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90-93 Integra Basic Troubleshooting Guide...

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    90-93 Integra Basic Troubleshooting Guide...


    What you will find in this writeup is just a simple reference guide to follow if your car develops a problem. Please keep note that IT DOES NOT COVER EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of a car's problem. What I am trying to accomplish here is to save some time and hassle in helping people solve some common problems.

    I suggest running through the list of known problems based on the symptoms that you have encountered, and see if it that has solved your problem. If not, then, by all means, post a query in the Help forums of G2IC.

    If you have any questions/comments, feel free to mail me at




    Engine Related Problems

    Engine will not rotate when attempting to start

    - Battery terminal connections loose or corroded.
    - Battery discharged or faulty.
    - Automatic Transmission/transaxle not completely engaged in Park mode or Manual Transmission Clutch not completely depressed.
    - Broken, loose or disconnected wiring in the starting circuit.
    - Starter motor pinion jammed in flywheel ring gear.
    - Starter solenoid faulty.
    - Starter motor faulty.
    - Ignition switch faulty.
    - Starter pinion or flywheel teeth worn or broken.

    Engine rotates but will not start

    - Fuel tank empty.
    - Battery discharged.
    - Battery terminal connections loose or corroded.
    - Leaking fuel injectors, faulty fuel pump, faulty fuel pressure regulator.
    - Fuel not reaching the fuel rail.
    Ignition components damp or damaged.
    - Worn, faulty or incorrectly gapped spark plugs.
    - Broken, loose or disconnected wiring in the starting circuit.
    - Loose distributor is changing ignition timing.
    - Broken, loose or disconnected wires at the ignition coil or faulty coil.

    Engine hard to start when cold

    - Battery discharged or low.
    - Malfunctioning fuel system.
    - Injectors leaking.
    - Distributor rotor carbon-tracked.

    Engine hard to start when hot

    - Air filter clogged.
    - Fuel not reaching the fuel injection system.
    - Corroded battery connections, especially the ground.

    Starter motor noisy or excessively rough in engagement

    - Pinion or flywheel gear teeth worn or broken.
    - Starter motor mounting bolts loose or missing.

    Engine starts but stops immediately

    - Loose or faulty electrical connections at distributor, ignition coil or alternator.
    - Insufficient fuel reaching the fuel injectors.
    - Vacuum leak at the gasket between the intake manifold and throttle body.

    Oil puddle under the engine

    - Oil pan gasket and/or oil pan drain bolt washer leaking.
    - Oil pressure sending unit leaking.
    - Cylinder head covers leaking.
    - Engine oil seals leaking.

    Engine lopes while idling or idles erraticallly

    - Vacuum leakage.
    - Leaking EGR valve.
    - Air filter clogged.
    - Fuel pump not delivering sufficient fuel to the fuel injection system.
    - Leaking head gasket.
    - Timing belt and/or pulleys worn.
    - Camshaft lobes worn.

    Engine misses at idle speed

    - Spark plugs worn or not gapped properly.
    - Faulty spark plug wires.
    - Vacuum leaks.
    - Incorrect ignition timing.
    - Uneven or low compression.

    Engine misses throughout driving speed range

    - Fuel filter clogged and/or impurities in the fuel system.
    - Low fuel pressure.
    - Faulty or incorrectly gapped spark plugs.
    - Incorrect ignition timing.
    - Cracked distributor cap, disconnected distributor wires or damged distributor components.
    - Leaking spark plug wires.
    - Faulty emission system components.
    - Low or uneven cylinder compression pressures.
    - Weak or faulty ignition system.
    - Vacuum leak in fuel injection system, intake manifold, air control valve or vacuum hoses.

    Engine stumbles on acceleration

    - Spark plugs fouled.
    - Fuel injection system faulty.
    - Fuel filter clogged.
    - Incorrect ignition timing.
    - Intake manifold air leak.

    Engine surges while holding accelerator steady

    - Intake air leak.
    - Fuel pump faulty.
    - Loose fuel injector wire harness connectors.
    - Defective ECU or information sensor.

    Engine stalls

    - Idle speed incorrect.
    - Fuel filter clogged and/or water and impurities in the fuel system.
    - Distributor components damp or damaged.
    - Fault emissions system components.
    - Faulty or incorrectly gapped spark plugs.
    - Faulty spark plug wires.
    - Vacuum leak in the fuel injection system, intake manifold or vacuum hoses.
    - Valve clearances incorrectly set.

