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.

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Transmission Failure


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
109,108 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (6 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Acura TL transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #8

Aug 182015

TL 3.2L Tl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


My transmission is failing unfortunately. I am quite disheartened by this event considering the recall that should have been performed on my vehicle. On the transmission fill bolt there was no oil jet installed. I just think its a little ridiculous. Also my dashboard is cracking as well but that's a while separate issue.


problem #7

Dec 302011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

unbelievable that I had to deal with a Honda (ultimately) and replacing the transmission. And then almost a year later I had to take it back to the mechanic again.

- , Brea, CA, USA

problem #6

May 062012

TL 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,541 miles

I traded in my 528i BMW because of various problems. I decided to go with the Acura because I've had good luck with Japanese cars in the past. I maintain my cars. I love the 30 or so cars I've owed over the years. With only 88,541 miles on the car the transmission gave out while I was, of course, out of town. I was outraged that I needed a new transmission in a car with only 88,000 miles on it. I've never had a transmission go out before and certainly didn't expect that to happen on this great Acura. $4,600 later, I'm pissed. Now that I've read all about the transmission problems I'm sorry that I didn't do the research before I bought the car. I just expected and assumed that the "super Honda"...the Acura....would be a well made car. I was wrong. This was the most expensive car repair of my life and I'm 65 years old!

- , Aptos, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 142013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles


I don't drive like Mario Andretti I know that obviously can wear out a transmission. Mine was to the point where if I got a flush and fill it would have destroyed my entire transmission. They told me it was literally held together by "All the crap in it." The shop also printed out an article written by Ed Lee in Sonnax about the notorious Honda transmissions overheating and basically failing after warranty. I'm assuming this is the reason Honda has not honestly rectified the problem. I was told by Consumer Reports, and others that the transmission problems of the TL were a thing of the past starting in 2004 (The year of my car.) Clearly not the case. I tried e-mailing Acura, and got the cold shoulder, and then I called and was given another number to call. So car companies have gotten so big these days that they honestly don't give a crap if you'll come back or not which I told them after owning a 1990 Acura Legend that went 225,000 miles before needing anything major to the TL, I'm done! No longer going to promote Acura, or their crappy customer service or work. BUYER BEWARE IF YOU'RE GETTING A USED HONDA WITH ANYTHING CLOSE TO 100K.

- , Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #4

Jun 302012

TL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

I have owned a lot of exotic cars ( ferrari's, Porsches etc). I was surprised that a brand as dependable as Acura had a transmission problem, and even more surprised that what should be a recall is only covered under an extended warranty.

My brother bought the car new and fortunately purchased the extended warranty. It was dealer serviced since new and never driven hard or abused. He raved about its handling and dependability and I bought it with 80,000km as a daily driver.

It really is a high performance sedan and I've never owned a car that performed so well that was so inexpensive to drive. The transmission problem on 03/04 cars was a chronic one and has been remedied since.

My current concern is I took the car in to a Mr Lube prior to a highway trip (with about 10,000 on the replaced transmission) so I would not surpass 5k without an oil change. They told me the transmission fluid appeared burnt. I used another car for the trip and took the TL to the dealer when I got back. They said they could change it and bill me but it would be wasted money since the fluid was fine, according to them.

I think this is a great car and am a little paranoid now about the transmission longevity, on my replacement!

I'd highly recommend the TL but would advise staying away from an 04.

- , Vancouver, BC, canada

problem #3

Jun 012012

TL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

2004 Acura TL isn't supposed to have transmission problems, but mine did. took it to acura in 2011 with the car slipping in 4th gear in my opinion (78k miles). they replaced motor mounts, put a damper plate on, and flushed the transmission 2 times, all in that exact order to fix the problem (metro acura in montclair $900+-). this was a bandaid and the transmission went out almost exactly 1 year later. This time it would go up in gears but when came to a stop it wouldn't engage in first gear, definitely worse.

acura in tustin was very helpful and replaced the transmission for $2,260, they said they discounted. $409 for rebuilt tranny with 3 year 36k mile warranty, labor $1,600. I'm happy with the service and the car is running great. they gave me a rental car and made it very painless, except for the $2260.

- , irvine, Select a State, USA

problem #2

Nov 032011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,758 miles

On November 3, 2011, my Acura 2004 TL had to be towed to John’s mechanic shop 705 W. Chapman blvd. Orange, CA phone 714.771.2434 next to my address at 711 W. Chapman Ave. Orange, CA 92868.

Inspection revealed a transmission failure. The transmission oil had not been changed and was black.

I have attached copies of my last three services to your Acura dealership. Services which I have diligently and faithfully followed whenever the code came up for service. I entrusted your service to take care of my car.

The July 26, 2011 service copy recommends transmission service, tires etc. which should be taken care of at the next service.

On September 9, 2011 I took it for service. They said everything was fine and all I needed were tires and alignment. You can see where they checked the transmission fluid.

On November 22, 2011 I took my car for service again due to the service code warning. They did an oil change and recommended again that I do a transmission fluid exchange next time.

I do not know why they did not change transmission oil since they recommended it back in July.

This should never have happened. John’s Auto service replaced the transmission with one ordered from acura. He also showed someone worked on the transmission. The old transmission was sent to acura.

Up to this point I have suggested to friends that they should buy Acura’s. Bill Melone for one bought a tsx due to my recommendation. . I am no longer endorsing Acura due to the service.

- , Orange, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 112010

TL TL 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Bad transmission for acura TL 04

Had mine for 6 yrs and now going on my 2nd transmission. My transmission was rebuilt a year ago and is now acting up again. I will never buy an Acura again this is not right for those work hard for a luxury car that doesn't stand up to it standards.

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

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