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Acura Integra Transmission Problems

go8bgo8b Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Acura
I have a '90 Integra 1.8L LS hatchback with an automatic transmission that does not want to shift from 2nd to 3rd. At least not until it warms up. Let me regress a bit... I bought this car for my son 2 years ago and everything was fine for about the 1st year. Then, it seemed to take longer to want to shift and it has progressively gotten worse. At first, it was slight, then noticeable, and now it is up to about a 10 minute drive @ 3000 - 4000 RPMs. Once it makes the shift, all shifting is normal except for a slight slippage going from 2-3 and that quickly goes away and easily controlled with the throttle. I have drained and refilled the tran twice thinking that it helped each time for a short while... but to be honest... it might have just been hopeful wishing as it has never gone away.

Can any of you extremely knowledgeable people out there shed any light on what the problem might be and any corrective action I should take? Is this transmission just shot.. if so... any suggestions (other than the tax write-off for donations)?

I know engines very well but trans are not my area of expertise... but neither was engine rebuilds/overhaul/swaps... until I just dove into it... more than a few times on more than a few vehicles. :o) I honestly have not had the time to do any checks (like pulling the solenoids and cleaning/checking them) so I would like to find out a logical way to troubleshoot this problem. I have full schematics but I do not know how the shift control is done... I do know there is a 'tran control module' but have no idea as to what should happen when and what for. I have full test equipment (MM, O-scope, etc.) but want to know where to start. Thank you in advance for any insight anybody can give. All comments are welcome and grateful!


  • Hi, Go8b actually i have the same problem as yours, but with my Suzuki Escudo 1.6 Have a favor though, can you send me relevant replies to your problem... thank you very much...
    I dont have more time to spend on my computer... thanks...
    My email add is

    Thanks again...
  • go8b - DONT SWAP your tranny
    I have the same exact car with the same exact problem - I have been warming the car up with the Ebrake on in Drive so i can drive the car to and from work. It is not an internal problem - there is a shift solenoid that is not working. I need to do some more research, but i think this is an electrical issue - not mechanical
  • go8bgo8b Posts: 6
    Yes, there are two shift solenoids on the transmission. They are mounted on topside with electrical connectors going to them. I have tested these solenoids and both are working fine. I also did continuity check of all wire feeding them and all was ok. I believe the problem to be with sludge and junk build-up in some ports that cause too much positive pressure to shift until it heats up enough to melt. I have had no time to check into it any further but know that a standard tranny flush may or may not temporarily help but will not fix the ultimate problem. THANX FOR THE REPLY tho... and keep me posted if you resolve anything.
  • go8bgo8b Posts: 6
    Any resolve to your problems. Haven't got much response in 4 months and just curious if you have come up with anything?
  • Thank you so much for your reply... Im gonna go to my mechanic to check on what you said...

    Last time my mechanic told me that he'll use an AT Fluid that he uses on his off road cars... I dont know about that, but with what he told me it might have a faster heating process, the good thing was, he was honest to tell me that he wasn't sure... Ill keep you posted.. thank you so much...
  • Hi.After telling my mechanic about what you told me, well they checked it and everything was fine the solinoids and the one that you mentioned i forgot what that was...
    Using there ATF did not made any differnce though my mechanic said to change my tranny.... I dont want to.. well not yet until i have everything checked out...

    My problem has become worse now... My tranny DOES NoT SHIFT now, well that was after a had my engine changed oil and changed my spark plugg. :sick: I really dont know what to do next... Any updates??? id really love to hear it.... thnaks...
    :( :cry:
  • I own a 94 Teg LS and had the same problem and everytime I went to do mods on my ridge most told me that it be better to wait till it gave out.I hoped it would hold out a bit longer but it did go out and would not shift.I thought it was the solinoids but checked them out and it was internal. Sad I pretty much baby my ride and have everything on it tuned up.
    Well I ended up doing a tranny swap a few weeks ago from another teg and it works fine minus the cost to do it. But love my ride none to less. I have read on other boards about this problem and wonder about it maybe over 10 other peeps I chatted to and no real answers give some feed back if you find something. :confuse:
  • y2kcrashy2kcrash Posts: 13
    May want to check what is called the shifter switch located on you shifter column. You will need to remove your centre console to see it.
    Same problem occur on my 1990 same model as yours.
    Cost of new switch in 2005 was $60 Can
    Part number I have for it is 35700-SK7-A01 Swtich Assembly
    Hope this helps.
    The problem will get worse as time goes too the point that you will also be not able remove your key from the igination because the shifter will not indicate when you are in park. :mad:
  • y2kcrashy2kcrash Posts: 13
    If the switch is okay then the next item to check is the shifter cable.
    The age of the vehicle could have resulted in it stretching or corrision inside
  • endoescudoendoescudo Posts: 4
    Hi. Guys... It has a been a very long wait for me in dectecting the problem of my car...

    Thing that was done...

