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Acura TL Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Not much you can do without a diagnostic check through the service port in the trunk.

    I have heard that in *very* cold weather, the screen may remain dark for a few minutes but will eventually turn on as the car heats up. Any chance of that?

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  • no it just stays black and says error :-(
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    That's not good. I suppose the dealer could substitute a new DVD and see what happens.

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  • mikey38mikey38 Posts: 141
    check and see if the DVD drive door in the trunk got popped open. I had that happen to me once. Closing the door fully solved the problem
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Here's the link: jspagna1, "Acura TL 2009 -" #1533, 15 Dec 2009 5:52 pm.

    Folks, let's remember this is the TL Maintenance and Repair discussion, okay? :)
  • I have an '08 TL. I took it into the dealer for "A12" service which involves mostly filter changes (engine and cabin) and the usual oil change. However, for the second time they are saying I need to change my transmission fluid because it is "dirty" (they "diagnosed" this about 10 minutes after I left the dealer so the only thing they could have done was check the dipstick). The car has 24K on it and the manual doesn't recommend a change until 60k unless the car is driven under extreme conditions. I checked the dipstick and the fluid is bright red and clear. I think they are trying to get more $ out of me because they changed the oil on a $19.95 coupon. Is there any benefit (other than to the dealer) of changing the tranny fluid now or should I stick with what the manual says.
  • It's a bit early to do a transmission flush. The dealership must be hurtin' for cash. I'd stick with the manual.

    Here's my maintenance schedule, although, I'll admit it's on the compulsive side. But if you ever wanted a used car, my car would be the one you'd want :

    Fuel Induction every 15,000 miles-30,000 miles or 1 year - DEALER ONLY
    Fuel Induction tx requires a special machine ONLY AT DEALER
    Fuel induction uses BG 44 (stronger than CF5)
    Fuel Injection tx is just a bottle of BG CF5 into gas tank every 7,500 miles,-Are-They-W- orth-It?&id=300855

    BG Frigi Clean - kills mold, $40 - do Annually
    bottle comes with hose and screws
    injected thru AC exhaust
    dealer wants $120
    you can do it for $30 labor and $40 bottle with independent mechanic
    make sure mechanic gives it 20 mins to dry out the foam
    do the FrigiClean before you add new internal cabin air filter so that your old filter can collect the mess

    Radiator Flush every 20,000-25,000 if lots of stop and go or every 2 years
    - 2 bottle of coolant (antifreeze) + BG kit

    Power Steering Flush - every 25,000 - 30,000 (3 bottles) or every 2 years

    Transmission Flush - every 30,000 or every 2 years - DEALER ONLY
    - 15 quarts + BG additive
    - or 4 quarts if drain and fill only

    Air Filter and Internal Cabin Filter every 12,000-15,000 miles or once/twice per year (depends on your environment and driving)

    Spark plugs - every 50,000 miles for regular plugs, or every 60,000 - 100,000 with Iridium or Double Platinum (labor $200, plugs $200) - Independent Mechanic will not allow you to buy plugs and bring it to their shop b/c of liability

    Car Battery - every 3-7 years, check readings at each oil change, most places would say on average 3 years is best

    Alternator - every 5-7 years

    Starter - every 7-10 years

    Wiper Blades - annually

    Timing Belt - every 100,000 miles or 7 years, may want to replace water pump when you replace the belt - best to do with Dealer for peace of mind

    Brakes - every 40,000 miles, will need new ceramic brake pads from Acura
    best to buy new rotors (3rd party ok) instead of resurfacing the rotors
    ideally to get new rotors at each brake change but ok if you pass 40,000 and do it at 80,000 miles

