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4th gen TL SH-AWD Purchase Advice

 
Old 12-15-2018, 12:14 PM
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4th gen TL SH-AWD Purchase Advice

Whats up guys, Iím looking into picking up a TL SH-AWD and was hoping I could get some advice.

Pretty much if there is common issues that may come up, or something I should be looking out for when checking out cars. Anything will be helpful positives or negatives, but as of now I am pretty set on picking one up.
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:52 AM
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Consider very carefully

Originally Posted by Ammainayar View Post
Whats up guys, Iím looking into picking up a TL SH-AWD and was hoping I could get some advice.

Pretty much if there is common issues that may come up, or something I should be looking out for when checking out cars. Anything will be helpful positives or negatives, but as of now I am pretty set on picking one up.
You can research this forum for owners' experience with the 4g TL.

The good:
​​​​​​The sh-awd is awesome. The car handles turns like it's on rails. It performs excellent in the snow. The els sound system is really, really good.

The bad:

​​​​​My TL, as others, experienced a whistling propeller shaft. I had a replacement shaft put in and that whistled as well.

The transmission's torque converter growls/shudders when changing gears. It sound like you are driving over the grooved pavement portion of the interstate. Even after replacement, the problem persisted. Afterwhile, Honda denied a future repair and attributed the problem to my driving style.

My engine had no oil in it. I only had about 60k miles on it. Look up Acura 4g oil consumption. This is a well known issue in the Acura community. These motors appear to burn excessive amounts of oil.

I loved my TL to death. I planned to keep it for 20 years. Note, I didn't get rid of it because of the problems above. I got rid of it because I felt Acura refused to stand behind the product and wasn't being forthcoming about the mechanical issues. I was insulted with their excuses of "issues are attributed to driver's driving style". The funny thing is the tech also indicated the torque converter was bad after driving the vehicle himself -- with the same results. So it isn't my driving style -- it's the vehicle. This response is simply a cop-out by Acura.

Would I recommend this car? If you are willing to deal with the mechanical issues, yes. Otherwise, I don't recommend it it because of the run-around Acura gave me when it came time to correct the issues.

I sold my TL and bought a Lexus GS AWD. I don't regret it at all. Those cars are on another level with regards to finish, reliability, and customer service.

I'm saying this as a long time faithful, former, Honda customer for over 20 years.


Last edited by edog76; 12-16-2018 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:13 AM
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I'll give you an opposing point of view to the previous post. My wife has a '12 TL SH-AWD Tech that has been flawless. Aside from the airbag recall, the only other non-maintenance work was the "gurgling ATF filter" problem, which has a TSB in place. But other than that, we've only done regular maintenance. We've had the car for close to 6.5 years, and although only 53K on the odometer, not a problem. Others have reported some of the issues the previous post has identified, so if possible checking the CarFax audit trail for visits will be helpful - if not have the owner provide as many maintenance records as they can. Overall these are highly regarded vehicles, and our local dealer has trouble finding enough to satisfy the backlog of those who may be interested in them. So I'd treat them like any other used car - give a thorough inspection and check as many records as you can. But overall, I wouldn't shy away....

andy
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:26 AM
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I'm on the middle ground between the two above. The mechanical problems that edog mentioned are widespread but don't necessarily affect the majority of cars. I own a FWD simply due to the higher price the SH-AWD demands here in Utah, where everyone thinks they need AWD. But if it weren't for the 20% markup, I would have purchased an SH-AWD without hesitation despite the potential 3.7L oil consumption and propeller shaft issues. FYI, the FWD has a 3.5L which doesn't have the oil consumption issue and of course, doesn't have a propeller shaft for the rear differential so that's obviously not a problem.

The suggestions I'd give are to purchase one with the tech trim. The SH-AWD doesn't come with the tech options by default. There's a base trim on the SH-AWD just like there is with the FWD. The tech upgrades are significant. Backup camera, navi, much better stereo, rear spoiler, better leather, etc. The other suggestion is to get a 2012-2014. They did a "facelift" for those years which changes the styling a bit. Some prefer the 2009-2011 but most seem to like the 2012+ more. I certainly do. Also, more importantly, the 2012+ comes with a 6AT rather than the older 5AT. Better mileage and acceleration.

