, their efficacy is also substantially diminished when used sub-optimally. My argument does not quite extend to claiming that the improvements these systems can afford are 100% obviated by “improper” or under utilization. However, I do believe that systems such as ABS, AWD, Electronic Stability Systems, Brake Assist, etc., have only just started to provide the benefits they are capable of providing. Maybe until our cars have “auto-drive” like Will Smith’s futuristic Audi (model year 2035), we need to demand that our vendors “train and educate” us on the potential their products can live up to.


    Before the government mandates that we all learn how to use our modern systems (found in cars, like the Acura RL), my vote would be to require the vendors (dealers?) to offer certification programs – such programs would improve the enjoyment of the product (a side effect and benefit) and improve the product’s [personal & public] safety potential.


    Drive it like you live!
  • I don't question your opinion and hope you enjoy your ride as much as I enjoy mine!
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29
    Thanks kennyg5. Lets hope management at American Honda Motor Corp., Honda in Japan and Napleton Acura and Napleton Auto Group will in the immediate future (ie. now) begin to take its customer base far more seriously than it has as we are the lifeblood of their economic future. Thanks again. I have directed written correspondence (both via fascimile and mail) to the 4 highest positions at American Honda Motor Corp. and Honda Japan. I will surely let you know if and when receive a response. American Honda Motor Co.'s corporate offices in California is closed until the first week of Janaury 2005. No doubt management is taking a wonderful vacation in some exotic place which in effect has been paid for by the vehicles we all have purchased.
  • urieluriel Posts: 9


    At approx 700 odometer miles, I experienced a problem with my 05 RL similar to that which you had with your automobile (SH-AWD check light on, emissions check light on and other alarms). The following are comments as quoted from the Service Department Repair Invoice --




    Basically, problem was with an electrical connection and the throttle body was a COULD BE ISSUE that the factory service rep authorized to replace. The dealership that I purchased my car from, demonstrated much concern regarding the problem I had with my RL to the extent that the Service Manager contacted the factory engineers and requested their expertise in solving the problem. As a result of the dealerships interest, a Factory Tech Rep was sent in to work on the car with the Shop Service technician and the Shop Service Manager to correct the problem. According to the service invoice, 18 hours of technician time was expended to diagnose and make required repair. It was a simple repair item that just took some time to isolate. It looks as though your problem my be with your dealerhips lack of effort to correct the problem with your car and not with any severe mechanical problem. I now have 1800 miles on the odometer and have not had any other problems.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    LVDH's problem aggravates me to no end and I wish it would go away. Like you, I know the majority of owners out there are satified. I don't read anybody bitchin too much about anything with this car. In fact, just the opposite. Most new owners are really enjoying the experience. Those of us that are enjoying the new RL quite frankly don't enjoy hearing about this problem. But it is out there and it is real and if it was happening to you...well... (Think about it for a while!)
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808 have all this snow....

    in your part of the Midwest.

    and all that jazz!


    and my granddaughters in Houston..

    enjoyed a "White Christmas"

    and all that jazz!


    and here in southeastern Wisconsin

    we can't even track a deer! because

    there is no snow.....

    and all that jazz!


    As usual thanks for the post...heady stuff!
  • A follow-up on my problems with the Nav Traffic system. Because of intermittent problems my service manager agreed to replace the XM box. This has not fixed the problem--it continues to work intermittently. I am sure it is the car/system for several reasons--the two main ones are the following:


    1) at one point when it was not working while at the dealer I had him start up one of the RLs on the lot--and it's Nav Traffic system was working fine while mine continued not to.


    2) my system either works or it doesn't. That is, once the car is started and the system does not come on within a minute or two, it will not come on no matter how long I drive. Conversely, if it does come on it will work for that entire trip (with the one exception mentioned below).


    As an example I have kept a log since having the XM box replaced of trips and how it worked or did not:


    Day 1:

      1) 20 min drive from dealer--did not work at all

      2) 10 min drive 30 min later--worked fine


    Day 2:

      1) 10 min drive--worked fine

      2) 30 min drive--worked fine

      3) 30 min drive--worked fine


    Day 3:

      1) 5 min drive--did not work at all

      2) 5 min drive--did not work at all

      3) 15 min drive--did not work at all

      4) 5 min drive--worked fine

      5) 10 min drive--worked fine for about 5 seconds, then for remainder of drive showed information of only a small section of one highway in the entire Bay area

      6) 2 min drive--worked fine

      7) 5 min drive--did not work at all

      8) 5 min drive--worked fine


    There is no pattern at all in terms of time of day to these problems.


