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Acura RL



  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I own two GM cars as I save up for my 3.5 RL. Both of them have had issues with starting on cold, damp days especially after having set outside overnight. In each case, I replaced the plug wires, and the starting and cold running were much improved. Hope this helps.
  • poonsspoonss Posts: 7
    This morning was about 15 degree and the wind chill factor is below zero, I parked my 2000RL outside overnight.
    It started on the first crank, and I drove it off after a few seconds. My other car have a cold start problem this winter (6 years old battery) and I changed the battery and the problem went away. I would change the battery if it is over three year old and it may solve your problem. YMMV
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    below zero here. And I have trouble starting, too! Just can't seem to get excited about going out in this. These cars are very intelligent....

    I've had this happen a couple of times, not always. Just a guess: it may be the computer resetting itself and fuel/ignition systems resetting themselves for what those in the shadow of Mt. Fuji think of as "extreme" conditions. When you get in the car in the morning, try saying: "Mush, you huskies."

    The cold is making me slap happy. I'm thinking of starting a herd of reindeer or caribou just so I can be relevant.

  • tjonestjones Posts: 9
    Does anyone know where I can find a service manual for a 2000 RL?

    Also, what does everyone use to clean and maintain the wood surfaces on the interior?

    Finally, has anyone found a good place to mount a radar detector in the RL? The only place that I can find is to use suction cups to mount it to the windshield.
  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    You can only buy new manuals at: sid=R02X67EMC0V79NVGWUM9NBSBB9EC30E6

    Pledge works well for the wood.

    A radar detector should be mounted on the windshield. I put mine in the middle just below the RVM.
  • tjonestjones Posts: 9
    Thank you for the response. When I follow the link to HelmInc and enter 2000 RL service manual, it says no items found. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks.
  • tjonestjones Posts: 9
    I have a 2000 RL NAVI. I am wondering if I have the most up to date DVD version. Has there been an updated DVD version since 2000? If so, is it worth getting the newer version (i.e. are there more areas covered, more detail in certain areas, more restaurants, etc.)? What is the price of the update?
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    There were at least 2 updates since the 2000 NAV DVD. I believe the version the 2000 NAV had was 1.09 or so. I still have my 2000 DVD in my 3.2TL and find that the coverage in and around my area and for the journey's I make, is perfectly fine. I believe Alpine is coming up with a huge update in the spring or so, that would give street level coverage for every city in the US. I might wait around for that, before upgrading.

  • I just put some new Dunlop SP Sport A2 on my '98 RL. I choose 225 instead of 215 while staying with 60 height (225/60-16). My Acura dealer said there would be no problem with this slightly wider tire. I love these tires. They handle and perform much better than the OEM tires. A good amount of body roll has also been removed from the car.

    Even though the OEM tires are V-rated and these are H-rated, I don't see any downside to this. I have not noticed any negatives from this. I also don't drive ridiculous speeds and drive mostly intown and short interstate rides to work and back. NTB claimed that an H-rated tire will give up 10 feet of braking distance compared to a V-rated tire. Is this true? Of course he said this would only apply in a very hard braking situation.

    The car just feels like its on the road more. The steering is for sure better. I haven't driven them in the rain yet, but I'm sure they'll perform better there too. My area does not get much snow/ice, so I'm not too concerned about the snow performance.

    As a curios side not, is anyone using the Michelin Pilot XGT V4/Z4 tire? If so, what do you think as compared to the OEM Michelin tires?

  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    Pilot XGT-V4/Z4 would be noisier than the stock tires and also the Dunlop SP Sport A/2.

    Your 225/60R16 tires are both taller and wider than the 215/60R16. The "60" is the aspect ratio which determines the height of the sidewall. It means 60 percent of 215 or 225 as the case may be.

    SP Sport A/2 is okay, as long as your speeds don't exceed 130mph, due to its "H" rating.

  • I picked up the Puralator cabin filters today. There are two filters in the carton....both for $21.99. Installation instructions were included specific to the RL. They were very similar to yours, but yours were more detailed.

