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Honda Prelude 1997-2002

1969799101102123

Comments

  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    Nighthawk Black Pearl...very sleek. Yep--you called it! Still has original Bridgestone Potenza tires.

    You must know that after driving a donut for 5+ years (a Camry--I experimented by going into a conservative, sensible stage that put me into a driving coma), I decided to get back to my roots--where I genuinely belong. I learned the hard way that I absolutely need to have a sporty, great handling car to drive, a car that makes my soul smile. It's akin to dating a guy for a long time who's really nice and kind and dependable--and your family and friends think he's great--but there's no chemistry or passion. You yearn for a little bit of badass.

    The thing is, nyccarguy, the transition from the Camry to the Prelude has been so dramatic--such a welcome relief--I haven't even noticed how bad these original tires are! Really!? What with the bitter cold weather we've been having over the last two weeks (since I purchased the car actually), I've been driving rather cautiously due to lots of icy patches and black ice--especially in the Merritt: scary! I will definitely take your advice on the tire situation. May I use your response as a shopping guide per se? I am very grateful for your enthusiasm and generous insights.

    The guy I bought this from, a 25-year old, needed to unload his car payment but told me his plans for the car if he had kept it. He wanted to install a turbo charger kit. Well, I'm not planning to race at Lime Rock anytime soon, but I would certainly love to find that happy medium. Sounds like you've done some really cool things to enhance your car's performance! How fun! It's like redesigning a room! (Pardon my girly analogies.) It's also inspiring to know that your car drives so well at 78,000. But then again, it's a Honda--and a Prelude--and a well-maintained auto is like a well-maintained body--can look great at any age.

    How loud is your exhaust? Or, rather, how much louder is it over the original? Also, if I may pick your brain further, how did you decide on the specific brands/parts your mechanic installed...for example, the Apexi world SPort exhaust and Suspension Techniques. There is such a plethora/variety of after-market options...I find it overwhelming. How did you decide?

    Since I'm in lower Fairfield County, I have no prob. whatsoever driving to Westchester--if that's where your mechanic is located. I love taking field trips--except to, ahem, Long Island! Anywhere but there! Oh...before I forget: This might seem like a silly question, but did you have new speakers installed when you upgraded your radio?

    Bless the guy's heart who sold me his beloved car because he was genuinely concerned and emphatic about my continuing to use the synthetic oil...he even gave me a few "cans" to make sure that I keep up the same level of maintenance he did. I promised that I would give it a great home, which I fully intend to do. I even took great care of the Camry until it was totalled in an accident on 12/28--an accident I must have orchestrated on a spiritual level because I always wanted to experience the last generation Prelude. (I was run into by an Italian visitor in a rented mini-van--he ran a red light and almost killed me. It was a horrible collision, yet I walked away without a scratch.)

    The fiction writer in me believes in happy endings, and I ended up with this mint condition Prelude. It was exactly what I wanted--the SH manual, low mileage, black. O.K...so it will cost an arm and a leg for a clutch replacement someday. Oh well! I'm still smiling. (Why would I want an automatic, and why wouldn't I want to experience the extra "whatever" that the SH offers??) Am I not worth it?

    (BTW, there are some interesting reviews on the SH on epinions...have you read them?)

    And...I just discovered this helpful forum! How fortuitous is that?

    Thank you again for your advice...You're a wonderful resource!
  • Welcome lulu, I'm an owner of a 01 Nighthawk Black Pearl Prelude Type SH as well. I have about 29k miles on mine. I drive a 92 Integra GS-R during the winter. Therefore the low miles. NYC gave you some good recommendations. I think at some point I will do the suspension upgrade. Welcome to the club, you have a mint Prelude. Enjoy!
  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    Thank you for the nice welcome, timothyaw. I may get a second car at some point next year--before winter. If I don't, the miles will be up there in no time!

    This is definitely a "Guy Thing" I've observed over the years, which is definitely a Good Thing: owning more than one car to accommodate more than one purpose--very smart and practical. Hmmm: 2nd car vs. clothes/shoes?

    What is your opinion on this AEM short ram air filter the former owner installed? Guy I bought it from thinks it makes car faster and gives better gas mileage. Considering the expense of upgrades, it was a fairly inexpensive part to change (he installed it himself): about the price of a pair of shoes (that's my measuring stick). So I'm wondering: If this is so great, why haven't other proud Prelude owners done it?

    Like NYC Car Guy, who's first bone of contention were the tires, and he did not hesitate to buy better tires--two different kinds, no less (I'll have to look those up)! Now that gets my attention. See how important "shoes" are?? My fashion advice to friends has always been to start with the shoes first as a focal point/foundation--and go (build) from there. Seems that this can apply to cars too! How funny!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    Black Preludes are really sharp! It was actually one of my top color choices when I was shopping in April 2002 (White, Black, & Red). Black looks great at night and at dusk. You'll get lots of compliments on that car!

