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How Many Miles Can An Acura TL Last? (+Reliability Scores)

How Many Miles Can An Acura TL Last? (+Reliability Scores)

How many miles can an Acura TL last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand TL, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, an Acura TL lasts between 240.000 – 270.000 miles. A TL needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.36 times per year, with a 9% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, TL owners spend an average of $467 per year on repair costs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles a TL can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a TL costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems the car can have. Read on!

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Also read: The Types Of Gas An Acura TL Uses (Explained)

How Many Miles Can An Acura TL Last?

To know how many miles an Acura TL lasts, we have conducted some serious research, gone through the database of Autotrader.com to retrieve factual data, and compiled all of the research.

Our research showed that out of 877 Maximas for sale on autotrader.com, 29.99% had crossed the 150.000 mile mark. This is a good number, given that, after analyzing more than 100+ models on this blog, we expect a percentage between 3 – 5%. The TL ends up far above this estimate simply because it has been out of production since 2014. This has given older models the time to rack up miles, whereas there are no newer models to drag the average down.

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+29.99%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.00037.29%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99929.65%
Cars With 0 – 44.9993.07%

It turns out that the TL performs very well on our first reliability test, but we have many more to ensure that this vehicle is reliable or not. For example, it’s also essential to compare the TL to its competitors and other Acuras to better understand how many miles this car can last. Let’s continue.

Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other vehicles regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)

silver 2005 acura tl for sale on autotrader.com with an asking price of $5995 and 286.577 miles on the odometer.
At the time of updating this article, this is the highest mileage Acura TL for sale on Autotrader.com

How Reliable Is Acura TL Compared To Its Competitors?

The first thing that will decide whether or not it’s truly reliable is where it stands among the competitors. The competition will give us a broader picture of what we should expect from a vehicle like the Acura TL and what numbers are actually good in terms of reliability.

ModelSample SizeExpected MileageHighest Mileage
Acura TL877265.000330.000
BMW 3 Series10.398240.000250.000
Mazda 62.915215.000290.000
Lexus ES3501.452215.000350.000
Infiniti G35331205.000250.000
Audi A43.963190.000250.000
Subaru WRX4.750200.000250.000

So, after all the work, it has come to light that none of the other vehicles come close to the Acura TL in terms of potential mileage. The Acura TL has an expected mileage of 265.000 and we have models that have recorded mileages as high as 330.000. The BMW 3-Series comes close when we look at expected average mileage, whereas the Lexus ES350 does beat the TL when we look at the highest recorded mileage. However, all in all, it´s clear the TL is a very sturdy vehicle.

How Reliable Is An Acura TL Compared To Other Acuras?

Knowing how the Acura TL performs compared to other Acuras is valuable because it gives us an idea of what can be expected of the brand as a whole in terms of reliability. When we compare the TL to the other Acuras we see that the TL beats the other Acuras. However, this is also because the TLX, RDX, and MDX are younger in most cases which skews the numbers quite a bit.

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Acura TL87726329.99%310.000
Acura TLX3782401.06%140.000
Acura MDX50673687.26%280.000
Acura RDX40891072.62%235.000

However, we do have to say that the numbers do seem a little disappointing, especially for the TLX and the RDX. The TLX has been on the market since 2015 and the highest recorded mileage we found was one vehicle that had 140.000 miles. On the other hand, the RDX has been on the market since 2007 and only 2.62% of vehicles that were for sale have a mileage higher than 150.000.

So, it could be that Acuras just aren´t driven that much for longer distances (making them luxury city cars) or that Acura has recently sold many more of them skewing the numbers (making most of the sample group much younger). However, looking at sales numbers of Acura, we see that Acura has been selling around the same number of vehicles since 2012.

Overall, the TL does seem to be the most reliable model of them all. Maybe the other ones still need time to prove themselves.

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

One of the most important factors you should keep in mind on top of the buying cost is maintenance costs. Compared to the TLs competition, this annual maintenance is excellent. Good means that the costs are low, which is again a plus for the Acura TL.

Model YearAnnual Maintenance Cost
2007$419
2008$442
2009$427
2010$450
2011$482
2012$484
2013$450
2014$465

On average, you would be spending $467 per year to keep your TL healthy and running. This price point is excellent. We have seen some of the competitors going way over $500. So it turns out that the TL has won even in the battle of maintenance cost. Furthermore, there are no specific model years that stand out negatively making us believe the TL has been a reliable car throughout its generation.

Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining An Acura

Owners’ Reviews Of The TLs Reliability

Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the TL. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Cars.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.

Acura TL owner ratings on kelley blue book, edmunds and cars.com

Overall, the reviews are positive across the board. Owners of the TL don´t seem to experience many problems with their vehicles. Furthermore, the TL is a bargain compared to similar luxury vehicles such as BMW. Furthermore, it has solid looks, performance, and driveability. The earlier versions were considered a little less fun than the later ones but overall they were well worth the money. The quote below sums up the sentiment rather well:

Own one since brand new. Handed to my daughter after 8 years and 50k miles. Have not spent any money except oil changes and tires. Hoping to keep for another several years. Great blend of performance and reliability. Very solid drive.