    I'm curious to see how dirty the original filters are with 30,000 miles on them. Except for the heating season, I keep it in the recirculate mode, which should keep most of the nasties from entering the interior. No one smokes in the car.
  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    I don't get it. It seems the 2000 is not available. I can find info on the 98,99 but not the 2000. In fact, there are only two manuals available for the 2000. Maybe they only become available after the warranty has run out. I don't know but the people at Helms will surely know.
  • tjonestjones Posts: 9
    for the help with my questions. It is nice to finally find somewhere that people discuss the RL.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    if your proposed changes are really what the new RL would be, and add AWD, then my "need" for a Jaguar XJ8L or a MB E430 4motion would evaporate, as the Acura would be the car for the next 10 years, in addition, of course, to my "gas guzzling, environment-killing, risk transferring, pollution belching, baby-killing SUV and pickup truck," when I finally obtain them...:):):)

  • retnavretnav Posts: 25
    Because of what appears to be an ever decreasing used car valuation I am investigating moving to a Mercedes Benz E-320. Do we have any former MB owners who have moved to RL who will give a comparison evaluation? When I asked this question on the MB board I got few replies, but one said the main difference is the German vs the Japanese ride. I test drove one new E-320 and there is a difference, the 320 seemed heavier though the specs indicate the RL to be heavier. How about rear wheel drive. Any advantages? Appreciate your comments.
  • Retnav,

    You're really talking about 2 entirely different cars and the way they are designed. I have a 2000 Acura RL and a 1998 MB E320. You are absolutely right about resale value. There is no way that the MB will depreciate as quickly as the Acura. You're going to pay about 15-20K more for the MB though (for the E320 not the E500). The Acura is more of a cruising car. It is heavier, has a longer wheelbase, and both steering and suspension are toned down to reflect this type of ride.
    The E-series, even in the 320, is a sport sedan. It is far quicker, more responsive, tighter in ride, and fast. The E feels more solid even though it is the lighter of the 2 cars. It rides like it is on rails. It is by far the best car I have ever owned. I don't know what they do at MB, but I hope they keep doing it.
    The RL is a great car. You just have to realize the difference in design, and the ultimate end result of the product that Honda makes. I have owned several Honda products. They last, they are reliable, and they are generally affordable. I think the RL is a bit overpriced, even though it is wonderfully appointed. Mid to low 30's would be where I would put it to be more competitive in the luxury sedan market. Resale is not great. Buy this car and keep it. Don't sell it in a couple of years. The RL has lost many sales to MB, BMW, Infiniti, etc. because Honda really doesn't know what it wants this car to be. It's their flagship, yet it doesn't have their best engine (V-Tech). It's heavy, and it doesn't have a V-8. It could be better insulated to road noise. I have had some rattles and I also have a cold start problem that seems to be getting better with new plugs. It is a very, very comfortable car that I spend lots of time in.
    Would I buy another?? Probably not. I will probably spend the extra money to get a little more on resale, and to have a better engineered car. Mercedes will be more expensive to service, but so far all I've done are scheduled items. If you can afford to I would get the E. Especially the new 2003 redesigned E. I haven't driven it, but I hear it is amazing. Good luck with your purchase.
  • Hi. I have a 96 RL with about 130M miles on it. I bought it in Dec of 2000 with about 63M miles on it. Because I've driven it so much, I'm ridiculously upside-down on the car loan.

    Does anyone else have an RL with a lot of miles? The guy at the dealer swears he has RLs coming in with over 300M miles on them, but he usually says this whenever he's trying to sell me a $1000 maintenance job. I believe his exact words were "Treat 'em right and they'll last you forever."

    With all the cash rebates and cheap financing around nowadays, I'm debating between taking the trade-in hit right now and just holding onto the car until the end of the loan. I have 3 years left on the loan (12/2005 is the final payment).


  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    M = mega = million. so you have an RL with 130 million miles! I think not.

    K = kilo= thousand. Yep, 130,000 miles is more like it.

    Nothing will last forever, but you can hope to run it fairly economically for several hundred thousand miles more, but you will have to spend for maintenance, and keep up with the routine stuff meticulously.
  • Thanks.

    I hear what you're saying about the M and K. For whatever reason, M is used for thousand at my company. MM is for million, and I think BB is for billion. Weird ...

