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Acura RL Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    go to a good independent shop or learn to do it yourself is my advice.

    Sometimes dealers offer good deals on oil changes, so don't automatically discount going there. I go to the dealer. They're fast, use the right parts, know what they're doing and if there's a screw up, we know who did it.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • badbuybadbuy Posts: 12
    Re: Thanks for heads up on gas mileage problems in suburban driving.

    Now something else crops up. New Acura RL, now with 4100 miles on it and the driver's window controls to rear windows do not work! With cold weather, neither left or right rear windows go down from driver's controls. With warm weather, only the left rear will work.

    Has anyone else had this electrical problem with a NEW Acura (2006 RL)? :cry:
  • I have a 2005 RL with 7,000 miles. Had 2 dead batteries the last 9 months. The last time was about 10 days ago. I was told by the dealer that the cause was the bluetooth phone system being on all the time draining the battery. I have found it hard to believe since I have never use it or have it hooked up with my cell phone. Also, I discontinued long ago the subscription to XM Radio and Onstar as someone did suspect about drainage was from the ongoing Onstar system for traffic conditions.

    In addition, I have always turned the ignition key all the way off.
    Has anyone having this problem?
  • Does anyone have a remedy for brightening the Nav screen? I have it on the brightest adjustment but the text is too faint to insert a new address, for example. Sometimes it is normally bright but it's not consistent enough to spot what conditions influence the brightness. Temperature? Lighting?
    Anyone have this problem?

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hey George, haven't seen you for a while - welcome back!! :)
  • The 2005s had a problem with this. there are some upgrades that the dealer can do (maybe they're done) that were supposed to solve this problem. More info about this can be found on
  • Hi Pat:

    Yup, I'm still hanging in there but I have little reason to post - I just read. The '05 RL hasn't shown one defect in two years, save for my recent post. Early on, before the 2005 RL hit the showroom floor, this Forum was energized and exciting, what with all the speculation re the style, power, price, etc of the awaited RL. I don't mean that it's less energized now - just that the initial excitement was at fever pitch!!!

    I'm glad that you're still hosting. Perhaps one day you'll be passing out hors d'oeuvres and flutes of Piper-Heidsick!!

    Warm regards,
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Acuraphile, I know your eyesight is good because the Air Force has a permanent notation in the military record books of your accomplishments as a Top Gun. ;) George it is always good to see you..or in this case read you! Here is the scoop for anyone in need of adjusting their Nav screen display:
    Get your printer out ....I refreshed my memory on the Navi screen. The car doesn't have to be running but the ignition should be on. With your navigation system turned on go to the bottom right button on your dash panel called Setup. Hitting that button will bring up the screen that has 6 areas you can adjust. Brightness is on top left scroll using the BIG knob until you are over it ...your verbal command will also tell you "Brightness" then press down on the big knob again. at this point you can turn the big knob to the right or left. Just don't go beyond 3/4 of the way because it will give you too much light. then scroll to Contrast and make that adjustment etc... I'm about 70% brightness, 60 % contrast.
    This is IMPORTANT...There are also additional adjustments that can be made to the screen. You can select daytime colors and nighttime colors for your Map and also your Menu.. With the Navi on click on the Setup button again when the screen comes up it will show More on the top right.... to select this take the big silver knob and move it horizontally right (Don't turn it!) . This will bring up a screen the shows many additional line listed options. The 6th option is Color. Scroll down using the big knob. Select that. Then you can go into each option individually (MAP and MENU)... and each one will have 5 or 6 different colors for day and 5 or 6 different color selections for night. Remember one thing. Each time you make a selection that you are happy with just go back to the previous screen by hitting the cancel button on the left side of your dash panel. Like a computer you can always go back in and make adjustments later if you are not happy with your screen brightness or color. And you are not going to break anything by making the wrong selection. BY THE WAY...WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A FLUTE OF PIPER-HEIDSIECK? :)
    Later Phile...and Good Luck!
  • badbuybadbuy Posts: 12
    On 06 RL with navi pkg, I've had several problems already. Some functions don't work and the dealership in Bethesda MD was really bad in their sales & service......They would have a problem delivering a Yugo. (I would have thought that the luxury line of Honda would screen it's franchise holders).

