Acura CL (2003 year). Instruction — page 13

This section gives you tips on
starting the engine under various
conditions, and how to operate the
automatic transmission. It also
includes important information on
parking your car, the braking system,
the Traction Control System, the
Vehicle Stability Assist System, and
facts you need if you are planning to
tow a trailer.

……………………

Preparing to Drive

.

192

…………………..

Starting the Engine

.

193

Starting in Cold Weather

………………..

at High Altitude

.

193

….

6-speed Manual Transmission

.

194

…..

Recommended Shift Points

.

195

…………..

Engine Speed Limiter

.

195

…………………..

Reverse Lockout

.

196

…………..

Automatic Transmission

.

197

.

Shift Lever Position Indicator .

197

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Shift Lever Positions

.

198

…………..

Engine Speed Limiter

.

203

………………..

Shift Lock Release

.

204

…………………………………….

Parking

.

205

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The Braking System

.

206

………….

Brake Wear Indicators

.

206

……………

Brake System Design

.

207

…………………..

Anti-lock Brakes

.

207

Important Safety

…………………….

Reminders

.

208

……………………

ABS Indicator

.

208

…………..

Traction Control System

.

209

Vehicle Stability Assist System .

212

……………

Driving in Bad Weather

.

215

………………………

Towing a Trailer

.

217

Driving

Driving

191

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Make sure all windows, mirrors,
and outside lights are clean and
unobstructed. Remove frost, snow,
or ice.

Check that the hood and trunk are
fully closed.

Check the adjustment of the
inside and outside mirrors (see
page

).

Check the adjustment of the
steering wheel (see page

).

Make sure the doors are securely
closed and locked.

Fasten your seat belt. Check that
your passengers have fastened
their seat belts (see page

).

Turn the ignition switch ON (II).
Check the indicator lights in the
instrument panel.

Start the engine (see page

).

Check the gauges and indicator
lights in the instrument panel (see
page

).

Visually check the tires. If a tire
looks low, use a gauge to check its
pressure.

Check that any items you may be
carrying with you inside are stored
properly or fastened down
securely.

You should do the following checks
and adjustments every day before
you drive your car.

Check the adjustment of the seat
(see page

).

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

15

10.

11.

12.

91

98

76

193

57

Preparing to Drive

Driving

192

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Apply the parking brake.

In cold weather, turn off all
electrical accessories to reduce
the drain on the battery.

Push the clutch pedal down all the
way. START (III) does not
function unless the clutch pedal is
depressed.

Make sure the shift lever is in
Park. Press on the brake pedal.

Without touching the accelerator
pedal, turn the ignition key to the
START (III) position. If the engine
does not start right away, do not
hold the key in START (III) for
more than 15 seconds at a time.
Pause for at least 10 seconds
before trying again.

If the engine does not start within

15 seconds, or starts but stalls
right away, repeat step 4 with the
accelerator pedal pressed half-way
down. If the engine starts, release
pressure on the accelerator pedal
so the engine does not race.

If the engine still does not start,
press the accelerator pedal all the
way down and hold it there while
starting in order to clear flooding.
As before, keep the ignition key in
the START (III) position for no
more than 15 seconds. Return to
step 5 if the engine does not start.
If it starts, lift your foot off the
accelerator pedal so the engine
does not race.

An engine is harder to start in cold
weather. The thinner air found at
high altitude above 8,000 feet (2,400
meters) adds to the problem.

Use the following procedure:

Turn off all electrical accessories
to reduce the drain on the battery.

Push the accelerator pedal half-
way to the floor and hold it there
while starting the engine. Do not
hold the ignition key in START
(III) for more than 15 seconds.
When the engine starts, release
the accelerator pedal gradually as
the engine speeds up and smooths
out.

If the engine fails to start in step 2,
push the accelerator pedal to the
floor and hold it there while you
try to start the engine for no more
than 15 seconds. If the engine
does not start, return to step 2.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

1.

