Acura TLX Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Acura TLX, since its inception, has been a beacon of modern luxury combined with performance. Positioned as Acura’s midsize luxury sedan, the TLX seamlessly blends the brand’s commitment to precision-crafted performance with a design that’s both elegant and sporty. Over the years, it has carved a niche for itself in the competitive luxury sedan segment, standing toe-to-toe with European and Japanese counterparts.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Significance of the Acura TLX: The Acura TLX stands as a notable model in the luxury sedan segment, offering a blend of performance, comfort, and advanced technology.
  2. Transmission Fluid’s Role: Maintaining the right transmission fluid level and quality is crucial for the optimal performance and longevity of the Acura TLX’s transmission system.
  3. Fluid Types and Capacities: The Acura TLX has specific transmission fluid types and capacities based on its model year and the type of transmission system installed.
  4. Recognizing the Signs: It’s essential to be aware of the signs indicating a need for a transmission fluid change, such as dark fluid color, slipping gears, and unusual noises.
2022 Acura TLX

Its dynamic design, advanced technological features, and performance-driven engineering make it a preferred choice for those seeking a blend of luxury, reliability, and spirited driving dynamics.

The transmission system is the heart of any vehicle’s drive mechanism. It ensures that power from the engine is efficiently transferred to the wheels, allowing for smooth acceleration, deceleration, and overall driving experience.

The transmission fluid plays a pivotal role in this system. Acting as both a lubricant and a coolant, it ensures that the intricate components of the transmission operate seamlessly without overheating or excessive wear.

Regular maintenance of the transmission fluid is paramount for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that the fluid remains clean and free from contaminants, which can otherwise lead to increased friction and wear within the transmission. Secondly, as the fluid ages, its viscosity and lubricating properties can degrade, reducing its effectiveness and potentially leading to transmission issues.

Lastly, regular checks and timely replacement of the transmission fluid can prevent more severe, costly damages to the transmission system in the long run.

Acura TLX Transmission Fluid Capacity And Type

2015 – 2020 Acura TLX

2017 Acura TLX
TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
MDSA 8-speed Automatic Transmission Without RIBTotal Fill 7.7 quarts (7.3 liters)
Initial Fill 4.1 quarts (3.9 liters)
Acura ATF-type 2.0
MDSA 8-speed Automatic Transmission With RIBTotal Fill 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters)
Initial Fill 4.1 quarts (3.9 liters)
Acura ATF-type 2.0
Q5L9 9-speed Automatic TransmissionTotal Fill 7.6 quarts (7.2 liters)
Initial Fill 3.5 quarts (3.3 liters)
ATF TYPE 3.0 or ZF Lifeguard Fluid 9
Q5J4 9-speed Automatic TransmissionTotal Fill 6.6 quarts (6.2 liters)
Initial Fill 3.5 quarts (3.3 liters)
ATF TYPE 3.0 or ZF Lifeguard Fluid 9
  • Recommended Transmission Fluid Type:
    • For MDSA 8-speed Automatic Transmission (Without RIB & With RIB): Acura ATF-type 2.0.
    • For Q5L9 & Q5J4 9-speed Automatic Transmission: ATF TYPE 3.0 or ZF Lifeguard Fluid 9.
  • Transmission Fluid Capacity:
    • MDSA 8-speed Automatic Transmission Without RIB:
      • Total Fill: 7.7 quarts (7.3 liters)
      • Initial Fill: 4.1 quarts (3.9 liters)
    • MDSA 8-speed Automatic Transmission With RIB:
      • Total Fill: 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters)
      • Initial Fill: 4.1 quarts (3.9 liters)
    • Q5L9 9-speed Automatic Transmission:
      • Total Fill: 7.6 quarts (7.2 liters)
      • Initial Fill: 3.5 quarts (3.3 liters)
    • Q5J4 9-speed Automatic Transmission:
      • Total Fill: 6.6 quarts (6.2 liters)
      • Initial Fill: 3.5 quarts (3.3 liters)

2021 – Now Acura TLX

2023 Acura TLX
TransmissionFluid capacityFluid type
PT0A (FWD 10-speed Automatic TransmissionTotal Fill 8.8 quarts (8.3 liters)
Initial Fill 4.5 quarts (4.3 liters)
Acura ATF-type 2.0
PT1A (AWD) 10-speed Automatic TransmissionTotal Fill 9.3 quarts (8.8 liters)
Initial Fill 5.1 quarts (4.8 liters)
Acura ATF-type 2.0
3.0l P2TA 10-speed Automatic TransmissionTotal Fill 9.6 quarts (9.1 liters)
Initial Fill 5.1 quarts (4.8 liters)
Acura ATF-type 2.0
  • Recommended Transmission Fluid Type:
    • For PT0A (FWD), PT1A (AWD), and 3.0l P2TA 10-speed Automatic Transmission: Acura ATF-type 2.0.
  • Transmission Fluid Capacity:
    • PT0A (FWD 10-speed Automatic Transmission):
      • Total Fill: 8.8 quarts (8.3 liters)
      • Initial Fill: 4.5 quarts (4.3 liters)
    • PT1A (AWD) 10-speed Automatic Transmission:
      • Total Fill: 9.3 quarts (8.8 liters)
      • Initial Fill: 5.1 quarts (4.8 liters)
    • 3.0l P2TA 10-speed Automatic Transmission:
      • Total Fill: 9.6 quarts (9.1 liters)
      • Initial Fill: 5.1 quarts (4.8 liters)