    Wrote a detailed letter to Acura Customer Service with a backup to the head of Honda North America and after 5 weeks....NOT A WORD from the company. In years of buying cars, I've never had such silence from a manufacturer.

    Has anyone else been treated this way by Acura??? :sick:
  • Don't feel bad, I bought my 2006 RL in January and within weeks had reported several problems to the dealer. I know the dealer was concerned and sent the info to Acura. After 6 months of no response I called Acura HQ and had about a one hour long conversation about the problems (one of which involved the car speeding up when you let off the gas!). It is no almost a year and the silence is deafening.

  • I am curious if you had gotten any calls form Acura Customer Service after you took delivery? I recieved several - asking how the car, dealer, buying experience was and if anything needed to be addressed. And although I am very pleased with my dealer, I did comment on 2 issues that should have been addressed before delivery. After that initial call from Acura, both Acura Customer Service and my Service Manager were all over me to get them resolved promptly and to my satisfaction (both were minor). I recieved calls from both after the corrections were made in assurance I was pleased with the response and resolutions (I was).

    Had Acura Customer Service contacted you after delivery, did you mention the issues with the car and or the dealership? Was there any reply or follow up? I too would be all over Acura corporate if some serious butt kissing was not in play. You bought a premium brand and the flagship, some TLC is in order. Hopefully you had opportunity to voice your concerns, but why they have not followed through since is alarming.

    I confess, the lure of Lexus service levels is constantly looming. Had it not been for the Acura dealership I purchased my second Acura from, I would have been enjoying some Lexus butt smooching by now.
  • badbuybadbuy Posts: 12
    Thanks for the response....To answer yours, I NEVER received ANY call from Acura or any mail from Acura to follow up on the "Buying Experience". Needless to say the dealership has never called either. Not only that, but the Dealer has yet to authorize the "one year of XM service" that goes along with buying the car. I complained to Acura about that, but as of before Christmas, nothing has been done! (I gave up on asking the dealer after complaining twice about that to them). That's something that doesn't have to go through arbitration because in this state, a manufacturer who makes a printed offer (as an inducement for a sale) and then refuses to follow through has engaged in deceit and fraud.

    I thought that Acura would have tried providing Lexus type service.....too bad Honda doesn't know how. Oh well, I guess that's what I get for buying an upgraded Honda with low grade service!

  • I am very sorry you have a compounded issues. A horrible dealer, unaware Acura Customer service and issues with the car itself.

    I truly believe the RL is a stellar vehicle, if under appreciated and undermarketed. I too expect more from Acura Dealerships, and have been fortunate to have one of the better dealers. That said, I have had no reason to return to the dealer (after initial delivery and adjustments)as my RL has been trouble free. I cannot say I have ever owned a finer vehicle and those I looked at as alternatives were significantly costlier, and I could not justify. But when I require routine maintenance, I still hold the bar higher in my expectations from Acura service.

    Perhaps you need to get your initial issues resolved via another dealership, then you need not deal with Acura frequently afterwards and just enjoy the RL. I would approach another dealer with a 'perhaps you can help me' approach, calmly explaining your difficulties with the previous dealer. Some dealers like to win over a competitive dealer's clientele This may win you a favorable dealer who may also get you in contact with Acura Customer Services and appropriate vendors (XM, Onstar, etc).

    Good Luck & keep us posted.
  • Hello All: My good friend recently passed his 1999 RL with 111K miles to me and bought a 2004 RL. He says the ride on the 2004(20K miles) is noticeably bumpier than the 1999. (The 1999 rides like a dream)
    Has anyone else had this experience with 2004 models and is there a solution?
    Is it possible that as the 2004 gets "broken in" the ride will improve. Would different tires help?

