2002 Acura TL Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2002 Acura TL as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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10
Known Problems

The 1999-2003  Acura 3.2TL uses an ignition switch that commonly fails, causing:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine stalling randomly 
  • Intermittent battery power
  • The ignition switch works by receiving power from the battery, then sending that power to another location by turning the key to the desired setting. When it fails, power cannot be transmitted to the proper components because of an improper electrical connection. This will effect everything that the key allows to run in the "Start" position, including the starter motor.

    It can be intermittent, and a bump in the road, or turning the vehicle at speed may cause the ignition switch to lose connection.

    Turning the key back and forth or shaking it may cause it to reconnect temporarily.

    To correct the issue, replication of the fault is key. If the ignition switch tests bad when the problem is occurring, replacing the ignition should resolve the issue.

    Please note: The ignition lock cylinder, where the key is inserted, does not need to be replaced.

    The 1998-2014 Acura TL commonly has problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid. It stops responding to commands to open and close, and the following occurs:

  • Illumination of the check engine light
  • OBD trouble code P1457 is stored
  • Engine takes longer than usual to start
  • Fuel mileage decreases noticeably
  • The valve is located on the charcoal canister, and is meant to open and close upon command. It fails due to corrosion breaking one of two internal seals, which allows air to escape the system, signaling the OBD trouble code P1457.

    Correcting the problem can be done by replacing the vent valve, or, in some cases, cleaning and resealing the vent valve has been successful. You can get an estimate for this repair here.

    A worn, missing, or loose gas cap can cause the same issues.

    The 1999-2008 Acura TL has brake caliper issues, which are known for causing vibration and grinding noises at all times.

    The brake rotor is a disk that sits between two brake pads. The brake pads are squeezed against the disk by what is called a brake caliper. When that caliper gets stuck, the brake pads are permanently pressed against the rotor causing:

  • Vibration in brake pedal
  • Vibration on steering wheel
  • Illumination of the ABS or brake warning light
  • Grinding noise from one corner of the vehicle
  • Vehicle pulls to one side of the road
  • Braking requires more pressure on the brake pedal
  • The repair for a seized brake caliper, the brake pads, brake rotor, and brake caliper must be replaced or vibration will remain after the new caliper is installed. Changing the brake fluid and flushing the brake system according to manufacturer specified intervals can help improve longevity of the brake caliper.

    The exhaust recirculation valve (EGR) on the 1995-2014 Acura TL may fail, causing:

  • Illumination of the check engine light
  • OBD trouble codes P0401 and P1491
  • Rough idle
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Engine vibrations
  • Hesitation or stalling
  • Long cranking before engine starts
  • Failure of state or federal smog tests
  • The EGR valve has open and closed positions, and opens or closes on command from the computer.

    Exhaust gases constantly pass through the valve when it is open, leaving carbon deposits on the valve. These carbon deposits may lead the the valve sticking in the open or closed position.

    To correct this issue, sometimes it is sufficient to clean the valve, but replacement is recommended in all cases.

    For further information on your vehicle's issue, try out our diagnostics tool here.

    The 1995-2006 Acura TL commonly has issues with the fuel pump and fuel injection relays.

    These relays send power to the fuel pump and fuel injectors when the key is turned to the “ON” position. So, when they fail, there is no electrical current to the necessary fuel system components to send fuel into the engine, causing engine stalling or failure to start.

    In this situation, there are many other possibilities, so testing components is vital for time and money savings.

    If the relays test bad, they must be replaced with relays specific for that circuit.

    To help prolong the life of your under-hood electrical components, ensure the lid for the fuse block is closed, and any factory sealing material is correctly installed.

    The starter motor used on the 1995-2006 Acura TL frequently fails on vehicles around 125,000 miles.

    It may help prolong the life of the starter to service the starter to ensure the connections are clean and tight at the 100,000 mile mark.

    The automatic transmission tends to malfunction more often than in similar models. The Check Engine Light may or may not illuminate.

    Automatic transmission problems are common and these transmissions have high failure rates.  Acura has voluntarily extended the warranty on many of its automatic transmissions, so be sure to check with an Acura dealership to confirm warranty coverage.

    Automatic Transmission May Fail Prematurely

    The exhaust manifold commonly fails on the 5 cylinder engine and may develop an exhaust leak that is especially noticeable when the car is cold.