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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    The 1992 - 1996 Prelude is known as the 4th generation. As you know, there were 4 basic iterations of the car: S, Si, 4WS, & VTEC. The 4th generation Prelude handles very well and when mated to a 5-speed manual transmission can be very entertaining to drive. Preludes are safe (they perform well in crash tests) and very reliable (after all, they're Hondas). Obviously the most desirable model would be a low mileage '96 VTEC. But, an Si actually produces more torque and is still a blast to drive. I'd steer clear of any car that has been modified. Do a carfax to see the vehicle's history. Have it checked out by a mechanic.


    The S was powered by a 2.2L SOHC I4 engine pumping out 135 horsepower. The S came with hub caps, and I believe NO AC (it was a dealer installed option).


    The Si had a DOHC 2.3L I4 producing 160 horsepower. It came with AC and power everything.


    The 4WS model adds Honda's electronically controlled 4 wheel steering. This adds significant weight to the car and also would be an expensive replacement if it were to ever go out on you. I believe it was only available in '92 & '93.


    The VTEC model was introduced in 1993 (I can't believe that was 12 years ago!) and you got Honda's well praised H22A VTEC motor that makes 190 horsepower. Good for 0-60 in the mid 6 second range. Later years included standard leather and a few more speakers in the stereo.

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

  • Now, I'm interested in automatic transmissions. I don't think I could drive a stick and some Si's have auto but more of the S's have them. Now, i'm looking at a 96 online and it looks like the owner got AC installed.

    I'll give you the link to the site and I'd like to know if its a good idea. thanks much

    mike E&PN=2&WI=7458278459
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    You're young dude, this is the time to learn how to drive a stick. You'll love it! It just takes practice, you will not regret it! That model you're checking out is an S. However, he's asking A LOT of money for a 9 year old car (I don't care how few miles it has on it) that stickered for less than $20K when it was new. Check out the Si if you're going to go with a slushbox.

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

  • yea, especially how it has the 2.2L engine where the Si & VTEC have the 5spd and the slightly bigger 2.3L. I agree with you the 5spd sounds more fun and peppy.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    We've been experiencing frigid temperatures here in the NY metro area. Many morning I've gone out to my car and the temperature is less than 10 degrees F. It was taking a while for my car to turn over about 3 days last week. Saturday AM (It was 0 degrees F) I got in my car and it took a while to "catch," then would immediately stall. Then I turned the key again and the car fired up right away. I figured it is time for a new battery. After work I had a new battery put in. Sunday and Today the same thing happened. I checked the alternator and it is running perfectly. Can I attribute this to cold weather or could there be a bigger problem?


    We got socked with a nasty snow storm (12" +) on Saturday afternoon. Driving home from work, my Prelude and its Pilot Alpin 2 snow tires performed magically.

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

  • NYC, I'm not a car expert but I believe the horrible weather is giving you problems. The precipitation somehow might have went into the engine.


  • Love them Preludes !! Sold my '97 with 90,000 miles because I figured with the expense of the 90,000 service and the new timing belt, I would be better off selling it (Eucalyptus Green - not a nick or door ding on the car). Sold it and found a '00 with 30,000 miles in the beautiful Crystal Blue Metallic. New tires needed - has the original Bridgestone Potenza RE92. My first priority with the new tires is ride comfort and noise. Next is handling and last is treadwear. Doing some looking on tirerack, I see several All Seasons that are 'V' rated and some that are'W' rated. Would the ride comfort be better in a 'W' because it is a softer tire? Anyway I like the reviews on the BF Goodrich Traction TA/V (205/50/VR16 - 87 V rated) and the Pirelli PZero Nero M+S (205/50/WR16 - 87 W rated). Since tires act differently on different cars, wanted to post this on the Prelude Site. Thanks alot.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    Cool, you're a 2 time 5th gen Prelude owner. Congrats on your new (used) Prelude. How much did you pay? Did you buy from a dealership or private party?


    As far as your tire questions go, call up tirerack and ask one of the salespeople. They're very informed and won't just try to sell you the most expensive tire.


    If you do a keyword search on this board for tires, you'll come up with a few posts.


    Let us know what you come up with.

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

  • I used to own a black 98 Prelude 5-speed. Sold it to move to California. I had put 73K miles on that car, with not one single problem. I regret selling that car; it was definitely the best car Ive ever had.


    As Im driving by a dealership, I see a 97 SH in black. Of course, I immediately test drive it. It was tighter than my current 03 Civic, the clutch was strong, and damn, do I miss that VTEC engine and handling. The dealer guy must have thought I was nuts, I was so excited driving it.


    Anyways, I could detect nothing wrong with it, but it did have 99K miles, which makes me a bit leery of buying such a high-mileage car. The asking price was $10,700, which is a decent deal, and Im sure I couldve gotten it for around $10K.


