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Acura RL



  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    I just bought a 98 RL Navi and wonder what the latest database and software versions are. I have a Database Ver.: ADB0372
    Software Ver.: 3.42

    Does anyone know if they will publish an update later this year?
  • sburke7sburke7 Posts: 37
    is here,,,some refinements?,,,is listed on acura web-site,,,

  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    I believe yours is a CD/Hard-disk based Nav system. Each one of those CDs cover only certain portions of the US.

    The NAVs after that, are DVD based, with one DVD convering the entire continental US.

  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    Yeah, tha'ts right. I want to know, what is the latest update? BTW I have been told the updates are free and I have been told they cost about $100. I know the DVD updates cost money but I understand the "regional" hard disk based systems are updated for free.
  • I have a 2000 RL and some scratches are showing up. Last weekend during routine oil change, the dealer applied a special paste and polished the surface, and to my amazement, the scratches were gone! There are a few more I would like to polish off. Does anyone know of a reliable polish I can buy locally? ( I asked the dealer, but he said it was a commercial Honda product and not available in retail)

    Also, sometime back I had read on the list of a product called 'Zano' for surface protection. Has anyone on the board used it? If so, is it worth buying?
  • The product that you heard of is "Zaino" and can be found at

    I also have a 2000RL and have used Zaino since the car was new and it is a great product.
    I have also used it on a 1988 Mercedes (paint was in great shape to begin with) and the finish is fantastic.

    For more discussion on Zaino, search Town Hall using "Zaino" and you will find many discussions.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    I am not aware of the updation policy of the pre-2000 Nav systems. Your best bet would be to contact the local dealer and ask for their opinion.

  • My husband and I are looking at '99 RLs at a local dealer. They had about 5 on the lot. The salesman said we could get one for about $24,000 (sticker $26,900) with 34,000 miles on it. How much lower can we get this car for? I think that $22-$23,000 is possible....what do you all think?

    Also, we are wondering if we should wait until some 2000 models come off lease?

    Also, why is this an unpopular car? I guess that is good for those of us who want to buy a preowned one, but I'm just curious.

    And, lastly, what does everyone on the board think about this car as a reliable used car? My husband doesn't care at all about status names (even though he's a doc and has been told he should be driving a Mercedes ;-) ) and he would be totally happy with a new Camry or Maxima but we are hoping to get a lot of years out of the Acura. I know I've asked a lot of questions, but I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
  • bdlfebdlfe Posts: 21
    $22-$23 is good, considering brand new 2002 are going for I think $35 (w/o navi) according to Edmunds and right now some areas are having great finance deals (2.9%??)

    The RL is unpopular because it's is dated, looks like the old Legend and has about the same power for a car that's almost 10 years old. The new Accord has way more. And I believe the MSRP has been about the same ever since it came out in 96. Most people that get luxury level end up with a other brands and gladly pay the extra $5-$10K over.

    I was considering this last year but it was slightly out of my range even with the great deals they had/have on it, They quote me a price of $39 with the navi for a 2002 at the end of last year, I think it's cheaper now. It was slightly underpowered but it felt really luxurious over a TL/Type S, which had way more power but the TL was smaller inside and some parts looked like a slightly bigger Accord.

    I'm sure it is very reliable (it is made in Japan, unlike most other Acura's that now have the extended warranty for the faulty transmission.) Why not get the 2002, I think it's a damn great deal, still thinking about it myself!! It's like middle ground between every other car out there.

    Good luck.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    Coincidentally, the Acura cars with their "extended warrantied transmissions", had their 5-speed transmissions sourced exclusively from Japan. That is the only component that is reported to have failed among the hundreds of thousands of vehicles sold, the failure rate (1.6%) being more than Honda's traditional low failure limits (0.2% ??), even though well under the regular Auto Industry limits. No US built/installed component has ever failed in all these cars, primarily I suppose due to the high manufacturing standards in the non-union US Honda plants being a replica of those that are there in Japan. In fact, no Japanese Plant in the US (Nissan/Honda/Toyota) is unionized, which IMHO, is the real bane of manufacturing excellence, with a "wink and a nod" to shipping out shoddily assembled products (Luckily does not happen in the non-Unionized North American Japanese plants - yet).

    An engineering analysis of the cause of the failure of the transmissions was done, and the "faulty" component corrected sometime during last year and hence the latest cars arriving are free of this "problem".

  • Thanks, bdlfe, for the reply. Still interested in what others have to say about the value of an RL as a used vehicle.