    Wow, a camry huh, damn I'm sorry! You must feel like you're driving a Maserati coming from a camry!

    As far as snow tires go, since it is already February and we're having a mild winter snow wise (but damn is it cold) you can probably slide by.

    Forced induction is great, I'm a huge fan. Turbocharging is VERY EXPENSIVE and from what I hear it is not easy to Turbocharge an H22A motor.

    My Exhaust. It is an Apexi World Sport fully stainless steel cat back exhaust system. At idle and around town it is quieter than stock. It doesn't drone on the highway. When you down shift from 5th to 3rd & bury the throttle at 60 mph it roars with a deep bellow! The only reason I originally replaced it is because my original exhaust system got damaged by a 1/2" thick steel plate about 6 months after I got the car. I was able to salvage the muffler and have a muffler shop fabricate a pipe for me. That OEM muffler and fabricated pipe lasted me a few years. When it finally crapped out, my car sounded like something from the Fast and Furious. I got a quote from my dealer to replace the exhaust system and then a quote from the speed/stereo shop. For about $200 more I got a much better exhaust that I couldn't be happier with. Something to keep in mind if you ever need to replace the exhaust.

    I decided on the World SPort because it was recommended to me by a few people. I told the guy when I bought it that I wanted quiet around town and loud when I opened it up.

    As far as the sway bars go, there are lots of companies that makes suspension parts for the Prelude, but not too many that make them for the Type SH. Again, they were reccomended to me by the installer. I'm very happy with them! Besides new tires, the best modification. Somewhere around $500 too.

    I forgot to mention that at 78,000 miles I'm still on my original brakes & rotors! :P

    The clutch was VERY EXPENSIVE! on our Type SH Preludes, the ATTS unit has to be removed & re-installed for the clutch to be replaced. It is about an extra 5 hours of labor! :cry: When my clutch burnt out, I replaced it with a CENTERFORCE clutch. Do asearch in this forum for clutch replacement and you'll see some of my various rants!

    I did not have new speakers installed with my radio. I'm not an audiophile by any means. I wanted to have SIRIUS (HOWARD RULES) installed and new that an FM modulator (FM radio tuned to 88.7 so Satellite Radio can play) would sound like garbage.

    If you like the Merit, you'll LOVE the Bronx River Parkway! It is half the reason I love being at work at &:30 on Saturday mornings!

    The place that does all the "work" on my car is AUDIO VISIONS. Coming from CT, take 287 to exit 5. Make a left at the traffic light at the top of the exit ramp. Go to Rte 119 and make a left (Mitsubishi dealer). Make a right on Aqueduct (Enterprise Rent A Car) and AUDIO VISIONS is about a block up on your left. Talk to Manny (he's the owner). Tell him Bradd with the Red Prelude sent you. They do EXCELLENT work! Saturday is probably their busiest day.

    You'll be very pleased if you have them do work on your car. I got my stereo, i-pod adapter, exhaust, sway bars, tires, and had them do a major service on my car. They got me tires and put a new radio in my wife's car. They put new brake rotors & pads on my sister's Jetta.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    I had the Honda Fog Lights intsalled on my car. They light up the side of the road and the road directly in front of you really well in conjunction to the headlights.

    since nyccarguy jr's arrival in late September I've cut down on my Prelude's mileage. Now I just go back and forth to work 6 days a week. On the weekends we take my wife's car. I was putting on 20K miler per year and it will probably go down to 12 or 13K.

    When the time comes in a galaxy far, far, away, I'd probably replace my Prelude with a used E46 M3 or a new Mitsubishi EVO X.

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

  • I've had the same problem and have the extended warranty 3 different mechanics looked at it heard the noise, and not one of them figured out what it was. They have tried to grease the bushings, that didn't work, they checked the suspension they told me nothing was wrong, yet they heard the noise. I'm going to write to Honda as reading this post shows that I'm not the only not having this problem.
  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    nyccarguy, I apologize for my delayed response. I have been on the road since Thursday.

    So you went with the Milano Red…That shade of red is a great color. Obviously, red on any car is definitely a color that gets noticed—-not necessarily for good reasons—-but I’m sure on our Prelude it’s especially cool up close and personal and adds some attitude—-and dimension—-to its understated presence. You must get lots of compliments!

    Yeah, a Camry! Quite painful! What was I thinking? Well, I knew the person selling the car, the miles were very low as was the selling price, and it was an opportunity to basically have $0 in transportation costs except for insurance--and even that was cheap. As I shared in my earlier post, my soul was obviously (desperately) crying for help because, after 5+ years of Extreme Dullsville, the Camry died a very sudden and dramatic death. From a pragmatic perspective, thank goodness the accident was not my fault--and I was not injured. The real lesson, however, was that I better love my cars from now on, otherwise I'll be orchestrating traffic accidents!

