Why Won’t My Acura TL Start?

TaxiHack is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

Acura is one of the most popular car manufacturers in the world. They are known mainly for their vehicles having a very executive look, specifically their sedans.

This means that you may find relatively well-kept high-value ones available.

This brings in the vehicle in the topic of this article, the Acura TL. This car was introduced to the market in 1999 and seized production of newer models in 2014.

Although the Acura TL was a very well-made vehicle, there were quite a few cases where some serious problems were reported.

Some of which were related to the car being unable to start up. If you own an Acura TlL you might have to ask yourself, “Why won’t my Acura TL Start?”.

The answer to this question might be related to one or more of the following:

  1. Battery Issues
  2. Fuel/Fuel Pump Failure
  3. Engine Failure
  4. Starter Motor Problems
  5. Alternator Problems

Since there are quite a few nuances that go into understanding what the source of the problem could be, I have gone ahead and summarized the most important points.

This is why I would recommend that you read the article in full.

What Would Cause An Acura TL To Not Start?

Find the reasons why your Acura TL does not start

Most sedans, especially the more luxurious ones like the Acura TL, are very compactly designed.

This leads to repairs and maintenance becoming quite difficult to do.

So, if your car is not starting up, you should check the following possible sources that can lead to the problem.

1: Battery Problems

All vehicles require electricity to function. A good portion of the fuel burning to move all the mechanical components is also converted to electrical energy.

Hence, there needs to be someplace to store that electrical energy. And that place is the battery of the car. If a car not being able to start can be traced back to the battery.

Firstly, batteries have a lifetime of up to 5 years. After which they can expand and start to lose power. If your battery is not providing enough power, this might be the reason.

Other reasons can include the battery not getting charged, completely dead, or the terminals having corrosion. If the engine is not getting the electricity it needs, it will not start up.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your Acura TL faces this problem, the first thing to do is a voltage check.
  • According to some sources, Acura TL requires 12 volts to be able to start up. Otherwise, the battery is not providing enough power.
  • If your battery is simply out of charge, you can get it charged from any battery shop that provides that service.
  • Dead batteries need to be replaced, so you will need to buy a new one from the shop if that is the case for you.
  • Make sure to check if the shop you are at allows for a discount in exchange for your dead battery because many battery shops do.
  • Lastly, if there is some corrosion on the terminals, you will need to clean that off. To prevent this, you can keep the terminals covered in oil.

2: Fuel/Fuel Pump Failure

For a motor vehicle to be able to run, it will require fuel to burn. Electric vehicles are a new exception to this. However, the Acura TL is no electric car.

So, its engine requires fuel at the right amount of pressure for it to function properly. To make sure that this is achieved, the car has a component called the fuel pump.

This component is responsible for pushing the fuel from the fuel tank to the engine at the right pressure.

However, the engine of the car not igniting is not necessarily the fuel pump’s fault. You might have just forgotten to refuel your car, which can cause the problem.

Conversely, there is also the possibility of blockage in the fuel filter. That also causes the fuel pressure to be improper.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Firstly, make sure that your car is filled up.
  • If your tank has been refueled, it’s time to check if there are any blockages in the fuel filter or the piping.
  • If that is not the case, then the problem is related to the Acura TL’s fuel pump, and checking it is very important.
  • Make sure to check if the fuel pump can be repaired. That might save you some expenses in the case where you may need a replacement.

3: Engine Failure

It is rare for a well-maintained car’s engine to fail. However, it is still a possibility. When a car’s engine is not regularly cleaned up, there is bound to be some backfire.

This usually happens because of the build-up of grease in the moving parts of components of the car’s engine.

What generally happens in such cases is that the car will feel sluggish to drive.

Acceleration will seem to have gone down, and you will feel that it requires more power to run, i.e., fuel consumption will have gone up.

The car’s engine will seize and not turn when a start-up is attempted. This can be caused by a lack of oil, hydrolock, or, as mentioned before, a lack of maintenance.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Here you need to check when your Acura TL got its last oil change. If it’s been a long time, get an oil change immediately.
  • In the case of an engine seizure, a push start can also work, so try that as well.
  • Hydrolocks are caused by water getting into unwanted places in your engine’s components. So, get your engine checked for any leaks.
  • Maintaining and cleaning your engine is a must if you want your car to last longer than it would without any maintenance.
  • A well-maintained engine is sure to give you better fuel mileage. Hence, you should visit your mechanic regularly.

