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Honda S2000

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  • jkgreer2jkgreer2 Posts: 42
    Purchased a 2006 Silverstone/red interior recently. As most posts have stated, the S2000 is an outstanding sports car. The noise issue is all relative. Do you prefer to drive a TL or Lexus? Then the S2000 provides more noise, with most of noise from engine, which is entertaining in my view. Rest of noise is wind noise, which is why I bought a convertible sports car. The engine & wind noises are no more than prior British sports cars, and probably less (memory tends to fade). Those cars were fun because they made you part of the environment you are driving through, v. isolation (Lexus). I have no problems with oil usuage. I do not remember that issue in the one year that I have read about the S2000. I do not check the oil. It's a nearly maintenance free Honda. The only expense that you can expect in 1st year is normal oil changes (every 2,500-3,000 mi.). In the 2nd or 3rd yr, depending on miles driven, the replacement tires will be somewhat expensive, which is a price of owning a sports car. Few people own true sports cars due to trade-offs (grin factor for driving enjoyment v. engine maintenance & wind noise, if convertible). For 2006, the up/down procedure for top takes a minute, if that much time. Enjoy the car when it arrives. It is the best priced true sports car that you will find. Have fun, life is short.
  • kwinterkwinter Posts: 5
    Thanks for the response. The oil since it is synthetic does that run you around $60.00 an oil change? Looking forward to getting it. Do you have any trouble with traction when driving yours in the rain or having wet highways? :)
  • jdevensjdevens Posts: 3
    Is '06 the final year for the S2000?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I had the "noisier" 2002 model with the 2.0 liter 9,000 rpm engine. Noise was not an issue for me, but was for my wife when the top was up at highway speeds. On the highway, the 2002 was running at about 4,000 rpm at 70 mph. I suspect if I had to sit in the passenger seat most of the time, it might be a little annoying for me too.

    I believe the 2006, with the 2.2 liter / 8,000 rpm engine is running at something like 3,500 rpm at 70 mph in 6th gear. If so, it should be noticably quieter than my old 2002 for highway cruising. The engine still emits a shrill scream once V-tech kicks in under hard acceleration (6,000 rpm+), but that's part of the visceral fun of the S2000.

    Oil consumption on my S2000 was minimal. I only recall adding 1/2 quart once during the initial break-in. In 19,000 miles I had the oil changed 4 times (every 4,000-4,500 miles / 6 months). My typical oil change cost was $20 + the cost of 5-6 quarts of Mobil 1 which the dealer let me purchase and bring in. By comparison, an oil change in my 911 requires 9 1/2 quarts of Mobil 1 and the dealer labor and filter charge is $200+. As indicated by others, the S2000 is a very low maintenance car. My total maintenance costs over 2.5 years and 19,000 miles was under $350, including the 4 oil changes, a 7,500 mile service and a 15,000 mile service. The front tires had another 30%+ tread life left in them, the rears were nearing replacement.

    On tires, I highly recommend Tire Rack for the best prices and selection. I've used them for my TL 6-speed. According to their web site, you should be able to get a good set of four for the S2000 at around $700-800, which is not that expensive for a true sports car. Again, for comparison, a set of four for my 911 S (19" wheels and 30/35 series tires) will run me close to $1,500. One thing I will warn you is that wet weather performance in a medium to heavy rain goes down considerably as the tires near the end of their tread life. True of every car, but especially the lightweight S2000.

    The S2000 is a hell of a good sports car. For the purchase price, low maintenance cost and exceptional build quality, it is also an extraordinarily prudent purchase.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,174
    Don't run synthetic until you are past the 10k mile mark. The conventional Dino oil is essential for proper break in.

    True, if you VTEC your motor often, you may find it burns a bit of oil. But that kind of scenario shows up more if you track her. In my time of ownership, my oil level has been constant and I have never had to add any.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Don't run synthetic until you are past the 10k mile mark. The conventional Dino oil is essential for proper break in."