    Brake Flush - every 30,000 or when brakes are being done - DEALER ONLY

    Suspension - dependent on driving conditions

    PCV Valve - at 30,60, and 90,000, $140, helps engine to breathe

    rotate tires every 6,000 miles
  • With the dealer telling you that it needed changed and if it isn't done, they could screw you on the guaurantee if the need ever arose. I personally would have it changed by a 3d party and keep the receipt.
    Here is my maintenance schedule for my 2000TL that I drove 70K over 8 years:
    Change oil and filter every 3 to 5000 miles at the local Honda garage
    Blow out the air filter every year with compressed air, never replace it.
    Cabin filter....what is that?
    Chance tranny oil....never
    Change brake fluid and drain....what for?
    Rotate tires every 5000 miles
    Spark plugs...designed for 100K, why change them.
    Brakes..I myself put on Brembo rotors and pads at 65K because we were going on a 2400 mile vacation. Pads were only half worn.
    Take it to the dealer for anything....never except for tranny recall.
    I sold the 2000 to my Grand Daughter and she has put an additional 15K on it and it runs like a top.
    The 2008 TL is 1 1/2 years old and just turned over 10K. Only maintenance to date was oil change and filter at 7000 at the local Honda garage.
    Taking it to the dealer.....probably never.
  • I'm no transmission expert, but if the manual doesn't call for it *AND* you think it looks relatively clean, I would take it to a local (trustworthy) transmission shop and ask them to check it out. If they agree with you, don't change it. My last three vehicles have all exceeded 100,000 miles and I only took them to the dealer for recall or (free) warranty work. I'm currently at 54,000 miles on our 2005 TL.

    By the way, I inquired about snow tires in an earlier post. I purchased Blizzaks and new rims on They are INCREDIBLE! It feels like I'm driving an all-wheel-drive car now. And the new rims look awesome; I actually like them much better than the OEM rims.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I have a 2005 Acura TL and the cover plate to the non-moving part of the door handle of my rear passenger side door fell off. If you know the door design....there is a cover plate that doesn't move...but just an aesthetic cover to make the handle lines flow better. So on the rear passenger is to the rear part of the handle.

    Lucky for fell off when I was washing my I still have the cover.

    The big question for everyone here.... How the heck do I reattach the cover???? I tried to do it...but I can't seem to figure out how to properly mount it so it won't fall off.

  • The tangs on the cover are probably broken. But you can super glue the cover to
    the metal base.
  • I had to get another Battery for my 2006 TL.
    I've had it since Jan 2006. The 2nd battery was on warranty and was replaced Feb 2008. My car went dead this past week. I got another battery at Costco. I hope their battery lasts longer than the two Acura batteries. The Acura's only lasted about two years each.
    As a comparison I haven't had to replace my 2003 Toyota Highlander battery once yet.
    Does anyone know if there is a weakness in the Acura batteries or the elctrical system which drains them faster?
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I looked at the plastic cover and I don't see any broken plastic parts. The color is consistent on all pieces and don't see any 'raw' non-color areas.

    I don't believe I can 'superglue' it as the surface area of the cover edges are pretty little.

    Darn....hate to think I have to bring it to the dealer and have them charge me big dollars for such a little thing.

    Anyone else here have the same experience?
  • This is a design flaw - these covers come off when the car goes through a car was with thin (wiry) brushes - it does not happen in touch-less car washes and with carwashes with wider brushes.

    This is a very typical problem - particularly in dealerships that have cheap carwash infrastructure.

    Unfortunately, it can not be re-attached - the assembly will have to be replaced. Most dealerships do not stock it.

    It happened 3 times to our 2004 TL - each time the complete assembly was replaced free since the car was still under warranty. Now if I take my car in for a service, I inspect these BEFORE making the payment.

