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Acura TL Maintenance and Repair



  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    I have posted several times about my 6 speed 2004's steering issues. It tends to drift to the left, and steering effort to the right is considerably higher than to the left. To the left the car almost "falls into" the turn, but to the right you have to fight the car. On a long drive my right shoulder aches from holding the car in balance, especially if heavy traffic forces me into the left lane for long periods. Here's a follow-up.


    So far the car has been realigned twice, and the alignment is within specs. Tires have been rotated and checked on a new precision balancing machine the dealer is evaluating; the machine evidently checks for both balance and asymetrical pulling tendency in the tires. The car's been been back to the dealer four times.


    The car still drifts left and, more importantly, the steering effort issue remains unresolved. The Acura rep has driven the car, and states that nothing is wrong in writing (even though he acknowledged the drifting issue during a test drive). All dealer documentation states that nothing was found, but on the phone the service manager stated that he had to be careful what he said, but in his professional opinion the power steering rack should be swapped out and failing a solution there, the vehicle should be replaced. The next day the same manager left me a voicemail stating the party line, that nothing could be done and the car was within spec. I also got a voicemail from the Acura area rep stating the same. The problem now rests with the Acura customer service people.


    I'll post again as developments occur.
  • I received my 2004 Acura TL in Nov 2003. Immediately had whining in the 20-25 and 40-50 mph range and a deep roar/vibration in the 50-60 mph range. The dealer replaced the transmission immediately with no discussion. While the new transmission is better, the car still exhibits the same general condition as before. And it has remained a very irritating experience. While I have not pushed the dealer on this particular problem, I have had the motor mounts replaced, with no help, and a set of tires at 16K due to rear end going out of alignment(they said I hit something-never done that before in my life-72 yrs). If Acura's are going to continue to have this problem I might have bought my last Acura.
  • laurasdada, the Bridgestone EL42 tires have NO traction in the snow. These tires do not work very well in the cold, even at temperatures just above freezing.
  • mdhaukemdhauke Posts: 202
    Well, they don't when they are more then 20% worn. I almost killed myself in the snow on those because I already had 12,000 miles on them.
  • Hey guys,


    I replaced my tires this week on my 1999 TL (45,000 miles) with Kuhmo's 716 but I'm still having the same problem which I thought would be corrected with the new tires.


    Between 55mph-70mph the steering wheel vibrates consistently. I believe this issue has been addressed before and if I'm correct is just inherent with the car?


    Over 70mph the ride does smooth out. However, the vibration does come back every minute or so. It's like a wave (sorry for the bad analogy these days). I thought this issue would be corrected with the new tires and at least a little improved between 55-70.


    Can anyone shed any light as to why this happens? Thank you!


  • klee3klee3 Posts: 55
    My 2005 TL has 550 miles on it. I've heard different mileages when people get the first oil change done. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.
  • aaarghaaargh Posts: 230
    Let the maintenance minder do all the thinking. That's what it's there for.


    Why would you change oil at only 550 miles anyway?
  • rickoricko Posts: 22
  • rickoricko Posts: 22
    Since Acura has refused to recall or do anything with the defective torque converter in my own 04 TL, which is what is causing the vibration problem, per Acura District Manager for my area, in the 04 and the 05's ,I have hired attorneys to pursue a class action lawsuit against Acura.
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    Good for you!


    I have the same problem (04 TL vibration in 5th gear at 45 to 64 mph). I spoke to the district manager who told me the vibration (harmonic vibration) is a characteristic of the car. He went on to say that the characteristic was corrected on the 05 models. I don’t know if that’s true. Does the 05 do the same thing?


    He also told me the Acura engineers are working to correct the characteristic or problem in the 04 model. I think it’s funny that they are working to correct something that they say is not a problem. Do they really think a jury is going to buy into that?


    I have asked for an arbitration hearing to see if they will replace or refund my money. I’m not too optimistic so I have spoken to a very large Lemon Law Firm. They advised me to take it back to the dealer three times for documentation purposes and then I’ll file a lawsuit to recover my money. I don’t want another Acura TL.


    How is the class action suit going to work? If it does not interfere with my lemon law suit, I will join the class action suit.


    PS: There is evidence that Acura knew about the problem when they sold us this defective car I believe that’s called fraud.


