Thursday, December 27, 2007

Acura Related Highlights Of Honda 2007 Year-End CEO Speech

Honda will further accelerate a focus on the following three pillars:

1. Strengthening the foundation for global growth

Europe - Automobile:
In the first half of 2008, the all-new Accord Sedan and Tourer will be introduced to the market. The mass production models will be introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008. The all-new Accord will be equipped with an i-DTEC engine, which complies with the Euro 5 emission standard expected to become effective in 2009. - (This all-new Accord will most likely be introduced in the States as the next geneation Acura TSX.)

Honda Accord Tourer concept

2. Strengthening the foundation for global growth:


(It must be noted that Honda has no intentions of making an Acura hybrid, but it's still nice to know what Honda is getting.)

* In addition to Civic Hybrid, Honda will introduce a new dedicated hybrid vehicle in 2009. The new dedicated hybrid vehicle will be equipped with a newly developed lightweight and compact IMA (integrated motor assist) system and offered at a more affordable price level base on Honda's efforts to significantly reduce cost. The worldwide sales plan for this vehicle is approximately 200,000 units annually.

* A new sports hybrid, based on the CR-Z introduced at Tokyo Motor Show, will be sold globally.

CR-Z Concept

* The second-generation i-DTEC engine will first be installed to models for European markets in 2008, North America in 2009, and Japan will follow. (An Acura diesel may not be totally out of the question.)

i-DTEC European Honda Accords (a.k.a Acura TSXs).

3. Accelerating our efforts in Japan to strengthen the core characteristic that make Honda unique:

R&D Capabilities:
* In addition to test courses, Honda decided to build a product development facility dedicated to the Acura brand within the new R&D center being constructed in Sakura with an aim to strengthen product development for the Acura brand.

* In April 2006, Honda R&D launched a new organizational structure separating the product development functions for the Honda and Acura brands. With the addition of a dedicated development facility for the Acura brand, Honda R&D will further strengthen product development capabilities which clearly define the unique characteristics of each brand and accelerate product development that offers new value for the customer.

Automobile - Construction of a new engine plant in Ogawa and new auto plant in Yorii began in fall 2007 with a target to begin operations in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Automobile Business in Japan:
* To further strengthen the Honda brand, all-new versions of four different vehicles will be introduced in Japan during 2008. Honda's goal is to expand sales by offering attractive products which bring more joys to customers.

For the full article: Honda Worldwide News

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Dedicated Acura Development Facility In Sakura For 2009

Honda R&D Co., Ltd. is responsible for research and development activities, announced plans to build a product development facility dedicated to the Acura brand within the new R&D center being constructed in Sakura, Tochigi. The new R&D center will have multiple test courses, which replicate various driving conditions ranging from high-speed driving to urban driving. The construction of this new R&D center began in November 2007 and is scheduled to become operational in 2009. The existing Automobile R&D Center in Tochigi will continue to strengthening product development for the Honda brand and development of next-generation power plants including hybrid, diesel, and fuel cell power plants.

Due to the belief that strengthening advanced technology R&D capabilities in Japan will become increasingly important in order for Honda to continue to grow and advance globally. In April 2006, Honda R&D launched a new organizational structure separating the product development functions for the Honda and Acura brands. With the addition of a dedicated development facility for the Acura brand, Honda R&D will further strengthen product development capabilities which clearly define the unique characteristics of each brand and accelerate development of products that offer new value for the customer.

Including test courses and the dedicated Acura development facility, the overall size of the new R&D center in Sakura is expected to be approximately 2.3 million square meters (m2), with related investment expected to be approximately 48 billion yen. Honda aims to begin partial operation of this state-of-the-art and environmentally-responsible facility in 2009, with full operations in 2010.

This is great news to all Acura fans because there has been much criticism about Acura vehicles just being glorified Accords. Hopefully, Honda/Acura can change this image to further advance the Acura brand, which was the first Japanese luxury brand. Toyota and Nissan soon followed with the Lexus and Infiniti brands.

[Source] JCN Network: Japan's Corporate News

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Honda Promises NSX in 2010

Honda's CEO, Takeo Fukui, set the original time-frame of 2008-9 for the NSX's replacement, however the "NSX" was a no show at this year's Tokyo Motor Show. Well now Honda has confirmed a 2010 date for the debut of the much anticipated next-generation Acura NSX. “We are developing it without any delay, so most probably we will have it in the period we already promised,” says American Honda President and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura. Iwamura did not give any other specifics on the development. The new NSX's launch would most likely correspond with the global launch of the Acura brand. When asked whether the new NSX will carry an Acura badge in its home market for the first time, he says, “I can’t comment, but (the) NSX is a car for Acura, especially in the United States.”


Related topics:
All NSX Articles
Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept (ASCC)
Honda Sports Concept (HSC)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can I Use Regular Unleaded In My Acura?

This is straight from the Winter 2008 Acura Style magazine:
"Acura's Client Services (ACS) has thoughts on ill-advised owner attempts to beat stratospheric premium fuel prices by using regular unleaded instead. In a word: don't. Your Acura is designed to operate on 91 octane premium unleaded gasoline. If you're stranded and can't access premium, then 87 octane regular unleaded will see you home, but don't make a habit of using regular gasoline. You want the best possible performance from your Acura-and peak performance demands the correct fuel."
Here is a article on using Regular Vs. Premium gas. Highlights include:

"I personally use regular even though my owner's manual says you'll get better performance with premium," says Lewis Gibbs, consulting engineer and 45-year veteran at Chevron oil company. He's chairman of Technical Committee 7 on Fuels, part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fuels & Lubricants Council. Gibbs knows gas.
The main advantage of premium-grade gas is that it allows automakers to advertise a few more horsepower by designing and tuning engines to take advantage of premium's anti-knock properties. But auto engineers generally agree that if you use regular in a premium engine, the power loss is so slight, most drivers can't tell.

