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Mike needs help

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New User

Sep 3, 2018, 5:50 PM

Post #1 of 7 (396 views)
Mike needs help Sign In

Hey I really need help, my 2002 Acura TL 3.2 is having some troubles and was I hoping someone might be able to help me troubleshoot the problem.

Sometimes it starts up just fine, but other times, which are becoming more prevalent, it shakes, sputters, drops in rpms, and dies all within a matter of 15 seconds. If I put my foot on the brake and give it some gas I'm able to put it in gear... drive/reverse (it's an automatic) ... and then it won't die. Still, every time I start up my car now it sounds more and more rough than the time before. This has all been unfolding over the past week. The first time it didn't start, I waited about 15 minutes, and it cranked up just fine... then it didn't give me any issues for a few days... Now every other time I start it there's a problem. 

ALSO, and maybe most importantly, as of today it has began to overheat. I can't use it as reliable transportation anymore, and it is my only transportation.... I've parked it, and I'm stuck with it until I figure out the problem. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 4, 2018, 12:07 AM

Post #2 of 7 (366 views)
Re: Mike needs help Sign In

Mike (presumably) what's the scoop with this car for overall condition and care, miles and so on? It's about 17 years old and your only transportation just in general you would be taking relentless care of every detail to keep it dependable all along or it would already have overwhelmed you with assorted problems all at once and seems it's doing that now such that continuing to use it is just making it worse now parked.

Decision time: Fix every last thing you can find, with help and diagnosis of it's real overall shape or bail out for something else. Both cost bucks and risks either way simply transportation is an expense up to disastrous money pit.
Overheating now is IMO now just insult to injury so what do you want and or capable of doing?

Either send it all out for an overall diagnosis to make it dependable again as much as can be known for another stretch of years or bail out. It's decision time just base it on what you have now vs what you can acquire that has the best chance to be in dependable vehicle again.

I'm basing this on the comment that it's now overheating which is fast to be fatally costly and endless problems down the road,


New User

Sep 4, 2018, 4:48 PM

Post #3 of 7 (343 views)
Re: Mike needs help Sign In

Thank you for responding. The overall condition of the car is fairly good. It has almost 240k, but it's a two owner car and was very well maintained. I have all the maintenance records. It's had slight transmission problems since right after I bought it, which I think is the 4th gear pressure switch. It sometimes downshifts while driving, but I can just pop it into first and bring it back up to 5th so it wasn't that big a problem and I never got it fixed.

(This post was edited by Mikeneedshelp on Sep 4, 2018, 5:02 PM)

New User

Sep 4, 2018, 4:56 PM

Post #4 of 7 (338 views)
Re: Mike needs help Sign In

Other than that it's been very reliable. The problem now is the rough start. And it seems like the rough start and overheating are correlated somehow. I just have no idea how.... maybe the timing? I don't know, and I'm definitely no mechanic. Somebody told me it could just need a tuneup. I was hoping someone had seen something like this before, and could shed some light and point me in the right direction. Maybe it's something I could fix myself... as I'm preparing to sell it and buy a new car... I wouldn't feel right selling it in its current condition. I want to get it fixed first without spending thousands of dollars doing so

New User

Sep 4, 2018, 4:59 PM

Post #5 of 7 (336 views)
Re: Mike needs help Sign In

So what could cause a random rough start that if I'm able to get it in gear will cause it not to die, plus overheating???

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 4, 2018, 6:27 PM

Post #6 of 7 (324 views)
Re: Mike needs help Sign In

With that many miles, you had better start with a complete compression test.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Sep 6, 2018, 7:53 AM

Post #7 of 7 (301 views)
Re: Mike needs help Sign In

Another thing to check out is the idle air control valve. Seen many of those that the rotary valve stick with carbon and cause low idle or stalling. Probably wouldn't be a bad idle to clean the throttle body and remove and clean the air valve. You need the gaskets, carb cleaner, and a tooth brush. There are videos on youtube on how to clean those valves.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Sep 6, 2018, 7:56 AM)

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