Acura CL (2003 year). Instruction — page 1

2003 CL Online Reference Owner’s Manual

Use these links (and links throughout this manual) to navigate through this reference.

For a printed owner’s manual, click on authorized manuals or go to www.helminc.com.

Contents

Owner’s Identification Form

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

i

A Few Words About Safety…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

ii

Your Car at a Glance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2

Driver and Passenger Safety ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

5

Proper use and care of your car’s seat belts, and Supplemental Restraint System.
Instruments and Controls…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

55

Instrument panel indicator and gauge, and how to use dashboard and steering column controls.
Comfort and Convenience Features ………………………………………………………………………………….

121

How to operate the climate control system, the audio system, and other convenience features.
Before Driving………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

177

What gasoline to use, how to break-in your new car, and how to load luggage and other cargo.
Driving …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

191

The proper way to start the engine, shift the transmission, and park, plus towing a trailer.
Maintenance …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

225

The Maintenance Schedule shows you when you need to take your car to the dealer.
Appearance Care………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

285

Tips on cleaning and protecting your car. Things to look for if your car ever needs body repairs.
Taking Care of the Unexpected …………………………………………………………………………………………

293

This section covers several problems motorists sometimes experience, and how to handle them.
Technical Information………………………………………………………………………………………………………

323

ID numbers, dimensions, capacities, and technical information.
Warranty and Customer Relations (U.S. and Canada) ……………………………………………………….

337

A summary of the warranties covering your new Acura, and how to contact us.
Authorized Manuals (U.S. only)…………………………………………………………………………………………

341

How to order manuals and other technical literature.
Index……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I

Service Information Summary

A summary of information you need when you pull up to the fuel pump.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

This Owner’s Manual should be considered a
permanent part of the car, and should remain
with the car when it is sold.

This Owner’s Manual covers all models of
the Acura 3.2 CL. You may find descriptions
of equipment and features that are not on
your particular model.

The information and specifications included
in this publication were in effect at the time
of approval for printing. Honda Motor Co.,
Ltd. reserves the right, however, to
discontinue or change specifications or
design at any time without notice and without
incurring any obligation whatsoever.

Owner’s Identification

OWNER

ADDRESS

V. I. N.

DELIVERY DATE

DEALER NAME

DEALER NO.

ADDRESS

OWNER’S SIGNATURE

DEALER’S SIGNATURE

STREET

CITY

STATE/PROVINCE

ZIP CODE/

POSTAL CODE

(Date sold to original retail purchaser)

STREET

CITY

STATE/PROVINCE

ZIP CODE/

POSTAL CODE

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————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

As you read this manual, you will
find information that is preceded by
a

symbol. This

information is intended to help you
avoid damage to your Acura, other
property, or the environment.

One of the best ways to enhance the enjoyment of your new Acura is to read
this manual. In it, you will learn how to operate its driving controls and
convenience items. Afterwards, keep this owner’s manual in your car so you
can refer to it at any time.

Several warranties protect your new Acura. Read the warranty booklet
thoroughly so you understand the coverages and are aware of your rights
and responsibilities.

Maintaining your car according to the schedules given in this manual helps
to keep your driving trouble-free while it preserves your investment. When
your car needs maintenance, keep in mind that your Acura dealer’s staff is
specially trained in servicing the many systems unique to your Acura. Your
Acura dealer is dedicated to your satisfaction and will be pleased to answer
any questions and concerns.

California Proposition 65 Warning

This product contains or emits chemicals known to the State of

California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Congratulations ! Your selection of a 2003 Acura 3.2 CL was a wise
investment. It will give you years of driving pleasure.

Introduction

WARNING:

i

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————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

To help you make informed
decisions about safety, we have
provided operating procedures and
other information on labels and in
this manual. This information alerts
you to potential hazards that could
hurt you or others.

You will find this important safety information in a variety of forms,
including:

Your safety, and the safety of others,
is very important. And operating this
car safely is an important
responsibility.

Of course, it is not practical or
possible to warn you about all the
hazards associated with operating or
maintaining your car. You must use
your own good judgement.

This entire book is filled with important safety information

please read it

carefully.

how to use this car correctly and safely.

such as Driver and Passenger Safety.