2.

3.

Manual Transmission:

Automatic Transmission:

Driving

Starting the Engine

Starting in Cold Weather at High
Altitude (Above 8,000 f eet/
2,400 meters)

193

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The manual transmission is synchro-
nized in all forward gears for smooth
operation. It has a lockout so you
cannot shift directly from Fifth to
Reverse instead of sixth (see page

). When shifting up or down,

make sure you push the clutch pedal
down all the way, shift to the next
gear, and let the pedal up gradually.
When you are not shifting, do not
rest your foot on the clutch pedal.
This can cause your clutch to wear
out faster.

Come to a full stop before you shift
into Reverse. You can damage the
transmission by trying to shift into
Reverse with the car moving. Push
down the clutch pedal, and pause for
a few seconds before shifting into
Reverse, or shift into one of the
forward gears for a moment. This
stops the gears so they won’t ‘‘grind.’’

When slowing down, you can get
extra braking from the engine by
shifting to a lower gear. This extra
braking can help you maintain a safe
speed and prevent your brakes from
overheating while going down a
steep hill. Before downshifting,
make sure engine speed will not go
into the tachometer’s red zone in the
lower gear.

196

Driving

6

-speed Manual Transmission

194

Rapid slowing or speeding-up
can cause loss of control on
slippery surfaces. If you crash,
you can be injured.

Use extra care when driving on
slippery surfaces.

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Drive in the highest gear that lets
the engine run and accelerate
smoothly. This will give you the best
fuel economy and effective emis-
sions control. The following shift
points are recommended:

If you exceed the maximum speed
for the gear you are in, the engine
speed will enter into the tachometer’s
red zone. If this occurs, you may feel
the engine cut in and out. This is
caused by a limiter in the engine’s
computer controls. The engine will
run normally when you reduce the
RPM below the red zone.

Shift up

1st to 2nd

2nd to 3rd

3rd to 4th
4th to 5th
5th to 6th

Normal acceleration

15 mph (24 km/h)
25 mph (40 km/h)
40 mph (64 km/h)
47 mph (75 km/h)
52 mph (83 km/h)

Before downshifting, make sure the
engine will not go into the
tachometer’s red zone.

Driving

6-speed Manual Transmission

Recommended Shif t Points

Engine Speed Limiter

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With the clutch pedal depressed,
move the shift lever to the First/
Second gear side of the Neutral
gate, then shift to Reverse.

If you are still unable to shift to
Reverse, apply the parking brake
and turn the ignition key to
ACCESSORY (I) or LOCK (0).

Depress the clutch pedal and shift
to Reverse.

With the clutch pedal still de-
pressed, start the engine.

If you need to use this procedure to
shift to Reverse, your car may be
developing a problem. Have the car
checked by your Acura dealer.

The 6-speed manual transmission
has an electric lockout so you cannot
accidentally shift from Fifth to
Reverse instead of Sixth while the
car is moving. If you cannot shift to
Reverse when the car is stopped:

1.

2.

3.

4.

Driving

6-speed Manual Transmission

Reverse Lockout

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Your Acura’s transmission has five
forward speeds, and is electronically
controlled for smoother shifting. It
also has a ‘‘lock-up’’ torque converter
for better fuel economy. You may
feel what seems like another shift
when the converter locks.

This indicator in the tachometer
shows which position the shift lever
is in. The illuminated number next to
the ‘‘D ’’ indicator shows you the
gear you have selected in the
Sequential SportShift mode.

The ‘‘D ’’ indicator comes on for a
few seconds when you turn the
ignition switch ON (II). If it flashes
while driving (in any shift position),
it indicates a possible problem in the
transmission. Avoid rapid
acceleration and have the
transmission checked by an
authorized Acura dealer as soon as
possible.

The malfunction indicator lamp may
come on along with the ‘‘D ’’
indicator if there is a problem in the
automatic transmission control
system.

