In 2014, Acura made a bold move by combining two of its older vehicle models, the TL and TSX. The result is a performance-focused, premium sedan with class-leading reliability known as the Acura TLX.
However, the Acura TLX has a few mechanical problems. The most commonly reported mechanical issue with the Acura TLX is related closely to its transmission.
In this article, we’ll look at the common problems with Acura TLX transmission and how to go about them.
Acura TLX Transmission Problems
1. Jerking Transmission Between Gears
If you notice these signs, it means your Acura TLX has a transmission issue, especially if you own a 2015 Acura TLX:
- Lurching forward
- Jolting all the time
- Jerking and hesitation
- Slamming into gear, especially during acceleration, and when slowing down.
These signs are more noticeable when your Acura TLX is warmed up and when it is cold. Your vehicle may sometimes jerk from one gear to another. It may also hesitate between gears, occasionally making driving a challenge.
You can resolve this transmission issue by getting the gear mechanism flushed. You may also need to update the software of the transmission. However, updating the software may not work for every Acura TLX owner.
Your mechanic should be able to recommend the next step to take to resolve the problem.
2. Shifting-to-Park Transmission Problems
If you are driving your Acura TLX and the vehicle shifts to park or you find it difficult to shift to park, it could be a transmission problem. The warning lights will light up your dashboard, and your vehicle may lose power and stall suddenly.
Your Acura TLX may also suddenly decelerate and roll forward when you shift it into park. You may also find it challenging to shift to park or shift from park. All these are signs that your Acura TLX transmission is bad.
You may need to take your Acura TLX to a dealership to have its computer programmed/re-flashed.
3. Solenoid Problems
The solenoid controls fluid flow throughout a transmission. If your Acura TLX transmission suddenly starts slipping, and you checked and noticed no transmission fluid leaks, the solenoid could be the culprit.
In some cases, insufficient transmission fluid levels and other electrical problems can severely damage the solenoid.
Therefore, in the absence of a transmission fluid leak, check the solenoid and replace it immediately to restore your Acura TLX transmission.
4. Transmission Fluid Leaks or Low Levels
Transmission fluid leaks or low transmission fluid levels remain among the most common transmission issues. Leakages cause transmission fluid to get low and insufficient for the transmission system. Causes of transmission fluid leaks could be faulty seals or a defective driveshaft.
Signs of low transmission fluid or fluid leaks include slow shifting or gear slippage.
Sometimes, the coolant from the radiator contaminates the transmission fluid in a condition known as cross-contamination. Your transmission system may malfunction if this happens.
Check and replace the transmission gasket leaks to stop leakages. In addition, your mechanic needs to confirm that the coolant does not contaminate the transmission fluid for optimal performance.
If the fluid is contaminated with the coolant, you may have to flush the transmission entirely and refill it with its recommended fluid.
5. Torque Converter Issues
Transmissions and torque converters are the primary sources of many issues that cause complete transmission failure or damage. For example, one major problem with torque converters is damaged or worn-out needle bearings.
If the needle bearings warm up, you will mostly hear strange noises—like brushing or grinding sounds from your Acura TLX transmission while in driving gears. But when your vehicle is in neutral, the transmission stops making noise.
Get your Acura TLX to a reliable service center to check the torque converter. The needle bearings, if damaged or worn out, may require replacement.
6. Clutch Issues
The clutch can be found within the torque converter and may occasionally get jammed. When this occurs, the solenoid gets locked, and the amount of transmission fluid within the torque converter isn’t calculated correctly.
You have clutch problems when the underside of your Acura TLX shakes violently, producing extremely high heat levels within your transmission. There will also be a considerable drop in your Acura TLX’s power output.
Can You Drive an Acura TLX with a Bad Transmission?
It is generally not a good idea to drive your Acura TLX with a bad transmission. As soon as confirm that your Acura TLX transmission has issues, find your way to the nearest Acura mechanic as soon as possible.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Acura TLX Transmission?
According to GetJerry.com, the average cost of replacing an Acura TLX transmission ranges from $1,500 to $3,800. However, the exact price range depends primarily on specifics such as the model year of your Acura TLX, your location, and the extent of damage to the transmission.
The average labor costs, including fees and taxes, have not been factored in. In addition, related repairs may also be required, which will cost you a few more dollars.
Which Acura TLX Model Year Has the Highest Transmission Issue?
According to Car Problem Zoo and Car Complaints, the Acura TLX model year with the highest transmission issue is the 2015 Acura TLX. Transmission jerks between shifts were the most reported problem on Car Complaints, which usually occurred at an approximate mileage of 4,000 miles.
A software update usually rectifies this problem at zero cost to Acura TLX owners.
Which Acura TLX Model Has the Least Transmission Issue?
The 2021 Acura TLX has zero transmission issues. In fact, it is Acura’s best model year so far, as it hasn’t received any complaints to date.
Has Acura Ever Recalled Any TLX Model Year for Transmission Issues?
Acura recalled the 2015 TLX for an automatic transmission parking pawl that could become contaminated and the parking rod broken or dislodged. When these issues occur, it could prevent the transmission from shifting into ‘Park,’ causing the vehicle to roll away on its own.
The 2015 Acura TLX was also recalled because of issues with its wire harness (causing deficient crimps). The insufficient crimps may cause the transmission to shift to neutral unexpectedly. This can increase the risk of an auto crash while in motion.
Tips to Make Your Acura TLX’s Transmission Last Longer
The following tips will help prolong the lifespan of your Acura TLX’s transmission:
- Try to change your oil every 3 to 6 months or approximately 3,000 to 7,500 miles. Consult your owner’s manual for the specific recommendations for your own Acura TLX model.
- Replace your coolant after every 2 to 3 years.
- Drain your transmission fluid and refill every 60,000 to 100,000 miles for an automatic transmission and approximately 30,000 to 60,000 miles for a manual transmission.
The Acura TLX is not without problems. And one problem you may experience with this vehicle is a bad transmission system.
However, these issues don’t happen without signs. So, take your car to a mechanic once you notice any symptoms of transmission issues.
Also, following the maintenance tips outlined in the previous section will help prolong the life of your Acura TLX transmission