Driving the first few thousand miles in our 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec long-term test car went smoothly, but that all changed after we put it on a tough ride through the winding hills of southern Indiana. You can read how it handled a full day of beating here, but this story will focus on the dead infotainment system shown in the headline.
About halfway down the winding route, any sizeable pothole or bump in the road would obscure the infotainment system. A message would pop up saying “MOST NET LOSS”, then it quickly went black. The next big hole would make it flicker back on, but it never stayed on long after that. In addition to the screen loss, the speakers would make quite disturbing creaking noises.
This went on throughout the day and for several days afterwards. If the roads I was driving on were flat or had no major issues, the infotainment system would generally be fine. It took a big jostling of the car’s bones to get it to respond, but Michigan provided enough of that to make the problem extremely annoying in a hurry. So it went to the dealer.
After the local dealer checked it out, they said there was a TSB for this problem and they had already seen it appear on other RDXs and TLXs. Apparently there are a number of wire connectors between the infotainment system and the wiring harness causing the problems and disconnecting. The solution? Newly designed connectors from Acura, plus the wire harness was once so slightly freed to allow for a bit of movement in the event of violent shocks. If you do this (plus using the stronger new connectors), make sure that the voltage on these connectors is never so great that they will cause problems again.
The job was completed under warranty and took a full day from diagnosis to return of the car. We’ve traveled hundreds of miles on the car since the repair, and they’ve been completely hassle-free – it was certainly fun listening to Acura’s excellent ELS audio system again. That said, this is an issue we’ll be monitoring closely to see if Acura’s solution is really a long-term solution.
We’ll be going into more detail on how Acura’s TouchPad infotainment system works shortly (now that it actually works again), so watch out for that update in the near future.
You can find all other posts on our Long Term 2021 Acura TLX page.