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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • qmercuryqmercury Posts: 9

    Im looking at a 93 Si 4ws with 77,500 miles. I know from experience that Hondas are generally bulletproof, but have heard horror stories about 4WS. However, no one around here has a clue about these cars except the dealer, and of course they say the car is a reliablity tour de force.

    If the 4ws fails, can you still drive the car, and what kind of maintainence (if any) does the 4ws system take?
  • tnguyen74tnguyen74 Posts: 65
    I have a 98 Prelude and the hand-brake lever is loose and has some play before it catches. Has anyone experienced this and is it any easy fix of just tightening some bolts? Thanks for the input.
  • bhshipman2bhshipman2 Posts: 1
    I have a '92 Prelude Si-4WS with about 101,000 miles. The only problem I have had with the 4WS is the warning light came on a few months ago at start up. I took it to the dealer and they checked the computer code and reset the light. Unfortunately, they charged me $75 to do it. They said it came on because of a power fluctuation to the 4WS, possibly due to a wearing ignition switch. Anyway, it was not come on since.

    If there is some problem with the 4WS that causes the light to come on, the rear wheels will center and the car will drive like a normal car without 4WS. This information is in the owners manual. You will notice a decrease in steering response. I don't know of any maintenance for the 4WS. You will need have a 4 wheel alignment instead of just a 2 wheel.
  • asethiasethi Posts: 76
    The brake lever on my 98 has always been like what you described. I've never been concerned about it cause it does work properly. I wouldn't take it to be a problem unless it rattles or vibrates in normal position.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    My Honda dealer does a periodic adjustment to my hand break lever as part of regular might check into it. They've done it on every Honda I have owned.
  • cgr45cgr45 Posts: 33
    First I mis-shift now she gets stolen. It happened a week ago. The car was stolen from my driveway at 12:30pm. The middle of the day!!!!!
    No one saw or heard anything. I was home at the time. I was doing some construction in my basement. So I didn't hear a damn thing. I remember looking outside every 10-15 minutes. At 12:15pm she was there, 15 minutes later she was gone. I'm so mad. I had this car for a month and 3 days. I have to wait 3 weeks and if the car is not found my insurance compony will get me a new one. I hope that my insurance doesn't go up.
    I've been driving around town looking for the car and nothing so far. I even went to a couple of chop shops that I know to see if someone knew something. Everyone tells me the same thing. That I'm not going to find that car. The car is either in pieces, on a ship to another country, park somewhere with a broken clutch or burned up somewhere. I don't think I'm going to get another Prelude. Everywhere I went people would just look at it and they will give me funny looks. By the way I live in Jersey City, NJ. We are ranked 3 on the nation when it comes to stolen cars. :(
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    Pray they don't find it. I had an RX7 stolen and it was found stripped about 2 days later. It took several weeks, but I got it back and I swear it never was the same car after that.

    I doubt there is much of a market for Prelude parts as its not that common of a vehicle. The more common, the more likely it will be stolen for parts. Its probably being used for a joy ride or on its way to Kuwait.

    Your story doesn't bring me alot of faith in the anti-theft starter that is standard in my Prelude! What's it called? "Eliminator" or something like that. ???

    Not to tell you what to do...but don't buy your next car based on how people stare @ you in it. Buy it because you love it. That should be all that matters...not what others think.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Are you sure it's your car they were staring at? Maybe you should check the mirror. HA ha h... Oh... I am sorry... I wouldn't feel like laughing either if my car got stolen. (those dirty bastards)
  • That really stinks man... now I'm scared to buy one. I'm looking into a 2001 base Prelude. I got an awesome deal for one. I wonder how they got the car without you hearing it...?

    I have one quick question for all you 'Lude owners out there. I want to buy a 2001 new but don't want to buy the Honda spoiler. Can someone give me the dimensions of the rear of the car? I need the dimensions of the entire trunk from end to end and from the actual trunk door itself, side to side. Thanks!
  • The anti-theft system used in the Honda's is called Immobolizer Theft-Deterrent System... and I agree, if they got his car, whats to stop them from taking yours or mine, if I get it...
  • mohit07mohit07 Posts: 1
    I waz thinkin of gettin a prelude as soon as i get my liscense next month. Just a queation though, i know in the previous prelude, there was absolutely no room to sit in da back. Is that the case in the 97+ preludes ?? Or is their sufficient seating for my passengers in the back seaT ??
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    The back seat of 5th gen Prelude is definitely larger than those of 4th gen. But, it is used for short trips or short/lean guys/gals (i.e shorter than 5'8" and 130 lb to be comfortable).

