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Acura RL Maintenance and Repair



  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    The three current TSBs are Service Bulletin 05-027, the PCM Software Update, Bulletin 05-028, the Onstar Control Unit update, and Bulletin 05-022, the Acuralink control update. Had them done last week during a scheduled service visit. Worth a trip in to get these done if applicable to your RL, imho.
  • Thanks for this information. Posts like yours are what make this site invaluable.
  • Since I bought my Acura RL four months ago, I have had numerous problems when using the Voice Recognition System. A few examples are, when I tell it to turn off the A/C, it says, "the A/C is on". After repeating the command several times, it finally turns it off. Same problem with the radio; I tell it to turn it off and it repeatedly says, "radio on". Eventually it turns it off. It also has problems when spelling out street names or locations of business I want to find the Nav system to calculate a route to. The VRS seems to work just when the vehicle is not in motion (at a stop), but not when traveling on the freeways or streets. I suspect it may be due to road noise. I took the car to the dealership (twice, same dealership), and the second time the dealership talked to one of the tech people at Acura. The tech person said that Acura is aware of the problem, which there have been many complaints from other Acura RL owners, and that Acura is currently working on a fix to the problem. However, no date was provided as to when the fix will be available. I find the failure rate of the VRS unacceptable, and was wondering if anyone else has the same or similar problem(s), and can recommend a solution. :(
  • I brought my car in for the Acuralink control unit replacement to fix the slow title changes, as well as to fix not getting feature guide messages during the first 90 days very often (they are annoying, but I missed them).

    At first, dealer service folks said my VIN was not in the recall range, but then they called Acura, who said the recall VINs were going to be expanded to include mine, so they replaced the unit early as an accommodation.

    My experience: titles switched instantly at last. After the first day, however, XM activation mysteriously disappeared, so I had to reactivate, which I was able to do on the phone. XM said my car had a new radio number (must have been caused by the new Acuralink control unit) which they had to associate with my name.

    One minor continuing annoyance is that preset names still do not display right away.

    I am getting feature guide messages daily so far, annoying as they are.

    Also, the transmission software fix really helped smooth out shifting. I had previously complained about rough shifting before the TSB, and service folks said there was no problem, but the new software really seems to help. I think Acura service people, at least at my dealer, are not on top of RL technology, compared to you and me.

    I really appreciate the folks in this forum sharing solutions. :)

    And, like many of you, I am still excited to drive my RL every day.

    Notwithstanding the technology glitches, I feel I still made the right decision. Did anyone see recent reviews, where Business Week Online was very positive on the RL, and Consumer Reports rated the 2006 Lexus GS300 (the alternative I was considering) one of the worst 2006 makeovers?
  • I brought my car in for 4 items - the three TSB's (XM & Real time traffic, PCM and OnStar) and my navigation seems to be 50-100 feet off.

    The dealer told me that having tinted windows is causing XM channels to have a delayed refresh, causing the Real Time Traffic to stop working and is interfering with the GPS causing the Navi to be 50-100 feet off.

    I have the silver tint (they say titanium in it) made by Johnson.

    Anyone ever hear of this?
  • It's right there in your owner's manual.
  • As far as I am concerned, this forum and also should be required reading for Acura corporate and its dealers, especially its service people. Love my new RL (bought it in July), but have been disappointed with the lack of knowledge/awareness by service staff at my local dealer (Boston Acura) with the car's quirks: XM radio title delay, "pause" command in Hands-free link doesn't work as two examples.

    Am I the only one?
  • pds1pds1 Posts: 24
    I had a 1994 Legend Coupe that kept flashing the traction control light and losing acceleration. Manhattan Acura (where I bought) almost took the entire car apart but could not diagnose the problem. They were stumped.

    I took it into Acura of Ramsey (NJ) and the service manager quickly informed me that it was uneven tire pressure. He evened out the pressure in all four tires, and the problem went away. The process took 20 minutes.

