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Acura RL



  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    and technology of refining has gone so so far ahead... then again, its a question of demand and supply.

    where can you find anything above 91? mostly along the eastern seaboard. Sunoco/Amoco often market the 94 and like ultra or something.

    i am pro higher octane use even if people vehemently tell me otherwise. Irrespective of what your car manufacturer tells you, remember, that's the minimum they are specifying. As a son of a person who worked in petroleum for 34 straight years, i will always buy 91 or more if i can afford it. lately, i've been selling my clothes to buy ;)

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    87-89-93 is what we have here in PA. (Sunoco does sell 94, but only my dads Austin Healy 3000 actually NEEDS 94). As for the "minimum octane" thing, here's the actual truth. Cars that dont require it, will get absolutely no benefit from premium gas. You're literally just flushing money down the drain. Modern cars that supposedly require it are able to run fine on plain gas, they have sophisticated enough engine management computers and knock sensors to deal with 87 gasoline. The worst that will happen is you lose maybe 10hp. Thats said, I do use premium in my LS and XKR :)
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    There is no point in using higher octane, but waste of money, if the engine isn’t design to use it. Higher compression engines require higher octane to prevent knocking. In fact, C&D had dynoed several engines with regular and premium gasoline. Some cars showed slightly higher output with premium, while some others (including 1998-2002 Accord I-4) showed a drop in power with premium.

    RL is likely going to have a high compression engine (10.5:1 or greater), and will require at least 91-octane. Here in Dallas, most pumps don’t have 91, but 93 (the regular and mid-grade being 87 and 89 respectively).
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    If the RL, for example, requires 91 or higher octane, it is not likely that the engine won't "run" on lower octane; but, with less than premium, the engine management system will prevent, or die trying, engine damage from pre-ignition. Of course the way this often is accomplished is with the simple time tested good ol boy method -- crank the distributor cap backwards to retard the spark.

    OOOOps, wrong decade -- now the engine management computer advances the spark to the onset of ping and in amazing real time should keep the engine a full boil regardless of the octane that is used -- with the following issues:

    1. If the car is designed to run on 91 or higher and one uses, say, 89, the power of the engine will be reduced (that retarded spark thing, in effect)

    2. If the driver wants "x" amount of torque or thrust out of the engine, the driver will compensate for the retarded spark by depressing the go pedal further -- accomplishing two things, more or less supplying the power called upon and increasing the use of fuel (decreasing the milage)

    3. Now, if the engine is said to be suited for 91 octane -- OR HIGHER -- often you will see in the fine print, that the torque of the engine is somewhat lower with 91 octane than with 93 or 94 (German cars sometimes list the torque or accelerative times based on the octane, e.g.) -- and the reason for this is that with 93 octane in the 91 octane engine, the spark is advanced, which increases the power.

    Finally, the compression ratio is or at least USUALLY is a dead giveaway as to the need and/or efficacy of using premium gas. But, let me note this -- the new 3.2L Audi engine has a compression ratio that exceeds 12:1 and the thing is said to run happily on regular -- this engine, however is of a design called Fuel Stratified Injection (sometimes just called direct injection).

    Now, don't get me started down the path of "why" -- I am a Systems Engineer, not an Internal Combustion Engineer -- but the stuff I have read says that cheaper gas works just fine in an FSI engine (but that the gas must be "super clean.")

    The 2005 RL, as far as I know will have a relatively high compression ratio and will not have FSI fuel injection -- so, chances are it will REQUIRE premium and for purposes of US sales, will probably be set to a 91+ requirement so that it can "do its thing" in all 50 states and Canada (and probably Mexico, too).
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >If the car is designed to run on 91 or higher and one uses, say, 89, the power of the engine will be reduced (that retarded spark thing, in effect<

    > If the driver wants "x" amount of torque or thrust out of the engine, the driver will compensate for the retarded spark by depressing the go pedal further -- accomplishing two things, more or less supplying the power called upon and increasing the use of fuel (decreasing the mileage)<

    Some very good posts gentlemen. Very informative as well.

