2007 Acura TL is a Hot Mess

Driving my car has become a terrifying experience lately, and it’s only been getting worse. I’m getting desperate since I have no mechanical experience and everyone thinks I’m crazy because no mechanics can find anything wrong with it. :confounded:

Background info:
-150,000 miles
-Had all calipers, rotors, brakes pads, brake hoses, front control arm bushings, rear sway bar linkages, and tie rod ends replaced in the past year, along with 2 alignments.
-Car has has 2 safety inspections in the past month at different mechanics. The most recent one 2 weeks ago found nothing wrong.
-A year ago, the old calipers all seized one by one on the car, subjecting nearby parts to extreme heat.
-Suspension components I have not mentioned replacing are original. It still has the original bearings, shocks, etc.

-Unstable, weaves side to side at speeds over 20mph.
-Steering wheel does not turn along with the weaving.
-Brake pedal feels “loose”. Car still stops fine.
-Very noisy, cyclical warbling and intermittent humming that gets louder at higher speeds.
-Faint burning smell, coming from wheel wells, especially the front wheels.
-Cupping on all tires.

Possible causes:
-Bad bearings
-Bad shocks
-Seized caliper(s)

I jacked up the car in an attempt to test it myself, but I could not rock the wheels at all, nor could I get them to spin freely (in Neutral, engine off). Brake fluid levels are normal, trans fluid is normal, oil is normal, and the only thing that looks suspicious is that the driver rear wheel well rim is ~1 inch closer to the top of the tire than the passenger rear.

I swear I’m not crazy… :cold_sweat:

You say you’re not crazy, but you continue to drive a car that is unstable and weaves above 20 mph.

How old are your tires?
I don’t care how much tread is left, I care about actual age.

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Has anyone offered to replace these noisy tires? Are they the stock size?

I don’t think I saw you mention ball joints being replaced. Have those checked ASAP. In fact, if that’s really the cause of the wobble, you might be wise to have the car towed in, because your wheel might be just about to snap off.

Not real sure what you mean by that. Soft, maybe? Goes farther down than it used to? Look at the master cylinder - that’s a sign that fluid is leaking past the piston seal.

Between that and the cupping, you need shocks. Sounds about right - I sold my 2007 a couple years ago and it was starting to display signs that it was going to need shocks.

Could be a sticking caliper again. If the fluid was contaminated before and they replaced the calipers without replacing the fluid, the new calipers could have been contaminated by old fluid. Or you might have just gotten a bum caliper. Is it coming from ALL of the wheel wells?

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The tires are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ and are 2 years old. No one has offered to replace them, but I have been told that they should smooth out over time.

I don’t plan on continuing to drive the car after its especially bad performance today. It was wishy-washy about the weaving and stability for a couple days, but today it became obvious. Sounds insane, but I need to get it to a point where the problem is hopefully obvious to a mechanic, because otherwise I’ll just be wasting my time.

I believe the ball joints are original, so I’ll bring that up with the mechanic.
The brake pedal has a lot less resistance that it did before, which makes it feel kind of loose to me. I did bring up the master cylinder last time, and the mechanic could not find anything, but he didn’t say anything about checking for internal leaks.
Yep, all of the wheel wells smell funky to a degree. I stuck my face in there and everything. The only one that might not is the passenger rear.

Oh no, I was worried it would need new shocks. Yeah… that would be too expensive to make the repair worth it on such an old car. I really liked this car, it’s sad I probably have to give it up already. I could get a quote, and do the repair if it’s good… I might just turn it in as-is, I’ve wasted enough money already.

Thankfully, I might have time soon to look for a new car. Until then, rental.

They’ll just get worse, nothing you can do will make them get better.

If you live long enough, hopefully you don’t kill someone else driving this death trap.

You think new shocks will cost to much, wait until you see the lawsuit for killing that family of 5 when you have the accident.

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An abnormality or discomfort that is not obvious to another person that drives the vehicle does not seem to be a threat to other motorists.

I dunno. I hesitate to say anything but you have so many multiple issues that you are maybe going to need to focus with a decent mechanic. Cupped tires are not normal and could be tires, alignment, shocks, etc. I just think you maybe are not getting good advice.

I barely had 30,000 miles on my Park Ave. and one rear tire became severely cupped.
turned out it was a bad alignment from either the factory or from transport. The tire shop was the one that actually diagnosed and fixed it. I had worn inner tie rods on another car and the steering was loose and would jump some on the pavement. That was a pretty clear diagnosis. On another car, I had just had an alignment done but going around a curve at speed on a wet road made me sweat. I ended up taking it to an old guy that had been in business since the 60’s to look at it. He called me at work and insisted I stop by to see the trouble. I told him just to fix it but he insisted. Well out of about four body mounts for the front cradle, only one was still intact. The alignment shop never caught it. I’ve never had any brake problems so you may have something going on there too.

Point is you need to find someone that can take a good look but cheap? Probably not if you need a front end overhaul and brake work. I had an 08 TL and the car was solid on the road so no reason yours can’t be restored at a price. Then again there is always trading.