    Suggestion: make a lot of noise at the dealership - they may provide a free replacement.
  • Batteries dying prematurely is a common problem with the 04 - 08 TL. You can search Carspace and find plenty of complaints about it.
  • mikey38mikey38 Posts: 141
    I had the factory original battery on my 06 TL changed out at the 60k check. The maintenance folks said it checked "weak" so the replaced it at no additional cost. I'd been having no visible problems with it.
  • I believe I replaced the battery in my 2005 TL after about 2 1/2 years of ownership. I purchased mine at Sears and recall the guy telling me there that batteries typically last 2-3 years. Now, keep in mind I'm in chilly Minnesota so maybe that has something to do with it. Replacing a battery is such a simple task, and relatively inexpensive, that I don't think much of it. If it's a flaw in the TL it's one I'll live with given everything else that is "right" with the car.
  • My '05 TL was telling me to get the "B2" service done so I had my oil changed by an oil chain shop (not the dealer). I turned to page 206 of my manual to reset the "Maintenance Minder" message, but it's not working. Here's what it tells me to do (and what I did repeatedly):
    1) turn ignition switch to "On" (I tried this w/the car OFF and w/the car ON)
    2) press the button repeatedly until the oil life is displayed
    3) press and hold the Select/Reset button for 10 seconds. The multi-information display will ask for a confirmation. Press Select/Reset button to select "Ok".
    - Here's where I'm having the problem. When I hold the Select/Reset button in for 10 seconds it simply reverts right back to the "Service Reminder: B2" yellow message" - I don't have the option of hitting the Select/Reset button again to reset the message.

    Any idea how I reset this service reminder? I recall the manual instructions worked in the past, not sure why they aren't working now. Thanks.
  • jefhjefh Posts: 6
    Unless Acura changed policy, I believe battery in TL has 4 yrs warranty. I replaced my 05 TL battery in dealer with $0 out of pocket. Not like the car, the new battery has yet another 4 yrs of warranty to it and this 2nd one hasn't failed on me yet (knock on wood.)

    I agree that wandering in middle of nowhere and waiting for lousy Acura roadside service or AAA is no fun at all. The battery design has flaws. But I think that's the only stall experience I have with Acura vs. 3 times of my long-gone MB, even though it never has any battery issue.
  • camoncamon Posts: 98
    To reset my 05TL's oil life, sometimes I have to hold the reset button for a good 20 seconds,and do it several times in a row.

    I always start with the ignition off. Then turn it on to the second on position (when all instruments light up and before the starter engagement position). Select the screen with the oil life and then just hold the reset down for a good 20 seconds, release and hold it down 1 or 2 more times for 20 seconds each. Eventually it resets the oil life. I don't worry what the screen shows in between, I just keep it held down 2 or 3 times and it resets.

    Originally, it seemed to reset quicker but now it takes several attempts.

    Good luck
  • camoncamon Posts: 98
    If it's the same piece I'm looking at on my TL I'd try some flexible/waterproof silicone cement.
  • I fixed it. The trick was to hold down the Select/Reset button while the Maintenance Reminder message was still on the screen...not when the Oil Life indicator was on the screen as indicated in the manual. Odd. From now on I'll have a little post-it note on that page of the manual to remind me to do this in the future.
  • camoncamon Posts: 98
    There are occasions when you may want to change oil before the maintence minder is displayed.
    In that event you may still need to repeatedly hold down the reset button starting with the screen on which the oil life showing. A different screen may pop up but there is no need to go back to the original oil life screen like you tried to do. I just let off then push and hold again and it resets.
  • So i just took my 05 TL in for a B service. They said I need a new Battery ($129), cabin/engine filters need replaced($58), Front and Rear Brakes are at 3mm and should be replaced ($290 and $250). Transmission Fluid Flush ($90) and Brake fluid Flush ($137). Should i get these things done at this dealer or should i shop around?
    Also, do i need these flushes that they recommend?
    I probably could do the battery myself.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    It depends. at the age/mileage, those are all things that should be done. So the question is, are you more comfortable paying a premium to have the dealer take care of things, or are you willing to take care of things elsewhere?

    The cabin air filter you should DIY. Takes about 2 minutes, and most of that is taking your junk out of the glove box! Engine air filter isn't too bad, but can be a little bit of a hassle and requires some tools.

    The battery? Go to Walmart, and get a better one for about $75 installed.

