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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • 86lude86lude Posts: 1
    Hi im 16 and i have purchased an 86 prelude and i am wondering where i could buy some lowering springs an i cannot find any for an 86 prelude anywhere if anyone could tell me what to do please get back to me
  • I have a 4 speed automatic, '97 Prelude with 120k miles on it, recently bought for $3500.

    On my way home from dropping off a friend yesterday, and about three minutes from my house, I noticed that my speedometer had dropped to 0 even though I had to be doing at least 60. As I drove, it spurratically jumped around in the range between 0 and 60 regardless of my speed, except that when I came to a stop, it stayed at 0. Simultaneously, what I think is the check engine light came on, and the green D4 light on the panel of transmission lights started flashing instead of being steady. As all this was going on, the car drove like normal and seemed fine in every other respect.

    I don't have an owners manual, and because all these lights came on at the same time, I'm suspecting that it must be the same problem. This morning, I checked the oil and found out that it was bone dry. I also had just been to the pump to put $6 worth of gas in her about 30 minues before the incident.

    Any suggestions or diagnosis?
  • update:

    I drove it again, and the problem was gone. I filled up the oil, transmission fluid, ect.

    Next morning, I take off and the D4 light is flashing again, speedometer reads 0. D4 light doesn't start flashing until I put the car in drive. I think it might be a transmission problem, but when I got to school, I popped the hood and saw that a small amount of smoke was coming up from behind the back right of the engine. The check engine light never went off, even when the problem was gone. I checked all the fluids and they're fine. I think I might be burning oil.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    THere were problems with the automatics for the first year or 2 of production.

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

  • hrchrc Posts: 11
    About the Sunroof, it's a very common problem with a easy fix. Do you notice it ALOT when the sunshade is pulled back and not so much when the shade is covering the windows? Mines makes noise when the rubber surround of the moonroof dries up. My dealer friend gave me some honda silicone to put around the rubber surround and it went away! I just reapply when the gel dries up after a few months. Hope this helps!

  • jimftworthjimftworth Posts: 4
    The speedometer problem is likely the Vehicle Speed Sensor. It's a little part half the size of a cell phone that bolts to the transmission housing somewhere, usually in the most inaccessible place. There is a gear on one end. It goes inside the transmission sealed with an o ring and held with one 10 mm bolt. As it spins around, when the car is moving, a magnet inside creates an electrical signal. There is a wire that plugs in to it leading to the speedometer. Gone are the days when a cable with a metal shaft inside connected the transmission to the speedometer head. You are getting an intermittent signal causing the speedometer to jump and thus confusing the car's computer by not telling the engine the correct fuel and air ratios it should have. The check engine light is coming on because the engine is running fast while the computer thinks it is not causing the "what the hell ?" function to work. Replacing it will likely solve the problem. I have done this on my 97 Accord V6 and 92 Civic. Both had the identical problem you described. They are not cheap but you can get one at Auto Zone, Pep Boys, some place like that (maybe $50 or $60, go on line and look it up). Your problem may be with a bad wire or the socket plug in, considering all of the oil and crud that must be in that area. I wouldn't be afraid to try. The biggest problem is finding it, probably from underneath the car. All you need is a 10mm socket wrench with a short extension bar. When the D4 light is flashing it means the problem is happening at that moment rather than a stored signal from some time in the past. Once the check engine light goes on, you can't turn it off yourself unless you either disconnect the battery cable for two minutes or more, or take the radio fuse out for two minutes (it may be a different fuse on your car). If you do this and your car radio has theft protection circuitry, be sure you know the radio's security code, or you will no longer have a working radio. It would be interesting to try this to see if the check engine light comes back on again. If it does, you can take your car to the Honda dealer who will charge you $80 to tell you what's wrong but not fix it. Or you can take it to Auto Zone, where they will come out to your car, use their code reader machine, and tell you generally what's wrong for free. I would check your oil VERY frequently. If it really was bone dry, there is probably some engine block, valve train damage :cry: :cry:
  • jimftworthjimftworth Posts: 4
    I'm ready to post a picture of my unrestored 79 Prelude. But I don't know how. Can some one clue me in ? I know quite a lot about Hondas and early Preludes but don't have a clue how to attach a photo. I thought I would start off with this first picture. Then every so often, later on, post a picture showing what restoration progress is being made (if any). I expect to spend a year or so doing this as I can only work on it part time on weekends.
  • hrchrc Posts: 11
    "I'm ready to post a picture of my unrestored 79 Prelude. But I don't know how. Can some one clue me in ?..."

