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Acura Integra - (All years/styles)

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  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    Is the water pump belt too loose?
  • When the car is in park, the car will stall sometimes too. As for the belt, its fine.
  • I am the original owner of a 92 Integra LS db1 5spd.(300,000kms and still going strong). A few years ago I had a similar problem with the ignition - it was intermittently not starting - usually when the engine was warm.

    It turned out to be the fuel relay under the dash. The solder connections loosen up over time and can be repaired by applying new solder to the contacts (or just replacing the relay) For more details search on g2ic.com.

    Good Luck
  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    It could be a fast idle valve.
    I don't have a 90 service manual, but look in section 11
    of 94 service manual, trouble shooting section.
    It will help you to find the problem.
    http://tech.hybridgarage.com/tech/manuals/94%20acura%20integra%20service%20manua- l.pdf
  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    I just had my 94 Integra LS serviced. It's an Automatic with 83K miles, last tune up 5 yrs ago at 45K. I've used this repair shop before for minor problems and they seem to be reasonable and never tried to talk me into unnecessary work. I want to get your expert opinion on whether my recent repair costs were reasonable so that I can gauge whether to keep going back to this shop or start finding another place.

    $850 total ($~450 for parts, $400 labor) for tuneup that included these:
    Replaced Timing belt, water pump, 3 other belts, spark plugs and wires, PCV valve, Distributor Cap & Rotor, Valve Cover Gasket, and fuel filter. Also miscellaneous parts, such as coolant, belt tensioner, Dry Gas, Fuel Inj Cleaner.

    Also, a week before this, the catalytic converter started to fall off the bottom of my car and I took it in. They replaced the pipe that connects to the CC (the Catalytic converter was saved), replaced R & L Tie Rod Ends, and Alignment. Total for this job was ~$650 (parts ~$350, labor ~$200 & alignment $90).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    on the ride, are we?! :-P

    If the tie rod ends were broken or worn out, then they needed to be replaced. $560 for that and the exhaust pipe seems on the high side of OK, unless they used OEM parts, in which case I suppose it is in the ball park. Are you sure they needed replacing? Your car doesn't have very high mileage, and miles are what wear out tie rod ends.

    Now, this tune-up needs a closer examination. What the heck is half this stuff they did? Timing belt and water pump, OK, at that mileage. Spark plug wires? Were they really worn out? Their resistance can actually be tested, and they don't need to be replaced unless it's too high. Dry gas and fuel injector cleaner? Mostly just high-profit items for the shop. Valve cover gasket? Was it leaking? Did you report a problem and ask them to fix it? It certainly is not part of a standard tune-up.

    Basically, this is a comprehensive, "let's find every single thing that isn't like brand new on a 12 year old car and replace it" servicing. If that's what you asked for, then great - that's what you got. But the car is 12 years old. It is OK for SOME things not to be exactly like brand new! And $400 of labor seems a bit pricey for what was almost exclusively routine maintenance stuff that should have taken three hours max.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    the original selling dealership would have written the code in the car's manual, if you still have it.

    Beyond that, I know dealerships can get it using the VIN, so maybe calling Acura directly will accomplish the same thing?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    Hi Nippononly - Thanks for advise. You're right...for sure the work took ~4 hrs, so $100/hr labor seemed pricey. I know the additives are pure profits, but can't tell them to 'undo' it.

    I question the Valve Gaskets myself since they were changed in last 2 yrs due to a leak. I thought the shop simply put in new ones because the engine was opened up for the timing belt change anyways and might as well put back new gaskets. (Is this a correct assumption?)

    I was told the R outer tie-rod was worn at a Firestone during oil change. This place went a head and did both R & L, and price is a little cheaper than the Firestone estimate.

    How about PCV valve, Dist cap and rotor? Are those needed at this age and mileage or are they suspicious.

    Also, I haven't changed Auto transmission and brake fluid for 5 yrs (~45-50k miles driven). How much is reasonable for these?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Well, we're getting into murky waters here, and I'm not sure how much helpful advice I can offer, but I will just address a few things you mentioned:
    1. $100/hr for labor at the dealer is about the going rate here in California (Bay Area). At an independent shop that would be a high rate around here.

    2. Replacing valve cover gaskets is not part of a standard tune-up, nor part of a timing belt change. And if it was replaced only two years ago, then it probably wasn't even leaking! Uh uh.