    Tell me more about your plans and also let me know what you know about the vibration problem. I live in the Phila PA. Area.
  • man i hope they do something about this vibration it makes a great car feel average
  • rickoricko Posts: 22
    Hi tedescm1, the attorney I talked with contacted another very large firm who has a group who handles nothing but automotive problems such as this and they have looked at the initial evidence and thinks this is a very strong case and is very confident a jury would rule in my favor. They are now looking for others to join the case, I think if you were to settle with Acura under your lemon case you would probably be asked by them to sign over rights to pursue them in court, you would have to check into this. Acura rep I dealt with at my hearing, said on tape that it was still a problem on the 05. They have adjusted the suspension and have switched to the Michlen tire in an attempt to cover up the real problem, the defective torque converter which locks up in 5th gear on auto trans. When the car is vibrating in 5th gear, slide shift into manual slot and down shift to 4th vibration will stop,return to 5th and vib starts again. My opinion the engineers are working on some less expensive fix such as a liquid filled mount that will simply absorb the vib and not fix the converter which would be way too expensive for them. I worry about driving this car down the hwy and the converter locking completely up and causing a serious or fatal accident and it is very possible. I am also filing a compliant with Ky State Attorney General, they new before they sold us the car and unsuspecting buyers are still purchasing the car not knowing what we know now,a defective car. I am also filing with the Federal Hwy Transportation also the attorney that heard my arbitration case seemed fair minded and ruled in my favor, but I had not satisfied lemon law in Ky, which if I had would have meant replacement with no usage fees but since I hadn't I would have to pay 5200 in fees to get new 05 and no way I would pay that for another vibrating car. Good luck I am at [email protected] if you need anything. ricko.
  • ntt18ntt18 Posts: 8
    Well, the fact that Honda has not fixed the tranny issue for 6 years. It is a known issue since 99 and Honda has the balls to use the same tranny system for the new TL. As I stated in my previous post, mt 04TL engine is not sounding too good and I have owned many cars , Nissan, Toyota, Bimmer 328 , something is wrong with the TL engine. I don't believe the engine will last past 50-60k miles.


    Honda made a calculated decision that there is remote chance the tranny will fail completely so they roll it. As in most biz cases, unless the software can cause serious data corruption, let's release it.


    99% of users won't do anything or in our case, we can't return the car. Honda/Acura is still denying it when you call them. I am wondering if the problems are exclusive to the TL or other Hondas like Accord, MDX which use the same system also experience similar problems.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    How do you mean your engine is not sounding so good? Does it also run rough, reduced performance, gas mileage?
  • armandarmand Posts: 178
    What makes you think that it is the same transmission. Previous posting have indicated that there isn't a documented problem with the '04 TL transmission. I have an '04 TL AT with 10K miles on it. The engine sounds fine and I have never had any problems with it - but I di dislike the tires. I have probably owned 20 cars in my liftime and the '04 TL is the best values I have ever bought.
  • I've been reading a lot on this forum about TL vibration problem due to faulty torque converter. I'm wondering about the percentage of '04 TL's with this problem and does it carry into the '05 TL? Is that related to the tranny problems of the previous generation TL? Any chance it would be corrected in '06? A friend of mine is thinking about the TL and wants to be sure. Your feedback is much appreciated.
  • ntt18ntt18 Posts: 8
    repost - the blogger ate my previous post.




    My 04TL engine is humming or buzzing depending on your ears when starting from complete

    stop. The humming/buzzing goes away when it reaches 30-40MPH, then the engine seems

    to grind or vibrate when it reaches 45-55MPH. The problem can be easily replicated

    if I get on freeway, get the speed up to 60-65MPH then slow down to 50MPH, again

    I can feel the engine is grinding or vibrating. The best way I can describe is that

    like you are driving at slower speed but the gear box is stuck in 5th or 6h gear.

    Yes, the suspension is extremely tight on TL but in my humble opinion, it is the

    engine that is grinding and vibrating. It is almost like the engine was trying to

    find a correct gear for the speed the car is traveling at


    Of course, the dealer balanced the tires. Acura CS said it is normal. I can deal

    w/ the squeaking doors but not the engine. Maybe my engine issue is rare among

    thousands of engine Aucra produced. My 04TL only has 8k so it should not grind or

    vibrate. I don't push the car very hard so there is no reasons for the engine to

    grind hard. I can barely feel a pulse when driving it before but now the engine

    is much louder and I can hear the humming/buzzing very clearly.




    The fact Acura recalled early TL produced in 03 and early 04 tell me it is the same

    tranny system which Honda has not fixed YET. Sure the TL offers the best value and

    performance in its class but for 35k, all I want is a car w/ reasonable ride, a

    good engine that will last at least 4 or 5 years. I doubt my TL engine will last

    beyond 50K the way it sounds and behaves today.
  • dojadoja Posts: 19
    "...They have adjusted the suspension and have switched to the Michlen tire in an attempt to cover up the real problem, the defective torque converter which locks up in 5th gear on auto trans. When the car is vibrating in 5th gear, slide shift into manual slot and down shift to 4th vibration will stop,return to 5th and vib starts again. My opinion the engineers are working on some less expensive fix such as a liquid filled mount that will simply absorb the vib and not fix the converter which would be way too expensive for them. I worry about driving this car down the hwy and the converter locking completely up and causing a serious or fatal accident and it is very possible."


