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Acura CL



  • daqmandaqman Posts: 27
    The Cl-s is a solid vehicle once you get past the squeeks and rattles...oh yeah and the transmission issues.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Yeah, the random and unpredictable squeaks and rattles are very annoying. When it gets really bad, I feel like trading it in at ANY price.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I don't have any. I have a 2002 so they must have gotten the first year bugs worked out. That was probably the first year(2001.)No trans issues(not yet anyway.)

    Yesterday, I got my CL washed at a car wash where the hand washed the cars. The guy who washed my car was about to pull the car out. There was my CL nice and clean. The car looked nice all washed up and from the backview and those dual exhaust pipes sticking out. It was about the first time in a month I had the car washed. Got all that nasty salt off of it.

    The only time I think about trading this car in is the iffy issue of resale value but I don't think its going to be bad though because I'll keep this car for 5 more years. I also think about trading this car in when I see a Mazda 6. Those are aboyt the only 2 instances where I would want to have another car.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Posts: 2,273

    I don't have any squeaks or rattles either and I have a 2001 CL-S. Must be the roads those people drive on. I do have a new transmission that was put in at about 24,000 miles last June. I have about 28,400 now. Left the car at the dealer, that I didn't buy it from, they gave me a brand new TL as a loaner. They had the car from Thursday until Tuesday. No problem.

  • This may sound like a "no-brainier," but I'm trying to decide whether to buy the 2001 Acura CL 3.2 Type-S Coupe or the 2002 Honda Accord EX V6 Coupe.

    I'm also aware of the 2001 Acura CL's defective transmission and that Acura has extended its drive train warranty from 70K to 100K. However, I've also read the horror stories from Acura CL owners going through two or three transmissions and not even reaching beyond the 100K mark, either.

    I really like the Acura CL. So much, that I contacted an Acura dealership that had two 2001 Acura Cl's in stock and voiced both my interest for this model, but I also my deep concerns. Like a typical car sale man, he never addressed the issue but rather focused upon the fact that these two models have new transmissions and Acura has an excellent customer service record.

    Thanks for the help!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    The Accord supposedly has the same tranny concerns. We happen to own exactly both of those cars -- 2001 CL-S and 2002 Accord V6 (sedan), and FWIW, so far the tranny in both have had no problem. Both still at fairly low mileage though.
  • Darren,

    Take a look at the home page of Edmunds. They have a new feature that contains consumer reviews of cars, as well as costs to own, etc. These are carried under a headline about JD POWER, and WHAT'S NEW AT EDMUNDS.

    I took a quick check on the 2001 CL-S, and there were 46 reviews, averaging a 9+ rating.

    When my tranny started to go, it never did a sudden downshift. In fact, my major complaint was that it wouldn't kick down to 3rd when I wanted passing power on the freeway --- it would only drop down to 4th.

    I've read reports that it would act ALMOST like it was hunting for a gear at 35-40MPH, then suddenly kick down to 2nd, BUT... I've never known of such an event occuring in any of the 4 2001 CL's that are owned by folks I know.

    Good Luck with your decision,

    PS: I believe the extended tranny warranty is transferable - you should confirm that though.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    thanks for suggesting that, ibmindless.

    Heres a direct link to consumer reviews:

    Consumer Reviews


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

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • alkanxalkanx Posts: 69
    Gents, there appears to be a leak under the motor, its got manual tranny & I have a feeling it is coming from the tranny. Anyone else discovered such...? I am taking it in to dealership to see the extent of this leak, only 20k miles...

    Also, anyone installed 04-TL 17 inch wheels/tires on a CL-S...

  • I have an ’01 CL-S with 33,000 (still waiting for my first tranny problem). My question is what the heck is with the squeaking? About a year ago, my right front shock started squeaking like an old mattress every time any weight in the car shifted. But that went away in a few days. Now, about 3 weeks ago, the left front side started doing that. Any time I hit the breaks or go around a turn or over a bump, it sounds like it needs a gallon of WD-40 sprayed behind the right wheel. It even squeaks when I get in or out of the car. It’s getting to the point where I can’t drive through a shopping center because everybody turns and looks and some even laugh. Anybody know what is going on with this car? I already had to get the front pads and rotors replaced at 30,000 (which acura reluctantly paid for), and I really don’t want to be replacing the struts already.
  • After reading countless stories of tranny problems and rotor replacements, I'm going with the 2003 Honda Accord EX, V6 coupe.