    It would be really helpful if folks could comment on this. That is, for folks whose system is working is it working all the time? Especially interested in folks in the Bay area.


    Also interested in learning about the "three finger" diagnostic system so I can do that once when it is not working.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    What you are going through indicates that the system IS NOT WORKING.


    Decades ago, the local BMW dealer had the bad habit of replacing parts to treat the symptoms rather than cure the problem. Inevitably, the new parts failed because the problems were never properly diagnosed and remained unfixed.


    Regarding the RL with only 200 miles, it SHOULD NOT be spending the last few weeks at the dealer who cannot get the parts to fix the problem. The defective vehicle should have been immediately replaced with another unit. I cannot comprehend the stubborness and inaction by the dealer who sold that particular unit, nor the lack of action by American Honda. This is SHAMEFUL .......
  • hfanghfang Posts: 31
    If my experience at Napleton Porsche in Westmont is any indication, I'm not surprised by your experience at Napleton Acura. Condescending and arrogant salespeople who blatantly pulled the bait and switch on me TWICE- it's no wonder that more than a few people out here in Naperville avoid them like the plague...
  • This is exactly the problem with the dealer, Napleton, and the fact that Honda America is not taking a more proactive stance, is even worse.


    It is understandable that a new car will have problems; it is inexecusable that the dealer (Napleton) will not address the issue. It is clear there are dealers who understand what customer service is, and it is clear that Napleton does not. Napleton, step up to the plate and do what is right and quit acting so irresponsibly. You are tarnishing the Acura name.


    I think Napleton should be seriously censored the way they've handled this situation and I hope anyone reading this within Napleton's market stays clear and never does business with them. Quite frankly, this whole situation boggles my mind. I thought Acura stood for much higher quality and service.
  • You're right, there are limited wheel's that will fit the RL. Acura changed the lug nut configuration which now matches the BMW (5-120)configuration. Additionally, since the brake caliber sticks out farther than most cars, it requires a wheel that is more flush with the tire..thus you can't go with a deep dish wheel.


    With that said, I still had about 7-8 choices of wheels to go with. I would recommend looking at the TSW wheels ( They have many wheels that will fit the RL. I chose the Montage with the Hyper Silver finish and polished lip (19 X 8) It looks fantastic with my silver exterior. Go to a large wheel/tire company in your market and they will be able to show you the different options.


    To answer your first question, our roads are fairly good in SoCal, plus we don't have to deal with the harsh elements of weather out here. My ride still feels great, especially compared to my 02 TL Type S, but the biggest impact is in the handling. The Yokahama's "really" grip the road and there is a noticeable difference in cornering. I'll need to rotate the tires often or the tires will wear out quickly (25,000 miles if rotated every 5,000). Hope that helps
  • lvdhlvdh Posts: 29


    Sorry to hear you that experienced what appears to be a similar, if the not the same, problem with your RL's SH-AWD. It is certainly possible that the 2005 RL has multiple and/or different problems that effect the SH-AWD. Would you be so kind and advise me as to the name and location of the Acura dealership you had your RL serviced at so that the Pauly Acura's service department (which is still attempting to repair my RL) can contact that service department to discuss the issues with your vehicle in hopes of finding a repair solution to my RL. That would be much appreciated. Thanks.


    Once again, I thank each and every one of you who has contributed to this issue and Napleton Acura and American Honda Motor Co.'s continued and total failure to assist me with regard to my broken down RL.


    Based on what others have recently stated in this forum, it appears that Napleton Acura is not the only auto dealership in the Napleton Auto Group which treats its customers poorly and tries to take advantage of its customers.
  • I agree with your opinion that Acura executives should not bad-mouth an outgoing car just to make a new model look superior. Bad judgement IMO.


    However, re: resale value, a good indicator of future resale value is how well a car sells when it is new. In the case of the pre-'05 RL, sales were lukewarm at best. That doesn't bode well for future resale, regardless of the "couch mobile" comments.


    Re: the '05 RL being BMW- or Lexus-like, I don't know how you can make a judgment without owning both. I've had only limited experience with BMW, but I've owned several Lexuses... including a GS300 and SC430... and I can attest to the fact that the RL is indeed "Lexus-like", in that it is quiet, comfortable, and ergonomically superb. The one thing it doesn't have in common with the other cars is that it is actually fun to drive and can handle curves.


