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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • apexskrapexskr Posts: 11
    Granted, many posts on, or any forum for that matter, are rants. But, the majority of posts I've read are helpful and offer insight. The people are often courteous and try to help to the best of their ability. I tend to agree w/ asethi that is a pretty reputable site.

    I'd rather an automotive idiot savant work on my car than a Harvard professor w/ a doctorate in automotive theory.

    SoftTower, don't mean to gang up on you. Just wanted to post my views and experiences with
  • apexskrapexskr Posts: 11
    If it helps, my brother has a 25th Anniversary Trans Am. Even with unconfirmed rumors of the T/A demise the value of his car went up. When the announcement was confirmed, it went up a little more. Can't remember the exact %, but he was able to quote a source. I'll ask to see if he rememembers. The source even stated the regular T/As saw a boost in resale, though not as much as any of the anniversary models. (They are limited production, where as the regs are limited by the # the general is able to sell)

    I imagine the prelude will always command a place in enthusiasts hearts. Honda really doesn't produce that many of them, though they are not limited in any way. Heck, all gen preludes have there following, so even if it hadn't stopped w/ the 5th gen, I don't think resale would be that hard or that low.
  • Does it have a black int too? Any mods or anything thats not stock? And of much? Thanx.
  • I fell in love with the prelude that I saw the other day, we test drove it and everything. The thing is, my dad is concerned about the reliability of it. HEre's the scenario...IT's a 97, with only 50000KM's on it, or 35000 miles. It's been accidented, the front bumper got a little screwed up, he showed us pics of it. He had to replace the bumber, and he added a WingsWest bodykit all around. Now the thing my dad is concerned about, is of all the mods he did to the car. He added headers, cold air intake, and some other thingz as well, including something that tricks the engine and lets it give out more power at an earlier time, forgot what that was. Anywayz, when he took us fro the drive, he was driving the car ahrd, like he changed gears everytime he came like mm away from the redline. Don;t get me wrong, it was fun to be in, but my dad is concerned about if the car will end up getting messed up. Is he right ? ? Could anything happen to the car. He's giving me a deal on it, for 20 Grand canadian, or 13 GRAND US.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Very risky. The Prelude is tough, it'll take a beating, but likewise you don't want to inherit someone else's problems. If he's done intake/headers/VAFC (likely - a controller that allows for an adjustable VTEC initiation point), the WW kit, etc., then it's likely that the car has been beaten on and HARD. I think your dad has a very good point.

    Go to and ask there. That place has hundreds of people with CAI/headers/body kit/etc who've beaten up their cars. They'll know exactly what you can expect.
  • Go away from this car, dude. Look: if that person modded his car so hard, most likely he really enjoyed to push that car to it's limits.

    Don't get me wrong, Honda builds exceptionally reliable engines and you really can rev yours hard and it will last for years, but a car which was been driven hard will more likely have some problems down the road that the one which has been babied.

    Keep looking. I got really lucky with my Prelude: I bought it from a 24-year old educated women (electrical engineer). She was pregnant, then got the baby and a Volvo wagon. ;-)

    The car was 2 years old with only 17.5K miles. I had tested the brand-new prelude just a day before I tried hers. Didn't feel any difference. I's mine for more than a year now and it still feels like new (I take a new Preludes for a test-drive sometimes when I wait for an oil-change).
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    yeah stay away from this car. If he is into modifications, you bet he pushed the car to the limit (I have friends who does the same thing, racing down at the track, at the street..etc.) Hondas are usually reliable, but pushing it hard all of the time with performance mods put a huge risk on reliability.
  • apexskrapexskr Posts: 11
    It's a 98 Lude SS w/ 31K miles or so. It's got black interior to match the black exterior. The car is unmolested. No mods, except for red/silver peddles and wood (nice looking) shifter. The previous owner added a "Type SH" sticker on the back for kicks. The only things added are cosmetic. Also, there's a CD changer in the trunk. Dunno whether that is OEM or not. We're in the San Francisco Bay Area (Penninsula). If you want more info, email me at

    KBB puts the private party value of a 1998 Prelude at $18,765.
    He's asking $16,000 (US)
  • 20 thousand Canadian isn't such a great deal. I bought my black '98 for 21,000, with 55,000k, and there was no modification crap anywhere. I made sure that not even the H emblems were aftermarket. In my opinion, if it looks like an enthusiast has owned it, it has been abused. Stay away.
  • cyber_xcyber_x Posts: 37 everyone else has said, I'd recommend looking elsewhere, but not because of the mods you mentioned. An intake and exhaust aren't much to worry about - nearly everyone's got those. Intake, exhaust, and headers are usually the first modifications people make, and they do little to affect reliability. The thing you mentioned that causes the engine to produce more power earlier could just be something like an aftermarket ECU, which is pretty common. Usually an aftermarket ECU allows the car to take full advantage of the mods made, or remove some sort of rev or max speed limiter. A lot of folks who mod their cars have aftermarket ECUs, and they don't cause problems as long as they are programmed correctly. With a popular platform like a Prelude, the programming should be pretty standard and therefore dependable.

    Anyway, don't automatically think the car's going to die on you just because it's modded. Those mods are very basic. I'd only start to worry if more important parts of the car were modified - i.e. the engine. Turbochargers, superchargers, bored throttle bodies, heads, cams, etc., are stuff I would be concerned about, because they are more closely integrated with the engine.

