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Acura TL Maintenance and Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
Share any problems and possible solutions here.


  • I don't own the 04 TL... yet, but I plan to...maybe in 2005. The car, however, is extremely impressive.

    Went to the dealership to see the 04 TL and the Brochure I was given had teething problems - The outside cover was assembled up-side down with the balance of the brochure right-side up!

    If the build quality of the brochure is suspect, I don't know how this relates to the build quality of the first model year of the new TL...

    I had a good laugh with the salesman about it!

    I am VERY interested to know how you new owners fare during the birthing of this new infant, TL.

    My 1991 Accord EX 5MT Sedan had teething problems(I'm the original owner, car was built in Japan per VIN#). During the first week of ownership, every piece of glass in the car had to be replaced due to wavy and distorted sightlines when looking through the glass, the moonroof had to be replaced due to incorrect assembly, and the drivers-side front fender was replaced due to a "rust blemish" under the paint. All this on a brand new car!

    However, the car has been reliable up to the present 231K miles and I still enjoy driving it everyday, especially the muanual trans,in Southern California.

    My next car will be the new TL 6MT. But will it be in 2004 or 2005?
  • Reporting vibration at certain speeds, not correctable with wheel balance, full tire change; and apparently widespread with 04 TL. Possibly harmonic vibration; anyone else with this experience? remedy?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    How do you know the problem is widespread with 04 TL, since only a few people have taken delivery so far?
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    What speeds are you talking about? Have you checked the rims for out-of-roundness? If any of your rims is out-of-round even slightly, it will vibrate a high speeds. I just replaced an out-of-round rim on my '00 TL because of the similar symptoms you experienced. And, this problem cannot be cured by wheel balancing.
  • Maintenance coordinator at my service garage reports similar vibrations in the three 04s he's driven so far; similar reaction from sales floor. I'm becoming of the opinion that the problem is not in the wheel as all wheels/tires were exchanged with another vehicle and vibration persists. It occurs in the range of 1,500- 1,800 rpms which, unfortunately, is a frequent range for my city driving.
  • chas1chas1 Posts: 6
    I have experienced the same problem. 2 Turanza EL42s out of round. I ended up replacing all tires with Conti Extreme Contacts last night. Much better but still some 65-70 mph vibration. I will return for rebalance.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 113
    I will be test driving an 04 TL in the next week as a possible replacement for my Saab 9-5. What's the best way to reproduce the noise you are referring to? Is it simply getting the RPMs in the range of 1,500 to 1,800 at a constant speed, or does it happen when accelerating, decelerating, etc.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.
  • It's not a noise, its a vibration which feels like a wheel balance problem (but apparently is something else - mine seems to fast-idle rough at the same rpm) - just be cognizant during your test drive; if it's there you'll know it. Please follow with your experience. It's a great sport drive for the money, but if you buy, you might want to test drive yours before taking delivery. I accelerate through that rpm range relatively normally and always feel it. If possible, take a model with the optional navigation system. Leading edge capabilities/graphics/voice instructions are a real experience, though James Healey (test drive "USA Today" Oct. 31, 2003)was put off by voice "command" overlay design/results, and discourages the option.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 113
    I have been following the various discussions, and the 04TL w/nav is on my short list. I'm hypersensitive, though, to possible problems like this on a new model. thanks again.
  • chas1chas1 Posts: 6
    Vibration occurs regardless of rpms. I even put the car in neutral at 65-70 and steering wheel vibration did not change.
  • chas1chas1 Posts: 6
    The vibration that I feel is not rpm dependent. Shifting into another gear or neutral changes nothing.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I too was kind of wondering if the vibration was rpm-related, or speed-related. If it is speed-related, then one would think the problem lies with the wheel(s) or tire(s).

    kahunah & torontotl: Has this problem shown up in your cars?
  • Thanks. Sounds like yours is in the tires. But for my information, is there no difference in smoothness when you run at 1500-1,600 rpm while stopped? Good luck with new tires. I was surprised Acura went from Michelin to the Bridegestone. I've had no experience with the Turanza's but my best experience with balance has always been with Michelin.
  • I'm not sure if I have this vibration or not. I've seen the reports on this and have been closely watching for it. However, I haven't done much highway driving since I heard of this problem. I drove at 100 km/h on a smooth highway on the weekend and didn't notice anything. Now one time on the Gardiner expressway I felt some vibration but wasn't sure if it was the poor quality of the road there. I'll keep my eye out for this and report back.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Unless I missed something, you shouldn't need to be at highway speed to observe this phenomenon. I think it was reported that the vibration will occur at 1,500 - 1,800 rpm which should occur at city speeds. In fact, you can probably produce that rpm range in different gears using the SS to see if it is gear-dependent. However, please take care so not to crash your new ride while attempting this exercise!

