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Acura TL Transmission Questions



  • I have the exact same problem. I purchased my MT '05 TL in June '08 and that "notchy" shift to 3rd has always bugged me. It is intermittent indeed. I'm having the "B24" maintenance done this Tuesday and asked the owner of the car service place to change the transmission fluid too and that I don't want the Acura recommended fluid. I've read quite a bit on Acurazine that GM's "Synchromesh Transmission Fluid - Friction Modified" is the way to go. My service guy said to let him know and he wil try and procure it. One place to start reading up on this is the following link below. Can't wait until after this Tuesday when I get the service completed!
  • Hey thanks for the info.

    Please let us know how this works out for you.

    I may have the same service done if you have good results.

    BTW, enlighten me, what is the B24 maintenance?

  • Will simply draining and changing the fluid a couple times help solve a hard shift problem? Do I need to get complete flush? Money is low. trying to go low budget. Do I need to purchase kit and change or clean out the filter in the transmission?
  • tclovertclover Posts: 4
    Flush and fill may help but you know these transmissions on the TL's are trash right?. There is no filter you can change but if your fluid isn't red, a flush may help.
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    edited August 2010
    I bought a new TL in 2000. About 3 years later the ever present transmission slippage began to occur. I complained to Dave White Acura in Toledo beginning at around 65,000 miles. The oil jet kit was performed. I formally complained to this dealership 6 times over the next 6 years and informally discussed it with the service rep nearly every time I brought it in for service. I asked for a new transmission several times but they always declined.

    The transmission died on my way home from having a leaking rear view mirror installed for around $160 at Acura. I mentioned the slippage again. 160k on the vehicle.

    I hoped Acura in California would approve a new transmission with the cost split fairly.
    After waiting 11 days and documenting all of my complaints, they finally decided today that they would pay approx. $500 of $5,100 for a trans leaving me with a cost of $4600.

    The car is only worth around $2500 so their offer was an insult. I did document that since 1990 that I had purchased 2 Acuras and 5 Hondas new and that my 3 brothers and dad purchased a total of 8 Hondas and 1 Acura MDX.

    Apparently loyalty means nothing to them.

    My brother had a transmission on a 2001 Accord go out and a 2002 Acura MDX also went out.

    The transmissions on nearly all Acuras and many Hondas have been known to be an issue for many years. The TL and MDX are junk and everyone should be aware of this.

    The dealer, Dave White Acura, also refused to allow me to return the $160 mirror which had been installed a few minutes before the car died.

    I have 2 Infiniti G35 cars and they are clearly superior. No wonder Acuras sales have dropped so much lately. Will they stay in business?

    Don't buy Acura TLs or MDX. Your transmission will go out.
  • It's shifting flawlessly!!! If you look at your manual, you will see towards the back the descriptions of the maintenance codes that show up on the dash. There is "A" and "B" and they're usually accompanied with a number, 1 through 5 and any possible combination. "A" is standard oil change is due, I believe. I don't have my book with me. "B" is more areas to check, replace, etc.... "2" was one thing (can't recall) and "4" was to change the timing belt, plugs, etc... "3" is transmission fluid and even though it did not show up, I had them put in the GM Synchromesh, Friction Modified. WOW! it pops right into 3rd. They even procurred the fluid themselves from GM. I had a leak in the motor mount (never saw fluid in the garage) which they replaced. All in all it was $1349 but that's the first I've had to pay for this car in 2+ years (exception of new tires) since buying it with 60k miles. I now have 108k it should be good for another 100k mi. until the next "maintenance". Good luck!!
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    Just an update on Acura's terrible customer service.

    My previous post details how my 2000 TL transmission went out after I had complained for 5 years in writing.

    Acura Customer Service made a laughable offer of $500 towards a $5100.00 transmission replacement. I sold the car to a salvage yard and let the national Acura customer service dept know how dissappointed I was.

    A few days later I wrote to them that I would accept the $500 that they offerred to reimbursement me in the form of a check to settle this matter amicably.

    An Ingrid in Customer Service called last week and said she would attempt to get the $500 check issued. However, she phoned me today and said her supervisor declined to issue the $500 check thus stiffing me again.

    I guess they see a big difference in issuing a $500 check and giving you $500 towards a repair.

    I will NEVER buy an Acura again or even a Honda product. I had 8 Acuras/Hondas in 20 years and they were aware of this.

    How will they treat you or everyone else if you only purchased one Acura?