    Mark, I must confess that over the last year I have put in 89 octane to see what would happen -- the dealer said it was OK to do. So far the engine hasn't fallen out, but then again, I have only done it a handful of times in the many years I have owned it.

    But I take your point and I think it correct. My Honda/Acura independent garage here, which uses employees that are all certified Honda/Acura mechanics said, as you did, that my running 89 was a false economy, because the car would use more gas in order to compensate for the lower octane it was fed. Premium fuel -- so be it.

    Nevertheless, I must say that when renting a car, or driving my sister's car, it sure is nice to pay that lower price for 87 octane.

    I think that the 91 octane we have here in California was borne of two factors: (1) we had to formulate out MTBE (however it is spelled) because it was deemed hazardous to the environment, and (2) we have very stringent air quality standards, which apparently requires a more complex refining process.

    Then there is the business of too few refineries. I heard on Neil Cavuto/Fox News today that more than 25 years have passed since a new refinery was built in the United States. Anyone know if that is true? Well, it wouldn'st surprise me. The big oil companies have had us over a barrel for years.

    Barrel - get it? Sorry, couldn't pass that one up.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    My sister-in-law wants a new RL. This is the car she wants-- no arguments. I'm shopping for her. What's the best price I can expect for a soon-to-be-extinct '04? I'm thinking at least $3,500 (the current incentive) below invoice-- or $37,645. I've seen a few posts in other forums that mentioned $10K off MSRP. Thoughts?

    (I know this is 'future models' discussion, but it was the only RL forum with recent posts. And I'm sure some of you RL enthusiasts will know the answer to this).
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >My sister-in-law wants a new (2004) RL. This is the car she wants-- no arguments. I'm shopping for her. What's the best price I can expect for a soon-to-be-extinct '04? I'm thinking at least $3,500 (the current incentive) below invoice-- or $37,645. I've seen a few posts in other forums that mentioned $10K off MSRP. Thoughts?<

    I would say that you could offer them just about anything remotely reasonable. In the last two years I have considered purchasing an '03 and and '04 RL. The salesmen, and their bosses, made it quite clear that they would take any reasonable offer. It was a given that they would be heavily discounting the car from the invoice, not the sticker price. The dealers all know this, and once they know that you know, you'll be in a much better place in order to bargain.

    As Consumer Reports says, bargain UP from the dealer cost, not DOWN from the MSRP, or sticker price. Remember that MSRP stands for Suggested Retail Price. That is, it's merely a suggestion. It is not the price of the vehicle unless you agree to pay it.

    I have found Consumer Report's $12 car pricing service to be pretty good at getting to the true cost to the dealer. That and Edmund', which sometimes shows current rebates and special offers.

    I would also be looking for low cost financing from Acura, in order to get rid of the '04 RLs sitting on the lot.

    One thing that has worked for me is to just pick up the phone and start negotiating with dealers other than the one you most prefer to buy from -- say, for example, one near your home or work. After 2 or 3 calls, starting with an obscenely low low-ball offer on your part, you should be able to ascertain what the car will be sold for by most dealers. Your opening offer should be so low that they will either laugh or choke. Start with $8K to $10K off the dealer price and see what happens. After they compose themselves, you come back with "OK, that's what I am willing to pay today -- what will your manager accept?" When they come back with the higher number, tell them that their number is too high, and then offer them a few hundred more than your original offer. If you stick to your guns, and don't blink, you might be shocked to see what the sales price will ultimately be. Don't be afraid to walk out of dealer if they are not coming around to your price.

    I'm sure you know that shopping in the last week of the month increases your leverage as the dealer seeks to get their sales numbers up in order to meet month end sales goals -- and those goals include total units sold, not just profits made. Every day that car sits on their lot it is costing them interest, hence their desire to sell the car this month, rather than next.

