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Acura CL



  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,245
    On my 2001 Prelude, the manual states to change the oil every 7500 miles if you do mostly highway driving or every 3750 miles if you do a lot of short trips or stop and go traffic. My dealer advised me not to change the oil before the 3750 mark (ie: 1000 miles).

    I'm not sure about the Acura website, but the Honda website has an owners' section where it tells you what needs to be done to your car at what mileage intervals (If you don't have your owner's manual handy).

    If the manual says 5W-20, then stick with that. What would be your reasoning for using 5W-30?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • fastdriverfastdriver Posts: 2,273
    welst10 -

    That's one thing I don't like either. That BOSE is NOTHING like the one I had in my 1994 Infiniti J-30! That was a great BOSE.

    About the only other thing that I don't like is the sun roof opening size. That's stupid. Aside from those two minor things- 19,800+ miles in 19 months and NO problems! Best car I ever owned. ...AND of course, that ZAINO shine! ;-)) (GP)

  • cls6spdcls6spd Posts: 14
    I'm new to this Town Hall. However, I have reviewed many of the posting here, and on other boards, before deciding on a purchase of a 2003 CLS 6 speed. Although there is only 680 miles on the odometer (includes a trip to Vegas), the CL has proven to be a great replacement for my previous car, a 1990 Legend coupe with a 5 speed.

    As far as car audio systems go, I have always replaced the original system with an upgraded system (multiple amps, subs, processors, EQ, etc.) The only upgrade I have planned for the CL is to add a subwoofer. Overall, the factory sound system is quite good, I just prefer to have a little more bass.

    A complete replacement of the factory system could get VERY complicated. The wiring diagram in the service manual shows that the audio system interfaces with the nav sys, driver and passenger multiplex units (?), and in 2003s with nav, the OnStar sys.

    Upgrades to the Bose system such as adding an amp(s) with speakers is possible with the appropriate adapter. Bose systems are peculiar in design. They use signal levels and speaker impedences that are not compatible with most aftermarket equipment.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    cls6spd - You are absolutely correct about the Bode incompatability. I also agree on it only needing more bass. A self powered sub box, like a Bazooka, might work well in these cars.

    fastdriver - Do you use Zaino?
  • cls6spdcls6spd Posts: 14
    A self-powered Bazooka tube (RS10A-hp) is exactly what I will be installing. I like these bass tubes because they put out a lot of sound without taking up too much space. To drive it, I'll be using an AudioLink PD-2 Power Driver with an adapter harness. The harness should make for a clean installation. It connects between the head unit and the car wiring (no splicing) and provides outputs to the PD-2. I hope to do the installation this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    When I had my 92 corolla, I installed an in-dash Kenwood CD receiver and 4 Pioneer speakers by myself in 2000. That was an easy, though time-consuming, task (took me a whole day). That system which costed me about $300 sounds better than this Bose. Bose makes crap. I have NHT speakers at home, my friend has PSB. They all blow Bose away by miles.
    Anyway, for this CL, I agree that replacing the head unit is probably too difficult. I'm looking into adding a powered subwoofer and replacing all 6 Bose crappy speakers (not just bass, the high and mid ranges are not close to the MB-quart I listened to in a store). If anyone has replaced the speakers in a recent acura, I'd greatly appreciate some info/advice.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    If you replace the speakers, you will have to replace the amp(s), as well. You cannot use standard 4ohm speaker with B(l)ose amps.
  • cls6spdcls6spd Posts: 14
    Welst - garypen is right. The amps and speakers are matched together. I'm not sure, but I think the Bose speakers are 2 ohm impedence. The head unit can be retained and used with a 4-channel driver like the AudioLink PD-4. This would enable the use of the steering wheel controls full balanc and fade control.

    P.S. When I say that the overall sound of the Bose system is quite good, I'm comparing it to other factory systems I've owned.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Posts: 2,273

    ZAINO- what's that? LOL...................