    Concerning, the Certified Preowned Warranty coverage, the salesman said that for $700 we can get a "wraparound" bumper to bumper coverage to 100,000 miles or 6 years, I believe. Does this literally mean, any little thing that goes wrong will be covered? For instance, stereo, air conditioning, power windows, etc? Does anyone have experience with this additional wraparound coverage and the ease of getting things fixed when needed? With this coverage, can we literally count on not putting any money into this car other than regularly scheduled maintenance?? This is a very important aspect which will motivate us to either buy the preowned Acura or a brand new vehicle. Right now, our '94 Jeep GC (80,000 miles)is starting to have problems every few months.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    The Honda warranty is comprehensive so far as extended warranties go, but it's really a no-brainer for them since the cars have such a low failure rate. You can check with the service manager (at most dealerships these are pretty knowledgeable) and ask about specific items. What it does not include are wear items (brakes, mufflers, wipers, accident or abuse, etc.), but you won't get that in any warranty, new or used.

    For me, if the CarFax report came back clean and, especially, if the dealership was able to show me the service records (i.e., a trade-in) I don't think I'd even spring for the warranty. No need to worry about 100k in a "normal" Honda, in my mind. Now, if they offered it to 200k, that would be different story but no such luck.

    In any case, your ownership experience will be DRASTICALLY different from owning a Jeep unless you are one of the rare, unlucky ones.

    Good luck.
    Joe W.
  • Thanks, Joe, for the info. We're trying to negotiate the RL to $23,000 with the extended coverage. My husband likes to drive his cars for several years and will probably keep this for 5 or 6 years. Actually, we have one of the earlier model Jeep Grand Cherokees that hasn't given us as many problems as the recent model years. The main things that have gone are the air conditioning and water pump. We're just afraid of what will occur now after the 80,000 mile mark. We've been loyal Toyota owners in the past but have no experience with a Honda product. Hoping for a good experience.
  • nicke1nicke1 Posts: 9
    I bought a 96 RL with 35,000 miles on it 4 years ago. The dealer also tried to talk me out of the extended warranty which then cost me about $1,000. I am glad I bought it. No major problems, but it does not take long to get to $1000 in repairs even for a car as well built at the RL. I even had my brakes replaced because a covered item caused them to wear. If a warranty item fails and causes other damage or impact that is covered also. If you can get a warranty for $700 my recommendation,(imho), is buy it.
  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    This is weird. My (new to me) 98 RL just over heated this morning. I happened to notice the temp gauge and saw it approaching "H" within two miles of home. Lucky for me, I pass my garage on my way to town so I pulled in and had them check it out.

    There was no water in the overflow tank and no hot air would come out of the AC vents (I had turned on the heat for the last mile in an attempt to cool the engine). There was no water in my driveway and the car had a new water pump/timing belt 18 months and 25,000 miles ago.

    They filled the radiator and have run it for an hour at 2000 rpm without a leak. What's up with that?
  • Thanks to those who gave me advice here. My husband and I just made a deal on a '99 RL with 33,000 miles on it and in almost perfect condition. The retail price on it was $27,000 and we were able to negotiate the price to $23,300 including new mud guards, minor paint touch-ups and professional leather repair for a scratch in the back seat leather. We also got the extended certified wrap-around bumper to bumper coverage which will cover us for almost 4 more years. The dealership definitely wanted to move the RL's. All in all, it was a very pleasant experience.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Just make sure your baseball players don't slide into base then expect a ride 'home'!

