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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • I want to add a rear wing spoiler to my car, and I like the base factory model. But for $800...that's kinda crazy. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I can buy a genuine honda spoiler for cheaper and then have it installed somewhere other than the dealer to bring down the costs? Thanks
  • 64626462 Posts: 14
    So, will you share just how much you got it for? Was it a SH model or base? What kind of interest rate did you finance for? Sorry for all of the questions, but I'm really looking to buy soon and I'm torn! Even thought the dealers are gouging for the RSX now, won't I be able to get a decent deal on one within a few months, after all of the initial excitement dies down?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I ordered a spoiler from, is another excellent source of info.

    However you really register, visit and ask for advice at or - both are outstanding sites and is easily the best Prelude site on the net.
  • I'm curious as to what are the weight difference between the Base Prelude (current gen) compared to the previous Gen (i think 1992-1996) Prelude Si. I'm curious because I like the old cars styling and I wanted to know the difference between the 2 generations. Any answers are great.
  • I managed to bring the price down on the base model to 22,000 with a 6.15% APR. The true invoice of the car is around 21,100 which I found out after i bought the car + 440 lot fee. So anything within 22- 23 (23 if you get a better finance rate). One piece of advice... after you buy the will still end up spending at least another $1,000 if you're planning on getting an alarm, spoilers, and any other options you might be interested in. I would definitely get the alarm at the bare minimum just becuase it's such a nice car. I myself added Lo-Jack...for peace of mind.
  • I bought the automatic
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    The current prelude is quite a bit heavier than the last gen, I think 200-300 lbs. Despite this a base 5th gen will be faster than the last gen ludes unless you find a 4th gen VTEC which is generally regarded as the fastest Prelude. (190hp VTEC, but a lot lighter than the current Prelude.) I like the driving feel of the new Preludes better (much more mature) but the older Preludes have both the style and the feel of the young-person's-rocket sort of car.
  • I'm considering how nimble the a car is. I like to have a nimble, lightweight car with decent style and plenty of aftermarket support. I'm looking into putting in a nice alpine system = ] and a nice, QUIET exhaust and other such things. Nothing major... but if you mean that the previous gen was more nimble, thats what I need. But I'll test drive both...
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    And ask over at if you really want to start a war :)

    In my experience, the VTEC 4th gens feel a little more nimble from normal to aggressive driving, but the 5th gens handle themselves much better at the aggressive to insane driving style... if that makes any sense...
  • Just bought a 2001 VTEC this week, an automatic. This is the car I wish I had bought 10 years ago! I was really just about to get an Accord EX-V6 coupe, but then test drove a '97 Prelude and was surprised at how nicely it handled. That one test drive was enough to make me decide that the Accord would not be enough "fun". I also have another 5 speed convertible for weekend drives, so the sport shift is perfect for my around town driving, it would be perfect if it could match revs on downshifts.

    Has anyone ever bought parts from ? They have some good prices but I'm kind of leery of buying from an unknown


  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I bought a rear spoiler and the indash changer from Outstanding service, parts arrived on time and in good condition. They have been recommended a number of times on various Prelude boards, along with (Never tried the latter.) I personally would do business with h&a accessories again, except that I don't need anything else :)
  • eggparmeggparm Posts: 14
    I test drove the RSX Type S today, and be honest, it did not impress me much in terms of its performance comparing with the SH Prelude. Here I'm talking strictly abuot the performance. First of all, the RSX is too tall. The elevated center of gravity does not do anything good to the handling. If you perform a fast lane changing or a fast cornering in both cars and you know what I'm talking about. You are not getting the go-cart like fun with the RSX. Both RSX's and Prelude's engines rev to the redline fast but the Prelude revs even faster. Also, you almost don't hear or feel anything when the VTEC kicks in in the RSX (the intervention of the VTEC on the RSX is very subtle and you can hardly notice it - no fun). The steering response of the RSX is not as quick as that of Prelude, thank to the MacPherson struts suspension! I thought the RSX would outperform my SH Prelude but I was wrong. For those who still struggle between these two cars, take my words or go take both cars for a test drive. If you feel a little uneasy about the Prelude for not offering the leather uphostery, listen to this and you will get over it: the leather seats do feel nice but remember they don't usually hold you well in place when hard cornering (they are too slippery). Plus, they wear and tear much faster. The Prelude's fabrics are made of very high quality by the way and the foam materials are much firmer than the RSX. The RSX is an upscaled Civic while the Prelude is still a Prelude. I shouldn't have compared these two cars in the first place. I was wrong again.
  • To those of you who have replaced their factory headlight bulbs... what type of bulb did you replace the factory ones with? Are there any specific ones that you can recommend for both bulbs inside each headlight.
  • Simple question. I now have 200 miles on my prelude and I'm scared to floor the car since it is brand new. How bad is it to be hitting VTEC level rpms on a brand new car. Just curious how I should be driving the car right now and after how many miles, I can stop worrying about hurting the engine.
  • Hi again guys, for those who remember me, my cars almost here. I test drove a 97 Lude that somebody's sellin me. We are just in the negotiating stage to buy the car. IT's sweet. It's a 97 Black Lude with only 60000Km's on it. In the deal, he's including his 17" TSW mags,which are brand spankin new. As well as two brand new winter tires. It comes with a lowered neuspeed suspension, and he's also going to include the stock one. It comes with a skirt kit, the stock one I believe, and it's just gorgeous. He went through all the service checks, and the car is apparently flawless. HE even is willing to guarantee me that nothing will go wrong for the next year, if something does go wrong, he'll replace it. Anyways, here's the price. 22Grand CAN$. What do you guys think ? ? Too pricey or is it worth it ?? oh yeah, and it's the sportshift one, not standard. And I would like for the car to last me for as long as possible, is the prelude the right pick in that case?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Congrats to all who are picking up Preludes, yup they're pretty bulletproof. You know it's a reliable car when you drive into a Honda dealer for an oil change and the guys at the counter look at the car and say, "man, nice car, we sure don't get those coming in all that often... what's yours like? I love mine.."