These signal words mean:

on the car.

preceded by a safety alert symbol

and one of

three signal words:

,

, or

.

such as Important Safety Reminders or Important

Safety Precautions.

A Few Words About Safety

Instructions

Saf ety Section

Saf ety Labels
Saf ety Messages

Saf ety Headings

DANGER WARNING

CAUTION

ii

You CAN be HURT if you don’t follow
instructions.

You CAN be KILLED or SERIOUSLY
HURT if you don’t follow instructions.

You WILL be KILLED or SERIOUSLY
HURT if you don’t follow instructions.

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Your Car at a Glance

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Your Car at a Glance

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This section gives you important
information about how to protect
yourself and your passengers. It
shows you how to use seat belts
properly. It explains your Supple-
mental Restraint System. And it tells
you how to properly restrain infants
and children in your car.

………

Important Safety Precautions

.

6

………….

Your Car’s Safety Features

.

7

…………………………………

Seat Belts

.

8

…………………………………….

Airbags

.

9

…………………

Seats & Seat-Backs

.

10

……………………..

Head Restraints

.

10

…………………………….

Door Locks

.

10

……..

Pre-Drive Safety Checklist

.

11

……………………….

Protecting Adults

.

12

…..

1. Close and Lock the Doors

.

12

………..

2. Adjust the Front Seats

.

13

…………

3. Adjust the Seat-Backs

.

14

4. Adjust the Head Restraints .

15

5. Fasten and Position the Seat

……………………………….

Belts

.

15

….

6. Adjust the Steering Wheel

.

17

7. Maintain a Proper Sitting

…………………………..

Position

.

17

…..

Advice for Pregnant Women

.

18

Additional Safety Precautions .

19

……………………

Protecting Children

.

20

All Children Must Be

………………………….

Restrained

.

20

Children Should Sit in the Back

…………………………………….

Seat

.

21

The Passenger’s Front Airbag

Poses Serious Risks

………………………

to Children

.

22

If You Must Drive with Several

……………………………..

Children

.

24

If a Child Requires Close

…………………………….

Attention

.

24

Additional Safety Precautions .

24

General Guidelines for Using

………………………….

Child Seats

.

25

…………………..

Protecting Infants

.

29

………

Protecting Small Children

.

32

…….

Protecting Larger Children

.

36

Using Child Seats with

……………………………….

Tethers

.

40

………………………..

Using LATCH

.

41

Additional Information About Your

……………………………

Seat Belts

.

43

..

Seat Belt System Components .

43

………………….

Lap/Shoulder Belt

.

43

Automatic Seat Belt

………………………….

Tensioners

.

44

……………

Seat Belt Maintenance

.

45

Additional Information About

………………………

Your Airbags

.

46

……………………

SRS Components

.

46

How Your Front Airbags

…………………………………..

Work

.

46

How Your Side Airbags Work .

48

How the SRS Indicator Light

…………………………………

Works

.

49

How the Side Airbag Cutoff

………..

Indicator Light Works

.

50

………………………..

Airbag Service

.

51

Additional Safety Precautions .

51

………….

Carbon Monoxide Hazard

.

52

……………………………..

Safety Labels

.

53

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Driver and Passenger Safety

5

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You’ll find many safety
recommendations throughout this
section, and throughout this manual.
The recommendations on this page
are the ones we consider to be the
most important.

Excessive speed is a major factor in
crash injuries and deaths. Generally,
the higher the speed the greater the
risk, but serious accidents can also
occur at lower speeds. Never drive
faster than is safe for current
conditions, regardless of the
maximum speed posted.

A seat belt is your best protection in
all types of collisions. Airbags
supplement seat belts, but airbags
are designed to inflate only in a
moderate to severe frontal collision.
So even though your car is equipped
with airbags, make sure you and
your passengers always wear your
seat belts, and wear them properly.
(See page

.)

Children are safest when they are
properly restrained in the back seat,
not the front seat. A child who is too
small for a seat belt must be properly
restrained in a child safety seat. (See
page

.)

Having a tire blowout or a
mechanical failure can be extremely
hazardous. To reduce the possibility
of such problems, check your tire
pressures and condition frequently,
and perform all regularly scheduled
maintenance. (See page

.)

Alcohol and driving don’t mix. Even
one drink can reduce your ability to
respond to changing conditions, and
your reaction time gets worse with
every additional drink. So don’t drink
and drive, and don’t let your friends
drink and drive, either.