    Sorry, I guess I should have resisted more.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    If there is no water leaking outside the engine, you may have an internal leak. It could be a head gasket, a cracked head, or a cracked block. Check the oil for signs of antifreeze/water. If there is none, than the water may be going into the combustion chamber, and out the exhaust. White smoke at startup may be a tipoff. Find a mechanic who can pressure test your cooling system. Good luck!
  • poonsspoonss Posts: 7
    You might have a malfunctioning - "stuck closed" thermostat but it has unstucked itself. The coolant will only circulate inside the engine if it is stuck closed and it will cause the engine to overheat. First drain the cooling system including the engine block and remove the thermostat and test it.
  • goldkeygoldkey Posts: 36
    Edmunds just posted overview for "new" 03 RL. Boy,
    they gave them hell - No luxury and no performance. Pretty damning. But I think is fair. As everything is relative. Note, when basically the same car came out back in 96 it got great reviews, but with every year as RL remained basically unchanged while things around it did, the reviews got less and less positive and more critical. Which is to be expected. What was good for 1996, is only so so for 2003. That's in line with developments inthe auto industry. I hope criticism keeps up and forces Acura to reinstate rebate for 03 model without long ado. The official $43K price is ridiculous. 02s went for 35K. Why should 03 be a penny more is only a rhetorical question. If anything, it should be even less than 02. I mean, there was no penny spent for R&D on this model so the production costs should only decrease with model's age as original R&D costs are spread over more years.
    So, are we talking about 33K? Bring it up.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Though I really like my RL, this is the first review of this car that I can actually agree with! At least you didn't spend your time complaining about the lack of a V8 -- this review acknowledges the car's strengths and condemns its real weaknesses -- riding a good horse until it profits. My dealer is excellent in service, but Acura is just lazy and money-grubbing to go so long without a new, truly ground-breaking upgrade. Those dummies even missed the economic opportunity to claim a portion of the luxury market during the economy's good times. No one, except maybe the day-traders, thought it would last till 2004 or 2005.

    Suggestion: you'd better get some hints coming out soon if you want to grow interest for next year. Either that or just drop the model as there's no need for it if you just keep playing the same song.

    Joe W.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I think the Edmunds reviewers overlook some strengths of the 3.5RL vs the competition. It is much more reliable than the "exciting" German and English luxury cars. The Acura TL leather interior resembles vinyl, and the ES300 seat cushons are short. The ES300 has a five spped automatic, but the Edmunds ES300 website has a posting about a class action lawsuit because some owners dislike the hesitation with the downshifts. The RL interior is much more comfortable, and much higher quality. I drive in the snow belt, and the Lexus and Infiniti rear drive cars are a problem in the snow. Friends tell me it is common to see LS400's spun out in the median strips of Chicago's freeways in the wintertime.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I have searched and could not find the review. Can anyone help?

    Goldkey, if you want to buy an 03 RL (w/o nav) for less than 35k, you might have to wait 9 to 10 months. However, within the next few months, I guess they will selling them at or about 36-37k.

    I was really interested in buying an 02 RL in September, but my experience with the dealers turned me off. A few weeks ago, I bought an 03 Maxima GLE (my third Maxima). Great car, awesome speed, but not as quiet and luxurious as the RL, and the ride is a tad bumpy over bad roads. May be I will buy the next generation RL, depending on how they are equipped and priced.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    To find the Edmunds 03RL review:
    Go into
    Click on New
    Click on Acura
    Click on 2003 RL
    Click on 3.5 4 dr sedan
    Click on Overview
    Scroll down past editor's summary to Overview
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    "The new Accord's V6, in contrast, is quite modern and boasts 260 hp despite being smaller in displacement."

    That's incorrect. The Accord makes an advertised 240hp, and allegedly makes 250 with premium gas.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I totally disagree with you: I feel the ES 300 interior is far superior in quality to the RL (and I do think the RL is nice). Edmunds themselves said being inside a $35,000 ES 300 gives you the feeling that you spent $70,000.

    Also, I know several people with RWD Lexus models that do not have problems in the snow. My mother has driven two GS 300s for the past eight years and has never gotten stuck (the traction control works wonders).

    By the way, when the GS gets redesigned next year it will offer AWD.
  • goldkeygoldkey Posts: 36
    Whatever Edmunds says about their inner feelings inside ES300 (pun intended), I always feel like I am in perked up Camry. Maybe that's because I have had Camries. ES300 just can't shake up the association. Hm, I am wondering why. Guess what!? It's because ES300 IS a perked up Camry. Another trick is - if you compare current Camry with previous ES300 they are even more alike. Works every cycle. Or I'd put it another way. See today's ES300 and you know what tomorrow's Camry will be like. Works all the time. If you like ES300, wait a year or two and you can buy it as Camry for much less.
    $70K "feel" my [non-permissible content removed]. Try press that pedal on ES300 and you'll be very quick down to Earth feeling like you spent 22K.
  • namroknamrok Posts: 18
    Please advise on what I should pay for a '99 RL 3.5 with 20,500 miles, certified from an Acura dealer. (Gold, in exc condition) Is an extension of the warranty a good idea. The current warranty would go out 20 months bumper to bumper.

    Thanks in advance!

  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I hope they can keep the sporty feel when they add the AWD. In the meantime, it would be nice if Acura would offer a version of the RL with a stiffer suspension (maybe a knockoff of the ES300 adjustable suspension). Be well.
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