    Engine lacks power

    - Incorrect ignition timing.
    - Excessive play in distributor shaft.
    - Worn rotor, distributor cap or wires.
    - Faulty or incorrectly gapped spark plugs.
    - Fuel injection system out of adjustment or excessively worn.
    - Fault ignition coil.
    - Brakes binding.
    - Automatic transmission/transaxle fluid level incorrect.
    - Clutch slipping.
    - Fuel filter clogged and/or impurities in the fuel system.
    - Emission control system not functioning properly.
    - Catalytic converter plugged.
    - Low or uneven cylinder compression pressures.
    - Obstructed exhaust system.

    Engine backfires

    - Emission control system not functioning properly.
    - Ignition timing incorrect.
    - Faulty secondary igntion system (cracked spark plug insulator, faulty plug wires, distributor cap and/or rotor).
    - Fuel injection system malfunctioning.
    - Vacuum leak at the fuel injectors, intake manifold, idle air control valve, or vacuum hoses.
    - Valve clearances incorrectly set and/or valves sticking.

    Pinging or knocking engine sounds during acceleration or uphill

    - Incorrect fuel grade.
    - Ignition timing incorrect.
    - Fuel injection system faulty.
    - Improper or damaged spark plugs or wires.
    - Worn or damaged distributor components.
    - EGR valve not functioning.
    - Vacuum leak.

    Engine runs with oil pressure light on

    - Low oil level.
    - Short in wiring circuit.
    - Faulty oil pressure sending unit.
    - Worn engine bearings and/or oil pump.


    Battery will not hold a charge

    - Alternator drivebelt defective or not adjusted properly.
    - Battery electrolyte level low.
    - Batter terminals loose or corroded.
    - Alternator not charging properly.
    - Loose, broken or faulty wiring in the charging circuit.
    - Short in the vehicle wiring.
    - Internally defective battery.

    Alternator light fails to go out

    - Faulty alternator or charging circuit.
    - Alternator drivebelt defective or out of adjustment.
    - Alternator voltage regulator inoperative.

    Alternator light fails to come on when key is turned on

    - Warning light bulb defective.
    - Fault in the printed circuit, dash wiring or bulb holder.



      Excessive fuel consumption

      - Dirty or clogged air filter element.
      - Incorrectly set ignition timing.
      - Emissions system not functioning properly.
      - Fuel injection internal parts excessively worn or damaged.
      - Low tire pressure or incorrect tire size.

      Fuel leakage and/or fuel odor

      - Leaking fuel feed or return line.
      - Tank overfilled.
      - Evaporative canister filter clogged.
      - Fuel injector internal parts excessively worn.




        - Insufficient coolant in system.
        - Radiator core blocked or grille restricted.
        - Thermostat faulty.
        - Electric coolant fan blades broken or cracked.
        - Radiator cap not maintaining proper pressure.
        - Ignition timing incorrect.


        - Faulty thermostat.
        - Inaccurate temperature gauge sending unit.

        External coolant leakage

        - Deteriorated/damaged hoses; loose clamps.
        - Water pump defective.
        - Leakage from radiator core or coolant reservoir bottle.
        - Engine drain or water jacket core plugs leaking.

        Internal coolant leakage

        - Leaking cylinder head gasket.
        - Cracked cylinder bore or cylinder head.

        Coolant loss

        - Too much coolant in the system.
        - Coolant boiling away because of overheating.
        - Internal or external leakage.
        - Faulty radiator cap.

        Poor coolant circulation

        - Inoperative water pump.
        - Restriction in cooling system.
        - Thermostat sticking.



          Pedal travels to the floor - no pressure or very little resistance.

          - Broken clutch cable.
          - Broken release bearing or fork.

          Unable to select gears

          - Fault transmission/transaxle.
          - Faulty clutch disc.
          - Release lever and bearing not assembled properly.
          - Faulty pressure plate.
          - Pressure plate-to-flywheel bolts loose.
          - Clutch cable out of adjustment.

          Clutch slips - Engine speed increases with no increase in vehicle speed

          - Clutch plate worn.
          - Clutch plate is oil soaked by leaking rear main seal.
          - Clutch plate not seated.
          - Warped pressure plate or flywheel.
          - Weak diaphragm spring.
          - Clutch plate overheated. Allow to cool.

          Grabbing (chattering) as clutch is engaged

          - Oil on clutch plate lining, burned or glazed facings.
          - Worn or loose engine or transmission/transaxle mounts.
          - Worn splines on clutch plate hub.
          - Warped pressure plate or flywheel.
          - Burned or smeared resin on flywheel or pressure plate.

