Notes: The 1999-2003 Acura TL has a known & widespread defect with the transmission.

Honda fixed some vehicles with a recall in 2004 by changing the oil cooler return line. To settle a class action lawsuit in 2006, Honda extended the transmission warranty on some of these Acura TL's to 93 months / 109,000 miles.

Now these vehicles are past the warranty limit, so buyer beware.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
148,200 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace with rebuilt transmission (5 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. replace transmission (2 reports)
2002 Acura TL transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 292019

TL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,356 miles


I bought this car in December for a reliable way to take my kids to school and to get myself to school. On the freeway going about 75 and the transmission started to slip and I had no power. I couldn't get the car to go over 50 mph in the middle lane I was slowing down traffic and there was nothing I could do. I pushed the gas on and off multiple times till I felt the car start to regain speed again because it slipped into gear. I checked the transmission fluid thinking maybe it was low but it wasn't. After that day it was running fine again.

Then driving on the freeway once again going to school and the car started jerking and slowing down it wouldn't go into gear. I took the next off ramp and fiddled with the gas again. I tried manually shifting it into a lower gear and then shifting it back in drive. After a couple of times moving the shifter back in forth and messing with the gas pedal, it slipped into drive and started running ok again. Until the next day when taking the kids to school it started cutting out and making a jerking movement once again. It felt like it was slipping out of gear and not wanting to accelerate correctly. I finally made it to his school and dropped him off and got the car home drove it to school and it the gears where slipping once again.

I got home after class and proceeded to go across town to pick up the boys. It was driving somewhat fine at the time. Picked up my other son from his school, still running ok, until about a mile and a half from my house. It slipped in and out of gears, jerking and not wanting to accelerate. Some how made it to almost the top of the hill before my driveway and it wouldn't go any further. It stopped going into gear completely. With the car still running my son ran home to get my boyfriend, who towed the car the rest of the way up the hill and down our driveway.

The car still starts fine it just won't go anywhere. No drive, no reverse, no nothing. We cleaned and replaced the filters on the transmission solenoid, the transmission filter system, drained the transmission fluid and replaced it. Put that transmission liquid in there that will normally help the gears work again, but nothing.

Then reading the comments on this site about everybody else's experiences with the same kind of car pissed me the hell off. How can Acura get away with putting a faulty vehicle such as this one, out on the road. Faulty transmission, faulty seat belts that could cause instant death in a high impact accident, throwing metal fragments throughout the car because of the makers of this vehicles stupidity.

How can Acura not be liable for the transmission failure on this vehicle. Manu of the people on here have had to replace their transmissions numerous times. Obviously t hey are not making the transmission correctly. I don't see how they are getting away with ripping people off in this way.

- Kristine B., Petaluma, CA, US

problem #10

Sep 032018

TL 3.2tl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,555 miles

Shifter locked in park. Have to push the release button to get out of park every time. In result brake lights don't work either. Electrical is all tied in to transmission. As well as the SRS (air bag) light came on won't go off and since it's electrical the dome and visor mirror lights don't work all due to the transmission.

- Dawn A., Centereach, NY, US

problem #9

Oct 012017

TL 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 239,849 miles

Vehicle began shifting hard with drive light flashing, Traction control system and engine light came on one day while driving home on a warm afternoon. Every shift felt like some newbie dropped the clutch.

Shutting down and restarting the car cleared the problem temporarily, but often came back within minutes.

Took the car to the Acura Dealership and they told me the car needed a new PCU for 3400, (they also immediately began calling asking if I were interested in trading it in) Told them to forget it and picked up an OBD-II piece. Spat out the code P0715-Speed Sensor A circuit.

did a 3x3 ATF flush, removed and cleaned the two forward solenoid filters and that lessened the problem.

Transmission shop wanted 5000 to rebuild the tranny. Later removed and cleaned the Speed Sensor A (had accumulated a fair bit of shavings). Car was driving somewhat better after that, but got bogged down on a grid road after some heavy rain and the transmission took a turn. Now spitting out a P1750 Code Clutch pressure control valve. Code returns whenever the car acts up when shifting from second to third under any kind of strain. Switching to manual shifting and treating it like a stickshift (lowering rpms before shift) works alright, but letting the car shift on its own seems to induce problems. At this time I'm done with this car, it's not worth replacing the tranny if these are the kind of problems I can expect out of it.