The one thing I'd definitely look for during a test drive is to see if the transmission shudders or hesitates. Manually up and downshift using the sport mode and pound on the gas while doing so. If it's good then go for it. Oh, but don't expect it to be buttery smooth all the time. These transmission can shift a bit harder than some. Acura says it's a "sportier" transmission and thus, not always super smooth. If it shifts a bit hard it doesn't mean there's something wrong. Just as long as it doesn't shudder or act weird like that. And once you purchase the car, make sure to frequently change the transmission fluid. Most go between about 60K miles between changes but I strongly recommend changing it more often. Honda isn't known for reliable transmissions but if you baby them they can go a while. I change mine every 15K miles or so. It has nearly 180K miles on it and shifts just as well as it did at 58K when I purchased it used.
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:33 PM
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I have a 2012 with 160K miles and I did have the prop shaft done early on, the transmission cooler TSB and the airbag recall. It doesn't burn a drop of oil and the transmission is as smooth as when I bought it. The problem is it runs too great. I've had an itch for a new car for a while, but my wife is making me wait until there is a major issue with the TL or 10 years. But seriously, I love it. I travel a lot and drive a lot of rentals, and other than some of the latest tech, I really want for nothing.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:39 PM
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It seems to depend on the car. Many, as you will read about on the forum, have had problems but many other have not. My experience is that only minor things have needed repair. I've owned my 2010 for almost 6 years and have been happy with it. I wish I could tell you a way to know what a potential car for you will be like.

Last edited by RenoTL; 12-17-2018 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:31 PM
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I had 3 4gTL's and only issue I had with any of them was nothing. They are a solid car and the one I had the longest was a 2012 and other than oil changes bro this car was solid. I think the majority of owners would say this was a well built TL and not to say it's perfect but you just don't have a ton of lingering issues that prohibits you from enjoying the ride, plus you can get 2012 SHAWD Advance with decent mileage around $15k. I would go with the 2012-14 as there were some updates to the car aside from the attempted toning down of the beak. That's not bad at all and you won't regret your purchase. OP what part of the country are you in? Look for a salt free TL if you can to help avoid rusting issues as well.
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:53 PM
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Right on guys thanks! this is all great info! and I'm happy to say i picked up a 2013 SH-AWD tech. and coming from driving my 1999 Honda Prelude for the past 10 years this is a really nice upgrade.

here some pics.



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The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Ammainayar For This Useful Post:
Curious3GTL (01-22-2019), hadokenuh (01-01-2019), JM2010 SH-AWD (01-21-2019), losiglow (01-03-2019)
Old 01-03-2019, 10:48 AM
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nice pick up! how many miles did you get it at and good price?
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:56 AM
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Looks great!
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:05 PM
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Congrats on your purchase.

My '13 doesn't have those strips on the lower doors, which is ok since I don't care for the look of them. Are they part of some add-on package?
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dregsfan View Post
Congrats on your purchase.

My '13 doesn't have those strips on the lower doors, which is ok since I don't care for the look of them. Are they part of some add-on package?
They're an OEM option on most Honda/Acura
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by supertsx View Post
nice pick up! how many miles did you get it at and good price?
Thanks, it has 26k miles and I picked it up for $20k.

I wanted a SH-AWD in either black or white with less than 50k miles. All the other ones for sale had around 80-100k miles and priced anywhere from $18k-$20k, and once this one popped up I went for it.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ammainayar View Post
Thanks, it has 26k miles and I picked it up for $20k.

I wanted a SH-AWD in either black or white with less than 50k miles. All the other ones for sale had around 80-100k miles and priced anywhere from $18k-$20k, and once this one popped up I went for it.

Damn! She's still a baby!
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:25 PM
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It looks like a very nice car - I hope you have a positive experience with it. I just noticed the thread so I didn't have a chance to weigh in before you got the car. Here's my $ .02 - FWIW.

I have a 2013 TL AWD. It was a CPO car when I bought it a couple years ago, with about 25k km (~15k mi) - it has about 50k km now (~30k miles), it still has the CPO warrantt on it. The transmission gurgle issue was fixed prior to my picking up the car. The only other things I've had on warranty are the rear rotors replaced due to warping and the airbag recall. Other than that it's just all been regular maintenance.

Regarding maintenance - do you have the history of the maintenance for the car? If you have it - then go thru and ensure it's current. If you don't know - check with a local Acura dealership and maybe you'll get lucky and they'll have and provide records to you. If there's no way to find out the maintenance status I'd suggest you work backwards to the delivery date of the car and figure out what should've been done in that time. If you have a local independent mechanic to work with that's even better. For certain, you'll have to make sure the brake fluid flush has been done. Naturally oil changes, etc. The other things such as rear differential and transfer case fluid changes are other items to be aware of. It's a low mileage car so the maintenance minder likely hasn't come up for those service items yet. If you haven't already done it - go through your owner's manual and the maintenance schedule since it's important on these cars to look after critical components in a timely manner. As was ID'd here - transmission fluid changes are something to consider doing more frequently than the schedule recommends. These cars are generally reliable IMO. But they are quite advanced in terms of engineering and technology. The flip side to that is they are best kept maintained and it can be more expensive with the AWD models.