    BTW, have you considered changing your TH handle to TLinTO? That would be pretty catchy, don't ya think?
  • Just picked up my '04 TL w/o navigation and there's no vibration in my steering wheel. I'll post if this or any other problems arise.
  • You indicated that you'd seen the reports on this... Can you direct me to any reports, articles, or other reports about this problem? Thanks much.
  • Well I'm really not sure if I have any type of vibration at all. What I think it is is what bodble2 is referring to. A slight vibration from the engine with slight throttle input between 1500 to 1800 rpm. But again I'm really not sure. Can't really reproduce it reliably. bodble2 do you notice this vibration? I've seen mention of this on other TL newsgroups but I'm not allowed to mention them here I don't think. Just do a search for Acura TL and I'm sure you'll find the newgroups.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I have not pulled the trigger on a purchase yet. And my pittly 10-minute test drive did not allow me to notice much of anything!
  • Thanks for response Torontotl. I did find another chat room with a pretty exhaustive list of concerns. The vibration thing comes up repeatedly. Some believed due to tires out of round etc. but also drive train related vibrations. I get some of each, the latter usually when engines lugs at lower rpms. This is perhaps not not noticable in stick shift. I can thwart much vibration moving to higher rpms with automatic sport shift. Still its very disconcerting. Another common complaint is (which I've also experienced) is wrinkled butt print in seat after use... my concern is that this wrinkling will become more permanent with time.
  • I am about to pick up my TL today w/navi. I just caught this board and I am worried that the car will have a problem. I did not notice a vibration when I test drove the car and I took it out two separate times. once with the salesman and once without. never noticed a vibration and I am pretty keen to these things. my friend's mom just bought one and no vibration reported from her. i am leaving the office early so i can test drive again before i complete the deal. i hope this is an isolated issue. any folks out there who are happy with the car?
  • I am totally happy with my TL. No actual complaints. I've simply been responding to questions. Regarding this vibration, I am not describing something that worries me whatsoever. I think it may just be a slight vibration at a certain rpm. I will ask the dealer to look at it when my first oil change comes up. It is really not easily reproducible either. I think it is being blown out of proportion as many things so on the internet.
  • THANKS for the comforting thoughts! This was total news to me as no review has mentioned this issue. How do you like the handling? everyone knocks it because it is front wheel drive and not a bmw? i looked at a g35, but the interior was horrible and the truck was not useable. also, in my test drives, i found the tl to be more responsive. everyone is different. the bmw is too small (3 series) and too expensive with the bells and whistles. i am sure the performance is a bit better in the bimmer, but for highway driving i don't expect this to be a significant difference. the bluetooth, navi, and vtec engine are a better value and i will use them more than taking a bimmer to the track to post better times than a tl. so what.
  • Agree with your reasoning. You can expect to be very happy unless you get the automatic transmission and are averse to vibration. Here's a direct quote from one of the other sites:

    "Car up shifts way too early, at steady cruise (not pushing it). It is in 4th just shy of 30mph and 5th just shy of 45 mph, makes cruising at these speeds full of vibration as engine lugs as it is not turning enough rmps".

    I believe this sums it up. In "Drive" my engine runs very frequently at about 1,500 rpms on freeway route to work. It bothers me personally and I'm no perfectionist/enthusiast my any means. Can avoid drive-train vibration with sport shift and get much quicker engine response; still I don't want to use it constantly... I'd buy the car again, but the way things stand now, it would be with manual transmission. The audio DVD - Wow.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    is to have a heavier right foot since the tranny will "learn" your driving habit and change the shift points accordingly.
  • I love the handling of my car. Everyone makes a big deal about the FWD vs RWD thing. I really honestly feel that, and C&D has stated this as well, you will not find it to be an issue unless you drive at 9/10's all the time. The FWD chasis is so good on this car and the suspension tuning and steering is such that it handles really really well. Better than any other FWD car I've driven. There is no comparison to other FWD cars. It definitely does not have as much torque steer as the Maxima and it eats corners. I don't think you will be dissappointed if you buy it. Drive it and you will see.
  • I have no vibration problems. I love the car, the way it handles, the sound system, the look. Please go to msg. 1623 in "2004 TL" section and you can read about all my first impressions after I picked the car up.

    I highly recommend signing up for XM radio. Long car rides are alot more fun now.

    Two things I'm going to get checked next week at the dealer. There's an occasional rattle coming from under the dash/steering column and I'm going to get the headlights calibrated; one's slightly lower than the other.

    I'm from NJ also. 220 miles on the car and loving every minute so far.

    I agree with torontotl, BTW. What's the fuss about RWD and FWD? Yes, I think the G-35 handles slightly better than this car, but there are so many other positives.
  • I find the rear window to be a bit small and the rear head cushions impair vision further. This could be corrected by having them manually adjustable downward. Better yet, being able to adjust them from the driver's seat electronically-like some of the Volvos- would be even better.