    So you can understand why my objectivity is way off in terms of evaluating these original tires. It really does feel like driving a Maserati comparatively speaking! (If I can imagine what such an experience would be like.) But your tire commentary is duly noted and appreciated. As we’re finally supposed to get some snow this week, at least you'll have a chance to take advantage of your winter tires. And the Potenza tires I have on now will have to suffice.

    Thanks for the warning about the clutch (the hassle & expense) and the advice about replacing it with a CENTERFORCE when that time comes. I will definitely heed your been-there, done-that wisdom. Considering the limited number of Model SH 'ludes out there (with the ATTS), I consider this to be an esoteric piece of info!

    May I comment that your keen writing ability does not represent the demographics that I “normally” associate with a "Howard Rules" kinda guy! :confuse: Well, what a delightful surprise. :) This just goes to show how off-base and unfair "profiling" can be. Howard’s in-your-face brutal honesty about the male psyche (and how “base” you guys really are) is true enough. :cry: There’s no argument there from me! It’s just that-—once in a while at least—-we women need to idealize our men. Case in point: Would I ever, in a million years, aspire to be with Howard Stern? No way! But ask me about the new 007 in Casino Royale (Daniel Craig...The best Bond ever!). After all, it’s the nicer, finer things in life we all aspire to, don’t we? As you blissfully ended your last post with two of your “some day” cars, where would any of us be without our aspirations?

    Understandably, considering your “Howard Rules” sensibility, it was essential for you to have a SIRIUS radio installed. I am not an audiophile either, but I would love to have HD radio reception and an i-pod adapter.

    In addition to the clutch, that sounds like quite an ordeal you went through with the original exhaust—-having it damaged like that after owning the car for only six months. Ouch! Oh my goodness! This sounds so typical of a mishap that would happen on the streets of Manhattan!

    It’s one thing to plan/strategize an upgrade to our cars-—as we’re discussing here. It’s another thing to have an expensive repair forced upon us due to a mishap, especially on a precious new car. Well, you made the best out of what must have been an upsetting situation.

    Question about your Apexi World Sport exhaust system: Does this give our car significantly more power as well? I would imagine it does. I also like the way you describe its sound—-not juvenile, as in a noise that would appeal to a teenager and piss off your neighbors. When that time comes, I would definitely go for an after-market exhaust such as the one you purchased.

    I have read your prior posts and am now up to date on your clutch and why you had it replaced so soon. Obviously, city driving is way different than the suburbs. But congratulations on your brakes! Now that’s truly amazing, especially considering your driving in the City.

    The guy I bought my car from was all about turbo charging. From his perspective, the Prelude was a great car to have turbocharged and, apparently, one of the reasons he bought it in the first place. He told me in all seriousness that, “It was set up for it.” He was looking for a car that would be great fun for him to drive yet a classy car that he could take his girlfriend out in. He looked at a lot of different sports cars, shopped around a lot, and loved the Prelude because of its unique characteristics and decided that this was the car for him. He thought the fact that Honda discontinued the 'lude made it that much more special in that not many people could own one. He drove to PA to get this. In his price range, this was the car that impressed him the most. So the turbo-charging (or as you nicely put it: the “forced induction”) was on his to-do list from the get-go. But then he bought a house so all his “big plans” for the ‘lude suddenly went to the wayside as his new economic reality forced him to change his priorities--and sell his car! Actually, I was rather amused about his enthusiasm for carrying out this plan.

    More realistically—-for my own day-to-day driving enjoyment--my first upgrades are going to be: the Yokahama tires (per your recommendation) and an HD radio and i-pod adapter—-both this spring. I have no idea where to start for the radio so I’ll check out the Crutchfield website to get some ideas.

    Additionally, I am interested in the sway bars you had installed and would like to have them installed at the same time as the tires. Another silly question: I’m assuming that these (the sway bars) are added/installed to my car’s existing suspension, correct? In other words, I don’t have to wait for something to crap out before I can justify this particular expense? It just sounds well worth it for $500 or so--especially when combined with the tires.

    My car came with the fog lights installed. These will certainly come in handy once the cold gives way to fog. I look forward to trying these out. Was this a package that was originally installed at the dealership or factory in Japan?

    After all this, last but not least, what town is your Audio Visions in? I will do a MapQuest.

    I think it’s adorable that there is a “NYCCARGUY Jr.,” and his arrival in September has no doubt had an immediate impact on your weekend driving. Well, our car’s design is what it is, and this is just one of the reasons for the Prelude’s poor sales. No, I certainly would not put a baby in the backseat of our car.

