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Acura RL Maintenance and Repair



  • drgkjedrgkje Posts: 21
    just bought a 2004 with navi...did not come with the user manual or the navi manual (on order)..does this car have bluetooth? Is it part of the navi system? thanks
  • racer_xracer_x Posts: 8
    fmko said:
    >>Read the 40,000 long term test of the Acura RL, Car&Driver took it off
    >>it's 10 best list because of all the problems they had with the car,
    >>8 unscheduled dealer visits to fix a host of problems, they were
    >>not happy with this car.

    ilas responded:
    >Acura has a history of quality and dependability. Many other makers,
    >including cadillac that you refer to, do not. Maybe CD got a rare
    >problem car for this automaker.

    Consumer Reports has issued their "Top Picks for 2006", in which they select the best models in 10 categories. The Infiniti M35/45 took top honors over the RL in the Luxury Sedan category. The Consumer Reports review of the RL concludes "We expect reliability to be average, according to our latest subscriber survey. [New Car Reliability: Average (3/5)]"

    That's pretty damning for Acura, especially since the TL is the top rated Sedan in the $30k-40k range. However, it certainly appears to reflect and expand on exactly what is shared on these boards, as well as apparently backing up exactly what was experienced by Car & Driver: a host of annoying technical issues experienced by thousands of new RL owners with the newly designed RL.

    Compare that to Consumer Reports' reliability rating for the Infiniti M35/45: "First-year reliability has been outstanding. [New Car Reliability: Much better than average (5/5)]"

    The RL and the M35 are both clearly excellent vehicles, but the data now conclusively shows that the new RL has some serious reliability issues, especially when compared to both Acura's own very highly rated TL, as well as their main competition, the Infiniti M35.

    However, it now seems quite clear that the M35 is the superior vehicle, especially when reliability data is factored in.

    "Maybe CD got a rare problem car for this automaker"? Yeah, obviously Car & Driver clearly DID get a problem did several thousand other folks who participate in the Consumer Reports surveys, apparently (such as myself).

    - Racer X
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    just bought a 2004 with navi..does this car have bluetooth? Is it part of the navi system?

    I'm pretty sure the 2004 RL did not have Bluetooth and if it did, it's not part of the navi system. There's no connection between the two.
  • ilasilas Posts: 18
    The main point of my message was to let the poster know that he completely misquoted the article, which he did!. It was not in anyway to compare the M and RL in terms of reliability.

    My statements reflect a belief, not necessarily a fact. Let's see what happens with the 06 RLs. My money is on the RL becoming as reliable as it has always been with consumer reports. Acura may have rushed the 2005 model into production, but their history of reliability suggests that they will correct the problems and return the RL to an excellent reliability rating. No way Acura lets their reliability perceptions decline over the long run.

    FWIW, I like the M also. Both the M and RL are fine cars. I chose the 06 RL over the m35x. At 4500 miles, I have zero regrets and would do it all over again if I needed to.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    may be interested in the Acura RL vs. Infiniti M35 discussion - have a look!
  • drgkjedrgkje Posts: 21
    i am reaching the same conclusion..any 04 RL out there?

    RE: connection, in my RX, the bluetooth option was available only as a part of the NAVI system. All settings, are in the navi menu, all instructions are in the navi manual.
  • pappy164pappy164 Posts: 15
    I also have an 06 RL with 6000+ miles on it, which are mainly stop and go city miles. The only issues I have had were because of user error that I thought were electronic. No problems with the car, it runs great!

    I have heard of some electrical errors with the 05, but that was its baby blues year. Most should have been corrected for the 06 model. In every new car that I have bought, I always wait till the first year goes by so the manufacturer has time to clean out the glitches.
  • I'm the owner of a 06 RL, and I've subscribed to Car and Driver for over 25 years (anyone want to buy some back issues?). C&D has historically had tremendous respect for Honda/Acura products (and BMWs), and I think the tone of the article showed their surprise in having the long term RL making many trips to the dealer. The article did point out that the long term RL was one of the staff's most popular cars. While I agree with some of the commentary (why not have a start button in lieu of the ignition "key"?), some of the issues were driver error, frankly (e.g., not returning the ignition "key" to original position when leaving the car and having the battery run down----didn't they notice the car gonging them like crazy when they did that?).