    I also find it interesting that it is mostly non-RL owners that make comments about lack of torque. I couldn't be happier with the performance of my '05 RL, and I'm sure I speak for quite a few satisfied owners as I've read their comments throughout the forums.
  • Thanks for the info! I have C. silver as well so amped to check out the options. One question, how is the road noise compared to the stock tires (not that the stock tires are that quiet...)?
  • Those that comment about torque are really comparing against other V8 competition usually costing more for the most part. Drive the RL back to back vs. a 530 or a E 320 and find that against six cylinder comps there is more torque and HP. I love the car, and have owned mostly BMWs with a Porsche or two thrown in. So far, 2000 miles, the car has been flawless except for the traffic nav issue that was repaired by replacing the box.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    Thanks for the info. The tires are expensive for the fx I replaced mine at 28k miles. I went with a 275/45/20 and got all four mounted out the door for 810. these replacements should last far longer than the oems.


    I am still going to give the M a shot as I have been so pleased with my FX. I love all the tech in the RL (Also a reason I bought the FX) and it seems like the M will have a similar level of technology. I live in houston and outside of christmas eve AWD is overkill here so that isn't a big sticking point. Enjoy your RL and keep us abreast of how it is doing.
  • I've had the car now since Oct 18th and it has truly been virtually flawless. I did have one oddity that I will ask about when it goes in for its oil change. (At 62xx miles I just dropped from 30% oil life remaining to 20%.) A couple weeks ago I was on a 400 mile trip when suddenly the AFS idiot light came on with a beep. The lights (other than the drl's) were not on so I thought it odd, but was not particularly worried. At the next rest area I stopped, restarted, and it has not recurred since. The headlights do swivel properly and all, or at least they act as they did before, so I wrote it off to rebooting a computer.


    Overall this is the first car I've owned that I cannot find a justifiable reason to get rid of it. At least so far. Time will tell. :)


    Happy New Year, Y'all!
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Do you get around the 1960/HWY 45 area of Houston? I was visiting my daughter in October and Gilman Acura was breaking ground on a brand new dealership in that vicinity. It should be almost finished by now. (1 Mile north of 1960 on HWY 45 frontage rd.)
  • My comment related to the 04 models. In my opinion Lexus (GS430) which I had a chance to drive a couple of times was quieter than my 04 RL. The seats in the 04 RL are not shaped well for even slightly aggressive driving. If it comes to the 05 RL I did not drive it, so cannot comment, but you probably would agree that for $50K you can get a car that is either better driving, better looking, more luxurious or just having a higher overall appeal. When I look at the 05 RL it does not strike as a luxurious car. Also I would be hard pressed to even consider it close to the new 530. Rear wheel drive cannot be surpassed by the a part-time AWD.


    Now it seems to me that buying the 04 RL was a mistake as a car you buy has to be able to satisfy you in at least one area. I can attest to the lack of torque in the 04 RL (no comment on the 05, please note). Luxury is not only the look and finish, but the driving characteristics, in which 04 RL falls behind, unless you prefer to drive your car as a "couch-mobile" - so maybe the Acura official was right afterall.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I am only up that way if I am going to the airport or to dallas (I am on the SW side of town). However they were still working on it after thanksgiving (my last time up that way).
  • urieluriel Posts: 9


    The dealership that serviced my RL and accomplished the repair is referenced below:


    Hopkins Acura

    Fairfield CA.


    Hope this will solve your problem.
  • I had my RL for 1 day before it stopped working - well, it did the intermittent thing for a few days (and I thought I was doing something wrong) before it died altogether.


    I did check online here and found two others who had the problem - one who had the XM unit replaced, the other had a loose wire fixed. Both had their probloms solved.


    Anyway, I took in into the dealer - who had yet to experience this (always nice to be the first...NOT!) and after a day called to tell me that they need to get the factory rep down and couldn't do anything with it for a few days, so I could leave it there or get it. So, I got it, used it for the weekend and returned it mid-following-week, where they held it for a few days, then told me they had to order a, again, I could get it or leave it. So I got it again and a week later left it for a day to replace the XM unit.


    But, when I picked it up, as I was pulling out turning left from the dealer, I noticed that the underside of the steering had a nice scratch in the leather. So, I turned it around and, long story short, left them with an "I'll call you tomorrow to discuss this further" from the lead service manager. I was pissed (espcially after just returning a VW Touareg under the lemon law after it spent 35+ days in the shop over the first year and was 'scratched' and had other damage done to it while it was in the shop so many times...>ARRRGHHHH!!), but he called me the next day and said that they would replace the wheel.


