Please don't be dying or badly maimed
March 3, 2013 2:16 PM Subscribe
What are these problems with my car? Including: an intermittent moaning noise when my foot is not on the gas, some startup strangeness, and very rare RPM revving in park.
posted by nrobertson to travel & transportation (10 answers total)
I have a 1991 Acura Integra GS automatic transmission with 167k. Bought it used in November 2012. I was told by the seller that not too long before I bought it the head and some other engine parts were replaced. I've just checked the oil and it's full, maybe a little too full. Unfortunately, I really don't know much about cars.
Issue #1 (most concerning)
Sometimes when the engine is on, I will hear an intermittent sort of moaning sound (not like a knocking or pinging—the sound comes and goes). It seems to happen more in colder weather and/or a colder engine). When I step on the gas even slightly, it goes away. If I'm driving along and let off the gas to slow down for a stop light, the moaning, if present, will happen. I seems to have a sort of inverse relationship with RPMs-something like the lower the RPMs go, the noise gets higher in pitch/more distressed.
If it's groaning and I stop and shift into park, the noise changes and sounds even worse. In park the noise goes up in pitch when I brake. The noise is still present when shifting from park to neutral. I've also noticed while hearing the noise in park that my RPMs were near 2k, which seems pretty high for park to me. The time that I noticed that, I shifted into reverse and started backing up and the RPMs immediately dropped and the noise severely diminished. As I was going down the driveway, I heard the noise go up for a second and observed the RPMs hop up slightly at the same time.
This issue has been present for about a month and seemed to have started happening maybe 3/4 of the way through a 3 hour trip. If it's relevant, I had more weight in the car... lots of moving boxes. I checked the oil pretty soon after that and it was fairly low so I filled it up but the issue remained.
Issue # 2
Sometimes when I start the car, I have to try it a couple times. When I do get it started, it's because I hold the key cranked for a little longer. Otherwise, it sounds like it's started but then immediately turns off. I also had one startup try where it just cranked and didn't start, but I haven't had that happen again. The issue is also intermittent and I have no idea when it's going to happen.
This issue has been present for a week or two.
Very occasionally when I shift into park, the engine RPMs will "rev" up and down. Shifting into a drive gear stops the revving. If I need to park the car and wait for something when this happens, I'll just turn off the engine in park. I've done some Googling on this one and it seems this is caused by a vacuum tube issue. This is pretty minor, really. I just wanted to mention it for completeness.
Are issues 1 and 2 serious? What can I do/check on to fix them? Should I take it in to a mechanic?