"I go back and forth, and I'm hard-pressed to notice" whether there's regular or premium in the tank, says Jeff Jetter, principal chemist at Honda Research and Development Americas.
He drives an Acura designed for premium.Import brands, especially, use premium fuel to distinguish their upmarket models. Most Toyotas, for instance, are designed to run on regular or midgrade, while the automaker's Lexus luxury brand prefers premium. Same with Honda and its Acura luxury line.

Today's engines use highly evolved versions of a device called a knock sensor to adjust settings automatically for low-octane gas. And more engine control computers have adequate memory to allow separate sets of instructions for various octanes. The engine control computers keep pushing to maximize performance on whatever grade of fuel is used.

The only modern engines that should really need premium are those with superchargers, which force-feed fuel into the cylinders. "You're driving along and just tramp the gas and the knock sensor cannot sense the knock fast enough in some cases," because the supercharger boosts pressure so fast, says Bob Furey, chemist and fuels specialist at General Motors.

Burning regular when the owner's manual specifies premium won't void the warranty, nor damage the engine, even the most finicky automakers say.
"You're giving up perhaps just a little bit of performance that a customer wouldn't really even notice, it's so slight," says Furey.

Automakers say they don't test premium engines on regular to check the difference, but some auto engineers estimate that power declines roughly 5%.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

[TSB] Acura TL Moans When Engine Is Cold

Acura TL Power Steering Moans or Whines

TSB: 07-060

Applies To: 2004-07 Acura TL (ALL)

A moan or whine is heard when turning the steering wheel when the engine is cold. There may be air bubbles or foam in the power steering reservoir. The noise usually goes away when the engine warms up.

Air enters the power steering pump through the inlet joint O-ring.

Replace the O-ring on the power steering pump inlet joint.

O-ring: P/N 91345-RDA-A01

Acura Power Steering Fluid: P/N 08206-9002 (One container repairs about 12 vehicles.)

In warranty: The normal warranty applies.
Operation Number: 5121B5
Flat Rate Time: 0.3 hour
Failed Part: P/N 91345-PAA-A01
Defect Code: 07408
Symptom Code: 04201
Template ID: 07-060A
Skill Level: Repair Technician

Out of warranty: Any repair performed after warranty expiration may be eligible for goodwill consideration by the District Parts and Service Manager or your Zone Office. You must request consideration, and get a decision, before starting work.

1. Remove the right side engine compartment cover (7 clips and 1 bolt).

2. Remove the bolt holding the inlet joint to the power steering pump housing.

3. Place a shop towel under the pump inlet.

4. Twist the inlet joint back and forth until it is loose, then carefully disconnect the joint and point the hose upward to minimize fluid loss.

5. Remove the inlet joint O-ring.

6. Apply power steering fluid to a new O-ring, and install it on the inlet joint.

7. Install the inlet joint, and torque its bolt to 11 N.m (8 lb-ft).

8. Top off the power steering fluid, if needed. Start the engine, and let it idle. Confirm that the noise is gone and that the system is operating properly.

9. Install the right side engine compartment cover.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Safety Recall: 2005-08 Acura RL Power Steering Feed Hose Leak

2005 - 2008 Acura RL

Unexpectedly high heat deterioration and bending stress can cause the power steering feed hose to crack, resulting in a leak. A leak from the feed hose can drip P/S fluid onto drivetrain components and the catalytic converter below, causing a burning odor and possibly smoke. The low fluid level resulting from the leak may also cause the power steering pump to whine.

All owners of affected vehicles will be sent a notification of this campaign the week of December 17, 2007.

Some vehicles affected by this campaign may be in your new vehicle inventory. According to federal law, these vehicles cannot be sold or leased until they are repaired. To see if a vehicle is affected by this campaign, do a VIN status inquiry before selling it. In addition, check for a punch mark above the fifth character of the engine compartment VIN. A punch mark in that location means the power steering feed hose kit was already installed at the port, and the vehicle is ready to be sold or leased.

Install a power steering feed hose kit.

Power Steering Feed Hose Kit (Contains P/S feed hose, hose bracket, pressure switch O-ring, and extra trim clips):
P/N 06535-SJA-A01

Acura Precision Crafted Power Steering Fluid (Each vehicle may require up to three 12 oz. bottles):
P/N 08206-9002A

Operation Number: 5121D3
Flat Rate Time: 1.3 hours
Failed Part: 06535-SJA-A01
Defect Code: 5LR00
Symptom Code: Q6500
Template ID: 07-061A
Skill Level: Repair Technician


Click here for a complete PDF on the issue.

Although, it's not a full on recall, there has been some reported problems with the 2004 Acura TL having a power steering problem. The symptom is the vehicle makes a horrible noise during cold starts. My cousin had to take his almost out of warranty 2004 Acura TL automatic in to the dealer so they can replace the power steering pump (under warranty). Someone on the forum noted to make sure that the power steering hose also gets replaced when having this service done.

[UPDATE] This Acura TL issue is now officially a technical service bulletin (TSB).

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