15th Dec 2007, 17:11

I am the original owner of an 03 CL Type S with a manual 6spd.

I have not had any problems with this vehicle except the warping rotors. It's not a major issue to me because the rotors warped on every vehicle I have owned in the last 7 years; 99 Honda Accord, 01 Mitsu Eclipse Spyder GT, 02 Nissan Maxima and a 01 Nissan Pathfinder.

The solution to this problem is aftermarket dimpled or crossdrilled and slotted rotors and Akebono ceramic pads. This setup will set you back 440 bucks delivered, and will last over 50k of hard braking miles with better stopping power.

Like I said, this has been my only issue at over 75k miles.

I love the car and I'm not easy on it either.


28th Apr 2008, 17:18

If you think about it, sometimes premature clutch failure is a pretty common problem... only if you don't drive a manual correctly. I have a 2003 CL-S 6MT that I've owned since the end of 2002. I attend school 100 miles from home, and I commute back on a weekly basis. My car is not heavily modified either. I have the typical AEM Cold Air with a set of pullies and headers. my car currently has 180k miles on it. I had to replace my clutch at 120k because it finally began to lose grip on me. I know plenty people who own a CL-S, and they have also driven their cars to the 80K+ before replacing the clutch. The rotors and auto transmissions I can understand, but please, don't tell me your clutch fails at 30k because of Acura's horrible design. You're just fooling yourself.

29th May 2008, 19:07

I am the original owner of a '03 cl-s/auto. I have 57k miles on it and have had a few problems with it, under warranty I had the auto seat adjuster replaced (stopped moving from front to back), a few squeaks and rattles taken care of, and the worst problem has been the HID headlights. I had one side replaced under warranty where the inverter went bad ($400 part), they also replaced the bulb at the time. Now the same thing happened to the other side but the warranty has expired and it seems to be the same problem. This could mean $500-700 to repair...weeeeeee...expensive car expensive parts. Also I've had the same problem as others with the rotors becoming warped.

13th Jun 2008, 23:14

We have had 4 Cls in our family, from a '97 2.3 liter to an '03 3.2 liter, and they have been relatively problem free. Catalytic converters seem to need replacing at around 100,000 miles, could have to do with my kids running them too often low on gas. We just had our first transmission failure on a '99 2.8. It's more common on the larger 6 cylinders than the 4. Our '03 has about 60,000 miles on it and has had no major issues besides rotors and brake pads (knock on wood). My young adult children love the CLs for their combined sportiness and luxury. We've found them pretty long lasting and reliable. Dealer attitudes and repair prices are a totally different issue, though. Go to Meineke!

1st Oct 2008, 14:52

I have had my CL type S for 4 years. Not a problem at all yet. I have put 100,00 miles on it and only changed the oil. Learn how to drive. Also, don't buy an automatic!

17th Nov 2008, 12:15

First I would like to thank CarSurvey.org for allowing me to post a comment without the register headache of other sites.

I have had my 2003 CL-S/AT for a little over 3 years now, it had 25000 miles on it, and I knew of the recall on the tranny. I called the dealer before purchasing to verify the needed fix had already been done. Other than wishing I would have looked longer for a 6MT, I would have to say that the transmission has given me zero problems. I shifts smoothly, no slipping, and simply just performs flawlessly. Though I will admit I only have 55,000 miles on it now, and the lack of control with the sport shifting is annoying... but like I said... should have bought the 6MT. Can't buy an auto trans for being an auto trans, then get upset that it is an auto trans.

With that said, I will have to say that I do feel the pain of the head lights. Both head lights have failed a year apart from each other at $550 a piece to fix. This is a joke. But then I guess that is what what happens when you buy a luxury car. The car was more, so why wouldn't the repair parts be? And if you can afford the car to begin with, then you should be able to afford higher repair cost. You should know going into it that you aren't buying the cheapest car for the money. Luxury doesn't equal quality or reliability. European cars are some of the most unreliable cars out there, but also known as some of the most luxurious. Don't want to get started on BMW, SAAB and Land Rover.

Also thanks to the person who commented on the back light of the clock going out 3 times. I had noticed mine wasn't back lit, but then couldn't remember if it ever had been. Now I know... though I don't think it is worth $100 for me to get it repaired.

The biggest annoyance by far is the rattles. I have a '93 Geo Prizm that has no rattles; the CL has at least 4. And the body metal. I think if you look at it long enough cross eyed, you can dent it. What is it made of? Foil?

Anyhow, lastly, the reason I am posting this message, is because I feel that one of the biggest reasons for owning the car, and a reason I am holding onto the car, regardless of its minor problems and risks of transmission and minor failures, is because it was a failure. Acura stopped making this car because of a lack of sales I am sure; people who had the money for it, would buy a rear drive performance/luxury car. That reason is why you don't see many on the road. I can go days or 100s of miles without seeing another one.

And I think it is somewhat of a "sleeper". This car is a lot quicker than it looks. Sure, there are other cars that are quicker. But you also expect it. There are Mustangs out there that I know are quicker, but you can proudly say that my car isn't a Mustang. A car you do see every place and are a dime a dozen. Next time you go around town, try going 90 secs without seeing one... bet you can't. And even though they can beat you 0-60, they can't beat you 0-100,000 miles without heavy repair. Has a Ford ever made it to 100,000 yet? Sorry... I guess I am a little bitter there. Parents had 70-80's Fords, none made to 70,000 without blowing an engine or transmission.

29th Nov 2008, 11:52

Mine's a 2003 CL Type-S with 60K.

The HIDs have been replaced - FOUR times.

On my FIFTH set of tires.

The interior rear-view mirror ruptured.

The passenger SRS failed.

The driver window lifter failed.

The CD head unit jammed.

The trim on passenger A-pillar fell off.

Rotors warped and one failed at 59000.

Bodywork made of tin foil.

Aftersales service utterly contemptible - at two different Acura dealerships.

I came out of an S Class Merc. NEVER again would I even contemplate Acura (made in the damn USA - there's a clue) and I will tell EVERYONE what crap Acura is. Not just subjective here: read the blogs, talk to others!


(Anyone want a 2003 CL Type-S? :-P)