    When you do buy the car, please come back and let us know what you finally paid.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I understand your position, but I would still try and get her to make more considerations before making the final decision. Buying a car with blinders on is not a good idea. There's a reason for the super deflated prices, the current RL is just plain NOT COMPETITIVE. If she hasnt even bothered to consider an ES330, a TL, or maybe an S60\80, she's doing herself a disservice. If she absolutely must have the current RL for whatever reason, why new? Deflated sales and prices of new vehicles means used car residual takes a beating, which means, why not pick up a CPO Acura?
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    I disagree. If you like the RL, don't mind the stodgy styling, and don't need the latest technology, the 2004 RL will be an excellent car at an almost unbeatable price. It will be priced similar to the new TL, but will be quieter and have a couple of features not available on the TL.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    As mark stated in point # 3 and otherwise as you guys indirectly implied, it is not flushing money down the toilet. my dad was not a systems engineer and he knew his petroleum engineering really well ;) i trust his knowledge and the fact that i actually had to take a few mechanics and thermodynamics classes in my engineering school... the fact is you guys are talking about the half glass empty situation, i'm saying yes, but the half glass is full. higher octane gasoline lowers the knock, which essentially means, there are less skewed explosions and less random force vectors the engine piston has to deal with and that translates to better long term engine health and smoother piston motion plus better mileage and/or better horses/torque.

    worst case i'm wrong and i'm spending couple of bucks extra on my tank of gas and flushing it into a toilet, but it gives me peace of mind and some sanity and saves me 200 bucks later from not having to go to the shrink ;)

    and just to make this relevant to the RL, i will fill it up with 93 if I see a 93 gas station, that is if i like the RL and buy it after the first model year and the first few bugs have been taken care of.

  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    i disagree too, i think the my 2004 acura rl looks very statesquely "decent" even if boring and if not exciting... i know of many more people who are getting the left over RL's purely because the car looks quite decent (from outside only) even after being on the market several thousand years.... few cars can do that realistically speaking.

    as for the ES 330, bite me, pinch me, lynch me or stone me, but what's with that styling?? the last time another company made a bulbous, misformed, flying saucer like craft, they got hammered to death to a point where the said car dropped from being one of the three top sellers to being in the bottom 3 sellers (yes, you won the prize to guess, the taurus). the ES330 would have been hamered the same way if they would not have been lucky enough to have the lexus name when lexus is considered the most well built cars around.

    If people purely bought something for excitement and looks, es330 and camry would die faster than the blink of an eye.

    my 2 cents canadian$

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I for one do not think that using Premium in a car that is specified to use Premium is anything but good economic sense. The "false economy" argument fundamentally sums this all up -- and as noted you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the winds blows. I.E., you don't need to be a petro chemical engineer.

    The fact that the engine computer attempts to reduce the pre ignition does not, as far as I can tell, save money -- quite the contrary.

    Of course the engine that says "I am happy to run on regular" may not benefit from Premium either -- there are built in limits. If a car desgined to run on 87 or higher octane is fed 94 octane, there is probably not enough spark advance capable that would permit (or require) full "appreciation" for the extra octane. In that case, the money beyond -- perhaps 89 octane -- would be wasted. On the other hand, I know of no HARM that would happen if you used premo gas in a car that will run on regular -- other than the possible overpayment of some 10 or 20 cents per gallon -- and if you used 80 gallons a month, well you can figure out that although 10 cents too much is a waste (in the example discussed) it is hardly a life changing sum of money. Even at a nominal overpayment of 20 cents a gallon the absolute dollars wasted are small -- not unimportant, but just not big!
  • tls02tls02 Posts: 20
    In the NY area, Smithtown Acura is selling the 04 RL for about $37,000. Hope this helps. Let us know what she pays.
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    I don't know why the '04 RL gets bashed so much. To me it is a great looking car -- conservative and elegant inside and out. It also has plenty of techno gadgets to keep everyone interested. It also offers more room than the ES300,BMW ,etc. I've sat in all of those cars and to me the RL has the most comfy interior.

    Its 220+HP engine may not be a rocket but it's not a slow poke either. At mid 30K this car is a good value. For 40K plus I can see where it just wouldn't make sense at this time.

    Try an '04 demo with <5K miles... you get all of the warranty benefits, the new car smell, and a VERY nice price. Just look it over inside and out and test drive it well to make sure it has not been abused.

