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Transmission problem Acura TL S 2003 auto

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Old 01-12-2012, 05:05 PM
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Transmission problem Acura TL S 2003 auto

Hello All,

I own a 2003 Acura 3.2TL V6 Auto type S model and have been experiencing some issues lately. The car gives me a jerk every few minutes like I were driving a manual geared vehicle and shifted gears harshly using clutch, suddenly turns ON several of the LEDs next to the odometer including check engine light, warning light, VSA light and starts flashing D5 (gear) continuously. All these LEDs stay ON until I pull over and stop and restart the engine after which it turns ON again after a few hundred meters.
I got it checked at a local auto repair shop and they told me that the Transmission has an internal hydraulic failure and needs replacement and the error codes that were found were P1750, P1751 and P0700.
They estimated the out-the-door cost including Parts+Labor+Tax for a new transmission to be anywhere around 3.8K and for a used Txn replacement around 2.4K.
One thing to note is that, it was running fine (atleast without any of the above issues) until recently I got it serviced as part of my regular mileage maintenance, a week after which I first experienced this issue while driving.
Also, I don't get the frequent jerk if I drive on D4 instead of D5 though the LEDs do turn ON.
Please advise if the above symptoms suggest a true Txn Hydraulic failure and needs a replacement or is there anything else I could do to fix it at least temporarily.
Thanks and appreciate any help,
KF
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:55 PM
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Welcome to the club..........I've been through 4 transmissions. Everything just like you said. Long ago, I also had transmission fluid changed at dealer, next day it blew up. Last week mine started slipping, pulled over, now sitting in garage waiting to be worked on.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:56 PM
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try changing out the fluid to Honda ATF DW-1, might give a temporary bandage but the tranny is pretty much toast. Not much you can do at this point, once these cars start slipping on each shift its toast.

how many miles are on the tranny? Has it been replaced before? pop the hood and see if there are blue painted bolts on the tranny that means its a dealer replacement unit.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:12 PM
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Thank you all for your replies. I'll give a try to the Honda fluid ATF DW-1 and hope for a temp fix.
Couple more quick questions:
1. Is it safe or ok to drive long distances (300 mi one-way) with this problem?
2. Is there a approx estimate by when I need to get this fixed before it breaks down completely, after the problem first surfaced? I know this is hard to answer and depends on several other factors incl luck but an approx figure like 1K/2K miles more?
FYI: Car has 180K miles on it
Thanks,
KF
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:54 PM
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Its very hard to judge when the tranny is going to crap out. if it is slipping badly, lights are flashing, its a pretty good indication the tranny is on its way out. Soon the tranny may not engage and the car wont drive, or random harsh downshifts.

If I retrace my steps back a few years when my old tranny was shuttering and slipping on just about every upshift, I refused to take it on long trips. Many people reported having the tranny crap out shortly after a long trip. I got a replacement tranny from the dealer, one of the last to get partial coverage from the extended warranty. good luck.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:22 PM
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what fluid was used in the change?
what method was used--drain and refill or machine power flush?
was honda fluid used in the change- or was dextron 3 used?

its common for a TL trans hooked up to a flush machine to lose the trans soon after.

Even with a gravity drain and refill 3 times (short drive between drains)
the detergents in all that new fluid can wash away sludge holding the failed clutches together
it doesnt cause the failure- its just the final nail in the coffin,, or straw that broke the camels back
the clutches just plain wore out of friction material

EXCEPT
if a shop hooked up a machine and ran dextron3 thru the trans- they owe you a trans,,
specifically FORBIDDEN in the TL owner manual....dex3 !!!
if ANY is added to trans- thats when you MUST do the 3 drain and refills to wash it out as fully as possible
Its that bad for our particular systems needs
Honda makes its own special formula for a reason

DW1 is the new formula,,after 20+ years of the same stuff
early reports by ziners are positive on smoothing and improving overall trans operation

question: how often did you change the atf?
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:30 PM
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drive your car? uuuuuuhhhhhh its going to have 2 problems