I’m not being a cheapskate; I’m reaching my limit after pouring over $8,000 into this car. I’ve been to multiple dealerships with this car, including Acura dealerships, but they’ve actually been the worst at diagnosing anything. I’ve been hopping mechanics trying to find one that can help. Many times have I gone to get the car repaired, confident that they would find something this time, only to hear that the car feels great and nothing’s out-of-order. When the brakes started feeling loose, I got a rental as soon as possible because I thought the brakes were going to give out and took the car to get repaired, and then took it to another mechanic when the first one didn’t find anything. When the second didn’t find anything either, I took it to a third. When the third didn’t find anything, I started doubting myself.
I would think the dealerships/mechanics would start getting nitpicky since I’m asking them to double-check while primed to throw money at them. This car must really seem perfectly fine to them.

The only thing I can think of is that as someone who drives this car everyday, the changes in behavior are alarming to me, but to someone who doesn’t, this car feels like a new car (I’ve been complimented on how nice it drives many times, to my dismay). The suspension feels “sporty” and the brake pedal feels exactly like the brake pedals in the new rentals I’ve been driving. The weaving is not extreme; moving side to side maybe a couple of inches on only straight roads, and feels more like the car is just getting jostled by strong winds, but I know the car shouldn’t be getting pushed around that easily, nor should it have an sort of rhythm to it. The noise also does not seem strange to any of the shops I’ve taken it to.

I’ve taken it into a mechanic every couple of weeks for 2 years straight, but it’s STILL having problems. That is why I’m reluctant to blow thousands of more dollars on this car when it seems incapable of being fixed. I’ll tell wherever I turn/trade it in that I don’t think it’s safe to drive, or I might just scrap it if I get upset enough.

You still haven’t answered how old the tires are, being cupped could be the only problem.

Yes they did…


What kind of mechanic? Local, independent ones with good reviews or the local branch of Car-X? To me it sounds like your mechanics aren’t doing a good job diagnosing problems. This is not a difficult car to work on. It’s basically a gussied up Accord. But if your mechanic is telling you that cupped tires will smooth out over time, then you’ve got yourself a bad mechanic. It’s not that the car is incapable of being fixed, it’s that the mechanic is incapable of fixing cars. :wink:

If I were in your shoes I would find an independent mechanic who specializes in Hondas and take it there assuming the shop’s reviews are good. I know it sucks that you’ve sunk all this money into it, but going forward, you need to evaluate whether it’s cheaper to fix it (correctly, with someone who is competent) or replace it.

As part of your calculations, if your car is nearing a 6-digit odometer reading (100k, 200k, etc) then it’s probably getting close to needing a timing belt unless it’s already been done at a weird interval.

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Has the car been crashed? Any non-stock suspension parts, especially lowering kits or the like?

(Honda/Acura is a favorite of the see-my-latest-mods people.)

Are the tire pressures correct? Have the wheels been checked for straightness?

Whoever told you that is wrong.
If it was a mechanic or someone at a tire shop, I wouldn’t trust his opinion on anything else.
If it was a friend, just smile, nod, and ignore what he tells you regarding car repairs.


I’m trying to quote multiple replies, but having a bit of hard time figuring it out.

I’ve mostly taken it to dealerships, both Acura and Honda, but since they weren’t working I’ve been going to highly rated independent mechanics and big brand chain locations that got good reviews in the area. I just looked up an independent Acura specialist, and there seems to be one 45mins away! Good thing I have a tow plan.
I thought only dealerships specialized, thanks! :exploding_head:
The timing belt was replaced at 100,000miles.

The car has all OEM parts as far as I know, except for the calipers because oem calipers for my car aren’t made anymore, and possibly the control arm bushings. Unknown what kit mechanic used. Pretty sure no lowering kits, but do you know what the stock ride height is supposed to be?
This car has 2 accidents in its history, one under the previous owner, one under me. Previous owner: hit a deer, front end was partially folded inward, car could still function somewhat normally after impact. Me: coworker bumped their car into my car’s driver rear quarter panel while it was parked. Minor damage; inspected by both our insurance companies, dent repaired, repainted, wheel was replaced.

I keep the tire pressure at 35psi, since I’ve bent wheels if I keep it lower (bent wheels have been replaced). The car had a complete alignment 4 weeks ago.

An Acura dealership, a Honda dealership, and a pushy family member who is an automotive engineer have told me that the tires would smooth out, so I didn’t know what to think lol. :grimacing: I totally believe you, because the advice from those guys hasn’t helped at all.

Are these the original model of Acura wheels or aftermarket? Wrong wheels can mess up the careful engineering of the suspension.

Are the tires the size indicated on the sticker inside the driver’s door? Is the air pressure?

I’d trade the car in on a new one, and/or put it on Craigslist as a “mechanic’s special.”

I have no idea how much your car is worth…but don’t expect to get anywhere near what you’re put into the repairs back.

Good luck.

If they won’t sell you tires why not you to a tire shop? A set of Michelins will cost about $1000.

I’m starting to wonder if this is like my neighbor who pestered the car dealers so much that no one would deal with him in town. Telling you that cupped tires will improve on their own might just be their way of saying they don’t want to deal with it anymore?

I hate to say it but sometimes the answer is to buy a brand new car with a warranty instead of continuing to beat your head against the wall. After spending $8000 on and 07 model and still no resolution, that same money might have put you in the drivers seat of a new car.