Acura TL Navigation System Hints and Experiences

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Talk about Acura TL navigation system here.


  • mdhaukemdhauke Member Posts: 202
    Great idea for a new topic. The Navigation system is such an integral part of the new TL that I am sure there are a lot of tips and experiences people want to share. I pick up my new TL in 3 weeks so would to hear some pointers.
  • msf2msf2 Member Posts: 88
    Questions: Can you locate a place or destination by entering a phone number, or , must it be an address?
    Can the system be updated? Some have said it will be obsolete in three years.
    How does it accomodate destinations that don't exist yet? (Must it have updates?)
    Some time ago someone on the TL discussion site posted ALL the voice commands for the system....does anybody remember which post it was?
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    1. You can enter phone numbers for destinations only if it is a buisness. If you are looking to get to a friends home you need to enter their address.

    2. The system can be updated. It comes in form of a new DVD-ROM with updated maps and possible software. The thing I don't know is when Acura releases updates, and how much they are. As far as being obsolete in three years, anything having to do with computers is obsolete the second it is produced. There is constantly newer technology being produced to blow the previous away. All I can say about it is that in my opinion it is an awesome system.

    3. From what I have expierenced with destinations that dont exist is that you may need to find the physical address and go from there. For example when looking for the Krispy Kreme in Massachusetts I had to go on the web site to get the address because as far as the DVD knew there was no Krispy Kreme. So you would need an update the newest places of interest

    And I believe the post you are looking for is on the Acura TL discussion. #4518 of 5074 free7bird / Voice Commands by gcruzsmith
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    Do you have to keep the DVD disc in the unit to use it, or do you just install/download it once just like you would install a computer program into a computer?
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    You have to have the DVD in at all times in order to use it
  • msf2msf2 Member Posts: 88
    Thanks very much! I think I have to have one!
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    Not a problem. you wont be dissapointed if you do, the only problem is actually finding a TL with Nav unless you plan on ordering one.
  • msf2msf2 Member Posts: 88
    How has your experience been so far with the various voice commands? Some discussion has indicated that the command must be very exact to be understood by the system. Are there certain commands it responds to better than others?
  • bnet504bnet504 Member Posts: 18
    i plan on buying a TL soon and i was just wandering if u can play the dvd disc and a cd at the same time
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    From my expierence the voice commands aren't too bad. It is true that you do have to be a little louder than normal, and clear without any background noise. Even the Acura manuale states that the fan speed should be no more than the 2 bar level. For the most part I haven't had much trouble at all with it. The only command that religiously screws up on me is when I say "CD Play Track 3" and it repeats to me "CD Track Repeat." Also once in a while when telling the computer a telephone number it may screw up one digit. Other than that its not too bad unless you give commands at the wrong screen. For instance you can only say "Display Off" when in the setup screen. If you say it while on the map screen it will repeat to you "Display Hotel/Motel." And it also seems that every time I speek a little too quickly or accidently screw up a word it always ends up telling me what time it is. All and all it really is relativly easy to get used to. It may take a day but when you figure out what it requires to be fully functional it really is an excellent addition to what is already a great unit. In my mind anyway.

    As far as bnet504's question about playing a DVD and CD at the same time, the answer is no. It acts like a normal CD player but with the added bonus of being able to play DVD Audio if desired. Also and this is just because the question has poped up before, it doesn't have the capabilities of playing DVD videos.
    My question for you is why would you want it to play both at the same time?
  • kfhmailkfhmail Member Posts: 199
    bnet504...if you meant to ask if you could "play" the dvd for the nav and a CD in the stereo system at the same time the answer is yes. Yes, because they are played in two different systems. The Nav DVD is "played" in the Nav DVD system in the trunk, while you would "play" the cd or dvd-audio in the stereo in the dash.

    10 of 11 nav dvd by bnet504 Jan 22, 2004 (8:54 pm)
    i plan on buying a TL soon and i was just wandering if u can play the dvd disc and a cd at the same time
  • bnet504bnet504 Member Posts: 18
    thanks for the answers
  • samfu007samfu007 Member Posts: 3
    if you mean the DVD Map's in a separate compartment in the trunk. It has nothing to do with playing audio CD's or DVD's. So yeah, you can have the DVD-Map and DVD Audio going at the same time...
  • msf2msf2 Member Posts: 88
    Keeping you busy here.......
    When you enter a destination how quickly does it come up on the screen?
    Are you able to follow your progress on a long trip on the screen and still listen to XM radio or an audio DVD?
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    My mistake bnet504, I thought you you were talking about a DVD Audio Disc at the same time as a CD.

    It only takes about 10 seconds at the most when you enter a destination. The only time it might take longer is if you plan a destination that is a great distance. For example I live in Mass but for kicks I decided to see how long it would take me to get from my house to the Mirage Hotel And Casion in Las Vegas. And that took about 20 seconds to compute.
    While using the navigational screen you can listen to AM/FM, XM, CD, or DVD. You can also switch between the map screen and the audio screen without loseing your destination input. It will also still give voice directions while in the audio screen.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    Does the system automatically mute the stereo when the voice directions come on?
  • spilranulspilranul Member Posts: 1
    I read somewhere that as a "safety feature", the 2004 TL navigation system won't allow you to input an address while the car is in motion.

