Tip & How-To about Acura TL

Air condition replace

1996 Acura TL 3.2 - after speaking with the pro at the dealership I learned that there were 3 years of the TL where they placed the air condition unit behind the dashboard - the whole friggen thing has to come off and the air condition unit as a whole comes out - My blower motor went out so here is my list of todos to get this replaced - The Chilton manual described this process way too broadly so I cried and cussed alot during this - lol

1 need to have the 134 discharged out of the unit by a professional
2 remove the negative cable from the battery post
3 remove both front seats
4 remove the glove box
5 remove the center console
6 remove the plastic cover on each side of the steering wheel to expose the hex nuts that will allow you to remove the airbag (think of this thing as a bomb in your steering wheel and treat it as such - it can kill you - make sure you disconnect from the negative battery post and let the residual energy drain for about 10 minutes before attempting the airbag removal)
7 remove the steering wheel - one nut and shake side to side until it breaks free
8 the clock spring behind the steering wheel is the next thing to come off - use a piece of tape to hold it in place because if it spins, you've lost your position or "calibration" (I'm told you can count the number of revolutions from lock to lock and then divide that in half to get it back to center, but I haven't tried it yet...)
8 then remove the blinker washer unit
9 start popping off trim pieces from the dashboard - the left and right vent will stay -
10 its about right here where you need to slow down, take a step back - grab a pencil and paper and draw your own interpretation of all of the wires going back and forth - this exercise will focus you in on this maze and give you confidence that you can get it all back together when you start heading back in the other direction. for the most part, there are no 2 connections that are the same, so that helps but you want to go thru this - here is a helpful hint - there is one big main bundle running across the top of the dash that can stay with the dashboard and all the other wires you might find - especially the yellow strand that is the SRS system gets uplugged and pulled away and stays on the floor -
11 - there are 2 main bolts on each side of the dashboard that you have to open the covers there to get to. I think there are 2 bolts under the dashboard box that have to come undone and the dashboard is ready to come out ( there may be some other minor things but you'll find them as you go
12 - with the dashboard you discover a pretty stout support bar that was under the driver side dash- after pulling all the bolts for this I had to losen the support bracket for the stearing column to drop it down and over - once I got that done I could articulate this suppor bar out.
13 - now I'm lifting the hood up on the engine - removing the 2 heater core hoses and the 2 air condition lines. The top air condition line I had to trace back toward the front of the car and loosen where it was connected for support - this allows the line to move a little, so once you get the bolt off you can move it around out of the way. then do the air condition line below that - so thats 4 lines running thru the firewall. there is also a single threaded "bolt" running thru the firewall - losen and remove the nut - 14 Now back on this inside - the air condition unit itself had 2 bolts on the top and 4 on the bottom.
15 Now heres another tip - all the stuff that was sitting behind where the glove box is... all that stuff has to come out to get to a single bolt holding the right side of the air condition housing. I actually broke this one yanking on it to get the unit out. for the life of me I could find this. There also is a plastic fastener at the top on the unit that you might find holding it to metal dash frame

Now the air condition unit is out - and you've got your complete interior pulled out of the car - you start to see why the repair cost thousands to do. At this point I realized this so I determined that I would pull a few more bolts to replace the carpet in the car...may as well get the most of this exercise.

Posted by on

Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

Need radio code for 1996 Acura TL 3.2 Serial Number 94A112783

Call a Acura dealership to get the code- see if you can find out where the Acura was purchased. If you don't know then keep calling other Acura Dealerships until you get the answer. Someone will tell you. Goodluck!

Aug 23, 2010 | 1996 Acura TL Series

1 Answer

i just bought a 1996 Acura tl 4 door and i need

You need to get the serial number off the sticker attached to the radio. It will require pulling apart your dash. Call an Acura dealership with that serial number and they should be able to provide you the code. Or you can take it directly to the dealer but you will be charged labor.

Jul 22, 2010 | 1996 Acura TL Series

1 Answer

cooling system problem

Had same problem with my 3.2L TL in 90C+ air temps last summer (2008). Dealership found an easy fix after much investigation - they hosed off debris that had built up on outside of radiator. No problems since, and the cleaning also revitalized the air conditioning which had been operating poorly.

Jun 13, 2009 | 1996 Acura TL Series

Not finding what you are looking for?

1,504 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Acura Experts


Level 3 Expert

75197 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22095 Answers

Jeff Turcotte
Jeff Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

7782 Answers

Are you an Acura Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions