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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    You may be right about the TSB only being a band-aid, with the rattle eventually returning. If I was going to keep my Prelude, I guess I'd probably visit Eibach or Neuspeed and replace the OEM parts with something good. Prelude Performance Page is a good start.
    jkidd2...have you visited Temple of Vtec?..there's some info there on the headliner/sunvisor ticking.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    I have a 99 base that has the same rear suspension noise since last winter (It is OK now since it is like 90F in Texas). I was trying to fix it and know there is a TSB, but I heard that a lot of guys went to Honda dealer for this. After some hassle, they got it fixed under warranty and after about a month, it comes back again. Some even tried to put something else to fix it with no success. So, they changed to Quaife LSD to fix that problem.

    This give me a image that there might be some solutions to this, but since it is just some noise and won't do any harm to the CAR, so I will just live with it for like 1-2 month/year(for my case in Texas that is.)

    Since you are in Houston, it might just be the weather become warm, just wait until next 50 or below day and see, although I hope it is fixed for you. Just let us know!
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    Well there is a cold front coming into town tonight! Supposed to have record cold! The mid-50's!

    Every time I drive the Prelude, I am like a man obsessed with trying to find where all the rattles are coming from. My blood pressure rises the minute I start the engine.

    I really haven't heard the rear "thunk" since I had the coil fixed. By the way, my Honda dealer gave me NO BS @ all, when I took it in. I just showed him the TSB and that was it. I have a really good dealer to work with, unlike what I hear other folks say about Honda dealers.

    I spent about 30 minutes in the Temple of VTEC yesterday. Didn't find anything on the headliner/sunvisor problem. Of course, that is not the easiest site to move around in or search in either.
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    jkidd2....sorry about the TOVtec referral. I went back and found that the website author has a list of owner complaints with TSB that addresses the problem. He acknowledges that owners have complained about headliner tick, but does not refer to a TSB. He says that dealer(s) state problem is due to improper curing of glue/cement used when installing headliner at factory. The fix has been local with most dealers reinstalling headliner using a different adhesive.
    I'm in San Antonio and Gillman Honda is my dealer here..they're great. Is that the same Gillman that's in Houston? We also have Benson Honda, but they suck because they're part of a bigger Chevy dealership which has that arrogant GM attitude towards customers. BTW, what's up with that Chilean flag you display by your handle? Yeah, yeah, I know, it looks like a Texas flag. Put your pointer over the flag for a moment and it says "Chile". Hmmmmmmmmm.......
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    Yeah, I just use that flag cuz it looks like the Texas flag....part of my succession thing!

    I bought my Prelude from John Eagle Honda. I've purchased a couple of Honda's from them. They are great. Free loaner, they always make room for me if I need service quick. Purchase was easy with no BS, they call you after you bring your car in to make sure that your happy with the service and, the best part is they sponsor "Race-days" @ a local drag strip where you can race your Honda against other Honda's or the clock.

    There is a Gillman Honda in Houston, but I never have been to them. Goodson Spring-Branch Honda SUCKS! I bought my CRX there. Poor customer service and their service department, especially the mechanics need to go to a manners class or something....I quit taking my CRX there and started with night and day. I cry a tear every day for trading my CRX in for the Lude.

    I still would like to know why Honda chose a plastic headliner on a $25k car? The Accord and even the Civic have cloth headliners!

    Have a good evening!
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    Honda took alot of heat from automotive writers when they dropped the CRX. If you recall, back in 1989/1990 that car always got rave reviews from writers/reviewers/owners. The Civic grew a bit after that, but I think Honda could've somehow kept a version of that car alive. Back in '89 while shopping for a new car, it came down to a
    90 Mustang 5.0, Mazda MX6 or the CRX Si. All were priced between 11k-12.5k. I went with the MX6 and it turned out to be the best car I've ever owned. Always wondered about the CRX Si, though. It wasn't until later that I realized how special it was. It was only on my list because I was impressed with its looks and the appearance of the engine. I think Honda made the same mistake nowadays by dropping the Civic Si last year.
    I think the 'Lude may be on its way out soon with the introduction of the new numerically designated Integra replacement.
    About that plastic headliner....I actually like it over the mouse fur headliner. It feels good and is easy to clean. A couple of weeks ago we had a hailstorm. When I went into the grocery store there was no hint of an impending rainstorm. I left my sunroof open...when I came outside it was raining w/hail and the inside of my car was being pelted with hailstones...I said
    to myself at that moment...F#@k!! and ran towards the car with my grocery cart and quickly closed the sunroof and headed for covered shelter. I wiped the headliner, console/shifter with a towel and all was well. Another tender moment to remember with my Prelude.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    1949...we apparently have similar tastes in cars...I liked the old MX6 too. Remember the MX3? That was Mazda's take on the CRX. Don't see too many of them around now days. Nissan had one too, but I can't recall the name of it. I had a friend with one and all I remember was that it was a piece of sh--.

    I think by the time Honda killed off the CRX as we knew it...I think that was in '92, CRX's were not selling that well. I think Honda made a big mistake by killing off the Civic Si too. They are bringing it back for 2002 in hatch form, which I think is very good news, but I'd still like to see a 2 seater updated CRX reappear. Teenage boys would knock each other down to buy them. I'm sure of it. The new Civic coupe leaves alot to be desired, if you ask me. From the rear, I don't think it could be any more generic looking. Its like they copied the Mitsu Mirage, which to me is the most invisible car on the road these days.

    We do get more than our share of hail in the Lone Star State it seems. I am in sheer panic when I see a storm building and I can't find shelter for my cars! I garage the Prelude and the Crew Cab, but my poor Grand Am has been moved to the driveway, since the Crew joined the family. I have covered parking @ work too, so thankfully, I have been spared hail damage.

    Just this evening I went for a walk and got to talking with a neighbor. He was waxing his '00 Mazda 626 and I stopped by to say hello. We started talking about his car and then I looked and noticed it has major hail damage. Said he was waxing it up to sell. Took it to CarMax and they offered him pittance due to the damage, so he's gonna try to sell it himself.

    I got caught in a hail storm driving to work one morning in the Prelude and I drove it up on a curb (dumb, but I was desperate) and up an overpass embankment (you know where people hide during tornado's!) because that was the only place left...every one was trying to fit their car under the bridge.

    Another time, I ran out of a Target and it was hailing. I had the CRX @ the time. I literally ran out and laid on the hood, trying to keep it from pelting my poor car. I had bruises all over my back for a week after that. People were looking @ me like I was a nut. True love does crazy things to us men who love their cars! I did have to take it in to dent wizard for roof repair after that one though.
  • pete4791pete4791 Posts: 1
    I'm looking to buy a base Prelude, nothing alder than '97. I know a lot of people would scratch their heads for me saying this, but I prefer the automatic over the stick. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I agree, as much as I enjoy shifting in my Prelude, it becomes a hassle for me in heavy traffic, which is about all I get to drive in. Good luck on your search for a used Lude. I would suspect you could probably get some really good deals on new ones, since they are slow sellers and I believe are on the verge of extinction.
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    I believe Nissan's version of the CRX was the NX1600 and NX2000. They were strange looking - the Nissan Sentra SE-R was and will be much better overall. The Mazda MX-3 with a 1.8L V-6 was loud on the highway.
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    Pete4791...good luck on finding a used '97. I'm in San Antonio and rarely see used 5gen 'Ludes for sale. Try AutoTrader.Com...shame on you!! No self-respecting auto-enthusiast should ever be caught dead driving an auto.(no flaming, please).
    Ineto6....Right!! It was the NX2000..isn't that the one that had the hatch that came with a tent you could attach to it?

    Jkidd...Yeah, I remember the MX3 with the tiny V6. Used to see alot of them on the road here .

    BTW, don't you think the new Honda Hybrid looks alot like the CRX Si. It even has that see-thru lower portion of the rear hatch on it. I saw a bright green one on the road the other day.
    Is your CrewCab a Frontier? I went to Nissan and was checking out a SuperCharged Frontier CrewCab. How's the performance on your Frontier?
    GrandAm?? That's a workhorse by Pontiac..we have one at work that's a US Govt "company car". That car can take anybody's crap and keeps on ticking.
    LOL...just loved your story about the CRX outside of Target. Reminds me of the Honda commercial where this guy comes out of the store and sees a bird in the sky doing a kamikaze dive towards his Honda Civic...and the guy makes a mad dash and lands on his hood to protect it from the falling birds--t.
    Has anyone on this thread done any mods to their 'Lude like intake/exhaust, NOS, engine tweaks or springs/lowering?
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    Yeah, the Insight is cool. I just don't like the rear wheel skirts. I know they are there to reduce drag, but they sure are ugly.

    Put some bigger, thicker wheels/tires on it, stick a VTEC under the hood and take off the skirts and its instant updated CRX!

    My CC is a Frontier. I debated getting the SC version, but when I saw that it requires premium fuel, I decided against it. The Lude already eats premium, as you know. Its just too expensive and the Crew eats gas....I'd call the my SE's power, "adequate". That's all. I love it so far.

    I get alot of crap from people over the Grand Am, but I love it. It's probably my favorite of the current group. Your exactly right, I drive the hell out of it and nothing ever goes wrong. It gets good mileage, its got a rather frisky (yet thrashy sounding) engine and torque. Its comfortable and even I am surprised with its overall quality. I have 36k miles on it. The Lude has just a little over 12k miles on it and the GA has less rattles! It's certainly not an exciting car....but its an awfully good appliance.
  • Not to change the subject or anything on you guys, but what kind of music do you use to cruise?
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    Hmmmm... I don't know much about the Nissan NX except that it was an interesting looking car - the headlights. I usually saw them in yellow, but I have not seen one in years now. It has a good engine that has been used in the Infiniti G20.

    I saw a recent generation Prelude with modified taillights - pretty nice looking. Three round lights in a clear casing for each side.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I've seen those rear lights too. I hate clear taillights, but these looked pretty good. I've seen similar ones on an Integra that didn't look so bad either....they have the "jeweled" effect going on too.
  • 19491949 Posts: 59 you want to know what we listen to? Well, I don't have a preference, but while "cruising" after a healthy workout on a Saturday, I'll listen to SnoopDogg ("Lay Low" is my favorite on the Last Meal CD). I also like Dance Music and some Oldies from my teen years (the 60s). Yep, even a little "On The Road Again" by Willie Nelson while cruising on IH35 to Austin!!
  • cgr45cgr45 Posts: 33
    How's everyone doing? Well, the Prelude was never found. God knows were it is. Well, after wrestling with the idea of buy another Prelude I've decide to buy a Celica GT-S. That was my intention a week ago.

    The insurance on the GT-S was going to be about $600 cheaper and the car is about $2-3,000 cheaper. I went to about 6 dealers. I don't know with one was the bigger ***hole. The stuff that they try to pull on me was not even funny. To make the long story short, I'm picking up my brand new 2001 SH in Silver Satin on Tuesday!!!
    I pray to God that I have better luck with this one. Having my Prelude stolen has been one of the worse experiences of my life. I don't wish that upon anybody. Is very frustrating.

    I'm having an alarm along with a kill switch install that same day. I already order an autolock. People swear by those things. Are they really that good? I also bought the new Master Lock steering wheel lock. My friends think I'm going to the extreme. That maybe true but, be in my shoes and then get back to me.