          Transmission/transaxle rattling (clicking)

          - Release lever loose.
          - Clutch plate damper spring failure.
          - Low engine idle speed.

          Noise in clutch area

          - Fork shaft improperly installed.
          - Faulty bearing.

          Clutch pedal stays on the floor

          - Broken clutch cable.
          - Broken release bearing or fork.
          - Damaged clutch cable.

          High pedal effort

          - Damaged or out of adjustment clutch cable.
          - Pressure plate faulty.



            Knocking noise at low speed

            - Worn driveaxle constant velocity joints.
            - Worn drivaxle bore in differential case.

            Noise most pronounced when turning

            - Differential gear noise.

            Clunk on acceleration or deceleration

            - Loose engine or transmission/transaxle mounts.
            - Worn differential pinion shaft in case.
            - Worn driveaxle bore in differential case.
            - Worn or damaged driveaxle inboard CV joints.

            Clicking noise in turns

            - Worn or damaged outboard CV joints.


            - Rough wheel bearing
            - Damaged driveaxle.
            - Out of round tires.
            - Tire out of balance.
            - Worn CV joints.

            Noisy in neutral with engine running

            - Damaged input gear bearing.
            - Damaged clutch release bearing.

            Noisy in one particular gear

            - Damaged or worn constant mesh gears.
            - Damaged or worn synchronizers.
            - Bent reverse fork.
            - Damaged fourth speed gear or output gear.
            - Worn or damaged reverse idler gear or idler bushing.

            Noisy in all gears

            - Insufficient lubricant.
            - Damaged or worn bearings.
            - Worn or damaged input gear shaft and/or output gear shaft.

            Slips out of gear

            - Worn or improperly adjusted linkage.
            - Transmission/transaxle loose on engine.
            - Shift linkage does not work freely, binds.
            - Input gear bearing retainer broken or loose.
            - Dirt between clutch cover and engine block.
            - Worn shift fork.
            - Low transmission fluid.

            Leaks lubricant

            - Driveaxle oil seals worn.
            - Excessive amount of lubrication in transmission/transaxle.
            - Loose or broken input gear shaft bearing retainer.
            - Input gear bearing retainer O-ring and/or lip seal damaged.

            Locked in gear

            - Lock pin or interlock pin missing.



              Fluid leakage

              - Transmission pan.
              - Dipstick tube.
              - Transmission/transaxle oil lines.
              - Speed sensor.

              Transmission/transaxle fluid is brown or has a burned smell

              - Automatic transmission fluid burned.

              General shift mechanism problems

              - Engine starting in gears other than Park or Neutral.
              - Indicator on shifter pointing to a gear other than the one actually being used.
              - Vehicles moves when in Park.

              Engine will start in gears other than Park or Neutral

              - Neutral start switch malfunctioning.

              Transmission will not downshift with accelerator pressed to the floor

              - Throttle valve cable out of adjustment.



                Clicking noise in turns

                - Worn or damaged outboard CV joints.

                Shudder or vibration during acceleration

                - Excessive toe-in.
                - Incorrect spring heights.
                - Worn or damaged inboard or outboard CV joints.
                - Sticking inboard CV joint assembly.

                Vibration at highway speeds

                - Out of balance front wheels and/or tires.
                - Out of round front tires.
                - Worn CV joints.



                  Vehicle pulls to one side during braking

                  - Incorrect tire pressures.
                  - Front end out of alignment.
                  - Front, or rear tires not matched to one another.
                  - Restricted brake lines or hoses.
                  - Malfunctioning brake caliper assembly.
                  - Loose suspension parts.
                  - Loose calipers.
                  - Excessive wear of brake shoe or pad material or disc on one side.

                  Noise (high-pitched squeal when the brakes are applied)

                  - Disc brake pads worn out.

                  Brake roughness or chatter (pedal pulsates)

                  - Excessive lateral runout.
                  - Uneven pad wear.
                  - Defective disc.

                  Excessive brake pedal effort required to stop vehicle

                  - Malfunctioning power brake booster.
                  - Partial system failure.
                  - Excessively worn pads.
                  - Piston in caliper stuck or sluggish.
                  - Brake pads contaminated with oil or grease.
                  - New pads installed and not yet seated.

                  Excessive brake pedal travel

                  - Partial brake system failure.
                  - Insufficient fluid in master cylinder.
                  - Air trapped in system.

                  Dragging brakes

                  - Incorrect adjustment of brake light switch.
                  - Master cylinder pistons not returning correctly.
                  - Restricted brake lines or hoses.
                  - Incorrect parking brake adjustment.

