Last post on Nov 05, 2013 at 12:08 PM
You are in the Acura RL
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Acura RL, Sedan
#1325 of 7386 Transmission problems?
Aug 15, 2003 (7:54 pm)
I am looking to buy a used RL. I've been talking to a local Honda dealer regarding a 2000 RL w/ 50,000 miles. As I went to test drive the car today, the salesman mentioned that in addition to replacing certain of the tires the transmission was also to be "overhauled" by an Acura mechanic on Monday. Turns out, they are putting in a new transmission. Another salesman mentioned that he had an RL and his transmission had also been replaced via a recall. No other specifics were given.
I have looked at several RLs (mainly at Acura dealerships) and have not heard anything regarding potential problems w/ the transmission. Any information would be appreciated as although I plan to buy a warranty/service contract, I would like to go into buying an RL w/ as much info as possible.
By the way, the sales manager looked at me as though I were crazy for walking away from the deal upon learning the transmission was being replaced. Perhaps I am, but I don't know how smart it would be to pay approx. $22,000 for a car that has already needed a new transmission.
Aug 16, 2003 (5:37 am)
My take: Although the car has only average miles, the transmission thing is a new wrinkle ... I'd want it evaluated (AFTER the new trans is installed) by an independent mechanic as well as a significant reduction in price as $22k is a good price for a '00 in just right condition.
But I don't think I'd let the new transmission squelch the deal if you like the car AND if the independent inspection of the car goes well .... after all, the problem has been fixed in a way that you can pretty much think it won't be an issue in the future, in fact may be the strongest link in the drive train.
But if there's anything to be suspicious of, with that history I'd surely walk. Let us know. JW
Aug 16, 2003 (6:02 am)
This guy is dreaming.
Your numbers are far too generous. NADA and KBB are both good sources, but they give you "listing" prices, or asking, not selling prices. Edmunds is a little better for that, actually.
Looking your car up on Edmunds, the TMV is $22484. I don't know where you live, or the color of the car to make (minor) allowances, but Edmunds says you can add on $1823 for mileage. This gives a total value of $24307. At that rate, the car is overpriced by about 20-25%. Ridiculous, imo.
However, I also think Edmund's mileage calculation is none too generous, so personally I'd be inclined to go out to say $25k.
Consider: 1)it's not certified. You've gotta wonder -- why not? If ANY car is worth pre-certification, it oughta be one with low mileage. If he is willing to certify it, that would be worth another $1000, and in fact essential imo.
2)such low mileage isn't really a blessing. This car has only had about a thousand miles/year put on it, most likely extremely short trips .... how dried out are all the seals and .... so on. The general rule of thumb I go by is that a car should have about 3000 miles/yr to keep it in good health. A couch potato car could be in as bad health as if it had been pushed hard by a teenager, so I'd probably have it checked by an independent mechanic and get an extended warranty and an additional discount if he isn't willing to certify it.
Low mileage would be more attractive if this were a Chevy or Ford. A good Acura should be able to handle 150,000 without trouble.
3) This is actually a 5 yr. old car. The '04s are out and you have to include its initial year of service (00), which began in 99.
4) I wouldn't be too worried about depreciation at this point. It shouldn't decline more than a couple thousand next year.
If I wanted the car, my bid to him would be something like $24500, $25500 if he 's willing to certify or add an extended warranty (with an indepth inspection at my choice of mechanics). Go in with your loan approved (AAA, perhaps) so you can write a check. He'll probably say he can't go lower than 28. Do you like the car enough to go to $26000? If so, let him have that. If not, give him your phone# again, tell him he must have eager buyers waiting but if they fall through within the next day to give you a call. If it takes longer than that, you have "something else in mind" -- he may give you a call and you may get a car. If not, used Acuras are everywhere. Even if he gives you your price, be ready to walk if the mechanic's appraisal raises expensive questions about seals an so on.
Hope this helps. JW
Aug 16, 2003 (7:35 am)
I won't be surprised if you can get a 2003 RL for $35K, and that dealer is asking you $30K for a 2000!
Mileage is not always the point, age is too. I would rather have a newer car that has more miles on it than an older car with less.
#1329 of 7386 Rating the '00 RL Deal
Aug 16, 2003 (5:37 pm)
Thanks to JW and Robertsmx for your insight. I agree that $26K is about the max. reasonable selling price for the vehicle, as it sits.
When I asked the salesman about certifying the vehicle, his response was that when Acura certifies a vehicle, they also set the selling price, and the dlr. has no room for negotiating. He might be blowing smoke here, I dunno. Regardless, I won't buy the vehicle with no factory warranty remaining, unless it can be replaced by other warranty coverage.
By the way, the dlr. is about 450 mi. from home (the Internet does have its downside - you can shop online all over the country, but you can't kick a single tire!) So this makes appraisals by independent mechanics problematic, not to mention repeated return trips to the dealer.
The salesman promised to call me Monday morning with the vehicle's inservice date and his "best price." We shall see. Thanks again for the advice.
Aug 19, 2003 (5:28 am)
Without a warranty on a low-miles car (the part about Acura setting the car price is pure BS, I'm sure, though they do set the warranty price probably) and an independent inspection, I'd pass for sure.
There are lots of good RLs out there with people who actually want to sell them. You can find another.
Finally, I've bought cars at a distance before and arranged for the inspection by phone. It requires finding a decent garage (use the web??) and calling them to ask them to pick up the car and go through it. Not as good as being there of course, but better than nothing.
Good luck. JW
#1331 of 7386 Engine compartment odor in cabin
Sep 07, 2003 (9:46 am)
I had a 2000 RL which when driving over 30 minutes at a time, I would detect a faint odor in the cabin which I would best describe as similar to burning candle wax. I now have a 2002 which has the same scent. The mechanic in the dealership said that it is typical for engine compartment smell to enter the cabin. He said to run the air or heat on recirculate to eliminate this. I tried it yesterday and he was absolutely correct as the smell ceased immediately. Obviously, it is a trait of these cars and rather odd in my view as I have never had any smell like this in the many other cars I have owned. I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this.
Sep 08, 2003 (7:46 pm)
Have a 2000 RL and started to get a musty odor with AC on with vent set at fresh air. Changed the cabin air filters and that took care of it. I replaced them after about 3 years and 30k miles. Will probably cut that in half next time. Bought Fram filters ($35 for the pair compared to $85 from Acura). The Frams look a little different, but have worked very well. Not to hard to change, just takes some time and some patience to reinstall glove box damper/spring. Leaving the vents on recirculate can cause the cabin to fog up and will give you stale air after a while. I would have the cabin air filters changed and leave the air on outside.
Sep 12, 2003 (2:00 pm)
A 5000 mile 00 RL being sold by an Acura dealer and they have not certified it ?? Something does not smell right here. JMHO.
Get it checked by a local body shop for any frame damage through an accident.
PS: Acura dealers are not authorised to sell a vehicle as an Acura certified vehicle, if it has been involved in an accident.
#1334 of 7386 98 RL Special Edition Buying Advice
Oct 25, 2003 (5:08 pm)
First of all let me say this is an excellent message board for RL owners. I read through most of the posts last night and learned a lot about RLs and I want to purchase one.
I am looking for advise about buying a '98 RL SE. The car is pearl white and gray. The car I am looking at has 32k miles on it, it is with the original owner, never wrecked and clean CARFAX report, he has all the service records, and is in showroom condition. He is asking $19,500. Is this a good deal? How many white SEs did they make? Is there any significant difference in the '99 up models? Should I be concerned about buying one not from the Acura certified program?
Any help is appreciated.