    Well guys wish me luck!!!!
  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    The GT-S was a good's an awesome little car to compete with a GS-R or Civic Si, but Prelude is still king of the road in this class right out of the box with no mods. Mine is base, so let us know how the ATTS works in the SH.
    Also, what is the MasterLock steering wheel lock you mentioned. I'm only familiar with the Club. I hear ya about the ***holes at Toyota dealerships. I've been there recently and yes, it is unreal the crap they try to pull on you. They treat you like some moron that knows nothing about cars.
    BTW, good choice on the fits the 'Lude perfectly. Enjoy and be safe!!
  • kmaximkmaxim Posts: 6
    Just bought my second Prelude-previously had a
    90 model that was a fabulous vehicle during the
    entire 11 years I owned it. Have a question I'd
    like to throw out to everyone. My new Prelude
    has the pearl white paint. When I purchased it
    2 weeks ago it was a little dirty, but I told
    the salesperson that I'd wash it myself at home.
    After washing it I noticed some light gray
    "streaks" on the back bumper and a few on the
    front bumper that were not dirt. Don't know what
    it could be. You don't really notice it until
    you get right on the car, but it bugs me just
    the same. Have not called the dealership. Thought
    maybe I'd call American Honda and ask them first.
    This is nowhere else on the car but the back and
    front bumpers. (all along the back and just a
    touch on the front) Any ideas what it could be?
    Also, all my previous vehicles were 5 speeds and
    I decided on an automatic this time so maybe this
    is normal, but every time I put the transmission
    in drive, it makes a slight "revving" noise as
    I start to drive off-every time. What is this??
    Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    I have found that when I go to the dealer I seem to know a whole lot more about their cars than they do. One told my brother the other day that the focus ZX3 had 200 hp. LOL Are they required to know anything? The only exception to this was this guy at the subaru dealership. He was as much of a car nut as I am. He had a whole file of things collected and printed from the internet and magazines about his cars. Whats funny is I had all the same research.
  • asethiasethi Posts: 76
    congrats on your new car. Do yourself a favor and go thru previous posts - you'll find tons of useful stuff that you'd want to know. As for your questions of now, the "revving" sound as you start driving is the ABS self-test, so don't worry about it. About the streaks, talk to the dealer and try if they can take care of it. If not, try to describe them a little better (is the surface smooth or seems stretched or damaged, etc?) and maybe someone here can give you some ideas. Have fun!
  • Congrats on your new Prelude man. Hopefully things will go better with this one than the last one. I just picked mine up Friday. OH MY GOODNESS... what a car. Its fast, nimble, comfortable, beautiful, sharp... I could probably go on forever. I couldn't have chosen a better car.
  • kmaximkmaxim Posts: 6
    Thanks asethi, you eased my mind about the
    revving sound. Now that I think about it, my
    90 Prelude made a similar but louder sound
    but not all the time. 1990 was the first year
    for abs on Honda's. As for the gray streaks,
    after I washed it this past time, I took some
    car wax and with a little rubbing it came right
    off. I'm thinking they were maybe some water
    marks or something. Anyway, it was a relief to
    see them go. I'm enjoying the new one, but for
    some reason still miss the old. At least it's
    going to a good friend who will really appreciate
    it! Thanks again.
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    jkidd2 - I see that you have good tastes as well :)

    1949 - songs, eh? "The Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor always tempt me to drive faster :)) Too bad Willie won't be doing a 4th celebration this year.... another Austin tradition on hold.
  • lberkoskilberkoski Posts: 5

    Has anybody had any problems involving the "Check Engine" light on their Prelude? I have a 99 Base with 40,000 miles on it, and it came on this morning. I read the manual and it gave some strange response about the gas cap, reduced emissions performance, and some other stuff, but made it sound fairly non-critical. I wanted to do some on-line research before making an appointment for this.


  • kmaximkmaxim Posts: 6
    There is a little sign on my gas cap thats says
    the engine light may come on if you do not turn
    the cap through 3 "clicks" after refueling.
    Could this be it?
  • lberkoskilberkoski Posts: 5
    Well, I needed gas and I did notice that the gas cap wasn't completly tightened, but the light hasn't gone off yet (the manual said it should after 3 trip or so). Hopefully that's it, but can anybody shed any light on what's going on here? Is there some pressurized state that the gas cap is compromising, and it takes a while for the fuel system to "rebalance" itself? Or is there moisture getting into the system?

    BTW, in reference to the earlier MX-3 V6 discussion, I had one, and liked it for the first 60,000 miles. It completely fell apart on the way to 100,000.
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    You can check the code yourself. This article gives detailed instructions and includes a list of what each of the codes mean:

    Basically, you have to short a connector, then the codes will flash on the check engine light.

    You can also reset the check engine light by removing the clock/radio fuse for 15 seconds or so, though you will need to reset the clock and any radio presets afterwards.

  • 19491949 Posts: 59
    Just got my new copy of Sport Compact Car. They have pics and review of Integra replacement. There's a Type S w/200hp, MacPherson Strut front end and smaller wishbone rear suspension. The new Integra is now called the RSX. I think it too, sits on a Civic platform. I wish Honda would do another radical restyling of the Prelude like they did to the previous gen with the high-tech dash and tweak the engine to gain some additional ponies. I love the performance/handling of my '98, but have never been "moved" by the 80s Accord-looking instrument panel.
  • ludedriverludedriver Posts: 2
    I am new here and just saw that someone was having problems with their Check engine light. My car is a '99 Prelude also, but my engine light came on at about 24,000 miles or less. My gas cap is always very tight also, and it has been to the dealership twice, so far, to have it checked. They tried to blame me at first saying i was not using Premium gas. they still don't know what is wrong.
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