    Later this year I might look at a used '04 if the '05 doesn't knock my socks off. From the pictures I've seen the 05 just seems "nice" (and smaller) -- perhaps not worth the price premium it will command for the first year.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Well, my sister-in-law has a Vigor now, which she bought new and loves. So a 'dated' close-out 2004 RL will be a big improvement, yet familiar. The upcoming '05 RL will be more car than she needs. Just like her Vigor, this is going to be a ten-year car-- so reliability is a big issue. We're not considering Volvo or Audi. Only other car we might consider is an also soon-to-be extinct Lexus GS300-- if we can find a 'stripper' with leather and not much else.

    We'll consider a gently used or program car with <5,000 mi. But a quick check of shows at least 60 new RL's within a hundred miles. And she'd prefer it to be brand new. I'm definitely shooting for at least $3,500 under invoice. Just wondering how much lower is possible. I'm beginning to think quite a bit lower....
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What features, praytell, does a '96 era car have that the all new for '04 TL does not? Heywood, I know the ES certainly isnt for everyone, but it DOES look better than that awful bubble Taurus.

    If she needs a 10 year car, how about a CPO Lexus LS? There is no car on earth that will outlast that. The RL wont even come close. My '96 Lasted me 156,470 miles on the trade, and was trouble free all the way. CPO Lexus cars are covered to 100,000 total vehicle miles. You could get an '00 LS400 in the low 30s, and an '01 LS430 for just under 40, that would blow away any RL in EVERY feature, and be covered by the CPO warranty for roughly the same duration as a new Acura.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    You're absolutely right gteach26! I bought a new 99'RL in 99 and it served me well. The body style didn't change, it was trouble free, and everyone liked it's conservative styling which exuded an aura of understated, but very evident, sophistication. Anticipating the introduction of the 05' RL - I sold my 99', with 58k miles, for $18k two months ago and actually hated to part with it. It had excellent road manners and was very well behaved and stable at high speeds. If the new 05' provides me with the same level of satisfaction my old 99' did - I'll be in hog heaven!
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    The main feature I was referring to was the steering wheel that automatically tilts up and away when you remove the key. A great feature for someone with my long legs. I don't believe the TL has the auto dimming rearview mirror either, a feature I really appreciate. Also, it is quieter than the TL. In fact, my 99 RL is quieter than the TL.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, perhaps the RL is quieter than the TL, but the ES is quieter than the RL, and as far as the interior is concerned, its no contest. As far as the styling, I much prefer the new car, as the old pre '02 ES didnt offend anyone, much like the RL, but it doesnt inspire either.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    and the resize was against industry trend, going smaller. why? any chances of another model filling the slot above the RL? I would never think like this because I like to think that Honda as a company does not like to stretch itself thin, but based on something that caught my eye in that businessweek article that was posted here (link) a few days ago... i dunno

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Although the new RL will be in a more compact package (compared to current), it will be the largest Honda/Acura car (that the current RL is not). The new RL is shrinking by 4 inches to 193 inch and the cabin volume is supposed to increase from 98 cu ft to 103 cu ft (on the upper side of midsize cars).

    I like this resizing effort, and performance focus, from Acura. This might help Honda in markets (especially Europe) where a more compact package is more desirable, and that may be a goal.

    So, the Acura sedan trio will have lengths (width would be in 70-72 inch range for all) of...
    183 inch: TSX (Compact)
    188 inch: TL (Midsize - Lower side)
    193 inch: RL (Midsize - Upper side)

    This leaves enough room for a full size luxury sedan above RL! May be, thats another plan at AHM!
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    It's possible. But I doubt we'll see it within the next 5 years. IMHO, that makes it a poor subject for speculation. A lot can happen in 5 years.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    but seeing that there is a trend to lower the size on both the TL and then the RL...

    yesterday i drove past 3 TL's on the NJTP... I was staring at them because that shape sure has grown on me and they were staring at me because i was driving my wife's 3 with the top down in 65 degree, cloudy weather.
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    OK my point in this regard is that we tend to forget that this car is sporting the new ACE engineering. No doubt that ACE is a big assett in Honda strategy to assert its leadership in car safety and superior engineering. That said I aasume that given the goal of allowing force impact/dissipation in a totally new way (so to withstand impacts even if it is between sedan/truck etc..) there has to be changes in some of the major cage/front/rear strucure.
    So I guess compared to a non ACE car there has to be a different styling to accomodate for the different skeleton. We can agree that although the new RL is not heart shattering it is nice looking.

