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Acura CL Transmission Problems

dkinnedkinne Posts: 1
edited February 2014 in Acura
My 98 3.0CL has an transmission oil leak.
Dealer seems to be blind and says it is not leaking.
My garage floor says differently. Also, private mech also
noticed, and alerted me to the fact on last oil change.

Any body else notice "red drops from hell" ????


  • Has anyone here had problems with their automatic transmission in the 01 or later CL S-type
  • bodydoublebodydouble Posts: 801
    I tried listening for it again this afternoon. It doesn't make that noise when the car is idling in Park. I blipped the throttle and still no noise even when it revs up a bit. But it seems to start up as soon as I put it in Reverse. Then you can hear this click clat click clat sound which will diminish in loudness and frequency over the course of, say, 2 to 3 minutes. It doesn't appear to do it in Drive but tomorrow morning I'll try by putting it in Drive first. Maybe it has something to do with the transmission. If anyone else here parks in an enclosed garage, maybe he can try it.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Posts: 801
    Listened for the noise this morning on a cold engine. Nothing in Park, nothing in Drive, and couldn't hear anything conclusive in Reverse either other than the usual "clunk" when Reverse is engaged, so maybe it's termperature-sensitive and only when the engine/transmission is hot.
  • tomer26tomer26 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 type s which I bought in April 2000, and it has almost exactly 60,000 miles on it. Had the 60,000 service on Friday, but they missed one small item. Over the weekend, my tranny went out. Like out, high rev, no go. (Actually, it was sporadic at first, and I was able to drive it in to the dealer, but I had to turn it off and re-start to get the gears to engage) First clue was the VSA and traction warning came on and stayed on for awhile, along with the check engine light. They are replacing the transmission for free but I'm curious if anyone else has had a similar problem. PS--I still love the car.
  • jarrod4jarrod4 Posts: 3
    I drive a 2001 Chrysler Sebring coupe and I agree with the statement about quality. Actually, this is my second chrysler car. While the car has great looks, it is far from a mechanical masterpiece. The car I'd really like to see myself in is the CL-type S, but reading the problems listed here, I'm not so sure how much better the quality really is? Transmission going bye bye - COMPLETELY - at 60k!!?? Hmmm.
    We don't have an Acura dealership in my city yet, but it is coming within a year. Basically, as soon as the Acura dealer shows up, I'll be there at 8:00a.m., the fisrt Saturday it is open! IMO, the CL type-s is the best bang for the buck. Stylish interior and exterior with a VERY powerful V6. But, I really hope these tranny problems and other glitches get worked out before too long.
    Quick question for you manual, type-s owners, where abouts on the tach are you really put into your seat in first and second gears? Is it right away or is it towards the high end? Thanks.
  • More than 16,000 replaced in 2 years, ouch!
  • It's only 1.6%!! C'mon!!

    No, but seriously, this is not good publicity for Honda/Acura. It leaves me to not kick myself too hard for choosing my 02 Maxima SE over the TL-S. I almost got one, but could not justify paying $414 instead of $380 a month on 48mo lease for a car with 5 more horsepower.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,155
    Guys that have 5th generation Preludes are also having problems with their transmissions. The Prelude has a much lower power output (4cyl, 195hp, 156lb/ft torque) than even the base CL/TL.

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

  • The tranny in the Prelude was a 4-speed unit though. I'm not sure it that tranny has closer ties to the Accord tranny or the TL/CL tranny.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    They are apparently having troubles with the TL, Accord, and Odyssey trannies as well, so I would imagine it ain't just US and canadian built models.

    IIRC, the trannies on these cars (CL/TL) are made in Japan, anyway. Look at your window sticker.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Posts: 2,273
    Transmission warranty extended-


  • Can anyone please share any information on those transmission problems? What in this transmission is causing these problems? Overheat, bad oil flow, fluid contamination, excessive gear wear, bad converter, bad solenoids, bad sensors, bad control-unit? Is Acura recommending anything in particular to reduce the likelihood for an early transmission failure? Thanks for your input.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I don't think Acura really knows what's causing the failures, as evidenced by the fact that quite a few people have had a replacement tranny also fail. I don't think there is anything you can realistically do to prevent failure other than maybe drive as little as possible and really drive softly. But then you might as well not have the car!
  • daqmandaqman Posts: 27
    I have a question for the board, If Acura has corrected the transmission issue for sum 02's and above, why are those of us affected by the transmission recall not getting the newer transmissions instead of reman. transmissions that are doomed to fail yet again?

