More Advice On Acura TL Transmission ...

More Advice On Acura TL Transmission Failures And Recall

There are 327 comments on the Hartford Courant story from May 29, 2007, titled More Advice On Acura TL Transmission Failures And Recall. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Q: I read your article and I felt a knot in my stomach hearing about the Acura TL with transmission problems.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.


Rogue River, OR

#169 Aug 10, 2012
Jesse wrote:
I have 2003 3.2TL. 157,000 miles. Emissions light comes on and it starts shifting all over the place at steady speeds. Weird thing to me is that if i disconnect the battery, the car driver perfectly until the emmissions light comes back on. I am convinced its electrical and a sensor problem, but Acura says i need a 4500 transmission....
The computer seems to be the root of the tranny problems. Try replacing it before you spring for a new tranny. It should be replaced along with the tranny anyway.

Brampton, Canada

#170 Sep 3, 2012
Hmmm, am really scared because of all that i've read regarding 3.2TL. I have 317k on mine recently changed my tranny oil but I have noticed that there is a small viberation when shifting from 1 to 2.
I do not if the tranny is almost at its end of life ? Can someone offer any advice?

United States

#171 Oct 12, 2012
2000 TL 3.2 with 145,000 miles. This is a beautiful car that drives and handles nicely, when it actually goes. See I'm am now going to be on my 4th transmission with the third one blown after 14 months and less than 10,000 miles on a rebuild. I will never buy another Acura/Honda with an automatic transmission, NEVER! If you have one you might look into installing a 350 with a 350 turbohydromatic. At least it would last for a few years. HA! As soon as I get rid of this car I'll be going with Ford or Chevy. Should'a bought American to begin with.

Winnipeg, Canada

#172 Oct 13, 2012
the thing is Honda just started using DW1 which is a full synthetic oil.
The old Honda Z1 tranny fluid is garbage!
they copied Amsoil finally and now use full synthetic
I have had good experiences with Acura but I always use Amsoil.
A new one is in

Athens, OH

#173 Oct 14, 2012
I got an Acura yesterday and on the way back to my home the tranny got bad, Slipping between almost all gears. When I parked my car somewhere to inspect the problem and then tried to move but the car didn't want to move. With a slight push the car got in into some gear and started to move. I wonder what could be the possible problem and how much will that cost?
Joe E

Sewell, NJ

#179 Oct 18, 2012
I bought a 2002 Acura TL Type S a couple of years ago with 121k miles. It now has 134k miles and I have yet to experience any transmission problems. The only maintenance that I did was replacement of the timing belt and water pump as well as regular oil changes. The car runs great but before I have a transmission problem how can I find out if it was taken care of under warranty?

Maumee, OH

#180 Nov 16, 2012
americannegr0 wrote:
Get your car to Richmond, VA and my guy (a certified Honda mechanic) will rebuild your transmission for $1600.00 and give you a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. You'll be able to sell it for good money or keep it if you choose.
Can you email me at the guys info that can rebuild my tranny?
Acura mess

Providence, RI

#181 Nov 16, 2012
I think President Obama must go after Acura and Honda to stop dumping cars with transmission problems.
POS 2003 TL

United States

#182 Nov 20, 2012
2003 TL S brand new when bought. Has 64K original miles, transmission now slips almost got hit because car didn't go. Never buy Acura or Honda again.

Saint Peters, MO

#184 Dec 5, 2012
Acura Girl wrote:
I have a 2002 3.2 TL Type S and had the recall on my tranmission in 2004 I think it was. They replaced my transmision and now i am having a shimmy when my car shifts from 2nd to 3rd. It feels like a low vibration but makes no noise. I this my transmission going out again or I was told my front engine mount needs to be replaced. Is my transmission still covered under the recall warranty or am I stuck with a huge bill now?
Did you resove your transmission problems regarding your TL? I am having problems with mine and I wanted to know the solution. Can you please advise ?

