1990 Acura Integra Starts and Dies When Cold Sometimes

Reader Question I have a question for you about my car, 1990 Acura Integra which, by the way has 289,900 miles on the original engine! It has always started right up. Now, occasionally, when I first put the ignition key in it starts, the idle moves to around 2 as usual, and then it just shuts off.

No time to apply gas, stalls too fast. Then, I try it again with just turning the ignition switch and it is fine. Occasionally does this maybe a few times a month.

Not in the morning first thing though.

Any thoughts on that? thanks!

Hello Andrea,

Wow, you got your monies worth out of this engine haven’t you? I think in this situation I would ask your regular mechanic, or even a fast oil lube place to inspect and clean your THROTTLE BODY and IDLE AIR CONTROL VALVE.

These parts get gummed up with dirt and carbon and will cause slow starts, rough and erratic idle speed and dying at idle complaints.

It’s quick and easy to inspect and clean if it needs it……and I bet it does. I would start here, it is part of regular scheduled maintenance anyway, and I bet you will feel the difference in idle performance and hopefully a quicker start in the morning.

If you still have problems, I would take the vehicle to your mechanic or the dealership and drop it off one nigh, so he can experience the complaint in the morning with some test equipment on the vehicle.

If he can not catch the complaint in the act with some test equipment hooked up, he will probably just be guessing…which costs you money.

Keep me posted will you?


Austin Davis

Reader Follow Up

Hi Austin…thanks for your response! I actually stopped at my mechanic before I saw your email and he felt the idle air control unit was off. He said should be okay since the unit itself is expensive.(trying not to spend $$$ with now so many miles). But he never mentioned cleaning out the valve. I could ask for this to be done with a regular oil change, sounds like…right? thanks again. Andrea

Yo Andrea. If the mechanic does not feel comfortable cleaning the valve at least ask him to clean the Throttle Body for you and see if that helps. The air control valve is expensive and he might not feel comfortable cleaning it, which is understandable if he has not done it before.


Austin Davis

Posted in: Won't Start Issues

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