One of the most common interior issues that plague the 2nd generation Acura CL (years 2000-2003) is the separation of the arm rest on both the driver side and passenger side doors. At the time of this writing, these cars are approximately two decades old and the age and wear will have taken its toll. The glue that holds door to the plastic switch trim ends up separating and looks something like this.
On the second generation Acura CL (and many other Acura & Honda models), the SRS light may come on and stay illuminated on the dashboard. If you want to resolve the error codes, the only way is to fix the issue that is triggering the SRS code(s) and then reset the SRS light. This usually means replacing the seat buckle that is throwing the code (front driver’s side, front passenger’s side, or either side’s rear seat.) Then, an Acura dealership will be able to reset the SRS diagnostic trouble code. If you own a special OBDII scan tool that can reset SRS codes, you can use that to reset the SRS light.
For the Acura CL including the Type-S (model years 2000-2003), it is recommended that the cabin air filter be changed out every 24 months, or every 30,000 miles—whichever comes first. This is the same replacement interval as the engine air filter, so it may make sense to do them both at the same time.
A very simple maintenance item you can do on your 2nd generation Acura CL (including Type-S models) is to replace the engine air filter. This applies to model years 2000-2003. Acura also calls the engine air filter the air cleaner element and recommends replacing it every 30,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first. Changing the engine air filter is incredibly easy on this car and takes 5 minutes to do.
The 2nd generation Acura CL utilizes a remote key fob to gain entry into the vehicle. There are times when you may have lost a remote key fob, or need to program an extra one. However, if you do this through the dealership, you may end up paying $100 or more for the remote and for them to program it for you. But, it is possible for you to program your own remote key fob.
When I purchased my Acura CL-S from the original owner a couple years back, I continued to use the OEM battery that was installed. Since I didn’t get to drive the car much, the battery had gone dead several times already and after jumping it and recharging it so many times, I felt it was probably about time to replace the battery. Plus, it would be nice to get a battery that had some more cold-cranking amps (CCA’s) to help with cold starts.
I’ve had enough of the existing PGM-FI relay issues and decided to finally just replace the relay. To my relief, these things are not expensive if you purchase them aftermarket. And to my surprise, the replacement part works like a charm.
As I continue to slowly do work on my 2003 Acura CL-S to get it back in proper shape, I had to address one of the issues that I experience every time I take the car out for a drive to keep the battery from dying. And that’s a simple one: the windshield wiper blades. The original wiper blades that came with the car have fallen apart and the rubber portion was barely hanging on by a thread. Every time I turned on the wiper blades, I’d hear screeching as the metal parts of the wiper arm scratched against the windshield. Although this is an easy fix, it’s a very effective one and is a good reminder to regularly change out the wiper blades on your car.
The oil change on an Acura CL Type-S is straight forward. The car has a low clearance already, so a pair of car ramps and/or jack and jackstands will be needed to gain access from underneath. Besides that, the oil and oil filter replacement is pretty standard procedure. My 2nd Generation Acura CL Type-S (2001-2003 model years) takes 4.6 quarts of motor oil, specifying either a 5W-20 or a 5W-30 weight oil depending on the year of your car. Either weight motor oil will suffice with the 5W-20 improving cold engine starting and slightly better fuel economy. Whether you have a 2001 through 2003 model year, an Acura CL or an Acura CL Type-S (2nd gen), or an automatic or a manual, there is an oil capacity of 4.6 quarts.