    Question - who has the most sophisticated service department in Northern New Jersey? There seems to be a wide variation of expertise from dealership to dealership. Where should I get my new RL serviced?
  • This is really the only thing that is really annoying me with this car at this point. It seems like they should be able to fix this through some sort of software patch. It is interesting that if you turn the key off when it is dart and the ding comes on when you open the door, if you turn the lights off once and then turn them back to auto the dinging will stop and the lights also do not come on.

    Does anyone have an update on this?


  • This is really the only thing that is really annoying me with this car at this point. It seems like they should be able to fix this through some sort of software patch.

    Up to two weeks ago, I just found the warning chime annoying. Then two weeks ago, I picked my car up at the dealer after being serviced. It was dark when they brought the car around so the lights were on. As I was driving home, something made me look at the position of the headlight switch. It was set on "On" instead of "Auto". If I'd pulled into my garage as normal and ignored the chime, I would have had a dead battery in the morning. I would have been seriously upset. They need to fix this!

    Other than this, I love my RL.
  • I agree it is more than an annoyance. My wife went into the City the other night. All of our cars have automatic headlights as did my previous 2000 RL. When she parked in the parking garage the chime was dinging so she turned off the lights to make sure they would not stay on. When she returned to the car she proceeded to drive home and after about 10 minutes another motorist let her know the light were not on. She was driving in the city where it was well lit, so you do not need the lights to see, but they are nice to make sure other cars see you and you don't have an unpleasant run-in with the law.

    If someone from Acura is reading this board, please make it a priority to get this fixed. This is not new technology and the lights worked fine with the previous RL.

    Still love the car though.

  • pds1pds1 Posts: 24
    How does one update the restaurant guide in the RL NAV system? Yesterday, the system directed me to a restaurant that no longer exists. How can I tell the issue date of my Zagat's data? How can I tell if there is an update available?

    Since I just picked up the car last week - should I be required to purchase a new version of the NAV DVD?

    Please let me know how to keep the system up to date.

  • hybrid3hybrid3 Posts: 22
    I just purchased my RL and will be picking it up on Wednesday October 12th. Would these TSB's been done already? I guess i should inquire to make sure. You would hope any TSB's would be completed on a new car before delivery.
  • pds1pds1 Posts: 24
    Not a chance.

    TSBs are only done when the service department has no other choice. I picked up my car last week with the same hope/expectation. None of the work has been done.
  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    I think you are right on both counts. Best to specifically ask before taking delivery to make sure they are done and also correct that you should expect that they are already done. I would guess they are already done if you have a good customer oriented dealer, which most Acura dealers are.

    I think you will thoroughly enjoy your RL. If not too late, highly recommend adding the wood gear shift and faux wood sport steering wheel along with the rear deck lid at the time of delivery. I think they are little touches that really enhance the appearance of the already great package. I got the steering wheel after delivery because I wasn't sure I wanted it but once it was in the car and in use, I never regretted it. I like the look and feel of this wheel much better than the relatively plain stock one.
  • hybrid3hybrid3 Posts: 22
    I just spoke to my dealer about the TSB's. I told them I wanted to make sure they are done on the car before I accept delivery on the car tomorrow. The salesman had no clue about them and told me to speak to service(plus he let me know he has no time to deal with it). Service told me that they only perform TSB's on cars that are brought in for service, not for delievery. Service told me if I have a problem with that I need to speak to my salesman who has no clue about what I am talking about nor wants to spend any time looking into it. I only seemed to get somewhere when I told them I was going to refuse delivery on the car.

    As an aside I asked the salesman what was the amount I need to bring in tomorrow, since I wanted to get the bank check at lunch. I am at work and don't have my paper work in front of me. He said, 'didn't we already give you that.'

    I really like this car despite my Acura dealership experience. I have been to 3 dealers since I started looking. All three dealers were no better than any Ford Honda, or Toyota dealerships that I have been to in the past. I knew more about their cars than any of the sales people did. I was also suprised how ghetto their dealerships are compared to Lexus. When I went to Lexus the salesman was patient, nice, and extremely knowledgable about the cars. It was first class all the way. If I only wanted the GS :( However, I wanted the Acura but they are really leaving a bad taste.

