Acura TL Transmission Problems & Overview

The Acura TL was equipped with the BDGA, B7WA and B7VA transmission in many years. Debuting for the 1996 model year, the mid-size Acura TL combined all of the reliability and refinement of a Honda, with a heavy dose of style and luxury. At the time, it was a lot more durable than most luxury cars in its segment, and it soon became Acura’s best-selling model. The second generation Acura 3.2TL was introduced for 1999, but this more powerful model was considerably more trouble prone. Common failures included the torque converter, 3rd gear clutch pack, and the entire transmission due to blocked oil passages, damage from debris and/or heat related internal damage. After numerous lawsuits, recalls, and tons of bad press, Honda finally extended the transmission warranty to 7 yrs or 100,000 miles. The 3rd generation TL came out in 2004, and was a better car in every way. The fourth generation TL would be the final use of this nameplate, as the all-new 5th gen car was renamed TLX in 2015. Is there something wrong with your TL? Let’s look at some of the most common transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your car back on the road.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Acura TL Transmission Models

Acura TL:  BDGA, B7VA and B7WA Transmission

Acura TL Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by exact engine size and year. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

What are the DTC codes related to Acura TL transmission problems?

P0766 – Failed Shift Solenoid D – This DTC can be stored when there is a problem with a shift solenoid or the valve body.
P2703 – Failed Friction Element D – This trouble code can be triggered by a failed friction element like a clutch disc.
P0720 – Failed Input Speed Sensor or Output Speed Sensor – This trouble code is caused by a bad speed sensor on the transmission.
P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio – This issue could be caused by a number of problems, including a fault in the transmission control module, dirty transmission fluid, or a bad transmission solenoid.
P0657 – Voltage Problem in the ‘A’ Circuit – This transmission problem is often caused by a short, or bad ground on the PCM or PCM wiring harness.
P0700 – Malfunction in the transmission control system – This DTC is often triggered when there is a problem with the TCM, a wiring harness, a solenoid, or the valve body.
P0715 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Malfunction – This code typically gets stored when the input sensor cannot read the engine RPM, which can prevent the transmission from appropriately shifting gears.
P0717 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor No Signal – This trouble code is generated when the PCM does not get a signal from the input speed sensor, which will prevent the computer from being able to determine when the transmission needs to shift.
P0791 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor ‘A’ Circuit – This error can occur when there is a problem with the intermediate shaft speed sensor, most likely due to a bad sensor, wiring problem, or a failed shift solenoid.
P0793 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal – The computer will generate this DTC when it cannot communicate with the intermediate shaft speed sensor.

Acura TL Recalls

2000-2004 TL – 04V176000 / P31

Summary

According to the recall, certain operating conditions can result in heat build-up between the countershaft and secondary shaft second gears in the automatic transmission, eventually leading to gear tooth chipping or gear breakage.

Consequence

Gear failure could result in transmission lockup, which could result in a crash.

Remedy

This recall was issued on April 21, 2004, and Acura dealers received the following repair procedures: On vehicles with 15,000 miles or less, the transmission will be updated with a simple revision to the oil cooler return line to increase lubrication to the second gear. On vehicles with more than 15,000 miles, it will be inspected to identify gears that have already experienced discoloration due to overheating. If discoloration exists, the transmission will be replaced. If discoloration is not present, the revision to the oil cooler return line will be performed. The recall began for pilot, odyssey, and mdx owners. Owners can contact  Acura at 1-800-382-2238, referring to Acura recall: P31. Or, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s auto safety hotline at 1-888-dash-2-dot (1-888-327-4236).

1996-1998 TL – 99V227000

Summary

According to the recall, a transmission case bolt can loosen and fall out, allowing the transmission to disengage from the differential.

Consequence

The vehicle could lose power to the drive wheels without warning. Also, shifting the transmission into the park position would not lock the wheels, and a parked vehicle could move unexpectedly if the parking brake is not set.

Remedy

Owner notification began back in August of 1999, and dealers were instructed to install a redesigned bolt free of charge. Owners can contact  Acura at 1-800-382-2238, or, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s auto safety hotline at 1-888-dash-2-dot (1-888-327-4236).

Acura TL Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2009-2011 TL w/ SH-AWD – TSB 12-029

Problem:

A judder from the torque converter lock-up clutch may be felt while driving between 20–45 mph. To minimize the opportunity for the judder to occur, a software update for the transmission is available.

Solution:

This AT software update is available free of charge to all affected vehicles regardless of its age or mileage. However, if the judder returns after the transmission software is updated, the torque converter may need to be replaced. American Honda did extend the warranty on the torque converter in affected vehicles to 8 years from the original date of purchase or 105,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you have any questions about this warranty extension, or need assistance with locating an Acura dealer, please call Acura Client Relations at 1-800-382-2238, and select option 4. US owners can also locate a dealer online at myAcura.com. Owners in US territories, please contact your local dealer/distributor.

2000-2003  3.2TL / 2003 Acura TL Type S – TSB 03-002

Problem:

3rd Gear Clutch Pack is Worn:

The symptoms of a worn 3rd gear clutch pack include, but are not limited to

  • No upshifts or downshifts
  • Slippage or flaring on upshifts or downshifts (primarily in 3rd gear)
  • Erratic or excessively harsh shifts
  • Slow or delayed gear engagement
  • The MIL is on and/or the D5 indicator is flashing

Solution:

The 3rd gear clutch pack in the automatic transmission is worn and will need to be replaced. NOTE: Certain 2000 model year 3.2TLs will also require a new fuel pressure regulator.

