1990 Integra sometimes just dies while driving

Hi, I’m new to this forum, so forgive me if I’m a bit long winded, as I’ve included a lot of stuff in this post!

I have been having an intermittent problem with my 1990 Acura Integra, although today it happened three times! Sometimes when driving, the engine just dies. This once happened at night on the freeway, where I went to shift from 5th to 4th and noticed the engine was dead. All the lights were on though, so I coasted to the shoulder, put the car in neutral, and restarted it, without a problem, then drove home.

Previous to this, (maybe a half year ago?) there were a couple of times when the car would not stay started in the morning, as if it were idling too low. Then a few minutes later would start up just fine.

Last week, the car, after running fine all day, died in the middle of the neighborhood, as I came to a stop. If I turned the key in the ignition, it stayed started until I release the key, whereupon it stopped again. No amount of starting it would get it to turn over. It was not anywhere near out of gas. Tow truck came, and it still would not stay running, so it was towed to the shop. Of course the problem would not show itself again, so the mechanic could not figure what was causing the problem.

I had a tune up last year. The alternator was replaced about 2 years ago, and the distributor, ignition coil etc. about 41/2 years ago.

There are a few other weird things that have been occurring and wonder if they are in anyway related? Sometimes the seatbelt chime ( I think it’s that one) comes on for no reason. Also the rear-window defroster sometimes goes on and off on it’s own, without me pushing the button, and it won’t go off when I depress the button so there must be some wiring problem going on.

I love my car and am the original owner…it had only 4 miles on it when I bought it. I am hoping this is a problem others have experienced and have figured out how to resolve it!



It sounds as if the ignition switch is going bad. hard to test because they will do this. work sometimes for awhile and not others.the problem with the defroster and starting in the morning are not related i don’t think.how many miles on the car??

Thanks for the response. The car has 216,700 miles on it. I’m kind of scared to drive the car now, because I don’t want it to die on me when I’m going up some hill and can’t safely “coast” to the side of the road!

with that many miles i would suspect the ignition switch. another possibility is the disributor but you’ve had it replaced. when they tuned it up did they replace the fuel filter?? another good thing to do.

Yes, they did replace the fuel filter. Sometimes I wonder if it is better to take the car to an actual Acura dealer to be fixed, especially when it is old like mine. But then they tend to charge a lot more. What are peoples thoughts on this? (Dealers need not respond :slight_smile: )

When the engine stalls, are all the warning lights on the dash on or off? Same when it won’t stay started. When the key is in the run position, not the start position, but the engine is not running, all sorts of warning lights should be on. If they are not on, the idea that your ignition switch is going bad makes sense. If you have a habit of having a lot of keys and things on your keychain, the weight of all that will wear out a switch faster, but at your mileage it could be worn out anyway. You can have a good mechanic replace it - you do not need a dealer.

None of the warning lights come on when it dies, which is why I don’t always notice it has died until I go to a new gear and nothing happens.

That’s funny, in a not so funny way, about the number of keys, etc, on my chain, which is fairly numerous, on the order of about 8. If I do get a new ignition switch, I’ll make certain to have only the necessary things there! Thanks

thats sure soundings more and more like its the ignition switch!!!