When it all started…(2nd Edition)

Happy Thanksgiving! Well, let’s get started on this new journey and new direction my blog will take. I have yet to change my subtitle, “Life with my 7th Generation Accord” to something more pertinent to the TL. A new cover photo is in order as well. I call this post, “When it all started…(2nd Edition)” since my story of purchasing the Accord was, “When it all started...” I wanted to keep things a little consistent. So, here’s how it all started with the TL:

It’s November 16th, 2013 and my friend Jouhl came along with me to fly to Sherman Oaks, CA (in the LA area) to pick up my TL at Center Acura. I’ve searched for days online to find the perfect fourth generation TL equipped with a 6-speed manual. There were very few in the entire country and even fewer within my southwest region. A statistic I read showed that only 8% of TLs were manufactured with a manual. (Makes you wonder why Acura even bothered) In the midst of my search, I found only two with a 6-speed manual in California. None in Arizona, New Mexico or Colorado. Only one was listed in Texas, however that car had been run pretty hard. For the two in California, one was a Certified Pre-Owned example with 24,440 miles from the Sherman Oaks Acura dealership. The other was heavily modified with 50,000 miles by a Buick dealer. Even though the price was much higher than I planed on, I chose to target the Certified Pre-Owned one. Here’s the American Airline ticket for the flight we were to board for 5:40am.


But disaster! We overslept and despite a rushed drive to the airport in El Paso, we missed the flight. We had two options from there. Catch a 7:30 flight to Dallas where there would be a two hour layover and then take another to LA, or wait until 12:40pm for the next direct flight to LA. I chose the 12:40 one. I had my doubts in my decision, but it worked out in the end. So, we kicked back for about 6hrs at the El Paso International airport.


I was anxious since flying gives me the hebe-jebes, and I was worried that someone over in Sherman Oaks could walk into the dealership and still buy the TL if they had the cash. I also was uneasy about choosing this car that I hadn’t seen in person. I only had photos to go by online and what the sales guy told me. I wasn’t bound to this car as I didn’t put a deposit down or electronically sign any papers, but I really didn’t want this trip and money to be wasted.

Surprisingly, those 6hours didn’t seem that long and we eventually were aboard and off in the air!


Most of the entertainment on the flight was observing the birds-eye view of the landscape.



We landed in LA around 1:40pm. Quite a bit behind schedule, but we finally made it nevertheless. I was still anxious since we basically were dropped in the midst of one of the largest cities in the county, and we had no transportation and no understanding of the area.


Jouhl suggested we get a snack and drink at Starbucks before challenging anything else. It calmed me down quite a bit.


I debated on renting a car, taking a cab or using the airport shuttle to get to the dealership that was 20 miles away in Sherman Oaks. We ended up choosing the airport shuttle for cost, and putting faith in the prospect I’d be driving off the lot in my new car. I used my phone to help the driver with the address and location of the dealership.


We arrived! I felt a little more relaxed since we were there. I snapped this rather crummy photo while walking. Jouhl was already ready to charge into the dealership.


Once inside I met up with Fred, the salesperson, who I had been in contact with days before heading out from New Mexico. He kindly pulled the TL out from the back for me to look over. Once I laid my eyes on it, I knew it was the one! Glad I made the move. Except for a small dent on the roof, this was one mint example that had been used very lightly. It had all the keys, original tires, owner’s manuals, and a clean 1 owner CarFax report. It was originally leased and serviced from Center Acura. This was quite a difference from when I purchased my Accord. Then I was planning out all that I’d have to repair and upgrade. Not this time…


After a test drive, bartering, and signing all the papers, the keys were officially handed to me four hours later!


Here’s one Fred took of Jouhl and I.


The mileage when I officially took the keys was at 24,446. This is the lowest mileage vehicle I’ve ever purchased!


From there, we immediately wanted to start the trail back to New Mexico. From LA to Las Cruces would be a total of 778 miles and 11 hours. Despite feeling quite weary, we drove that same night a few hours due east to a hotel in Indio, CA where we would spend the night. From there it would be a straight shot to home.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 10.38.42 AM

I woke up the next morning and had quite a treat to see when looked out the window.


Here, I stopped just outside of Blythe, CA for the first fill up for the TL. With an estimated EPA rating of 19MPG city and 27MPG highway, I was going to have to just accept the fact that this would be a little more thirsty than either my Accord or RSX I used to have. At this fill up, I calculated 27MPG. Not bad considering it includes some driving in LA traffic. It gave me hope I may be able to achieve 30 if I do some steady highway driving with the cruise control on.




While filling up, it gave me some time to walk around and survey the car up close and personal.



I kept the receipt for the first fill up.


We stopped briefly in Phoenix where me met up with my friend Tyson so he could see the TL and we could take some pix before sunset. Good to be a part of the Acura family again. Here’s a photo of Tyson’s friend, Paul with his gorgeous 2013 TL SH-AWD.


We then called Tyson over to be a part of the group photo. His Silver Moon ILX sure looks sleek at dusk.


Photoed here: Paul with his 2013 TL SH-AWD, Tyson with 2013 ILX, and my 2010 TL. All we needed to complete the picture is someone in a TSX.



One of my favorite details to Paul’s ride is this white sticker of Grumpy Cat. Love it!


If you look closely, you can see his custom plate that finishes off the sticker nicely!


From there, Jouhl and I pretty much made a straight shot to home. From Phoenix, it was 6hrs to Las Cruces.

After getting home around 1:30am, Charlie had to inspect and approve my purchase. (no lifting of legs was allowed though)


And that’s how I obtained ownership of the TL. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

6 thoughts on “When it all started…(2nd Edition)

  1. It looks like Charlie approved of the TL! I still can’t believe how drawn out your purchase day was – with the 6 hour airport delay and the 4 hour transaction itself, you guys must have been totally exhausted when all was said and done. The car was worth it, though. I love that you took a picture of the beginning mileage, you got a proper key hand-off pic, and you even saved the first gas receipt. Yay for documentation. Glad we got to see you yesterday on your (second) trip through PHX in the new TL, too.

    • Tyson, you bet we were exhausted and just wanted to get home! I didn’t even really start appreciating the TL until we got into Arizona and traffic calmed down. I got a few of the documentation ideas from your blog. I wanted to make absolutely sure that the mileage was carefully photographed before putting my first mile on. Glad we could meet up too and look forward to the first official ILX+TL drive!

  2. Congrats on your TL! Call your local high end car dealerships and ask for the sales manager &/or used car manager & get the number of their “paintless dent” guy. If the dent in the roof isn’t too bad and the paint isnt scraped or cracked, these guys will be able to push that dent out fairly easy for around a couple hundred bucks and have it done in a couple hours or less. They may even be able to come out to your house & do it. But first step is to get that number and have him look at it & give you a quote. If paintless dent repair will work in your case it will be way faster and cheaper than traditional repairs (3-4 days & $300 – $500 depending on dent size).

    • Thanks, Josh! Great advice on the PDR. I have a guy I’ve used before but I’m not looking forward to what he may end up charging me for the roof. I still may call around as you’ve mentioned to see if the price varies that much. Regardless, I’m looking to get it fixed soon. Hope you’re enjoying the TSX. I’m enjoying following your stories.

  3. Pingback: The End of Chapter 2 – 2010 Acura TL | DrivenForDrives

  4. Pingback: New Addition to the Garage: 2014 Lexus IS 350 RWD | Pawela's Garage

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