  • Viper,

    You're considering getting a new $35K vehicle because you're "upside down" in your current vehicle? Dealers love to make people think they're better off trading in an upside down car so that they can put you further in debt. The amount you owe on your current vehicle isn't going to change and the market value of this car isn't going to miraculously go up when you trade or sell it. My guess is you'll pay at least $2K in taxes and fees that get you nothing with the new wheels and the minute you drive off the show room floor, your depreciation will be $3K to $4K at least - and I haven't even mentioned the higher insurance premiums and interest costs. Throw the $5K to $6K you would have wasted in fees and depreciation on a new RL at your current debt (even if you have to pay it a month at a time along with your regular payment) and drive that thing til the wheels come off! It should easily take you another 100K.

    (BTW by K I mean 1,000 - Had to get that one in)
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    This wouldn't be an engineering company now would it. Because small m would be short for milli which is one thousandth of a meter, and somehow to reduce confusion somebody had the idea of using M and MM to differentiate.

    Just nitpicking though, and thus not important.

    Anyway, RLs are darn nice cars, and will run for a long time if taken care of. At some point though, you will need to sink in a lot more than what it will be worth. Not counting the routine stuff, take care about the timing belt, because breaking it will mean a new engine (mucho dinero).
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    If money is the issue: you'll do best by thousands of dollars to drive the RL until they take it away in a bucket. Click n Clack (the Tappet Bros. on NPR) did a study of the financial advantages of keeping a car: if you can keep the car for 10-12 years, you'll make out just fine.

    Think of it this way: each year now, because your car has 130k on it, you'll be putting in $1000 or $1500 in repairs. This is what you'd pay in new car payments in two or three months! And so what if the car isn't worth a lot: you don't have to pay megabux for collison and you don't have to pay heavily for excise tax (in most states).

    In fact, if you put the money for a new car in a decent bond fund you can get the dividends to pay for your repairs and still have the cash left to buy the next car! If not, make payments to yourself in the same bond fund so that when the RL bites the dust you'll have enough to pay cash for your next ride.

    And, btw, why are you taking it to the dealer? Surely you can find a good independent mechanic in your area who can perform the services and repairs quite a bit less expensively than can a dealer.

  • gearheadd - Good point on the taxes and fees. They do offset some of the rebates and/or interest savings.

    vcheng - I work at a bank. Who knows why they use this weird way? It was annoying at first, but now I'm used to it. I changed my timing belt at 90M, so I guess I'll have to do it again at 180M.

    JW - I still have 3 years worth of loan payments left. If I didn't, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The thought of paying $400 per month AND the $1000-1500 per year in maintenance/repairs is what's killing me.

    As for going to the dealer for service, I guess I'm a sucker those letters you get in the mail. "No one knows your Acura better than our factory trained technicians!"

    I know it's baloney but I try to rationalize it by telling myself that I'm paying a premium for peace of mind. If that makes any sense ...

  • Viper,

    Come on, you know better if you work in the financial field. Unless you plan on paying $400/month for the rest of your years and you have no dependents to worry about (which might be the case), it really doesn't matter what the monthly payment is. What matters is what the car's worth and what the outstanding debt is. Buying a new vehicle isn't going to change this. If you live for the day by simply scraping together enough for the "monthlys" go for it. But I hope that bank doesn't have a mandatory retirement age.
  • Blood bank? Funny. It's actually an investment bank (without a mandatory retirement age!).

    I'm glad that most of you are against getting a new car. I need you guys to poke holes in my argument for leasing a new 9-3.

    Doing the math here might be uselss since this deal ends on Friday and I don't want to rush anything but here are the numbers:

    A new 9-3 leases for 300 per month for 36 months. My monthly car payment is 400 per month and I have about 36 loan payments to go.

    So far I'm up $3600.

    The lease has 1000 due at signing and I'll probably lose another 4000 on the trade-in. Let's just throw in another 1000 for taxes and fees.

    Now I'm down $2400 (3600 - 6000).

    The Saab has no charge maintenance for 3 years, whereas I'll probably have to put in about $1500 per year on RL. That's about $4500 in maintenance/repairs for the next three years.

