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2004 Acura TL MT Purchase


Topic starter
  • Just bought a 2004 Acura TL MT as a sort of project car. 137k miles for $2500 (less than $10 a horsepower :P) engine and the manual transmission seem to be in perfect shape, had two different mechanics check it out (as it was out of state) and I'll have my personal mechanic check it out tomorrow. So questions:

1) was it a good deal?

2) Door Locks unlock but don't lock, read online and people seem to find its because of a crappy MICU. Anyone else have this issue and did you manage to fix it?

3) I'm not sure if the timing belt has been changed, changing the timing belt consists of also removing the power steering pump and drive belt and an engine mount. I'd say I'm a novice at fixing cars, I changed motor mounts on my 2008 altima and some easier stuff. Should I attempt this? Any tips?

4) any best practices for caring for these Acuras?

Thanks guys! Love this community! 

5 Answers

Well they are actually the cars have taken care of but I definitely would change a timing belt those are interference engines.


Hmmmmmmmmmm, first you buy it, then ask if its a good deal?


Not bad on price, but definitely change out the timing belt. If you are a self-declared novice, I would have a reliable shop do the work. It is a pain and if something goes wrong it would be better if you had a warranty on the work vs doing it yourself and risking the motor.


I looked at a 2007 TL with more miles, and they wanted $4500 for it. It had issues, looked really beat interior, and in my opinion was a $2000 car. I walked away. In today's car market, yours is a reasonable price. Get the timing belt changed by a pro. You could probably find the door lock issue either in the forums, or somebody may have a video on Youtube.


I’m not a mechanic. Nor am I hardcore wrencher. 

I was able to change the timing belt / water pump on my 1999 Honda Accord, Acura’s consumer counterpart. BUT, the car was out of commission for weeks. I had to go back and forth to the store for tools. It was a pain in the rear end to change. 

What makes it a pain in the rear end? All the stuff I had to remove to get to the timing belt:

Valve cover

Power steering pump


Accessory belts

Driver side wheel

Harmonic balancer 

and more!

If you have the time (lots of time), the inclination to learn, and can have the car out of commission for a week or too, it is a good but painful experience.

If you need your car up and running, take it to a trusted mechanic to change the timing belt and water pump.