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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S Sweeny
7 months ago

I took my 2009 Acura TL V6-3474 3.5L to a mechanic due to a check engine light. The Diagnostic check returned code P0741. I was told the solenoid D valve was failing and it needs to be replaced. They quoted $415 for parts and $520 for labor. This is to “remove and replace shift solenoid D and transmission service /fluid.” Is this a reasonable quote? I’m in California, so things tend to be more expensive here.

juan nesmith
8 months ago

When the car gets hot it will not want to move after it cools down it will move

Robert W Reinheimer
8 months ago

2001 3.2TL. The transmission has had ongoing transmission problems since new. Was recalled once, many years ago, so that an oil line could be replaced allowing more internal lubrication. This was a Micky Mouse approach to the internal problems with the design of this transmission . The real problem was in the design of the transmission, which causes irreversable internal damage to all of the parts. The transmission will periodicall set P0700 codes, slips when upshifting, especially to 3rd, 4th, and 5th gears, and at times just causes the engine to rev up as the transmission has not upshifted to the next gear and just slips, as if it were in neutral. At other rtimes the transmission will all of a sudden downshift (by itself) causing the vehicle to drastically slow down, (as if one had applied the brakes) and nearly causing an accident from a following vehicle on the freeway, because there is no warning that the Acura TL is downshifting by itself to lower gears. At other times, the transmission will simply not drive or move the vehicle, resulting in having to sit for as much as 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour, and then, all of a sudden the transmission functions again. This particular transmission has been serviced at least twice a year (about every 1000 miles), and at each service the filter is very dirty (needs replacement, and the internal accessable screens are also dirty. The vehicle started exhibiting problems very early on, but, Acura blew off the original owner, who finally gifted the vehicle to me (her mechanic). at approximately 24,000 miles and 16 years old. I have babied and serviced the transmission regularly, and now the vehicle has 55,000 miles. It still has all of the same problems and symptoms as it did originally. I cannot allow anyone else to dri\ve the vehicle (not even my wife) as it needs to be driven by one who knows how to drive the damaged transmission, and recognize when it is improperly shifting. Acura refuses to replace the transmission under warranty, even though this is a safety related problem, and the vehicle has very low mileage for it year model..

David
10 months ago

I have 00′ Acura tl. It won’t engage into any gear. The code I got was p0720 main output shaft speed sensor. I replaced sensor, oil and filter. Car sits on incline cause driveway is retarted and car started showing issues on colder mornings, would back out onto road witch is relatively level and it wouldn’t engage into any D gears without revving rpms a little. My girlfriend also uses vehicle, she stated car slipped out of gear while driving. I never experienced that. But regardless car wouldn’t go into any gear for me the other day except R after 3-5 min of trying to get it to engage into D. From then it was parked and I’ve did fluid (Honda) change, filter and replaced output sensor car is still not engaging into any gear. I’m hoping maybe shift solenoid but more likely rebuilt tranny.

Joseph Taylor
10 months ago

2006 Acura TL is throwing a P0976 code

Jas
1 year ago

Acura TL 2003 throwing a P0741 code

Renna Bruce
1 year ago

2000 tl everytime u slow down it like someone hits the brakes and down shifts

Chrissy plassmen
1 year ago

I have a 2005 Acura TL. It has an Automatic transmission, & It has 204k miles on it. And i have the transmission torque converter solenoid stuck in the off position. Throwibg a P0741 code. It said “TC clutch stuck off”. The issue i have right now is if i am in automatic regular drive, it wont shift and go, there a loud clunk sounds like the transmission drops and it just revs and goes nowhere. HOWEVER, if i am in trip trans mode where u can manually shift, at a light if i switch it to 2nd gear really quick it goes no problem. What does that mean,and can that be fixed easily. Iam a single mom and a delivery driver i use my own vehicle. Please help.

Sherri
1 year ago

1999 acura tl starts but wont drive.

Suzanne McGill
1 year ago

Transmission judder in a 2014 TL with 55k miles. Dealer recommends a triple transmission flush and software update for $350+. Acura has had a lot of complaints yet there is no
Recall or class action lawsuit for this issue… any guidance?

Francis Letcavage
1 year ago

I have a 1999 tlThe d4 light blinks I loose power pulling out but I clear the codes and it runs fine until I come to a stop then I have to clear the codes again it seems like it isnt down shifting out of 4th gear.Could it just be a pressure switch or a shift selonoid

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