    Am I the only one who thinks that is the way they should handle this matter?
  • jay238jay238 Posts: 13
    daqman, I am wondering the same thing. And then some dealers say the replacement tranny is definitely updated, while some customers just say it is rebuilt and will fail in a short while.

    It is up in the air to whether they have really fixed the tranny and installing them. They have had PLENTY OF TIME to make a reliable fix for the tranny!
  • daqmandaqman Posts: 27
    Exactly, if Acura says only older models were affected, and the newer models aren't y, not give those w/the affected vehicles the transmissions they are now putting in the late models.
  • I've contacted two Acura dealerships in my town about their 2001 Acura CL 3.2s in stock and this model’s well-known, defective transmission problem. Both dealerships have stated that their 2001 Acura CL 3.2s have new transmissions. However, I never did follow up with the question as to whether these new transmissions were temporary, stopgaps or totally redesigned transmissions that fixed the original problem.

    My worse fear is that these are rebuilt transmissions with only a 20K-30K lifespan on them before they go kaput. Besides, the 2001 Acura CL 3.2s at these two Acura dealerships have 40,000 miles (+). Yes, Acura has extended its drive train warranty to 100,000 miles. It's comforting to know at least 1 or 2 transmission failures will be covered by Acura.

    However, this is no solace for me when I'm driving 80 m.p.h. on the U.S. interstate highway system when all the sudden the car decides to shift to second gear on its own.

    To reiterate my question, all of the owners of the Acura CL/TL (1997-2003) that are having newly installed transmissions. Do these new transmissions resolve the original problem or provide a temporary stopgap till the next catastrophic transmission failure?

    Thanks for help!
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I don't think TL's/and CLs in the 1997 and 1998 model year were effected. The note I got said that 2001, 2002, and some 2003 TL's and CL's were effected by the faulty tranny.

    I think Honda has their tranny problem covered.
  • when the check engine light came on, the code notified that it was a problem in the transmission.
    our acura dealer replaced it with a new unit. all new, no re-build. the service manager said they don't even tear down the old tranny, just ship it back to HQ.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    all replacement trannies are rebuilt units. Maybe there has been a recent change in Honda policy?
  • Thanks motokichi for the help. Yeah, I called back the Acura dealership with the three Acura CL 3.2s, each with 30K (+) miles on them, and he said "they all have rebuilt transmissions with new clutch paks," whatever that means.

    However, you said your acura dealer replaced your transmission with "all new, no re-build. The service manager said they don't even tear down the old tranny, just ship it back to HQ." I was told differently. This Acura dealership said that Acura doesn't make new transmissions for its older models (2001-2003). INTERESTING CONTRADICTIONS, HERE!

    Anyway, I'm going to try to find out from Acura Customer service what this new "clutch pak" entails.

    Hey, I rather be safe than sorry!

  • I have 23K on my 2001 CL-S. I noticed problems at around 11K, had the tranny replaced at 13K, and it's been fine since.

    A friend bought a 2001 at the same time as me. He has many more miles (around 75K now). He had his tranny replaced about 3 months before me (around 11/02) and had problems shortly afterwards. He had another tranny put in, and they blamed the first replacement problems on the lack of a engine control module (ECM) replacement/upgrade. Once the ECM was added to the 2nd replacement, he has had no problems (over a year now). His dealer said the later replacements (after 01/03) would all have the ECM.

    Personally, I'm quite content with the CL-S. I recently test drove the Nissan 350Z Coupe & Convertible (auto & stick), the Infiniti G35 Coupe (auto & stick) G35 Sedan (auto), M45 (auto), BMW 330 Sedan (stick & auto), 2000 M3 (stick), 2004 TL (auto), 2004 TSX (auto), and RX8 (stick). After all of those drives, I decided I was happy with the CL-S. I like the CL's features, navi, performance, handling, gas mileage, and looks. It's comfortable, refined, and cruises at 90 MPH at only 25K RPM.