  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    Just went to's owner link, registered my car, and found out that my car is free of any safety problems known so far!
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    At 10th day of ownership, mileage 350, I found that the Bose audio in my '03 CL sounds significantly better than it did in the first few days. Highs are clearer, and lows are stronger, deeper and tihger. My friend told me that's because speakers have a burn-in period, like cars. Make sense to me since sound reproduction is essentially a mechanical process, thru rapid physical movement of woofers.
    Anyway, my initial thoughts about modifying the sound system are now on hold. Other aspects of the car? nothing abnormal so far.
  • cls6spdcls6spd Posts: 14
    Welst - I installed a self-powered Bazooka bass tube in the CL this past weekend. Big job but it sure sounds great! The bass boost on the AudioLink driver allows me to turn the bass control on the head unit all the way down. This frees up all the Bose amp power to drive the mid and high frequencies. The sound is very clean and open. There is no perceptible intrusion of the Bose active-equalization circuit since the power-robbing low frequencies are being produced by the subwoofer. If you crave hard-hitting tight bass, a Bazooka tube will suit your needs just fine.
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    Thanks for your info, cls6spd. And congrats. Can I ask you a few questions. Where did you get the bass tube? How much is it? Is it difficult to install by yourself? Thx.
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    where did you place the sub tube, in the trunk? I am worried that much bass won't go into the cockpit.
  • cls6spdcls6spd Posts: 14
    I purchased the RS10A Amplified Bazooka tube ($399) and metal mounting brackets ($29) from Crutchfield (1-800-955-3000 or I also purchased the Bazooka remote control bass module ($29) that allows gain (volume) and crossover frequency to be adjusted from the cockpit and an amplifier installation kit (includes 10-gauge fused power line, 10-gauge ground line, RCA phono line, and miscellaneous crimp on lugs, splices, and wire ties). In addition, an interface adapter (power driver) is required to step up the low-voltage Bose signal to standard RCA phono level. I used an Audiolink PD-2.

    Total install time was 18 hours (I work slow and methodical) I did half on Saturday, half on Sunday. The level of difficulty is relative. I've done installations that have taken 60 hours. I will say that it was time consuming running all the lines to the trunk. (The handiest tool to go through grommets and under carpeting is a wire clothes hanger!)

    I mounted the metal brackets to the metal floor between the wheel wells, just behind the rear seat. This can be tricky because the fuel tank is directly below this area. I used a drill stop on the drill bit and checked depth clearence to select fastener length (sheet metal screws). I notched out the forward edge trunk carpet/pressboard in two places to allow reinstallation. It looks great. The power driver mounted nicely behind the center console trim panel on the right side.

    Subwoofer placement is not critical. There does not have to be a "line-of-sight" to it as is true for tweeters and midrange speakers. Low frequencies (20Hz to 100Hz) are nondirectional. The bass blends in nicely without being able to pin point the radiating source. The only time I can detect the bass coming from behind me is when the crossover contol is tuned above 100Hz. This is too boomy for my taste, so I usually don't leave it set this high.

    P.S. I drove out to AudioLink in Yorba Linda (CA) to pick up the PD-2 ($99) and Acura specific adapter harness ($35). They also have a website with a phone number if you wanted to reach them directly.
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    Did you have to temporarily the head unit from the dash? What kind of outputs (low/RCA level or high/speaker level) does the head unit have? I am assuming your CL-S has the same head unit as my CL. Thanks a lot.
  • cls6spdcls6spd Posts: 14
    Good Morning (Afternoon?) Welst - Yes. The head unit had to be removed, along with half of the interior. (You should have seen the look on my poor wife's face when she saw the insides of our new car spread out all over the garage.)

    The rear of the head unit has two receptacles. Only one of the two is used in my car. I don't have the nav/OnStar system. There are about 20 wires in this harness. There are no connections that resemble a conventional RCA phono line. The signal in these lines are similar to the output of a standard head unit (audio plus tone adjustments) except they are very low voltage, hence the need for a power driver (interface unit). The AudioLink adapter harness connects between the head unit and the car wiring. It is a simple plug-in installation. The harness provides feeds for the power driver (12V, signal ground, switch-on power signal, audio LF RF LR RR). Case ground, RCA phono outs, and switch-on signal output are the only remaining connections tobe made at the power driver.