    1. Had it checked to another mechanic... Found out out my Bulb Body stacked-up so i had my tranny removed and checked.. things where going well unil it was installed again... Worse... at first it shifted really or then after a couple of minutes a cracking sound then a sudden stop no movement at all.. the next day tranny was checked then found out the plates where abraded...
    2. So, removed the tranny again and changed the plates... after installation and trial ride... no movement at all... no shifting happend... :mad: :confuse: :sick:
    3. We contacted a Automatic Transmission speciallist from another city had him fly to where i am.... after he checked on it mechanical point of view where all ok that is after he started the engine... just that it doesn't shift.... Solinoid was checked and it is not functioning.... :cry:
    4. Its been 2 months no I till cant find any solenoid
    I went to SUZUKI dealer it may take another 2 months b4 it can be delivered.... but the problem is not that its the PRICE: about $375 just for the solenoid... thats too much...
    for me and even the speciallist said it is to much....

    HELP........ Do you know wher i can get a cheap solinoid? 1990 model 3 doors suzuki escudo... HELP

    My thoughts: change my tranny and engine... for one reason nobody here is selling tranny only... it costs about 40,000 pesos that is about $870
    : Change my tranmission to manual--- Problem can find any, for my car here in my place

    Thanks guys
  • I have a 95 Integra, and my tranny just decided to cut out one day. Changing gears seemed not to engage, like I was stuck in Neutral. Thought it might have been the fluid, so I topped it up. Seemed to work for.... bout half a block, then back to nothing. Sitting at the side of the highway for 10 minutes with the engine off and it started to work but wasn't engaging very strong, but far enough to get off the highway. Engaging into gears slows the engine speed slightly, but not enough to grab, and I hear a scratchy whine coming from the tranny when its idling. Think it might be internal, or any possibility its electrical?
    -Thanks, Vic
  • yea get this i have a 94 acura integra and it was wierd because at first i had the problem with the transmission being odd on me cause when it first seemed as though it was slipping it stoped going out of first gear and then a couple of days later it wouldnt even kick into the gear when i shifted it and it was acting like it was in neutral and just reving even if it was in first gear then all of a suddon i take out the stock head unit (it needed the code from the manual but of course i dint have one) and all of a suddon it was kicking again when i shifted it into every gear but it once again wouldnt go out of 1st gear ...... (if someone could tell me whats up with that then that would be great .... or does my car just have a mind of its own lol)
  • I just picked up a 91 integra and it is having a problem shifting from 2nd to 3rd, until it warms up, but just this morning it shifted fine until it warmed up,then it wouldnt shift into third. I am a mechanic, i get paid to fix peoples crap, and iv had it up to my yanked out hair over this thing, have friends that run tranny shops, and iv checked the relays, changed the 2-3,and the 3-4 shift packs, and ran the flush through it.I live in IL and iv called dealerships in Cali just to get a handle on this problem, now im being told to check the speed sensor.
    Iv seen this on Chysler mini-vans, and GM cars so it just seems that maybe iv over-looked this.But i will repost as soon as I try this.And from looking on more of these threads, alot of Acura owners could use some info on just this same issue!
  • I also have a 95 Integra, and my problems match yours exactly. What was your final diagnosis and solution?
  • Hey did you ever get your problem fixed cuz my 95 Integra GS-R is doing the same thing and if you could tell me how to fix it I would be very very greatful. Thank you
  • My 95 Teg SE is doing the same thing, I would start it up it would shift fine for awhile then it would either not shift out of 1st or just act like it was in neutral. :mad: and it angers me. And then I'll pull into a parking lot turn off the car and I would start it up and it wouldn't shift out 1st but if it did and I stopped it would have a problem either going into 1st or out into 2nd gear. Should I just have the transmission replaced or would that be a waste of time and money. :confuse: I used to workin on older cars and trucks but only domestics these imports motor and transmissions are so crammed together I figure out what wires running where but I hope someone can help me and thank you for reading this unneeded long post
  • I ended up having to get my transmission changed. The transmission had gone thats why it was doing that. Go to a mechanic and have them put it on the hoist and have the transmission checked.
  • Thank you I just my car in a shop yesterday and they are replacing the transmission :) :shades:
  • ok i got a civic sir but i bought it at a auction and they did a conversion to it amd put in a b18c4 wit a lsd tranny and it was crashed on the right side fender breakin the rim and the axle so when i took down the vin number of the car i went to a place where i get my parts from and gave them the vin number of my car and then i installed it ..then when i put in in gear manual transmission, it wont run and it makes a load noise
  • vtracervtracer Posts: 1
    Got an RS model, 5 speed B trans in a 1.8L. 1992
    Made a vibration/whine going into 3rd leaving home. Stopped, backed up reverse OK, then 1st started whinning and running like not in gear. Got home, maybe a 1/4 mile. Is this the clutch and guts gone or a tranny out of time?
  • Got an 98 LS automatic model with 75k miles in Florida 2 years back for 6k.I used to race with other cars at 90 to 110 MPH from Jax to Miami frequently. When my car reached 90k I replaced timing belt and did 90k full service for $1100.Its acceleration was very quick.
    When I moved to NJ, I drove my car non stop from FL to NJ for 15 hrs.
    I love my car as it never let me down, I drove entire FL and even to key west at 90 mph and I used to enjoy a lot.