    Before I sold mine 2 years ago, I had the 90K maintenance priced at about $675, which is a bit steep. Even if that was completed on this car, I was wondering what else occurs on these high-mileage 5th Gen Preludes. I know about the rear shock "knock", and the problems with the auto tranny. From my experience, and nearly all other owners and publications, this is one of the best built cars ever.


    Anyone know of problems? Expenses? Things to look out for?
  • kkl1kkl1 Posts: 16
    I have a '98 Prelude base, auto, and haven't heard of the rear shock knock before. However, I have noticed in the past month my Prelude has a knock or thump whenever I move from stop to go. Is this the rear shock knock? What causes it? Can it be fixed?

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    Well, I switched my winter wheels & tires back for my (beautiful) OEM Type SH rims and (crummy) RE92s. I pumped the tires up to 35 psi and had a blast driving home from work today. I still love the way my car looks. I've got close to 43,000 miles on the odometer. Anybody else still out there? I hoe they don't close us down.

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

  • I'm still out here :)

    I have a 98 SH and I'm still having fun with it. It sits for most of the winter but spring is here. 77,000 miles and still brings a smile to my face.

    I feel I definately got my money's worth out of this car.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    Today is my 29th birthday. Yesterday I had a Pioneer CD/Radio with SIRIUS tuner installed. I don't know how good it works, because the Radio, Dome Light, Clock, and Power Door Locks (when the car is off) don't work. It is going to be a crummy drive to and from work tomorrow.

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

  • I found a '93 Prelude in mint/brand new really has been well taken care of. It is a "S" model coupe w/5 speed, 4 cyl, air, sunroof, am/fm cassette, power windows, cruise, tilt, tinted windows. It only has 8,800 miles--yes that's right, eight thousand, eight hundred miles. Owner is asking $12,500 but KBB has private party (PP) value at $5,405 and dealer retail at $7,115. Edmunds TMV has PP at $4,800 and dealer retail at $6,600. I am new to Hondas but thinking about this car for my son who will be driving soon. Would I be stupid to pay more than $6,000. for the car? If not, how much more until I get stupid?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    The Prelude S is a great car for your son as a first car, but not this particular one. The Owner is asking $12,500 for a 12 year old car that only stickered for around $18 grand in 1992?

    For around $6K, you could probably find a newer Prelude.

    The Prelude S is the least desirable of the 4th gen Preludes due to the fact that it's H22 engine produced a mere 135hp (which is great for your son who is learning how to drive).

    Are you sure it is the S and not the Si?

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

  • Yes, it is an S model.

    So you don't think the low, low miles overrides the age of the car in terms of value?

    If I go with a new model Prelude, how many miles is too many for a used Prelude? I hear people talking about the 90,000 mile service....why is that such a big deal?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    Make me very skeptical. :surprise: ..the car was only driven 733 miles per year?

    The guy has to be somewhat realistic...he's asking $12,500, you could probably get a 1999 or 2000 Prelude for that. Just for comparison, I was offered $13,900 (by a dealer) for my 2001 Prelude Type SH (rare) in excellent condition with relatively low miles.

    Preludes are great cars. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one with 50, 60, 70K+ miles on it as long as the car has been properly maintained. I have 2 good friends that has 92 Prelude Si models, one drove the car to well over 150K miles and the other drove it to 99K miles.

    You are correct in that the low mileage does greatly offset the price of the car's age.

    Do me a favor...Go to the Smart SHopper menu here on Town Hall and go to the Real World Trade In Values thread. Post your question there. Let me know what Terry says.

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

  • The guy is an Air Force Lt Col...gotta trust them! Also, on the add, he says the car was garaged and covered all this time and he only drove it on "special" days...I will check with Terry and get back to you...thanks for your advice.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    So tomorrow (4/27/05) is my car's 3rd Birthday. I've got just under 44,500 miles on my 2001 Milano Red Prelude Type SH and still love it! Where will my car be spending it's 3rd bithday? At the dealership. My car has been squeaking upon startup for a few weeks no (probably a belt needs to be replaced), so I took it in to my dealership to have this minor problem taken care of as well as some other maintenance items Honda advises for 45K miles or 3 years. I'm having the oil and filter changed (Castrol Syntec 5w 30) as well as the brake fluid, ATTS fluid, and an alignment. I was supposed to get the car back today, but the dealer called me and told me there was a problem with the computerized alignment machine, so it will have to be done tomorrow. I told them to keep it until Thursday because I've got to go to the Yankees game tomorrow night.

    The Civic they gave me as a loaner is really bad. NO POWER at all, sloppy handling...

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    from the dealer today. The Prelude feels so tight and quick compared to the Civic I've been driving for the past 3 days.

    Every time I start the car, there is a squeak right before the car turns over. The dealer couldn't replicate the problem. I'll have to bring it in again if it persists.

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

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