While airbags can save lives, they
can cause serious or fatal injuries to
occupants who sit too close to them,
or are not properly restrained.
Infants, young children, and short
adults are at the greatest risk. Be
sure to follow all instructions and
warnings in this manual. (See page

.)

9

15

20

228

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Important Safety Precautions

Always Wear Your Seat Belt

Be Aware of Airbag Hazards

Control Your Speed

Keep Your Car in Saf e Condition

Restrain All Children

Don’t Drink and Drive

6

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Table of Contents

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Your car is equipped with many
features that work together to
protect you and your passengers
during a crash.

Some safety features do not require
any action on your part. These
include a strong steel framework
that forms a safety cage around the
passenger compartment; front and
rear crush zones that are designed to
crumple and absorb energy during a
crash; a collapsible steering column;
and seat belt tensioners that
automatically tighten the front seat
belts in the event of a crash.

CONTINUED

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Your Car’s Safety Features

7

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Table of Contents

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

In addition, most states and all
Canadian provinces require you to
wear seat belts.

When properly worn, seat belts:

Help protect you in almost every
type of crash, including frontal,
side, and rear impacts and
rollovers.

For your safety, and the safety of
your passengers, your car is
equipped with seat belts in all seating
positions.

Seat belts are the single most
effective safety device for adults and
larger children. (Infants and smaller
children must be properly restrained
in child seats.)

Not wearing a seat belt properly
increases the chance of serious
injury or death in a crash, even
though your car has airbags.

Your seat belt system also
includes a light on the

instrument panel to remind you and
your passengers to fasten your seat
belts.

Keep you connected to the vehicle
so you can take advantage of the
vehicle’s built-in safety features.

These safety features are designed
to reduce the severity of injuries in a
crash. However, you and your
passengers can’t take full advantage
of these safety features unless you
remain sitting in a proper position
and

In fact, some safety

features can contribute to injuries if
they are not used properly.

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Your Car’s Safety Features

Seat Belts

Why Wear Seat Belts

always wear your seat belts

properly.

8

Not wearing a seat belt properly
increases the chance of serious
injury or death in a crash, even
if you have airbags.

Be sure you and your
passengers always wear seat
belts and wear them properly.

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Your car also has side airbags to help
protect the upper torso of the driver
or a front seat passenger during a
moderate to severe side impact.

The most important things you need
to know about your airbags are:

They are designed to supplement
the seat belts.

Help keep you from being thrown
against the inside of the car and
against other occupants.

Keep you from being thrown out
of the car.

Help keep you in a good position
should the airbags ever deploy. A
good position reduces the risk of
injury from an inflating airbag, and
allows you to get the best
advantage from the airbag.

Of course, seat belts cannot
completely protect you in every
crash. But in most cases, seat belts
can reduce your risk of serious
injury.

Always wear

your seat belt, and make sure you
wear it properly.

Your car has a Supplemental
Restraint System with dual-stage,
dual-threshold front airbags to help
protect the heads and chests of the
driver and a front seat passenger
during a moderate to severe frontal
collision.

CONTINUED

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Your Car’s Safety Features

Airbags do not replace seat belts.

What you should do:

Airbags

9

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Keeping your doors locked reduces
the chance of being thrown out of
the car during a crash. It also helps
prevent occupants from accidentally
opening a door and falling out, and
outsiders from unexpectedly opening
your doors.

Head restraints can help protect you
from whiplash and other injuries. For
maximum protection, the back of
your head should rest against the
center of the head restraint.

Move the front

seats as far back as possible, and
keep adjustable seat-backs in an
upright position whenever the car is
moving.

Your car’s seats are designed to keep
you in a comfortable, upright
position so you can take full
advantage of the protection offered
by seat belts and the energy
absorbing materials in the seats.

How you adjust your seats and seat-
backs can also affect your safety. For
example, sitting too close to the
steering wheel or dashboard
increases the risk of you or your
passenger being injured by striking
the inside of the car, or by an
inflating airbag.

Reclining a seat-back too far reduces
the seat belt’s effectiveness and
increases the chance that the seat’s
occupant will slide under the seat
belt in a crash and be seriously
injured.

