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Acura TL Maintenance and Repair



  • rickoricko Posts: 22
    About a week to file and then 30 days to get hearing date. Arbitrator can rule for repurchase or replacement. If ruled under a state lemon law replacement will not cost you anything, if not under lemon law and you win you will have to pay usage fees, for repurchase there are always usage fees applied, at least that is the way in KY. I just went through it and arbitrator ruled in my favor but not under lemon law because car had not been taken back 4 times before 12000 miles. She also said that no one should pay 35000 for a car and expect it to vibrate and the car was defective in workmanship and materials. It is a easy process to go through and would suggest anyone who is having vibration problem and not willing to accept as a characteristic of the car(what a joke) should proceed with complaint with BBB and National Highway Safety and file. They sold us a defective car, Acura rep at hearing said it is widespread and is caused by the torque convertor locking up, how comforting is that,that is causing it. Arbitrator said she felt it and that it impaired the value and safety of the car. It should have been recalled but Acura is not going to do anything. I am reporting it to the Attorney General Office as well as class action. They sold us defective cars and they knew it before hand. Good Luck to all and fight on.
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    To Ricko:


    Thank you for sharing your Lemon experience.


    I have filed a complaint with the BBB and a hearing is in the process of being scheduled. What can I expect?


    So far, I have not hired an attorney but I have been in touch with a very large LEMON LAW firm. If I can resolve this with the BBB, I will, if not, I will hire an attorney and sue.


    How much of your original investment did you get back and what did you buy?

    What were the usage fees?

    This vibration issue or problem is wide spread and may affect all 04TL’s. If you start a class action suit, please keep me in mind. I would like to join.


    I have many complaints (creaks, rattles) with my 04 tl but the major one is the vibration in 5th gear at 50 to 60 mph. My Acura dealer kept telling me it was my imagination and the Acura service manager told me he never heard of a harmonic vibration in 5th gear. They are all in a state of denial or they are all liers.


    When I spoke to a factory rep, he told me the truth and admitted that there is a Harmonic Vibration problem with the 04 TL. He stated that the 04 TL had a Harmonic Vibration (in 5th gear) and that this problem had been corrected in the 05 models. He went on to say that Acura engineers were currently working on a fix (TSB) for the 04 TL but he was not sure if they would find a cost effective solution.


    He also said that Acura considers this a characteristic of the car. I find it interesting that they have engineers working to correct a characteristic of the car.


    They say "It's not a problem" but they are trying to fix it...go figure.
  • Help! I do not know much about cars, tires, etc and need your help before I take it in.


    I bought my 1999 Acura TL in Oct 02 with 22,000 miles on it. It now has 45,000 miles. Every time I fill up my right front tire it is low in a couple days. So it appears I have a leak and I need to replace, at the very least, that tire.


    My question is should I be replacing all four tires at this time? I did a "penny test" and the treads on all four tires are low but not in the danger zone. When does one generally replace all the tires anyway? I'm assuming I did not get new tires when I bought the car.


    The tires on my car are Michelin Energy XSE MXV4 if that helps.


    So....three questions. Should I be replacing all four times at this time? And...would you take it into an Acura dealership or would any place (Discount Auto Parts, etc) do? Finally, can you recommend any particular brand of tire or does the Michelin work just fine? I'm in hot Phoenix, AZ.


    Thanks for any input you can provide!!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    So, in your State, the lemon law is administered thru the BBB? You don't need to engage a lawyer to invoke lemon law?


    I had always thought that an arbitration process would be outside of the legislation, since an arbitration, by its nature, implies some sort of subjective ruling, whereas, if the law is invoked, it would simply be a question of whether the situation fits within the parameters governed by the legislation.
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    To Bodble2


    The BBB arbitration process is one venue. Please note that BBB is financed by the auto good luck!


    The lemon law process uses lawyers and is a separate and longer process. But you recover more of your money!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Thanks for the clarification.


