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Andrew
Andrew, ASE Master Tech
Category: Acura
Satisfied Customers: 1703
Experience:  Master tech for 11 years.
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Acura 3.2 TL: Went to start up my 2000 Acura TL with about

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Went to start up my 2000 Acura TL with about 140K miles, transmission replaced a couple of years ago. It's trembling, shaking on ignition, engine light flashing, and TCS light on solid. Also smells like something is burning. Dealer says not to drive it - need to have towed. Have already put a lot into my "baby" in the past few years (see note about new transmission). Any ideas about what could be going on?

OnlineMasterTech :

Hello I will be glad to help you with your Acura questions today.

OnlineMasterTech :

They are correct.....if the engine light is flashing you should not drive it because the means there is a critical misfire that could damage the catalytic converter.

OnlineMasterTech :

Based on prior experience I would say the most common item to fail and cause this problem is a coil pack.

Customer:

ok. how much should I brace myself for possible costs to repair?

OnlineMasterTech :

Have you had the spark plugs replaced lately?

Customer:

and forgive my ignorance, but is that something inherent in the transmission or no?

OnlineMasterTech :

No it is what provides a spark to the cylinders in your engine. Your engine has 6 cylinders so you will have a coil pack for each cylinder. You likely only have one that has failed and it does not have anything to do with the transmission.

OnlineMasterTech :

List price for one coil pack is $55.23

Customer:

I just took her in to the dealer service on 3/5/13, and they did "intermediate service." No mention of spark plugs. I am over the top when it comes to servicing this car - all scheduled and mostly at dealer service centers (due to bad experiences elsewhere). based on the receipts I'm looking at, it seems it might be as long ago as 2009 the spark plugs were replaced...

Customer:

Oh phew!!!

Customer:

why would it smell like something's burning?

OnlineMasterTech :

Ok so it may not need plugs at this point if you have serviced the car that religiously.

OnlineMasterTech :

It could smell like that if the coil has shorted to the point where it starts to melt the plastic. I would have it towed to the dealer to prevent any future damage.

OnlineMasterTech :

I would hope that if there is not any damage past the coil pack that you would be able to get the job done for around $250 parts and labor.

Customer:

ok. that's worth it. After replacing the tranny a couple of years ago, we said no more major investments in this car. But... I love her! yup. I sound like a girl... funny, I'll probably spend more money towing her to the dealer than the actual repairs. But that's okay.

OnlineMasterTech :

Haha......that is Ok......if you love the car it is worth it to fix it.

OnlineMasterTech :

Just think how much a new car payment would be.

Customer:

to a certain point. But until I pass the bar exam and get a nice paying lawyer salary, I'd prefer to stay with her as long as I can...

OnlineMasterTech :

Well good luck with the exam......that has got to be tough to pass.

Customer:

Thank you VERY much for your help! I stick with the dealers usually because they've got all the service records available to them. And actually, when I had to replace the transmission, they were $1000 LESS than a private mechanic, and offered a better warranty. But it's worth the money to have a 2nd opinion when I go in there...

OnlineMasterTech :

That is great to hear on the dealer......I have been at a Honda dealer for over 12 years and we do whatever we can to stay competitive.

Customer:

To me.... a bar exam seems much easier than understanding how a vehicle works! So...we all have our strengths. ;)

Customer:

what part of the country are you in? Or can you say?

OnlineMasterTech :

Very true......I know my Honda's pretty good.

OnlineMasterTech :

I am in Tennessee.

Customer:

Rats. Would try and find your dealer if I could... But I think I'm in good hands up here. New to the area, so it's always a bit nerve wrecking.

Customer:

Ok, it's probably beer-thirty in your time zone, so I'll let you go. But thanks again for your help. I'll be sure to give you an excellent rating! Kind regards, Elizabeth

OnlineMasterTech :

Thank You Elizabeth and good luck with everything. Let me know if you have any other questions on your baby in the future.

Customer:

Will do! Cheers! :)

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