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Acura RL reliability

jaybee85jaybee85 Posts: 25
edited September 2014 in Acura
There have been some disappointments posted about the only "average" reliability of RL, according to the April Consumer Reports auto issue. TL and TSX, as well as all Lexus and Infiniti sedans, rate "much better than average" or "better than average". RL electrical and audio systems are below average, brakes and power equipment are just average, other systems above average. CR does recommend the RL overall.

I was planning to buy a 2007, maybe 2006 used, RL, but hesitated because of rumors about problems with the 2005 RL. I was hoping the problems would be fixed, so I could justify buying the expensive flagship model and holding it for many years with minimal repair problems - as was the case with our prior four Legends and three Integras.

I wrote Acura Customer Service about the above and got a call telling me Acura fixed all problems it was aware of, including by engineering changes. I challenged that, based on CR, but the rep refused any specific information, saying that was not for the public. I say, no help there.

So, should I accept average reliability in this supposedly premium flagship auto? I do like the looks and performance of RL. Or, should I look at Infiniti or Lexus now? I am reluctant to change makes after 20 years with Acura, but maybe it's time.

I will appreciate your comments.


  • kennyg8kennyg8 Posts: 225
    2005 was the first year model of the current 2G RL, and it was not surprising it had some teething problems. Based on what I learned from another forum, 06 RLs are much better in terms of reliability and trouble free index.
  • jaybee85jaybee85 Posts: 25

    Thanks for the comment. I'd like to see the favorable comments on the 2006, so please tell me where to find them.
  • eclipse2eclipse2 Posts: 64
    Hey Jaybee85 I have a 2006 RL with about 8500 miles on it! I think for the price I paid 39,500 and the way it drives and all the tech stuff that comes with this cars you can't beat it! I would have paid more for it now that I have it!....I got rid of my 2003 TL s with nav for this and I don't miss it at all!! I don't know where CR got the info from but this cars drives like a dream! My wife got the 2007 MDX and she loves it too! Proud owner of a 2006 RL black on black :shades:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I moved a post to a discussion where it's better placed. Here's the link: jfredrickson, "2007 Acura RL" #11, 2 Apr 2007 7:05 am.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Have a look at the general Acura RL discussion. I think you'll find what you're looking for. :)
  • johnhaydjohnhayd Posts: 11
    I hesitated buying an RL. There were LOTS of complaints on the website for the 2005s. BUT, there are hardly any complaints about the 2006/7s. I purchased by 2006 in april 2006 with tech pack (includes acc/cmbs/pax in 2006). It has been trouble free.
  • I haven't read much about the Pax tires. How are they?
  • johnhaydjohnhayd Posts: 11
    I'm happy with the PAX tires so far. I didn't do a head to head comparison by driving a RL w/o pax. Others on have said that with pax tires the car rides/handles better and the tires are quieter. The main downside of the pax tires is that you can't put any other tires on the special pax wheel: you have to get new wheels and a spare wheel. Also, the pax tires are reportedly expensive to replace. I'm very happy with the CMBS/ACC but could take or leave the PAX.
  • jaybee85jaybee85 Posts: 25
    New York Times 8/10/07 reported J. D. Power dependability study, based on experience with 2004 models. Acura came in #12, just behind Jaguar and Oldsmobile; next down the list were Mercedes and Infiniti. Best were Buick (!) and Lexus, Cadillac, Mercury and Honda.

    For perspective, Lexus had 145 problems per 100 cars over three years, while Acura had 207 per 100; industry average was 216 per 100. Maybe not so earthshaking a difference.

    But,this is more evidence that Acura quality control is slipping.
  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    I have a 98 RL. The A/C system can run full auto or manual over ride. In manual mode there are 3 modes: Off, Econ and On. I understand off and on. Does anyone KNOW what econ does? Acura technicians don't know. I can't find a reference in the owners manual or service manual.
  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    I am a little PO'd that Acura has not supported the navigation system on my 98 RL since 2003. The data is WAY out of date. Their answer is, "Buy a new car." Someone, (I bought used) paid about $40K for the car and surely expected the nav data to be undated more than 5 years.

    Does anyone know if a newer update is possible?
  • an educated guess based on what I've seen in Toyotas: It uses the a/c compressor less to save gas.
  • mike734mike734 Posts: 128
    Thanks for answering but I thought of that and it doesn't make sense. If you can still choose a cabin temperature then the compressor still has to do enough work to cool the cabin to the desired temp. right?

    The only thing that makes sense to me is this scenario. You are requesting a 67 degree cabin. It is 55 degrees outside. If you use econ the computer might be smart enough to turn off the compressor somewhat and use outside air for the job. What else could it be?
  • Planning to buy an used 99 RL with 113K miles. The exterior and interior is in excellent condition considering its age. However, the gentleman says there is a problem with the passenger side wheel bearing which he is going to take care of. Though at this point he is not sure of the exact reason. While test driving I hear some sound coming out of the wheel. It makes that noise only while making sharp left turns. It sounded like wobbling. Any idea folks? How bad it could be? Any known issues? Help is much appreciated.
  • kenb757kenb757 Posts: 149
    The A/C in my low-tech '76 Cadillac had an "ECON" (omy) setting. It was just for the vent and fan. If the cabin temp. was above the outside temp., the fan go to "high" in a vain attempt to lower the cabin temp. If the cabin temp. was lower than outside it would heat the cabin. Probably works the same way in the new Acuras.
  • I got a cover for my 07 RL from First I really thought that i made a mistake by getting a car cover cuz it's so inconvinient. But now that I think of it, the price that I got for was sooo cheap that I was already happy with the price. And the quality of it was better then what i paid for so i was much more happier.
  • joesaxjoesax Posts: 2
    My 1999 Acura RL (3.5L) recently had a used engine swap and upon reassembly the car developed a gear grinding noise that sort of came and went. It definitely changed with the rotational speed of the car and not the engine RPM. In fact, it even happened when the car was put in neutral when rolling. My 1st exception is I believe that it is unrelated to the engine. Yesterday after only about 75 miles after the repair and this sound coming and going, the car violently came to a stop when it sounded and felt like a set of gears broke apart. The car was still running after that scary stop which confirmed that it wasn’t the engine. It actually was still drivable after that as I nursed it home. The transmission still seemed to shift through all its gears smoothly. So the tranny seems ok.

    The mechanic is attempting to claim innocence as his job was to just swap the engines which he did by dropping the engine and transmission out of the bottom of the car. The only thing that seemed strange to me was that he used the original old splined right side axil instead of using the axil that came with the new used engine. My thinking is that why wouldn’t he use the splined axil shaft that was already “worn in” with the replacement engine drive differential it came with? I’m wondering if the noise I was hearing was the meshing of the two dissimilar gears from two different engines and most likely from two different year cars.

    My concern now is what froze up that caused the car to lock up the front wheels and what needs to be done to rectify the situation. The gearing I am talking about is located in the oil pan of the engine. Is that engine oil or are those gears in a separate compartment that is fed transmission oil? How about any metal filings that may have been created as a result of improper gear mesh? Ouch! I could be way off on my diagnosis what else could it be? Your advice or a post on the Acura forum is welcome. Love this car!


This discussion has been closed.