    Actually I also went thru an arbitration process here against Honda about 4 years ago. It too was funded by the automobile assocation. I guess where our system differs is that I was awarded full buyback, with no deduction for use, or anything else. And no fees involved. But we don't have lemon laws in our jurisdiction.
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    Thanks for the information. I'm in the process of getting a BBB hearing but i'm not too optimistic about the results...


    I've already got a lawyer in the wings...


    I'm glad everything worked out for you!
  • Hi Mark! It's a simple problem: I guess you either have a tiny nail stuck in the right front tire, the air valve is not completely tight, or the tire is not totally "flush" with the rim, which causes it to lose some air. Take the car to any tire store and have them check that tire. If the problem what I think it is, they'd fix it for you for $20 or so. Now to your questions:


    1) I guess you can use your current tires for another 5K miles or so, but keep an eye on the tread. Being in AZ, you don't have to worry about driving in rain/snow! It's recommended to change the four tires together.


    2) Forget about Acura dealers, they'll rip you off. Check discount tire stores, COSTCO, or you can buy them on the Internet and have your local store install them. is a good place to know everything about tires.


    3) It depends on your driving style and whether you lean towards ride comfort or performance/handling. You can go to and check out prices and read specs/reviews of all tires for 99TL and choose what suits you best. Good luck!
  • kylepkylep Posts: 7
    I have an 04 TL that I love - had it for about 4 months and just switched over to a Bluetooth compatible phone via Sprint. To answer your last question first, the audio while on the phone is good. You probably already know the radio shuts down when a call comes in which is nice. People I'm talking to say it sounds like I'm talking directly into my cell phone, and messages I've left for myself at the office come through clearly. The only negative - and it's a minor one - is the front speakers rattle a bit when the sound of the other caller comes through them if they're turned up too much, but that can be adjusted. On second thought, maybe it's my wife's voice...anyway, you'll enjoy the car.
  • Well I have read i think almost every blurb in this file and I think I am victim to everything and more...


    First of all, I have submitted my defect notification months ago and have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Feb 16th. I own a 2004 blk/blk TL with navi and currently has 21k miles.


    This is by far one of the nicest looking acura's ever produced however the quality control, service and handling leave much to be desired.


    I traded in my 2003 audi a4 1.8T for this car and thought I would be in heaven... my whole family drives acuras/hondas...i was the odd duck with an audi.


    *I have the harmonic resonance vibration that will not go away at low and high speeds.

    *I have tires that vibrate and wear improperly have done all regular service yet they r worn unevenly.

    *I have a rattling sunroof that the dealer insists is normal on TL's

    *I have a blue tooth phone that has been replaced 4 times and I have changed phones twice and it still drops calls and locks up like a computer... how do you fix this...u pull off to the side of the road shut the car off and restart quite simply like the dell computer you just bought that freezes...if its not locking up it drops the call the minute u try and connect the call on the wheel yet the phone doesnt drop...T mobile has tested phones and will stand behind the phone but not acura. The funny thing is the salesperson has the same phone and car and doesnt have the problem yet we paired his phone on my car and his does the same yet the same dealership service advisor at dealership stated it was my phone?????

    *I had a driver window that rattled and went down by itself...replaced window regulator...

    * dont u you dare tint windows on TL's...if you do they scratch due to the lack of felt on the guides NON warranty.

    *Leather seats? Can we say the worst quality for a car in this class period. ever. I have had the seatbottoms replaced twice and tehy even subl;et the seats to the lthr shop they came back worse...then the manuf. rep. stated it was normal wear and tear...I replied how can it be normal wear and tear when they were replaced and u sublet the replacements????? LOL

    *I have had my rotors resurfaced more vibrations then they replaced the pads and rotors...

    *My windshield cracked and had to get replaced.

    *I too had the temparture gauage go blank and reappear but I live in FL it doesnt get to 5 degrees here.

    *I had the stalling issue and all injectors were replaced....seemed ok but still stalls at times....dealers reply now =normal

    *The companys qulaity and devotion to service is downright horrid. I would think I am in Chevy land witht he way they look at me.

