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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    sphinx99: The service manager told me over the phone that he replaced the pads. The service order, however, says the rotors were turned! I hope that wasn't what needed to be done.

    I worked late, so I didn't get the chance to talk to anyone when I picked up the car. After the 4th I left for vacation and didn't return until Sunday, so I'll ask him when I take the car in for the oxygen sensor replacement. Whatever he did, the brakes worked beautifully from Harrisburg to Ocean City, Maryland and back.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    good to see your car was in working order for your 4th of July trip. How was the car on the highway? Did you experience any fatigue while driving that distance?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Well, I drove my base from Baltimore to Maine back in '99 or so, no fatigue although the back seat was sure littered with half eaten bags of pretzels.
  • kkl1kkl1 Posts: 16
    I would appreciate advice and opinions on my '98 Prelude SS with 38,600 miles. Today I took my Prelude to evaluate a potential oil leak--I have had a small wet spot in my garage for the past 4 months--and the Honda shop found that the bolt to the transmission fluid opening was not completely sealed and that the ATF was 1.5 quarts low. For one week prior to this, my transmission would sometimes rev high briefly when I accelerated hard in 3rd or 4th gear. I did not hear any grinding or other worrisome noises. The Honda tech refilled the ATF, tightened the bolt, and assured me that the transmission was not harmed by this. The SS transmission seems to run well, shift normally, and no longer revs briefly (as if hunting gears) when I accelerate hard. The Honda shop also did not charge for this service, even though my Prelude is out of warranty. I should also add that the ATF was changed a few months ago by another shop and that I suspect that shop did not tighten the transmission gasket bolt well.

    Is the technician correct, or should I anticipate that the SS transmission suffered some long-term damage?

    Thanks much for your insights.

  • jsh139jsh139 Posts: 42
    Yikes! 1.5 quarts low? My car only takes 1.8 quarts of tranny fluid! Granted, it's a totally different car, but 1.5 quarts seems like a lot.

    I would go back to the place that changed the tranny fluid and explain to them what happened. Maybe get them to sign something acknowledging the fact that they put the bolt back on wrong (yeh right, like that'll happen.) But, it's worth a shot.

  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Since you didn't describe any shaking, burning odors or odd grinding noises when accelerating hard, I'm inclined to think that your tranny is no worse for wear.

    If the Honda tech had suspected any real trouble, I doubt that they would have wasted any time in trying to sell you a tranny service or partial rebuild, the charges for which the shop that left the drain plug loose would be responsible.

    As long as you're not currently noticing anything odd perfomance-wise, there's no need to worry.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    nyccarguy: The seats were problem with back strain or fatigue because of the seat. The car is nice on the highway, with a smooth, peppy engine. The suspension and steering track well, which, surprisingly enough, also really reduce fatigue. No need to make constant corrections.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    I agree that the seat of Prelude is very comfortable. I remember in '99, I drove the Lude from Penn. all the way to Dallas (in 2 days) and I made 950 miles in a day, I drove 13 hrs and although the arm is pretty tired, but my back and butt are OK, no need to do any extensive stretch before I can run a 5K after that.
  • kciglovrkciglovr Posts: 1
    What is meant by a 4th or 5th generation Honda? My son has found a 90' Prelude LSi, 5 spd. that he wants to buy. It's his first car. Does anyone know anything in particular with this year?
  • pangapanga Posts: 23
    I am new to this list, and am amazed by the amount of useful information. It is very helpful ...

    I recently bought a used Prelude (97 base, 68K mi., black, 5-spd, leather, no spoiler) for $12.1K, in Los Angeles. This is in the same range as Edmunds/Kelly's (+-$200), but I wanted to see what people thought about the deal, I am not really sure how accurate the blue book values are.

    Over the last couple of weeks, I noticed that the moonroof seems to be rattle/shake when I open it, but this happens about1 out of 3-4 times. Has anyone else seen this, and is it something simple like a lube issue that I can fix? Also, the car rattles and makes some sounds when I go over speed bumps (only if I go somewhat fast, though), is this common?

    Overall, I love the car so far. Always wanted a prelude, great to finally have one!!
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    "What is meant by a 4th or 5th generation Honda? My son has found a 90' Prelude LSi, 5 spd. that he wants to buy. It's his first car. Does anyone know anything in particular with this year?"

    Bear with me here. 1990 was a very interesting year... actually, maybe the most particularly interesting thing about 1990 is, stay with me here, Bush was president then too! I mean, it was a different Bushkie, but what the heck.

    3rd-gen Prelude: 1988-1991, flip-up lights tres cool.

    4th-gen Prelude: 1992-1996, looks good in red with spoiler. And I usually don't like red cars with spoilers.

    5th-gen Prelude: 1997-2001. Looks like liquid money in the silver-metallic paint color. And if you own one, that means you liquified some assets to get one. Still relatively expensive 2000 and 2001 models (used) but definitely worth the price... ack, I should just get one and stop talking about it!

    Any issues with the 1990 Prelude, guys? Answer kciglovr before I find more political jokes.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    panga -- the moonroof needs some lubrication to make it stop "chattering" when it opens. If the 60,000-mile service hasn't yet been done on your car (especially the timing belt replacement), have the dealer lube the roof when you go in for the 60K service.

    As far as rattles and various noises go, the Prelude is well known for its noisy quirks, but they're noting to worry about unless rattles turn into clunks or knocks.

    kciglovr --

    I owned a '89 2.0Si Prelude and was very pleased with it until I got too intimate with a telephone pole on an icy road.

    The car is very reliable (it's a Honda) and, when new, had better-quality paint than new Hondas. About the only things to check for are regular service (w/receipts), and warped brake rotors.