    I love my '99 TL's Navi system and I look forward to getting a new 04 TL, but after reading about this new "safety feature" I am afraid it will really take the fun out of using the system.

    For example, if I decide I want to find a Pizza Hut while on the road, do I need to stop the car, to use the system to find one?

    Can anyone confirm this?

    I've been using my current system for five years without any safety issue.

    Is Acura's next step diabling the temperature control system so you can't turn down the A/C without pulling over?
  • kphkph Member Posts: 40
    That review was in error, as was noted in the "Acura TL" forum. One of the Host's mentioned that they fowarded this to the reviewer (the error is in the Edmunds detailed review).

    You can enter information while in motion, like past Honda/Acura nav systems. At lease I could when I was on a test drive.
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    The voice directions doesn't mute the radio, but it does turn it down enough for you to hear the directions.
  • montrealloumontreallou Member Posts: 25
    Has anyone compared the distance traveled on the Navi system to the Trip computer to the odometer. I have heard they use different calculations. Does anyone know. I was also told it was in my manual but I have yet to find it.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    Thanks for the info. Will it also slap teenagers sitting in the back to get them to shut up so you can think straight and hear the directions? :)
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    I have not yet compared the trip computer to the nav distance traveled. To be honest I have never heard this but it makes me very curious and I will check it out tomorrow if I remember.

    bodble2. Unfortunitly it will not. But you will find that passengers talking during instruction is not the most frustrating. Try giving voice commands with people in the car. Never in my life have I ever thought of hitting a tree until the moment I hit that voice command button with my father or brother in the car.
  • jime6jime6 Member Posts: 9
    Does anyone have a source for information on how the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) is calculated? I would like to know why it is so inaccurate.

    I have a Garmin Streepilot III aftermarket automotive GPS that is very accurate on ETA, but my TL GPS is way off. I have even run them at the same time (talk about too many voice instructions) and find that the Garmin is usually within a minute on a 30 minute drive, and the TL is usually 5 to 9 minutes slow.

    I think it is because the TL GPS starts out estimating that you will drive the speed limit on the highway and ½ the speed limit on streets (trying to calculate time at stop-lights?), but I am guessing. The Garmin keeps a “history” of the driver’s habits and I think it only considers travel time when giving estimates (not “stopped” time).

    This is my only “complaint” about my Acura TL so far.


  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    When I had a TL demo on an overnight test drive, I played around with the nav a fair bit and generally found it user-friendly. However, I do have 2 minor complaints. One is that even in Canada the nav states everything in miles, not KM. Maybe not a huge deal but since it gives instructions such as "turn left in 1/2 mile...", or "continue on highlighted road for 2 miles...", it would be nice to be able to just take a peek at the odometer and not have to do a quich metric conversion. And second, it doesn't seem to identify bridges or tunnels. I'm thinking of situations in which the road branches in 2 different directions, and if you veer one way you go on a bridge or tunnel/underpass. It would be more helpful if the instructions were to be like "keep left to go onto bridge...".
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    The owner's manual does not seem to contain instructions on operating the nav, or using voice-command. Is that on a separate manual?
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    From what I was led to believe the way the TL computes distance ETA is by how many miles to destination and traveling at your average speed. Your Streetpiolt may be going by real time speed which is purely a guess because I know nothing about your unit. And I also don't believe the TL Nav unit knows the speed limits on perticular roads.

    Bodble2. If you go into the setup screen and then select one of the menues(#1-4) I believe there is a way to change from miles to KM.
    Also there are about three or four manuals I think and there is one that explains a lot about how the system works and what the voice commands are.
  • dulnevdulnev Member Posts: 652
    "The owner's manual does not seem to contain instructions on operating the nav, or using voice-command. Is that on a separate manual?"

    My dealer originally forgot to include it with my manuals and had to mail it to me.
  • kphkph Member Posts: 40
    We have done many a trip in our 2000 Odyssey Navi -- it has the same problem. It's estimate is always longer than it takes me to drive.

    I had always assumed they had encoded speed limit into the database (easy enough to do) and calculated based on that. But, since the mileage remaining was accurate, I can do simple math based on my average speed and come up with a better estimate in my head.

    Would be nice if it was smarter...

    Now, assuming the speed limit in a TL??? Tsk tsk -- how silly of them...
  • montrealloumontreallou Member Posts: 25
    My Nav system was delivered with Km, not miles being reported. It has to be in the setup I am sure!

    My complaint in Canada, is that it maintains its database with accents on the names. So Montreal for example, is not found on the search, because Montreal has an accent over the e in their DB (as it is in French). You can find it going through a list, but its very cumbersome.

    Also, for some reason, when looking at POI, it can not find any Pharmacies in Montreal. It wants to send me 300k to NY.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I did a search for restaurants (American cuisin) and it returned with places down in Oregon, etc.