    I drove both the m35x and the RL and picked the RL. Each car has its advantages, but I have had extraordinarily good experience with Honda products, there was more competition in my area among Honda dealers than Infiniti dealers. For me, it was a real close choice.
  • Finally, got a "hit" from a CD showing album title text on the audio screen---a Modest Mouse CD (Epic, which is owned by Sony). :P
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    I purchased my 2005 RL new in January, 2005. Lakeshore Silver. Now have 13,500 miles. (Relatively low because I alternate between the RL and a MINI Cooper S.) My car has been trouble free. Power windows "acted up" once and the dealer told me how to correct it. TSBs have been performed as needed. Just installed the 18" wheels with summer performance tires. Awesome look.....and handling. I am pleased with the car and the dealer (Mathews Acura in Marion, OH). This car's a keeper!

    I saw some headlight comments. The lighting pattern is apparently typical of xenon lights. Same on my MINI, Pacifica and a past Audi.
  • jtsjts Posts: 15
    I too am very pleased with my '05 RL. Picked it up at a great price in November '05 and already have 12,000kms. on it. A couple of minor glitches not worth mentioning were taken care of by the dealer. One was the level of the Xenons. I had them raised a bit (probably above spec.) but low eneough so as not to cause a problem for other traffic. I am now very pleased with the illumination on low beam, although Xenons do have a sharper cutoff than other headlights which I'm sure is normal. I just drove the car 900 kms. through the rockies from Vancouver, BC to Calgary, Alberta on extremely poor snowing conditions and the car was extremely stable and reassuring to drive even on the MXM4 all seasons which we all know are not great in snow/ice. This is my 3rd AWD sedan (I've had SUV's as well) and it was equal or better than my E320 4matic. Before buying I looked at new 4matics but was tired of spending my life in the shop, Lexus G300 AWD, but it was too small and soft riding, and the M35X which I liked but not the dash etc. I am very happy with the choice and probably would make the same choice again. So far I agree, this car is a keeper and fun to drive.
  • I've been going back and forth with my Acura dealership regarding the "noise". At this point they have replaced the drive shaft assembly (took care of the problem at 30mph but now its at 40+). They appear baffled and keep talking to the "tech line". Needless to say I'm frustrated. Did you finally get your issue resolved? If so how?
  • I have the same problem with my 05 RL. The noise kicked in at 30mph and the dealer also replace the propeller shaft but the problem still continues at higher speeds. Its in the shop as I speak and they are trying to figure it out. They are being helpful but it would appear that they have never encountered the problem before...guess they are not paying attention. Did you ever get your issue resolved with the new transmission?
  • cavteccavtec Posts: 7
    A check of the National Highway Traffic Safety Website

    proved to be "illuminating".

    The RL has 4 NHTSA complaints for the headlights. Seems to be a problem on unlit roads and poor headlight visibility.

    Do other owners experience this on unlit roadways? My headlights are terrible! I can't see over 50 feet and the dealer says they are properly adjusted.
  • tomg225tomg225 Posts: 1
    Can someone please tell me how to turn off the voice inside the car. When I go from my radio to my fan speed and back again the voice always tells me what channel or fan speed I've selected. My dealer told me there is no way to deactivate it. Is this true? It is very annoying.

  • You can turn of the voice feedback feature in the set up screen. Just push the setup button. Turn voice feedback to off and you're done. This is not the same as the voice that talks to you during navigation. That will still come on to give you directions when you program a specific destination. Hope this helps! Steve C.
  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    Do you really feel the RL is bigger than the GS?

    I test drove the RL and only sat in the GS, the GS felt much more spacious to me.

    In any event, I am going to test drive the GS in the coming weeks and get a through sense of its interior volume.
  • jtsjts Posts: 15
    It felt narrower to me and slightly enclosed in the back, perhaps as a result of the roofline in the rear. At the end of the day it's personal taste but I prefer what feels to me as a sportier feel in the Acura. I have all the respect in the world for the quality of Lexus but after driving the GS twice I personally continue to find the drive too insulated for want of a better description. The Acura feels more like your are driving the car. Again, it's personal taste. I also prefer the looks of the RL by a slight margin. Both of my kids are in their mid twenties and love driving the RL but did not care for the GS.
  • kssod1kssod1 Posts: 50
    Considering the RL, but concerned about accidental dead battery from not turning the ignition off all the way, (either self or others who may need to drive the car from time to time). Does anyone know if Acura has some sort of battery saver feature similar to if interior lights were left on? It would make sense thtat if the faux ignition key was left in accessory power position after 20 minutes the car would automatically turn everything off to conserve battery. The Lexus, Infiniti, BMW comfort Access, and other push button systems seem so much better.
    Does anybody have any other concerns with new 06 prior to delivery/
  • acuraphileacuraphile Posts: 131

    I posted a message about ten minutes ago and it never appeared. It concerned the RL's headlights. What happened?