    Thank you again for sharing your insights and experience--the good, the bad and the ugly--as well as giving me the name of your mechanic. Your postings are a highly-valued resource!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    Milano red is a great color in that it really only looks bad when it is absolutley filthy. Like now when it is covered in road salt. I literally go months in between car washes, but when the car is clean it really shines! People have asked me in the past if my car is an '03 or '04. They are shocked to learn that the car is an '01 (one of the last ones EVER built according to my car's 10/01 production date) and that the Prelude has been discontinued.

    Howard is so much more than people make him out to be. He's not just some guy on the radio who tries to get women to take their clothes off. He is very progressive, intelligent, quick, and pull off to the side if the road because you are laughing so hard funny.

    I actually was an aspiring copy writer at one point. I wanted to work on billboard ads and SuperBowl commercials (which I could have been damn good at considering how bad the commercials were). Just as I was putting my book together (Sometime in late 2000), the market went south and lots of companies cut their ad budgets. The company I worked for was not only laying off people, but obviously not hiring Junior Copywriters. I got another job and eventually quit to go and work for my Dad. He owns a plumbing supply house in The Bronx started by my Great-Grandfather in 1900 (that makes me fourth generation math majors).

    My Apexi exhaust gives the car a smidge more power (I'm not sure of the exact number). Nothing earth shattering though. I don't even know if more power is the way to describe it. It really seems to increase the throttle response.

    With your situation, I'd definitely get to know the Prelude more before you start messing around with it. I don't know why you'd go for HD radio. The cost of an HD radio unit is rather expensive. For $12.99 per month (SIRIUS) you get 100% commercial free music. Even if Howard left the air tomorrow, I still will have SIRIUS in EVERY car I own for the rest of my life. It is that good!

    Fog Lights are a dealer installed accessory. They look cool!

    Regarding the sway bars. You OEM sway bars are taken out and the new ones intsalled. Mine also came with Urethane Suspension busings which will last longer and provide better ride/handling characteristics than the stock rubber bushings.

    Audio Visions is in White Plains. I wrote the directions in my last post.

    Thanks for your compliments! Glad I could be of some help!

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    Do you mind sharing what you paid for your beautiful, black, Prelude? I'm just curious and you don't have to answer if you don't want to.

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

  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    Nyccarguy (and anyone else reading these posts), did I call it or what? I'm referring to your writing. Damn, I'm good too, aren't I!? I’m quite impressed (with myself) in that I recognized the fact that you must be a writer.

    From one aspiring (meaning: earning a great living at it some day) writer to another: We're a nit-picky, detail-oriented, analytical, and introspective bunch. It's a burden to notice EVERYTHING. And it's a tough world in terms of making a living doing what we love-—as evidenced by the fact that we’re both currently working in occupations outside our respective fields.

    In my case, I work with an independent (private) college consultant, part of which involves assisting the students with refining their college essays/applications so they can get into the top schools. We're expensive as hell, and, yes, these clients (their families) are typically very wealthy and often well-known. Trust me when I tell you that even aging rock stars want their children to get into Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton. As early as ninth grade/tenth grade, I can identify who has the chops and who doesn’t. And all the private education and tutoring in the world can’t improve or buy one’s ability to translate thoughts and ideas into an interesting, unique, and engaging writing style. It just doesn’t happen, just as all the facial surgery in the world is not going to transform Tori Spelling into a beautiful woman.

    Still, it's only a day job, and I yearn for the opportunity to quit working full-time (how about quit working period?) so I can focus on my stories and screenplays.

    On balance, I also want to add that there are many wonderful benefits of our craft, one of which is that we most definitely improve with age—simply because there's more raw material (i.e., life and living experience) to work with as the years pass. And how many occupations can you say that about? Additionally, we tend to be open-minded and adventurous since we’re idea-driven and constantly crave fresh experiences and novelty. We’re also quite useful in terms of our contributions to society. It’s the writer who can create depth and insightful interpretation to the multi-faceted layers of the human experience. Lastly, we’re just more interesting than the average folk! :P So there…I said it: I spoke the truth! ;)

    Have you thought about writing for Howard? Since you have the ability to get into his head (scary! :) ), why not consider developing some material (treatments) for his program? And send it his way gratis to see if you can elicit some feedback from his producer? Actually, you might want to send material his way several times both to get his attention and to demonstrate that you’re a solid, ongoing resource. Naturally, most of his fans are on the same page ideologically, but how many can create material that’s appropriate for his audience?

    This may be surprising—being a woman—but I watched many of his late-night (taped radio program) episodes on the “E” Network not so long ago—before his move to SIRIUS. Admittedly, I did it as a social experiment in an earnest effort to broaden my understanding of men—since these are the base creatures I find myself hopelessly attracted to—for reasons I can’t even understand myself at times :confuse: —and am, therefore, stuck with for life. (Sorry, Howard…no prospective girl-to-girl action here because my emotional set-up is 100% testosterone seeking.) As such, I’m aware of his style and format, and I do understand where he’s coming from—pardon the pun. It was interesting to observe how Robin subliminally walked the proverbial good girl-bad girl line…either reeling Howard in or encouraging him, depending on the situation, as a great wife/partner would.