- Nick B., Saskatoon, SK, Canada

problem #8

Sep 122012

TL S 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles


I wound up getting it fixed, but still had issues for almost a full year!

Worst car experience I've ever had! I also had to spend another $1,200.00 renting cars during that down period!!!!

- Jim G., Brown Deer, WI, US

problem #7

Feb 192011

TL TL 3.2 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,102 miles

Thought I bought a durable car. Figured it was a Acura and part of the Honda family. Learned it has transmission problems. Got it repaired. I know Acura has a class action suit on them for transmission failure and they extended the miles warranty for transmission, but mine was out of the range. Here again it is July 2015 and my replaced transmission has failed. From what I 've read, this problem is due to the torque converter, it says that because they do not have a filter in the transmission anymore it clog the transmission tearing it up. Well I will not buy another higher price car again, since this it what you get.

- Dorothy D., Stockbridge, GA, US

problem #6

Jul 092015

TL TL 3.2 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,000 miles

Here we go again, car transmission fails again. Guess the rebuilt didn't get the correct fixes. This time will not be spending the money to fix this. Hoping I can trade in or sell for a grand or two.

- Dorothy D., Stockbridge, GA, US

problem #5

Dec 142012

TL S Type V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,585 miles


2nd time transmission had to be replaced. The one from Acura (replaced at 98k miles) didn't even last 100k miles!!!!

- Wendy K., Hixson, TN, US

problem #4

Jul 202013

TL Type S 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,500 miles

Everything about this car, EXCEPT THE TRANSMISSION, has been pretty good. First transmission was replaced in 2006 with 45,000 miles on it. That transmission failed 55,000 miles later. UNACCEPTABLE! It failed quickly; I thank my lucky stars it didn't happen on the freeway as it would have been very dangerous.

I was considering buying a new Acura, but now that I have $3,000 less in my pocket (and Acura would only offer $2,000 for a trade-in), I think I'm going to buy a Lexus.

- Cindy C., Gilroy, CA, US

problem #3

Oct 262012

TL Type S 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 182,458 miles

Had transmission replaced due to slippage in my 2002 Acura Tl Type S at 55170mi. under original warranty. Now at 182458mi., warranty over, regular maint.,3rd gear clutch sensor replacement, I'm getting a solenoid code (P0703). My Honda Service Advisor, former Acura mechanic, whom I feel was honest tells me that a solenoid replacement won't fix the problem and that the transmission needs replacement/rebuilding. After reading many many forums on the Acura transmission faults, I'm very displeased with Honda and its product warranty whereas the replacement of a defective mechanism with another is just wrong.

- madatacura, Victorville, CA, US

problem #2

Apr 242012

TL W/ Navi 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,343 miles

In order for Acura to fix the issue you need to file a complaint with these 3 organizations.




- Jeff Y., Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #1

Mar 122011

TL S Type 3.2L Tl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

The check engine light came on and the transmission stopped working suddenly. This was the second time the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. I was told to take it to the dealer only who wanted $5000 to fix it. Acura was only going to offer me 30% of the cost of the repairs. After weeks of complaining and not having a car to use, the dealer was able to get me the cost of 1/2 of the bill. So i ended up having the transmission replaced for a second time. It only had 112000 miles. The first time it was replaced was a year after i purchased it in 04. The original transmission got $45k miles and the the 1st rebuilt transmission got about $65k miles. Now I'm on the 3rd transmission that came from the factory rebuilt with the same crappy parts. They only offer a 3 year warranty on it. So when it goes again, I'm pretty much screwed. I never intended on getting rid of my car, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to in about 4 years. What i hate is the fact that there was a class action settlement on the original transmission, but it fails to cover all the replacement transmissions that we are getting. Its not right that someone should have to pay for 3-4 transmissions during the lifetime of a vehicle. I'd like to join a secondary class action lawsuit to address this particular issue. I think that Acura should be responsible for their replacement transmissions for the lifetime of the vehicle for a known reoccurring problem.

- Stephanie B., Philadelphia, PA, US

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