    So, my recommendation would be to go for the CL if you think it will satisfy you, but if it will be a cause of constant concern, go for something else. At the moment, I just can't find anything else that provides the features of the CL and would compel me to open up my wallet.

  • Hey, Mark

    Thanks for the information on this engine control module (ECM) replacement/upgrade. I've never heard of it.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to beat this issue to the ground. However, I just want to make sure that I'm not making a "$20,000.00 mistake." Besides, I don't want this Acura CL 3.2 or any car for that matter going hunting for gears on its own when I'm going 80 m.p.h.

    On a side note, I'm a big NASSCAR fan, and I'm fully aware of the consequences when mechanical problems go awry at very fast speeds.

  • drcitrusdrcitrus Posts: 7
    Acura has extended the warranty on the A/T and torque converter for all 2001 & 2002. Whether a 2003 CL is covered depends on the VIN. (See: Service Bulletin 02-027 dated 1/21/05 titled Warranty Extension : 3.2TL and 3.2CL Automatic Transmission (supercedes 02-027 dated 9/15/03)

    I have a 2003 CL that I purchased in August 2002. The transmission failed at 45389 miles. The first symptom was a slight slip between 2 & 3d gear. The coup d'grace happened on I-75 when I went to pass somebody: the tranny bucked and klonked until I let up on the throttle. I drove immediately to the Acura dealer who put in a new one (with all the updates, I'm told) and had it back to me in two days. Gave me a loaner, too! Outstanding!!

    My warranty is, however, set to end in another 4,500 miles because my VIN is just outside of the covered range. I'm considering another vehicle because of the history of transmission problems and the soon-to-be-out-of-warranty status. I have written to Acura asking them to extend the warranty as a matter of customer good will, but I haven't heard back yet.

    I love the car, but somehow I'm not feeling real lucky right now...
  • just brought in my 2001 cl to dealership for trans problem not shifting past 2nd. purchased car from dealer in sept of 2004 had 25,500 on it. now has 31,200. luck would have it it was a certified car so it's covered. service manager told me they have put in quite a few trans in this car. will still be ocvered till feb. 2008 thank god.
  • hi everyone, i just purchased a 99 acura cl 3.0 from Florida, when I start it up it goes to 2000 rpms then back down to 1000 rpms, then back to 2000 rpms, keeps repeating this process. When I drive it, seems like the transmission studders when going really slow and when braking from fast speeds. I can floor it and the transmission is fine. Also, it idles steady when in Drive and Reverse...idles up and down in Park and Neutral...

    i took it for another ride and turned the Air Conditioner all the way up, the idling goes steady at 1000 rpms and the trany does NOT studder at all and the car drives like new??? I live in Uniontown, Pennsylvania and the car just came from Florida, could this be the reason??? Someone told me to unplug the negative from my battery to reset the cpu which i did for like 15 minutes but still the same thing, keeps idling up and down and trany studders. Maybe I should unplug the + and - overnight so the cpu resets totally??? I have a 3 month warranty on it but if anyone can help, it would be really appreciated. I'm still going to get it looked by acura. Thanks everyone for reading.
  • stevebristevebri Posts: 8
    I have a 1999 CL 3.0 with about 87,000 miles on it. I have transmission problems. It pretty much doesn't shift out of first until It's warm or going down hill. Going uphill is almost impossible in heavy traffic. All the other gears slip, but especially in stop and go situations. I am not sure if I should get a rebuilt transmission or sell the car. If anyone is in Hudson County NJ and can reccomend a good transmission shop I would appreciate it.

    What are everyone's experiences with Aamco?
  • ajfinoakajfinoak Posts: 58
    I own an 01 CL since new and have 50K mi on original transmission- no problems and brought it in at 30K for tranny recall. Only person I know with CL or TL had an '02 TL which blew the tranny at 22K. Wondering if mine is on borrowed time until the extended warranty on tranny ends on mine in 1 yr or do any folks know owners who have NOT ever had tranny problems with the 01 and 02 CL's with high mileage?
  • stevebristevebri Posts: 8
    A guy at work said acura's are known for transmission problems. I would have it checked even if you don't suspect problems. Go to somebody you trust or a AAA approved facility. If you go back to the dealer and it's out of warranty they will just tell you you need a new transmission to the tune of around 5 large
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