'90 Acura Integra: reliable, but ailing...


Old 03-27-02, 12:03 PM
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'90 Acura Integra: reliable, but ailing...

I have a 1990 Acura Integra LS (hatchback) with a 1.8L DOHC engine. Mileage is now 231,000 km (144,000 miles), and 60,000 of those miles were driven by me.
I still love this car, and I am concerned of some signs of aging:

1. There is a grinding noise coming not from the engine, but I believe from the wheels (it's hard for me to hazard any other guess). However, the noise sounds much like those old choochoo trains in that its frequency is directly proportional to the speed of the car. Could this mean that I have warped rotors? If so, will you please give me a vague idea of what it would cost to have rotors replaced (parts & labour)?

2. There is some "engine sweat" on the front side of the engine (just below the head). However, the head gasket was changed at 120,000 miles (when the timing belt was replaced). So what could this mean?

3. On top of the engine, there are some engine oil "spills" just around the engine oil cap and around the hose & valve on the left side of the top the engine. What does this mean?

4. I know this is a reliable engine (by reputation), but I would like to have a diagnostics check done. I want some information on whether all cylinders are firing properly and some info on compression. I don't have a regular mechanic, so please tell me what such a dianostics test would cost? Is this the kind of thing that any mechanic's shop can do?

Thank you.
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Old 03-27-02, 12:23 PM
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Drive it until it pukes out. . Not worth sinking too much green in an old heap like this. Just keep it going with the basics and TLC.

If you are not losing any oil (don't have to add any on your dipstick) between oil changes, no concern. Honda and Acura engines have had engine gallery oil plug leaks which Honda has finally acknowledged. There are bulletins and fixes that I have seen regarding them...see your dealer about the bulletins and such details. Perhaps someone spilled oil when adding it. If you take the PCV valve out and it's packed with oil in there, check the PCV line. It might be stuffed with oil residue. Clean out the line, change the valve and you should be ok. Might be signs of blowby and other problems. Again, how much oil are you using between changes?

As for the brake noise, it could be anything from loose wheel covers to bad CV axles, to warped rotors, to scraping parts. Cost cannot be determined until we know what we are talking about .

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