Six Interesting Firsts from Acura RL
- 1995 saw a milestone in the automobile transmission system in the form of one of Acura RL parts. This time around, connecting rods were block-forged, resulting in a more efficient engine operation where connecting rod motions are smoother yet more rigid. Connecting rods are the ones responsible for providing fluid movement within the engine and a problem with one rod can cause a lot for an engine.
- In 1997, Acura RL brought yet another first in automobile technology by offering a satellite-linked navigation system that is installed right into the dashboard. This special feature allows the driver to know his or her exact location with the help of a satellite. Its print advertisement says that the system works "so you'll never lose the directions."
- In 1999, Acura RL takes pride in being a pioneer in the Dual-Stage Passenger SRS. The airbag system works in varying deployment powers. If the Acura RL experiences a low-speed collision, the airbag inflators in the dashboard will be activated in sequence with less initial force. During high-speed collision, however, these inflators will be triggered at the same time to produce greater impact force to protect the driver and passenger. This system works with the seatbelts which automatically tightens when a collision is detected. The Acura RL was the first automobile to ever possess such system.
- Another first from Acura RL came in the year 2004 when it introduced a system that brings customer support to a whole new level. The system is a satellite-linked communication feature is one of the Acura RL accessories that allow the owner to directly communicate with Acura offices. This saves a lot of time and effort in troubleshooting and fixing small problems in the car.
- As many all know, Acura is a subsidiary of the Japanese make Honda. The year 2004 proved how generous a parent Honda is by allowing Acura RL to be the first vehicle to carry Honda's Super Handling - All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. This all-wheel-drive system is equipped with torque-vectoring capabilities for a more efficient drive even on the roughest climates.
- Acura RL is also the first automobile to have wheels that utilize the Helmholtz resonators in the year 2012. This feature boasts of reducing interior noise and insulating outside noise for over 15 percent. Minimal as it seems but a number of car critics commend this upgrade as it eventually contributes to ride comfort and luxury.
Acura RL Problems
Acura RL has always been in the shadow, enjoying its anonymity. However, despite almost unimpressive features, sales are still amusingly intact and the model still remains in production. However, Acura is currently doing major improvements to the RL. And since the model has not unleashed its full potential yet, there are some common problems in some Acura RL parts that current owners encounter.
All vehicles in general encounter issues with the suspension system, and Acura RL is no exclusion from that. The common suspension problem with the Acura RL suspension system is the lower ball joints and control arms. Since these parts are always subject to abuse each and every ride, they are prone to corrosion and damage. They are also the ones that support the car body when driving, so worn suspension parts should be replaced immediately.
In the year 1998, Acura did a recall of the lower ball joints and control arms, replacing these parts for approximately 124,875 units.
Needless to say, the braking system of Acura RL is a very important component of the vehicle. It is the most important safety feature an automobile can have. Unfortunately, the RL is not immune to problems with the braking system. A common one is with the brake stop switch. This switch often leaks, exposing different internal parts with brake fluids that may contaminate them. This may result in malfunctions of various parts.
In 2002, Acura made a recall for this particular issue where 25,765 units were affected. The dealers did free cleaning of the internal parts and replaced the brake stop switch with a new and more durable one.
The coil wire that can be seen in relay of the fuel pump is not one of the Acura RL accessories. It helps in delivering fuel to the engine body. This particular part has the tendency to break, reducing the power of the fuel pump to the point where it no longer delivers fuel when needed to. The bad thing about it is that the vehicle can stop without any warning if things get worse. This may cause serious road accidents.
This is precisely why in 2007, Acura made a recall of the coil wire to 166,561 affected units. In this particular recall, Acura dealers inspected the fuel pump and replaced the whole relay if problems were detected.
Top 5 Acura RL Maintenance Tips
Earlier Acura RL models were noted for their eccentricity, particularly in terms of style and design, and have never equaled the rest of the members of its luxury pack. However, the second-generation models manufactured from 2005 until 2012 were revamped in a way that they offered classier interior features and more impressive driving traction. Maintaining such a car calls for more effort on your part. But you don't have to worry because we have here some important tips to help you maintain your vehicle.
- Maintenance makes the difference.
The key to a long-lasting vehicle is proper maintenance. Older and high-mileage vehicles require the same attention as any brand new one. As a car owner, you should dedicate your time, effort, and money to regular and proper maintenance, so you would not find yourself scratching your head while staring at the bill because your vehicle broke down. Proper maintenance includes regular fluid checks, flushing out, and replacement. The type of oil, grease, and brake fluid being used has a direct impact on the efficiency of the vehicle. Lubrication is an important thing to pay attention to. Cleaning both the vehicle's interior and exterior parts makes them look good through the years.