5

5

5

Shif t Lever Position Indicator

Automatic Transmission

Driving

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The shift lever has nine positions. It
must be in Park or Neutral to start
the engine. When you are stopped in
D , D , D , 2, 1, N, R, or the
Sequential SportShift mode, press
firmly on the brake pedal and keep
your foot off the accelerator pedal.

To select the Sequential SportShift
mode, slide the shift lever toward the
left from the ‘‘D ’’ position.
In this mode the shift lever allows
you to shift up and down manually.

You cannot shift out of Park with the
brake pedal depressed when the
ignition switch is in LOCK (0) or
ACCESSORY (I).

Whenever you move the shift lever,
slide it along the guide on the
console.

5

4

3

5

To shift from:

P to R

R to N

N to D

D to D

D to D

D to 2

2 to 1

1 to 2

2 to D

D to D

D to D

D to N

N to R

R to P

Do this:

Press the brake pedal, then

move the shift lever.

Move the lever.

5

5

4

4

3

3

3

3

4

4

5

5

Shif t Lever Positions

Automatic Transmission

Driving

198

S

S

H

H

I

I

F

F

T

T

L

L

E

E

V

V

E

E

R

R

S

S

E

E

Q

Q

U

U

E

E

N

N

T

T

I

I

A

A

L

L

S

S

P

P

O

O

R

R

T

T

S

S

H

H

I

I

F

F

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M

M

O

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D

D

E

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P

P

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S

S

I

I

T

T

I

I

O

O

N

N

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This position mechani-

cally locks the transmission. Use
Park whenever you are turning off or
starting the engine. To shift out of
Park, you must press on the brake
pedal and have your foot off the
accelerator pedal. Move the shift
lever to the right to shift out of the
Park position.

To avoid transmission damage, come
to a complete stop before shifting
into Park. The shift lever must be in
Park before you can remove the key
from the ignition switch.

To shift to Reverse

from Park, see the explanation under
Park. To shift to Reverse from
Neutral, come to a complete stop and
then shift.

If you have done all of the above and
still cannot move the lever out of
Park, see Shift Lock Release on page

.

Your car has a reverse lockout so
you cannot accidentally shift to
Reverse from Neutral or any other
driving position when the vehicle
speed exceeds 7

9 mph (12

14

km/h).

If you cannot shift to Reverse when
the car is stopped, press the brake
pedal and slowly shift to Neutral, and
then to Reverse.

If there is a problem in the reverse
lockout system, or your car’s battery
is disconnected or goes dead, you
cannot shift to Reverse. (Refer to
Shift Lock Release on page

).

204

204

CONTINUED

Park (P)

Reverse (R)

Automatic Transmission

Driving

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Use Neutral if you

need to restart a stalled engine, or if
it is necessary to stop briefly with
the engine idling. Shift to Park posi-
tion if you need to leave the car for
any reason. Press on the brake pedal
when you are moving the shift lever
from Neutral to another gear.

Use this position for

your normal driving. The
transmission automatically selects a
suitable gear for your speed and
acceleration. You may notice the
transmission shifting up at higher
speeds when the engine is cold. This
helps the engine warm up faster.

With

the shift lever in ‘‘D ’’ position, you
can select the Sequential SportShift
mode to shift gears; much like a
manual transmission, but without a
clutch pedal.

Even with the Sequential SportShift
Mode selected, the transmission will
automatically upshift and downshift
between first and second gear.

To enter the Sequential SportShift
mode, move the shift lever to the left.
To return to ‘‘D ’’, move the shift
lever to the right.

When you move the shift lever from
‘‘D ’’ to the Sequential SportShift
mode, the display shows the selected
gear.

In the Sequential SportShift mode,
each time you push forward on the
shift lever, the transmission shifts to
a higher gear. Pull back on the lever
to downshift. The number of the
gear selected is displayed next to the
‘‘D ’’ indicator (see page

).

