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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • I posted my car for sale in Post #511 (see above). I reduced my price to $20,000 firm! This car can't be told from new. Please email me if you're interested.

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Hello Prelude lovers - any diagnostic ideas for me on my 1992 Prelude si would be appreciated.

    The Car has 80,000 miles and the timing belt was replaced at 60,000 miles after the car was 7 years old.

    Yesterday while idling at a stop light I heard a strange sound from the engine bay. There was a loud THUNK that sounded like it came from near my left foot near the pedals and then a squeal like you might hear from a vacuum cleaner when it gets hair caught in it or a power steering unit on an old ford when you crank the wheel over to hard.

    I have NEVER heard a noise like that coming from my car.

    So I hear this THUNK- (belt?) squeal. The timing belt has not broken because the engine is still running. I gently pull over in a parking lot and pop the hood. Nothing seems amiss (though I do not actually know what I am looking for). In any event the engine is idling quietly. I gun it gently - it makes nice honda sewing machine like noises.

    I gently drive home.

    SO what could this sound have come from? Prelude and Honda experts -- this is the 1992 model with 2.0 liter engine that makes 160 hp.

    Any other belts that could cause this squeak? Power steering? Alternator?

    I plan to take the car in Monday for my Honda dealer to look at. Any ideas as to what the problem is would be greatly appreciated.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Did you turning the wheel when you heard that noise? If you do, that is the power steering pump that is on the edge. Otherwise, it might be any of the driving belt, fan belt that is slipping.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Shmang - the car was not moving when I heard the belt noise and the tires were straight.

    Is there another belt besides the timing belt on these cars that could be making this noise?

    Thx. -- JN
  • I had a guy come into my stereo shop the other day (with the idential car as me--same year, color, tranny), and he told me that a dealer told him that ATTS Could be installed into his prelude for 5-6k? It just would void factory warranty. If you've heard of this please let me know. Any SH owners who have this, let me know if you think ATTS is worth the additional money. Thanks.

    -The Poon
  • Answer A.s.a.p !!!
    Hey guys, waz going oN? ...havent been on in a while, but I just need osme last minute advice before I store my prelude away. It's a 97 with a Neuspeed drop of about 1.5, or something close , don't remember, it also haz da skitz n all if dat matterz. The former owner of the car was telling me something about putting bricks or something like dat between the suspension and the car, I dunt rememebr exactly what he told me. Could someone tell me what I would have to do to the Lude while putting it away for 3 or 4 monthz ? Do I have to change any liquids or could I just leave everything as is ? ?
  • Same situation here and these are what I do:

    1. First I would assume that your car is gonna be stored indoors.
    2. Change oil & filter (A MUST).
    3. Wash & wax the car. Make sure the car is thoroughly dried prior to putting away for storage. Same goes for interior - make sure it's clean and dry. Clean the alloy wheels cos the brake dusts are very corrosive.
    4. Inflate the tires to approx. 5-8 psi over. This will prevent the tires from developing flat spots.
    5. Seal/cover the exhaust tips so moisture won't go in and build up inside the pipes.
    6. Remove the battery and place it on a block of wood. If you decide to leave the battery in the car at least you disconnect it.
    7. If the storage has a concrete floor then you may wish to place a thick piece of plastic sheet under the car (I use a 12' X 20' tarp) to prevent moisture invasion from the bottom.
    8. I personally do not put the car on blocks because this would make the suspension to sag and it would also put stress on the areas which are not designed to tolerate. If you do wish to jack it up, then you want to put the blocks under the lower arms instead of the frame - this will still save your tires and bearing and prevent the frame from bending. For me, I would just inflate the tires to 38 psi and move the car back or forth once in a while. That'll be just fine.
    9. Leave the parking/emergency brakes OFF. Put the transmission in gear or block the wheels.
    10. Start the car at least once a month and let it run for 15 min or so. Run the A/C at high temp setting. This circulates the lubricant in the compressor and removes the moisture inside the cabin. NOTE: if the weather permits and the road is clear, you may wish to take it out for a spin. Some suggest that you don't run the engine at all during the storage if you don't drive it at all, since the engine would not reach the temperature high enough to remove the moisture build up in the engine and exhaust (simply running the engine at idle would make it even worse). Anyway, the decision is all up to you. Just make sure you have good ventilation when running the engine.
    11. Fill up the tank and add some fuel stablizer in it so the gas won't go bad over time.
    12. Keep the wiper blades off the windshield by supporting the arms with folds of towel or something.
    13. Lube the weatherstriping with some silicone spray and wax its mating surface.