A: the loose clutch particulate matter gets flung outwards in the torque convertor
and clogs the screens of the outflow ports--
suddenly it wont shift after ~30 minutes on freeway--stop 15-30 minutes and it will work for a short time again to get of freeway (crud drops back off screens)

B: the friction matrial is gone on a few gears- each 2 gear shaft has its own stack of friction plates
You may find yourself stuck in 2nd gear
Any number of really bad things can happen,, always at the worst time

This is a replace with crashed odessey trans or rebuild yours- now~~
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:47 AM
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Ssdd

Happened to me over the weekend also, left me stranded on the freeway offramp
Anyone know of a reputable shop in Portland, Oregon?
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:08 PM
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Worst place for transmission failure

Week after Xmas I was driving to San Diego from San Jose and the transmission failed on 5 right before the grapevine. I had to get it towed 30 miles to Bakersfield and it needed a full rebuild. I found an awesome shop, but my wallet was $2,800 lighter. Ouch! I think I should get rid of it now before I have another failure.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:58 AM
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Same thing happened to me yesterday, 4th transmission and it lasted 110,000 miles. Is the Odessey transmission a direct replacement? Is it any cheaper? My car has 206,000 miles on it and I'm debating whether its worth it, my shocks are all original so they need to be replaced and I need new tires. It's been a great car, but 4k+ is a lot to resurrect a 10 year old car with the mileage I have on it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:34 AM
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local rebuild should run 2000-2500 USD
oddy trans is minor drilling of one hole otherwise bolts right in from what I heard
need a later year to get best ones

needs shocks, trans ..what about the every 105kmiles service for another 1000-1500$
sometimes its worth dumping the car
others- with rest of the systems in check - and fresh trans, keep it and enjoy
you wont find another car as nice as the TL --for what you have to put into maitenance

for the OP- did I miss where you said what atf was used?
in what method was the fluid changed? machine?
gravity drain and refill one time or ??

if the wrong fluid was used--specifically dextron III (3) the shop owes you a trans

Last edited by 01tl4tl; 01-29-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:39 PM
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I did the timing belt service at 130k, so I still have some time on that one and I just did a seafoam treatment and replaced the plugs. You're right, its a wonderful car and I've loved driving it for the last 7 years and it has been essentially maintenance free. It's a tough call...
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:44 PM
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More TL Tranny woes

Hi all, thought I'd join in with my own similar story (I'll spare you the long version). At around 97k miles my (2003 TL-S) tranny (original) started slipping. Would come and go, mainly at the 2-3 and 3-4 shift. No dash lights or indicators at all. After 4 drain-fill sessions the fluid looks good but it's still slipping, worse. Now it takes about 3 seconds to engage into Reverse, too.

According to Acura Customer Relations, my car is well out of warranty and it wasn't covered by any extended tranny warranty.

This all started a few months ago and just a few days ago the check-engine light finally lit. I stopped by AutoZone today and got a free code reading - P1750 (hydraulic control unit failure). I still don't know if it's the solenoids, filter, whatever, but chances are the whole tranny is kaput.

Anyway, I've gotten a quote from the dealer (Plano, TX) for $3700 total, which includes a 36mo. / 36k mile warranty. I got a quote from a shade-tree and it wasn't much better so I'll probably go with the dealer service center. Maybe I can at least talk them out of a free loaner for my trouble.

All in all it's really been a great car with almost NO issues until now (knock wood). Too bad these transmissions blemished an otherwise nearly spotless record for the TLs. I want my daughter to inherit it as her first car in a few months so I think a new (reman.) tranny is worth it for us.

Cheers
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:53 AM
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I lost my tranny at around 35k.... pretty shitty, got it rebuilt and haven't had any problems
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:00 AM
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How are people driving this car? Do you baby it, or often punch it to pass...