    Where did you hear/read that? I may be wrong, but I thought my 2002 S2000 shipped with Mobil 1 from the factory. I am absolutely certain that I was advised to use Mobil 1 for all oil changes, which I had done every 4,000 +/- miles.

    Given that all Porsches, BMW M cars, AMG's and most other high end / high performance engines ship out with Mobil 1, I'd be very surprised to hear that dino oil is "essential for proper break in" on an S2000. But I'm willing to consider the source of this recommendation.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,174
    It is supposedly noted in the owners manual. I learned through the S2k club that it is good for allowing the cylinders to "Seat" themselves properly within the cylinder walls. I've also read that it nets a few extra horsepower when engine is fully broken in.

    I am not a mechanic so I can't back up these claims for sure but I have been following the recommendation.
  • kixokixo Posts: 35
    I am debating between a new S2000 and a Miata. I am a bit of traditionalist and prefer analog gauges - the more the better.

    I am not sure I will like or get used to the S2K's digital gauges, especially the speedo.

    Also, I prefer an oil pressure gauge, rather than an idiot light.

    Do other owners wish for an analog cluster with more comprehensive gauges, or do you just learn to love digital and drive merrily on?
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    Quite the contrary!
    The digital tachometer adds to the fun of driving the S2000, especially when you reach the VTEC levels above 6000rpm. This is where the car changes personality and shows you a whole new driving experience. The rapidly progressing digital display that flashes back down and then back up as you "row through the gears" gives you an immediate read on the engine speed.
    The digital speedo took no time for me to get use to.
    As far as the oil pressure gauge; I guess it might be nice to have one, but the Honda engine really doesn't use any oil (unless it's been abused). If I really want to know about the engine oil, I check the dipstick which tells me more about the oil than reading from a gauge.

    I haven't driven the new Miata, and I'm sure it handles very well. However, the S2000 is really a "wolf in sheeps clothing". You won't be disappointed if you choose the S!

    To me the digital gauge cluster is something that I enjoy and would miss if I didn't have it.
    I wouldn't base my decision between the S2000 and Miata on the gauge cluster, if I were you.

    You should make your decision after driving the two cars and comparing how you "enjoy the journey" !
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'll call toydriver and raise it.

    The Miata and S2000 are two completely different cars. The Miata is a fun, lightweight roadster in the vein of a modern MGB. The S2000 is a serious performance sports car, that is far more comparable to the Boxster S than the Miata in driving experience, notwithstanding it's relatively low price.

    If you want an oil pressure guage and analog tach / spedometer, you can go for the aforementioned Boxster or Boxster S at around $47K and $57k respectively. But if you get the Miata, you have purchased a dramatically different car, IMO.
  • Currently I own a 2006 Carrera S and a 2005 Volvo S 60. I live near New York City and the Volvo serves as a solid backup, particularly in the Winter. However, the more I look at -- and learn about -- the 2006 S 2000, the more excited I become. Since I love the Carrera and cannot afford three cars, the comfortable and safe Volvo would have to go in the event I purchase a Honda S 2000. By the way, I am single, so a two-seater is not a problem. I'm also on my late sixties, but feel like sixteen driving a sports car.

    QUESTION: Would it be sensible to commute 20 miles on a daily basis with a 2006 Honda S 2000? Granted, I will need winter tires, but what about inside temperature and snow accumulation on the soft top? In short, is it reasonable to expect making it throughout the winter months with a decent level of comfort?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Are you serious? :surprise:

    I had a 2002 S2000 and - as you can probably tell - thought very highly of it. But I now have a 2005 Carrera S Cab. I seriously doubt a Honda S2000 in my garage would get much use if the Carrera stayed. The 997 is a better 20 mile daily commuter and neither of them are practical for winter use, even with winter tires. If you are worried about "snow accumulation on the soft top", it's a safe bet that the question you should have asked is about snow accumulation under the limited ground clearance - of either car.