    3. Never believe ANYTHING quickie lube places and tire shops tell you about the rest of the mechanical condition of your car. However, if your regular shop also thought it was worn, then I suppose it is good they replaced the tie rod end. Replacing the opposite one under the rule of "they are identical parts so if one is gone the other must be about to go" is one way to go - the other way to go is to just wait until the other one wears out, as there is no additional expense involved in doing so, and the other one might go quite a lot longer!

    4. Dist cap and rotor would be part of a full tune-up, as would PCV valve. These are things that need replacement periodically, and you said it was like 5 years/40K miles since the last time you did them, right? So those were OK. Having said that, I should add that these should be CHEAP. Dist cap and rotor, $40 tops for the parts and better would be $25. PCV valve, $10 or less. Time to replace them - almost none. 15 minutes. The whole price of the operation for these items should have been maybe $60 of the total.

    5. Auto trans fluid - you do NOT want to neglect this for even ONE MINUTE on an older Honda such as yours. Get it changed, standard charge in the industry is around $60 or $70. Some places will want to do a "power flush" for around $200, which I think is a waste of money, as the book does not call for it.

    6. Honda calls for brake fluid replacement every two years, which I think is a touch on the frequent side, but since it's not that expensive I don;t havea big objection to it. If yours has gone 5 years, yes you should change that too. I don't know what they will charge you for this, but again it shouldn't be $100s.

    edit...PS it is not a good sign that your regular place did all this stuff, much of which was needless or high-profit/low-value crap, yet failed to do an auto trans fluid change. That's one of the more important periodic maintenance items, and a great opportunity for them to sell you the high-profit "power flush", yet they didn't do it or even mention it?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    Thanks for your thoughts. I specifically asked for timing belts & water pump replacement (given the mileage and I read that if the belt breaks while driving, severe damamge can result). However, everything else was done during 'tune-up' as the shop thought necessary on its own.

    So PCV valve, dist cap/rotor, fuel filter were legit. (Part costs were in your ballpark). Based on what you said, valve gaskets would not be necessary as there was no existing leak and they should look newish (given they were changed not long ago). So that's a wasted $50 or so in parts.

    Now that you said the labor for tuneup should be ~$60. How much is labor cost if the timing belt and water pump were changed as a separate job? The labor was ~$400 total, so minus $60 is $340----is this way too high for timing belt and pump replacement?

    I was definitely disappointed that they didn't do the trans fluid during the job given the high labor charge. It could be because they didn't jack up the car (I saw it being worked on in a separate area, not where the cars can be elevated).
  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    I will take it in for trans fluid change. Just simple drain & fill for $40-50.

    Is the brake fluid change also a drain & fill process, or does it need some fancy flush?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Hmmm....

    1. auto trans fluid change - good, don't delay! :-)

    2. brake fluid change - it is a drain and fill, but brake lines require bleeding, so it will cost a little more in labor than other drain-and-fill operations. not much more, but a little more.

    3. Labor on those tune-up parts I specified SHOULD have been around $60, but who knows what they ACTUALLY charged. One way all shops tend to get you coming and going on this stuff is if you give them a laundry list of things to do, they charge you individually by the book for labor for each one, even though some will be duplicative. Which is why I like to go in for smaller, discrete services a little more frequently, rather than one mondo-service every two years where they hit me up for about $1400.

    A timing belt and water pump replacement, using OEM parts and performed at the dealer, would be about $500 in my area. That would include about $160-175 for parts including the pump and belts. Using aftermarket parts and performed at a reputable indie shop, I would expect that price to drop by at least $100 and preferably more like $150. And of course, if you go with the local shop with the coupon special, where parts and the quality of labor are dubious at best, you could probably get it done for around $250 total (all California prices). Finally, if it were me asking for that service, I would ask them to change all external belts as well, as there would be no additional labor charge. That would run another $40 or so, perhaps. Belts don't cost much.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    Nippononly - Thanks again.

    "...they charge you individually by the book for labor ... even though some will be duplicative" - Yes, that's my experience as well, but I don't know enough about cars to know what jobs should be clumped together when I take it in to save labor cost til too late.

    For example, when the t-belt was changed this time, they ended up having to replace the coolant. I already had the coolant changed for ~$50 last yr, so that would have been unnecessary if I knew.

    You said that you'd rather go in for smaller jobs more frequently rather than get hit with a big one every few yrs. That's the way I want to go too from now on. Can you tell me what groups of services you normally ask for & at what intervals and how much to expect to pay?