    No wonder no one buys TLs . Terrible transmissions, terrible customer service and a very ugly vehicle.
  • I am going to buy a 2002 Acura TL next week with about 80, 000 miles on it....
    ..You sound like a chronic whining complainer that no one could ever satisfy......
    160, 000 miles and you complain about needing a tyranny?? ...You g=have to be kidding me.....Acura and Honda are better off rid of customers like you..
  • mikesmuranomikesmurano Posts: 118
    edited September 2010
    I can appreciate your irritations about the transmission and the cost.

    I had some horrible experiences with a Nissan Murano and have sworn never to buy a Nissan product for the rest of time. I had to replace a transmission (CVT) at 121,000 miles (1000 miles out of warranty @ $6400).

    I sold the car after repairs. The car was always maintained properly.

    At least Acura offered you something. I got nothing. I actually purchased a 2005 TL recently and totally love the car. I got the 6 spd. manual.

    I can say from experience that if you don't change the fluid (and filter if needed) every 12 months you will set yourself up for failure. If you didn't maintain your Acura tranny it won't last. I have a 1999 4Runner (4WD) with 240,000 miles on the original tranny. I change the fluid annually. I know though it will eventually go.

    Front wheel drive cars are more prone to transmission failure due to their design and the compact area they sit in (they retain a lot of heat).

    Count your blessings on the Acura. You could have owned a crappy newer Nissan Murano.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited September 2010
    agree completely, plus he has post in multiple threads on edmunds his repeat whinning complaints about a 10yr old Acura TL that had its transmission go after the warranty period was over!

    unfortunately, with any car you get, no matter what manufacturer, once your out of warranty, you are at their mercy and they technically don't have to do anything for you!

    For anyone else, don't let him deter you from getting an Acura or Honda product! If you look at CR reliability history chart for the TL, the last model year for widespread transmission issues was 2004. Since then, they have gotten above avg or much above avg scores for their transmissions! they are no longer a problem

    I have had a 2006 TL and now a 2008 and I have had no transmission issues with almost 90k combined miles on those cars nor do I know of anyone of my countless friends and family members who have Honda and Acura products have transmission issues

    He likes to complain about Acura day and night, but what he doesn't tell you is that, I have had the same exact trouble with Infiniti that he has had with Acura, just regarding a different issue. All the manufacturers treat you like dirt, and there is no brand loyalty with any of them. I've found that out the hard way over the years. Nissan has had terrible trouble with the 1st Gen CVT which is one of the reasons why they extended the warranty to 10yrs/120k miles on the CVT and connecting parts to the transmission. They also did it to avoid lawsuits b/c people were having their transmissions blow out at 50k, 60k, and 70k+ miles and having to spend $5-10k out of pocket for replacements which Nissan would not reimbursed. Nissan is still giving people trouble who had their transmissions go out before they extended the warranty coverage and needing tons of papers which the customer does not have and not reimbursing them still. Thankfully, the 2nd Gen CVT from 2009+ has thus far seen much much fewer CVT issues and less intensity compared to the 1st Gen. That is why I waited to get the Maxima until 2010 once I saw how the 2nd Gen CVT faired. So far, after 12k miles, it has performed flawlessly and no problems what so ever yet.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,041
    Let's knock off the comments about other members and focus on the comments themselves, please. It's easy enough to respond to the points in the post rather than making personally-directed remarks about the person posting the points, and that's what we expect.


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  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I was just trying to put things into perspective since he has gone on multiple threads warning people that an entire car brand is bad b/c of his one bad experience. My point was that multiple brands, besides Acura and Honda, have had transmission issues and it kind of is a chance thing whether you will or will not have a problem.

    I'm agreeing it was a terrible experience to have to go through but I don't think it is appropriate to tell people that an entire car brand is terrible. I had a terrible problem with brake/rotor issues on my Infiniti FX, but I don't go on the Infiniti threads and tell people not to buy their products and that all Infiniti's are bad and should not be bought b/c I had one negative experience with my vehicle.

    I did not curse or personally attack him. I think I did pretty well addressing his warnings and problems with Honda/Acura transmission and staying at the transmission issues at hand. I have both Acura and Infiniti vehicles so I think I can offer a good perspective on the issue.
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    You apparently didn't read in my posts that I repeatedly asked for a new transmission at around 60,000, 70,000 and repeatedly afterwards when the transmission constantly slipped in and out of gear. This was well within the 100,000 k warranty.