    I got this at a BMW dealership too. First thing the sales guy asks is, "what do you drive?"
    "Oh a new Honda Prelude, I'm thinking of trading in and trading up."
    "... is it here?"
    "Oh yea, it's right over there, the silver one."
    "Oh can we see it? I used to own one..."
    "um... sure!"
    "Oh man, this is so sweet, can I sit inside?"
    "Um, sure." *hands keys*
    "Man I miss this car,I had a black auto on lease for a couple of years.... can I start her up?"
    "Uh.. ok"
    "Wow, I love that engine."
    "So, can we look at the BMWs now?"

    bladerx, the engine is built to last but I'd follow the manual and let the break in period run its course with no high reving. If you hit it once in a while by accident during the break-in period it shouldn't be a problem but in general try to stay below 4000rpm for a few hundred miles.
  • kkl1kkl1 Posts: 16
    Hi Blackjava-

    I have a 1998 base Prelude and I purchased oil filters and air cleaner elements 2 weeks ago from the following website:

    They are a dealership in Roseburg, CA, who also sell mail-order and their prices are very good, as good as

    I received my order within 2 days of placing it and they were definitely new original Honda parts. The staff, particularly Brandon, were very polite and Brandon even sent me an e-mail a week later to check if there were any problems. They are offering free shipping this month, as they did last month. Check them out!


  • eggparmeggparm Posts: 14
    I'm so pissed off everytime when the salesman or somebody tells people that you just need to drive the new car as usual during the break-in period! WRONG! ABSOLUTELY WRONG! You need to pay special attention to how you drive the car during the break-in period!!!

    Here learn from the master...

    1. Always warm up the car until the coolant temp comes up everytime you cold start the engine. Do not operate A/C when the engine is cold (which would increase the burden on the engine).

    2. Spend most of the time (70-80%) driving locally with various speeds to let the engine exercise in different conditions. Keep the RPM below 4,000. Do not exceed 70 MPH on the highway. Take local trip first then highway if possible. Highway driving is necessary even during the break-in period so as to get the motor oil up to operating temperature to vaporize the water and fuel, which would adversely damage the engine. Avoid long distance driving of greater than 50 miles per trip.

    3. Bring up the speed smoothly and progressively, and avoid rapid acceleration. This assures linear heat transfer and reduces the chance of premature metal fatigue.

    4. Do not change the motor oil until 3,000 miles. The Honda factory-filled motor oil contains some break-in additives so early change is not desirable. Use mineral oil for first two (2) oil change (preferrably at 3,000 and 4,000 miles to get rid of the contaminants). Do not use synthetics until the car reaches at least 5000 miles. Change the filter every time and only use genuine Honda parts.

    5. Change your gearbox/transmission fluid at first 3,000 miles and every 10,000 miles thereafter.

    6. Occasionally revving the engine to the VTEC zone is not a problem. I mean occasionally. Try not to do it in the first 1,000 miles. Remember, do it progressively. Exercise the engine like you would yourself. Never rev to the redline during the entire break-in period (I set at 5,000 miles).

    Follow these directions and your engine will last longer and perform better in the long run. My 95 VTEC Prelude (~70,000 miles) still runs beautifully and perfectly as my 2001 SH!

    Good luck!
  • Thanks, kkl1 and sphinx99, for the response about the Honda parts. Both places are far cheaper than my local dealer. For example, the trunk mat is $99 locally and only $70 mail order, so it's a pretty big savings.
  • roaminroamin Posts: 6
    In response to post #434. I put Philips Vision Plus bulbs in my 2000 Prelude's low beams and have been testing them for nearly two months. I did a side by side comparison of the stock bulb with the Philips bulb and they are definitely brighter and whiter (with an incadecent yellowish hue). They light up the road really well, this is especially noticable on dark or unilluminated roads. I definitely believe Philips' claim that this bulb is 50% brighter than a typical halogen bulb and they are still only 55 watts, so I am not worried about melting my headlamp assembly --plus I trust the Philips brandname. I got these bulbs at for $16.10 each and shipping was free and no tax. Even though they were shipped from England I got mine just over week after I ordered them.