                  Grabbing or uneven braking action

                  - Malfunction of proportioning valve.
                  - Malfunction of power brake booster unit.
                  - Binding brake pedal mechanism.

                  Brake pedal feels spongy when depressed

                  - Air in hydraulic lines.
                  - Master cylinder mounting bolts loose.
                  - Master cylinder defective.

                  Brake pedal travels to the floor with little resistance

                  - Little or no fluid in the master cylinder reservoir caused by leaking caliper piston.
                  - Loose, damaged or disconnected brake lines.

                  Parking brake does not hold

                  - Parking brake linkage improperly adjusted.



                    Vehicle pulls to one side

                    - Mismatched or uneven tires.
                    - Broken or sagging springs.
                    - Wheel alignment required.
                    - Front brake dragging.

                    Abnormal or excessive tire wear

                    - Wheel alignment required.
                    - Sagging or broken springs.
                    - Tire out of balance.
                    - Worn shock absorber.
                    - Overloaded vehicle.
                    - Tires not rotated regularly.

                    Wheel makes a thumping noise

                    - Blister or bump on tire.
                    - Improper shock absorber action.

                    Shimmy, shake or vibration

                    - Tire or wheel out-of-balance or out-of-round.
                    - Loose or worn front hub or wheel bearings.
                    - Worn tie-rod ends.
                    - Worn suspension components.
                    - Excessive wheel runout.
                    - Blister or bump on tire.

                    Hard steering

                    - Lack of lubrication at balljoints and tie-rod ends.
                    - Front wheel alignment.
                    - Low tire pressure.

                    Poor returnability of steering to center

                    - Lack of lubrication at balljoints and tie-rod ends.
                    - Binding in balljoints.
                    - Binding in steering column.
                    - Lack of lubrication in steering gear assembly.
                    - Front wheel alignment.

                    Abnormal noise at the front end

                    - Lack of lubrication at balljoints and tie-rod ends.
                    - Damaged shock absorber mounting.
                    - Worn control arm bushings or tie-rod ends.
                    - Loose stabilizer bar.
                    - Loose wheel nuts.
                    - Loose suspension bolts.

                    Wander or poor steering stability

                    - Mismatched or uneven tires.
                    - Lack of lubrication at balljoints and tie-rod ends.
                    - Worn shock absorber assemblies.
                    - Loose stabilizer bar.
                    - Broken or sagging springs.
                    - Wheels out of alignment.

                    Erratic steering when braking

                    - Front hub bearings worn.
                    - Broken or sagging springs.
                    - Leaking caliper.
                    - Warped brake discs.

                    Excessive pitching and/or rolling around corners or during braking

                    - Loose stabilizer bar.
                    - Worn shock absorbers or mountings.
                    - Broken or sagging springs.
                    - Overloaded vehicle.

                    Suspension bottoms out

                    - Overloaded vehicle.
                    - Worn shock absorbers.
                    - Incorrect, broken, or sagging springs.

                    Cupped Tires

                    - Front or rear wheel alignment.
                    - Worn shock absorbers.
                    - Wheel bearings worn.
                    - Excessive tire or wheel runout.
                    - Worn balljoints.

                    Excessive tire wear on outside edge OR inside edge

                    - Inflation pressures incorrect.
                    - Excessive speed in turns.
                    - Front end alignment incorrect (excessive toe-in and/or camber).
                    - Suspension arm bent or twisted.
                    - Loose or damaged steering or suspension components.

                    Tire tread worn in one place

                    - Tires out of balance.
                    - Damaged or buckled wheel. Inspect and replace if necessary.
                    - Defective tire.

                    Excessive play or looseness in steering system

                    - Front hub bearings worn.
                    - Tie-rod ends loose.
                    - Steering gear lose or worn.
                    - Worn or loose steeriing intermediate shaft.

                    Rattling or clicking noise in steering gear

                    - Steering gear loose.
                    - Steering gear defective.


                      this list is great- did you compile this yourself or is it referenced from a source- where's your bibliography young man

                      I tried to start a thread where people chip in their experineces in repairing the DA -


                      guess no one thought it was a good idea

                      good job man


                        Originally posted by gen2ls/vtec
                        this list is great- did you compile this yourself or is it referenced from a source- where's your bibliography young man
                        I won't say the source for legality reasons, but I'm sure you know where I got it from...



                          Did you mention the starter relay when engine rolls over but does not start in hot weather???


                            Originally posted by vtec-typer
                            Did you mention the starter relay when engine rolls over but does not start in hot weather???
                            I don't think I did. Again, this is VERY basic, to give people some ideas before they post.