Acura TLX Transmission Overview

The Acura TLX boasts a sophisticated transmission system designed to deliver a seamless driving experience, marrying both performance and efficiency. Depending on the model year and specific trim, the TLX has been equipped with various advanced transmission systems ranging from 8-speed dual-clutch transmissions to 9-speed (ZF 9HP) and 10-speed automatic transmissions.

These systems are engineered to provide rapid gear changes, optimizing power delivery and fuel efficiency. The dual-clutch system, in particular, offers the swift responsiveness of a manual transmission with the convenience of an automatic, ensuring that the TLX can cater to both spirited driving and relaxed cruising.

Furthermore, the TLX’s transmission system integrates with other vehicle systems, such as the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), allowing drivers to customize their driving experience by selecting different modes, including Econ, Normal, Sport, and Sport+. Each mode adjusts the transmission’s behavior, among other parameters, to suit the desired driving style.

Evolution of the Transmission System Across Different Generations of Acura TLX

  • 1st Generation (2015 – 2017): The initial generation of the Acura TLX was introduced with two distinct transmission options. The 2.4L inline-4 models were paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with a torque converter, offering swift and smooth gear changes.
    On the other hand, the 3.5L V6 models came equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission, providing a broader range of gear ratios for optimized performance and fuel efficiency.
  • 1st Generation Facelift (2018 – 2020): While the 2.4L models retained the 8-speed DCT, the V6 models saw refinements in the 9-speed automatic transmission for smoother operation and enhanced responsiveness.
  • 2nd Generation (2021 – Now): The latest generation of the Acura TLX has further evolved its transmission offerings. The advanced 10-speed automatic transmission became more widespread across various trims, ensuring that drivers experience a perfect blend of performance and comfort.
    This generation also emphasized integrating the transmission system with the vehicle’s various dynamic systems, allowing for a more tailored driving experience.

How Do You Know If You Need A Transmission Fluid Change Or Transmission Flush?

The transmission fluid plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of your vehicle’s transmission system. Over time, due to various factors such as heat, wear, and contamination, the fluid can degrade and lose its effectiveness. Recognizing the signs that indicate a need for a transmission fluid change or flush is crucial to maintain the health and longevity of your vehicle’s transmission. Here are some key indicators:

  1. Dark or Burnt Fluid Color:
    • Fresh transmission fluid typically has a bright red color and a slightly sweet smell. Over time, as the fluid breaks down, it can turn darker, eventually becoming brown or even black. If the fluid has a burnt smell, it’s a clear sign that it needs to be changed.
  2. Slipping Gears:
    • If your vehicle unexpectedly changes gears or has difficulty staying in gear, it could be due to degraded transmission fluid that’s not providing adequate lubrication.
  3. Delayed or Rough Shifting:
    • If you notice a delay when shifting from park to drive or experience hard or jerky shifts, it might be an indication that the transmission fluid is old or contaminated.
  4. Unusual Noises:
    • If you hear grinding or whining noises when the vehicle is in gear, it could be a sign of low or contaminated transmission fluid.
  5. Transmission Overheating:
    • Overheated transmission fluid can cause the transmission to overheat. If your transmission temperature warning light comes on or if you have a transmission temperature gauge that’s reading higher than usual, it’s essential to check the fluid.
  6. Fluid Leaks:
    • If you notice red or brown spots under your vehicle, it could be a sign of a transmission fluid leak. Low fluid levels can lead to many transmission problems, including overheating and slipping gears.
  7. Check Engine or Transmission Warning Light:
    • Modern vehicles are equipped with sensors that can detect issues with the transmission fluid. If the check engine or transmission warning light illuminates, it’s a good idea to check the transmission fluid and other related components.
  8. Poor Vehicle Performance:
    • If the vehicle lacks responsiveness or struggles with acceleration, it could be due to old or insufficient transmission fluid.
  9. Mileage Milestone:
    • Even if you don’t notice any of the above signs, if your vehicle reaches the manufacturer-recommended mileage interval for a transmission fluid change, it’s time to get it serviced.

Acura TLX Transmission Issues

The Acura TLX, while renowned for its luxury and performance, has had its share of transmission-related concerns reported by some owners. It’s essential to be aware of these issues to address them promptly and maintain the vehicle’s optimal performance.

