Bought this car new in early 2001. It was a 2002 model that came out early. Still have it 15 years later. The tranny did fail around 70k miles, but other than that, it's been a really good car. Honda did cover the cost of the new tranny.
As with all cars, maintenance is key. I also had the dealer do all the major maintenance. But not the pricey scheduled intervals - just the oil and tranny fluid changes mainly. With the coupons and such, these things were no more expensive than the quick lube places - but they also did inspections, which the lube places typically don't do. In the long run, I think it paid off.
Of course there are good/great independent shops too - but the key is having all the important maintenance done regularly. Oil changes at 5k. Tranny fluid every 30k. Engine and cabin filter replacement, brake pads, wipers, tires, batteries, etc. Currently there is a steering rack leak - pricey repair so holding off - just topping off as needed.
Things like broken motor mounts, brake/shifter switch failure, clock light failure, wheel bearing failure and minor oil leaks did occur. But I don't expect a vehicle to be totally problem free for the life of a car. No car is.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th September, 2015
19th Sep 2015, 22:39
Good review on those early TLs. Here in southern California, we have a glut of them for sale. Many are going for peanuts. But that problem transmission remains a question mark for many buyers. Maybe you can tell us what problems you had before you got the replacement one, and also any information on the new one. Some people say the problem was still existing on the replacement one that they got. You had one replacement one and it sounds like they got it right. Many people say that the automatic transmission just got too hot and started burning up the components. Other people say it was the clutch pack that was built with inferior parts from a third party. Not sure what is true.
2002 Acura TL S 3.2 from North America
Transmission failed twice. First replaced free under warranty after 30,000 miles. Now this one failed after 73,000 miles. American Honda will not assist with the 5,000 cost for a re-manufactured unit. Bad transmissions are a defect well known to Honda, and they should have done something to defray the expense this time. Repair cost is more than the car is worth.
Bottom line, Honda was not willing to help out towards the cost of a defective transmission. Next car will not be a Honda or Acura! Shame on them.
Good handling, nice engine, but a bad defective transmission ruined my experience with Acura.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 25th August, 2015
25th Aug 2015, 15:09
I sense you don't need to go to the dealer to replace that transmission. You might find a private shop that can do the work at a lot cheaper price. But you will have to research on why the 3rd gear clutch pack failed on those newly designed 5 speed transmissions, and what improvements were made later to correct the failure on them. The private shop will have to be familiar with that transmission and the updates to it. Using non-updated parts could result in the same outcome. Also salvage yards have many newer crashed Acura TLs with the updated clutch pack in them. You might ask the shop if the newer updated transmissions will fit in your older TL.
2002 Acura TL Type-S 3.2 V6 from North America
This is an AMAZING car. It's just sad that they're not built in Japan where quality is still a given
Transmission needed replaced.
We bought our TL for $2000, knowing that the transmission had to be replaced. We found a used transmission for $1200 (shipping included) with about 80,000 miles on it. Our friend is installing it for $350. The previous owners took extremely good care of the car, no rust, all maintenance records (done at Acura or Honda dealers), the interior is absolutely pristine.
With respect to the transmission problems, I don't blame Honda, the problem is that this car is built in Marysville, Ohio. Had the car been built in Japan, I believe there would be no issues whatsoever. Sad to say, but "American quality" with respect to cars is so ridiculously low that it's pathetic - so pathetic the Government had to rescue Detroit from self destruction. I would love to see Honda close up shop in Ohio, and have their cars made in Japan, where quality is still a given, unlike American auto workers.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th April, 2012
26th Aug 2015, 01:29
The worst financial loss of any car I ever owned purchased new. Have owned at least 2 dozen new cars. People rave about Honda and this is the upscale version under Acura. What a beating! 10 grand sell price only 3 years later. I had the Type S, all black in and out. Live and learn. This was worse than Mercedes we have owned.
I had the exact opposite experience with this vehicle. I bought the non-S version new in early 2001 (2002 model) and it's been one of the best vehicle purchases I ever made. It now has close to 200k miles and my daughter has driven it the last 6 years or so. It did have the tranny fail and was replaced by Honda for no charge around 70k miles. Other than that - just maintenance and minor issues. Always had the dealer do all the maintenance, except minor items which I took care of myself. Never had another car this long - 15 years!
So what you are saying is the assemblers are the problem vs the fact that this vehicle is designed in Japan by Honda? Not buying that comment. It's component failure by a manufacturer who designed and approved the parts. Not the one operating the assembly tools.
Average review marks: 6.5 / 10, based on 48 reviews