    About the immobilizer, there is nothing you can do to really make it theft proof. If they want your car, they will get it. I heard that even with the security on MZ and Porsche, a "professional" theif can break it with in 10 sec. without touching the car. They have some kind of devices designed to transmit the same signal the chip in the key transmit to the ECU and activate the car without a key and open the door and drive away, just like it is his car.

    So, if you really want your car to be safe, either park it in the garage all the time or use a club to protect it (I know that won't help much if you don't have a good security system. But, IMO, the immobilizer in Prelude is good enough to stop entry level theives and senior ones won't bother mass with a club for 10-20 min, they will just locate another one instead.)
  • donkim0822donkim0822 Posts: 2
    cgr45: I was dead scared my new 01 prelude would get stolen. I didn't get factory alarm since dealer wanted $900cdn for it! but i did have them do this window etching thing just to discourage thieves.. and i installed an aftermarket alarm just 3 days after i got the car. ugh.. hopefully they'll deter most "amateur" thieves..

    mohit07: yes the back seats are small. but OK for short people and kids. personally, i couldn't care less if the backseat drivers were having leg cramps. if they want leg room, let them go find a van or something!
  • donkim0822donkim0822 Posts: 2
    The user's manual says regular gas can be used when premium gas can't be found and with the regular gas, the car will have slightly less power. so i experimented with it. not too sure about the power loss but the engine definitely sounded different. from the sweet "whirling" sound upward of 3000 RPM to somewhat low "growling" sound. I didn't like it so I filled the rest of the tank with premium. Did anybody notice this? does anybody run his/her lude with regular gas all the time? yeah I wish I invested in those stinking oil companies...
  • cgr45cgr45 Posts: 33
    Well a week and 3 days have gone by and still no word. I already got over the shock. The car is gone and there's nothing I can do. I was thinking about this long and hard and I've decide to get another Prelude. I love that car. I'm not gonna let some thief kill my dream of having a Prelude.
    Just one problem. My parents. They want me to get an SUV. No way!!!

    I have a question. The car was a lease. I spoke to my claim agent he says that I should get my down payment back. Is this true? I had GAP insurance on it. Now I'm getting nervous. I hope that I don't end up broke and with no car.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    An SUV? yeechhhh! Sorry... no good advice just sympathy. Good luck.
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    Good choice on getting another Prelude. Any car that's worth having is going to be worth stealing -- but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get it. As much of a hassle as it is to replace a car, it's still worth it to be able to drive a car you love every day.

    And SUVs? Just say no.
  • I drive a '94 S10 Blazer right now and am looking at a 2001 Prelude. I can tell you SUV's are not the way to go. They are semi-uncomfortable to drive, hogs on gas, and just a nuisance in general. The smaller SUV's like the Blazer and the Explorer aren't bad, but I can't stand the Expedition, Tahoe, the beastly Excursion or Surbaban, Navigator, etc. The only points about them really are tons of space and four-wheel drive.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I have already posted in 2 other threads today my experience coming to work this a.m. in our Prelude, so I won't bore you with the details of it, but....for you Prelude owners, I have a question.

    Doesn't it irritate the crap out of you that Honda chose a plastic headliner in your $25k sports coupe?

    This car drives me crazy! I want to like our Prelude, but every time I drive it I get out of it angry. The constant "tick-tick-tick" of the headliner as the suspension picks up road feel is soooooooo irritating. The rest of the interior is dead silent, which I think is why the noise from the headliner appears so loud. You've heard the saying that "the silence was deafening"? Kind of fits here.

    Am I the only one bothered by this? Am I just way too anal??? I traded in a '91 CRX for the Prelude and had a similar problem with it, I use to stuff gobs of kleenex into the headliner to keep it from rattling. I guess I expected more from the Prelude, considering the costs.

    Its definitely a love/hate relationship between me and this car!

    Thanks....just needed to vent!
  • hgileshgiles Posts: 66
    I agree.
    98 SH
    fun to drive, but only with the stereo up
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    I hate my $22k 98 Prelude w/45k miles because it has a loud rattle that eminates from rear passenger side wheel well when the temp. drops below 70 degrees. Once the temp rises, the rattle goes away. It's been this way since new.
    I love my Prelude because of the engine/5spd outstanding performance. I love my Prelude because of its outstanding roadholding and maneuvering ability. I love it because it's fun to drive. I love it because I do enjoy driving it fast and constantly test its roadholding on sharp curves and hills, where this car's engineering really shines. I've never had any problem with the "ticking" complaint that other owners mention about the headliner. I do use my stereo to drown out that terrible rattle I hate so much. I would recommend this car, though, because it does have a bulletproof drivetrain that constantly challenges you to take it to the limit. I've had it 3 years and now the party's over. I always buy something different every 3-4 yrs. I owned a '94 Cobra before the Prelude and will now being purchasing my first truck...either a Tundra Limited or a Ford Supercrew Lariat. I'll always have fond memories of the Prelude, though. I think the Prelude is to Honda what the Karman Ghia was to Volkswagen back in the 60's. A very unique car for the true enthusiast who enjoys driving, wants BMW quality but doesn't want to pay a kings ransom for the car. To those of you considering the Prelude...definitely put this one on your list. I'm in Texas...the ladies down here love those weird headlights for some reason. Must be like looking into a man's eyes or something. Oh well, just my nickel's worth toward this thread.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218 might want to have that rattle in the rear end looked into. I had the exact same problem and it turned out it was the rear strut. They fixed it under warranty.