    *Traction control warning light comes on and STAYS on service advsior trys to tell me its normal yet thje manual says pull to the side shut car off and restart andf take car to nearest acura dealer..hmmmm

    *subwoofer rattled but was cured with noise barrier tape

    *console broke and had to be replaced

    *on a long road trip the a/c stopped blowing it blew cold just didnt blow air.

    *Check engine light has come on and flickers but usually when car hard to told they dont know whats wrongn here

    * My paint started bubbling on the front bumper and chipping like it was a dodge neon from the 90's and u pay 35k for what now?


    Oh ya the stereo is by far the best and I'll admit i always use it but for 35k i can put a down payment on a nice house with a killer stereo setup in every room. I pondered a replacement but yet the selling dealer vanadlized my car, the nearest dealer was involved ina class action lawsuit for warrnaty fraud and the best dealer which is mediocore at best is 40 minutes away and although the service manager is extremely nice the service advsior is a doodoo bird and i know more about the car than he does.overall this is a slamming hot car in the styling, offers some interesting technolgy but is a quality nightmare for the premium price...and cannot compete in that arena with its rivals but it is a lil cheaper but nontheless I firmly believe the above impairs the use value and saftey of the vehicle would you??
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Holy cow, what hasn't gone wrong?! Fortunately I have not experienced any of those problems except for saggy leather seats, and various & misc intermittent creaks and rattles. But none from the sunroof. Oh, and I guess one other annoying problem is sometimes I can't disconnect my phone from the HFL unless I switch the phone off and then back on. I think I have to be a certain distance away from the car or else I can't switch off bluetooth on the phone.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,704
    Wow, I can relate to some of your issues but it sounds like you've really got a lemon. I especially agree with you regarding the great looks of the car and manufacturer's and dealer's apparent apathy regarding its customers.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    My dealer's been great, but I've never cared much for Honda's corporate attitude.
  • rickoricko Posts: 22
    To Tedescm1


    First of all the usage fees were figured by using the following formula, miles-at the time of the hearing, divided by 100,000 miles, multiplied by total vehicle purchase price. In my case this came to $5200 which I am not going to pay.


    If I would have taken the car back 4 times for attempted repair before 12000 miles I would have received a ruling under lemon law requirements in Ky and arbitrator would have ordered replacement at no cost to me, but since I didn't meet the lemon requirements she ordered replacement with the fees, her hands were tied.


    According to the Acura rep the problem HAS NOT been corrected in the 05, they have adjusted the suspension, in order to try and cover it up a little more, but the real problem, a defective torque converter has not been resolved, too expensive my guess, so they want to cram it down our throat. The Arbitrator went on to say that it constitutes a substantial impairment of the SAFETY,USE AND VALUE of the vehicle to the consumer, and MAY POSE A SAFETY DANGER IN THE FUTURE AS THE VIBRATION CONTINUES by over-stressing other parts and systems.


    At the hearing you need to produce evidence you have taken the car back to the dealer for repair attempts and have copies from dealer service showing date, mileage, and what they did. On my service invoices were my complaint and they clearly stated no fix at this time. I also had copies from this forum about vibration complaints,but the rep at my hearing admitted very freely that the problem existed in the 04 and 05 TL and that they had no fix for it at this time. Let me say this, every state that has a lemon law, they are all different so check requirements for yours. At the hearing you can also ask each other questions and you will probably be asked questions by the arbitrator and the rep, we also took a test drive and rep brought 04 TL with him. It is an informal hearing, you will be fine with it.


    I will not keep this car because it worries me about being safe, whats going to happen if I am going down the interstate at 75 and this torque convertor flies apart who knows what might happen.

    You also need to notify Acura in writing.

    Good luck, I plan on fighting them for awhile.


  • aaarghaaargh Posts: 230
    Ricko: They talk about a defective torque converter.


    Stupid question, but is this on the Manual or Automatic?
  • 1violinist,


    Thank your for the reply. I have checked out and decided to go with the KUHMO ECSTA 716. From the reviews, it gets the best bang for your buck. Also, I'm only planning on driving this for another 15,000 miles. So...I'm just going to go ahead and get them done soon.