    The first day of NJ when I was driving at 25mph I met with a small accident as I do not know that NJ is full of traffic and people can stop anywhere on road. I had to replace my left head light and airbags for $1500 and checked my dashboard wires.There was a minor scratch on my front bumper.

    now, my car was not running as before and it used to shake when it reached 80mph and rpm used to shoot between 2k to 6k frequently and when contacted the mechanic, he replaced transmission fluid and asked me to warm my car before driving and I used to do the same.
    But, no Change, rpm was frequently fluctuating and there was delay in gear shift

    For NJ DMV inspection,I had replaced gas filter, distributor, val cover gasket, new spark plug,NGK igni wire set, for $1000 and also replaced transmission fluid

    same problem with rpm and it was more consistent

    one day there as a lot of noise from dashboard as if some wire was struck between odometer and the next day onwards there was no noise.
    last week my car broke and I towed it to mechanic and he replaced thermostat, gasket, new heater hose and the mechanic said its due to Anti freeze liquid leakage

    the next day when I drove my car, it wobbled and vibrated a lot while driving and there was delay in gear shift from 2nd to 3rd and I immediately slowed my car
    but, suddenly it broke on main road and did not start, even if it started it used to stop and after 15 min it started.
    But I don’t want to take chances and towed it to Mechanic and he did Check Engine diagnostics and said its a Transmission problem and advised me to sell my car.
    Now, it has 105k miles on it. When I came to NJ it was exactly 100k

    I don’t know what to do,

    I have three options
    1. Sell my car? KBB fair value is 3600, for how much I can sell?
    2. Show it to Acura Dealer and fix Transmission it. If so, how much I can spend
    3. Continue as it is?
  • All in all, integra automatic transmissions are known for going bad after some time. If you really do want to keep the car, get the transmission changed. It costed roughly $600 for a jdm transmission with installation up here in toronto on my 95 db7. It all comes down to whether you want to keep the car or not.
  • sixftfoursixftfour Posts: 1
    Just bought a 96 Integra to save on the gas bill, love the car, runs great except for the tranny. Read through the other posts here and didn't really see what I am experiencing, so I thought I'd put in a post. My car has 153,000 miles on the original tranny, previous owner lived down a fairly rough dirt road, and drove it pretty hard. The trans is the 4sp auto, it goes in and out of every gear fine, but it shifts excessively hard in all gears. It does seem to lessen if you just ease into the gas and slowly accelerate, but it may shift good 1-2nd, then wind up to 3000-3500 rpm to shift to 3, and or 4th. Next stop light it may shift bad 1-2, good to 3rd, bad to 4th. It does seem to get worse with more stoplight to stoplight driving. Now on the flip side if you gun it and take off hard it winds up high in each gear but doesn't kick as hard when it goes in gear, but I don't like doing that because I'm afraid it's not gonna shift one day and blow it up. My question is this, could this be a bad tranny all together, bad converter, bad computer, bad shiftcable? Also what is the make and model of the trans? Engine is the 1.8 dohc. Any current price, or ball park range on a new (or rebuilt) trans installed, in the midwest, or abroad for that matter? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  • My acura was leaking auto trans fluid. I went to check the level

    The dipstick is sucked down its retaining hole and there is one hell of a vaccum holding it in place. The only part visible is the ring at top. I called my mechanic who said dont pull it out. I need a new used tranny. I have a yearning to somehow get it out of there. Any advice or prior experience with this.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,965
    If you're replacing the tranny I'd say just leave the dipstick where it is. It's not a vacuum that's holding it in but the ring got cured into the tube from corrosion, heat, or whatever. If you try to force it out and chunks of "stuff" go down the tube into the transmission, that's not good.

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  • I have a 96 gsr (manual) and Some times when I get on it, the passenger side half shaft will pop out of the tranny. I can get under the car and pop it back in and it drives fine. I replaced both half shafts and my motor mounts are fine. Any ideas on what this could be or how to fix it?
  • I have a 92 acura integra gsr. The third gear kind of grinds when I shift to it. should I keep driving it, or should I do something about it? This is the first time I have own a manual, so I'm not sure what to do.
  • i wouldn't worry about it the 90-93 integra trannys had a problem with that and third got it the worst because its the most used gear but they fixed it in 94 if you want to get one a used tranny is from like $300-$1000 depending on if you get usdm or jdm and if you get type R GSR or LS the LS being the least expensive.

    but the 94-01 trannys are hydralice and the 90-93 trannys are cable so you would have to convert it

    PS. the 92-93 GSRs are VERY RARE so take care of it and lock it up because the motor is a one of a kind
  • I had the same issue as you, on a 2001 Integra. Just recently, while I was on the highway (probably in fourth gear), it started revving up like it was in neutral -- its at the shop now. Started looking on these forums and its seems like there is not other solution other than replacing the tranny. Has anyone come up with a cheaper/less drastic way of fixing this problem??
  • Well i have a 1990 ls integra manual transmission and i was driving normal and i went to go into 3rd gear and it went in fine but it didnt grab, like my car was in nuetral. a place told me it could be the throw out bearing , can some one help me with this please thxs Doug or email me at
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