    Acura really needs to work on their dealership experience if they want to be considered a luxury brand. Hopefully I won't get too pissed and cancel the deal. We'll see as I wait for them to call back and I vent here.
  • What does TSB mean? Should I buy my the 2005 Acura RL today at a really low price since they are getting rid of the 2005 and the manufacturer is giving the dealers a $2500 hold back. Or, should I wait and buy the 2006 Acura RL with the new features and maybe less quirks and problems?
  • hybrid3hybrid3 Posts: 22
    Technical service bulletins. I can't imagine getting the price on the '06 that they gave me on the '05. However I think it's a mute point for me, I don't think I can give them my money! If this is how you are treated even before delivery, geez.
  • I am currently have a real quote in writing to buy the 2005 RL for $9,000 under MSRP. I think if I wait until the 2006 RL comes I can get it for about $5000 under MSRP. That is my guess. Should I wait? Do you think all of the quirks will be resolved by 2006?
  • Sorry for duplicate. I want this on the main message board. I am in SoCal. I currently have a quote for $40,900 on a 2005. Should I wait for the 2006 to remove the quirks or get the best deal on the 05?
  • " got the steering wheel after delivery because I wasn't sure I wanted it but once it was in the car and in use, I never regretted it."

    I, too bought the luxurious steering wheel a month after I bought the car - makes a huge difference - has a great feel and truly augments the sparkle and finery of the interior.

  • anyone run into this issue where the traffic bar turns off 20 minutes after start of the car?
  • Haven't read thru the manual on this one yet, but has anyone been able to synch their PDA (I have a TREO 650 PDA/Phone from Verizon) with the RL's calendar ?


  • ishanbishanb Posts: 5
    Couldn't agree more. The dealership experience at Acura has declined tremendously since 1991 when I bought my first Acura Legend. I asked the salesman to make sure the TSBs were done. I tried to check to see if there was a punch mark above the VIN number under the hood the car, but couldn't find the VIN-and neither could he. He claimed the TSBs were done, however. Suffice it to say I won't be getting my service done at the dealership where I bought the car, and my experience will be reflected in the evaluation they mail out to new car buyers. I have also written a letter to the CEO of Honda/America describing these events. We'll see if it produces anything except a form letter back.

    Having said all that, the RL is a great car to drive!
  • joatesjoates Posts: 1
    Yes, we have had a similar problem with the windshield on the driver's side. We've taken the car in three times to the dealer. The last time they replaced the wiper insert. It did not correct the problem. It's as if an oily substance is being deposited on the windshield in an arc directly in front of the driver's view! We're frustrated.
  • pds1pds1 Posts: 24
    My driver's side wiper chatters too - is there a fix? It's kinda loud.

    Should I just turn up the XM?

  • Same type of problem. Prior to purchasing my 2005 RL, I researched...and was aware of the ignition switch & dead battery problem. My RL is less than one month old, has less than 200 miles, and over the weekend - battery was dead. Ignition had been turned off...the "goodbye" faded out...steering wheel did its thing...the doors locked. So I KNOW the vehicle was "OFF." It's at the dealership today...and this one "happening" has forever changed my attitude toward this car. I "loved" this car, but will now ALWAYS wonder, as I walk toward it going to start??? I should have kept my Mercedes CLK320. By the way.....what was wrong with a "regular" key?
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Prior to purchasing my 2005 RL, I researched...and was aware of the ignition switch & dead battery problem. My RL is less than one month old, has less than 200 miles, and over the weekend - battery was dead. ... It's at the dealership today...and this one "happening" has forever changed my attitude toward this car.

    :confuse: So you didn't believe your research? :blush:
  • So you didn't believe your research?

    Maybe he, like many of us RL owners, believed the problems were isolated problems in an otherwise fine car. Actually, if one were to research any luxury cars using these boards and were to eliminate any cars whose owners reported any problems, there'd be no cars left to buy.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I agree with you regarding "No cars left to buy".
    What gnaws at me is the tagname "Lemon 2005" :lemon:
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