Hillsboro, OH

#185 Dec 5, 2012
Ha Ha Go buy a ford!!
02 Acura MDX 2nd Tranny

Hopkins, MN

#186 Dec 7, 2012
chuck wrote:
i have a 2001 tl,and the transmission goes from 3rd to 2nd and 4th to 3rd on its own,and also the check engine,tcs,lights are on as well as the 5 is blinking......i jinxed myself,2 months ago i was reading post on how bad the trannys are,and joked with my buddy who works at a dealer and sold me the car,and asked him why he sold me a car with a bad tranny,and told him i was just joking but told him about all the posts.and here i am 2 months later with horrible tranny problems.thank godness for buying the extended warranty it should only cost me $100 deductable.
Happy for you that the extended warranty worked out for you. However, investment in a 42,000 dollar vehicle and then having to spend extra money on an extended warranty defeats the purpose. If that's the case, I would have bought a Kia Sorrento and paid extra for the extended warranty!! No offense to you!
02 Acura MDX 2nd Tranny

Hopkins, MN

#187 Dec 7, 2012
Well my story is quite similar to everyone here. Bought 2002 Acura MDX in Ohio. The shuttering began at 40,000 miles. They said they fixed it. It was fine for a while. Continued to pour money into by servicing like clock work. Moved to South Carolina, took for 75,00 mile servicing. Three days later transmission gone. They tried to say it was because i never serviced it. Called service manager who i knew well in Ohio. Not only did he fax them all my service records proving them wrong but he gave me the number to headquarters to get issue resolved. After the worse fighting with dealership in Columbia, towed it to the one in Charleston only to have issues with them too. I payed 800 out of pocket for them to give me a 'goodwill' transmission. I am at 168,000 miles and the shuttering when driving less than 25 miles an hour is happening again. I have also spent 3,000 in replacing struts, engine mounts and everything else over the last three years. I now have holes in back lights and they are accumulating water. Looks like the lights have gotten too hot and cracked tiny holes. Will have to replace the back lights. Have a very good non dealer mechanic who can do that for me at a reduced price as compared to dealer pricing. At this point, I am not willing to take on a car payment and should not have to, after all the money spent on a car that was supposedly built to last. So my only other option is when the tranny dies, put another one in. Interior and body are in perfect condition. Unless I get the deal of a lifetime on a vehicle with a guaranteed transmission coverage of 100,000 miles. And by the way, i went into the dealership to get mounts and other work done, only to find an older gentleman raising hell about his 2011 mdx with transmission check lights coming on. Doesnt seem to be getting any better so when i come to the dealership, STOP ASKING ME WHEN IM GOING TO UPGRADE TO A NEWER MODEL BECAUSE IM NOT!!!!!!!
02 Acura MDX 2nd Tranny

Hopkins, MN

#188 Dec 7, 2012
Roswellric wrote:
I have a 2002 Acura TL-S. I have never had a car with this many serious defects before. Yes, the engine is "bulletproof" as the service departments will tell you but the rest of the car is riddled with holes.
The car when delivered had a leak from a defective outside mirror design that caused water in the drivers floorboard. Took them over a year to figure that one out. Over the years the heat/AC fan has been replaced, had to buy a new $500 cd changer (overheating problem), Transmisson locked up on me and had to be replaced (warranty extension),$200 rear view mirror fell apart, TRANSMISSION replaced once and is slipping again. The pinstripe on the car dissappeared years ago. Oh yes, the oil pan bolt thread assembly (aluminum threads) was just replaced bacause of leaks. Glad it didn't just fall out.
The worst is the transmission of course. I need a second replacement and may have to pay for it.
I could get out the service records and keep you reading for a while with more.
I'm in my 60's and am not hard on a car. I have always had it serviced at Acura. Most of the miles are highway miles on the car.
Don't buy a Honda or Acura. The engineering on the cars has just gotten too fine and there is just too little margin for error on the car's parts.
Next time for me? Lexus

Lithonia, GA

#189 Dec 12, 2012
My transmission on 2004 acura tl just went out.. Is it worth it to buy a rebuilt??

Saint Catharines, Canada

#190 Dec 21, 2012
I once believed in Acura quality. So, if Honda does not pay cost for rebuilt tranny, no more Acura's for me!