I ask as I just bought a 2003 TL type-S with 75K. Transmission seems fine at this point. But now I'm kind of freaking out... I really dont want to pull/replace a transmission in the near future...

Did Honda/Acura's fix actually help the issue?

Is this all because the car is driven harder than expected, shortening the life? Is it safe to say that driving the car like a old man will prolong the transmissions life?
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:24 AM
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I got quotes for tranny rebuild from 2 different garages in SC. One told me it would cost ~3.7K with a Jasper rebuilt tranny replacement and 12/12 warranty. The other one, with whom i decided to get it fixed, gave me a max 3K quote rebuild with the same 12/12 warranty. Both said the error codes pointed to hydraulic failure and had to mainly replace the torque converter among other mechanical issues. It is currently under repair and though the initial bench tests on the electrical solenoids (~$800) passed, he said he would have to recheck them once everything is put back together. Keeping fingers crossed!
Thanks,
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:08 AM
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Shifts like a caddy.......

Originally Posted by RetchedOne View Post
How are people driving this car? Do you baby it, or often punch it to pass...
I ask as I just bought a 2003 TL type-S with 75K. Transmission seems fine at this point. But now I'm kind of freaking out... I really dont want to pull/replace a transmission in the near future...
Did Honda/Acura's fix actually help the issue?
Is this all because the car is driven harder than expected, shortening the life? Is it safe to say that driving the car like a old man will prolong the transmissions life?
I drive the sh*t outta my Acura, always have. Also bought mine with 85K, and the tranny dumped on me at 117K (see post above.)
I used Evan at 360 Imports in Vancouver, Wa. for the timing belt & brakes; he did a great job but I couldn't get a hold of him & not having a car wasn't a viable option for me. I found the Transmission Doctor in Troutdale, Or. Bob was knowledgeable with the Acura history, gave me a $2K - $2.5K quote for rebuilding the trans w/ 12 mo. 12K mile warranty, and a 5 day turnaround. We always want same day service, but who the hell trusts a shop with no customers?
Short story: Done on time, at the price he quoted after pulling the tranny (about $2250), and did a general check that included pulling codes / reset for the stupid SRS light.
When I picked it up, he said there is no real "break-in" procedure, so "Drive it like you stole it" - and I did It's been 2 weeks and he asked me to come by any time to do a cursory check on the highlift. No bullsh*t, normal repair policy, normal pricing practice, interest in his work = shop that will get my return business.
So - 2 weeks later, no leaks, driven like a banshee only a couple times, and my only complaint (has Nothing to do with Bob!): My Acura shifts like a Caddy. It's so smooth I started using the sport-shift more in city driving.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tennozan View Post
I drive the sh*t outta my Acura, always have. Also bought mine with 85K, and the tranny dumped on me at 117K (see post above.)
I used Evan at 360 Imports in Vancouver, Wa. for the timing belt & brakes; he did a great job but I couldn't get a hold of him & not having a car wasn't a viable option for me. I found the Transmission Doctor in Troutdale, Or. Bob was knowledgeable with the Acura history, gave me a $2K - $2.5K quote for rebuilding the trans w/ 12 mo. 12K mile warranty, and a 5 day turnaround. We always want same day service, but who the hell trusts a shop with no customers?
Short story: Done on time, at the price he quoted after pulling the tranny (about $2250), and did a general check that included pulling codes / reset for the stupid SRS light.
When I picked it up, he said there is no real "break-in" procedure, so "Drive it like you stole it" - and I did It's been 2 weeks and he asked me to come by any time to do a cursory check on the highlift. No bullsh*t, normal repair policy, normal pricing practice, interest in his work = shop that will get my return business.
So - 2 weeks later, no leaks, driven like a banshee only a couple times, and my only complaint (has Nothing to do with Bob!): My Acura shifts like a Caddy. It's so smooth I started using the sport-shift more in city driving.