1999-2003 TL / 2003 TL Type S – TSB 02-027

Problem:

  • While driving, the D4 indicator (1999 3.2TL) or D5 indicator (all other models) on the instrument panel flashes.
  • An abnormally loud noise from the transmission.
  • Extremely slow or delayed gear engagement, upshifts, or downshifts.
  • Abnormal gear slippage during upshifts or downshifts. • Erratic or excessively harsh shifting.
  • Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) leaks.

Solution:

These problems can often be fixed by a new torque converter, Powertrain Control Module (PCM), and/or fuel pressure regulator (2000 models). There were many transmission problems inherent to this generation TL, which forced American Honda to extend the transmission and torque converter warranties back in 2003. Unfortunately this warranty no longer applies, so you will have to pay for any of the above repairs and/or complete transmission replacement.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Transmission Does a Acura TL Have?

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What Problem Does Your TL Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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Nedd
2 months ago

I have a 2000 Acura TL I bought via eBay 3 weeks ago, just under 153K miles. Two days after taking it home, the car hesitates. The seller provided a list of maintenance work done from inception in May 2000 thru April 2017 but only a couple paper receipts of tire work since. The car is technically two owner but one if you consider that it was sold in Sept. 2017 to a family member. The transmission was replaced in June 2008 at just under 67K miles. In April 2017, mileage was just under 133K miles. Exact mileage when transferred to the family member is unknown but given how little the vehicle has been driven per year, probably around 135K miles.

The question I now have is this – with this hesitancy, am I looking at a transmission replacement or a lesser issue. In my mind, at the most a transmission should be replaced once in a vehicle lifetime but am I facing a second one? I find it disturbing that I might have to with how well this car has been maintained and the low mileage for a 21 year old vehicle and have written Acura a detailed letter for assistance as I cannot afford another transmission. 86K miles for the second transmission to fail is very troubling since the first failed at 67K miles (86+67=153, my current mileage, just under to be exact).

Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated while Acura considers my request. Thank you.

Anonymous
3 months ago

I need to change shift cable linkage

Rochell Downey
3 months ago

My transmission leaks fluid when It gets hot, once it cools down it drives normal wit normal fluid readings. It’s a 2003 Acura TL 3.2.

Lindsey
5 months ago

Acura Tl ’99 limp mode — 143810 miles – Speedometer not responding, gas cap error code p1456 otherwise no codes

A. Alvarez
5 months ago

I cannot hear the transmission shift. I have a 2006 TL

Francisco
5 months ago

Acura TL 2004 3.2 mi problema es que camina poquito 10 metros normal y después se neutraliza y ya no ase ningún cambio la transmisión y lo apago un ratito y luego vuelve a caminar asiendo los cambios normal y después otra ves ase lo mismo

Joshua hayes
7 months ago

It wont shift in drive. When you place it in manual and go to shift from first to second it wont shift or takes a few minutes and the same from 2nd to 3rd. It has almost no power at all.

Michael C
8 months ago

2006 Accura TL transmission crapped out at 157K miles

Anonymous
9 months ago

Driving down the highway just lost all transmission

Lisa
9 months ago

Slipping and not wanting to engage in first gear

Surge559
1 year ago

I have a 1998 acura tl 3.2 base model. And I ran into a head scratcher. Theres a recall for a case bolt that comes loose and disengages the transmission from the differential. Well I was driving and suddenly. Loss of power. Vehicle begins to coast. Pressing the gas only revved the rpms. Well. After performing the recall myself sure to technical difficulties with the nearest dealership the problem remained. At startup the starter would engage but the motor would not turn. Well with further inspection I noticed the flywheel was broken from the center and was basically freewheeling. Now I got the transmission off and waiting for my new (used) flywheel to come in from ebay. Does anybody have any recommendations on anything I should change out while I got the tranny out. I’m planning on replacing rear main seal but is there anything else I’m overlooking. Maybe having the tranny tested at a transmission shop. ? Any ideas will help thanks

Raymond
1 year ago

I have 2002 acura tl that just started downshifting while I was driving.

Gary Sigmund
1 year ago

My Acura 2000 3.2L TL was a gem {303,000 miles }and on Sunday night while driving in D5 (at 75mph on Interstate 95 in CT) it just failed – no sounds and no warning) the vehicle motor continued to operate normally but I had to coast across high speed traffic lanes to stop on the shoulder; steam was seen over the hood coming out of the grill area as if the vehicle was overheating; i had to let the vehicle cool down but the car would bot engage to propel fwd or reverse – until i dripped it into the lowest gear – i limped into an Acura dealer at 25mph; Acura states that there is internal failure and I need to have the transmission rebuilt (fluid is leaking all over undercarriage) why the steam up front? does the transmission oil get cooled through the radiator? did i lose too much oil? what could have failed and why the leak – very little fluid left when i looked at dipstick; total cost of repair before tax will be $3355.00; feel forced to buy a new car or make repair getting 12 month 12,000 mile warranty on parts and labor from Acura

your thoughts?

Donald R. Connelly
1 year ago

Hello. My 2006 TL will only shift into reverse when the engine is cold. As soon as it warms up, no reverse. Please advise.

Scott
1 year ago

My 2004 is doing the same thing. It grinds very baddly once warm and will only go into gear if i toggle the gear from park to reverse several times til it starts to catch abd even then it only rarely works.

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