    Why buy a used 2001 Acura CL 3.2 with all its inherent problems, when I can get a used 2003 Honda Accord EX, V6 coupe with none for the same price? This is my rationale.

  • The 2003 EX is a good, practical choice. I also bought the CL-S for practicality & reliability reasons. I had a 1997 Acura Integra. The Integra was a fabulous car, but I wanted something a bit more regal. I wanted something quieter, a little more luxurious, and a little bigger. However, my #1 concern was reliability.

    With the exception of the tranny, I've had the reliability. The biggest push for me to buy the CL-S was the test drive. I went down some curving back roads, and I was allowed to actually drive at an 8/10ths to 9/10ths pace. That was the selling point for me --- I hadn't had so much fun driving a car in years.

    I was amazed at the power and handling of the CL-S - it was smooth, refined, yet it behaved like a sports car. The Honda will give you the reliability & practicality that you need. For me, I enjoy the power and handling of the CL-S.

    Plus, I figure I made out with the tranny - I still have a year to go on my 4-year warranty, and the tranny has the 7-year warranty.

    I could go on about the navigation system, heated seats, Xenon headlights, 17" alloy wheels, great stereo, clutchless 5-speed shifting, and the compliments I receive continuously on its looks, but... I guess that would be akin to bragging, so I won't. ;)

    Oh, did I mention that I got 24MPG when I cruised at 90MPH turning 2500RPM's for 110 miles? With several little spurts up to 110MPH? Shucks, I just can't stop, can I?

    Enjoy the Honda - it will serve you well I'm sure.

  • I've ultimately decided to either buy the 2001 Acura CL TYPE-S or the 2003 Honda Accord EX V6, Coupe or the 2003 Toyota Camry Solara SLE V6, coupe.

    To be honest, I absolutely love the Acura but as the more research I do on this model the more I'm leaning away from it. Actually, I'm avoiding it like the plague!

    To all of the 2001 Acura CL TYPE-S owners out there, I want your honest opinions on whether this has applied to your vehicle?

    Automotive Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins for 2001 Acura CL TYPE S V6-3210cc 3.2L SOHC (VTEC) PGM-FI.