197

5

5

5

5

Neutral (N)

Drive (D )

5

Sequential SportShif t Mode

Automatic Transmission

Driving

200

D

D

o

o

w

w

n

n

s

s

h

h

i

i

f

f

t

t

U

U

p

p

s

s

h

h

i

i

f

f

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When you accelerate away from a
stop, the transmission will start in
first gear and then automatically
upshift to second gear. You have to
manually upshift between second
and fifth gears. Make sure you
upshift before the engine speed
reaches the tachometer’s red zone.

The transmission remains in the
selected gear (5, 4, 3). There is no
automatic downshift when you push
the accelerator pedal to the floor.

The transmission may automatically
downshift from the higher gear to
the lower gear under the following
conditions:

To shift from

4

3

5

4

Speed range

under 18 mph
(29 km/h)

under 34 mph
(55 km/h)

To shift from

4

3

5

4

Speed range

under 34 mph
(55 km/h)

under 47 mph
(75 km/h)

Downshifting gives you more power
when climbing or provides engine
braking when going down a steep hill.

The transmission will also shift
automatically as the vehicle comes to
a complete stop. It will downshift to
first gear when the vehicle speed is
under 9 mph (15 km/h).

If you try to manually downshift at a
speed that would cause the engine to
exceed the redline in a lower gear,
the transmission will not downshift.

The gear indicator will flash the
number of the lower gear several
times, then return to the higher gear.

Driving uphill

Driving on level roads and downhill

CONTINUED

Driving

Automatic Transmission

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If the car speed slows to below the
redline of the selected lower gear
position while the indicator is
flashing, the transmission will
downshift and the display will show
the selected lower gear.

If the transmission temperature is
below 14 °F (

10 °C), you may not

be able to use the Sequential
SportShift mode.

These positions

are similar to D , except when you
select the D position, only the first
four gears are selected. When you
select D , only the first three gears
are selected. D can also keep the
transmission from cycling between
fourth and fifth gears in stop-and-go
driving, and D can keep the
transmission from cycling between
third and fourth gears.

Use D when towing a trailer in hilly
terrain, or to provide engine braking
when going down a steep hill. D
gives you more power and increased
engine braking.

The table shows the speed ranges
for upshifting and downshifting.

To shift from

2

3

3

4

4

5

Speed range

over 9 mph
(15 km/h)

over 18 mph
(29 km/h)

over 34 mph
(55 km/h)

Speed range

under 60 mph
(96 km/h)
under 65 mph
(104 km/h)

under 93 mph
(150 km/h)
under 104 mph
(166 km/h)

under 125 mph
(200 km/h)

To shift from

3

2

4

3

5

4

5

4

3

4

3

3

3

1 :

2 :

Premium model

Type-S

1

2

1

2

Drive (D , D )

4

3

Automatic Transmission

Driving

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For faster acceleration when in D ,
D or D , you can get the
transmission to automatically
downshift by pushing the accelerator
pedal to the floor. The transmission
will shift down one or two gears,
depending on your speed.

This position locks

the transmission in second gear. It
does not downshift to first gear
when you come to a stop. Second
gives you more power when climbing,
and increased engine braking when
going down steep hills. Use second
gear when starting out on a slippery
surface or in deep snow. It will help
reduce wheelspin.

With the lever in this

position, the transmission locks in
First gear.

If you shift into First position when
the vehicle speed is above 31 mph
(50 km/h), the transmission shifts
into Second gear first to avoid
sudden engine braking.

If you exceed the maximum speed
for the gear you are in, the engine
speed will enter into the tachometer’s
red zone. If this occurs, you may feel
the engine cut in and out. This is
caused by a limiter in the engine’s
computer controls. The engine will
run normally when you reduce the
RPM below the red zone.

3

4

5

Second (2)

First (1)

Engine Speed Limiter

Automatic Transmission

Driving

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If you need to use the Shift Lock
Release, it means your car is
developing a problem. Have the car
checked by your Acura dealer.

