1989 Acura Integra LS 2.2L 4-cylinder from North America

Summary:

The Car Will Rust Out Before It Ever Dies

Faults:

With a car with such high mileage, there were problems to expect. The MAJOR MAJOR problems have been rust and the exhaust system.

The exhaust system, though I was assured it was semi-recently replacement when purchased, fell apart at around 210,000 miles. I do not think it had actually ever been replaced.

The power steering crapped out a few months ago. So, now it no longer has that lovely option. It also makes a loud clunking sound when taking corners now. Perfect for waking up the neighbors you hate at 3 AM.

But, the car's biggest fault is rust. Even though it is a 15 year old car, the amount of rust is unbelievable. It is an eye sore to drive behind, as that is where most of the problem is. The trunk seems to be totally rusting out and the rust is bleeding down the back of the car (can I mention the car is white?). The floorboards also appearing to be rusting at a fast rate. The driver's side floor is not looking so hot.

The radio works when it feels like it, reminiscent of a 1992 Accord I used to own. I think this might be an issue for that era of Honda/Acura.

General Comments:

It's amazing that a car that needs so much, can function without so much. The vehicle is not actually DRIVEN by me though I own it, so I can take into account what has and has not been done for upkeep and not feel guilty for it's grossly lacking areas.

The car has not had an oil change in about 25,000 miles. While this is outrageous, of course, the fact that the car didn't even need additional oil until about 3,000 miles ago is fabulous.

The power steering problem could have been prevented. The system was leaking fluid and it needed to be replaced on a weekly basis. Guess who didn't do that? :) By the time I found out it wasn't being done, it was too late.

It still starts up and moves without a problem and still has the great power it probably had at 100,000 miles. This car will rust out completely before it ever dies. Of that, I am positive. It will be any day now that the tires will just pop through the trunk. As for the engine, even without the maintenance normally ABSOLUTELY required of a car this age and mileage, it sounds, runs and drives (with the exception of the power steering) exactly like it might have when it was first rolled out onto a showroom floor 15 years old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2004

6th Jul 2004, 08:37

If you hear a clunking while taking turns, this may not necessarily be the broken power steering, but your CV joints / boots or the whole CV shaft. You should look into this because if you let it go, you might be stranded once they snap completely.

10th Oct 2008, 19:34

Yes rust is a major factor. I live on the north coast and everything rusts here. One little scratch and the problem grows at an alarming rate.

My Acura LS has a spot of rust right at the base of the hatchback window but there is a solution. It comes in a spray can. It's a rust killer, just spray it on the infected areas and it kills it completely. But you have to act fast; any little scratch hose it down quick. Let the product set and dry on it's own and you've beat the cancer. You can get it at any hardware store.

10th Oct 2009, 14:26

To prevent rust on mine, I've used a treatment process called KROWN. They spray an oil into every crevice, and since it flows, it doesn't plug up holes.

I sprayed it on a sitting car on the calipers. No rust.

1989 Acura Integra LX 1.6 DOHC from North America

Summary:

One of the most enjoyable cars to drive fast, yet still very easy to drive as a daily driver

Faults:

At 15 years old and over 166,000 miles on the body there are bound to be some repairs, as with any car that old.

Typical wear/tear:

-Axles at 170,000

-Shocks/Struts at 165,000

-Suspension Bushings at 165,000.

This is the second 1989 Integra I have owned. The first was an automatic transmission with 135,000 miles on it. I have since sold it and moved on to a manual transmission and a "new" used engine.

I purchased a relatively clean body and placed a "new" used engine in it (after rebuilding it). All told I spent less than $1,100 for a car with a new engine in it.

As the car's body continues to age, I am seeing the need to replace the steering rack, tie rod ends, and perhaps the ball joints. These repairs are par for the course on a body with over 150,000 miles on it, though.

The only dilemma is the cost of parts for this car. Finding affordable service for this car (Acura, DOHC) can also be challenging and expensive. That's the only reason I didn't give the cost of ownership rating more points.

As a result, this car has kindled my interest in maintaining my own vehicles and really developed my taste for aggressive driving.

One problem owners should be on the lookout for is a starting problem that's hard to pinpoint. Check the main relay before replacing anything else.

General Comments:

This car is surprisingly fast and nimble.

It is probably the easiest car to handle at it's limits (which are very fun to push) that I have ever driven.

The suspension and frame combination in this car make for a very nimble, yet easily controlled drive.

With further tweaking of the suspension (upgraded shocks/struts/springs) this car has pr oven to handle much better than most cars built today.

The engine is only a 1.6L, but it is DOHC and redlines at 7200 rpm. With the curb weight just over 2200 lbs, that's a good match to the third generation of Integras.

Gas mileage is excellent, considering the spriteness of the motor. I have recorded over 30mpg on longer trips.

I would highly recommend the manual transmission over the automatic for two reasons: 1. honda's older auto trannies were prone to rough shifting 2. this engine needs to be pushed over 4,000 rpm (which it loves) to really fully enjoy driving it.

Overall, one of the most enjoyable cars to drive fast, yet still very easy to drive as a daily driver.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2004