What's going on - Integra CEL - second time

Hello, the check engine light on my 1997 Integra (LS, 119K miles) has come on for the second time. Including background below. Appreciate in advance any suggestions & apologize for the long post.

Incident #1:
In mid-June, the car sputtered or shook a bit when starting and the check engine light came on. Car had been sitting in garage only about a day. Codes were P0303 (cyl 3), 0304 (cyl 4), P1399 (multiple misfire), P1300 (random cyl misfiring). P0303 code set at 1600 rpm & at 75F degrees. Misfire code set during warm-up. The shop performed block test (came negative). Compression tests show 1, 2, 4 at 200 psi & 3 at 190 psi. The shop replaced spark plugs & inspected plug wires & connectors as well. Valve clearance adjustments also done. The shop cleared the engine light code.

Incident #2
Last week (early Aug), the car again sputtered & shook when trying to start (had been sitting in the garage for about 2.5 days). Showed signs of low or dead battery but started after cranking a few times. The check engine light came on again. Codes (checked at home using the jump method) indicate cyl 1 & 3 mis-fire.

Will be taking to the shop for diagnosis again but wondering if it is battery or ignition related; shop doesn’t suspect the battery however I do sense that the battery ‘feels’ weak esp. when starting. New battery put in May. What could be going on?

Suggestions sincerely appreciated.



I suggest the following:

Fuel pressure test
Injector balance test
Check the fuel trims. Are they all 0, plus or minus 10% ?
Any audible vacuum leaks?

BTW . . . how old is that battery?

Have the charging system tested

Check for parasitic draw . . . could explain the weak, but fairly new, battery

Could also be a faulty ignition coil or a cracked/arcing distributor cap.

The shop inspected the plug wires but did not replace them. How old are they? Your symptoms sound like dizzy problems or wire problems, but I’d lean more toward the distributor myself.

Thank you all. The battery was replaced in May 2013 (Kirkland battery). The dealer had replaced the ignition kit in November 2010 - I assume that would have covered rotor & cap as well. Any simple way to rule in or rule out the ignition coil/distributor - w/o taking it to the shop?

If you have a multimeter and access to the electrical shop manual, you can perform tests on the coil and ignitor yourself. They’re easy to do.

A problem here is the term “ignition kit.” That can mean a lot of things. What did the dealership mean by that? Also, why are you taking a 16 year old car to the dealership? A good independent mechanic who knows imports would be a better and cheaper option.

No, I do take my car to an independent shop. However, for the extended emissions warranty work, I had the dealer do the check-up and free replacement. The dealer replaced the spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor along with an oil change. This was in 2010.

I will see if I can perform any tests on the coil myself before taking it to the shop.