This allows you to move the shift
lever out of Park if the normal
method of pushing on the brake
pedal does not work. This procedure
is also used to release the Reverse
Lockout.

Insert a screwdriver in the Shift
Lock Release slot.

Push down on the screwdriver and
move the shift lever out of Park to
Neutral.

To release the Reverse Lockout,
move the shift lever from Neutral
to Reverse, then to Park.

Remove the screwdriver from the
Shift Lock Release slot, then
reinstall the cover. Make sure the
notch on the cover is on the right
side. Depress the brake pedal and
restart the engine.

Set the Parking brake.

Make sure the ignition switch is in
the OFF (0) position.

To release the Reverse Lockout,
make sure the ignition switch is in
the ACCESSORY (I) position.

Put a cloth on the edge of the Shift
Lock Release slot cover next to
the shift lever.
Use a small flat-tipped screwdriver
or small metal plate (neither are
included in the tool kit) to remove
the cover. Carefully pry on the
edge of the cover.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Shif t Lock Release

Automatic Transmission

Driving

204

S

S

H

H

I

I

F

F

T

T

L

L

O

O

C

C

K

K

R

R

E

E

L

L

E

E

A

A

S

S

E

E

S

S

L

L

O

O

T

T

C

C

O

O

V

V

E

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R

R

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Make sure the moonroof and the
windows are closed.

Place any packages, valuables, etc.,
in the trunk or take them with you.

Turn off the lights.

Lock the doors with the key or the
remote transmitter. Check the
indicator on the driver’s door to
verify that the security system is
set.

Never park over dry leaves, tall
grass, or other flammable
materials. The three way catalytic
converter gets very hot, and could
cause these materials to catch on
fire.

Always use the parking brake when
you park your car. The indicator on
the instrument panel shows that the
parking brake is not fully released; it
does not indicate that the parking
brake is firmly set. Make sure the
parking brake is set firmly or your
car may roll if it is parked on an
incline.

If your car has an automatic
transmission, set the parking brake
before you put the transmission in
Park. This keeps the car from
moving and putting pressure on the
parking mechanism in the
transmission

making it easier to

move the shift lever out of Park
when you want to drive away.

If the car is facing uphill, turn the
front wheels away from the curb. If
you have a manual transmission, put
it in first gear.

If the car is facing downhill, turn the
front wheels toward the curb. If you
have a manual transmission, put it in
reverse gear.

Make sure the parking brake is fully
released before driving away.
Driving with the parking brake
partially set can overheat or damage
the rear brakes.

Parking Tips

Parking

Driving

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Your Acura is equipped with disc
brakes at all four wheels. A power
assist helps reduce the effort needed
on the brake pedal. The ABS helps
you retain steering control when
braking very hard.

Put your foot on the brake pedal only
when you intend to brake. Resting
your foot on the pedal keeps the
brakes applied lightly, causing them
to build up heat. Heat build-up can
reduce how well your brakes work. It
also keeps your brake lights on all
the time, confusing drivers behind
you.

Constant application of the brakes
when going down a long hill builds
up heat and reduces their effective-
ness. Use the engine to assist the
brakes by downshifting to a lower
gear and taking your foot off the
accelerator pedal.

Check your brakes after driving
through deep water. Apply the
brakes moderately to see if they feel
normal. If not, apply them gently and
frequently until they do. Since a
longer distance is needed to stop
with wet brakes, be extra cautious
and alert in your driving.

All four brakes have audible brake
wear indicators.
When the brake pads need replacing,
you will hear a distinctive metallic
‘‘screeching’’ sound when you apply
the brakes. If you do not have the
brake pads replaced, they will begin
screeching all the time.

Your brakes may sometimes squeal
or squeak when you apply them
lightly. Do not confuse this with the
brake wear indicators. They make a
very audible ‘‘screeching.’’

Brake Wear Indicators

The Braking System

Driving

206

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