    What I would be concerned about with that particular car, however, is how the driver has driven it. If he was redlining it all the time, then the engine has probably taken a fair amount of wear and tear. Hondas can take that kind of high rpm driving better than a lot of other cars, but of course there's still a limit. If he was really driving it hard, then staying away is probably a good idea. Then again, if his price happens to be a lot lower than other prices you've seen (I have no clue what Preludes are going for these days), you might always be able to replace the engine down the line using the money you saved. You can probably find a comparable price for a relatively unmodded one though, if that's what you want.
  • Thinking about buying a new Prelude - first new car since a 90 CRXsi-still running. CRX is a little but of a kids car and it is starting to show its age -284000km to date- and only the tranny is giving me problems.
    Like the styling of the Prelude - dash could be better though - decent engine and the handling is solid - even though tires could be better.
    Question I have is how does it compare to the fourth gen - specifically a 94 Vtec-with 100k miles - I actually like the looks of them both with the strange dash of the 4th gen actually prevailing.
    Priced the new one - best I could get for non SH (not available in Canada for 2001) is CAN$32000-about US$21000.(drive away price-5spd) Checked out a 94 Vtec (130000km) asking CAN$14000 - about US$9500- also 5 spd stock with newish tires and brakes recently done.
    The 94 looks in good shape, haven't driven it yet would take it to a mechanic before I buy.
    Anyone know of any strange ailments for the 4th gen?
    I also wonder if an older car is worthwhile, and if I am going to look at an older car, why not look at a RWD - i.e. MR2 or 300ZX - both running within a few grand of the price of the 94 Vtec and a little more of a 'true' sports car due to the drive configuration.
    Biggest difficulty/problem I have with used is I won't know its history all that well.
    As an aside - anyone know if Honda will bring our a cheaper RWD - perhaps a Prelude replacement?
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Hey, Gang! I just bought a 2001 base 5spd Prelude in Satin Silver (it will arrive at the dealer's lot mid-Sept--got it for $300 over invoice) after much hand-wringing over the RSX-S and WRX wagon. My '98 GS-R still runs great with 211,000 on the ticker, but I was getting tired of the busy highway ride, so I decided to snag a 'Lude before they went extinct. Terrific car, but I'll miss the usefulness of the 'Teg's hatch (but not the noise).

    A question for anyone with an opinion: The bodyside moulding from the Accord coupe will fit on the 'Lude with only minor trimming required (the door on the Accord is a little longer), and the color is already matched. I'm considering having the dealer install the moulding for ~$150, but am wondering if you owners out there think it is a good idea to try to ward off door dings, or if it will look goofy on the car. It would be mounted about an inch below the door handle-area to offer max protection from other cars.

    The only reason I'm considering the moulding is because I live in an apartment complex populated by morons who will just slam their doors into others'. So what would be worse, putting the moulding on the car, or getting the doors rippled and dimpled?

  • hgileshgiles Posts: 66
    I wouldn't bother with door molding because the jerks that will ding your doors also drive trucks. The trucks tend to hit high and cause some significant damage. All you have to do is look at Honda Accords in parking lots or my wife's 98 Accord EX. The best you can do is do your best to avoid people's cars (hard to do) and when the dent count gets high get a dent doctor type place to remove your dents. I have a 98 Prelude SH and have been lucky so far.
  • I have to agree about the door moldings. I've got a Civic, and there's not a single ding on it more that an inch or two under the window line. There's even one on top of the front fender. Still haven't figured out how someone's door hit that while parked beside me. Anyway, there's too many idiots with SUV's out there to really avoid dings.
  • I own both 95 VTEC and 01 SH and I would recommend that you go with the 5th gen. The 4th gen VTEC is faster and sexier but the 5th gen handles more fabulously especially the SH. The 4th gen has more pronounced torque steer and the car is more susceptible to the road crowns. If you decide to buy a 4th gen make sure the car feels solid and the engine runs quietly and smoothly. Don't accept any roughness just because you think it's a used car. A well maintained Prelude with 60k miles should drive just as good as a new one. Sunroof rattling and rear shocks squeaking are probably the most common problems found in the 4th gen but they can be fixed (Honda has service bulletin articles for them). Forget about the MR2 or the Z car. The turbo wouldn't give you the fun that a VTEC Prelude has to offer. Good luck!
  • The only way to avoid getting dings on your car is to park away from the jerks and the empty shopping carts at the supermarket. Goofy look is definitely a no no. A big bulky door moulding on your Prelude doesn't look any better than a small ding anyway.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    They're the same thin, color-matched pieces that you sometimes see on the current-gen Accord and Civic coupe models.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Last weekend, I took my 99 Prelude to the track and did a 0-60 and 1/4 mile run. The best I got is : 6.7 and 14.9@93.7 - I got 6.7 and 15.1@93.1 last year. my car is stock, 5spd base. It seems to me that it now have more power (I think I can feel it even during daily driving - maybe I am just imagine...)

    But, anyway, does anyone else feel the same - the car get more power and runs stronger after 30-40K miles?

    BTW, I have been driving stick for 7 years, so it should NOT be my skill improvement and I am using the same oil and gas.
  • It can be because of a change in temperature/humidity/etc. or maybe you recently got a major (like 33K miles) service done which includes a valve adjustment that alone could make the difference. Could be many other things as well, but it's a good thing it's getting better and not worst.Happy Luding! :-)PS: My 98 with 83k miles (!) on it still runs like new.
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    14.9 is very good with a prelude. From what I heard from other people who own Hondas, they get faster after 20k miles or so. A good example of that would be the Civic Si.
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