2003 Acura CL Type S from North America - Comments

19th Nov 2004, 19:43

Funny, my tranny just gave up on me on Nov. 17th, 04. I have 57k on a 01 cl type S. Tell you the truth I don't care about the thing going bad on me, every car has a recall and something wrong with it. What bothers me is that this car had a "recall for inspection" on it and I took it in and they said it was fine...

My car died on me at 1am after a long day of work, what if it had died on my wife? What did they do in this so called "inspection"?

Other than the same driving light burning on me about 4 times I have no other complaints.

11th Jan 2005, 11:03

I currently own an '03 CL S-Type. This is my 4th Honda vehicle (2 others were Acura). My '00 TL gave me nearly ZERO issues. The CL, on the other hand, has been nothing, but a nightmare!

I currently have 67,000 miles on it, and have had the following service performed:

1) Replaced the steering column because of electrical shorts

2) Replaced the radio because of multiple issues

3) Replaced the seat heater switch because of failure

4) Getting the clutch replaced (as we speak) due to catastrophic failure

5) Replaced a "leaky engine mount" (more on that in a bit)

The first 3 things aren't such a big deal -- poo happens. The final 2, however, are associated. Around 30K, I was having intermittent clutch issues. I took it in to the dealer (like a good little owner), and they told me that it must be a leaky engine mount... Fine. Got it replaced. I moved not too long ago, and took it to another dealer for regular service. The service associate told me that the tech experienced some quiry behavior in the clutch (but didn't record it on the order, of course). I told them that I had it in the shop once before for clutch problems, showed him the receipt, at which point he gave me a strange look and asked what an engine mount had to do with clutch issues. He told me that they couldn't fix it under warranty, but to go back to the original dealer, and that THEY should be able to fix it (under warranty).

Well, it was gradually getting worse, so I made an appointment to get the clutch looked after at the original dealer. On the drive out to the original dealer, the clutch failed catastrophically; I called Acura's Roadside assistance (which performed sub-standard), and eventually got it towed to the dealer.

I spoke with them yesterday AM (I called them, not the other way around, after making it abundantly clear that I wanted info on it ASAP), to find out that the repair will NOT be covered under warranty, and that the issues reported at 30K "couldn't possibly" be related...

I'm now looking for a new car -- this may very well be the last Honda vehicle I buy.

6th Mar 2006, 21:29

I also have problem with my 03 Acura CLs rotor warping, only a year after I purchased the car. I took it back to the dealer, the service rep. told me that Acura is aware of this issue. Apparently, many owners have taken their cars back for the same problems. They replace the rotors and brakes at no cost. And a year later it happened again. I guess, I will be replacing rotors and brakes each year for the life of the car. Now at 27K, I started to feel the clutch is slipping. This is my first time owning Acura/Honda product and it will be the last. I'm going back to Toyota.

12th Apr 2006, 16:55

To the people that say they will never buy a Honda/Acura product again, keep that for Acura. Honda has some of the highest ratings in the market. I personally own 3 91 hondas, with never any ill luck. And in all I've owned about 10 Hondas. Don't give up so soon, at least not on Hondas.

3rd Oct 2006, 13:40

Uh-oh! I just bought a used '03 6-speed CL. I was lured by the beautiful lines and fun drive. It has 64k miles, and now I'm beginning to see from the prior comments why the owner may have sold it. Goofy things don't work, like the driver memory settings, inside rear hatch release, and other than a funny whirring noise that never goes away... I hate surprises! I guess I should be prepared for anything?

13th Nov 2006, 00:40

I just purchased my 03CLS 6MT and have not had any problems with it. Everything works on it as it should. The clutch is near its death, but I already have another one ready to put in. Paid $700 for a brand new flywheel, clutch disc, pressure plate, and everything else needed to replace it. For the $1500 mentioned earlier, you could have gotten a performance clutch and lightweight flywheel from Comptech and had it installed at your local mechanic and still paid less! That's why when it comes to wear items on a car, you should go to your mechanic or do it yourself as it will be a lot cheaper than dealer service.

26th Apr 2007, 22:58

OK. I have a 02 Tl's with a a rebuilt trany. I paid 1500.00 dollars to get it done. On my way to Orlando the trany over heated. the problem with the Cl, Cl's, Tl, Tl's is that the cooler on that car is to small for the trany. There is no recall on this part. Problem happens when you go 100 mph for 30 minutes straight. You can fix this problem by putting a air cool front mount trany cooler. it can cause around 150.00 to 200.00 dollars.

27th Apr 2007, 19:55

16:55 a lot of us have had your year Hondas purchased new, but we are not in 1991 anymore. I drive many miles annually and do not want old high mileage vehicles. I have bought many new Hondas and then Acuras as my income rose. I now drive domestics and it has been entirely over the same issues the reviewer indicated as well. At some point you will drive newer vehicles likely Hondas. Until then you do not have all the newer issues as yet. If I could buy new Legends like those in the 90's bought new I would come back again though.

16th Jul 2007, 01:20

10:28:

You're trying to blame Acura's faulty designs on America?! Give me a break! Cars are built to exact specifications, this is a widespread problem (many many people are complaining about this problem), Acura has faulty designs and should own up and fix the defects. Don't try blaming America because you got a lemon just like tons of other people who bought these cars.

23rd Oct 2007, 17:31

What? Am I reading the reviews for Audi or what? I thought Acura/Honda built solid vehicles on par with Toyota, but unlike the other Japanese brands, Acura and Honda are sporty. I don't mean all the others; only Toyota, because Nissan/Infiniti are great. (But my mom has owned hers since December '06, when it had 38K miles on it.)

Now it obviously hasn't been flawless (what car is?), nor the dealers here; well actually, I take that back, as one dealer wasn't too helpful, but one was helpful, probably because they are new. But lets see; the radio had static issues when seeking a station; it would move from one with a signal to one without, then to one with, then without, etc. like 94.1, then jump to static on 94.3 (always.2 difference) then to 94.9 which did have signal. The first dealer said "its acting normal"; the second ordered a new one (800+ dollars if I had had to pay for it).

Then the stupid light from the clock went out 3 times! (The third time it went out, we were over the 50k mile warranty, but our advisor was very nice and helpful; he called Acura right away and asked them to fix it using "time warranty" (since we still had 3 months before that went out). It would have been 100+ dollars without warranty.

The little sunglass holder clip that holds the compartment locked broke. We tried going to the dealer, but it was way past warranty, and since it is integrated with the homelink and light buttons, its quite an expensive part.

Otherwise, just lights and little things, but nothing major. I do know transmissions are horrible. One guy said he's on his third and his car only has 95k miles. It is crappy when I drive the car; it is automatic. I change from N to Sportshift all the time, and it is as if the tranny were built in the 80's. It takes about 3 seconds to fully engage! Since they break down constantly, that is definitely the major weak link, but Acura gives you a 7 year / 100,000 miles powertrain warranty, so it's all good.

Equipment, however, is very nice compared with other cars in the same price range; Xenon lights, 6CD changer, Memory seats, etc. So far, it has been a good car, but reliability is definitely non Honda-like. Trust me; we've owned 3 accords, and 1 prelude, and none have ever had any major issues. One has almost 200k miles now.