1990 Acura Integra



October, 2, 2010 AT 5:32 PM

Transmission problem
1990 Acura Integra 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 135000 miles

My acura integra will idle fine but when I place it into drive or reverse it immediately dies. I can place my right foot on the gas pedal, and left foot on the brake, rev it to about 2500 rpm and then slam it into gear and it will stay running, but it runs very rough. Once I get it going it it shifts and runs good thru 3rd gear but will not shift into 4th gear. I of course have to keep my foot on the gas as I approach stop signs or it will die. Seems that the transmission is not releasing when slowing and stopping. I do not know when the transmission fluid was changed last, or how it was maintained, as I just bought the car less than 4 months ago. It seemed to be shifting ok and did not die when I placed it into gear before my most recent round of maintenance I had performed on the car. Not sure if maybe a sensor was left unplugged during the maintenance. Here is the work I had performed.
- timing belt
- New plugs, wires, dist cap, rotor button, along with coil
- timing was set
- Right CV axle replaced as it was clicking horribly
- Oil change and coolant changed
From what I have read it sounds like the lockup solenoids could be coming into play here? I'm not sure but need help. What should I start with on trouble shooting? Change fluid first and then pull the lockup solenoid valves and check function?
A transmission repair shop said that it sounded like the torque converter is locked/stuck and probably needs a full rebuild.
Any recommendations on trouble shooting would be greatly appreciated.


7 Answers



October, 3, 2010 AT 3:47 AM

Hi Robert,

Thank you for the donation.

Problem seems to originate from the timing belt replcaement.

Recheck the timing belt installation, I suspect it to be out of sync.

Drop in engine performance has affected the idling and shift qualities.



October, 3, 2010 AT 7:52 AM

THanks KHLow for the reply.

You stated that the recent timing belt replacement was most likely the problem. Would the car run well during acceleration, and still idle well, with a timing belt that is slightly off? It would just show a reduction in power at idle, enough so that it dies when placed into gear?

The car also does not shift into 4th gear would this be a different problem or possibly related as well?




October, 3, 2010 AT 9:01 AM

When the timing belt is installed out by a tooth, it would affect the idling. When idling conatantly, it would be ok, but if the throttl is snapped open, it would drop very low and move back up or stall. Accelerating power would be lower than it normally is and if you do not push the vehicle hard, you might not notice much difference.

As to it not shifting inot 4th, it could be something different. Is the reverse working well? Both shar the same clutch.



October, 3, 2010 AT 10:06 AM

Car will stall when placing in drive or reverse. Both will work, it will drive in reverse or drive, as long as I keep it rev'd up so it does not die.

If idling in park I can hit the accelerator, rev to 2-4k, let off and it comes back and idles just fine. Does not die.

If I take it to a shop to have them diagnose (timing belt off by one tooth) what should I request? Can they check compression to see if the timing belt is off by 1 tooth or maybe diagnostics run? They state they charge $54 to diagnose but would this include something as hard to verify as this?

I spoke with the shop that performed the timing belt replacement and they feel confident the work was done correctly.




October, 7, 2010 AT 8:22 AM

Sorry for the delay in replying. I was not notified via email regarding your reply as the notification system sometimes fails to work correctly.

To check if the timing belt is off by a tooth, the valve cover has to be removed and the crankshaft turned to TDC with # 1 cylinder on compression stroke.


If the timing mark for the front cam is out, a timing light would show as you would not be able to get the correct ignition.

A compression test might not be conclusive as there would be compression pressure that might be slightly lower than specs.

A diagnostic run would not indicate a timing belt that is off by a tooth. It can only show you a performance drop etc.

You should get back to the shop that did the timing belt replacement and tell them the problem started only after replacement of the timing belt. Request them to recheck the timing belt alignment marks.



October, 9, 2010 AT 7:26 AM

You were exactly right KHLow2008! I had a different shop pull the cover and the timing marks were off by 1 tooth. Once repaired it now idles, without dying, when placed in drive or reverse. The original shop is going to refund the labor for the belt replacement. I really appreciate the info and you guided me correctly as a transmission shop was certain that it was transmission related and wanted to perform a rebuild. : O]



October, 9, 2010 AT 4:17 PM

Glad to know that the problem has been fixed.

Thank you for using 2carpros.

Have a nice day.

Please login or register to post a reply.

Transmission Drain and Refill Kia Sportage
Automatic Transmission Service
Transmission Service Toyota Tacoma
Transmission Service Ford Super Duty F-250
Transmission Fluid Replacement Mercedes Benz
How to gather codes Ford Explorer