    Secondly, I find storage space lacking. Pouches in the fronts of the seats would be an out of the way spot- by one's calves. There are other areas that storage could be added. The trunk should have some cargo nets installed as a standard option.
  • Cargo nets are standard. 1 small and 1 large. Does anybody know how to confgure them?
  • picked up my car last evening. abyss blue/camel. love the color scheme. I have not encountered any vibration at any speed. navigation works well, sometimes it may not understand me, but most times it works very well. I tried driving at 1500 rpms at a low speed and i have done about 70 mph and still no vibration. i hear a couple of rattles hear and there which a surprise. i haven't really pushed the car yet as i am waiting to pass the break in period. so far very happy with it. want to use the bluetooth, but the phone i have t39m does not have the right handsfree protocol so i will have to buy a new phone.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Congrats on the car. Have you had a chance to look at your car under brigbt daylight? How does it look? Does it have a purple hue to it that some blue has under sunlight? I think the Abyss Blue is definitely a darker hue than the Aegean Blue from the 03 CL or the Eternal Blue, right? Is it comparable to the Indigo Blue on the TSX?
  • The Abyss Blue is dark, but it is not purple like the Indigo Blue on the TSX. It is a nice deep blue colour that looks amazing in the sunlight and really beautiful in the evening light as well. You are correct in that it is darker than the Aegean Blue and the Eternal Blue I think.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I went to a second dealer yesterday. I had a good look at the Desert Mist with parchment. Not too bad. Pleasant but kind of unexciting. They didn't have a White or Blue but I saw an 02 TL in the same white and I don't think it looks that good. So it appears I'm down to between the Desert Mist and the Abyss Blue.
  • Thanks Bodble2 for the suggestion about changing shift points... I will give it a try. NJ Driver - is your TL an automatic or manual?
  • dulnevdulnev Posts: 652
    You know that the left headlight is supposed to point lower, right? That's intentionally done to reduce blinding the oncoming cars' drivers.
  • automatic with navi. still don't notice vibration. all i can say is the car drives very nicely. i am exhausted comparing to g35 and bmw. I am not racing these guys. for day to day driving, the car is exceptional. i finally got the right phone for the bluetooth and i really like this feature. one thing that i noticed that is a little annoying is that sometimes the car doesn't start on the first try. this has something to do with the emission controls that honda has built into the computer (it's mentioned in the manual). I really have fun driving the car. i keep going out for short drives because the engine is so responsive and the sound system is awesome. in additon, the seat is so comfortable. oh, the brakes are amazing. all the reviews state this consistently. i think the car handles nicely, but i suspect it's a bit off from its peers. I love the color, blue abyss. it's a midnight blue with a pumpkin color interior (think of the porsche boxster). i think the blue is the best color. silver is nice as well with the black interior.
  • headhlights. The only reason I knew that the driver's side HID is supposed to point llightly down is because of your comment and one other person.

    Why doesn't the passenger side HID point downward at the exact same angle? Doesn't that cause the oncoming dirver to be blinded?
  • Does all tl-04 automatics have this vibration problem?
  • I have no vibration trouble. I saw at least 4 other owners in here state the same thing.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Since we drive on the right hand side, I guess they figure the passenger side light would be less blinding to oncoming traffic. TLs in Asia, for example, would have the right side light angled down more.
  • kfhmailkfhmail Posts: 199
    It has always been appropriate to point the drivers side light down slightlylower than the passengers side for ALL types of head lights. Also...the drivers side light should be slightly angled to the right. This keeps your lights from shinning into the eyes of the on-coming trafic...this is not unique to the HID lights.
  • Having the 2004 TL requiring premium fuel, has anyone only use 87 grade in a car that requires 92 or above grade and have any problems? Having read a review in the local newspaper (Columbus Dispatch) about the TL and a quote from a chemical engineer from Honda R/D (Where the car is designed) stated that the 92 grade is only needed for a little extra performance which he could not tell a difference if the car had either grades in the car. So the car really does not require the 92 grade just a bonus it sounds like.
    Anyone else have a opinion?
  • Thanks guys. I've never had HID's before and because they're so bright and clear I noticed the exact angle of the headlights; never have before.
  • I mistakenly had the tank filled with 89 octane- in NJ, only an attendent is allowed to pump gas in one's car. There was an an awful rotten egg smell exuding from the engine that I'd prefer not to smell again. More relevently, I felt the car didn't have as much "pick-up" while driving with the lower octane gas. 91 octane will be the minimum octane I'll be using hereafter.

    I'm sure the experts here will give you better reasons than I can.
  • Get the White Diamond Pearl- I saw it in person and it looked awesome with the parchment interior.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    None of the dealers around here seems to have a white one. As you said, I'll have to wait to see it in person. I don't think photos do it justice.
  • I test drove the WDP TL at the Downtown Acura dealership here in Toronto. I looks nice with the parchment interior.
  • pmf13pmf13 Posts: 68
    The Acura dealer in Thornhill also has a white one with Navi as the test car if you're looking to see one.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    It'll be too long of a trip all the way from Vancouver just to see the White :)

    But seriously, I've seen a couple of 02 TL-S in the same WDP, and it just looked so.....well, white! Maybe the bigger size of the 02 TL accentuated the white. It was eye-catching, but I wasn't 100% sure if it was for the right reason---sort of like seeing a giant snowman going down the street! I think white can be attractive, but it needs some contrasting details. Just my .02.
  • pmf13pmf13 Posts: 68
    If that's not a good enough reason to come 3000 km, I think they have a Desert Mist one as well. :)
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