    You seem like a much better candidate for a 911 / Cayenne garage. A 911 / S2000 garage could lead to bipolar disorder trying to choice between them in good weather and having to hitch a ride in the sloppy days of winter. ;)
  • dentonflydentonfly Posts: 1
    Hi Friends, I recently purchased an S2000. What is the preferred care/treatment for the top? I tried an archives search, but was unable to find the answer. TIA, Denton
  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    And, Congratulations on your S2K. The soft top is vinyl so, any good vinyl top (NOT CLOTH) cleaner and protectant is good - Just don't go with the 2 in 1 suff. I picked mine up at PepBoys. It comes in aerosol sprays and you apply the cleaner first, wipe it clean with a cotton towel, follow it up with the vinyl protectant.(My top is always down and the only two occasions I did need my top, I put the hard top back on. So far, in my 3 months of ownership, I have only cleaned the soft top once just for the fun of it- But, it did the trick nice and easy).

    Car washes for the S2K SOFT TOP are a no-no. It even says so on the manual. If you expose the joints and linings to presurized water jets, it will damage them.
    The other thing they do recommend is lubricating the joints with Shin-itsu grease, once every 3 months, depending on how frequently the top is used. (BUT HEY!! ;) Why would you wanna use it anyway unless you get stuck in a thunderstorm??? ;)
    Happy Motoring!
    --njexpress
  • Habitat 1, thanks for your response and for adding a dose of sobriety to my car-buying thoughts. However, let me clarify my question.

    Driving the 997 S in the winter is certainly a no-no, unless the road is clean and without salt residuals. Replacing the Volvo with a Honda S 2000 is only an attempt to strike a balance between driving fun and reasonable winter season drivability at a reasonable cost. I keep my cars garaged, so it is only when parking at work (college campus) that I'm concerned about significant snow fall.

    Very seldom New York City experiences extreme snow accumulation to seriouisly interfere with driving low clearance sports cars. Roads are cleaned fairly rapidly as well. So my primary concern is the practicality (in terms of snow accumulation on soft-top and inside temprerature) of a convertible during frigid and snowy conditions. I think it is a doable, but not very comfortable proposition. In the final analysis, my question dealt with
    a highly subjective issue.

    By the way, I didn't sleep well last night and feeling tired chose to drive the Volvo to work. It was soooo comfortable and relaxing that I felt lucky to have an alternative to the more focused and intense 997. So perhaps I should keep these two opposite specimens until I retire to Florida, and then I may try the S 2000 for tracking purposes. No a bad choice for extending my "youth." Thanks again for your input.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Just out of curiosity, as a fellow 911 owner, what do you feel the S2000 would provide you in terms of driving enjoyment or experience that the 997 S doesn't?

    They are quite different, for sure, but for me they are both exceptional sports cars. There haven't really been any times that I've hopped in my 911 S that I wished I still had the S2000. I guess it helps that I have the Cabriolet. I assume you have a Coupe? I'm even considering signing up for the Porsche performance driving school. Not trying to extend my youth as much as my driving skills.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I hope you don't mind my adding lip service to this question of winter driving the S2000.
    Living in MN, I choose to garage my "S" during the snow season. However, I know a few brave souls who manage to drive the S in the snow. The low ground clearance can be an issue during a heavy snow storm, but it's rapidly cleaned from the streets here too and so that rarely becomes an issue unless you find a side street that has been left unplowed.

    The other issue is the tires. I have replaced the oem tires with Yokohama Avid V4s. They aren't "track tires" but they do provide improved traction on wet streets and retain some pliability when temperatures drop below 40, unlike the oem's. They have a "V" speed rating, so they perform well on the streets. I've had the car up to 115mph without any tire issues.

    I start the engine and let it warm up outside periodically during it's storage months. The heater does a very good job keeping the cabin "toasty", when outside temps have been in single digits. The top is quite air-tight so I doubt if you would have an issue with cold temperatures with the top up in NY.

    I think you could manage to "live" with the S2000 as a daily driver in New York. As you mentioned, I think I would miss the comfort and safety that a larger car provides during bad weather and on those "lower energy" days.

