Need help with serious electrical gremlins!!

My electrical gremlins are as follows: Push cigarette lighter in, DOOR warning light comes on. Try to turn on dome light, in-dash clock turns off or fades away to barely visible. If dome light switch is in ON or OFF position (not in the middle), neither the radio, the rear defroster, the fog light switch or the cigarette tray light will come on. Radio turns off by itself AT ANY TIME! Front right speaker and rear left speaker turn on and off by themselves unles i jiggle the radio then they only come on if I have the volume @ more than 50%. That’s about the end of it…

What I’m wondering is: WTF IS GOING ON!!! I don’t have the manual for the car and I’m afraid if I take it to an Acura dealership or another mechanic that they are going to slap me with a HEFTY bill for fixing that mess. What I need/would tremendously appreciate is someone with some kind of electrical know-how to let me know what wires might be crossed or cut? I am seriously fed up with this car and I really want to just take a stinger to it and reap the insurance money!!! Seriously though, i paid like 800 bills for it and I know that I got a really good deal on it, but I’ve had it with the electrical problems (it sucks having to reset the stations on my radio every time i start the car!!!).

Alright enuff with the ranting. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

(BTW: 1992 Integra LS 4D)

bad ground

i had some problems, not as severe as yours, beacuse of a bad ground on the radio.
do u have a factory radio?
has the radio ever been removed?
to fix my problem i had to secure the factory deck to the metal bracket in the console. also make sure the deck is wired correctly.


Check fuse #14 under the dash on the driver’s kickpanel (it’s a 15A fuse). This circuit controls the relay for the cigarette lighter, the illumination for the clock, the trigger for the door switch as well as a power feed for the interior dome light. Does this sound like a possible culprit??

If it isn’t this fuse, check also under the hood (#33 - 50A). This is the main link to the fused circuit we are talking about above. If it isn’t one of these two points that has a shorted/blown fuse, I am stumped.

Email me if you need to.

About the front speakers cutting out, etc… Here’s my theory… If your high level speaker outputs short to ground, you may be flipping the amp in your headunit into protection mode which may be cutting the power to your radio intermittently.

I would pull the door panel and make certain the speaker outputs are connected properly and taped or insulated with heat shrink as well as pull the head unit and check that the harness hasn’t been victimized be a quick hack job…


aka neex.

thank you guys so much…i will try all of the above and see what my results are. I will keep you posted as to my findings:cool: And for some reason my radio is just floating around. The radio isn’t attached to anything, it’s just floating around in the console. So I will try and see if there even is a bracket to attach it to back there…


Which radio is it exactly that’s installed?? I can help you. Too bad you weren’t in the GTA.

aka neex.

Neex, the radio is stock. I found out yesterday that there is no bracket or even mounting posts to attach it to. So I’m gonna have to rig something for it. BTW, what is GTA? I’m a newbie here so I don’t know everything just yet…:baby: And I did change the 15 amp fuse for the clock, cig lighter, and dome light. And guess what!!! THEY ALL WORK NOW!!! I don’t know why i didn’t check there first.:bang: Thanx for all your help so far, and try and keep me posted with more suggestions. PLEASE! Because I think my thermoswitch for the radiator cooling fan is broken or on the verge because when I turn my car off it just keeps on going as if the car was on. It does that for about 3 to 4 hours then shuts off by itself. Don’t know what up wit dat!

I’m glad you got it fixed! As for the head unit sliding about, there should be 2 8mm nuts/bolts (I think that’s the size) holding it in at the back. The bracket on the deck really doesn’t look like a bracket but more of a really narrow ‘shelf’. The bracket on the car’s console is attached in the middle of the crossbar behind the radio. When you take a better look, you’ll know what I mean. If you have a manual transmission, the clutch interlock relay is located right behind it (or it’s the cigarette lighter relay). Either way, rip out that deck and find the crossbar… buy 2 small bolts with 8mm nuts (M5 bolts would work ok also)… you’ll need to lay down on the pass side and use a ratchet from behind to put them back on. Once you get it in place, you’ll know. The back of the radio sits on the ‘shelf’ and gets bolted in, the bottom is held in place by the two clips that mount the pocket to the front of the radio’s frame. If you don’t have the pocket, the bracket at the back should be good enough by itself provided you give it some support at the front.

You could also use radio backstrap material and bolt the frame of the radio into the side framing of the center console. I mounted my head unit this way. Mine is held in with 2 M5 bolts on each side and one at the rear. I attached the cage this way, locked in the front with the removal keys and then attached one bolt betweet the cage and the radio. In other words, you’ll have a bear of a time getting it out. That is… if you find it… I ripped the face off the old OEM deck and recessed the aftermarket one so that I can put the OEM over it. When you look in, you see the OEM deck… When I get in, I pull it off and use my Blau San Francisco…

About the GTA… Greater Toronto Area… waaaaaaaaay up here in Canada. I travel south sometimes though… maybe we could meet up some day?