    In one of your earlier posts, you referred to the Bose system as not being Hi-Fi. You are absolutely correct. Bose designed the system this way intentionally. As the volume is turned up, the amp senses when it is starting to distort (clip) and automatically rolls off the bass to preserve power to play mid and high frequencies loudly. The effect is impressive to most listeners because there is a total lack of distortion. However, more discriminate listeners (or Bassheads, like myself) find it disappointing. As the volume is turned up, instead of hearing and feeling more bass, just the oppisite happens, overall bass response diminishes. The trick of installing a subwoofer in a Bose equipped vehicle is to access the signal before the active equalization (EQ) process which occurs in the amplifier. Unfortunately, the most accessible signal source, the rear speaker leads, are post EQ. That is the reason the head unit has to be removed. There are reasons not to pick the audio signals up at the amp (left side of trunk) but I won't get into that here.

    P.S. Make sure you have the security code number for your head unit before you remove it!
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    for the info! For now, I am not gonna mess with it myself since it is brand new. I might go to talk to some circuit city guy to see whether they're familiar with the acura CL installation.
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    My 03 CL manual recommends 5W-20 engine oil. But today while I was at K-mart, I couldn't find 5W-20!? I think most people are using 5W-30 or 10W-30. Has anyone been using 5W-20?
  • I'll be pickin' up me new silver 6 speed S tomorrow after work. Cant wait to get in and drive drive drive!

    Some of you peeps have mentioned the audio system, and I'm also a little concerned. During my test drives, that's one thing I noticed-- my previous car (actually right now it's still my current car, but it already seems previous:D) has some nice aftermarket equipment including two amps and a sub, so the smaller woofless Bose system in the CL will take some getting used to.

    welst10, I coulda sworn I saw somewhere that the CLs like 5W-30, but I just scanned the Acura web site & couldn't find that reference so maybe I was seeing things. Pre-ownership euphoria-induced hallucination maybe. I'll try to remember to ask the service guys at the dealership what they put in when I'm there tomorrow.

    All right, I gotta go plan a trip somewhere. Later!
  • I wonder what would Honda do for people who have purchased the Honda extended warranty. Does the letter address that scenario?
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    From what I've gathered so far, I plan to use 10W-30 for the summer time and 5W-30 for the rest of year. Probably Castral GTX. There are just few if any 5W-20 out there. Honda and Ford started to specify that type of oil since 2001 model year. But seems like most oil company (and consumers, for that matter) have yet to accept it.
  • on the warranty extension on the tranny. Anyone else got theirs?
  • Hey everyone.. I was hoping someone could help me out. I just purchased a 97 cl, but my keyless entry remote isn't working. I already replaced the battery, and what happens now is the little red light is constantly on. It's my understanding that it's only supposed to light up when you press a button, but it is always on, so i just keep the batter separate until i can figure this out. I think it may need to be re-programmed into the car, because i also had to re enter my radio code. Does anyone know how to reprogram the 97 cl keyless entry? it should be in the owners manual (which i don't have because i bought it used..) Thank you for all your help..
  • A young man was a passenger in a Honda Acura 98, CL 3.0, when the ignition/engine failed midstream, causing a collision. He has serious brain injuries. Is there anyone out there that has any information re: engine and/or ignition difficulty and/or failure in this make and model. If so, please advise in this forum or contact [email protected] Thanks.
  • If you go to, and look up the 98 cl 3.0 there is information regarding a recall that is being offered for all of those model vehicles because of the ignition cut off. They said sometimes the car stalls, or shuts off. They said no accidents have yet been attributed to it.
  • It's been slow here lately. Where are the thousands of CL owners?

    I've passed the 10,000 mile point with my 2003 CL-S (MT), and for the most part, the car is performing flawlessly. A bit heavy & numb, perhaps, but it generally handles well - making my daily commute into as pleasant an experience as possible. On the rare occasions that I have to travel long distances, the car truly shines. It is a wonderful interstate cruiser.