    These are what I do and you can tell that I'm very anal about my car :)

    Hope this help.
  • It is possible but not worth it doing it 'cos you'll need a SH block, a manual tranny, a whole ATTS system, a SH front suspension, and a Type SH emblem. You might as well just go buy a new SH. By the way, the ATTS worths every penny of it you can ask every SH owner.
  • thanx for the advice eggparm..very much appreciated. So if i just put my car on a big piece of plactic, and deflate the tires a bit, even though I got that neuspeed suspension, I will be alright ? Somebody was teling me If I leave my car alone for 3 monthz, that the brakes might jam or something like that...Nonsence righT? and its stored in doorz...thanx again
  • Hey man, you need to INFLATE the tires instead of deflate them. Don't worry about the suspension it'll be just fine. The brakes might jam if they are not completely dried prior to storage. So after your last car wash you want to drive it a little bit to get the water out of the brake system and other components (instead of just wash it and store it). Moving the car back and forth once in a while during the storage can also assure that your brakes are fine. Good luck!
  • A Honda Prelude 5 spd regular not sho(my leading choice as of this moment), Acura RSX Type S, Toyota Celica GTS or Mercedes C230 coupe? I've done 3 months of internet and book research, but now I'm looking for some opinions of people who may have driven these cars. Also I was wondering what is the 5th gen prelude's redline.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    First of all, you will be the driver. So, if you want our opinions, please give us your criterias so that we will try to help you.

    Really, other than the Celica GTS, the other 3 cars you mentioned both are fine (have their own pros and cons.)

    By the way, there is no sho for prelude, it is the SH and prelude's redline is 7400rpm (which is about 8000 on the tach).
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    5th gen Prelude's redline is what, 7400 rpm?

    I've driven all of these cars. They all occupy points on that spectrum between race car and GT coupe. If I had to rank them,

    Racecar, celica, RSX, Prelude, C230, GT Coupe.

    I do not like the Celica and should state that up front. The styling does not attract me at all, it is too aggressive and racey, and I don't think it'll age well. It does feel more responsive than the other cars, and has amazing brakes, but the interior quality was really lacking and I could not stand the shifter. This car has always made me feel the same way I feel about Mustangs: lots of good, but lots of bad to go along with that good.

    Of the remaining three... well, I own a Prelude. I've owned several, and love what I feel is superior handling and roadhugging, and much better stability than the other two cars. The Prelude also feels better balanced than both of these cars, better balanced at the limits than many RWD cars even. It's hard to fault the pieces. The stereo somehow manages to sound clean and great; the build quality is exemplary regardless of materials used; handling is solid, the car is predictable, and the car also has a heritage or reputation - those ten or eleven C&D 10Best selections, the numerous 1st place finishes in comparos spanning multiple generations of the lude, etc. The Prelude falls flat in feature content, fuel economy and price/value. If these are important to you, then don't buy the Prelude. Buy the RSX or C230 depending on your budget, you'll get a lot more that you actually care about for your budget. The Prelude does not come with leather, climate control, a hatch, or great fuel economy, and it's expensive, so if these things bother you, you should avoid it. Prelude does make sense if you want one of the world's best handling cars, and are willing to sacrifice amenities and cargo room (and some $$$ compared to the RSX) for it.

    Between the RSX and C230, I'd actually like to see a review pitting these two against each other. I think they stack up well. I would choose the RSX simply because the C230 did not seem too quick, but they're pretty comparable. It's tricky to compare the two on features vs pricing. The C230 starts considerably higher and includes much less "surface" features like leather seats, etc. However, the base price gets you pricy things like traction control that aren't even available on the RSX. You can option up the C230 to match the RSX on every feature, and surpass it in others, but then you have a $30k car. The C230 has the wonderful roof. The RSX is much quicker and steers far better, and will have an aftermarket if you're into that. The C230 looks a bit nicer, but they're both similar looking and rather plain. The C230 has the MB star on its grille, which can be worth thousands to the right person. The RSX is likely to last forever... but the C230 is going to be durable as well. The RSX gets better fuel economy. The C230 is RWD, the RSX FWD. The RSX has a much better shifter. See what I'm getting at? Comparing these two cars is difficult because they're competitive with each other, and yet very different.

