Mechanics

ACURA INTEGRA ENGINE PROBLEM

1991 Acura Integra • 250,000 miles

Hi so I recently purchased this integra and have had it for roughly 3 weeks now since ive owne it its driven good but my battery and check engine light have been on the whole time. The battery light would go off every once in a while and stay on majority of the time. And with the engine light it normally stays off for the 1st 5 mins of driving and then goes on. The guy said that the engine light has always been on since hes owned it and that it wasnt a problem so I didnt think a whole lot of it cuz it is an old car. 2 weeks in from driving the car after I bought it I decided to make a 45 min trip and on my way back the cars lights died down and the car lost alot of power I pulled over and then shut it off. Tried to start it but it wouldnt turn over at all. After 5 mins of leaving it alone it started up and had full power to the lights so I started driving and then after 2 mins it started losing power again so I parked and didnt turn it off but I reved the gas in park thinking it would charge up the battery a bit but to my mistake I heard a sound and saw smoke or steam coming from the hood. Got out, opened the hood and saw my radiator steaming and leaking under my car there was a decent amount coming out.

So thats what happened. I ended up leaving it on the side of the road for 2 days, I got my battery charged up and then went back to see if I could atleast drive it home. The guys at canadian tire said my battery was just under the minimum of it not being able to start a car. So they charged it up I went to my car and popped it in. Before I did anything else I filled the rad up with coolant and to my surprise I thought it would have all poured right through the rad cuz I thought I cracked it but I did not see any leaks whatsoever. After that I drove the car about 25 mins to my house and everything seemed good the temp gauge didnt go over half or anything. So as soon as I parked I checked under the hood and I saw a little bit of steam coming from the radiator. I couldnt tell if it was the coolant that I spilled trying to get into the radiator or if it has a minor leak now or crack or if the lid doesnt seal properly. Also I put my hand on the engine and it was burning hot. I had to take my hand off instantly, I dont think your motor should be that hot. And I also pulled out all 4 spark plug wires and there was alot of oil in the 1st two plug wells but none in the 2nd two.

so what I am assuming is that my altenator went bad due to what happened in the begining of the situation and that I might have wrecked my radiator, and that maybe I blew the o rings that seel my plug wells in the 1st to plugs. But I didnt see any leeks to my radiator as I had it sitting while running and saw no leaks, nothing compared to how bad it was spewing out when I was gassing it. What I would like to know is if my rad is most likely gone and if my radiator needs replacing aswell. Also if the engine and battery light indicate anything that would be directed to the situation that happened. Thanks. I was just gonna buy the rad and the altenator online and figure out how to replace them myslef. But I also dont know if I might have done more damage and that replacing those wont completely fix my problem.
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Abeboese
February 6, 2013.




I said rad and radiator when I meant rad and altenator. By the why if theres any confusion there ( spelling error)

Tiny
Abeboese
Feb 6, 2013.
You definitely need to get a mechanic involved who will give you accurate information. If anyone had told me the Check Engine light had always been on and that was normal, I would have let them keep the car, even if it was free. The Engine Computer detected a problem, set a diagnostic fault code, and turned the light on to tell you. The problem it detected could be nothing more than the problem with the charging system but that's what the battery light was saying.

You had a lot of warning the system voltage was dropping and it was going to die alongside the road. That could be due to a defective generator but given the additional symptom of overheating and / or coolant loss, both things could be caused by a loose and slipping serpentine belt. If you list the engine size I can look up whether the water pump is driven by the timing belt or by the same serpentine belt that drives the generator.

The next thing is to have the diagnostic fault code(s) read but that is going to be a problem too. Those were erased when the battery went dead or was disconnected, and that valuable information was lost. If the Check Engine light has come on again since the engine was started again, at least one of those codes has reset and will provide a starting point. That will get you into the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis.

Caradiodoc
Feb 6, 2013.
Ok that sounds good so far. So I just took a further look under my car and I found a belt that was wrapped around my driver side front wheel axle, it seems like a short belt but its kind of mangeled. And currently there is no belt attached to the alternator. So that solves the problem on why my battery went dead. But I have no idea where this belt is supposed to go, obviously it came from the alternator but I dont know what it connects to
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Tiny
Abeboese
Feb 6, 2013.
And with my radiator, is there any easy way of testing to see if it got cracked or has a leak or is broken. Becuase im guessing if I get that alternator belt fixed my battery issue is fixed but then I have to solve wether I need a new rad or not. Oh and do you know what it means or if its bad that there is oil in my spark plug wells?

Tiny
Abeboese
Feb 6, 2013.
Luckily your car was only available with one engine so I didn't have to guess. My limited reference material shows multiple belts. The one for the generator runs just that but it doesn't show if there's an idler or tensioner pulley for it. There are a few weird designs out there but most of the time all the belts are run by the crankshaft pulley at the bottom of the engine. It appears your engine uses three belts. If that is correct, follow one of the other two down to the lowest, and usually the largest pulley. There will likely be three of them side-by-side, and one won't have a belt. You may have a very simple routing that involves loosening the generator and pivoting it to tighten the new belt.

Sometime belts slip off when they get overloaded with snow, water, or engine coolant, so the two problems could be related. The problem with having additional belts is the one that popped off gets tangled in the others and gets shredded. Alternately, a belt that is whipping around can damage things it hits too. I doubt one could crack the radiator though, so look in the area for a rubber hose that got cut or is disconnected.

I'm happy about the belt. Replacing that is a lot less expensive than replacing the generator.

There are seals in the valve cover that are leaking to allow oil to get on the spark plugs. That is usually not a real expensive repair.

Caradiodoc
Feb 6, 2013.
The coolant overflowed due to overheating when the cooling fans did not work as the battery was drained due to the alternator not charging.

KHLow2008
Feb 6, 2013.
The alternator is the innermost of the three belts so you need to remove the power steering and A/C belt to install it. Check and ensure the alternator spins freely before attempting to install a new belt.

KHLow2008
Feb 6, 2013.
Thank you so much everyone of your replies helped me to be able to repair my car bymyself and avoid taking it to a mechanic im working on it as we speak and everything is falling into place with your info youve provided me you saved me from getting a diagnostic done and alot of money in that I didnt have to spend on a mechanic. I really apreciate the help. You guys have an awsome website and I will definatley usin the future.

Tiny
Abeboese
Feb 7, 2013.
If you think of it, post the final results of what it took to complete the repairs so we can add it to our memory banks.

Caradiodoc
Feb 7, 2013.
Will do for sure

Tiny
Abeboese
Feb 7, 2013.

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