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Acura TL Paint and Exterior Care



  • rone3rone3 Posts: 12
    Thanks for your comments. Took the opportunity to consult with my cousin, who has an automotive body shop and has been painting cars, studying emerging paint technology, and using a plethora of paint, primer, paint related etc., products over the past 45 years or so. His take was that the color was a good match - won't bore you with his detailed treatise on spray gun pressure/application technique, robot vs human spraying, spraying bumpers/mirrors/ground effects off the car at the factory, plastic vs metal, metallic flakes suspeneded in the paint that may be standing vertically or laying horizontally, angle of view when looking at the various parts of the car, light refraction, ad infinitum, ad nauseum!
    Nothwithstanding the above, called Acura Corporate and complained, who gave me a case number and advised me to call the dealer. Called same and dealer general manner and zone manger reply was, "That's the product; there's nothing we can do." Based on my cousin's advice to leave well enough alone because the "fix", e.g., repainting may be even worse, that's what I'm doing about it - living with it.
    Having decided that, of course I couldn't help collecting a little anecdotal evidence. So on a shopping trip, wherein I made six separate stops at different stores, I checked cars in the parking lots - as well as observing cars stopped in traffic. Here's a list of makes that I noticed having the same problem: Honda, Toyota, Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, yes, Lexus, Volkswagen, BMW, Chrysler, Infiniti, and Ford.
    My cousin had told me that mismatching paint was an industry-wide problem. I guess that I had to find out for myself. In any case, light to medium colors are the worst, while the darker colors are less noticeable. I agree, apparently to skirt the problem, everyone should buy a black car! I do find minimal comfort that I'm in the same boat with millions of others, but nonetheless, there sits in our garage a White Pearl 2007 Acura TSX, and I defy you to find a difference in the bumper paint color vs the rest of the car. Go figure!
  • mdbmwmdbmw Posts: 2
    Looks like you have researched this.....I have noticed other car companies have the same issue, but not to the extreme as the white on the TL. The Cadillac CTS in white is way off as well. I guess I just expect better from a Honda product. Hope you are able to live with it. I wasn't.
    Sounds like you got the same response from the dealer I got. They must have had so many complaints. I believe you made the right decision not to try and repaint. That was not an option I wanted to consider.
  • novanova Posts: 135
    Any one having a problem with the front plastic gray grill. Just purchased a white TL and the gray grill looks like it has streaks in it like when you armoral something and miss some spots. Yes i noticed the white on the bumpers are not an exact match with the rest of the paint.
  • cpa3cpa3 Posts: 89
    I just purchased my new TL with Navi and I am looking for some advice on the following:
    Are new cars waxed at the dealers?
    How soon do I need to wax the car?
    What products/dressings do you recommend for keeping the tires looking great without causing lots of dirt and grime after a few days.?
    Any suggestions for washing and waxing without going overboard? (I am looking for steps and product recommendations)
    How about a cleaner for the dash? (not greasy)
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097 for information and great products! There are also threads here regarding your query. If you do a keyword search using "Zaino" a few threads will be presented.

    I really should get some kind of royalty/referral fee from Sal...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • cpa3cpa3 Posts: 89
    I just purchased a new TL. The finish is shure nice and smooth. When do I need to wax a new car for the first time. I have heard wait one year, wait six months, do it now. Do the dealers wax them or put something on it to make it feel so smooth?
  • novanova Posts: 135
    I dont think dealers wax new cars unless you pay for some kind of paint protection package. I just bought an 07 TL white. It is far from smooth . I am going to use mothers clay bar system. Claqy and wax this weekend
  • gvbgvb Posts: 45
    Just purchased a full nose mask for my TL to use only on long trips on the highway. The instructions repeatedly mention that the paint could be affected if not properly waxed or if any moisture at all gets underneath the mask. Knowing never to drive it in the rain, what about condensation in the evenings/mornings? Has anyone had any experiences with this?
  • Hello gvb, don't leave the nose mask on for too long. You can cook your hood over time and the paint will look very bad.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I had a bra for my 89 Z-24 and following the manufacturer's warnings and suggestions, I was ALWAYS installing and removing that thing.
    Chance of rain - remove it.
    Sunny out - install it
    Wanna wash the car - remove it
    My paint never faded, but I was a slave to that car's finish and was always washing, polishing, waxing, etc. (a little known vice of mine - drives the crazy wife nuts)