    What youreally need to do is get of the internet and go drive these cars. All should be available for testdrives. Give each a good ten minute drive, imagine yourself sitting in them, pay attention to the feel of the seats, shifter, wheel and visibility, and to the build quality. Then decide from there.

    As many others have said, you really can't go wrong with any of these cars.
  • I can not test drive any of these cars at the moment. Once I get back in country I will take them for a spin. It seems thou that from your very usefull comments my time won't be wasted in the C230 or Celica, I may have to add some other cars to my list.

    Although feature content is an issue, value, fuel economy, and cargo space aren't. All I want is a coupe that I can drive to work everyday, but when I want it to will perform like a sports car. Well as close as you can get to a sports car for under 30k. Modifications will be in the cars future but nothing major until the warranty is up. Is a 5th gen prelude's redline 7,400 rpm's?
  • The Celica GTS is back in the running.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Have you considered the RSX type S or the Acura CL type S. They are both good cars (If you don't mind the lookings). Since I have a Prelude, I would say go for it. Celica GTS is definitely a NO, NO for me. Especially as you said, you need it mainly as a commuter with some performance. The GTS has a very peaky torque band and you will find it like a 140hp car day in and day out...... until you get annoying and rev the hell out of it all the way to redline, then, it really goes.
  • I am considering the Acura RSX Type S. It's just that many of the options on it aren't things I want or need in a car. That's why I was looking at the Celica the hardest, because you can pick and choose every option. I like everything about the prelude except for the sunroof, who needs the extra weight. Out the group thou, it does seem to the best coupe to be used for everyday driving. What type of gas mileage do manual preludes get?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Not bad but not great. I think I average around 20mpg, in 80% highway 20% city driving. I could probably eke out a little more if I moved more conservatively, but this car should not be bought for its fuel economy, and if you rev the engine a lot your economy will go into the toilet like it would with just about any performance-oriented car. (Fast costs gas, no matter what the engine displacement is or where the rev limiter is set.) My sister's Civic gets around 40mph from an engine with nearly the same displacement. It's kind of scary.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Well, for the gas mileage. I have been very satisfied with my Lude. It is a 99 5spd and I average about 28-30 mpg (90% local highway and 10% city combined). I shift around 3500rpm all day long, except VTEC/redline it once per day during work days and several times during weekend.

    I can't agree more on the sunroof thing. I myself is not a guy prefer a roof when I first hunting for a car. But, the rest of Prelude fits my needs so good, I just took it. plus, it only add like 20+ lbs of weight, which is not a big deal for me NOW!

    I have around 45k miles on it and never had any problem, just changed the tire around 42k and it runs much better with the new upgraded tires (and new tires are always better than bold tires).

    Also, you can get very good deals on Prelude now, so sunroof really does not cost you nothing.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I wish the sunroof were bigger though. I used to have an '88 Prelude and that roof opened wide. With the windows down, it was just short of having a targa top. I was very disappointed by the 5th gen's tiny sunroof, and by the fact that it pops up and out, as opposed to sliding into the hood. In fact I think that was the only thing I liked more about the 3rd gens.
  • jsh139jsh139 Posts: 42
    Welp, my brother's 97 Prelude SS tranny just blew up for the second time! He even had a "new" (probably reconditioned) Honda tranny put in last time.

    Luckily, it's still covered under Aamco's one-year warranty. He had 11 days left on it!

  • siren3siren3 Posts: 2
    Question: I visited a Honda dealership today looking at 2001 Preludes. The dealer told me that even though the Prelude has been discontinued after 2001, the value price has been decreasing. This seems odd. Why would that be?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Dealers in Michigan have told me it both ways. Some are giving discounts since they are trying to get a discontinued vehicle off their lot. The automatic transmission Preludes definitely fall in this category and dealerships have a hard time getting rid of these because of the price. They try to sell them to young women as an "upscale Civic coupe" and try to cut deals.

