Acura TL Won't Start

by Melanie Fleury
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The Acura TL was introduced in 1996. In 2005, there were a couple of recalls of the TL for issues that affect the ability of the car to start. If your TL is having trouble starting, the first step is to rule out a recall. If it is not eligible for repair under a recall, there are some other basic problems to check before enlisting the help of a professional.

Step 1

Call Honda at 1-800-999-1009 to see if your Acura TL is part of a recall on the vehicle. Honda is the company that makes Acura. In one 2005 recall, a coil wire inside the fuel pump could break. This would cause the fuel pump to lose power and keep the engine from starting properly. In another recall involving the TL, a loose terminal in the main fuse box would also malfunction and cause the fuel pump to lose power. In both instances, Honda will replace the defective item as well as the fuel pump if needed.

Step 2

Turn the key to the "II" position in the ignition. Listen for any sounds. No sound typically indicates a problem in the ignition. It can also mean that the battery is dead. The lack of a faint humming sound that lasts a few seconds means that the fuel pump is not starting properly. Without a fuel pump, fuel does not flow throughout the system and the Acura TL won't start.

Step 3

Look for dashboard lights to come on. If they seem dim, the battery needs to be charged. If they do not come on, you may need a new battery, alternator, or starter. Your local auto parts store can test the car with a MicroVAT or DTAC testing system, or you can purchase the tester as well. Attach the clamps of the tester onto your battery and choose the option "Full Charge System Test." This will test your battery, starter, and alternator. Follow onscreen prompts on the tester. The prompts will instruct you to turn on the car and hold it at a particular RPM range while turning on accessories. The results of the test will appear on the screen.

Step 4

Turn the key to start the car and listen for additional noises. A clicking noise is a sign that the starter or alternator is faulty. A thumping noise can indicate the fuel line is malfunctioning.

Check the fluids in your TL. If your TL makes a thumping or growling noise, it can indicate a fluid issue. Low fluids or the lack of enough fluids can cause the engine to seize and not start again. Check the oil, transmission fluid, and coolant levels.

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