    To post a picture, it must first be loaded on a website like sony's imagestation, from there, just copy the "properties" portion of the picture and paste it here with the image
  • prelude00prelude00 Posts: 2
    hey guys,what's up. i just signed up for this forum and it's great. i have a 2000 pearl white honda prelude. one problem though my timing belt tensioner went out on it with 49000 miles on it. i previously read on prior postings that honda dealers will try to fix this problem or at help help out in the cost with rebates or whatever, what do i need to tell them or even do to take that into consideration. please help me out, it hurts to see my baby just sitting in the drive way dead.
  • jimftworthjimftworth Posts: 4
    If you bought this car at a Honda dealer and have had it since new, Honda should fix it either free of charge or close to it. Timing belt tensioners do not fail at 49,000 miles (except on your car apparently). I had a new air conditioning compressor replaced on a 90 Civic totally free once and it had over 50,000 miles on it. There are many unwritten warranty rules Honda and others have to keep their customers happy. Like on my wife's 97 Accord V6, it has a 150,000 mile warranty on the emissions system, not publicized, unless one asks. Take it to the dealer and complain. Tell them you bought this car based upon their reputation for qualtity. This part should not fail so soon and you want it replaced under warranty. If they say no, then ask for the telephone number, address, email address and name of the Honda regional warranty office. Contact them with your complaint, and I bet you will eventually get satisfaction. Worked for me.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    a poster named "linard" here on the Prelude board reported having the same problem. Do a search on this board and you'll find your answer.

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

  • Thanks. I took the car to a private mechanic before I read your response and he said the exact same thing. About the oil: I had a mechanic check out the car before I bought it, and he said there were a few leaks. What I think must be happening is that the oil is leaking onto the manifold and burning there, and when I drove in 5:00 traffic that day to take my friends home, it swelled the size of the leak. I didn't smell oil or see smoke until I added more oil, so there must be a fairly high leak. The mechanic estimate to fix all the leaks was 180-someodd dollars, so I think I'm going to do that. Thanks for everything, especially the advice about getting the check engine light to turn off. I probably would have had real trouble with that.
  • prelude00prelude00 Posts: 2
    hey thanks for the post, i'm here in knoxville tn, and i've talked to these service guys and they don't want to bring up the fact that they have to pay for the tensioner and fixing the problem. how would i get a hold of linard, that way i can ask him how to get the proper documentation and exactly who and what i need to do to get this problem fixed.
    thanks again
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    I'd give Honda Corporate a call.

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

  • 5speedguy5speedguy Posts: 12
    Need your advice: I'm looking at '93 Prelude SI with 4 wheel steering, 5 spd, 130,000 mi, great paint and interior. Asking $4300 OBO. Any trouble spots I need to be concerned with--especially on the 4 wheel steering? Also, how can I tell if I need a new timing belt? Seller had since 103,000mi and didn't change it. Thanks!!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Sweet Car. Rule of thumb with a timing belt is evry 60K miles. Assuming the previous owner changed it at 60K, it definitely needs changing again (as a precaution).

    I'd have the car checked out at a Honda dealership or Honda mechanic (maybe even call Honda Corporate). They'd be better qualified to answer questions about the longevity of the Electronic 4WS unit. I'd be wary of any computer controlled device on a 12 year old car. If that goes, it could be quite expensive to replace.

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

  • 5speedguy5speedguy Posts: 12
    Thanks for the info. Appreciate the quick reply. Honda will do a thorough pre-purchase inspection for $150.00
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    That will be $150 very well spent. Let us know what happens.