    If you know of any reason why NOT to go with this brand I would appreciate it.


    Thanks again for all your help...


  • On another note...


    I'm due for my 45,000 mile service. Can anyone recommend (or point me in the right direction where I can find this) an independent Acura repair shop in PHOENIX for this type of service. OR...would you just take into Acura and get it done with?


    Thanks again....




    PS Any idea what I should expect to pay?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    If there is torque converter, it must be an automatic.
  • KUHMO ECSTA 716 is a pretty good tire, especially for that price!


    As for the 45K service, do what's recommended in the manual. Most dealers would add extra services (like flushing fluids, etc.) that you don't need at this time. So, check with the dealer the itemized service, and see their advertised coupons.
  • I have a 2000TL and recently noticed that the hard foam handle molding on both rear doors is starting to split away from the plastic molding that comprises the "ashtray" and automatic window button. This car hasn't had much use (< 35k miles). Has anybody else see or heard of this before or know a solution? Thanks! TPC
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,704
    in my 6 mos. old '04 TL tonight when my son drove home from restaurant. The front passenger seat is low down, so one feels sunken in and it doesn't adjust. The ride was punishing taking hits from any and all road imperfections. My conclusion: this IS an uncomfortable car as a front passenger! I now sympathize with my wife. Any other owners notice that being in the driver seat seems much better than the front passenger?
  • I have the same noise coming from the moonroof. Did u figure out how to fix it? Thank you.
  • Hi dtate99:


    I can't seem to find the posting u mentioned about Kahunah's solution regarding the moonroof squeaks. Can you tell me where to find it? Thank you.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Are you referring to the infamous moonroof squeak/rattle on pre-2004 TL's, CL's, and Accords. They can fix the problem (though not permanently) by apply a special tape around the opening of the moonroof. It seems to work for a year or so, then the noise will slowly come back, then you'd have to get it done again.
  • Car talk,


    THANKS for all your help...I'll check out the above and also the dealership for pricing.


  • 1 violinist,


    Yeah, that Kuhmo seems right for me. Thanks again for all your help and the heads up on the dealership service.


  • I'm approaching my 60,000 service for my 02 TL...any suggestions for service stations in the Bay Area (Walnut Creek), or should I take it to Acura for $499?
  • nycjswnycjsw Posts: 15
    I have a 2001 CL-Type S and had the transmission go out the first time at 44K miles and now at 50K the replacement went out. Acura assured me the replacement was better than the original. I could tell it upshifted faster to get out of 2nd and 3rd? Right now my car is at the Acura dealership and I'm debating what to do with it. Each time the tranny went out it did so in a pretty dramatic way - automatically downshifting at high speeds to 2nd gear causing the car to slow down rapidly and just shifting on its own and getting getting stuck in a gear. It also happened with very little warning. Each time there were only about 3 small occurrences of slipping or a slight jolt in the transmission before the massive failure. So you have very little warning that it is going bad. After the first time I will not let my wife drive the car and after this second time I have really lost faith in the vehicle. Besides the transmission problems it is a great car. Trade in value is listed at about 12-13K. I guess I could keep it and since Honda/Acura extended the warranty to 7 year/50,000 miles I can just keep putting new transmission in it.
  • Hey guys,


    One more question. I am getting a quote of $210 from my local dealership for the 45,000 mile service (99 TL). They also suggested I change the transmission fluid for $60. Does this indeed need to be done at this point?


    Thanks again for your feedback!!


  • NO! Check your regular-maintenance manual and see the manufacturer's recommendation. In most cars you don't need to change the tranny fluid before 90K. If a car is operated under "severe" conditions (extreme heat, dust, multiple short trips, towing, etc.) they might recommend it at 60K.


    You can have the 45K at any shop for about $130-160, nothing special about the dealer's service, especially that the car is now out of warranty. My advice to you is to check out advertisements and mailer coupons for Firestone, Goodyear, etc. and do the service there.
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