    Now I'm up $2100 (4500 - 2400).

    At the end of three years, I get nothing from the Saab whereas I can sell the RL for around $4000.

    At the end of 3 years, it looks like I'll be net down around $2000.

    $2000 is still $2000. It's not chump change and I'm not a millionaire. At the same time, spending an additional $2000 over the course of three years for the peace of mind that my wife is driving a new car instead of a car with 130m miles on it doesn't sound too terrible.

    Okay, boys. There you have it. Now, rip my argument to shreds.

    I think the biggest weakness in my case is that I could lose more than 4000 on the trade-in today and sell it for more than 4000 at the end of the 3 years.


  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Well one factor is the rate of accruing mileage. If it is way over 12-15 thousand per year, then a lease might be a very expensive idea. Then again, if you are driving the RL only 8-10 thousand a year, why change it then if it has been well maintained?
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    At the rate you are going, looks like you will use up the lease allowance mileage in just over one year assuming 12k/yr. After that, I believe you pay maintenance out of pocket. To save the $1500 a year maintenance on the RL, I am sure you can find a good mechanic specializing in Hondas and save maybe half. When you add every together, keeping the RL may be a wiser choice.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    where you pay off the loan. Some 'magic' here? Your payments are 14400, so my guess is that you owe about 12000.

    What I'd suggest (and do, myself): sell the RL for what you can get, hopefully with your high mileage about the same as the loan -- $12000 or so.

    Buy a '98 or '99 4 cyl. Accord or Camry with low mileage; because it's low mileage and a reliable car, it shouldn't cost you maintenance; get your loan at a Credit Union (about 4.5%); continue to pay $400/month to pay off the low interest loan, then after the loan is paid off pay the same amount to yourself for five more years.

    Sorry if this sounds harsh. But your way of thinking is going to lead you into problems that will be more painful than car payments.

    And no, I wouldn't have said it if you hadn't asked.

  • Vcheng/px260 - I hear ya on the mileage. The only reason I'm even considering a lease is because I expect the number of miles driven will dramatically come down in a few months. This was priced into my hoping to sell the RL in 3 years for around $4000. So, it's pretty much a wash.

    Jwilson - My paying off the loan was included in the part where I said that I would probably take a $4000 hit on the trade in. 12000 is a very good guess. I owe a little less than 13000. Edmunds says that I can get around 9000 on a trade-in. That's where the -4000 came from.

    I'm all for buying a car and driving it for ten years. If someone buys a new car and drives the average 12,500 miles for ten years, that only comes out to a 125,000 mile car. Assuming that the guy financed it for 5 years, from around 60,000 miles on, all he has to do is pay for maintenance and repairs. Who cares about paying $1500 in year in maintenance if you don't have any car payments? It's a no brainer.

    The reason my situation is different is that I bought a used car with 60,000 miles, financed it over 5 years, and put miles on it like miles were going out of style. So, now I'm paying the car loan and the expensive manintenance on a car that has 130,000 miles. This is the part that really bothers me.

    If the car market wasn't so poor, the temptation to trade out of my car wouldn't be so great. However, with all the incentives and cheap loans/leases, the hit that I take to trade is getting smaller and smaller (although it can never go to 0).

    So, does my -$2000 figure in the end still stand, assuming the mileage comes down? I've included paying off the car loan in the trade in. There are a lot of varibles that can change though.

    I expect the RL to have around 160,000 miles by the end of 2005 (when I'm done with the loan). I guess I could drive it without car payments then. Assuming the car last that long ...

    I hate the fact that GM's practically giving these 9-3s away though ...

    Good night, folks.

  • Don't worry about sounding harsh. People come here to get info and opinions, not to make friends! =)

    Like I said in my previous, I'm all for holding onto a car forever.

    If this was an emotional decision, the RL would have gotten the boot a long time ago.

    I'm just trying to compare cash inflows and outflows for both scenarios to see if leasing the 9-3 is that much more expensive that driving an RL with 130,000 miles for 3 years.

    I'm not asking whether it is better to lease or to finance or buy new vs. buy used. I think my particulat situation (miles, loan, maintenance) in conjunction with the cheap 9-3 lease allows me to make a valid comparison.


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