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Acura maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

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    Whether you’re interested in buying an Acura or you already own one, it’s a good idea to know how much upkeep you’re in for. We’ll break down what kind of maintenance you can expect, how much you can expect to spend keeping your Acura on the road and how that compares to other companies.

    Key insights

    • Acura has received mixed rankings for reliability over the last few years, which makes predicting repair costs difficult.
    • Data from 2019 suggests that Acura vehicles have lower maintenance and repair costs than their luxury counterparts, but this may have changed.
    • Acura provides fairly long factory warranties, but once that coverage expires, you may want to consider an extended warranty if you don’t have the savings to pay for a large repair bill.

    Are Acuras expensive to maintain?

    Acuras have a long-standing reputation for reliability, which usually translates to affordable maintenance and repairs.

    “A vehicle’s overall reliability plays a big part of its maintenance expenses,” said Amelia Nolan, a mechanic with experience working on a variety of brands. “Acuras have a good reputation for lasting a long time without problems, just like models from the parent company, Honda. They’re like roaches. You can’t kill them.”

    Acuras have a good reputation for lasting a long time without problems.”
    — Amelia Nolan, mechanic

    However, this may not be as true as it once was. Back in 2019, RepairPal ranked Acura as the No. 2 most reliable car brand. However, J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which is based on 2020 model-year vehicles, ranked Acura much lower at 21st out of 32 brands. (Acura placed above the industry average in J.D. Power’s yearly dependability studies from 2013 to 2016, but it has only had an above-average showing once since then.)

    The truth of Acura’s reliability may be somewhere in the middle. Using data from 2000 through 2022, Consumer Reports ranked Acura eighth out of 24 automakers for reliability in 2022.

    Basically, it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions between different rankings because they use different data sets and different methods, but it may pay off to be a little skeptical and prepare for the worst.

    How Acura compares to other automakers

    According to RepairPal’s 2019 data, the industry average vehicle costs $652 per year to maintain and repair, while Acuras cost $501 per year.

    MakeAverage maintenance and repair costs*
    Acura $501 per year
    Honda $428 per year
    Toyota $441 per year
    Ford $775 per year
    BMW $968 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    These figures offer a general understanding of post-purchase expenses you can expect with each manufacturer, but if you’re looking for a more specific price point, you want to look at model-specific data.

    Acura maintenance and repair costs by model

    Upkeep costs for Acura’s most popular models range from $415 to $571 per year. (In general, repair costs for cars and SUVs differ, which is reflected in Acura’s vehicles as well.)

    ModelAverage maintenance and repair cost*
    TLX $440 per year
    TSX $415 per year
    MDX $571 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    RepairPal’s figures combine maintenance and repair costs, but it may be helpful to remember that these are often separate expenses. General maintenance includes any precautionary services meant to prolong your car’s life, such as oil changes. On the other hand, repairs are intended to fix parts that malfunction. To give you a better idea of where your money might go, we’ll explore the possible costs that fall into each of these categories.

    Acura maintenance schedule

    As with any vehicle you purchase, it’s important to keep your Acura in good condition through routine maintenance. All recent Acura models have a Maintenance Minder that tells you when and what needs maintenance on your vehicle, so you shouldn’t have to know your maintenance schedule by memory, but it’s still helpful to look through your owners manual occasionally to see what maintenance you have coming up.

    2018 Acura TLX maintenance schedule

    We’ve included the recommended service schedule for a 2018 Acura TLX below to give you a rough idea of what you can expect, but remember that your owner’s manual may give you different information specific to your model.

    Oil change Every 7,500 miles
    Tire rotation Every 7,500 miles
    Air filter replacement Every 30,000 miles
    Brake fluid flush and refill Every 45,000 miles
    Transmission fluid change Every 60,000 miles
    Coolant flush and refill Every 60,000 miles
    Spark plug replacement Every 105,000 miles
    Timing belt replacement Every 105,000 miles
    *According to Motor1.com

    Acura maintenance costs

    Your bill for maintenance services depends on where you go and the time required for each task. While a tire rotation may only cost $35, replacing your engine’s coolant can cost up to $168. Luckily, Acura maintenance prices are typically not as high as those with other luxury vehicles.

    Acura also offers a two-year, 24,000-mile program that includes free oil and oil filter changes along with tire rotation services for the new 2023 Integra. Get in contact with your local Acura dealer for other coupons and discounts on standard upkeep. 

