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The Acura CL underwent a major redesign for the 2001 model year after skipping the 2000 model year. The new version came with a 3.2 L V6 engine, with the standard model having 225 hp and the sportier Type-S offering 260 hp. A navigation system was also introduced. The Type-S model stood out with 17-inch wheels, enhanced suspension, and larger brakes. In 2002, the CL Type-S was offered with a 6-speed manual transmission, fulfilling a market demand after the manual was initially dropped in 2001. However, the 6-speed version lacked some features like Variable Stability Assist (VSA), Traction Control System (TCS), and dual-heat settings for heated seats. The 2003 model year saw cosmetic changes, including redesigns to the side mirrors, new headlights, and thicker exhaust tips. Canadian models also offered daytime running lights and a windshield washer fluid level sensor. Despite its features and the positive reception of the 6-speed manual, the Acura CL was discontinued after 2003 due to low sales, and no mid-size luxury coupe has replaced it in Acura’s lineup. The 2000–2003 models had the following specs:

Common Problems

The 2000–2003 Acura CL, while generally a reliable vehicle, has some known issues that have been reported by owners and technicians. Here are some of the most common problems:
  1. Transmission Failure: Automatic transmission problems were prevalent, especially in the V6 models. Symptoms may include slipping, delayed engagement, and complete failure, often requiring a rebuild or replacement.
  2. SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) Light: The SRS light coming on is often due to sensor or electrical issues. This system is crucial for airbag deployment, and a lit SRS light should be promptly addressed.
  3. Oxygen Sensor Failure: A malfunctioning O2 sensor can result in poor fuel economy and decreased performance, and may trigger the check engine light.
  4. Timing Belt: These engines often have timing belts that need to be replaced at specific intervals. Failure to do so can result in catastrophic engine damage.
  5. CV Joint/Boot Failure: Worn or damaged CV joints can lead to clicking noises during turns and may require replacement.
  6. Ignition Switch Issues: Problems with the ignition switch can prevent the vehicle from starting or cause it to stall unpredictably.
  7. Power Steering Leaks: The power steering system in some models can develop leaks, often from the pump or hoses, leading to diminished steering performance.
  8. Brake System Wear: Premature wear of brake pads and rotors has been reported, requiring more frequent replacements.
  9. Heated Seat Malfunction: In some models, the heated seats may fail to operate correctly, typically due to faulty wiring or switches.
  10. Electrical Issues: Minor electrical problems, such as malfunctioning window regulators and dashboard lights, have also been reported.
  11. A/C Compressor Failure: The air conditioning system may fail, often due to compressor issues or refrigerant leaks.
  12. Exhaust System Corrosion: Given the age of these vehicles, rust and corrosion can be an issue, particularly affecting the exhaust system.
As with any used vehicle, preventive maintenance and a thorough pre-purchase inspection by a qualified technician are essential. Always consult with professionals for accurate diagnosis and repair.



Find Acura CL specifications, engine oil capacity, spark plug gap, safety rating, fuel consumption, transmission, and light bulb sizes.

Engine 3.6L V6 SOHC

  • Recommended Oil Viscosity: 5W-30
  • Oil certification: API
  • Drain plug torque: 33 ft-lbs
  • Oil capacity: 5.5 quarts

Spark Plug Gap

  • 3.2 L 4-Cylinder: 0.044″

Engine Coolant

  • Capacity: 9.5 quarts (or 9.0 liters)


  • Capacity: 5.5 quarts


  • Capacity:17.2 gallons (65 liters)

Automatic Transmission Fluid

  • Acura ATF-Z1 automatic transmission fluid
    • Capacity : 6.9 US quarts (6.5 liters)



  • 3.2 L SOHC VTEC J-series V6


  • 5-speed automatic
    6-speed manual (2003 only)

Fuel Consumption


Front Lights

  • High Beam Light Bulb: 9005
  • Low Beam Light Bulb: D2R
  • Turn Signal Light Bulb: 1157A
  • Parking Light Bulb: 1157A
  • Daytime Running Light Bulb: 9005
  • Side Marker Light Bulb: 168NA

Rear Lights

  • Center High Mount Stop Light Bulb: 7440
  • Brake Light Bulb: 7443R
  • License Plate Light Bulb:
    • 917
    • 168
  • Parking Light Bulb: 1157A
  • Tail Light Bulb: 7443R
  • Turn Signal Light Bulb: 7440
  • Back-Up Reverse Light Bulb: 7440
  • Side Marker Light Bulb: 7443A

Interior Lights

  • Vanity Mirror Light Bulb: 6612F
  • Glove Box Light Bulb:
    • 194
    • 7441
  • Trunk or Cargo Area Light:
    • 168
    • 917
  • Dome Light Bulb: DE3425
  • Map Light Bulb:
    • 2825
    • 98
  • Interior Door Light Bulb:
    • 194
    • 7441
  • Automatic Transmission Indicator Light Bulb: 2721
  • Instrument Panel Light Bulb: 2721