    Acura took 11 days to notify me of their decision. Very inconsiderate.

    Don't worry - they are rid of me and my extended family. Their actions cost them 3 sales in the past month with more to come.

    Please post and let us know if you still have a working transmission in a year or two.
    I'll wager that your "D5" light will be flashing soon.

    Good luck - you'll need it.
  • 22332233 Posts: 64

    I never referred to your rants about your Infiniti as whining as you did with me. Please by civil and professional to other members. Show some class.

    Hopefully you'll never go through what I experienced with Acura. They could have called me two days after my request and inform me in a reasonable manner why they did not wish to contribute more to the repair of the transmission. 11 days is what it took for a decision.

    As I previously posted, this car was totally nervewracking to drive from around 60k to the end. I flushed it regularly. I brought this transmission to their attention and went on record of the problem at 60K plus. The constant daily slipping had my daughter wonder is the D-5 light going to flash today? Is today the day the transmission goes out? She drove to her college and her special education assignments each day about 40 miles and was fearful of being stranded somewhere.

    Acura never did anything. It was like just wait for the other shoe to drop.

    My family had 3 transmissions go out on MDX, TL and an Accord. I don't call that "whining" my man - I call that "facts."

    Hopefully you never see the dreaded "D5" flash.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Oh I do agree, that Acura treated you badly on the customer service front and that I was surprise of that b/c I have had the opposite experience and in fact have had problems of them being up my butt and constantly calling to see if my service experience, recall, warranty fix, etc has worked or not and what they could do for me.

    What you went through with Acura is exactly how Infiniti and Nissan have treated me so I can understand how you feel with being treated like that, just with a different brand obviously.

    I hope your happy with your new vehicles and they are problem free for you!
  • I have a question with respect to the cost of a transmission replacement. I have a 2002 TL with 51,000 miles on it. The well-known transmission slippage problem started occurring a few months ago and I took it into my local repair shop (where I get all my service done). They identified the transmission problem and gave me a copy of the service bulleting and warranty extension (02-027). They said they could do the work, but advised me to talk to the nearest Acura dealer to see if warranty accommodation could be made, which might get me a lower bill than what they (the independent shop) would charge. They advised me not to be confrontational and not to demand full free replacement.

    So I did as they advised and just got the estimate from the dealer. They said that a full transmission replacement was advised, and with a full replacement the ECU would also have to be replaced because the shift points will all be different for a new transmission. The estimated total cost is $6100. They have talked to the district manager and have authorization to do the replacement for a cost to me of $2100.

    Except-- My independent shop gave me an (admittedly off-the-cuff) estimate of about $2000 for the job. This is a major disconnect, and I think the actions of the independent shop in pointing me to a dealer instead of just quoting a replacement speaks to their integrity. I'm also a little suspicious that the reduced cost I'm getting is just about dead on what my independent shop quoted.

    So my question is: Is $6100 in the ballpark of replacement of transmission and ECU for an 02 TL (so maybe my independent repair guy just didn't take into account into account) and is it really necessary to replace the ECU?

    I could use some informed opinions. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,875
    Are these quotes for the same thing? The dealer's quote suggests that this is a new or factory reman transmission, while the shop's quote suggests an in-house rebuild of yours. Maybe you need to clarify this before you make a decision. Also carefully compare warranties from each of the two outlets.

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  • I just spoke to the dealer service rep and the unit will be a reman from Honda. He told me that the transmission cost alone is $2900. The labor and ECU are on top of that. Unfortunately, my independent service shop is closed Mondays, so I can't call and get his opinion. The "quote" was a response to my question about what a ballpark figure would be for the repair so I would have something to judge the dealer's response against. He didn't do any calculations or consult anything, just responded with a range that topped out at around $2 K. I had expected to get a higher starting number from the dealer, but 3X surprised me.

    I decided to just go with the dealer's offer. The cost is comparable to what I was led to expect by my service guy, so it isn't like I'll save money going to them.

    I just have this sneaking suspicion that the highball quote allows the dealer to look generous while getting me to pay for all or most of the repair. If this is the case, I'd like to know in order to decide where to make my next purchase (which may be soon). If the deal is more or less square, I want to weigh that into my choice of dealers for my next. If it's not, well that will carry weight as well.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,875
    Lemme check on that price.....

    Yeah that's about the price for a reman----$2900---but that includes the torque converter. Are you getting that, too.

    The labor (with replace torque converter, flushing the lines, etc) is about 12 hours.