    Thanks for your breakdown of the costs. It does seem that my last repair was on the high side for an indie shop. To make myself feel better, I called an Acura dealership and fount out that t-belt and water pump replacement alone would cost $679. (My total bill was $880 with the tuneup and tax). I think I did pay less than dealership repair shop but higher than I should've. The shop did change 3 other belts along with the work (like you said, about $40 in parts).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    your dealer wants a lot for a t-belt and water pump! The last time I got a quote from my dealer for that service was 2 years ago though, so maybe it has gone up a lot. I wouldn't expect it to go up that much. They quoted me $525, including the 3 replacement external belts.

    I usually do one major service every two years (which is about 30K miles for me), which costs about $400 at my dealer, and includes all the maintenance items you had done, plus auto trans fluid (if applicable) and brake fluid, but not spark plug wires, which if they need replacing would cost an extra $50 or so.

    In between, I do oil changes at 5K intervals, and at 10K intervals I add a tire rotation.

    Finally, when it was time to change the t-belt, I used to just ask for that INSTEAD of the major maintenance, and then tell them to add new spark plugs, an oil change, and fresh air and fuel filters. None of those services are duplicative, and the whole thing including t-belt, pump, tensioners, belts, filters, oil, and plugs, would come to less than $700.

    Now, I sold my '88 a couple of years ago, which had the same maintenance interval as yours, and since then I had an RSX which has a timing chain and much less servicing, so my prices are a little out of date. But that servicing schedule should serve you well and save you a few bucks. However, I will add that my "system" depended on me being able to do many visual checks myself, which I would do from time to time. My car only got a professional inspection once every two years, which may not be enough for you depending on how well you can detect new problems cropping up in your car, and/or how much you can inspect yourself.

    The Integra is a super-durable car, so I don't think it needs inspection as often as the dealers will tell you it does. If you drive significantly less or more per year than I do, then if I were you I would go for a major service every 30K miles or two years, whichever comes first.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • go8bgo8b Posts: 6
    I got the same problem here in ATL... anyone got any answers or sugestions?
  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    Thanks for your guidance. I drive ~7000 miles/yr in mostly highway type traffic, rarely stop & go. So I consider myself on the light side of usage.

    I usually take it for oil change ~4-5 months (always ) at Firestone. The part I hate most is getting a long list of what's wrong with my car at the end. They said my CV boot looks worn a few times, but this shop I just used never mention anything. Another time, it's brake fluid that's low (I can see through the canister that it's not). It's always something.

    I now know better and will get the std maintenance done say in 3 yrs (rather than wait 5 yrs like I just did). From your advice, it'll need for sure these: Auto trans fluid & filter brake fluidfuel filterspark plugs
    Probably also the Dist cap & rotor and PCV valve since it costs only ~$40 more in parts and maybe not much in additional labor.

    I'll tell them to not change spark plugs wires ($58 in parts) unless they test them, and definitely not the oil additive crap.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Totally! Sounds good. And let me reiterate, because I was NOT kidding: NEVER believe ANYTHING a tire place or a quickie lube place says about the mechanical condition of your car (except alignment, at the tire place), and ALWAYS decline "extra services" or "needed services" that are offered or mentioned. Those places are a double whammy: the staff range in competence from below average to none, and they are paid and bonused to sell you high-profit maintenance and repairs, whether your car needs them or not.

    I think if you follow the schedule you laid out, given your 7K miles per year, you should be just abour right on the perfect compromise between miles and years. As far as oil changes, I am sure you could get away with one change every six months rather than more frequently, but as everyone always says, "it's cheap insurance" to do it more frequently. Don't forget those tire rotations now and again! :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    Thanks many times for your help.

    BTW, there is a website that describes cases where Firestone deliberately breaks something in the car, then try to sell you the repair. It shows pics of evidence and descriptions of events that sound pretty convincing.

    I'm sure different Firestone shops have different level of honestly. But, I'm always nervous trusting my car with chain store type repair shops. But since I don't know how to do oil change myself, there isn't much option.
  • mmyk72mmyk72 Posts: 67
    How do I know if brake pads need changing? Are there early warning signs (noise, pedal feel, etc.)?

    I don't want to wait till too late and end up damaging something expensive like the drums. But I also don't want to get screwed by shops trying to sell me something I don't need.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    is the sign, not when they are cold in the morning, but when they are hot. If they screech, that's your warning to change the pads. Eventually they will go from squeaking to grinding - then it's too late! :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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