    Provided by ALLDATA

    Bulletins for 2001 Acura CL TYPE S V6-3210cc 3.2L SOHC (VTEC) PGM-FI

    General Recalls

         TSB Number Issue Date TSB Title

    1. 02-027 AUG 03 Campaign - Automatic Transmission Warranty Extension

    2. 03-017 MAY 03 Campaign - PCM/Fuel Pressure Regulator Replacement

    Service Bulletins

         TSB Number Issue Date TSB Title

    1. 03-015 AUG 03 Audio System - Remote Controls Don't Work Properly

    2. 98-005 JUL 03 Drivetrain - Revised CV Joint Boot Band/Installation

    3. 00-037 JUN 03 Brakes - Brake Rotor Refinishing Guidelines

    4. 97-040 MAY 03 Keyless Entry - Description/Identification/Programming

    5. 01-017 MAY 03 Brakes - Pedal/Steering Wheel Vibrate When Braking

    6. 00-019 APR 03 Antitheft System -Type 2 System Operation/Programming

    7. 03-010 MAR 03 Engine Controls/Emissions - DTC's & Monitors

    8. 03-006 MAR 03 Engine Controls - Idle Speed Inspection

    9. 03-003 FEB 03 Interior - Power Seat Rail Synchronization Update

    10. 03-001 JAN 03 Emissions - MIL ON/DTC P1457 (EVAP) Set

    11. 03-002 JAN 03 A/T - MIL ON/No Upshifts/Downshifts/Slipping

    12. 02-020 AUG 02 Air Bag System - Occupant Position Sensor Initialization

    13. 02-015 JUL 02 Air Bag System - SRS Lamp ON/DTC's Set

    14. 02-012 MAY 02 Clutch Master Cylinder - Fluid Leakage

    15. 02-006 MAR 02 Front Seat Back Panel - Loose/Detached

    16. 02-005 FEB 02 Emissions - EVAP System Testing and Diagnostics

    17. 96-025 DEC 01 Navigation System - Component Exchange Program

    18. 99-041 NOV 01 Navigation System/A/C - Operation/Testing

    19. 01-041 OCT 01 Engine - Oil Leaks

    20. 01-031 SEP 01 Lighting - Road Lamp Bulbs Burned Out

    21. 99-051 AUG 01 Exhaust - Muffler Paint Peeling

    22. 00-037 AUG 01 Brake Disc - Refinishing Guidelines

    23. 01-004 JUL 01 Wipers - Smear or Streak the Windshield

    24. 00-009 DEC 00 New Models - Feature Information

    25. 00-032 NOV 00 Moonroof - Squeaks from Moonroof Seal

    26. 00-025 AUG 00 Body - Windshield Molding Deformed


    28. 92036 NOV 92 Vehicle Fails State Inspection Emissions Test

    If I didn't know any better, I would have thought this was either a Ford, GM, or Dodge car.

    I guess another question is whether a pre-owned certified Acura CL 3.2 will address all of these issues.

    Right now, I'm extremely disappointed with Acura's supposed quality craftsmanship.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    the tranny warranty extension (no problem so far with tranny); the moonroof rattle; and streaky wipers. That's all.

    A couple of side-notes: On a couple of occasions, I have encountered the e-brake light on the dash coming on and off intermittently. However, according to the dealer, there was no fluid leak nor any other brake malfunction. The last time it happened they replaced the master cylinder sensor and all is well.

    Also, regarding the audio system, sometimes when I try to turn the volume down via the dash knob, the volume would go up rather than down. Usually this would happen if I give the knob a quick twist. If I turn it slowly it doesn't happen. I didn't bring it to the attention of the dealer since I don't think it's a big deal. I usually use the steering wheel volume control anyway.

    I think those are all TSB's that Darren listed. I think TSB's are issued quite regularly by all manufacturers, so I'm sure if having a lot of TSB's is any indication of significant problems.
  • I have to say, I've had some of those problems listed, including...
    - Pedal/Steering Wheel Vibrate When Braking (Acura turned the rotors at 25k)
    - Squeaks from Moonroof Seal (Acura applied fix)
    - Wipers - Smear or Streak the Windshield (no fix)
    ...and of course the Transmission Warranty Extension, but no failures so far.

    And I've experienced a 'jumping' or bouncing in the power windows, for which Acura replaced the window regulator mechanisms. None of the other items you listed have happened on my '01. On all problems I've had, my Acura dealer's service has been fantastic to deal with.

    I also have to tell you, I have 46k miles on this car and still just love the way it drives. It runs and drives as tight as it did when new. I am disappointed over the problems I read about on this model, but have yet to experience enough to sway my opinion. I think it's fair to say the 01 CL-s is not best at reliability from your choices, but it does offer much better performance than the Honda or Toyota. Do you weigh performance or reliability higher?

    Like bodble2, I believe TSBs are not necessarily indication of serious quality problems. Being in a tech-service business myself, I know TSBs can also be communications for unusual or difficult to diagnose problems... making them a sign of effective service departments.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    rick27513 knew what I meant despite my typo!! (I meant to say "I'm NOT sure if having a lot of TSB's is any indication of significant problems")
  • 95gt95gt Posts: 69
    My only problem has been the brakes. The stupid shimmy at speeds that needs the brakes resurfaced. Does not come up alot(first at 30k and again now at 50k). Rest of the car is as solid as the day I got it. Not a rattle hiccup or anything. This is a great car. This is definetly not a car to "avoid like the plague". I will take my little brake shimmy, as it has no affect on the brakes stopping performance, and be happy as i pass those accord and solara drivers
  • dark8dark8 Posts: 4
    I just test drove a '01 3.2CL Type-S and i am in love with this car i can afford only about $19000 for the car... But after reading about all these tranny problems im kinda holdin back now. I am also lookin at '02 Maxima SE as a secondary instead of the Acura but i really want the Acura over the maxima...