    Also UBC is treated as a city, which I thought was kind of weird.
  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    I checked today on my way into work. If you go into the setup screen and then select #3 on the top right you can change from miles to KM
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I should have known better
  • montrealloumontreallou Member Posts: 25
    I guess it thought you wanted AUTHENTIC American cuisine!
  • kahunahkahunah Member Posts: 448
    Well, if you searched for a great steak restaurant and it pointed you towards Chicago, I could understand that.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I searched for a great Chinese restaurant and it pointed towards the Pacific Ocean.

    j/k :)
  • montrealloumontreallou Member Posts: 25
    Maybe that's why my search for drugs had me going to New York City???
  • deanvitdeanvit Member Posts: 23
    Thanks montreallou, now I have to remove soda from my monitor.
  • montrealloumontreallou Member Posts: 25
    I learned that hitting the more button on the keyboard entry allows multi language characters to be entered. This solves my French street name problem.

    I still don't know why there are no pharmacies in Montreal!
  • kfhmailkfhmail Member Posts: 199
    1.Is it true that when you are using XM radio that the artist and the song title of the track that is playing is not displayed/shown on the Nav display/screen?

    2. Does the Nav display a compass heading other than on a map. I would like to see/know the direction I am heading (especially in an unfamiliar area/town) without having a map displayed on the Nav (say I am listening to the stereo). Is this possible.

    3. Where is the outside temperature displayed?

    Thanks for any help.
  • orange_peelorange_peel Member Posts: 14
    1. The Nav does display artist/song
    2. There is not compass heading other on map
    3. The outside temp is in the MID
  • adman17adman17 Member Posts: 5
    Set-up screen 3 has an option for changing the background color to 1 of 4 choices. -blue, amber,grey,red. I can't seem to discern any difference to any color when I choose one of these options. The manual states that this changes the background color of Text Boxes, but mine seem to be Blue no matter which color I choose. Not a huge problem, I'm just wondering if I'm missing something. Anybody out there have any input?

  • pmf13pmf13 Member Posts: 68
    My Nav display only shows the slot in which the DVD-A/CD I'm playing is located. I haven't seen any artist or song info. Is this a set up issue or is there a specific screen I'm not looking at?
  • jjabbytaylorjjabbytaylor Member Posts: 28
    I only get Artist/Song info on XM Radio. When I'm playing CDs, all I get is track number, changer slot and elapsed time.

    Hope this helps.

  • igibanigiban Member Posts: 530
    for the map/POI source?

    BTW, does TL NAV tell you to make a U-turn when you go pass an instructed turn point?
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,519
    I don't think the Nav tells you to make a U-turn. It just re-maps and shows you an altered route to your destination. On further thought, I don't think any Nav will instruct to make a U-turn since it wouldn't know whether it would be legal or safe to do so?
  • kphkph Member Posts: 40
    The Nav system in our 2000 Odyssey requests U-turns all the time when you go past or start out in the wrong direction.

    But, the voice says "U-turn if possible" leaving it up to the driver to make the safety decision.

    If you don't u-turn, after a distance it will recompute the path. In many cases, it decides the best path is still the u-turn and request it again. At some point, it will decide that an alternate path is best and stop the request -- all depends on your location/destination and the density of alternate options.

    Since the TL's Nav system is also Alpine, I would presume it operates similarly -- I won't get a chance to check until I pick mine up (either Saturday or Monday -- it is currently in Indiana on a truck). :)
  • mdhaukemdhauke Member Posts: 202
    I have paired up my Sony Erickson T608 with my 04 Acura TL and am having one problem. I can place calls with the steering wheel but for some reason I have trouble answering them. When an incoming call comes in I hit the talk button on the steering wheel and it just hangs up the phone. Then for a while if I held it down for more then 10 seconds it would answer the phone and keep it on. But now it’s just hanging up again. And no I am not pressing the wrong button. Anybody else having similar problems or has a solution?
  • jjabbytaylorjjabbytaylor Member Posts: 28
    My 04 TL's Nav system requests u-turns, if possible, fairly frequently. Even if you don't miss your destination, but you can't turn left into the destination, it will request a u-turn and then have you turn right into the destination.

  • legend91legend91 Member Posts: 14
    I did a lot of nav testing on a recent overnight test drive. As soon as I passed my street it would request a U-turn if possible. Go about 1/4 to 1/2 mile and it would reroute. I was very impressed with the nav system, though never used any before. It picked up every street, seems accurate to a few feet. However, it is not perfect and missed a few logical shortcuts but nothing serious.

    Looking forward to my very own TL w/nav coming in 3 weeks.
  • uvamarkg1uvamarkg1 Member Posts: 16
    I have a similar issue with the T608. If I receive and incoming call or if I initiate the call from my phone, the call starts through the system but then immediately transfers to the phone. For some reason, after this happens once during a trip - it works for the rest of the trip (if I initiate the call for a 2nd time). Anyone else having issues like this???
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