4th Dec 2008, 21:01

I am another unfortunate soul who brought an 2003 Acura 3.2CL Type-S. It is amazing that after reading the previous posts about this car I felt as if I wrote them.

I have had many of the same problems.

Transmission failure

Warped rotors

Multiple OEM tire replacements

Clock light failure

CD changer failure

Power window failure.

Acura and Honda built their reputation for reliable cars in the 80's and early to mid 90's. Since the late 90's they have not lived up to that reputation. They have had problems with transmissions in various models since 97, and yet no publication takes them to task on it. If this were an American automaker they would be crucified for it. My point is the Acura and Honda that gained its reputation years ago is no more. The modern day company is not worthy of their reputation.

23rd Dec 2008, 10:35

I own a Acura 2003 3.2CL I got it with about 68,000 miles. I have about 79,000 miles on it now. Just like everyone else my transmission is failing. I'm more upset because I just got the car at the end of Jan. 2008 what a bummer!!!

29th Dec 2008, 13:57

I have an 03 CL-S with the 6-speed. Going on 79,000 miles now. I bought it certified pre-owned from an Acura dealer @ 47k miles. The only problems I've had was the sunroof was sluggish (track needed to be re-lubed) and the steering wheel audio controls were messed up. (told the dealer when I came in for an oil change, they fixed it right up for me) There is also a rattling of the sunroof when its closed and the visor is opened.. but I don't feel like paying $80 for a strip of rubber to fix it, since I only hear it when going over speed bumps or through the city.

Never had any transmission problems, headlight problems or others (knock on wood) -- coming from a 98 prelude though, I miss the stiffer ride, and to be honest, my Prelude's stereo could knock the pants off the Bose one my CL came with. Also, what's with the 1 level heated seating? The TL has hi-low, is that so hard to put in this car?

15th Jan 2009, 14:44

I have a 2003 CL Type S 6sp mt. This is a follow up post on my vehicle.

I now have 90 thousand miles on it and the only problem I've had was warping rotors, which is commonplace nowadays.

Just bought all my tune up parts, timing belt, waterpump and a new radiator hoses and belts. 575 bucks. Great car, no complaints. After this it should be ready for another 100k.

If my headlights go out, the dealer will replace for free?


26th Jan 2009, 17:06

I really want to buy a 03 CL-Type S 6 Speed MT, hopefully something with mileage less than 65,000 miles. Can some advise me on whether this is a good idea or bad.

Also someone offered me 12,000 (Canadian) which is about 10,000 American for an 03 CL-Type S Automatic. Is that a good deal?

Please advise!

4th Mar 2009, 21:24

I've read all the posts here, and I must say that many of you are complaining about things that are common.

- If the OEM tires need to be replaced frequently, then don't buy OEM tires. Go to a tire shop and get something comparable.

- If the OEM HID's keep failing, why on earth would anyone pay $1200 to replace both assemblies?!!? You can easily buy aftermarket HID-D2R replacements for $200, then get them installed for $150. If you can't do them yourself that is.

- Rotor warping is common on ALL cars. Buy some aftermarket slotted rotors.

- The CL-P has High/Low heated seats. The CL-S does not.

I just bought an 03 CL-S 6spd and it's perfect. It's the only year that has LSD to help coming out of a corner with low understeer.

14th Mar 2009, 03:49

I have been used car shopping on and off for several months to replace a much loved 1978 Alfa coupe.

I hadn't thought about an Acura particularly, but I did visit a used car dealer a half hour's drive away to see a 2003 Type S. I was attracted by the "Yahoo Autos" ad's effusive car description vs. the price that was being asked. This dealer specializes in used used BMW's, Infiniti's, etc at "wholesale prices", he said. The Acura was certainly in mint condition for having 75,000 miles on it. Also, buried deep in the ad's verbiage had been the single word, "supercharge". I figured this to be an overenthusiastic misprint.

But once on the lot and with the hood popped, there in the pristine (obviously steam cleaned) engine bay, was a honker of a supercharger jammed between the engine and radiator. That, plus the car's silver color, the wing on the trunk, that black interior and a nav screen. Too juicy.

After a half hour test drive I made one of my not infrequent, instinct-type quick decisions and bingo!, my wife and I were proud owners of our first supercharged car. What could go wrong with that? The Acura cost us $11,800 out the door which I thought was reasonable. The dealer wouldn't budge off his "wholesale price" in any case. It was only after we got home that I dug into the Internet and found masses of information about the car as well as sites like this, where people either love the car, or froth at the mouth about it (and points in between.)

In crawling in, over and under the car later that day, I found that it has Comptech everywhere on it -- the aforementioned supercharger, headers, exhaust, sport coil springs along with Konis, sway bars, transmission oil cooler, strut brace and probably other stuff. The wheels are 18" A-spec (I am getting to know the lingo fast) running 285x35xZR18 rubber. The Acura dealer said the rims cost $4,500 for a set. All the Comptech pieces I priced in the Internet add up to about $9,500 incl tax, but not installation. I don't know who had the car, if the Comptech goodies were an original dealer installation or what, but it was done by someone who knew their stuff.

The first time the local Acura dealer saw this car for service, per their records, was at 50,000 miles, all for routine servicing. I had them change all fluids and in general check the car over to start from base zero.

The car is impressive, tight as a drum and just very, very smooth, with a lot of pent up power very evident. Everything in the cockpit works just fine, which is a relief. It all feels like quality.

I believe there is an element of karma involved in owning any car -- and by that I mean good karma. My karmic attitude is helped by the fact that the VIN number of my Acura is over 1,000 past the cutoff for the factory warranty extension related to the spate of automatic transmission problems people have had. On my car, the corrective fix was added during assembly. At any rate, now the adventure (and an element of suspense) begins. What does that car sitting out there in the garage have in store for us? If it were a horse, I'd give it a lump of sugar every day.