    Anyone know if there are more bad trannys then there are good ones? Like is it every 3.2CL Type-S tranny's are bad... or is like one out of every 2 or what i am tryin to get at is what are the odds of gettin a bad one anyone know?

    Also another quick question... Does anyone know what year they started to make the 3.2CLS in that nice Blue color?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think there are definitely more good trannies than bad ones. There are only supposed to be about 2% bad trannies. My tranny hasn't failed, nor has it shown any of the typical symptoms so far. However, having said that, I never liked the way the CL auto shifts. One, I don't think it puts the power to the wheels that smoothly. Secondly I think it has a tendency to go into econo mode too easily. In other words, under light throttle, it will upshift early and stay in a higher gear. While this may be good for fuel economy, around town often it seems the engine will lug a bit. You take your foot off the throttle, the revs will drop. (There are time when I'd be cruising at about 35 - 40 mph and the revs will be down to barely over 1K). Then you dip back into the throttle, you get the sensation that the engine will lug for a second or so until the tranny "wakes up" and downshifts. And often slight hiccups will be part of the process. If you're getting on and off the throttle repeatedly, (ie. squirting through holes in traffic) the powertrain behavious is downright unpleasant. This car drives best on the open road or when driven hard. If you're tiptoeing in traffic, the powertrain seems a bit lackadaisical rather than "coiled" for action. Either than or the torque converter is locking up too early and too often.

    Now, here's the kicker. If I had to do it all over, I would probably pick the Max over the CL-S. A large part of this is due to the fact I found out a 2-door car is a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] for my daily commute. But also because I don't find the CL-S that satisfying overall (for my needs). When you hammer it the power and acceleration is great, but as a daily commuter, it is not all that poised or composed, for lack of a better term. And to top it off the fit and finish is second-rate, and the car is proned to random squeaks and rattles.
  • dark8dark8 Posts: 4
    I test drove it a bit and it seemed very nice and i am a 20year old male... So i am looking for something sporty but yet still luxury.

    If u dont mind answering what are some of the reasons that you would like to get the Maxima over the CLS? I love how the CLS has everything i need as far as options. And the Maxima is going to be hard to find because of all the specific options i would want.

    My last car was a '91 Mustang GT 5.0. It was an all out sports car and now i am lookin for something that isnt all out sports car something in the middle and the CLS i think is perfect. But i also have my eye on '02 Maxima Se which is kinda on the same level as the CLS except it is a lil more less a sports car then the CLS.

    Having a Mustang as my previous car got me used to the 2 doors. I dont really mind 2 door car cause i am already used to having to deal with it and its not that a big of deal to me but i only usually have more then 1 other passanger in my car probably about 2 days a week which is nothing so i dont mind 2 door.

    The only thing that is holding me back is this tranny problem. If this wasnt such a big issue (at least it seams that way) then i would buy the car ASAP.

    Also i dont know much at all about the SS but like u said about the weavin through traffic wouldnt it be better if you were usin the SS cause u said that it doesnt keep up so wouldnt it be better to use the SS and downshift from there and upshift and so on?? just a question cause im not familiar with it

    If this is true that only 2% of all CLS have "bad" trannys then my chances are pretty good that i will get a good one... At least i hope...
  • 95gt95gt Posts: 69
    Dark8 the 2% is correct. The only reason you hear so much about it is because those are the people that complain. This issue was a very small issue that involved bad parts from a manufacturer. Acura has extended warranties for 7 years/100k for the tranny. 98% of cars do not have a tranny problem. I too went from a mustang 5.0 and with the exception that i wish i had waited for the manual that came out in 02 there is no comparison. The acura is pretty much as fast as my mustang was, gets way better mileage, is quiter, smoother, inside is about 1000x nicer, and is far more reliable.

    Yes the ss would be better for someone that finds themselves weaving in and out a lot. The ss mode works very well and, obviously, will not let the engine upshift for economy.