  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    cavtec...just a quick question...this web site looks like you have to put in some info to check out those you have ODI numbers or any other info that would help me read more...thanks
    web site:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I don't know. Didn't this happen once before? I'm really not sure what happens that makes you think a message is posted but then it isn't there.

    Why don't you just repost your thoughts?
  • cavteccavtec Posts: 7
    The web page is a little confusing....

    To the right of the ODI text box is the vehicle search option. Leave the "vehicle" choice selected,


    Click on the "Search Selected Type" button and you can conduct a rearch of any vehicle, including the RL, by make, model, year, and component complaint.

    A very informative web site. When you choose the component eg "Exterior Lighting: Headlights" be sure to check the check box for a full summary to read the actual complaint.
  • satiresatire Posts: 71
    Not to mention a pretty stupid design. As noted here (and elsewhere) the headlights (low & high beam) are pretty useless if you plan to go faster than 30 MPH. My high beams were focused together at a point about 50-60 feet in the front of the car. Also useless and dangerous.

    Based on prior posts here, I adjusted them myself (don't let the dealer BS you) and have substantially improved the situation but they are far, far from perfect or confidence inspiring. However, and this is a big however, these headlights are without question the worse ever put to a Honda vehicle. I'm convinced the designers were ten year olds who had nothing but flashlights to work with.

    Bottom line, if you do a lot of night driving particularly on dark, narrow, winding roads, DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!! The headlights are the weakest link in an otherwise outstanding automobile. And it is this link that will cause Honda/Acura a lot of problems. Accidents will happen, people will be injured (or worse). Shame on you Honda/Acura. You damn near built a perfect car. What the hell were you thinking when you came up with those useless headlights?

    Seriously, what were you thinking??????
  • atd1atd1 Posts: 3
    My ignition switch in my 2005 RL refuses to turn on intermittently. The dashboard lights comes on but the switch refuses to move further. After multiple attempts, it finally turns over.

    I have had it in to Acura service but since it is intermittent, they have not been able to find anything.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • klisterklister Posts: 8
    This happens my RL when the steering column gets bound against the lock mechanism. If I move the steering wheel a little back and forth, then the car will start. Several RL owners have noted this issue.
  • klisterklister Posts: 8
    At least for me, this has not proved to be a real world issue despite the Consumer Reports problem with it. Once you see how to turn it on and off properly you never, at least I never, left in the wrong position accidentally. I've owned the RL for for 15 months without a dead battery .
  • ilasilas Posts: 18
    I live in a mountainous area with very winding and narrow roads, and I have never had a problem with my headlights at night. In fact, the swiveling headlights make driving on these roads quite easy. My high beams could land an airplane, and they light up the road almost as far as I need to see. I wonder if you can have your dealer adjust the headlight directions?

    I am not doubting you and the other posters, but I have just not noticed any problem with the lights. I will say that the demarcation line with these types of lights is very sharp, so maybe that creates an illusion of not being able to see; in contrast, my MDX has a fuzzy demarcation line out ahead of the car. I remember that Consumer Reports also trashed the M low intensity headlights for not having enough power.
  • I have a 2004 RL. There’s not much difference between the 1996-2004 model years. Taching 2,500 rpm at 70 mph is about right. They're known to be fairly thirsty beasts. I get 24 mpg (U.S. gallon) on the highway. At 3,900 lbs. it's a surprisingly heavy car.
  • satiresatire Posts: 71
    I suspect that there are those who drive differently, sit in a different position, etc that will find no problem with these headlights. Frankly, I don't know the reason why some find no problem and others (like me) fear for our lives with these headlights.

    But you do bring up something else that is most annoying. That demarcation line. Riding over a road that is less than perfectly smooth, the low beams are constantly bouncing up and down. Any little body movement is greatly exagerated at 30 to 50 feet in front. Sort of the effect one would expect in a car built 80 years ago.

    I do love most other aspects of this car. But since I'm finding myself doing a lot of night driving, I'd love for Acura/Honda to take this car back right now and we just call it even. I do experience some stress and a certain amount of fear each time I'm out on a dark, deserted road. I just know that I'm not going to see Bambi in time and there goes my windshield.
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