    So, I went in a few days later, but waited for it - and watched and chatted with the mechanic as he did it - nice guy. We figured out that someone had taken the car for a drive (around 10 miles if I remember correctly) even though that repair did not require one (just put the new unit in, turn it on and see if the traffic data is on) and he was not it - he says he fixed it, backed it up 20 feet and parked it.


    Anyway, at that point, I just wanted to get things fixed and move on....and I'll likely go to another dealer for service....we'll see.


    But, I did have the same problem.....
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    couch comment is not as bad as:


    “It could be the best car, but I would still not buy it because it has the VW logo and because I have to go to a VW dealership where the salesmen are used to selling Jettas and Golfs”.


    Audi VP of NA, Axel Mees, was dismissed.
  • I keep hearing that the lug patterns are new on the new RL and I can't seem to find anyone manufacturing anything in 18" for this...does anyone know of anyone out there offering anything. I was looking to spend about $2-3k on a set of 4 tires and wheels, if that's doable with something nice.


    Also, while here - does anyone know if the RL can take 19" (and would anyone want to, or is upgrading to 18" good enough?)?


    Thanks for any info!



    Silver/Black, 7 weeks old, almost 3,500 miles already.
  • Though the stock brakes are ok, they are nothing special. They are good at keeping almost no brake dust on the wheels (my last Touareg and 528 created so much of it, especially on the front wheels, but the RL's are still relatively clean after almost 4k), but I'd like to upgrade them...any ideas?


    And, do 'stock' acura brakes fit, or will I run into the same problem I am having finding wheels with this lug nut/hub change they did?


    Thanks again for any info!


  • r2917r2917 Posts: 67
    Um, you say you can't comment on the RL but you DID. You made many comments on the 2005 RL saying it isn't Lexus-like, doesnt have enough torque, the AWD doesnt help, etc. Go back and read your post. Actually, here is a quote of what you said:



    "The new RL does not impress me at all. It does not have the look. (try to find it quickly on the large parking lot between other cars). It is smaller everywhere, the engine has the same problem as the prior version, too little torque to be called sporty. For the same money (around $50K) you can get much better cars with a higher resale value and higher overall appeal. The 05 RL is neither BMW-like nor Lexus-like. The all wheel drive does not help the fact that it still drives like a front wheel drive vehicle. Shorter wheelbase than the 04 model does not help on a highway. Trunk is so small that any longer trip requires careful planning with your baggage. While the SH drive is better than a typical front wheel car, it is not even close to the experience of a luxury rear wheel drive competitors.





    May I offer a suggestion? Drive the car before making comments on it. All it does by commenting on a product you have no use with is make your opinion flat out useless and full of ignorance.


    BTW having been around Lexus sedans for the last 10 years I can tell you the 2005 RL IS Lexus-like. It is damn close to the level of the LS430 (but with superior handling) and the LS is the definition of Lexus.


    Oh and I like "the look" of the new RL. It is very nice to me. Also, its acceleration is pretty good. I have had no problems wiht getting the car going while on the highway or around town.
  • r2917r2917 Posts: 67
    Nice post.


    As for my situation, I know it wasn't the ABS. I know when ABS is working and this slight hesitation didn't happen while braking as it happened during a drive around a bend. It could be the traction control but I would think a light would come on for that.


    It may just be the tranny shifting at an awkward point. All I know is it isn't a big deal.
  • I have no problem with your posting here. In fact,your posts are object lessons in subjectivity. As teenagers, we all had expressed ourselves with minimum forethought. Just think what path your comments might have taken had you actually driven the '05RL! Perhaps your reluctance to test drive it stems from the fear of liking it, thereby removing the negative bias that you seem to embrace. Then, you might not bring yourself to post at all.


       "I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judgment for not agreeing with me, despite the illogic of his stance."


    - Anonymous
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's not make this personal. We are all entitled to express our opinions here. Believe it or not, driving a vehicle is not a requirement to have and express some thoughts about it.


    By the same token, we are all entitled to decide which opinions to value and which to overlook. However, deciding that someone's opinion is not of value does NOT mean you are entitled to attack the person who expressed it.


    Let's just talk about the cars and not each other.
  • " can get a car that is either better driving, or....."




       This poster never drove this car. Check out the above excerpt from his post. The aesthetic comments are one thing, the negative comment on the car's performance quite another.


       However you view my infraction (and I deem it to have been small), this poster's allusion to the car's driving performance, when he hasn't driven it, cries out for a gentle put-down.


       Must I go to my room? -:)


       Happy New Year, Pat!
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