Last post on Nov 05, 2013 at 12:08 PM
You are in the Acura RL
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Acura RL, Sedan
Mar 03, 2003 (6:36 pm)
Two months ago, after owning this "new to me" 1998 RL for only one month, I noticed the temp gauge at H after only 1 mile first thing in the morning. I happened to be by my local car guy and stopped by for him to look at it. He felt the hoses and notice that they were not very hot or highly pressurized. He check the coolant and noticed it was very low. I know it was full just 1 month prior so what happened to the coolant? There was no evidence of an external leak. He kept the car over night and pressure checked it. There was no evidence of a pressure loss. So we filled it up with coolant and I went on my way. Today, 3 months later the same thing happened except this time I drove a little farther and just as the needle hit H, something happen and the needle went down to the normal range. At the same time heat started to come out the vents. I thought "thermostat" I drove to a Honda dealer and he noticed the fluid was very low again.
Obviously I am loosing fluid. We can find no external leak and after another (shorter) pressure check, no internal leak. Where is the coolant going? The Honda guy thinks it must be leaking very slowly when it gets hot. He thinks I will probably need a head gasket. I called the Acura dealer (two actually) and they both said they had not seen this before but it would cost about 1700-2500 dollars to fix it!!!!!
What else could it be? and How can it cost that much? Has anyone else heard of this on a 98 RL. BTW is has 135000 miles but was babied by the previous owner and I have all the previous service records to prove it.
Mar 04, 2003 (2:17 pm)
I have 134,000 miles on my 96 RL and I also had an overheating problem over the summer. I, unfortunately, cannot remember what was wrong with the car. Sorry.
I do remember it costing an arm and a leg to fix at the dealer.
Maybe you can take the car into the dealer and get them to tell you what's wrong with it.
You can then shop around at independent auto shops to see if the price difference is great enough to get it fixed elsewhere.
#1238 of 7386 Mike734: Overheating
Mar 04, 2003 (2:55 pm)
Let me start out by saying that I have not bought my RL yet, so these comments are based on the cars I have driven over 100,000 miles. I think you may have one of three problems:
1. Head gasket leak
2. Hairline crack in head
3. Hairline crack in block.
I suggest that you find a mechanic you trust, and ask him or her to re-torque the heads per the Acura specs. Your leak is very slow, and this may help. Next I would add radiator stop leak to the radiator. This will not work if you have a real bad head gasket, or a real bad crack in a head or block. It might help if the head gasket is not that bad, or if you have a hairline crack in a head or the block. You are not leaking very much coolant. Please check it every week, and do not run the engine out of coolant. Let us know how you make out.
#1239 of 7386 Head gasket leak
Mar 04, 2003 (4:48 pm)
I'm going in Friday to have them try their best to try to find the leak. They say they can do an emissions type test to see if it is leaking into the combustion chamber. I have also found a '96 engine with 82k on it available for $1500. I guess it would cost another $1000 to have it installed. I hate to think of it but maybe for $500 more, it may be worth it to replace the engine. Of course, I have no idea the history of the "new" engine. Also, I'm may be able to monitor the coolant use for several years and get away with doing nothing except adding fluid periodically. I wonder though, even though the car is out of warranty, shouldn't I be able to expect greater life from an engine and shouldn't Acura be willing to help me out here?
#1241 of 7386 Poor performance?
Mar 04, 2003 (7:28 pm)
I just purchased a 1998 RL. The stated EPA estimates for fuel efficiency are 19 City, and 25 Highway. My RL has 63k miles, runs great, has new oil and air filter, clean radiator fluid, new tires, is properly aligned, and gets only 15-16 mpg. I only run the manufacture recommended premium unleaded. What kind of mileage are you getting? Any idea why I am not getting at least 20? I have a light foot, and thanks to rising fuel costs, a light wallet. Appreciate the feedback
#1242 of 7386 Re : RL mileage
Mar 04, 2003 (9:31 pm)
When I first got my 1996 RL with 65,000 miles I got about 16 mpg city. Even though the recommended tire pressure is 29 psi I read that most people put more air in their tires. I increased my air pressure to 32 psi and I now get about 18.5 mpg city with no loss of smooth ride. I haven't taken it on a long freeway trip yet, but I would expect to get about 23-24 mpg. You might try it.
#1243 of 7386 My continuing '96 RL nightmare
Mar 11, 2003 (1:02 pm)
A brief history:
Bought '96 Acura from a dealer in September 2002. Good condition and had 65,075 miles. I wisely purchased AcuraCare. Car only has 68,500 now, only 3500 miles since I bought it.
In a little over 5 months I have had 3 window regulators replaced. Normally, $300 each.
I was also advised that the ABS modulator/accumulator was leaking and they would replace it under AcuraCare. Normally a $1500 job. I made an appointment for last Wednesday, March 5. The parts were not there when I came in for service. They said they would be there the next day. They weren't. At that time I had them do a recommended transmission flush because they said the fluid was a little burnt. This was in light of the fact that the fluid had been drained and replaced before purchase. Before the transmission flush the car seemed to be shifting smoothly and quietly.
Today, while driving to work, it acted like it had a bad spark plug wire or something. The check engine light came on and when I came to a stop the car would not move no matter what gear it was in and subsequently had a giant puddle of transmission fluid under the car. Sounds like the tech screwed up. But why did it take 5 days since the service to happen. There was no transmission fluid on my garage floor at all. So now my "new to me" Acura is in the shop for transmission, abs modulator, abs accumulator. I guess if I didn't have AcuraCare I would have a major tantrum. They are giving me a rental car, etc.
Was the same transmission used in all model RLs? Any opinions or insight into my problems would be appreciated. Sure am glad I purchased Acura care.
#1244 of 7386 Your nightmare
Mar 11, 2003 (10:07 pm)
Wow. Damm right you are glad you bought the warranty. I have not heard of those problems but my source of info is mostly this board.
As for my problem, I have decided to not worry about the coolant leak until it becomes greater. I check the level every day and have not seen any loss yet. I don't know what is happening but I don't want to have a $2000 repair job until it is absolutely necessary.
Good luck to you.
#1245 of 7386 Coolant leak experience
Mar 12, 2003 (4:00 am)
The coolant leak may be caused by a hairline fracture in the nylon upper tank of the radiator and it leaks when the tank expands when it gets hot. My experience is that virbation and heat stress will cause hairline fracture in the tank. There will be a very small unnoticeable leak (steam) and you may or may not even see any deposit around. I hope this help.