    In fact, if you look back in this thread, you should be able to find where someone posted the service advisory on the issue. I copied it and took it in with me to the dealer...fixed it with no questions asked. Stopped that rattle @ least.

    Did you get your Tundra?
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    Regarding that rattle...I've suspected the strut all along because of the rattle being notorious at 68 degrees and below, but going completely away at 70+ degrees. It's my fault, but I hate being without my car and failed to take it in during warranty period...but I really appreciate you pointing out that there's a post with TSB in this thread. I'll look it up as soon as I post this.
    Did I get my Tundra? No, I'm still struggling between that and the Supercrew. As you know, I'm turned off by Toyota forcing Gulf States option pkgs on buyers. But, enough of that, this is the Prelude thread, and I'll stick to the topic at hand. I'll get that strut fixed and some other maintenance done before I sell my Prelude. I want to make sure the next owner buys a car that's current on all maintenance. Again, thank you for the reference to the TSB....I'll go look for it now.
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    I found the post (#136) you referred to regarding the dreaded shock-rattle. I'm posting the site that has the TB for the benefit of other owners who may have missed earlier comments. If your Prelude rattles over bumps in cold weather, check this out: Credit to jkidd2 for pointing it out and credit to 5gen_prelude for posting the TB site. Thanks guys.

    TB for rattle:
  • I just bought a 2001 Prelude base model a couple of days ago. If most people have had this problem with the rear strut, do you think I should confront the dealer now or wait and see if I have the problem myself...? I don't pick the car up until next week sometime.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I'd suspect that Honda would have fixed the problem....I'd print out the TSB and keep it handy, just in case.

    Enjoy your Prelude, as critical of it as I have been, it really is a joy to careful, it gives you an inflated sense of your driving skills!

    My only true complaint are the annoying interior rattles. It had a hard act to follow. I traded in my beloved '91 CRX Si for the Prelude...its never been able to live up to the memory of my little red CRX.

    Have fun and enjoy!
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    I was reading about the Prelude that got stolen. You 're much better off than me who own a GSR. In '99 1 out 10 Integras got stolen! The Integra had the highest theft rate in '99 and was still very high in '00. It's our VTEC motors they 're after because they can be easily installed in all Civics from '88 on up, and non-VTEC Integras and Ludes. Just make sure you have a garage in your house and you 'll be fine.
    4 of my friends had their GSRs stolen right out of their driveway while they were sleeping. 2 of them had dogs in the house!
    What's funny is that one of my friends had Type-R wheels and brakes on his GSR with a different wheel lock on every wheel. That's 5 different kind wheel locks on each wheel. They found the car a week later with all the wheels and brakes intact. Everything else was stripped and only the chassis remained :-) I guess it was too much trouble for them to try and hammer all 20 wheel locks loose, hehe.
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    Ditto to jkidd2's comments about TB and safety.
    Don't be turned off by the shock issue. Although jkidd points out interior rattles, I've been fortunate enough to have had zero problems in that regard. Overall, the Prelude's a great car and it's power train/suspension is an engineering marvel. It doesn't have a fancy interior or pretty face, but all of its true qualities are underneath its skin. You'll see.... if you got the 5spd, you'll have even more fun. Be safe, especially when VTEC kicks in at 5500rpm and you're screaming onto the freeway at an entrance ramp. Yahoooooo!!!!..... feel them sweaty palms!!!!
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Just to mention 1 thing about the rattle when temp. are low. Yes, there is a TSB and the dealer will eventually fix it for you, but that will last for only a few month and it will come back again. It is really a problem of the bush(or coil.) and if you don't fix it, no harm will done on the suspension other than the noise that can be fixed by a loud music.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I pulled out my service info on the rattle problem...this is what it says on the invoice:

    "When going over medium bumps you can hear a rachetting noise from right rear."

    "Replace R/R Coil spring - per Bulletin 99-084"

    That rattle hasn't come back since. Had it serviced on 2-2-01.

    Plenty of others to take its place though...all of mine seem to come from the of the biggest comes from the sun visors resting on the headliner. I tried adjusting the visors, but to keep them off the headliner, but not all the way down, positions them right into my forehead!
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