    And, yes, he and his cohorts did, in fact, put a lot of effort and energy into cajoling women, many with gargantuan (freakish-sized) breast implants, into removing their clothes. My own “rule of thumb” is that a woman needs to be able to comfortably swing a golf club or tennis racquet, otherwise she’s physically impaired. What can I say? I’m from CT! And she should charge a hell of a lot more money to do such a thing! :) Well, watching his program was certainly an education in many ways, those rare times my face turned red sitting alone! :blush: And I do not consider myself conservative by any means.

    However, my point in all of this is: I sincerely hope you find a way to keep your writing chops in the fire. Don’t give up. Find a way to stay with it. Find a way to create opportunities here and there. (How about writing great ad copy for cars vis-à-vis the ad agencies that the automakers hire?) One of the qualities I do like about Howard is that he’s genuinely devoted to his fans and he’s totally anti-BS. I would imagine that there are opportunities within his empire/infrastructure for talented writers who "Get Him" totally and would like nothing more than to keep the Howard flame burning brightly. In order to do that, he needs a constant steady resource of fresh material—again, pardon the pun. (It’s hard to write about Howard without constantly stumbling into bad puns.)

    I hope I don’t get kicked off this board for going beyond “car talk” and getting into a completely different realm. So sorry, guys! And I hope this doesn’t sound preachy. It’s meant to be encouraging.

    As both a new Prelude owner and gal who enjoys driving fast, great-handling cars, I’m here to learn and to ask questions. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to dole out any mechanical advice whatsoever (obviously), so it makes me feel better to offer something of value—to give something back.

    For anyone else out there who has read this particular post, please excuse me for what might seem like a sampling of self-indulgence.

    Since I will not be around tomorrow night, I’ll go back to “talking Prelude” as soon as I post this.

    ‘Nuff said.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    to be getting some snow tonight (although I don't see too much right now) let me know how your car does if you have to go out tomorrow. If you give the car a little too much gas from a light with some snow on the ground, the RE92s will stutter before they gain grip.

    I'm actually very happy NOT working in the corporate world. I love my job! I love my boss (he's my Dad after all)! My wirting now is purely for pleasure. Holiday cards, town hall postings...

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

  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    Driving conditions this afternoon: Downright treacherous! We were expecting snow, not ice! (We are having a major ice storm.)

    Driving to work this morning was o.k./manageable. Drive home for lunch: Almost got stuck twice--on unsanded hills. YIKES!! Assessment: If road is sanded, driving doable. If road is not sanded, forget about it. Called forth my best driving skills. Thank goodness for stick shift.

    Agree: Corporate world sucks. Always worked for top dogs. These guys are no walk in the park and will suck the life out of you.

    I think it's wonderful that you found the best of both worlds--working for your dad (good for you...and carrying on a family tradition no less). So now your writing can be fun again.

    See? I can be short and sweet.

    Am finalizing my other response from yesterday about my Prelude shopping experience. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    P.S.

    So snow tires will eliminate slipping and sliding on unsanded roads??

    What with the weather and the roads, I'm considering myself officially "ice-bound" and am home for the day.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    The difference is night and day. A few weeks ago when we had a dusting of snow (less than an inch) I got caught with my pants down and still had my Yokohamas on since winter this years has been so mild as far as snowfall goes. I literally almost crashed my car 3 times trying to get out of my condo complex (at maybe 5-10mph).

    My Michelin Pilot Alpins (15 inchers) provide excellent grip, incredible traction, and track pin straight on snow covered roadways.

    I used to live in the city. I parked my Prelude on the street every night (part of the reason I moved out) and when it snowed bad, I'd be plowed in. I never had to rock the car more than a few times to get it out of a snowed in spot. This AM and this PM, we didn't get snow in Westchester & The Bronx, it was icy and slippery. I had NO PROBLEMS getting to work or coming home tonight. In fact I drove in the right lane of an unplowed, very granulated, icy, (they plowed the middle & left lane) Sprain Brook Parkway uphill at around 55mph. Aside from the occcasional deep snow tug, the car was flawless.

    Salted or unsalted...it doesn't matter to me. At some point ground clearance would become an issue, but it hasn't in the almost 5 years I've owned my Prelude.

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

  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    After creating a short list of cars and cross-referencing these by reading a multitude of reviews, I realized that my heart was set on getting a 2001 Prelude Type SH.

    As mentioned in one of my first posts, I am a former Prelude owner, an ’84, which I bought from a wealthy family who had relegated it to a train station car. Even in its early years, the Prelude had a great reputation. And I was not disappointed. What a fun, reliable, spirited little car! This car never had a mechanical problem, other than maintenance type repairs, and took me everywhere care-free for years. I referred to it as “The little car that could.” Keep in mind that this is back in an era when cars were far from the quality, comparatively trouble-free vehicles we drive today.