    Get the car and enjoy.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Well, one of the reasons I would pick the Max over the CL would not apply to you since you are a young person and would likely only drive your girlfriend around most of the time whereas I have 2 kids that ride with me everyday. Now, if you have more than 1 girlfriend, then it's a different story :)

    But seriously, I find the Max almost on a par with the CL in terms of luxury, feature content and power. The 4-speed auto on the Max is a negative but not really a huge factor given the torque of the engine. I had a '95 Max and I've always found the VQ to be slightly smoother and more refined than the Honda/Acura V6. The Max has a somewhat offbeat front and rear end styling but the overall shape is very masculine.

    As gt95 said, the tranny issue on the CL only affects about 2%, and the extended warranty should alleviate most concerns about that. The Max is also not without issues. That generation Max had problems with O2 sensors. And I've also read quite a few people reporting problems with ignition coils. So there you go. You probably won't regret either choice. But I fully understand your view on the 2-door issue. When I was your age, I wouldn't have looked sideway at a 4-door sedan.
  • dark8dark8 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info and yea sometimes i might have more then one girlfriend at a time! lol ;)

    If you were my age do you think you would pick the CLS over the Max? I know you said you would pick the Max over the CLS, but if you were my age which would you take?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    If I were 20, I would definitely pick the CL-S. In fact, I would go for the CL-S 6-speed. At that age, it's always form over function. In my 20's, I had a Camaro Z28. It was big and heavy, sucked gas, rattled and creaked all over, zero room in the back, and it would get stuck at the smell of snow. But it LOOKED wicked. And let me emphasize that there is nothing really fundamentally or functionally wrong with the CL-S. It's just that, given my current needs, the CL-S doesn't have enough of a performance or functional advantage over the Max to overcome the convenience deficit. Heck, when I was twenty, I wouldn't have bought a 4-door even if it was an M5! Mind you, I was young and stupid then (as opposed to old and stupid now). Kids today are much more mature, right?

    Actually, if I were 20 now, the car I would be drooling over would be the Nissan Z/Infiniti G35 coupe. I don't know what your budget is, but why don't you go for one of those babies?
  • dark8dark8 Posts: 4
    well my budget is about 18500 for the car itself...
  • ego29isteego29iste Posts: 45
    I am moving to Boston from Orlando in a few days time. So I gotta bid good bye to my miata and look into another forms of transportation.

    From what I have read so far in the previous posts:

    1) 2002 model year does NOT have the tranny problem? And the tranny issues were isolated to the type S models?

    2) CL handles fine in the snow?

    3) Finally is a 2002 CL w/ Navi with 29,000 miles a good deal for $ 21,000?

    4) Other than the faster engine and sport tuned suspension; I am not missing anything else by going with the regular cl?

    5) 2002 was a good year for the cl?

    6) The navi should not have any problems?

    Please let me know if my assumptions above are correct and if the price is decent.

    Thanks for your advice

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    1. Tranny issue was not limited to the Type-S models. And I think some 2002's are affected as well.
    2. From my personal experience, CL will handle moderate amounts of snow with all-seaons tires without any problem.
    4. The other major item that the regular CL does not have is the 17" wheels/tires. I don't know about performance, but aesthetically, the smaller wheels/tires don't look as good. To me, there is a significant difference in appearance. And I don't think you get perforated leather in the regular CL.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    The other day I was going straight on a road. I see an intersection and this girl in her red Mustang. She pulls up and I thought she was going to stop. The Mustang than moved a little bit into my way and I steered the wheel to the left. She never even stopped so here's her car coming and I would have hit her in the side. But no the CL quickly manavured quickly to the right and I avoided hitting the Mustang. I thought for sure there was going to be an accident. My CL responded quickly. Be time I cleared the Mustang my CL was already passed her bumper. I went from left to right in about 3 seconds and avoided hitting her. To tell you the truth I don't know I avoided the Mustang. I was totally in amazement I didn't hit her. For what some people call Acura a "Japanese Buick" well that "Japanese Buick" steeped up to the late when I needed it my most and did its job. I didn't know this car had it in it to manuever like that from left to right. My Car was a sports car in that moment. Thanks Honda for making a car that acts like a sports car in tight spots like that!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Did you give her the one finger salute? Of course, if she was a babe, then all's forgiven! :)
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I didn't give her the finger. No I wasn't even thinking about giving her the finger. I was too worried about avoiding the Mustang too get mad about anything.
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