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#490 of 504 1990 Integra
Oct 18, 2000 (5:19 pm)
I just recently found this forum, and I thought I would share with you my experience with my girlfriend’s Integra.
She has a 1990 Integra (stick shift) with 197K miles on it. The car is still in an amazing shape! She replaced the clutch and the muffler at about 130K miles (the new muffler now has a lifetime warranty), the alternator – just last year at about 185K miles, and recently she had to replace the exhaust B-pipe due to some rusting. Other than that the car has never had any major problem. There were of course the small maintenance items, like tires, break pads, batteries, etc.
I am really impressed by the car. My girlfriend still gets 30-35mpg mixed city/highway driving. (Last year when we went on a long trip I got almost 40mpg with the cruise control set at 65mph throughout the whole trip.) The car is maintained by Acura only, and my girlfriend changes the oil every 3000 miles. The car burns absolutely no oil at all! My 98 BMW definitely burns more oil (about half a quart every 7-8K miles).
There are two issues that I would like to address at the next major maintenance, which is coming up next month:
1. The car vibrates a little, particularly the steering wheel, when in neutral and after it had warmed up. This has been the case for the last 3-4 years. It is consistent with an earlier post. I wonder what it is. Any idea/similar experience? Any help will be appreciated.
2. The car has become rather bumpy when going through uneven surfaces. It is almost like a loud bang every time real wheel goes through a pothole. I wonder if it is the shock absorbers or the bushings or something else that we need to replace. Has anybody done anything to improve the ride of an older Integra. Again your comments will be appreciated.
Oct 18, 2000 (5:20 pm)
Sorry, "real wheel" above should read "the rear wheel".
Oct 20, 2000 (12:09 am)
Sounds like my '92 Integra. I have asked about the rough ride in the past at Acura dealerships and the only answer that I got was that double wishbone suspension (in the Integras) is a stiffer ride than independent wheel. But I bet you can corner in that Integra easily.
After calling Acura, the technician told me that it might have something to do with the tires on the car...ok never heard that excuse before. Shocks, struts, and inner cv joints are also suspect.
The vibration is probably due to a bad motor mount... however I know I've had them look at my car for this reason and everything checked out. They said that a free test drive with a technician would help so they can estimate if these problems are abnormal or not. I am going to take my Acura in soon to get an oil change and I'll definitely have all of these problems looked at...stay posted But it's good to know that I'm not the only one with these annoyances.
P.S. 201,200 miles on my baby now!!
#493 of 504 car vibrations, rough ride..
Oct 20, 2000 (9:39 pm)
Most of these problems are common wear & tear and would be considered normal, especially on cars with over 130k mi. The car's suspension settles over the years and with mileage. That means the shocks, springs, bushings (wearing out), control arms, tie rods, everything bends and settles and doesn't have the rigidity or elasticity they had when the car was newer. Now if you hear a loud bang in the rear, it's probably the shocks or the springs hitting the bump stop, or the bump stop is wearing out or has a tear in it. If it were a bushing, you 'd probably hear a lot more often and it would be more constant on uneven road surfaces. Sometimes the sway bar and control arm bolts need to be tightened and bushings replaced but they don't usually "bang" but rattle a little.
Just to give you an example, my '99 GSR was starting to feel loose and the ride had started to get stiffer and I could feel all the road irregularities a lot more. I upgraded the shocks at 17k mi. with Koni adjustables and the car felt and rode like new again. Shocks play the biggest role in ride quality and unfortunately factory regular duty shocks don't last long. Not to say that they break and need to be replaced, but their wear & tear rate is fast and ride deterioration can be as soon as a few months or a year. CV joints could also be the culprit. But like I said it's usually a combination of many suspension components especially with high mileage. I don't know if I 'd go through the expense of replacing the shocks in an Integra with 197k mi. on it. Labor is kinda high because they have to take the springs out as well to replace the shocks. Figure at least $175 in labor at a regular repair shop, and $300 and up at the Acura dealer plus whatever the shocks cost ($200-300?). This is for all 4. The labor is actually about 3 hrs. with 2 mechanics (you need 2, one can't do the job alone because one has to screw the bolts in while the other holds everything in place) but I 'm sure the Acura dealer will charge you for 6..
Anyway as far as the vibrations go, they 're normal too. The motor mounts are probably old, although not cracked to warrant replacement which is why they don't find anything wrong when the inspect them. They 're just old and worn down enough to cause some additional vibration on the engine. Replacing them will probably eliminate 50-60% of the vibration but there are other things loose such as the rack & pinion steering, tie rods, alignment, suspension needs to be tightened down so your steering wheel doesn't vibrate as much, and the tranny or tranny mount is probably worn out somewhat. Again it's a combination of things but the engine mounts should help for sure. Then you also have to make sure the engine is properly tuned up to minimize vibration at idle. A lot of new cars have moveable engine mounts that are also hydrolic! This allows the engine to move back and forth an inch or so and smoothly that is transparent to the driver or occupants. My wife's '98 Mitsubishi Galant has this system and it works well.