    Thanks Everybody
  • sburke7sburke7 Posts: 37
    the 2004 suspension was updated ('02 model >) to give a stiffer ride, not as soft and cushy as the 99!,,,
  • I have a high pitched chirping noise that has started and only noticeable when accelerating the automobile, does not happen when idling. Anyone with a similar issue or ideas on what this could be?
  • r79207r79207 Posts: 9
    anyone know where I can view the navigation owners manual for an 06 rl?.
    i just bought the car used and only have an owners manual. I cannot figure out how to edit the "GO HOME" address.

  • tamparltamparl Posts: 42

    You can order a manual or download a pdf version from Acura Owner Link. Go to > Owner Link & register your vehicle on ownerlink (using your VIN, Radio Code & NAVI Code). Afterwards you can select 'MY RL' and there is a link to OWNER'S MANUAL. There are several other features in Owners Link you may make use of, including setting service appointments and messaging your vehicle via AcuraLink. I use it regularly for quick references when I don't feel like paging through the 'phonebook' sized owner's manual. Enjoy the RL!
  • r79207r79207 Posts: 9
    thanks. i love the car so far. 3k miles on it and i am trying to figure the gadget out. does your dealer pay/cover the cost of oil changes?
  • tamparltamparl Posts: 42
    Dealerships vary on the perks, service bundles etc. One common complaint I read with Acura owners is that the dealerships / service levels are inconsistent.

    My dealership does not offer inclusive oil changes. Some claim they do, but charge for the other services (tire rotation etc)when the MID indicates a needed service call. Frankly, my last Acura only needed oil changes and tire rotation and warranty covered inspection the first 2 years. Charges were low. The RL has been identified as a low cost ownership for ? years of ownership.

    On the other hand, I am very happy with my dealership. It seems to be one of the better in service in customer care. I have been showered with Acura shirts, pens, note pads, etc...typical promotional stuff, and even wine form the sales rep. The few service calls have been painless, wireless internet in the lounge, coffee & treats and a fairly social staff. This dealship typically includes some dealer accesories that other charge for (trunk tray, wheel locks, cargo nets, mud flaps, touch up paint, Honda Care Kits on all models). The few times I needed a loaner, it was a TL, RL or MDX (although the Service Advisor requests an appointment to assure an Acura loaner). I have been told with RL Service appointments and RL or MDX is the offered loaner.

    I think it boils down to 'relationship management'. I have an excellent dialogue with my Sales and Service manager, and I think that has afforded me good service and attention. A thank you email or call usually follows each visit, and I usually return the gesture to them. It seems to work, they welome me by name when I stop in and I have yet to feel taken advantage of. So for that, paying for oil changes (as part of a MID service notice) is part of the business.

    If I were you, and you had an Acura dealership in mind you plan to use for a service center, I would call or stop in, make an appointment to stop by with your RL and ask if you could get a 'demo' of the features. Explain you plan to use them for service visits, and 'build' a rapport. You may get the info on the RL you need, and establish a good relationship for future needs. I know I have phoned up my Service Advisor for a question that was in my manual...always happy to help. Service center revenue is a major part of a dealership's profits. So the smart ones will make an effort to build loyal / repeat customers.

    I know some people feel that paying for service is ALL they deserve, but I look at it differently. I consider it part of my 'Ownership Experience' ;)
  • r79207r79207 Posts: 9
    thanks for the advice. I just discovered a dead battery on my 2006 rl. I have 2900 miles on it so it cant be wear and tear.
    The only thing i can think of was the hands free link to my cell phone, as i used it last night. Hard to believe as i took the phone out of the car last night. Is that possible?

    The other challenge I had was how do you open the trunk with a dead battery to get at jumper cables? The button on the inside drivers door did nothing. And I could not find any other ways in the manual.

    any one have this problem before?

  • tamparltamparl Posts: 42
    There is a trunk release in the rear seat pass-through / armrest should your battery go dead.

