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transmission slipping in 03 acura tl

owenpgaowenpga Posts: 2
just recently had trans oil changed in my 2003 acura tl. prior to changing it, i had slight delay when shifting from 2nd to 3rd. new oil seemd to help but didn't cure it completely. my mechanic didn't seem to think there was a transmittion issue at this time. today i ran some errands and notice on 4 different occasions a big delay and slight jerkyness when shifting from 1st to second. i checked the oil with the car running and it seemed to be a bit full. not sure if this would cause this issue. having owned 4 hondas in my life with no trans problems i'm hoping this acura isn't failing me already.

Is there a special acura oil that should be used when changing the trans fluid and is there a filter that should be changed in the process?

Any thoughts on what may be causing the issue or comments in general would welcome. thanks, owen


  • billyperks2billyperks2 Posts: 378
    Having own four honda products in the past, I thought you would be aware that there was a known transmission issue with that model year.
    I had the Type S and the tranny went out at 30k, the dealer claimed they fixed it on a TSB recall, tranny went out again at 36K miles. I got frustrated and sold the car, but if you look back in boards you will see the many complaints for those model years 2002-2003-maybe even earlier.
  • owenpgaowenpga Posts: 2
    thanks for the info. any idea of what a transmission might cost?
  • billyperks2billyperks2 Posts: 378
    Honestly, I dont know because mine was fixed under warranty. At first they told me they replaced a specific part in the transmission then on the second fix they said they gave me a brand new tranny.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited June 2011
    The transmission problems began with the 2000 model year, when Acura went from a 4-speed to a new 5-speed automatic.

    How many miles are on your car? I ask because Honda/Acura extended the warranty for your transmission to 100,000 miles for those model years. I don't know if there's a time limit, but if there is maybe your Acura dealer would give you a pricing concession to repair or replace it. I would bargain hard because Acura has acknowledged (at least implicitly) that the transmissions of the '00-'03 TLs are problematic.

    Good luck, and please let us know the outcome, since it could help others in your situation.
  • My 2000 TL's transmission just went out at 83,000mi. Even with the extended warrenty offered on this model year, Acura refused my request for ANY good faith assistance in replacement costs (due to age of vehicle). Frustrating to say the least, considering I'm the original owner and have purchased 4 Honda/Acura cars over the last 20+ years.
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    Acura did extend their warranty to 100k on their lousy transmissions several years ago

    I also had a transmission go out on my 2000 TL last year. The transmission slipped for many many years but they always maintained it was ok. It went out after the 100 k passed but they took 12 days to contact me with their decision that they would do nothing although the transmission issues began at around 60,000 miles. We were in limbo for those 12 days. My daughter drove this vehicle and hated every minute of it with the transmission slipping every day. We bought her a new Altima with a CVT and she loves it.

    Acura sales are terrible in general and no other brand has the transmission issues they have.

    Acura may not survive if this continues and they only have themselves to blame. Butt ugly designs, the worst transmissions and a dismissive national customer "care" division.

    The Car Show on Speed Channel ripped Acura a couple of weeks ago.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Reminder that messages 5-7 belong in the "Acura TL 1999-2003" discussion.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    They are fine right here at the moment.


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  • What do you drive?
    I had the 2003 TL Type S, tranny went out twice and I sold it. I then passed on the 2004-2008 TL because I thought it just blended in too much with the accords and camrys, not a bad thing but I still passed.
    Its two years now since I pulled the plug and the 2009 TL SH-AWD and the car is bullet proof, no rattles, squeekes or tranny issue and all I get is compliments. Car shows rip a lot of manufacturers including BMW and Mercedes so i dont see your point here.
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    edited September 2011
    Speed Channel's show is called the Car Show. They have a segment at the beginning of the show which address individual car issues. On an episode about 3-4 weeks ago the subject was "Acura." Maybe you can view it on a VOD service.

    These car guys all were critical of Acura's dismal sales, their ugly designs, and their quality. They were unanimous with their criticism across the board. It is unlikely that 4 car guys would be this critical of the brands of BMW and Mercedes.

    I hope your TL remains bullet proof. You have more faith in this brand than I have which is suprising since you had 2 transmiisions go out on an '03 TL.
    My 00 TL was "bulletproof" for a few years and then the tranny began slipping every day. Acura said it only affected the '00 TL. Then the 2001, '02, the '03s and on and on for the TL.

    Same thing with the MDX. Acura minimized the problem and more and more years were similarly effected.

    Acura has not solved these problems and couple that with the worst customers service I've ever experienced, this brand is in trouble.

    These forums are loaded with disgruntled customers of Acura 's transmissions and the interest in filing or joining class action lawsuits grows every day. Check the MDX boards if you don't believe me. Facebook too.