Thanks for that.
I guess once the newness wears off and I trust the car more, i will drive a bit more agressivly...
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:24 PM
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Any good tranny repair places in Columbus, OH?

Any reputable, trusted, reasonable places to take my 03 TL-S (with 218K miles) for a tranny rebuild in the Columbus, OH area? I read the other post about the Transmission Doctor in Troutdale, Or and hope others have similar experiences at locations in Columbus, OH.

My TL had the original tranny replaced at Acura's expense around 75K miles. I'm way overdue to get tranny issue taken care of now that I have 218K miles. Lots of shaking at 20, 30 and 40 mph. SRS light recently came on.

Thanks!!
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:06 PM
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Welcome Tommy_g !!!
Your best bet is to research the "AV6" bolt in replacement for your ailing tranny.

Don't bother wasting money on rebuilding your TL's existing POS tranny. Many folks have had great luck with using the donor tranny from an '06-'07 Honda Accord V-6. It's basically an updated version of our old problematic trannys and bolts right in. Figure on less than $1000 for a low mileage "AV6" donor and about $500 for installation labor. Check the "Regions" forum for local help.
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:34 PM
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:10 PM
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For Real?

Originally Posted by 3.2TLc View Post
Welcome Tommy_g !!!
Your best bet is to research the "AV6" bolt in replacement for your ailing tranny.

Don't bother wasting money on rebuilding your TL's existing POS tranny. Many folks have had great luck with using the donor tranny from an '06-'07 Honda Accord V-6. It's basically an updated version of our old problematic trannys and bolts right in. Figure on less than $1000 for a low mileage "AV6" donor and about $500 for installation labor. Check the "Regions" forum for local help.
You're kidding right!?!?!?! Are you telling me that I can get this machine fixed for half of whats being quoted me?
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:38 PM
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Please follow up if you got a satisfactory result

Originally Posted by I1100ran View Post
You're kidding right!?!?!?! Are you telling me that I can get this machine fixed for half of whats being quoted me?
Hey there I1100ran, did you attempt the replacement with a transmission from the Honda Accord '06-07 (v6 type)? If so, how did it work out?

I foolishly bought a used 3.2 TL-s with 180,000 miles on it for $4,000 and the transmission completely failed within the first week!!!! So I'm stuck with a potential "sunk cost" (financial-speak for the concept that "any previous expenditure should be disregarded when making the next finanical decision) of $4,000. As bad as I feel now, I will feel even worse if I replace the transmission (even for just $1,500) and it fails within the next 50,000 miles. I had planned to drive it at least 20,000 miles per year.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:50 PM
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Do the AV6 Swap if you plan on keeping the car.. Do not bother with rebuilding or getting the same transmission all over again.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:40 PM
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I'm looking to buy a 2001 to 2003 TL, The first thing i will do is buy a accord or odyssey transmission to replace the original weak TL transmission. I have a 99 Acura TL that i replaced my transmission at 180k miles, The oddball 99 TL transmissions is more robust than the newer 5 speed models, I got lucky and found a used transmission for $600 with only 90k miles, From 180k to 219k the transmission in my 99 TL is still doing great. The 2nd gen. Acura TL is a awesome car and definitely worth replacing the transmission....It's a keeper
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:50 AM
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After reading some threads, i just want to make sure what i'll be looking for when the inevitable happens. I'll need an AV6 out of an 06-07 Odyssey or Accord and make sure the TC is a baya HO-21? Also use DW-1 fluid with new filter and replace all the seals while it's out? It's a shame these tranny's are crap, because mine runs, drives, and rides like a dream. I've only had it a week.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:27 PM
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AV6 comes from a Honda Accord V6 model (not hybrid).
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:36 PM
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gotcha. gonna start looking for one Acura Auto Supply out of STL has rebuilt honda/acura tranny's for $700 and 1 year warranty. I'm gonna check them out.
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