    2019 Acura ILX maintenance costs

    If you’re looking to invest in an older make, we’ve outlined prices for the popular Acura ILX below as an example. Just note that these numbers will fluctuate depending on your model and choice of maintenance shop.

    Tire rotation $35 to $45
    Engine air filter replacement $53 to $70
    Cabin filter replacement $54 to $70
    Brake fluid replacement $70 to $140
    Tire and wheel assembly rotate and balance $99 to $125
    Brake fluid flush and refill $100 to $160
    Engine oil and filter change $112 to $124
    Engine coolant replacement $138 to $168
    *According to Motor1.com for a 2019 Acura ILX in the 78705 ZIP code

    The Acura ILX is one of the most affordable and reliable high-performance vehicles on the road. Its required maintenance is less frequent than other manufacturers, and cost estimates for the maintenance it does need are lower as well.

    “If you’re comparing the costs of the first five years of vehicle ownership across the board, Acuras are a solid choice,” said Nolan. “In my experience, these models won’t depreciate as much, especially after modification as racing or show cars.”

    Acura repair costs

    That said, issues can arise, and you should have a plan for dealing with repair costs when something does go wrong with your Acura.

    “Almost all sensors started to give trouble and the car froze on highway. Had to get it towed,” wrote Rohit, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Quebec. “Apparently, it was due to a bad alternator that stopped charging the battery and that in turn froze all electrical systems like ABS, AWD, power Steering etc. … I was told an oil leak on the alternator was the issue. It costed me $3,000. After getting it fixed, I had the sensor trouble within 3 months again!”

    Repair costs are hard to predict because you don’t know what’s going to break down on your car until it happens. While some issues can be resolved with minimal expense, other problems might cost you thousands to fix, as Rohit experienced.

    2019 Acura ILX repair costs

    We’ve assembled some cost estimates for a selection of Acura ILX fixes below to help you see what repairs might cost you, but bear in mind that this is just a fraction of what can go wrong with your vehicle.

    Emission system diagnosis and testing $55 to $69
    Horn replacement $92 to $109
    Windshield wiper motor replacement $201 to $224
    Automatic transmission shift cable replacement 245 to $285
    Engine front cover gasket replacement $458 to $561
    Air bag control module replacement $692 to $729
    *According to RepairPal for a 2019 Acura ILX

    To help cover the costs of unexpected problems, Acura offers two warranties on its new vehicles: the New Vehicle Limited Warranty and the Limited Powertrain Warranty. The New Vehicle warranty lasts for four years or 50,000 miles and covers nearly any part — as long as the malfunction is due to manufacturer error. The Powertrain warranty lasts for six years or 70,000 miles and applies to faulty engines, transmissions and front-wheel and rear-wheel drive systems.

    Once the factory warranties end, this protection goes away, leaving many people stuck trying to decide whether they want to pay for any repair bills that may arise or find a newer vehicle. There are other options, though.

    » LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

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      How can an extended warranty or maintenance plan help?

      Extended warranties (aka vehicle service contracts) can offer similar protection to your car’s factory warranty, but you’ll have to pay for coverage this time. These plans are available from both dedicated warranty companies and Acura itself. (When we took a deeper look into Acura’s extended warranties, we found that they were mostly useful for protection against catastrophically expensive repairs, but you may have better luck. If you don’t, consider getting quotes from third-party warranty companies.)

      Acura also offers choices for prepaid maintenance plans that will get your maintenance expenses out of the way in one go. The Standard A1/B1 and Premium A1/B1 service plans help keep your vehicle in good condition with oil changes, multipoint inspections and complimentary car washes. The Premium option also includes windshield wiper blade inserts and battery maintenance.

      » MORE: Car warranty vs. car insurance

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. RepairPal, “Car Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 5, 2023.
      2. RepairPal, “Acura TLX Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 5, 2023.
      3. RepairPal, “Acura TSX Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 5, 2023.
      4. RepairPail, “Acura MDX Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 5, 2023.
      5. Acura Info Center, “2023 INTEGRA ACURA MAINTENANCE PROGRAM OVERVIEW.” Accessed April 5, 2023.
      6. RepairPal, “2019 Acura ILX Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed April 5, 2023.
      7. Acura, “Acura Pre-Paid Maintenance Menu.” Accessed April 5, 2023.
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