    I like your final thought about using the S2000 as your Florida "winter car".
  • For the past 9 years, I have owned a set of two cars at a time. Each car fullfiling somewhat different goals.
    Specifically, the first set was a Corvette C5 and a 33O Ci BMW -- both coupes. The former driven when weather conditions did permit and the latter for all-season driving purposes. Both are drivers cars, but clearly one more versatile albeit less exciting than the other. Then last summer, following the same logic, I traded those for a 2006 997s coupe and a 2005 Volvo S 60 (stick) 4-dr. I love the comfort, safety, and looks of the Volvo, but if the S 2000 comes close to its all-season capability, then the exciting little Honda becomes a tempting proposition, "but only as a complement to the Carrera."

    P.S. When you get to my age, you will realize that extending your youth is more significant than doing the same with respect to your driving skills.

    Have you read Carl Lopez's "Going Faster: Mastering the Art of Race Driving"? Superbly written and with incisive details about the art and science of race car driving. It may be a good idea to read it before attending Porsche's driving event. I just got a copy from Amazon.
  • Toydriver,

    Thanks a lot for your generous and informative thoughts.
    I was particularly concerned about chilling temperature inside the cab on frigid days.

    I'm not sure yet, but I'm keeping myself entertained with the idea of getting an S 2000 to experience all-season driving fun. Yet I plan to retire within the next two years, so I may wait until I get to Florida to make a move. We shall see.

    Thanks again, and take care.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    If you're ever house hunting in Florida and need someone to drive your 997 around, I'll be glad to offer my services...I live in Westchester ;)

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • nyccarguy,

    If you are an attractive female, I would take your offer. For the rest, sorry to inform you that I already have a place in Fl. But yes, the 997 S is pure fun to drive.
  • redsoxgirlredsoxgirl Posts: 67
    Your post was of interest to me. I have a 2003 Boxster S that is due to come off lease this fall. Since moving from Raleigh to Boston, and having only one parking space in my condo building, I am seriously contemplating going with a sport sedan or coupe in place of a sports car.

    My Boxster fared reasonably well this past mild winter. But of the numerous people I know with Boxsters and the three people I know with S2000's, none of them attempt to drive them year round in a New York / Boston style climate. Between the need for snow tires, low ground clearance, cold cabin (especially the S2000, with its minimalist top), etc., it would not make for a pleasant 20 mile commute in February. I seriously considered the S2000 when I got my Boxster in late 2002, but even though it is an exceptional sports car, I needed something that was a little more "friendly" to drive on a daily basis. I have just under 45,000 miles on my Boxster S in 44 months, and I travel 80-100 days a year.

    I am quite frustrated by this dilemma. I have yet to find a sport sedan or coupe that both excites me and will be a good year round car in Boston (with ski trips to Vermont.) The M3 comes closest, but would require winter tires (storage problem).

    If I were you, I'd be very happy that I have a heated two car garage that contains both a 911 and a Volvo for the winter / off days. :)
  • Thanks for your thoughtful words. I agree with you, the Volvo and the Carrera are a good match for my situation.

    I know exactly what you are going through. Unfortunately, driving high performance cars presupposes all kinds of trade-offs or compromises, particularly if one lives in challenging winter zones.

    Having only one parking space, you would either have to settle for a practical, reasonably sporty, front-wheel drive car or a well-designed rear-wheel drive alternative, and tackle the winter wheel/tire set storage problem. For someone coming from a superb machine like the Boxter, I suspect you would have go for the latter and be prepared to face the storage nuisance. Although not a "Boxster S," the M3 would also be at the top of my list. The only problem I have with the M3 -- all 3 series for that matter -- is the stirring wheel angle. The Porches and Corvettes, for example, allow drivers to set the stiring wheel almost perpendicularly. Not so the Bimmers. I had a 2004 300 Ci, drove it for 7,000 miles and never got used to it. Have you considered the Cayman?
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    I test drove the new MX5; nice replacement for the Miata. I also test drove the Mini S converible and 350Z convertible and I bought the S2000.