    You might want to check out the Aftermarket Halogen Bulbs section on the Aftermarket & Accessories board of the Town Hall.

    Also check out:

    and the technical info section of

    I haven't tried any other bulbs, partly because I am satisfied with these Philips bulbs and because I do not trust the multitude of poor quality, blue-tinted, fake HID bulbs that often cost much more and seem to throw out less light and often burn out quickly based on what I could gather so far. I think it was worth the $32 for the pair, I am probably going to order two more for the high beams.

  • apexskrapexskr Posts: 11
    Although it takes more than 0-60 times to be competitive against the Lude, the V6 mustang already has decent 0-60 times. The manual V6 mustang does 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, 1/4 mile in 15.5 @84mph according to The auto tranny shouldn't add more than a second to this time, so your desire to stay within 8 second 0-60 should be satisfied.

    If you're seriously looking into the mustangs, I would wait for calendar year 2003 when the new ones roll off the line. The current stang 3.8L V6 is generally noisy and unreliable. It's been plagued with head gasket problems that may or may not have been resolved in '99. Some say it has, but at any rate the 3.8L will be shelved when the new stang arrives in favor of a higher hp DOHC 3.0L or torquier SOHC 4.0L V6. If you're seriously going for a stang now, go for the 4.6L, preferably a 32V DOHC cobra, because it's a far better engine all around than the 3.8L.
  • 1) I need a car alarm. Dealer keeps urging me to get factory one. He keeps saying that if I buy and install an alarm from somewhere else, it could short circuit computer likely is that? Where and what type of alarm would you luders recommend?

    2) I've been hearing that there are horror stories about the SS? Something about how the SS really messed up the tranny? What are these horror stores...I would like to know so I won't have to deal with a disaster myself.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    There are reports of the SS transmission failing in a number of the '97 and '98 ludes at the 30k+ miles mark. From what one reads, it's a simple durability issue - something in the SS transmission is just not holding up over time. The problem with the "horror stories" is that there are a lot of reports but no empirical data. The best place to ask would be (frankly) a Prelude fan site like where up to several hundred active owners might comment...
  • asethiasethi Posts: 76
    I found the Philips Vision Plus to be crap compared to the philips premium bulb. I was disappointed that it had a blue tinted tip. I didn't use it for more than 2 days. Works great in the high beams, though. Any non-colored H1 bulb is ok to use, there's not much difference unless you wanna spend $50+
  • roaminroamin Posts: 6
    Very surprising, since Vision Plus is claimed to be up to 50% brighter compared to the 30% brighter claim for the Premium. I was also skeptical when I saw the blue coating on the tip of the Vision Plus bulb but I was impressed when comparing its light output to the stock bulb. Are you saying that the Premium appears to be brighter? If so maybe you got some from a bad lot, where did you get them from?
  • asethiasethi Posts: 76
    I also buy all my bulbs from I was actually disappointed to see the blue tip on the vision plus but I gave it a try anyway. Yes, it's not better than the premium. It may be brighter but the color of light is such that it does not light up the road as much as the clear premium bulb. Works pretty good in the high beams though. I don't care how bright a bulb looks if it cannot light up the road. If you get the premium and don't like them, I'll buy them from you! I've also tried Catz and they were good! Too bad these H1 bulbs don't last long (I do clean them with alcohol).
  • Well, after a fairly lengthy and circuitous decision-making process, last week I finally wound up ordering a black 2001 Prelude (Base) with spoiler, leather shift knob, carbon fiber interior trim, cassette player, splash guards, wheel locks, and etched windows for about $23,500. I'll be picking it up tomorrow morning. Who knows, I might actually make it to work before evening comes... :)
  • roaminroamin Posts: 6

    Just curious as to whether that was with a manual or auto transmission? How does the carbon fiber trim look, I've never seen one in person?
  • That was with a manual (the sportshift would cost you about $800 or $900 more, I think). The carbon fiber looks very nice with the black interior; although it's kinda hard to describe how it actually looks. It's made of plastic, and there is one piece each for both doors, the center console, and the shifter/drink holder. The finish has small glossy grey-black triangular patterns that give the car's interior a racy look. If you want, I can take a picture or two of the interior and e-mail them to you.
  • apexskrapexskr Posts: 11
    My fiancee's brother has a 98 Lude w/ sportshift. He bought it about a month ago w/ 30K miles. I've been reading here and on that the auto trannys from 97-00 are defective and have a tendency of needing replacement between 30K and 40K miles. (*gulp*)

    Can anyone provide any more information on the 97-00 sportshift problems?

    -What are the specific problems and symptoms?
    -How common is the defect? Is it pretty much all sportshifts or only a small %?
    -Does the problem arise from abuse or is it shotty manufacturing?
    -What are precautionary measures he can take to prolong the life of the tranny? Does getting into VTEC add extra wear to the tranny? How about manually shifting?
    -Is there a recall he should be aware of? If so, can he use it though he's not the original owner and has no idea where it was originally bought?
    -How much does it cost to fix? I've heard $5,000. Is that close? Sounds steep...

    Thank you for your help!
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