    The Torque converter, if not replaced, would be about an $850 deduct.

    Where I live, 12 hours labor is around $1500, so this sounds like a fair deal to me if you're paying $2100 total.

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  • I'll check on the torque converter. So with the ECU and labor on that, it might be in the ballpark of the total estimate? In that case, it's a pretty good deal from the dealer compared to some I've seen on forums. I guess I look well off and the car is getting to the point that its more trouble than I want to deal with, so I see a new car in my future. The dealer probably does too.
  • I have a 2007 TL with about 38K miles on it. I have noticed occasionally what feels like a bit of a shaking that I can feel at around 20 miles per hour when I don't accelerate fast. When I accelerate quickly it never seems to happen. I'm trying to identify what it is and what to do about it or if I should be concerned. It doesn't happen consistently and of course when I took it in to the dealership they couldn't recreate it.

    Would anyone have any suggestions as to what this might be or how to go about having it diagnosed correctly?

  • I have the same issue but it happens between 20 and 40 mph. If I just let the car run with a touch on the throttle the car start to vibrate like an engine issue. :surprise:
    PLEASE HELP!!!! I was afraid to pay to have it looked at and have the same thing happen just as rkling01. I know for one thing it's the same exact issue!!!! :sick:
  • I have experienced a very similar problem with my older Acura Legend. The repair shop first thought it was the torque converter and replaced it and did not entirely fix the problem, the problem did not occur as often but was still there. Talking to several transmission shops, based on my description of the problem (and of course the problem could not be duplicated on a test drive) based on their experience with this type of problem, recommended a very thorough flushing of the transmission using ONLY Honda transmission fluid. That resolved the problem. The recommendation from the transmission shops was to flush the transmission every 2 years with only Honda transmission fluid. The shop said other brands of transmission fluid could cause that problem as well as fluid that was contaminated or the fluid properties had just broken down from use. The same is true for the Power Steering fluid. Flushing the transmission is not that expensive and even if it does not fix the problem, it is good preventative maintenance and should be done if the transmission has not been flushed in several years.
  • mmtongmmtong Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 TL with 79k and in need of transmission replacement for the same reason. Happened to see your post and hoping I could get the same (or close) deal. I was advised to take it to a local deal and talk the service manager who will take my case to district manager then decide if I'm getting any discount or break. I'm in VA metro area and just wondering what area are you in if you don't mind telling. Thanks!!
  • I'm in LA (South Bay). My independent repair guy whio advised me on this said the deal I ended up with (estimated $2100 share of a $6000 job, turned out I paid $1700) was probably a good deal. He said in the distant past, they would have just done the job as a warranty job for customer relations, but then Honda went through a period when they wouldn't give any breaks at all. Now they've loosened up a bit and its a case by case decision.

    His advice to me was to call the dealer and let them know that I understood they weren't obligated to anything, but ask whether there was some sort of accomodation possible, indicating that I was willing to share a reasonable portion of the expense. Don't be confrontational and don't demand a given split. It doens't hurt to let them know that you might be thinking about a new car sometime soon. His advice worked out for me (IMHO).
  • mmtongmmtong Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. Too bad I had already agreed to dealer's quote $2,400 ($2,500 w/ tax) before getting your reply. Like you said, it's 'case by case' and I couldn't argue or complaint, so say I'm not as lucky as you. Felt being lucky to get some 'break' but at the same time.....felt unlucky getting this 'defective' model. Just hope our transmission is going to last for a LONG time.
  • cody35cody35 Posts: 1
    I dropped my 2007 TL off (43K iles) yesterday for service and mentioned the same problem...slight vibration and sluggish at 20mph+ when accelerating. When I described the problem to the Asst. Service Mgr. she looked concerned and said she was going to check it right away.

    They are putting in a new transmission on Friday. Sounds like a common problem. Some of the posts I have seen on these types of boards said that the transmission problem has been fixed in 05 and newer TLs. Not the case with mine. I also have a 2003 with 140,000 miles. No problems with that. Love both cars.
  • Hi I wanted to know if you had to pay for it, because I have the 04 model and I think that the transmission issue was a recall for my year. Is it possible to ask since your car is at the dealer.
  • I am having the same issue with my 2008 TL. Taking it in Monday under warranty. My gut feeling is the transmission. I'll post after I get the scoop. Many years ago I was able to get Honda to pay for an out-of-warranty transmission failure by calling the corporate office. They paid for it because they had a massive failure with the product. Crossing my fingers.
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