    Over time, it just got to be too much.
    Also, getting the car up over 75 mph, it always shuttered a little on the edges, no matter how tight it was.
    Those things are yesterday's news and that's why you hardly see them anymore.

    Do the right thing and get a 3M clear paint shield installed.
    I did it for my new G35 and I'm super happy with the outcome.
    I will never buy another new car again without it.
  • hkyhky Posts: 71
    Clear paint protection is the right way to go, back in the early 90s I had full nose mask on my eclipse and the thing prevent the air to cool down the front (that car doesn't have lots of openings in the front), it actually brings the temperature of the engine way too high in the summer, not to mention chance of sand/moisture getting underneath of the mask on the highway. Now I have my paint protection film for over a year now, happy camper.
  • Anyone ever have problems with the black trim around the windows separating? Hard to describe. It almost looks like a protective plastic covering of some sort is separating from the paint somehow. I'm sure it's due to the weather as it has never been garaged. I'm wondering what it will take to repair as it is looking sad. I have tried to look at some other TL's same age to see if they too exhibit issue but have not seen anything so far. Any comments would be appreciated...First time poster.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501

    Post a pic, if you can
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Ugh... I'm not really sure what I'm looking at from that pic.
    I see the narrow black weather strip in the center, but I'm not sure that's what your talking about.
    From your description, it sounds more like years of UV abuse, but I'm not sure from that pic, what I'm really looking at. :(
  • Like I said, hard to describe. It is almost like a film that was originally on all the black trim around all the windows that is separating. I could compare it to a screen protector on a LCD screen on a phone or PDA that is showing it's age. Some spots worse than others and in one place it is starting to actually crack. It looks like it could be peeled off but at what cost in terms of appearance. It's only around the trim on the windows and becoming quite unsightly.
  • If it's the rubber trim, try some rubber conditioner (black magic, armor all) Replacing all that rubber seems like it would be $$$. Its not the paint right? If so, that may be covered under warranty.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Okay Nim... I'm gonna be a real pain in the butt.

    I want some more pics....better pics. LOL

    Take some from different distances, so I know what I'm looking at and also have the close-up to go by.

    If it's what I think it is, no creams, conditioners or waxes are gonna help, but I have to know what I'm seeing first.
  • Hello Scott,
    I posted 4 new pictures. I actually discovered on the passenger side the material is actually drying out and cracking pretty bad. It is obvious the window pillars/trim is black plastic and not paint and it is drying out from the weather. I hope to stop by the Acura dealer this week and ask about it. The one window is very bad and has already cracked and is peeling. Maybe I will luck out and they have some warranty coverage for it???
    Thanks for your interest...
  • That appears to be a defect in the paint/surface coating of the black material (which I believe is plastic). I'd be interested to know if that is covered under warranty. Let us know.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I get it now, much better... :)

    Bad News:
    There's nothing you're going to do to get those to look any better.

    Good News:
    Those pieces are replaceable and really shouldn't be all that expensive. (Even if you have to hit a junk yard)
    I believe they're held on with clips, so they can be removed and replaced.