    Tranny flush, I had the dealer do. Mostly to make sure it got the correct fluid, but also (given the tranny issues honda has been having) to give me more leverage if I later have to fight for a good will repair!

    So, that leaves brakes. I had my Accord done at a Tires plus store. Did a fine job. I also had them flush the brake fluid. I think the rear brakes were about $225, and the fluid flush another $65 or so? Honda does spec out the brake flush, and it is a good idea to do it.

    SO, if you have a shop you are comfortable with, you can probably save a coupole hunder $$ on the full brake job, and as a bonus, you can pick different pads 9since the Honda ones aren't the greatest).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • selig1selig1 Posts: 8
    Can anybody tell me how to change the cabin filter on a 04 tl? thanks, Andy
  • rvator4rvator4 Posts: 84
    I have an 08 TL base and sold my 00 to my grand daughter for what they offered us for it. It had 70K on it and it was to the dealer once....the tranny recall. The rest of the maintenance, however slight, was done at a local Honda garage.
    Battery at 6 years, never a brake flush, never a cabin filter, never a new air filter (I blew out the old one every year with compressed air, replaced the front rotors and all pads myself with Brembo parts for about $250 I believe, rotated tires every 5000 miles and replaced them prior to a long vacation trip at 65K, and that ol' 2000 TL is still running great with 95K on it now. At first I always took out the book when I went to Honda and showed the service manager what needed done and he would always say, "We don't do that, no, not needed, etc".
    Sounds like you are being reamed. I seriously question the pad measurement since the front and back rarely wear at the same rate. Shop around. Your mileage may vary.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    it is in the manual, or you can find it online. basically you drop the glove bao down (there is a catch you release to let it hang all the way down) then it is pretty much pop the old one out, and pop the new one in.

    As to Vator's point, not many people are willing (or ale) to do brake jobs on their own (and if you gotta ask how to change an air filter, likely not one of them!).

    But, it is always a fine idea to get a 2nd opinion and estimate, and any tire/brake place will give a free one if you don't trust the dealer.

    It is also more common to just change the air filter every couple years. They don't cost much, but if you are happy with the air trick, NP.

    The brake fluid? Probably many people don't bother, but it is specifically recommended by Honda, and pretty cheap insurance, to make sure your brakes work like they are supposed to, and you don't end up with contamination problems (and a master cylinder for a car with ABS is mucho expensive).

    tranny fluid change, I don't remember when they call for it, but on an '05, should be due, and again, cheap insurance to avoid problems with a very expensive part!

    Prices actually seem normal for a dealer, and everything called for makes sense, so I really don't think they are tyring to "ream" the OP

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • My .02 worth:

    - Battery: buy a premium one at Sam's or Cosco for 1/2 or 2/3 the cost and install it yourself - piece of cake

    - Cabin/engine filters: I've yet to replace the cabin filter on my '05 TL w/56k miles. Maybe I should. But as my Father-in-law always reminds me, "you'll eat a barrel full of dirt before you die".

    - Front and rear brakes: are they just talking pads? My Dad replaced my pads and rotors - front and back - and the total cost was something like $200. Everyone tells me how easy it is to replace brakes but, after watching him do it, I wouldn't tackle it on my own. The emergency brake part of it was a little tricky in my opinion (didn't seem to rattle my Dad, but it took him a little time to get it right). Regardless, I'd take it to a tire/brake shop and have them give you a quote.

    - Tranny flush: I had mine flushed at an oil change shop

    - Brake fluid flush: I haven't had mine done yet, but will get it done at an oil change shop when necessary.

    The one thing I've learned with Acura around!
  • camoncamon Posts: 98
    With respect to the battery replacement on my 05 TL, I was able to do mine for $70 with a high quality battery. It was very easy.

    Just be sure that it is an EXACT size match and without battery caps protruding from the top, otherwise your battery cover will not fit back on properly. Also the negative battery cable is VERY short and the positive virtually immovable, so any physical size difference will present a problem. The COSTCO battery had protruding caps so it was a no-go for that one.
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