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

  • mrpreludemrprelude Posts: 3
    Hey whats up
    Thanks for your input. My sunroof rattles whether the sunroof shade is pulled shut or withdrawn. I took it to the dealer 3x for the same problem. They lubed the seals each time and told me that the problem should go away. Three months later,my sunroof still rattle's and my roof's seals have globs of grease all over. When I open and close the roof, it noticeably shakes as if it is skipping on the rack. The dealer told me that the next step would be to replace ALL the hardware that are used in assembling the roof. They said it would cost me $1000. I really don't want to spend that much to fix the problem. $1000 can get you a sunroof on a NEW car so spending that much on a 4 year old roof seems ridiculous. I'd really appreciate it if I can get more advice about some cheaper methods for fixing my rattling roof. Thanks.
  • Hey, I have almost the same problem in my 97 Prelude. The problem only occurs when I'm opening the sunroof, and only at the very end. I don't really have any advice, but I'm interested in any response or further info you get about the problem.
  • sr4sr4 Posts: 1
    Hey, I have a 90 Prelude with auto trans. I washed the engine with Gunk's "Foamy Brite" engine cleaner the other day. I covered the electronics beforehand, and removed the covers after rinsing. After letting the engine dry I went for a spin and discovered that when starting off and in the first two gears, then engine was rough and sounded almost like it was backfiring. It also felt like the car was shaking a little bit. I would hit the gas, the revs would go up, but the speed wouldn't. Once I get above 40, all seems to be fine. But I do lose power when going up hills. I suspect that some water got somewhere that the car didn't like. I removed my distributor cap, air filter and spark plugs. Cleaned them, but no change. I think it may be the fuel injection. I added a cleaner to the gas, but ne significant change as of yet. If I hold my foot steady on the gas, the car will intermitantly drop up and down (from bad speed to good speed). And here's the kicker: Every morning when I start the car and go to work, the car runs like it normally should. Not sure if during the day water is evaporating and messing something up.

    Any ideas as to what the problem might be?
  • timothyawtimothyaw Posts: 148
    I'm still here, up to 15k on mine. Still loving it!
  • I have a 1989 Honda Prelude. A few years ago my mechanic switched the a/c to use the 134 coolant, and I've been having problems ever since. Usually, a hose blows every few weeks. Do I need to replace the entire a/c system with 134 specific parts? If not, which of the old system parts besides hoses are most vulnerable to problems?

    Also, the latest failure occurred 2 days ago. The a/c was running fine when I started on a 70-mile trip, but gradually the "air flow" coming out the vents diminished. By the end of the trip, almost no air was coming into the passenger compartment, but what little there was (almost nothing) was still cold. Now there's just hot air.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    jumblejowls, you might also want to run this problem past the folks in the Climate Control Problems: All Cars Forum.


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • 5speedguy5speedguy Posts: 12

    Well I bought the '93 Si 4WS for $3900. I love how it handles (especially with the 4WS, love the short "snick" of the shifter, and the grunt of the DOHC Si. It also is very comfortable & just plain looks good.

    The sale went smoothly and seller gave me name of mechanic who specializes in Japanese autos. He will change timing belt, water pump and do seals for about $650. Honda quoted approx $900.

    After a new timing belt, K&N filter, and a tune-up I hope to use it @ a track car day @ Summit Point Raceway in WVa. Of course, I'll need to work on my heel-and-toe skills. Thanks for your previous interest.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    congrats! Good luck with your car. Keep us posted on your driving adventures.

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

  • jp79ludejp79lude Posts: 1
    Also have a 79 Prelude, use Majestic quite a bit. With gas prices going up I thought about converting the Prelude into an electric car. My has 149,000 - long story. Check out the pics (after the family photo). Be interested in seeing what your project looks like.
  • aamondayaamonday Posts: 2
    Hi Linard...

    I came across the posting about your Prelude's tensioner and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as to who I would need to contact at Honda North America about the same problem. I have a 2000 Honda Prelude (my baby) and it started making that bolt-type sound around a year ago around 2 rpms. I finally decided to take it to my local Honda dealership last weekend and they did a diagnostic and told me it's the tensioner. I thought it was possibly do to the amount of miles on the car (approx. 75k), however after reading the message board I'm thinking it could just be a Prelude issue. The dealership wants to charge me $1300 to replace the tensioner and all belts, the water pump and to replace my seals. I would appreciate any advice you can give me since I don't know too much about cars...

    Thank you!

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Have you owned your Prelude since new? Did you have the timing belt changed at 60,000 miles (a must if you don't want catastrophic engine damage)?

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

  • aamondayaamonday Posts: 2
    Yes, I bought my Prelude new in 2000. I take my car to Honda for all service and repairs. I had a major tune up done on the car around 60k miles and they took a look at the belts but didn't suggest changing any at that time. I mentioned to them that I was hearing a slight noise under the hood, but when they drove the car they didn't hear it. Any ideas when tensioners generally go out on a car?

    Thanks you!
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