Hit them where it hurts - the same place they hurt you (in the pocket book)
TL Type S

Hartford, CT

#191 Dec 24, 2012
Beverly Santillo wrote:
The transmission on my 2003 Acura TL with slightly over 100K miles is slipping. What's my best recourse for getting it fixed if Acura will do nothing? I've owned 5 Acura including RL and TL and I'm shocked to find out this is an epidemic problem
Well unfortunatley, I believe your out on both ends meaning, if you have over 105k since the 7 year time frame has elapsed the your on your own. I had and 03 that fell under the recall and the acura dealer in Avon / Canton CT replaced it with a new tranny. They are suppose to scope the transmission to see if the 2nd gear has any wear on it and if so then it should have been replaced, also if any metal shaving wear found during the changing of transmission fluids it should be looked into most likely it needs to be replaced. I was lucky I check the recall for any car I purchase so I am aware if something starts to go that its covered. Your best bet is to do what I did call the acura 1-800 number and the person there can tell you if your covered and what needs to be done by giving them your vin #, good luck I still own my TL type S and loving life !!!!!

Brooklyn, NY

#192 Jan 4, 2013
My 2006 Acura tl tranny went with about 80,000 miles on it. So disappointed in Acura and the way they handled the.situation. I will never buy a Honda Acura product again.and I.will try and.stop anyone who does.... Acura sucks

South Jordan, UT

#193 Jan 11, 2013
Calgary transmission is the way to go when doing something like this. Transmissions are very costly to replace or even repair. My 92' Ford Aerostar has had the transmission replaces 3 times. Its been hit and miss but its still running for the most part. It can be done, but you'll want to get all the information you can.( )

Batavia, IL

#194 Jan 11, 2013
Frank W wrote:
It appears that i am not alone. I bought a brand new 2002 TL-S and recently had the miss 2nd gear issue as described above. Currently have about 112,000mi and car is like new condition (for 9 year old car). It was very dangerous when it happened 1st time on entrance ramp to very busy interstate. It feels like car automatically shifts into neutral and did not know how to resolve until seeing youtube video of L1 shift then D5. I am surprised I have not heard of any accidents with this issue. The missed shift to 2nd happened again on a slightly busy street before I took car to dealer. Same conversation as above with dealer who will cover 80% of cost (remanufactured transmission + new computer per RECALL) which still translated to about $1,000 my cost (similar $4,700 total cost + tax). I phoned Acura customer support prior to confirming go ahead, but received same response due to again, amount of Acura service business. I explained the loyalty I invested in their product to no avail. I purchased brand new 1987 Honda Accord, brand new 1992 Acura Vigor, brand new 2002 TL-S, and wife's brand new 2005 MDX in past 25 years. Note the MDX torque converter was replaced in 2008 (55,000mi under warranty) and in 2010 (110,000mi with 80% cost covered by Acura). My TL trranny was serviced in 2004 with oil tube add per recall. This TL tranny issue is last straw. Customer service did not honor 25 years of loyalty plus referrals to family and friends about Honda quality. No more!!! I will not purchase another Acura or Honda product again. I encourage all who read this to remove Honda/Acura vehicles off their choice of vehicles. I will make sure that my children will not buy their products and make sure that all my friends are informed of my BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE experience with Acura/Honda.
I recently purchased a 2003 TL Type S for my son. The exact same thing happened to him and I thought the shifter just fell into neutral until it happened to me early last week. I brought it to my Acura Dealer and believe it or not they covered the entire cost. They even replaced my ECU for free. All was covered under the recall. It has 147k miles. Lucky for me I asked them to check a small oil leak for me. It was the rear engine seal which would have cost $900 because the tranny needs to be removed. But, since it already was, it only cost me $90. This recall covers the following:2001-2003 CLS, 2000-2003 TLS . It is for 1 st and second gear issues, the one you mentioned. They will have to tear it down, take 5 pictures of that area of the tranny and send it to Acura for approval. If it is that problem, free new tranny and ECU! No joke. I am extremely happy.

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