Take care and contact me if you need to,


btw… if you have access to a digital camera, take pics of the things you are having trouble with here… there are lots of good answers and knowledgable people here but the visuals and good descriptions are key!


and look here also…

neex===> u got pics of your setup???
i was think in of doing somthing similar and recessing the whole deck into the plastic frame(the one with the ash tray and cig lighter on the bottom half).

I don’t have any pics right now but I can snap some off for you if you want… I have been meaning to modify a cup holder to go underneath because right now I have nothing there… ash tray dumped also because I used to have a large processor underneath…

I’ll see if I can’t clean things up a little and get a nice pic or three for you…

As for advice about making the false face??? Dead easy. Make sure you remove the IC/controller from the head unit and mount the LCD (I used glue) to the inside of the screen.

I then wrapped all the knobs with a thin bit of electrical tape so they fit pretty snug into place. Once I had a good test fit, I glued all the knobs in place. Be carefull you don’t break the little mounting tab for the cassette door. You will also need to break the 2 tabs that mount the face to the sides of the case. I broke mine off because I was too lazy to fire up the Dremel. I suggest you take my advice and cut them cleanly to avoid damaging the cassette mounting location.

Good luck…

whadda happy day… I finally gave my cell provider a piece of my mind (I’ve been battling with a damn 6185 Nokia for too long and Nokia has been no help)… To make a long story longer, I got a brand new top end Samsung A460 with no real trouble at all. If you need a provider, you may want to consider this… blah blah blah… I don’t work for any cell providers… this is just a good little Christmas story…


YOU GUYS ROCK!!! Neex you have been more than helpful!!! You too D_E_T_O_X… Anything you guys need (within my limits of course) you got it!! :slight_smile: Although the thing with the radiator fan is still buggin’ me.

I will post some pics A.S.A.P, I just need to get a paint job and some A/M rims. It’s kind of rough looking the way it is now. I’m not embarrased about the way it looks but I know it can look WAAAAY better.

Thank you again so much!!!

Thanks for your kind words… I’m glad that you were able to find the help you needed.

About your rad fan… It’s one of about 2-3 things I would presume. For starters, I would check that your engine cooling fan relay (rad relay) is operational. It’s located I believe on the driver’s side of the rad attached to a clip with a release (I think it’s green). Anyway, put the butt end of a screwdriver on this and give it a little tap. It may be that the coil in the relay is stuck open. This will cause the fan to cycle usually till your battery goes too low to run the fan. I had an old Ford Tempo with this problem and I was able to fix it with a standard 12V/30A Bosch style relay (you could do the same – it doesn’t need to be an OEM part). On the other hand, if you are having a problem with the timed response of the fan, you may have a defective timer circuit. On some tegs, this is an external unit but more often than not I think it’s an IC/controller inside the ECU housing (such as the defog timer circuit is).

If you need some diagnostic procedures or locations of the circuits to test, etc., let me know. These kinds of things aren’t that hard to fix. The worst electrical problems to fix are intermitent shorts… sometimes it work… sometimes it doesn’t… lol

Before you do anything major, there are protected fused points in the circuit path you are havin gissues with. I would check the 15A fuse (#12 and #21) – these protect both sides of the relay that controls the rad fan itself. Check these first…

AFAIK the USDM models have an external controller for the fan timing and the JDM and CDN models use a circuit in the ECU. Anyone who wants to correct me if I am wrong, please chime in.

That being said, assuming you have a USDM tag with A/C, the fan timer has 6 connections to it. A good way to test would be to check that the A/C works. If it does, there’s really only one other wire that would affect thee rad fan and that’s a power wire that controls the relay’s coil (on the rad fan’s circuit). This wire is protected by a driver’s side kickpanel fuse - #21 (15A). There’s also an internal permenant connection on a BLACK/YEL (IGN1) wire. You could disconnect the -ive side of the batt under the hood and then use a continuity tester (or ohms for resistance) to check the path from the fusepanel (#21) to the coil in the relay (YEL/GRN) and from the relay to both ground and the fan itself.

To make matters worse, the ECT (Engine Coolant Temp) switch or thermosistor is located in-line with the YEL/GRN wire from the relay to ground. In other words, if the ECT switch is damged or intermittent, it will also cause a problem with the proper timing/operation of the rad fan.

Are you getting a code thrown when you jump the service connector?? If so, suspect a blown ECT perhaps as an option also.

Now go do your homework…

Start with the simple stuff first and take it from there… Good luck. Buy some beer with the $$$ you save…

aka neex.


Neex, you rock man…although I did figure it out, it was the relay that was blown. I have something a little more serious on my hands right now though. My car is now sputtering when I press the accelerator halfway or less. It is really scaring the pants off of me because I’m thinking that it might be either a clogged injector or fuel filter OR my tranny is starting to go bad. In which case I’m f#$%ed because trannys cost an arm and a leg down here to fix or even replace. Another thing I’m worried about is a faulty cam or valve. It sounds almost like there isn’t oil in the engine but there is. The thing is that at the same time that this started happening (which was yesterday), my tach needle started bouncing wildly, as if the engine were out of control, but it’s not. It idles smoothly but when you get on the gas, it sputters and bogs almost as if there was no gas getting to the injectors. Funny thing is, if I press the gas pedal harder it immediately stops sputtering and takes off like a bat outta hell.