Source, 2014 owner

Acura TL Common Problems

There have been many “Yays” for the TL, so now we look into the “Nays” of the TL to make sure that you get the best deal. You need to know the common problems that the TLs have, and when you understand these problems, you can differentiate the bad TLs from the good ones when buying one.

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.

Flashing D4/D5 and Check Engine Lights

One of the most common problems in Acura TL is the flashing of the D4 or D5 light and check engine light (mainly in 1999 – 2003 models). If rough shifting occurs, then the most probable culprit is the failure of mechanical transmission. If the transmission is normal, the next probable cause might be a faulty sensor, loose wiring to the transmission, or dirty transmission fluid. Check technical service bulletin 02-027 for more information on the matter.

A used transmission for the replacement will range from $800 to $1500, while a new transmission will cost anywhere from $1300 to $3400

Automatic Transmission Failure

Premature automatic transmission failure is another one of the most common problems in Acura TL. The problem was so common that the manufacturer extended the warranty on the transmission, so be sure to check if the transmission has been changed. It’s best if it has already been changed. This problem mainly occurred in the 2009 – 2011 models. Check service bulletin 12-029 for more information on the matter.

The replacement of an automatic transmission can cost anywhere between $1800 and $3400, depending on whether you are looking for a used or a new one. Ensure to have the transmission of the models above 2011 because otherwise, you would end up with a faulty transmission again if you are looking for a used one.

Erratic Engine Idle Speed and Stalling Engine

An issue in the idle air control system might cause erratic idle in Acura TL, resulting in poor fuel mileage, and the illumination of check engine light with the ODB trouble code of P0505. In some cases, engine stalling is also a possibility.

As for the idle air control system issue, the cause might be the failure of the IACV. Vacuum lines, intake manifold gasket, throttle body gasket, and IACV parts should be inspected to pinpoint the actual cause of the problem. On average, the replacement cost for IACV is around $329.

Squeaking Front Door Glass

The squeaking front door glass can be taken care of with the replacement of the glass door seal. Although this is one of the most common problems Acura TL owners face, it can easily be dealt with. You can get a new one in the range of $25 to $59.

Is Acura TL A Smart Buy?

After considering all of the data and the facts, it’s clear that the Acura TL is, in fact, a reliable vehicle. And on top of that, they are going for very cheap in the used market. They also carry very reasonable maintenance costs compared to other luxury vehicles which is a big plus.

Make sure that you go for a clean title, low miles, and a well-maintained one. Check the service history as well.

The only thing you´ll need to keep an eye on is the fact that the transmission of the pre-2003 and the 2009 – 2011 TL is a bit problematic. It´s best to avoid those or, at the least, make sure they´ve been replaced or have not caused any problems throughout the years.

When you have bought your Acura TL, make sure to keep it maintained. We have put down the maintenance schedule that will keep your Acura TL running.

Acura TL Maintenance Schedule

If you want to keep your Acura TL healthy for a longer period of time, you must have it regularly maintained. If your Acura TL is regularly maintained, you won´t have to spend a lot on expensive repairs, and your precious Acura will go a long way before finally going to heaven.

Many manufacturers say you need to change the oil every 10,000 miles. However, this is typically said to lower maintenance costs. We recommend changing the oil at not more than 7000 miles. Earlier is better.

Before/On Every 10,000 Miles

  • Before every 10k miles, you have to change the engine oil, preferably, before 7k miles to have the best possible performance and reliability.
  • Brake inspections
  • Tire pressure check
  • Diagnosis for any check engine lights
  • Oil filter replacement
  • Check for any oil leaks

Before/On Every 20,000 Miles

  • Power steering check
  • Exhaust system check
  • Transmission fluid level check
  • Fuel lines inspection to make sure that there is no leakage

Before/On Every 40,000 Miles

  • Change fuel filter
  • Flush and change hydraulic fluid
  • Service fuel injectors
  • Inspect the valve cover gasket, and replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect the timing chain whether it’s in sync or not.

Note: If you regularly add extremely high-quality cans of petroleum in your gas tank, you can save some bucks on servicing internal components as the petroleum would do the cleaning job without needing to open anything. You can look up the term Sea Foam or something similar to any other brand of your choosing, and by adding that in your tank, the internals of your engine will remain happy.

Before/On Every 60,000 Miles

  • Replace the spark plug if the spark is orange
  • Rotate or replace the brake rotors as per requirement
  • Clean the fuel system. But if you regularly use the sea foam, you can save some bucks.
  • You might consider changing the timing chain at this point, as in most cases, by this time, the timing chain starts jumping, and that is not good, you will also hear a lot of rattles from the engine if the timing chain has lost its synchronization and has worn out.

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