2000 Acura RL

Messages
8,473
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Relatives just gave me their 2000 Acura 3.5RL. It has 158,600 miles and drives like a dream. 1) Garage kept all its life. 2) EXCLUSIVELY and completely dealership maintained. 3) GUARANTEED 99.6% highway miles. I know exactly where they drove it. The car is one rung down from being showroom. The 3.5l V6 ticks a little upon startup then quiets down. For that I want to change it over to Mobil1 0W-40 European Formula. When cold the transmission holds its 2-3 upshift a LONG time. For this I just want to start by doing a drain & fill. The manual states (to the effect) to use Acura heavy duty fluid or any Dexron III fluid. I'll go with Honda DW-1 from the dealership or Valvoline Dex/Merc (suitable for DexronIII/Mercon applications-blue jug) because I have it on hand. Opinions on ATF are requested. Any Acura owners out there? The LubeGard red goes in with any subsequent transmission service. I want to feel what clean, new fluid does. Honestly, it sounds like the front spring seats have begun to shrink as they report just a little creaking. The RR door doesn't open from the outside and the driver's door button to release the trunk lock doesn't work. I haven't gotten under it yet as I've just had surgery. ANYTHING anyone has to say about this car is "pre-appreciated". IRONY: If I wanted to sell it the price would be low due to its age and mileage. I believe it's time to say good bye to the aging 1999 Saab 9-5 SE.
 
Messages
25,706
Location
Upstate NY
Its a 19 yr old car from upstate NY I assume. Salt and rust are likely. A car being outside will rust less than one being in a garage as the rain will tend to wash salt off the car and lower temps will not allow as much corrosion to occur as warmer temps. But hey, enjoy the car.
 
Messages
6,423
Location
Scruffy City
Ah, a face lifted G1 RL (what model is it, I think there was base and touring) this is FWIW known as a G2 Honda Legend rest of the world. It is a timing belt engine. (C35A) Mobil 0/40 and various Mobil 5/30's all work fine. DW1 works well, I'd do 4 drain and fill following the Honda service news procedure, no additives. The differential is separate. The trunk release can be disabled (inside the glove box IIRC). The outside door handles and the latch itself are both failure points. They are really nice cars, drive very well and are comfortable if a bit soft. It is more like a Japanese Buick than a Japanese Mercedes IMO.
 
Messages
6,526
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Sounds like a great car. I would start with the factory recommended viscosity oil. Service the transmission; DW-1 is fine but I recently switched to the Idemitsu equivalent. I have used Maxlife with great results in Honda transmissions as well. Has the brake fluid been serviced? If it rides soft, or has too much body roll, I would replace the shock/struts with KGB or Bilsteins. Enjoy your beautiful car.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Messages
12,946
Location
Virginia Beach
It's a great car. Neighbor/buddy had one for years and it was a sweet ride. Are you certain that the cold 2-3 shift is a transmission problem and not programming to hasten cat light off? I would change the fluids anyway. I always do that with a new (to me) car. I would stick with Honda DW-1 for fluid...just because folks on this forum have stated how well Hondas work with DW-1 and there are mixed opinions on MaxLife and other universal substitutes...
 
Last edited:
Messages
11,428
Location
USA
The biggest problem is that they have a timing belt mad At least it's a longitudinal engine, so it may be easier to work on than a transverse V6. For the ATF, my first choice would be Castrol Full Synthetic ATF. It often goes on sale for $5/qt at the parts stores. Maxlife ATF is also good stuff and quite popular on here. Changing the ATF on a Honda is quite easy. Easier than changing the oil. All you need is a 3/8 square drive. No socket. Also, in a Honda, you check the ATF with the car OFF. Fully warmed up, shut the car off, wait a minute or so. Honda actually knows how to make an accurate transmission dipstick, which means you actually can check the fluid level. The trunk release may be disabled. Some cars have a switch to disable the trunk pop. The switch may be located in the glove box or somewhere else not near the release button on the driver's door. If there is no rust on it, keep it that way and get Krown or some other rustproofing service smile
 

Kira

Thread starter
Messages
8,473
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
1) The car was a pampered downstate car and has no rust. Krown or some such rustproofing is a good idea. 2) There is a trunk button disabling switch in the glove box. The release button now works. 3) I'll ask at an Acura dealership about the cat reaching temp. A few years back I sought Acura boards and saw that only "hands-off consumers" joined Acura boards. I found no useful information at that time. Winter's cold and my recovery will stretch this honeymoon and that's OK.
 
Messages
11
Location
New England
The RL is a great car if taken care of like most cars. I recently picked up a used 1 owner 2003 RL with 165K in Nov. '18. Over the past 3 months I've done the following work myself to get the car where I want it. - timing belt + water pump service - drive belts and coolant hoses - thermostat + housing - transmission fluid drain and fill x3 - front calipers, pads and rotors - air , cabin and fuel filter - coolant, power steering and brake fluid change - pcv and spark plugs - set of new Michelin tires I picked up a case of Honda DW-1 Transmission fluid and a case of Honda power steering fluid on Amazon for a reasonable price. Overall we really like this car as its quiet on the road and pretty comfortable on longer trips. Working on it is also pretty simple and fairly easy.
 
Messages
5,569
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
The biggest problem is that they have a timing belt mad
I'll never understand the hatred toward Timing Belts? Quiet, Zero stretch, & easily replaced on most vehicles.
 
Messages
11,428
Location
USA
Originally Posted by clinebarger
I'll never understand the hatred toward Timing Belts? Quiet, Zero stretch, & easily replaced on most vehicles.
Easily replaced? smirk2 It takes like 6 hours to replace a timing belt! Plus, if it breaks, the engine is usually toast! I don't think any recent engine is actually non-interference mad And you can't just replace the TB. You also have to replace the water pump, too! Just the fact that you have to replace it makes it inferior to a timing chain! The only car I know of where using a timing belt was actually the right decision was the Geo Metro. The belt only takes an hour to replace, and it's non-interference.
 
Messages
5,569
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Rarely does one take 6 hours, This RL takes that long but has a balance shaft that's unique to high-end Acura C35A engines......The much more common J30/J35 calls for 3-3.6 hours including changing the water pump. The hardest "common" Timing Belt job is the 1MZ-FE/3MZ-FE Sienna's that call for 5.5 hours, That you have to remove the Wiper assembly & Cowl on. Most ARE gravy train. Maybe if you just worked instead of rolling your eyes & getting angry.....You would realize it's just nuts & bolts.
 
Last edited:
Top