Your tires have to endure the daily rigors of driving and soon, the pressure could eventually take its toll on them, especially in the absence of proper tire care. As a general rule, tires should be rotated when the 5,000 km to 8,000 km mileage mark has been reached. Also, brake dust, when combined with road grime, moisture, and heat generated from the brakes could stick on the wheels and produce static electricity. Weekly inspection of tire pressure is also a must to keep your fuel efficiency in check. Bald and worn out tires should be replaced immediately to avoid road accidents.
- Take care of your engine.
When the engine is in good condition, rest assured that your vehicle would run smoothly. Be sure to piously check on the rubber drive belts which make up the entire engine system from the alternator down to the A/C compressor. Lubrication is the key. Too high or too low oil level could do more harm than good. Using the dipstick, ensure that your oil level is in between the high and low gauge. Coolant level should also be in between the high and low level to guarantee your vehicle would not stall due to overheating.
- Use the right kind of fuel or gas.
Check your vehicle manual to know the prescribed fuel or gas. There is a certain type that is required for each engine that ensures appropriate octane and power is achieved for optimum performance.
- Maintain the good condition of your paint finish.
Treat your vehicle's exterior bodywork like you would do your face. Bird droppings and other residues could considerably taint your vehicle's paint. To keep its brand new look, use a decent quality wax and polish, after washing your car. Not only would it give your vehicle a presentable look, but it would likewise save you from the skyrocketing costs of bodyworks.
Refined and Luxurious: The Year-by-Year Developments in the Life of an Acura RL
The RL, an abbreviation for “refined luxury”, is the flagship midsize sedan by Japanese luxury brand Acura and is manufactured in Saitama. Here are changes it underwent through the years.
First generation (1996-2004): The introduction
The first-generation 3.5RL, known as the “KA9”, was introduced to the North American market in 1996 to replace the Acura Legend. The “Legend” name was dropped when market research showed consumers knew Acura’s products by model names, for example, “Legend” or “Integra”, without associating them with the manufacturer, Acura.
The 3.5RL got a front and rear facelift with xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, integrated fog lights, revised bumpers and hoods, and driver- and front passenger-side airbags in 1999.
In 2000, a larger navigation system screen was added, along with easy-to-replace DVD map databases. By 2002, it had painted lower trim and mudflaps along with redesigned alloys and a sportier suspension setup. More insulation was also added to the engine compartment.
The navigation system became standard, along with a redesigned center console and chrome door lock pulls, in the 2003 and 2004 RLs. The 1996-2004 3.5RL’s engine was the last in the Acura lineup not to use the variable valve timing system (VTEC), but was instead outfitted with a 3.5-liter 90-degree V6 engine known as the C35A.
Second generation (2005-2013): The unraveling
Known as the “KB1”, the new-generation car which was launched late 2004 for the model year 2005 featured a sophisticated all-wheel drive system and traction control to improve handling called “Super Handling All-Wheel Drive”.
It was the first all-wheel-drive system to vary the distribution of power not only from front to back but also from side to side using a technique called torque vectoring, directing up to 70 percent of available torque to the rear wheels and up to 100 percent of that available rear torque to just one wheel.
A very interesting feature on the 2005 RL included a keyless entry system which allowed the driver to both lock and unlock the car by touching the door handle, doing away with the need to use a remote control.
XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth hands-free technology, and voice recognition—the system can recognize spoken city and street names and send a variety of messages to the car including appointment reminders—comprised the vehicle’s technological offerings.
The car was installed with a unique heating and air conditioning system that can automatically send cooling air to the sunny side to keep the passenger there comfortable, while not freezing the occupant on the shady side.
In 2006, the RL had the “Technology Package” which included three new features: adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, and Michelin PAX system run-flat tires. This model year also allowed the installation of an optional rearview camera.
Additional insulation, improved isolation acoustic windshield design, and a new implementation of the Active Noise Cancellation system combined to make the 2009 RL’s interior quieter, not only canceling out low frequency boominess from the engine and exhaust, but also doing away with higher frequency road and tire noise.
The 2011-2013 Acura saw the onset of new features which included a six-speed automatic transmission, credited by the Environmental Protection Agency for a gas mileage improvement of 2 miles per gallon in highway driving; power folding mirrors; and rear backup/parking sensors.