Oct 23, 2000 (5:47 pm)
sakinosh, only1harry, thank you for your input.
I realize there are a number of suspension components that have all aged and it will be impractical to replace them all. Also, the somewhat rough ride is not that bad, so I consider it a minor annoyance. I had Acura check all the components and they said everything was all right. I didn’t pursue the matter further and I didn’t get them to test-drive it. I still wonder, though, if I should replace the shocks. They are the original ones, and have almost 200K miles on them. Acura told me they can replace them, but they also told me they did not recommend it – they said they generally advise people not to touch them unless they are leaking. Now, I don’t mind spending a few hundred dollars to replace them, but it seems, I have no guarantee that the ride will improve. (I get a sort of a bang from the rear wheels when I go through potholes.) What do you think? It seems like 200K is an awful lot of miles for any shock absorber. Also, if I decide to go ahead and replace them, what brand would you recommend?
Engine vibrations – the vibration that I described in my earlier post occurs only when the car is in neutral. If I raise the revs to above 1000 rpm there are no vibration whatsoever. I guess it is an engine mount. Shall I go to Acura and ask them to replace the mounts? Are they expensive? Or can they raise the idle RPM?
Oct 24, 2000 (4:26 pm)
First of all, I would take your Integra to Acura to have them look at it in the first place. A faulty/failing motor mount could be the culprit. My Integra is an automatic and Acura said that a loose/broken motor mount is notorious in these cars. There are (4) motor mounts that are on the car and they range from 45-$160 to replace them, and you're probably looking at about 2 1/2 - 3 hrs worth of labor ~$200. Chances are it's the front motor mount that's either loose or broken.
Acura did not recommend adjusting the idle due to the fact that the idle is set by the computer, and if your car is not idling correctly, it's probably some other component that's causing that.
I do think you should have the shocks replaced. When I called Acura, they asked me how many miles my car has on it (201,200) and the guy was surprised that they had not been changed. (My front shocks have been replaced, but not sure about the rear ones). They recommend OEM shocks (from the manufacturer) because they give you the best ride comfort and performance for the Integra... but any good gas filled shock would do (Monroe,Kby). Others he said would be more performance related and hence give you a stiffer ride, which I don't think you're looking for.
I'd definitely have the motor mounts looked at and replaced if need be. As for the shocks, have them look at those while they're under the car and give you their suggestion, maybe they don't need replacement...but I bet once you're in there they'll definitely want you to get new ones since they're pretty old.
#496 of 504 selling a cherry '92
Oct 26, 2000 (8:53 pm)
My Mercedes C-320 arrives in a couple of weeks, so I have to say a sad goodbye to my red '92 Integra LS hatchback, 80,000 easy miles, CD, spoiler, moonroof, automatic, brand new tires, custom alloys, always garaged at home and work. I can't find comparables with that little mileage. I'm thinking about asking $7,000 and settleing for $6,500. Does that sound fair (in Northern Virginia)?
Oct 26, 2000 (9:37 pm)
Although it sounds like the car is in great condition (and maintained) it's still 8-9yrs old. I think that $6K is probably what you 'll be offered by most people. $6500-7K is very optimistic but you never know.
Oct 27, 2000 (10:08 pm)
Your car is definitely worth that! But unfortunately, only1harry's right and you probably are asking a bit high. You should try finding a happy-medium between what Edmunds says it's worth (~$5700) and what Blue Book is on it (retail is ~$8700), but their retail takes into account dealer maintenance, advertising, sales commissions, etc...
If anything, I'd at least ask under the $7k mark because $6900 looks a lot more appealing than $7000. Doesn't really sound like you're hurting for ca$h anyway...
"My Mercedes C-320 arrives in a couple of weeks..." Nice upgrade.
I'm curious though, you definitely paid $30k+ for that car...why didn't you just go for the 3.2CL Type S w/Navigation and get 45 more ponies for less money? Or was it just because it's a Mercedes? No offense intended, just curious...they don't seem like good values, but very luxurious, I can't deny that.
Oct 28, 2000 (4:56 pm)
Could use some help with an electrical problem on my Integra. While driving, the motor simply stopped, no miss firing, no sputtering, simply died. When you look into the oil cap, the cam is still moving and the rotor still spins, so I'm thinking the timing belt is still intact. The fuel pump still comes on with the ignition. I've noticed that there is no spark (when pulling off a spark plug wire from the distributor cap). I've cleaned the rotor and distr. points (which did have quite a bit of corrosion) but still no spark. I have a chiltons manual, and after running through a couple of steps, it says that the ignitor may need replacing. There is current going to the distributor when the ignition is on. I am stationed in Germany, so parts take about two weeks to get here. So replacing one part at a time is not an option. I'm thinking about ordering the ignitor, cap, and rotor. Is it possible the coil is also bad? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.