    This car had soul and spunk—an amazing turning radius by the way—so it was sad when I had to let it go. It was like saying farewell to a trusted friend, someone who always watched your back. The shame of it was that the engine was running great! But the body developed significant rust. I actually sold it to a man who was going to do some body work and install a new floor. Go figure! Yet I was happy to hand the car off to someone who could give it some major TLC. Not only did this Prelude earn the status of having sentimental value, it left an indelible impression: All things considered, the Prelude was an exceptional car compared to its peers at any given point in its history. Having known other Prelude owners over the years, there is definitely something to be said about their loyalty.

    This is why I wanted to experience the last generation. (I was disappointed when Honda decided to call it quits for such a fine car—with such a great history—when all it needed were some refinements. They must not have felt that killing the Prelude would leave a gap because there was the Integra/RSX.) I wanted the ’01 because it was the last production year (as we are well aware)—for the cool factor—and also because it increased my chances of finding one with low miles.

    I thought it would take me many months—even longer—to locate a low-miles Prelude in the tri-state area, but I came across a Type SH immediately upon initiating my search: at a Honda dealership in Long Island.

    By the way, Nyccarguy (and for any of you guys reading this): FYI, you might want to check out the 2001 Type SH on sale now at Cars.com. It only has 19,500 miles on it, and the seller is only asking $14,000...“Only” because it’s loaded with all this after-market “stuff.” Wow! This car was available during my search, but the custom paint is off the charts in terms of my taste barometer. It would never match my shoes or handbags! (Actually, I’m surprised it’s still there.) I would love your opinion(s) on all those after-market parts!

    Prelude No. 1: Long Island Trip No. 1
    The first Prelude I looked at in early January was a silver ‘01 Type SH at a Honda dealership. It had 33,065 miles, and they were asking $15,995. It was very clean although there were some minor, barely-noticeable scratches which prevented it from being “mint.” I even had them put it on the lift. However, there were some other things that bothered me about the car, namely, the lack of available maintenance history, and, also, I got a really bad vibe.

    God knows I’ve probably worn out my welcome with you folks, but I am proud to say that I have a stellar record buying cars privately. I am nobody’s fool and have finely-honed BS detectors. Although the car was Honda Certified, there was no history available in terms of maintenance—what was done, the frequency of oil changes, what type of oil was used (synthetic?), etc. None of my questions could get answered in terms of basic maintenance. That’s just the way it is at a dealership, which is why I never bought a “pre-owned” car from a dealer. I prefer to go right to the source. The car reporting agencies showed two—not one—prior owners. In other words, it was a Born Again Christian car in that it was apparently reborn the day it arrived at the dealership and became Honda Certified by their mechanics. That’s not the way I see things.

    I asked about the former owner and why “he” traded it in and received two somewhat conflicting versions—and that bothered me too. Nobody likes to be lied to. If you don’t know, say you don’t know. The first version was that he traded it in for a new Civic SI. (Really?) Also, on a CarFax report I paid for (because they use a different company), the car was reported to have failed a NY State emissions inspection (odd for such a low mileage car)…though when I brought this to the salesman’s attention, I was told that it had to be a mistake. He said that there are lots of mistakes on CarFax, which is why they don’t use them anymore. O.K. Who am I to dismiss this? I certainly don’t sell used cars for a living. But by this time, my BS detectors were on high alert.

    Then, I asked to be alone with the car so I could inspect it more thoroughly. As I’m inspecting the interior with a fine-tooth comb, looking for spills/stains/wear, what do I see? A huge wad of cash stuffed way down in that space between the front left passenger seat and cup-holder island. Situated next to the cash was a woman’s NY State driver’s license—she was Italian…from the Bronx…had that mob look going on with the big hair. (I can say that because I’m Italian!) I was absolutely dumbfounded in the truest sense of the word.

    Upon retrieving the money and the license, I couldn’t even bring myself to count it because (a) it didn’t belong to me, so who am I to count money that’s not mine—that’s an icky thing to do since it obviously belonged to this woman; and (b) I was immediately in the grip of this very bad gut feeling, like a scene lifted right out of a Stephen King movie. All that was missing was creepy background music. Why did I get this awful gut feeling? I have no idea. All I know is that life has taught me the hard way to ALWAYS trust gut feelings about people, places, and situations. Period.

    My guesstimate is that there was at least $400. I saw fifties and twenties. Found money is one thing—finder’s keepers one can say—but finding money that literally has its owner sitting next to it is money that needs to be returned. Well, that’s my own moral compass. Stupid me…what did I do (because part of being dumbfounded is being dumb)? I called the salesman over and showed him my discovery. Then I returned the money and the license to him—of all people! Yet even he, with his 30+ years of car-selling BS, could not hide his dismay. Mr. Yabber Mouth—so much so that I couldn’t think and needed to be alone—was momentarily at a loss for words.