To do their job, airbags must
inflate with tremendous force and
speed. So while airbags help save
lives, they can cause minor injuries,
or more serious or even fatal
injuries if occupants are not
properly restrained or sitting
properly.

Always wear

your seat belt properly, and sit
upright and as far back as possible
from the steering wheel or
dashboard.

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Your Car’s Safety Features

Door Locks

Head Restraints

Seats & Seat-Backs

What you should do:

Airbags of f er no protection in rear
impacts, rollovers, or minor
f rontal or side collisions.

Airbags can pose serious hazards.

What you should do:

10

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All adults, and children who have
outgrown child safety seats, are
wearing their seat belts and
wearing them properly (see page

).

Any infant or small child is
properly restrained in a child seat
in the back seat (see page

).

To make sure you and your
passengers get the maximum
protection from your car’s safety
features, check the following each
time before you drive away:

The rest of this section gives more
detailed information about how you
can maximize your safety.

Remember, however, that no safety
system can prevent all injuries or
deaths that can occur in severe
crashes, even when seat belts are
properly worn and the airbags deploy.

Head restraints are properly
adjusted (see page

).

Front seat occupants are sitting
upright and as far back as possible
from the steering wheel and
dashboard (see page

).

All cargo is properly stored or
secured (see page

).

Seat-backs are upright (see page

).

Both doors are closed and locked
(see page

).

15

20

13

14

15

12

187

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Pre-Drive Saf ety Checklist

Your Car’s Safety Features

11

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The following pages provide
instructions on how to properly
protect the driver and other adult
occupants.

These instructions also apply to
children who have outgrown child
seats and are large enough to wear
lap/shoulder belts. (See page

for

important additional guidelines on
how to properly protect larger
children.)

For security, locked doors can
prevent an outsider from
unexpectedly opening a door when
you come to a stop.

See page

for how to lock the

doors.

For safety, locking the doors reduces
the chance that a passenger,
especially a child, will open a door
while the car is moving and
accidentally fall out. It also reduces
the chance of someone being thrown
out of the car during a crash.

Your car has a door monitor light on
the instrument panel to indicate
when a specific door is not tightly
closed.

After everyone has entered the car,
be sure the doors are closed and
locked.

36

82

Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Protecting Adults

Introduction

Close and Lock the Doors

1.

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Any driver who sits too close to the
steering wheel is at risk of being
seriously injured or killed by striking
the steering wheel or from being
struck by an inflating front airbag
during a crash.

To reduce the chance of injury, wear
your seat belt properly, sit upright
with your back against the seat, and
move the seat away from the
steering wheel to the farthest
distance that allows you to maintain
full control of the car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration and Transport
Canada recommend that drivers
adjust the seat so the center of the
chest is at least 10 inches (25 cm)
away from the center of the steering
wheel. Also make sure your front
seat passenger moves the seat as far
to the rear as possible.

See page

for how to adjust the

front seats.

Once your seat is adjusted correctly,
rock it back and forth to make sure
the seat is locked in position.

Most shorter drivers can get far
enough away from the steering
wheel and still reach the pedals.
However, if you are concerned about
sitting too close, we recommend that
you investigate whether some type
of adaptive equipment may help.

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Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Protecting Adults

Adjust the Front Seats

2.

13

Sitting too close to a front
airbag can result in serious
injury or death if the front
airbags inflate.

Always sit as far back from the
front airbags as possible.

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See page

for how to adjust seat-

backs.

A front passenger should also adjust
the seat-back to an upright position,
but as far from the dashboard as
possible. A passenger who sits too
close to the dashboard could be
injured if the front airbag inflates.

Reclining a seat-back so that the
shoulder part of the belt no longer
rests against the occupant’s chest
reduces the protective capability of
the belt. It also increases the chance
of sliding under the belt in a crash
and being seriously injured. The
farther a seat-back is reclined, the
greater the risk of injury.

Adjust the driver’s seat-back to a
comfortable, upright position,
leaving ample space between your
chest and the airbag cover in the
center of the steering wheel. If you
sit too close to the steering wheel,
you could be injured if the front
airbag inflates.

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Driver and Passenger Saf ety

Protecting Adults

Adjust the Seat-Backs

3.

14

Reclining the seat-back too far
can result in serious injury or
death in a crash.

Adjust the seat-back to an
upright position and sit well
back in the seat.

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