    The HFL disconnects when the vehicle shuts off. A couple of seconds after leaving the vehicle my RAZR displays "Disconnected from HFL". The car's HFL may work with the phone up to 30 feet from the car, but only with the ignition turned on / ACC on. I have noticed my phone connects to the car while in the house, and the car in the garage (ignition on).

    As to why the battery went dead....could be many reasons. Do you know if you shut the ignition off completely? Perhaps you left it on the ACC position? I have read this was common cause for dead battery issues, but I thought it was resolved on the 2006 RL. I know when you completely shut off the ignition the MID displays "GOODBYE" and the power steering wheel retracts.

    Sounds like you REALLY need to get the manual! With all the power features, hands free, keyless features of the RL, a dead battery turns it into a big shiny metal driveway ornament!

    Have you registered with AcuraLink and Owner Link on the website? This may get you some FAQ until you get your manual.

    There s a learning curve for the RLs technology, but it truly is hassel free once you become familiar. I had an 05 TL before, so it was a fairly seamless transition for me, althogh the RL offers much more. :shades:
  • r79207r79207 Posts: 9
    thanks i have the owners manual just not the other guides that come with it. i thought i had shut the car off. maybe not. good to know about the trunk release though waiting to see goodbye on the dash.
    i have an appt b/c i have some messages that came on like pass air bag off, VSA not working and all wheel drive not functioning properly.
  • I have a 2005 RL. I live in Indiana, so it sometimes gets pretty cold in the Winter. Whenever it is cold outside, my engine (or maybe the transmission?) makes a whining or whistling or whirring sound before the car warms up and when I am driving between 30mph and 45 mph. As soon as the engine is warm, it no longer makes the noise. It is extremely annoying and my passengers always ask, "what is that sound?", which is annoying when you own a $50,000 car. Any Technical Service Bulletins or other information on this?
  • i have a vibration coming when i reach speeds of 40 mph or over on my rl. the vibration is felt in the seat and steering wheel. any ideas why?

  • Check your wheel alignment first. It's the most likely culprit.
  • is your RL new? Sometimes deposits build up on the brake rotors when they sit long periods (as some RLs have sat on dealer lots with slow sales). My 2006 RL had new brake rotors and new tires installed when I took delivery as I had a vibration initially. Afterwards, smoother than I had hoped for. Enjoy the RL!
  • i brought it in and they determined that the wheels needed to be balanced. they covered it on the warranty.
    with only 3500 miles i was surprised.
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    I have the tranny whine described above at about 40 mph. Very loud when the car has been out in the cold, but still can be heard when warm. Also have it right at 75 mph. The dealer said he had never heard of the problem and that there is no TSB. Can anyone verify re the TSB?

    I bought a blackberry and it paired and works beautifully.......except the quality of the sound is terrible when on HF. A lot of breakup. It's true for both sides of the conversation and whether I place or receive the call. I have excellent phone signal, but it's almost as if I'm losing a lot of signal between the phone and HF/bluetooth. Have others experienced the same thing? Any ideas?
  • I was the one that posted the tranny whine message above in #781. My dealer has been great in working with me. The technician that is actually working on my car went for a ride with me so I could show him the whine. It was cold, so the whine was pretty loud. Like yours, it is most noticeable when cold. He got on the tech line with Acura for the better part of a day and they steered him to the driveshaft. He hooked up some instruments and sure enough, they have pegged the driveshaft as the culprit. They ordered me a new one. It costs approximately $1,900.

    It is on back order because several dealers are now realizing that this fairly common complaint is caused by the driveshaft. It is supposed to arrive this week, so I'll let you know if it solves the problem. I went to a forum at Acurazine, and there were several people complaining of this exact problem, and at least 10 of them were recently told it was the driveshaft. Do a Google search of "Acura RL driveshaft whine" and click on the Acurazine link that comes up--you'll see what I mean. Good luck and I'll update this message board when the new driveshaft is installed. Steve
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