92 Integra hesitates

My '92 Integra has ~280K miles. A couple of years ago the tachometer started “bouncing” up and down while the engine seemed to run fine. Some time after, it started to hesitate under acceleration. A few months ago the car died while driving along the highway. The tachometer went up and down as the engine cut off and came back on before finally dying. A tow to the repair shop lead to a tune up, changing of spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and the ignition coil. That got the car running again, with its usual erratic tach and hesitation on acceleration. Then, the car died again in a similar way while driving. I was found to have a dead battery. Replacing it got the car running again…but the tach is still erratic and the car still hesitates. I am concerned that there is still some underlying issue that has not been fixed. I sometimes think it is a loose connection because there are times when the car seems just fine, but that is happening less frequently.

Your thoughts?

It may very well be the distributor. Take the cap off and check for mechanical slop: There may be a little mechanical movement sideways or some movement vertically. There really shouldn’t be very much movement at all.

I had that very same thing happen so scouted around for a cheap replacement. Found one at a fire training center inside a car that they were going to light up and train with. Talked to the guys and asked whether they’d look the other way if I got them a case of beer. Job done. They were happy. I was happy.

Igniter in the distributor assembly feeds the tach like RemcoW said. Igniter can be replaced.

You’re right but don’t Honda/Acura igniters tend to fail hard? It basically is just a Darlington transistor. Those things either work or die. Do they get into a weird intermittent mode?