    But then he managed to recover himself and cleverly said, “Ohhhhhh (long pause again because he’s thinking of what to say)…someone called us looking for this earlier today. How did it end up here?” feigning earnestness and genuine concern. He then started up again, like a wind-up toy, about all the
  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    Chapter 2 of Prelude Buying Experience--Got Cut Off

    But then he managed to recover himself and cleverly said, “Ohhhhhh (long pause again because he’s thinking of what to say)…someone called us looking for this earlier today. How did it end up here?” feigning earnestness and genuine concern. He then started up again, like a wind-up toy, about all the valuables he has found in cars over the years and how he had always promptly returned his findings to the owners. I’m sure my discovery certainly made his No. 1 on his Top Ten list.

    What do you think the chances are that this woman ever saw her money again? Slim to none? I’m sure she got her license back, but I’ll bet she was told that the money was never found. Yet, I had all the info. I needed to return everything to her safely by mail. On the other hand, my gut feeling took over and instructed me to get rid of that money and license ASAP because there was negative energy attached to it.

    I made an offer of $13,000 (cash), knowing that they were probably not going to accept it. (I’m sure he was also disappointed to realize that there would be no financing.) The bad vibes added up to major ambivalence—I didn’t care either way. Actually, I didn’t even want to make an offer. I just wanted an excuse to leave. Yes, I wanted a low miles Prelude, and test driving the car stirred my passion for owning one even more, but not at the expense of bad gut feelings.

    The salesman suddenly turned into a complete [non-permissible content removed]. No more kiss-up, roll-out-the-red-carpet Mr. Nice Guy who insisted on calling me “dear” and “sweetheart” (yuck). First he thanked me for completely wasting his afternoon and his time. If that was not rude enough, he went on to say that he was actually insulted by my offer, and, further, that my offer belied my intelligence. He thought I appreciated the awesomeness of the last gen. Prelude—how special it was, what a fine piece of machinery it was, how difficult it would be to find one as clean and beautiful as this one…on and on it went, like a dripping faucet. He was actually pissed—yes, pissed—that I put a $100 hold on it, but I did so at his request. (I didn’t want to drive all the way to LI to find that the car had been sold or was on hold for someone else.) So, allegedly, in the six days I had it on hold, at least a dozen people wanted to buy it.

    He told me that they would take no less than $15,000. By now the price of the car became completely moot because I would never give my business to anyone who spoke to me the way he did. I didn’t know which was more disturbing: my bad gut feeling (which I could not shake, though there was no rhyme or reason to it) or his good-cop-bad-cop style of selling cars to women. (I wondered if he would talk to a man the same way. Verdict: No way.) I just politely thanked him for his time and left, being the nice CT girl that I am. He gave me his card to “think things over, come to my senses,” but I threw the card away as soon as I got home—in an effort to purge myself of that “What a long, strange trip it’s been” experience (to quote the Dead).

    One week later, the car was no longer being advertised so it did sell shortly thereafter. Cars are like relationships. This one wasn’t meant to be. I felt no loss.

    Prelude No. 2: Private Owner—Long Island Trip No. 2
    Just one day following my unpleasant experience at Honda dealership, I came across a 25,500 mileage Prelude on Cars.com. Wow! Can that be? Car is black—my favorite color. Seller is private. I’m thrilled! Yeah! Called seller. Said his car is in “showroom condition…that you can eat off the engine.” He’s asking $17,500 but will go down to $16,500. Will not go lower. Car has been on website for two months or so. The only problem is that I have to drive to Long Island again—two Saturdays in a row. God, I hate that drive!

    Looked at car following Saturday. It is in mint condition—looks brand new inside and out—makes Car No. 1 look a bit shabby.

    Reviewed paperwork with seller: Found out that first owner bought in Pennsylvania in October of 2001. Then used as trade-in at Infiniti dealership in PA in June, 2005, where my seller found it. Car had 16,428 miles when he bought this car (making him second owner). He was thrilled to have located it. He purchased an extra 80,000 warranty, which he signed over to me. Meticulous about oil changes (synthetic oil), etc. Needed to sell car to pay off car loan/lose car payment since he is now homeowner.

    What a concept: A used car with a legitimate story behind it! He acknowledged that he’s asking more because it’s in mint condition and babied it. Quite frankly, I didn’t mind paying more. $16,500: sold. (What are the chances of my finding a Prelude in this condition again without major travel involved?) No nonsense…no BS. Nothing but great gut feelings through and through. What a difference a week makes.

    Blue Book Private Party Value in 1/07:
    Vehicle Condition:
    Fair = $12,770
    Good = $13,870
    Excellent = $14,705
  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    Gee...I really had no idea that snow tires could make SUCH a significant difference in drivability.