    I would unload your current TL in a heartbeat while it is still bulletproof.

    To answer your question, we have 2 G35X sedans, an '04 and a '07. I will either give the '04 to my son or trade it in. The '04 had prematurely wearing brakes and Infinti replaced rotors twice and pads twice at their expense. There were no hassles from them re the brakes. The first replacement was pursuant to a recall and the second replacement was done as good will. I have 86,000 miles on the '04 and have not spent anything on the car except oil and routine maintenace. The 07 has also been problem free. Their customer service was excellent.

    I want a small AWD crossover and will problably buy a 2011 Infiniti EX 35. Also looking at the Mercedes GLK, the X3 or the Q5.

    I do hope you have good luck with your TL. I've owned Preludes, CLs, several Accords and a TL. The Acura line has clearly declined in every respect.
  • As I said in my previous post, that show does not bias, it rips every manufacturer on the planet- that's their job-OPINIONS. We will have to agree to disagree, I still beleive in Honda products, the current generation TL as far as I am concern is bullet proof. Go check out the Infiniti boards in regards to the current G37- seems as if Infiniti does not know how to make a workable 7 speed transmission. I test drove the G35 before I bought the Acura and it just felt cramped (reminds me of my 99 Millennia) and unrefined.
    Knock on wood this TL puts a smile on my face every I fire it up.
    Next stop for me is the E63-hopefully.
  • The tranny started to slip at 89,000 miles even though it had the oil kit installed at 40,000 miles. I found numerous complaints on the Internet about Acura TLs (and other models) with tranny problems. Acura issued a recall for Acura TLs to put a band-aid or replace the tranny.

    I called the dealer and they said tough luck. Referred me to Acura. Talked to them, they said I am out of luck too. Too bad the extended warranty (100,000 miles) didn't apply since I passed the 7yr 9 mth limit. Asked for some good-will. They said "out of our parameters ... can't help you." And I was just thinking of getting a new Acura before the problem happened.

    This episode, plus the numerous similar unhappy Acura owners' sharing on the Internet of Acura's lack of goodwill towards this transmission problem experienced by so many, has convinced me not to own any more Acura's or Honda's. Even if their newer transmissions are better, their attitude in not helping with repair costs for a poorly designed transmission, and the unhelpful response at the dealership, leaves me unconvinced that they will be reasonably helpful to customers, withoutstanding customer loyalty.
  • More than likely that your transmission is going bad. I currently own a Acura 1999 3.2 TL, which I bought new, and only have 99470 miles on it. I drive my car easy, no fast starts, however; my transmission went out about three weeks from this writing. I had it rebuilt by a transmission specialist. I went on line to check out any problems with the Acura transmissions. I discovered that Acura 3.2 TL has had troubled transmissions from 1999 to 2004. Other than the transmission, my car runs like a top-nothing else to complain.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Actually, the transmissions problems began with the introduction of a new 5-speed automatic in the 2000 model year. The '99 had the older, proven 4-speed, which was generally reliable. Yours happened to fail prematurely, which is unfortunate, but one example doesn't prove the rule.
  • elfkinelfkin Posts: 2
    My transmission just went bad on my 1999 Acura TL as well (175K miles on it), may I ask how much did you have to pay to have the transmission rebuilt?
  • elfkinelfkin Posts: 2
    May I ask how much it cost to rebuild? My transmission just went bad on my 1999 Acura TL as well (175K miles on it)
  • I guess I just got stuck with a lemon. Dealership says I need a SECOND transmission on my 2003 TL, Type-S. First one was replaced under warranty. $5,100. Any ideas?
  • dwdraw2dwdraw2 Posts: 6
    Yes, the transmissions are expensive at Acura. Mine was out of warranty so I had AAMCO rebuild mine for about 2,600. So far it's been holding up. the warranty is good for about one year, but you can buy into a longer warranty.

    Good luck!
  • I also drive a 2001 3.2TL. The transmission was replaced under warranty at about 34,000 miles back in 2004. Currently, I am close to 200,000 miles and still on the replacement transmission. Back then, I was advised by a mechanic (not at Acura) to replace the transmission fluid every 24,000 miles or two years, which ever comes first. So, that's what I've been doing ever since and I have no complaints. The car seems to be bullet proof. I've been driving for more years than I care to remember and I've never owned a car that still has the original exhaust system from the engine to the tailpipe completely intact. Original a/c, alternator, radiator, heater core, springs, shocks, power steering pump, fuel pump, just to name a few. I know you shouldn't compare cars one on one, but my cousin's 2007 BMW 3 series with only 130,000 miles currently needs (according to her dealership) about $6,000 in repairs.
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