The oil consumption issue is well documented on this site. There is an extended warranty from Acura for this issue. I'd recommend that you track your oil consumption closely - at least until you have an understanding of whether your car has an issue with excess oil consumption or not. It isn't an issue that shows up on every 3.7 litre engine but it's a big issue if it shows up on yours. Do your research on the issue and the warranty to make sure you get covered if you need it.

As to my own experience - I've had numerous Honda/Acura cars for 20+ years. Each model had various issues that were documented and some showed up on my own cars. Acura/Honda usually dealt with them in a timely manner. I use an independent mechanic so I keep the records of the work done on the car - in order to prove to Honda that the required maintenance has been done, on time, to spec. If that's your intention then I recommend you have a good record of the work. If you're doing your own maintenance then keep documentation of parts purchased, mileage, etc. Your car is likely out of warranty now, but in case it isn't, and you're not certain, I'd check with Acura. If there was an extended warranty purchased for the car - through Acura - they'll have the records for it. Finally, make sure Acura knows you are the owner of the car via a registration with them. That way they can send you updates for warranty/recall notices, etc.

Good luck with the car - it's an amazing piece of automotive technology and a lot of fun to drive too!
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:04 PM
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Congratulation on your purchase!! She looks really nice, enjoy the ride!!

The 4G SH-AWD (especially the 6MT) was IMHO the zenith of the Acura sport sedans...it has been a downhill ride for the brand from there.
I had mine for 4 1/2 years, no problem whatsoever. I had to trade it in because we did need an SUV.

The Bad:

- A bit cramped in the back considering the outside dimensions.
- Small trunk and weirdly shaped
- No folding rear seats which is a big negative.
- Ride a bit on the stiff side (in particular the 6MT)

The Good:

- Impressive handling and poise
- One of the best manual transmission I ever drove regardless of price.
- Excellent fit and finish in its segment at that time...the 4G was the beginning of the planned push for Acura to get to Tier 1 luxury (plan later abandoned) and it shows compared with what came after...
- One of the best naturally aspirated V6 engines out there....silk as butter, rev happy, great sound

The good and bad

- Exterior styling is very polarizing...I did absolutely love it, it was (and it still is) very unique but some people did not like it so resale value may have been affected....definitely it ain't a boring looking sedan.


You did good, I would still pick the TL SH-AWD (a manual one) over its pre-owned competitors of similar vintage including the Germans, it was a car that was punching well above its price tag....I been missing my 4G until recently when I got my Caddy.....
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:55 AM
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I don't care, after some time to let the styling "settle", I dig it, interior looks awesome on the 4G, too!
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by andysinnh View Post
I'll give you an opposing point of view to the previous post. My wife has a '12 TL SH-AWD Tech that has been flawless. Aside from the airbag recall, the only other non-maintenance work was the "gurgling ATF filter" problem, which has a TSB in place. But other than that, we've only done regular maintenance. We've had the car for close to 6.5 years, and although only 53K on the odometer, not a problem. Others have reported some of the issues the previous post has identified, so if possible checking the CarFax audit trail for visits will be helpful - if not have the owner provide as many maintenance records as they can. Overall these are highly regarded vehicles, and our local dealer has trouble finding enough to satisfy the backlog of those who may be interested in them. So I'd treat them like any other used car - give a thorough inspection and check as many records as you can. But overall, I wouldn't shy away....

andy
Thanks for sharing. I wanted to add that in my opinion, CARFAX is no longer a reliable source of information regarding the service of the vehicle. On multiple occasions, cars that have been at the dealer for services that would take several days were never reported to CARFAX by Acura Dealer, CARMAX, Toyota Dealer and another independent shop. Friend of mine had TLX which Acura dealer worked on, transmission changed, car spent 2 months at the dealer out of 3 months he had it - NOTHING was entered into Carfax by Acura dealer... same thing with the same owner, Toyota Camry, he had it for 8 days at the dealer, nothing on the CARFAX ...

So I would say if there is CARFAX showing record of maintenance or repair, great... however, it does not guarantee that it will show all the work potentially done to the car.
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