    All is not well in CL-ville, however. Straight line performance is generally lacking, and I'm not sure why. The car is not the fireball that it should be most of the time, and it does not eagerly race to the redline like every other Honda automobile that I have owned.

    The only reason that I know that things aren't right is that *sometimes* it does run right. There are occasions that - when I put my foot in -the motor *does* race to the redline (and maybe a bit beyond). Lately, due to increasing frustration I've been trying to figure out what causes this. I always fill up with 93 octane at my local gas station (a major brand service station, always the same place). Originally, I thought that the problem might be outside temperature related, but since I get the same performance problems year-round, I've ruled that out.

    I'm beginning to suspect that the 93 octane at the local station isn't really 93 octane, as I notice that the best performance occurs only after those rare occasions that I fill up some place other than the regular place. During the next few weeks I'll be trying to prove this correlation via direct experimentation, but in the meantime, does anyone know of any way for a civilian like me to test octane?
  • Will be saying goodbye to my faithful cl/s tomorrow and have mixed emotions about doing so.
    With outstanding reliability and performance,what more could one ask for? When I first saw the early prototypes at the NAIAS in Detroit I decided this was the most completely equipped car for the money and the bonus of 260 hp was icing on the proverbial cake.
    I will miss most the roar of the rush of air at full throttle.So sweet!Also the mileage has been fantastic,almost econocar-like.
    However I will be staying in the family as I will be picking up a new Redrock MDX/nav on Thursday.BTW my dealer thinks the demise of the CL is iminent.Certainly hope not the case.
    Keep the board alive as I will continue to visit.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Posts: 2,273

    Good luck! I LOVE my 2001 CL-S. It is 21 months old, 20,700 miles and not ONE problem. I love the slight roar of the exhaust when you get on it. Lately, my gas mileage isn't in the 20's anymore because I find myself making use of those 260 horses more and more! Two friends of mine at work have the MDX. They love them.

    Don't fret if they get rid of the CL-S. Take a look at the Motor Trend Car of the Year in the current issue! My eye is on that RED G-35 coupe when this lease is up or a Cadillac CTS with that new V-8 engine.

    I rarely post here because I have nothing to talk about or complain about. VERY different than my PREVIOUS 1999 Motor Trend Car of the Year- Chrysler 300M!! I had PLENTY to say about that car!!! I STILL do, much to the dismay of the 300M group here! I bad mouth Chrysler, their "award winning 5-STAR" dealers and their factory reps EVERY chance I get! I will NEVER buy another product that is connected with that company no matter what it is or what it looks like! They are #1 on my S___ list!

  • Fastdriver - I too think the G35 coupe is a great looking car. In fact I had intended to buy one since early this year to replace my '90 Legend. I've owned a couple of Nissan Maximas ('83, '86), both manual transmission, which gave me great service for close to 200,000 miles each. When I saw the G35 sedan, I wasn't impressed with the interior. The placement of controls seemed odd to me (highly reflective amber LED-lit instrument lighting, seat controls on inboard side of seat, emergency hazard light control at bottom-right of center console, mirror adjuster below the steering wheel, etc.). IMO, the interior of the CL-S is absolutely beautiful. I like where all the controls are placed and how they are presented. I decided to do a little more research into the whole CL-S vs G35 issue before my purchase. For anyone considering the G35, I strongly recommend they read the Edmunds Town Hall entitled "G35 - Problems and Solutions". I counted 50 different problems from these posts. Some were encountered on the day of delivery. I would consider the majority of the problems unacceptable in a car costing half of the price. The CL-S by contrast had problems with the automatic transmission and a noisy seal on the sunroof.

    As far as Motor Trend Car of the Year, I think this is an award given for the best execution of a totally new design. I agree with the choice of the G35. However, ss you,ve indicated by past experience, this award is not an indication of quality or reliability.

    As far as the CL model going away, I suspect that this will happen when Honda starts installing the 6-speed transmission in the new 240-HP Accord Coupe (in a couple of months). That is OK by me. I'd prefer that CLs do not become as common a sight as Accords.

    Happy Holidays To All!
This discussion has been closed.