    I am very,very happy with the decision.

    Digital speedometer is very easy to get used to. It took me about 500 ft after leaving the dealer's lot.

    You can isntall aftermrket oil pressure guage if you want LOL.

    Learn to love digital and drive-on! Like the radio mute and volume adjust during driving. Also fan adjust during driving.

    Must get : Invidia exhaust !

    Motor On ( Double Sixes) ,

    MidCow
  • redsoxgirlredsoxgirl Posts: 67
    Unfortunately, the Cayman would have the same issues as my Boxster S - strictly 2 seater, low gound clearance, summer tires. I do not find the convertible top on the Boxster a problem in the winter, so trading a Boxster for a Cayman would not really do much for me. I like the way the Caymen drives, but I still prefer a roadster/convertible.

    I can afford a 911 C4 which I also briefly considered. But I would still have a tough time justifying it as an only car in Boston.

    In any event, we are pretty far off track from the "S2000", so I'll stop my personal ramblings. I may post over in the Porsche Boxster forum to find out what others have done in my situation that has kept them happy.
  • Just a couple of additional thoughts. It seems to me that the concern folks have about "low ground clearance" in the event of significant snow fall, is an exaggeration. Unless, of course, one lives in a zone where severe winter storms are the norm. In New York City and its vicinity, for example, if your car is garaged and the driveway is user-friendly, you should be able to drive your sports car in a matter of hours after heavy snow accumulation as the sanitation department clears up the main roads fairly rapidly. Besides, alternative public transportation is always there in case of extreme and/or prolonged foul weather. In my view, the pleasure of driving a genuine sports car overrides the potential impediments brought about by occasional winter storms.

    The same argument applies to the winter wheel/tire set storage problem. Granted it is a pain, but I would rather go through that inconvenience than compromise performance by way of a practical, front-wheel drive vehicle. Don't forget, it will be your only car.

    Given your evaluative criteria, I would suggest you keep taking a very close look at the M3. As I have said, the BMWs steering wheel angle (almost bus-like)is problematic to me, but most folks are not bothered by that incredible oversight. The M3 is also a bit overweight, yet as we all know, life is a trade-off.

    Good luck and best wishes.
  • Hi there,
    I would love some advise. I am in between a Subaru WRX STI or a 2006 S2000. I might move to colder climates soon and I can't decide which car would be a better fit.
    I love to drive open, but I also love the power of the WRX. Would you think you get tired of the acceleration and the power of a WRX vs the ability to drive top down? I also assume a S2000 would be safer and quicker in wet or snowy areas, since it comes with stability control.

    Please let me know your experience or opinions.

    Thanks
  • speedmanspeedman Posts: 3
    hi,
    i had a wrx sti for about 9 months,here are the plus and minus of that great car.
    i like the look (Some dont)
    outstandind power
    beautifull dash
    good seat
    great tires
    nice sound

    the low
    very very rough ride
    lousy transmission
    very bad on gaz
    price to expensive
    if not on warranty, parts of subaru will kill you
    bottom line: a special car, that does nt match the s2000.how can i explain you the differents.

    there is nothing that i dont like about my S.each time i sit in it i have a smile on my face,and wait to drive it,
    but for me it is strictly a summer car.i dont think that this was made for anything else,even if some people drive them.i respect there choice bur is not for me.
    it all depend of your situation.
    good luck with your decision
    regards
  • erikzerikz Posts: 1
    no mention of Honda discontinuing any models for 2007 during the expansion announcement today, guess S2000 is safe for another year.
  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    Hi Anythinbutgm,
    I just picked up 4 quarts of GM Syncromesh. It didn't say anything about HF.
    The parts # is 12345349. I got that info from s2ki.com. Could you please confirm if this was what you used, if you still have this info??
    Thanks in advance!!
    Cheers!!
    --njexpress
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