    My take: Good looks alone do not carry you for too long (just as for ourselves I guess). So I'll prefer keep an ACE up my sleeve! lol

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    A full size Honda, if it ever happens, is a long way off. You're talking about developing a V8, a new platform, and major factory retooling to actually build all that new stuff. Honda is busy trying to figure out why its bread and butter isnt selling like it used to, and get more production capacity for its trucks\minivans. Some sort of LS fighter (which has NEVER worked, that car is unfightable) isnt a priority for them.
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    Sorry guys, I perceive some confusion here.
    Lets start by defining an Octane. Octane indicates the lenght (in number of carbon atoms) of an aliphatic chain (a string of beads in which the beads are carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms linked to each of them.
    Do not get scared you are familiar with aliphatic compounds even though you may not recognize so. The butane gas cartridge you use(d) for your camping. Propane is another one. Propane is infact a 3 Carbon chain, butane is a 4 carbon chain, ethane (for which we all have prefernce of the alchool form, ethanol) is 2 and methane is 1.
    OK now that we have the basic chemistry what do you have in a 87 octane and what do you have in a 91 octane gasoline.
    The same stuff! Surprised? Let me explain.
    The Octane numbers you read at the pump only tells you that for 100 parts of fuels 87 (or 91 id you are getting premium rather than normal) are.........
     (sorry I have to finish the post later in an hour or so)
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    OK (Nanny call!!).........guaranteed to have chain lenght of 8 Carbon atoms. What is the importance of that. Well if you were to use fuel with an high amount of shorter alyphatic chains you would have 'explosive combustion'. Meaning the butane and propane would have so low ingintion points (flash points) that your egnine wold be undergoing solicitation such as those obtained with detonating TNT. That anyhow remains a problem with the final gasoline you purchase (87-91 octanes) at the pump and that's why you have a 10% made up of an 'anti-detonating agent' (nowdays is ethanol at ~ 10% while time back Lead containing chemicals were used).
    So now back to the 87 vs. 91 issue. Any modern vehicle, unless otherwise stated by the manufaturers, is built to give optimum performance and adding a 4% of 8 Carbon atom lenght alyphatic chains (i.e. 91 octanes) is not going to give you any benefit whatsoever.
    I believe a lot of people supposes that higher octanes equal cleaner gasoline... not so.
    The same is true for 91 vs. 94. The gain of 3% is irrelevant, if the manufacturer asks for premiummake sure is the one that saves you money because you are not keeping the engine cleaner, you are not getting more miles etc. These benefits are achieved by other means. To give you an extreme example, 'lighter fuels' such as those in use in Formula 1 racing do give you more mileage (dont ask me what they cost! an absurdity), and cleaner gasoline is not measured by octanes but other processing steps. Ultimately the higher price for higher octanes is dependent not on intrinsic qualities but simply reflect 'lower yelds' from startin row material, so you need to pick up the tab!
    Final advice, run on the gasoline that your manufacturer suggest and identify the distribution brand that provide good quality at reasonable price!
    Bye...for now
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >If she needs a 10 year car, how about a CPO Lexus LS? <

    What's a "CPO"? _____________ previously owned?
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Are we still talking about octane???????????????
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Out west, the smart money is on Chevron gasoline with Techron. Apparently the gas is so clean burning and has such a good detergent package that all of the big 3 automakers use Chevron gasoline exclusively when performing EPA mileage tests for their new car models.

    As Chevron is not manufactured east of Kentucky, the automakers have tanker trucks haul the gas back to Detroit for use in their new cars.
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