    My way of dealing with snow has always been to stay home (it's just that simple :blush: ) until the roads are sanded. I'd rather negotiate an unplowed sanded road than a plowed unsanded road any day.

    Still, your description above certainly makes a convincing case for purchasing snows in that you were able to drive THAT CONFIDENTALLY in the driving conditions we had the other day. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Since we're almost (hopefully) into spring, I'm hoping I can get by until next winter.
  • lulu9lulu9 Posts: 154
    Thanks for confirming that Audio Visions is in WP: Got it. Thanks also for the directions...I just wasn't sure of what city/town it's in.

    Don't worry! :) I have no intentions of messing around with anything in terms of my radio until I give options further thought. Nothing is going to get done 'til spring anyway, at which point I can handle being outdoors for more than a few minutes.

    It has never occurred to me to get SIRIUS radio. Why? First of all, no one in my world has it--not yet anyway. So no one has ever brought to my attention its benefits. Unless someone tells me, "This is so great...you've got to check it out," I can be oblivious.

    Secondly, it has never occurred to me to pay for something that was always free. Paying for radio?? If I'm going to consider going that route, I would like to think that the benefits/advantages are considerable. According to you, it's a "gotta have" thing. Meanwhile, I haven't even listened to a SIRIUS radio station. Clearly, I'm not an "early adapter!"

    What happens to stations I enjoy listening to, like NPR? Does it just go away?

    O.K., so I would get the Urethane Suspension bushings when these sway bars are installed, correct?

    Lastly, I can't believe that I haven't asked about this yet, considering how important it is. It has nothing to do with an upgrade but rather an existing "issue" with the car.

    The guy I bought car from never used the alarm that came with our model. Apparently, when he first bought it, his neighbor complained about his alarm going off at night, which he never heard himself. So he just decided not to ever use the alarm, which was his way of dealing with it. He was going to go the etched glass route as a security measure--of course, we know he had many plans for my car if he had kept it, but the only plan that came to fruition was the AEM air intake.

    Do you have the OEM alarm? Have you ever had a problem with it? I don't know if I should go to the dealership and have this fixed, or get a different alarm installed if this existing system is problematic. I am really perplexed on this one. What do you think?

    Have a nice weekend!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    I'm glad you enjoy posting your Prelude experiences here with us. It is nice to get a fresh perspective and hear your first impressions (first as a Prelude enthusiast and second as a woman). Besides, I think timothyaw is getting a little sick and tired of my somewhat winded postings :P .

    I'm glad you didn't buy the first car from that dealer on Long Island. What a [non-permissible content removed]!

    Regarding your Prelude's alarm. It wasn't a factory option, but there is a dealer installed Prelude alarm that was available (maybe that's the one you have) or it could be aftermarket.

    Here's my take on alarms: When's the last time you heard a car alarm going off, stopped what you were doing, and immediately called 911? NEVER? That's what I thought. Car alarms are useless. If somebody wants your car that bad, they'll take it. A car can be flatbedded away in about a minute. I parked my car on the streets of Manhattan for 2 years with NO ALARM and I've still got it (granted this wasn't the early '90s during the crack epidemic).

    If you listen to NPR, you still can because a new radio will still be able to receive AM/FM signals. NPR might be on SIRIUS, but I'm not sure. I detest radio commercials (kinda ironic for a guy who used to work in advertising). Music keeps me going in the car. All the stations play commercials at the same time, plus the music stations here in our area are terrible.

    You should be fine with your OEM tires until next year. It may not even be necessary for you. Do you have a job where you MUST go out in the snow or can you stay home and work from there? I work 6 days a week. We open up at 7:30 AM. There is no other choice besides snow tires for me during the winter months.

    If you get the Suspesnsion Techniques sawy bars like mine, they come witn urethane suspension bushings.

    Happy Valentine's day everyone!

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

  • First I would like to thank lulu for sharing her experiences on this board. It was refreshing to hear your take on the Prelude. And no nyc, I always enjoy your passion for our beloved car. It's just that I don't have the writing expertise of you and Ms lulu :P
    I do share a lot of the same strong feelings about this car. Did you all know that this 01 is my fourth prelude. I had THREE different 91 preludes. They were all black and used. The first was a automatic. Of course you know the reason I got rid of that one. The second had tan interior. Just could never get over that. Both of those were impeccable cars. The third one was black/black, a private seller. Long story short, came to find out the car had been in a accident that the seller did not tell me about. I don't think I test drove the car hard enough the way I should have. If I did it would have shown some issues. Sold it. Of course when I found out the car was being dropped for 01 I had to buy the last year. It's a great car, I love it! I'm not getting rid of this car ever. Me and NYC have discussed this, I don't think Honda makes em like they used to.
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