    This is a scary post for someone interested in buying an 05 TL. If this is generally as serious a problem as you say then wouldn't this be a well known issue by car magazines, consumer reports, radio car talk hosts...etc. I just read in a magazine that the 05 TL was expected to be among the top sedans for re-sale value. How can it have this major defect yet be on a car magazine's list as a top value for re-sale purposes?


    I'm not doubting that you have experienced this problem. I'm just questioning how wide spread it is?


    How can the TL have a defective torque converter which causes, at the very least least an annoying vibration and at most a serious safety problem without other automobile sources reporting or warning about it?
  • aaarghaaargh Posts: 230
    I have an '04 Automatic. The thing I wonder is if my TL is vibrating? Sounds like a weird question, but I haven't driven another TL, so I don't know if my car vibrates unreasonably.


    So perhaps my question should be whether the vibrations I feel are unreasonable AND how do they compare to Ricko and the others who say their's do. Yes mine vibrates, but it doesn't really bother me, so I'm guessing their's are worse. How can I tell if my vibrations are 'normal' versus unreasonable.


    I believe Ricko and the others aren't unreasonable and aren't complaining about 'reasonable' engine vibrations. But how can we quantify it?
  • After reading abou this vibration issue, I decided to jump in the car (with now only 1,200 miles on it) and check it out. First let me say, out of the showroom I had to have the rack & pinion replaced and now we are getting a noise from the motor that sounds like bad gas, yet all we put is 93 octane or better in the car. Anyway, back to the vibration. What I notice with this car is it has a very starnge way of shifting gears. When you roll off the line, I do get a brief vibration that disappears almost immediately, but it happens. Shifting through 2nd and 3rd (we have an automatic) is where we are getting this awful valve tap or exhaust rattle and then 4th seems to be ok. Once in the car gets up between 65 and 70 is where I feel a slight vibration, nothing bad, but certainly noticable enough to confirm what others are saying. The car is going back to the dealer for now the fourth time with just 1,200 miles on it for the noise in the motor or exhaust. I will say this, we changed the wheels to 18" with Pirelli tires, which seemed to help in road noise and snow, but my biggest complaint with the car is that the cabin does not feel sealed when the doors are shut. Coming from a Mercedes I wasn't expecting to have the same quality, but for $36,000, I would expect a more quiet cabin when driving!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "When you roll off the line, I do get a brief vibration that disappears almost immediately"


    I believe that's the ABS self-check.


    I actually find the TL quite "sealed" in terms of road and wind noise, but I'm coming from other Acuras and Hondas, not Mercedes.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I find that the transmission (auto) will take a split second longer to engage when going from Drive to Reverse compared to Reverse to Drive. No unual noise or anything, just a wee bit more of a lag before engaging. Does anyone else experience this?
  • Oh yeah. I noticed that in both way (D to R) or (R to D) more or less the same. It is obviously longer than any other car (auto tranmission) that I have driven.
  • There were a few times that I had diffult in starting my 04' TL. In two occasions, I just had touchless carwash done on it then went to supermarket. After 30min, I have to crank it for almost 10 sec before it could start. Another occasion was that I tried to drive the car back home after work(The weather was humid on that day). No sure others experience similar before.
  • aaarghaaargh Posts: 230
    The 'hot car takes longer to start' issues has been discussed before. It has to do with clearing the catalytic converter so there is no backfire. While mine doesn't take 10 seconds, it does take longer than if it's cold.


    Honda calls this a 'normal' characteristic. Sound familiar.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Coming from a Lexus sedan, which is probably the quietest and smoothest ride you can find for the money, I'd say TL isn't bad at all, esp. on the quietness department. On an un-bumpy road, it's decently smooth. Not quite at Lexus level, which can put you (well riders) to sleep real quick, TL is quite satisfying on its own for the power it gives you. The TL suspension, however does not filter out bumpy road surfaces too much.


    On vibration, obviously the car will vibrate a bit when engine is on, vs. when engine is off. But I've not sensed any unusual vibration to date (only 1K miles tho).


    So far I really enjoy driving this car, just that I won't use it for a long trip. Will go to Lexus or a van/suv for that.
  • colecole Posts: 67
    I'm having 2 strange electrical issues (in addition to the standard vibration between 50-55 mph):


    1. When I'm low on gas, the red airbag light comes on and stays on. It goes off after I fill up.


    2. When the wipers are in intermittent mode, they will activate every time I take my foot off the brake. This happens even on the slowest setting where the wipers have just gone.


    Anyone else experience these 2?
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    Acura will tell you that these are free enhancements to the car!


    Lucky you!


    PS: What does the dealer have to say about the standard vibration between 50-55 mph):
  • armandarmand Posts: 178
    I believe the wipers are speed sensitive. I know when I stop at a light they slow down and speed up when I start moving again - that of course requires that I take my foot off the brake. I do think that what you are experiencing may really be a feature.
  • aaarghaaargh Posts: 230
    The wipers are speed sensitive at the highest (shortest) intermintent setting only.
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