I am so friggin confused. I did reset the ECU as per the normal procedure, but that didn’t take care of it. So I’m stumped right now as to what exactly is going on. Any suggestions are welcome. I’ll try and replace the fuel filter today and see if that fixes it. If not then I just don’t know!!!:shrug:

It sounds like either a problem with your fuel injectors or filter. It could also be that your TPS has a flat spot on the resistor (really a linear pot) that causes the voltage to drop out. If you meter the TPS, you should get a smooth transition from maybe 0.48V to just under 5V when moving it manually by hand. See if your car takes off like ‘a bat out of hell’ when the gas pedal is always at the same position. Was there a lot of highway driving on this vehicle?? This is typical of TPS units that have spent most of their days resting at the same part of the resistor (it wears down with friction over time). Make sure that your rotor is on tight in the distributor housing and that all the wires leading into the ICM (aka, ‘ignitor’) are solid and crimped down tight.

Do you have facilities for testing your fuel pressure?? Try unplugging the CTS (under the distributor) and see if you still have this problem. The ECU may be flooding the injectors when the engine is under operating temperature.

Does this problem happen after the engine has warmed up (cooling fan should cycle twice)?? When was the last time the coolant was drained and refilled on this car?? Air bubbles in the system would cause an erratic idle and perhaps some mild drivability problems.

Who knows… maybe you have a kink in the throttle cable?? Try soaking the cable, dashpot pintle, and the screw on the butterfly valve with some WD-40 or engine oil and see if it helps any…

Get a dmm and start testing all the 5V reference sensors… there are a few of them… MAP, TPS, etc… A bad ground at the MAP could cause issues also. I’d need to see the car or have more specific info to be much help.

Put the car in limp mode and see if the problem persists. If it does, you may have a mechanical problem. If it goes away, suspect a fouled/lazy O2 sensor, bad CTS, erroded ground at the MAP, or a flat spot in the TPS.

With the car running, pull one plug wire at a time and then replace it. There should be a HUGE difference in the idle of the car. If you pull a wire and nothing happens, you have found part of the solution. Try replacing the wire, plug, or both.

Determine first whether your problem relates to Fuel, Air, Spark, or Timing. Then test all subsystems associated with the culprit. Searching for a needle in a haystack is the worst way to go about it – be systematic – it’s usually something simple…


aka neex.

Well I don’t have a dmm. And I don’t have anything to test the electrical system with (other than my bare hands and I don’t like getting shocked). The thing is that it idles very smoothly. It’s only when I give it some gas to take off from a stoplight that the sputtering kicks in. It sputters to about 2k till about 3 or 4k and then it just goes normally. But when I give it too much gas and the overdrive kicks in, the engine sounds like it wants to go but the car doesn’t go anywhere. Almost as if it were being held back by an imaginary rubberband tied to the Empire State building. And also the tach needle thing. It bounces like it wants to break off. It doesn’t do it at idle or anything below 2k, but if I rev the engine past 2k it bounces like mad and doesn’t stop bouncing till the revs in the engine drop below 2 1/2k. If you need anymore info let me know…

this is an auto trannie??? Have you topped up the fluid lately??

hrmmm… It could still be the TPS or fuel filter…

Go get a dmm and learn to use it. It will save you so many headaches. If you really get stuck for one, send me $10 and I’ll ship you one. I have a few kicking about.

aka neex.

I’m off to work now… good luck.

Hey bud, I fixed the problem. It was inside the distributor. Somehow, one of the spade connectors got loose and was just floating around inside the distributor. Luckily it didn’t cause any damage to the distributor or the contact points. BUT, the problem with the radiator came back. So I’m thinking it does have something to do with a continuity problem in the electrical system. I am getting a tester from a friend of mine so I can finally figure out what other electrical gremlins I might have.

I’ll keep you informed as to my findings…

The rad problem is likely either a clogged rad or fins, worn or faulty CTS, or maybe a stuck thermostat.

Can you please describe in detail again the exact cooling problem?? Oh yeah… it was the fan right?? I suspect the controller or a relay. When you say the problem is back again, did the same fuse blow again?? If so, I would suspect a short to ground on one of the wires powering the relay…

Good luck.

aka neex.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all… Race safe… Please keep it off the roads… No deaths ok??

when the fuses blow it is easy to tell rght. the metal would be broken correct.

This is usually the case but sometimes there could be a hairline crack from vibration, corrosion or extreme temperature changes. This crack isn’t always obvious. Also, a fuse can blow or break closer to the plastic so as to not be able to ‘read’ it’s condition easily. I have seen a blown fuse that looked fine but tested dead with a meter. I would check them with either a test light or meter to be sure first.


aka neex.


thanks alot for the info. I hope this has happened to the fuse for my power window.