4: Starter Motor Problems

For most of the reasons above, that can make your Acura TL not be able to start up; there have been some alternative methods for the car to start.

However, that is not the case with your car’s starter motor. With this component not working properly, you will not be able to have ignition.

It is important to know that the starter motor is a component that has a set lifetime. This means it is guaranteed to break after a certain amount of usage.

For most vehicles, including the Acura TL, this lifetime is up to 150,000 miles.

Since the latest Acura TL that you will find will be from 2014, there is a high chance that you will face some problems with this component.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Since the starter motor is not a repairable component, you will need to get a replacement component for it.
  • The starter motor is connected to some of the other components, which are much more delicate; there is a chance that you might mess up trying to fix it.
  • This is why I recommend you have a mechanic look into the replacement.
  • It is also important to get the right starter motor for your model as there have been some reported cases where the motor was incompatible.

5: Alternator Problems

The alternator is one of the most important components in any car’s engine. This is because this component is responsible for charging the battery.

In a lot of the cases where the battery runs out of charge, it is not the battery’s fault, but instead, it is the alternator that is responsible for it.

The alternator works by converting the mechanical energy to electrical energy, which in turn charges the battery.

In the cases where the alternator goes bad, it is the hot weather that is to blame.

Another culprit is the diodes. The diodes in an alternator are what are responsible for the alternator to be able to produce electricity.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The best way to check if your alternator is messed up is to do a headlight test.
  • It is best to do this outdoors at night when there is no carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Start your vehicle with the help of a jumper cable if you are unable to start it up.
  • Once it is started, accelerate and see if the lights brighten or dim, or flicker. If they do, then the alternator is messed up.
  • Alternators can be repaired in some rare cases. However, it is best to get them replaced as they do not tend to last very long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start With New Battery?

If the new batteries still cause start-up problems after being installed then make sure to check the terminals.

Check if they are connected tightly enough and ensure your battery was fully charged before the installation.

Q2. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start Even With A Jump?

Your Acura TL not being able to start even with the help of a jumper cable means that your battery is fine.

However, this also means that you cannot be sure where the source of the problem lies.

Hence, you will need to have a mechanic look into whether the problem is mechanical or electrical.

Q3. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start But Lights Work?

All components in any vehicle need different amounts of electrical power for them to be able to function properly.

Lights are one of the components that require a lower voltage than a starter motor.

So if the light is being turned on and the Acura TL is not starting up, your issue is related to the battery.

Q4. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start But Cranks?

This will help a lot in troubleshooting when looking for the source of the problem. A car cranking but not starting means the problem is not in the electrical system.

This is a clear indication that you need to be looking for the source of the mechanical system of your Acura TL.

Q5. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start Just Clicks?

This is a very bad sign when trying to diagnose your Acura TL. Clicking when starting the car means that the problem is located somewhere in the electrical system.

Since the electrical system is very complex, so finding where in the electrical system the problem is sourcing from is very difficult.

Q6. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start In The Cold Weather?

A lot of the time, low temperatures are responsible for car batteries to start performing inefficiently.

Other reasons why your Acura TL might not start in the winter include the oil freezing and components like the spark plugs not working properly.

Q7. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start After I Get Gas?

The problem is related to the fuel system of your Acura TL. I mentioned earlier that the engine needs a certain pressure of fuel for it to work properly.

Check if there are any blockages in the fuel filter or the pipes. If not, then it could be your fuel pump that is going bad.

Q8. Why Won’t My Acura TL Start But Radio Works?

A low-charged battery will be able to make your Acura TL’s radio work, but it will not be able to allow your car to start up. You can check your battery if that is charged enough or not.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Acura TL?


Although the car has now been discontinued, it was fairly recent, which means that there are quite a few of them on the road now.

However, it is about time that they start facing some of the problems that I have discussed in this article.

Start-up problems are just one of the many problems that plagued the earliest models of this vehicle. However, they can be traced back to the sources that I have explained in detail.

So, you now have the answer to the burning question, “Why won’t my Acura TL Start?”.

As always, I will still recommend that you get your car checked by a mechanic as well, as there are possibilities of other things that could be wrong with your car as well.