Acura tl 2004 manual 6 speed reverse gear problem

I have Acura TL 2004 manual transmission. It has only 49k on it. All of the sudden it wont go into reverse gear, but all the other gears are shifting smoothly and i don’t seems to have any problem with clutch while shifting. I took it to the dealer and they did some kind a diagnostic and didn’t find anything. I would really appreciate if someone could tell me what could it be the problem.

Have you try shifting into a forward gear first, then shifting to reverse with the clutch applied?

I can’t speak for Acura, but this procedure helped with a manual transmission Ford and Chevy.

Ed B.

I tried doing that, but no luck. When i try to put in reverse it doesn’t go all the way back just get stuck there.


Describe EXACTLY what is happening when you try to put it in reverse.

Without knowing that, I’ll stab a guess. I suspect it may be your reverse lockout solenoid. That’s a part that detects when you’re moving forward, and locks out reverse so you don’t accidentally go into reverse when you meant to hit 6th gear.

Try turning the car off, removing the key, and putting it in reverse. If that works, it’s most likely either the solenoid, or the solenoid’s fuse, which is a 15 amp fuse in slot 18 under the dash.

Sheraz, 6-Speed Manual ? Are You Sure It’s Not Grinding When Shifted Into 3rd Or Hard To Shift Into 3rd Or Popping Out Of 3rd (. . . Wink, Wink)?

If it’s not now then it might be at some point.

Looks like transmisssions (automatic and manual) are not the Honda strong suit. Some 04-07 TLs have these symptoms because of faulty 3rd gear sychronizer or 3-4 shift sleeves.

The fix is to replace the 3rd gear set and Honda District Parts and Service Managers or your Zone Office consider whether you are eligible for “goodwill” after your warranty has expired.

Another problem with transmissions in some 04 TLs also considered for goodwill after out of warranty has to do with 5th gear “vibration or drone.” A subframe dynamic damper kit is installed on vehicles in which a vibration is felt or drone is heard in 5th at about 1500rpm, between 50 and 60 mph. It can be more noticeable on an incline or while accelerating.


When i put in reverse it just doesn’t go all the way back. But it shifts perfectly fine from 1 to 5, with out any problem. I don’t hear any kind of noise or grinding. I took it to this mechanic he told me the same thing, He said it might be some kind of reverse lockout.
If its solenoid. How would i get to that part or can fix that problem?
Please let me know. thanks

CSA, No its not grinding at all, nor it shifting hardly. Its just the reverse gear, which is giving me hard time.
I took it to the dealer, they said i don’t have warranty on it. since its passed 5 years, but i am still under 60k miles. SO i don’t know what should i do?
But i noticed one thing few months back., i was having trouble from shifting 5 to 6th. i thought may be i’m not shifting properly. Even after doing that, it was still happening. Then all of the sudden it stopped… So i don’t know what exactly is going on? You think i should call acura up and ask them for “goodwill” warranty?

You think i should call acura up and ask them for “goodwill” warranty?

What possibly do have to lose except some time and a bit of energy doing this?

Your TL transmission does have a solenoid reverse lockout. It is activated by the ECM when ECM senses you are going over 10 MPH. The solenoid should be deactivated below 9 MPH. A test you might try is to push the clutch pedal down, try to shift into reverse, start the engine, and then see if you indeed have reverse. If that is the case you should have a mechanic look at the wiring from the transmission solenoid to the ECM and the ECM.

If you still cannot get into reverse, the solenoid and/or its linkage/plunger may be stuck or jammed. This solenoid and linkage are accessible from outside the transmission so no R&R of the transmission is necessary. It should not be a major expense if this is the problem.

Hope this helps.

Sheraz, It’s A Shame That Honda Has Such Reliability Problems With Both The Automatic And Manual Transmissions, Especially At Only 60,000 Miles, But . . .

. . . this could work in your favor. Since Honda is aware of at least two and (maybe more) problems relating to your car’s transmission, then as Andrew suggested a call to Honda couldn’t hurt anything. Perhaps they’ll feel some responsibility for producing faulty merchandise and help you with it. Tell them you bought a Honda because you heard they were dependable.

I just have to wonder that with the earlier problem you had with shifting from 5th to 6th and Honda’s admitted 3rd gear problem and the vibration issues, . . . I just have to wonder if you’ve got bits and pieces of gear, sleeve, or synchronizers floating around in there.

It almost sounds to me that if this transmission isn’t checked and repaired (updated) as necessary then somewhere down the road it’s going to turn the rest of the way into junk. It will start popping out of 3rd gear, for instance.

When you call them have them check your VIN (vehicle Identification Number) and ask if there has been problems involving manual transmissions on these models. I’d push for having them replace the 3rd gear set and install a dynamic damper, all under “Goodwill” if your car is one that qualifies. When they open the transmission they can look for other problems to fix.

Please let us know what they say.


But you are able to get it partially into reverse? I ask because the lockout prevents the shift lever from even going into the reverse detent. Here’s a good way to tell - switch your mirror adjust switch to either left or right (not the middle) and try to put it in reverse. If whichever mirror you selected tilts down, it’s going into reverse, and it’s probably not the lockout solenoid.

When you say it “just gets stuck there” what exactly do you mean? You can’t move the shifter at all? How do you get it back to neutral?

Anyway, if it’s the solenoid, your first step is to check the fuse in slot 18 under the dash. If that’s blown, the solenoid isn’t getting power, and so it can’t unlock.

OK… I called Honda up, they refused to offer me any type of Help, but suggested me to take it to the dealer and have them take a look at it again. I would have to pay for labor, parts etc. SO they were no help whatsoever. They also ran my VIN, and said its not one of the recall VIN.
I also check fuse under the dash and that was perfectly fine. I will try to put new Solenoid and see if that works or not? Friend of mine told me to unplug the battery power and take out solenoid, because sometime censor inside solenoid is not reading codes properly when you take out and unplug the power for sometime. It clears out everything and start fresh. So I will try to do that as well.
CSA…Also 3rd gear was griding each time i shifted from 2nd to 3rd. If i will hold the clutch down for few second and then put into 3rd, then it wouldnt grind. I don’t know what that tells you.

Let me know your thoughts Friends and i will keep u guys posted with everything.

The 3rd gear grind is a separate issue. There’s a TSB about it. You can either have them fix it, or if you want the cheaper solution, drain the transmission and fill with General Motors Synchromesh Friction Modified Fluid, part number 12377916.

Sheraz, This Would Be Considered To Be A Low Miles 2004. Unless You Don’t Know How To Operate A Manual Transmission (I’m Not Implying That Is The Case) Then This Transmission Should Not Be Grinding At 49,000 - 50,000 Miles . . .

. . . especially with a TSB showing that Acura is aware of defects. Please understand that a TSB is not a recall and Acura is under no obligation to help you. A recall is a potentially dangerous situation in which the manufacturer is required to help. When they advised you that there are no outstanding recalls on your car they are correctly telling you that they do not have to help with your repair.

Through a dealer Service Department, I would request a meeting (with your car there) with a Service / Parts Zone Representative from Mazda to discuss the situation and politely request some help from them. Remember, they can choose to do nothing, but may help you out, even if they don’t cover the repairs at 100%.

Are you the original owner of the car ? Has the car been well maintained ? “Yes” to both questions will work in your favor.

People on this site advise buying Honda and Acura cars for their longevity and still others advise buying manual transmissions for their longevity. 49,000 miles is not long.