    Let me know what they say!
  • nwtlnwtl Posts: 1
    i call it wrinkling. like shrink wrap gone horribly wrong... only this is a $30,000 car.

    at any rate, yes, the dealers know all about it whether they admit it or not. my local acura parts department told me that even though i could replace it, it would just do the same thing. appalling. anyway, what he did tell me is that what people are doing is removing the trim including the black plastic trim on the pillars (eg, front right trim on driver door) that peels and oxidizes, is remove all of it and paint the underlying metal flat black at an auto body shop.
    and honestly, come spring i'm going to do that as i don't even like the shiny black trim... he told me they were doing it for about $200-300. :lemon:
  • nwtl hit it right on the head.... my dealer said basically what he wrote. Not under warranty and a couple hundred dollars to replace. Said some people actually remove it all, sand and prep and paint for a longer lasting solution. I noticed that once it starts it deteriorates rapidly as I was surprised how quickly it is cracking and peeling.
    Thanks all for your comments and feedback.
  • I have a 2003 Nighthawk Black Pearl TL-S purchased new with the worst case of this problem I've ever seen. I started losing the paint less than a year after purchasing the car - everything that landed on the car seemed to go through the clearcoat. Bubbling, cracking, spotting... despite using Pinnacle and Meguiar's Gold Class car care products obsessively, nearly 5 years after purchase, the car's finish is trashed. Dealer in NorCal said it was "berry eating birds" - nothing they could do. Dealer in Phoenix said it was "poorly applied clearcoat" or a bad process for applying water based paint - nothing they could do. Dealer in Colorado said "environmental damage" - nothing they could do. This car was not Simonized.... I also took delivery right off the truck without dealer prep. Car looks like acid is eating through the hood, passenger side doors, roof, and trunk lid. Toss in the peeling B pillars and the car looks pretty hideous. I'm somewhat relieved to hear that others are having similar issues - I thought my car was cursed!! :lemon: Only have 34,000 miles on it too... :cry:
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Nighthawk Black Pearl is notorious for this.
    It does NOT like the elements.

    Waxing alone won't help Nighthawk Black Pearl.
    Bird droppings on most cars, you have 12-48 hours to get it off without ghosting or damage... not on the Acura Black.
    You have seconds...minutes at most.

    I clay my cars twice a year.
    Once in the Spring and once in the Fall.
    If I owned a Black TL, I'd clay every month.
  • ;) Yep, I learned this after leaving my month old car at the airport for a 3 day business trip .... problem is, 90% of this wasn't bird droppings. It's become ANYTHING that touches the car. I was hand washing my car every week (as often as I could manage with a 100 plus hour work week at the time) plus I'm known for being an excellent detailer (all my other cars have been almost showroom perfect when I sold them). "Waxing" to me includes cleaning, polishing, glazing and usually 4 light coats of a very high quality carnauba. It takes a couple days to do by hand - no buffers touch my cars. Pinnacle products have essential oils in them and are my favorites - I use Meguiar's if I'm just doing a quick touch up and know I will be stripping the car shortly and starting again.

    At this point I've given up and just accepted the 10,000 buck hit I'm going to take when I get rid of the car. Estimate on a full body re-paint was over eight grand and it isn't worth it after already undergoing 3 warrantied transmission replacements. :sick: Guess a lot has changed at Acura since I last owned one.
  • oc2020oc2020 Posts: 14
    I just bought a black TL and was wondering if the paint protection the dealer offers for $600 is worth it. I forget what it is called but he said that everything just wipes off. Can I get this somewhere else cheaper?
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    Pretty much anything a dealer offers is not worth it and you can get somewhere else much cheaper.

    For "paint protection" visit

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    OC, it depends.

    Is the protection they put on your car worth $600?
    Absolutely NOT!
    And that's assuming they even put it on to begin with.

    What may be worth the $600 is the warranty it comes with.
    Some people claim that their package comes with a lifetime warranty on internal or external stains.
    Check the fine print before shelling out your hard earned dough.

    If the warranty stinks, as it did with my Acura dealership, then yeah... spend a percentage of that on good car care chemicals and do it's not hard and doesn't take much time, unless your slightly obsessive like me or laurasdada up there. :P
    I also like Zaino.
    It works well and is very easy to work with, once you learn the steps.

    If you want to learn more on dos and dont's, check out Autopia
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    Another coat of Z-2 last weekend... :shades:

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

This discussion has been closed.