Here are some common transmission problems faced by Acura TLX owners and their associated symptoms:

  1. Rough or Jerky Shifting:
    • Some owners have reported experiencing hard or jerky shifts, especially when transitioning between lower gears.
    • Symptoms: Sudden jolts or jerks when the vehicle changes gears, especially noticeable at lower speeds.
  2. Delayed Gear Engagement:
    • There have been instances where the TLX exhibits a delay when shifting from park to drive or between gears.
    • Symptoms: A noticeable pause or delay when trying to accelerate after shifting gears.
  3. Transmission Slipping:
    • This issue involves the transmission unexpectedly changing gears or struggling to stay in gear.
    • Symptoms: The engine may rev without a corresponding increase in speed, or the vehicle may suddenly change gears without input.
  4. Transmission Warning Light:
    • Some TLX owners have reported the transmission or check engine light illuminating due to transmission-related issues.
    • Symptoms: The warning light on the dashboard lights up, indicating a potential problem with the transmission system.
  5. Unusual Noises:
    • Noises such as whining or grinding when the vehicle is in gear can be indicative of transmission problems.
    • Symptoms: Audible sounds, especially when shifting gears or accelerating.
  6. False Neutral:
    • In some cases, the transmission may go into a “false neutral” state, where it feels like the vehicle is in neutral even though it’s in gear.
    • Symptoms: The vehicle fails to accelerate despite the engine revving, similar to how it would behave if it were in neutral.
  7. Software Issues:
    • Some of the transmission problems in the Acura TLX have been attributed to software glitches that affect the transmission’s operation.
    • Symptoms: Erratic shifting patterns, unresponsive gear changes, or the vehicle going into “limp mode” where it operates in a restricted performance state.
  8. Fluid Leaks:
    • Transmission fluid leaks can lead to various transmission problems if not addressed promptly.
    • Symptoms: Reddish or brown spots under the vehicle, slipping gears, or transmission overheating.

It’s crucial to note that while these issues have been reported by some Acura TLX owners, they don’t necessarily affect all TLX vehicles. If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect a transmission problem, it’s essential to consult with a professional mechanic or an authorized Acura service center. Addressing issues early can prevent more severe problems and ensure the longevity and performance of the vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How often should I change the transmission fluid in my Acura TLX?
    • The general recommendation is to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. However, the exact interval can vary based on driving conditions, habits, and the specific model year of your Acura TLX. It’s best to consult your vehicle’s owner manual for the manufacturer-recommended intervals.
  2. Can I change the transmission fluid myself, or should I visit a mechanic?
    • While it’s possible for individuals with automotive experience and the right tools to change the transmission fluid themselves, it’s generally recommended to have this service performed by a professional mechanic or at an authorized Acura service center. They will ensure the process is done correctly, check for potential issues, and guarantee that the right amount and type of fluid is used.
  3. What are the signs that my transmission fluid needs changing?
    • Several signs indicate your transmission fluid may need changing, including:
      • Dark or burnt fluid color.
      • Slipping gears or difficulty staying in gear.
      • Delayed or rough shifting.
      • Unusual noises when the vehicle is in gear.
      • Transmission overheating or warning lights on the dashboard.
      • Fluid leaks under the vehicle.

Acura TLX Transmission Fluid Change Cost

The cost of a transmission fluid change for an Acura TLX typically ranges from $160 to $250. However, this price can vary based on location, dealership vs. local mechanic, and the specific model year of the Acura TLX.

Factors Affecting the Cost:

  1. Labor Rates: The hourly rate charged by mechanics can vary significantly based on the region, city, and whether you’re going to a dealership or an independent mechanic.
  2. Fluid Type: The specific type of transmission fluid required for your Acura TLX can influence the cost. Some high-performance or synthetic fluids may be more expensive.
  3. Additional Services: Some service centers might recommend additional services, such as a transmission flush or replacing the transmission filter, which can add to the overall cost.
  4. Vehicle Model and Year: Newer models or those with more complex transmission systems might be more expensive to service.
  5. Geographic Location: Costs can vary based on the cost of living in a particular area. For instance, services in metropolitan areas might be more expensive than in smaller towns.

Tips to Save on Transmission Fluid Change Costs:

  1. Shop Around: Get quotes from multiple service centers to find the best deal. Remember to consider both dealerships and local mechanics.
  2. DIY: If you have the necessary skills and tools, consider changing the transmission fluid yourself. However, ensure you follow the correct procedure and use the recommended fluid type.
  3. Look for Specials: Some service centers offer discounts or promotions on transmission services. Keep an eye out for these deals, especially during specific seasons or holidays.
  4. Regular Maintenance: By regularly checking and maintaining your transmission fluid, you can prevent more significant and more expensive issues down the line.
  5. Buy Fluid in Bulk: If you plan to change the transmission fluid yourself or have multiple vehicles, consider buying transmission fluid in bulk to save on costs.
  6. Ask About Warranty: Some service centers offer warranties on their work. This can save you money if there are any issues after the service.


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