Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Power Train: Manual Transmission Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Acura CL transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Acura CL:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Acura CL Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 012004

CL 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles


Manual trans/clutch - looses hydraulic pressure in low air temps and when car is sitting on a hill. Hard to shift only in 1st into 2nd gear. There were very few Acura 2002/2003 Cl 3.2 type ss made, so even a couple complaints should warrant a review. I found numerous forums with owners complaining and asking for help from others on this problem. I've driven manual trans cars and trucks for 22 yrs to include one Honda that still had the original clutch at 225K miles, so it is not a driver related problem. All the Focus has been on the auto transmissions for this car...that failed. Acura has a problem that needs to be addressed before someone get seriously hurt, when they try to shift into second when crossing a busy street and cant. It has happened to me and I just got lucky.

- Triangle, VA, USA

problem #3

Jul 022006

CL 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 52,000 miles
My 2003 Acura Cl-type S manual 6 speed is also having similar problems as the other owners with change in pedal pressure and difficulty shifting in cold weather, sometimes with gears grinding and it is unavoidable unless you put the vehicle in neutral and come to a complete stop and start from 1st gear again, reverse is also a issue, sometimes it wont go in at all, I have been to the Acura dealerships to purchase the new tranny sensors which are not cheap but the problem still persists. I was driving on the freeway conditions were normal, nothing unusual and my transmission totally locked on 3rd gear, luckily I or anybody else was hurt. My front drivers side fender was damaged because I had to maneuver vehicle out of freeway traffic to avoid a major collision. Also front bumper needs some repair and repainting.

- Pico Rivera, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 212006

CL 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 37,000 miles
Issue with 6 speed standard transmission. While cold difficulty upshifting into 2nd gear with occasional gear grinding. Clutch and 2nd gear syncros replaced, but the problem persists. Acura maintains that this difficulty is normal performance.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #1

Dec 012005

CL 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 68,000 miles
2003 Acura 3.2cl type S - 75,000 miles - manual transmission (mt) is hard to shift into second and reverse gears. Also noticed that after holding the clutch pedal in while at a stop light, sitting in traffic, etc., the pressure changes while letting the pedal out and doesn't engage/catch while attempting to shift. Must push pedal down again and try to shift again. The first couple of times this happened, I shifted from first into second gear and the gear grinded and car jerked. The pedal pressure almost feel like a brake pedal does when compressed and there is air in the line. At other times, it feels like I'm pushing in my 1978 Z-28 manual clutch pedal....heavy! service dept is excellent at dealer location. Complaint being filed to ensure that a problem is noted with the mt if others are having the same issues; which could lead to a recall.

- Triangle, VA, USA

Not what you are looking for?