    They have treated the manuals very differently. Not too long ago one was charging *over* MSRP for a Prelude SH to a friend of mine. The manuals and even better the Type SHs are fairly classic cars, the Type SH being quite possibly the best handling FWD car ever made/that will ever be made. The thing can keep up with M3s on curves and the people who want them drool over them, and dealers know this, so they mark up the few remaining.
  • Just bought my son the above, black 5 spd, with 53000 miles on it. Dealer had to replace the stereo (CD woudnt work - new stereo sounds MUCH better), replced the alternator after the third day of ownership. Everything is now in good shape, I hope.

    It has Nitto 205/55/16 "Extreme Performance" tires with about 20000 miles on them. Decent shape on fronts, wear indicators on rears worn more than fronts.

    QUESTION - Any recommendation on tires that will ride a bit better? I also thought about going to a 225 or 235 size. Comments? I'm a believer in Michelins, but may look to Pirelli, and I've heard good things about TOYO tires.

    Does replacing the stereo mean that much in resale value? The new one sure sounds better.

    Any advice on alignment for the SH parts - is that special suspension, or just a computer that tells the transaxle what to do. Does the SH have a stiffer suspension than the base?

    My son loves it - earned it - and will take care of it. He just got tired of driving my old 95 LHS. He said it was kinda "uncool" for a Senior in high school. Hard to believe.....
  • hgileshgiles Posts: 66
    What a fun car for your son to have. Because it handles so well, I hope your son has more restraint than I would have at 17 and recognizes its limits before discovering them the hard way. If you were to go to or one of the other Prelude boards you could do a search for previous posts about tires and sizes and learn a lot. If you did this you would find most of us have the 205/50/16 size which is stock and that most of us put Bridgestone RE 730's or Yokohama A520's on our cars (I have RE 730's). These are great tires for the money with excellent traction (i.e. safety) in the rain. Regarding alignment, to my knowledge, the ATTS system does not affect the basic four wheel alignment that most newer Hondas need. The suspension on the SH has some subtle differences including a smaller, yes smaller front sway bar. For many detailed answers on a Prelude I would suggest "". It's members know as much as any mechanic.
  • yes, my son is learning about handling - he knows what the SH means, and what it does. He swears he hasnt had to test it out yet.

    He loves DRIVING a car, is a safe driver (all the parents want Chris to drive to band and team functions) so we trust him.

    I had great experience with Bridgstones about 2 cars ago. I'll check them out.

    Thanks again for the preludeonline info - we'll head there today and check it out.

    Now I'VE got a hankerin' for a car that DRIVES. I've heard the CL-S Acura is coming with a shifter this spring. Might be worth a look. Looks like shifter cars are starting to make a comeback...

  • 64626462 Posts: 14
    Yes, I'm really looking forward to seeing and driving the new CL. Not only will it have a 6 speed, but it'll have the ATTS system of the Prelude SH! Is it possible that it'll handle as well as a Prelude SH but finally have the hp that everyone craves?
  • hgileshgiles Posts: 66
    The CL-S is a great car. With the ATTS it should be a blast to drive. Yet, with a higher center of gravity and a more "luxury" bent I bet there will be more body roll and softer spring rates to get a more comfortable ride. I would love to see Acura come out with a great RWD and a little more risk taking regarding the sheetmetal. They already have a reputation for exceptional quality. It is nice to see the ATTS from the Prelude (I have a 98 SH) make it into another Honda/Acura product.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    What a great car to get for your son. The Prelude shopuld last him well through college and the car is unique looking. Congrats on getting him a car with a 5 speed. Its becoming a lost art and stick drivers are becoming a dying breed. An aftermarket stereo does absolutely nothing for resale value. But they do sound grea, so I hope your son enjoys his car.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • Hello all. 1st time prelude owner, with a 2001 Base.

    Has anyone dealt with those aftermarket faux H.I.D. headlights. They're sometimes billed as plasma or xenon lights, and they shine a bright blue or purple hue.

    There's lots of bulbs out there, priced all over the board. Obviously the low-end stuff is a concern. Anyone have any really good or really bad experiences with any particular brands?
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