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I have a 1990 Acura Integra that I have been having problems with lately, I was hoping you could shed some light on the issue for me. It is surging every now and then when it is sitting and idling. I was driving the other day and my battery light came on and I had to replace the battery because it was completely shot. Now that I have new battery in the car it still surges. I took it in and had an electrical system test done where they hook up a load to my battery and check the system that way. They told me that it could be the alternator or it could be a bad electrical connection. I have done some diagnostics myself and found that sometimes the car runs ok when I disconnect the battery and other times it dies. Normally when you connect a voltage meter with the vehicle running you should see 14.4v, when it surges I am seeing anywhere from 14.4 to 14.0v, I don't know if this is a good indication or not because I don't know if my volt meter can respond as fast as the surges happen. Have you heard of this problem with this vehicle before?

Alternators should produce voltage between 13.8 to 14.2 volts. Yours seem to be doing this, so I suspect you don't have a charging problem. If your battery light is on in the dash, then I'm dead wrong. Fix this problem first before you proceed further! As to the surging it could be a vacuum leak or where the car is trying to find base "Idle". If someone has adjusted the base idle speed to compensate for this problem then I would start there and put it back to where it used to be. If you have a digital volt ohm meter then I would suggest "back probing" the O2 sensor to see if it is running rich or lean. If you don't know what wire to hook up to on the o2 sensor then you may need to take it to a shop and have them diagnose this problem! Working on today's cars can be very expensive just changing parts. Have a shop test these problems and tell them to fix it! A good shop will be able to fix it and give you a complete price before they start the work. Of course you will need to pay them for their knowledge and time. So expect a diagnostic fee, because you get what you pay for! If they do it for free, then they put no value on their training and knowledge. Most erratic idling problems are vacuum leaks or miss-adjustments. A dead or dying 02 sensor can cause similar conditions. This is why it is so important to diagnose it correctly.

 

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