    Obviously, like any other used car, there might be other (expensive and hidden) areas of concern. Your best bet is to get your most trusted mechanic to spend an afternoon checking the car out before you buy. Have the tech do a compression check, check the brakes and exhaust, and carefully inspect all the suspension components for parts that might require immediate replacement. And remember, the only parts that break on a Honda are expensive ones.

    BTW, how old is your son? Due the the car's age, I doubt if it's putting out more than 100hp, but that's still plenty for him to get into serious trouble with. If you buy the car, your best bet might be to remove a sparkplug to keep him safe (j/k)!

    Also, while the car is built very well, 3rd generation ludes are pretty light, so there isn't a whole lot of crash-worthiness in the chassis. Something to keep in mind...

    verozahl --
    My silver '01 lude might be for sale soon, if you're interested.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Congrats on your car! Himiler knows what he is talking about. Have that 60K service done if it hasn't been done already. If your timing belt goes, you're in a whole heap of trouble.

    Himiler: You're thinking of getting rid of your car? Is the mileage getting up there or do you just want something different?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • pangapanga Posts: 23
    Thanks for the prompt responses.

    The car is now at 68,500 miles. The previous owner assured me that the 60K service has been done, I am trying to get a copy of the 60K service record from the dealer (I have to drive 150 miles to pick it up in person). Is there some way I can visually check to see if the belt has been replaced?
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    You could remove the valve cover, exposing the belt, but a visual inspection of the timing belt doesn't count for much -- they pretty much look the same going in as coming out.

    As long as the dealer has a record of that service being performed, you're good to go!

    nyccarguy --
    I've only put 50K on since 10/01, but am thinking again that I'd like the utility of a WRX wagon (which I had on order until I drove the 'lude). No firm plans to do anything yet, just rolling the idea around in my head.

    Have you had a chance to really wring out your SH yet? Keep in mind that if you're not getting a MPG number in the teens, you're not trying hard enough! ;-)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    The WRX Wagon definitely offers more utility and performance than our beloved prelude (Especially up in your neck of the woods). I've never been a supporter of the WRX styling, but I saw a Silver/Black WRX sedan w/ a spoiler on Friday night that I thought looked pretty good.

    To answer your question, NO I haven't & it is killing me! I don't even have 400 miles on the car yet. I've been beating on my Saab until my alloted lease miles are up. I've got 32,500 miles on it and have until December 4 to do 36,000 miles. I only drive my Saab pretty much to move it (alternate side of the street parking here in the city) or if I go anywhere over the weekends. So my Prelude sits at my parents' house (my Dad uses it to go for bagels on Sunday morning. Whenever I go to my parents' house, I make sure to take it out for an hour or so just to stretch its legs. It's time will come though!

    That actually leads me to another dilemma. I may need to keep my car in the city (on the street as I can't afford a garage) full time soon. I'm debating whether I keep my Prelude with me (and kiss my beautiful bumpers goodbye) or buy a $2000 used honda for commuting and then when I move out of the city in a few years start to drive the Prelude full time. Of course I'd still use the Prelude for road trips and other occassions. I think I'm going to stick it out with the Prelude though (Once the lease miles are up on my Saab).

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    A lightly used, low mileage red Type SH. That could be a sweet show-off car a few years from now...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Himiler: Obviously you don't have to reply to my dilemma question since you already did on the Acura Integra board.

    Sphinx99: I plan on keeping the car for a long and eventually retire it to weekend car duty. Thanks for the compliment though. I've said it numerous time, your S2000 is one sweet car! The way my prelude drives and handles, I can't even begin to imagine how the S2000 drives!

    I really love the car though. Even though I haven't driven it too much. I like that I don't see too many of them on the road (especially Type SH). I always get the (and give) thumbs up or flash my high beams at other prelude owners.

    I'll probably end up driving the Prelude every day due tp the pure enjoyment it gives me when I drive it. The bottom line is that cars are meant to be driven. I also know that it is near next to impossible to keep a car in perfect shape.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    I have to agree with nyccarguy -- cars are made to be driven. My daily commute in my Prelude always puts me in a good mood. There's no way I would drive a beater instead, even if it meant saving a few dings, dents, and trips to the body shop over the long run.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    nyccarguy: Somehow, I can't imagine having a nice car in New York City. I'd be a nervous wreck by the end of the first week...I hate door dings and scuffed bumpers, which, from what I've seen, are unavoidable in the Big Apple. In Harrisburg, at least, I've got a fighting chance.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    I've learned to live with the fact that bumpers are going to get scuffed and that door dings are inevitable in most places, but especially here in the city. These are things that are completely out of my control and there is no reason for me to get upset over them. Damages like these are only skin deep and the Prelude has lots and lots of inner beauty (Engine, Interior, Chassis, Transmission, ATTS...).

    Even if I could cough up the $300-$400 per month to park (I've lived in and around the city all my life and it baffles me how much money people really have), you have to pay the individual attendents extra so they don't back your car right up against a wall or another car.

    If things start to mechanically go wrong (that can't be located or fixed in 1 trip to the dealer) with a car or if the interior trim pieces aren't holding up, then I get upset. I'd also get upset if my car gets stolen only because I couldn't replace it with another new Prelude!

    There will be no beater car for me! Decision of the judges is final. My Prelude will be my daily driver.

    We should definitely liven this chat up a bit with some daily Prelude tails or sightings. I have a very hard time keeping up with some of the street racing tales, somewhat juvenile discussions, and repetetive topics on some of the other prelude enthusiast websites.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Last night I had dinner with my sister in NJ and saw a black Type SH that was modified too much for my tastes. There was also a white base model with the OEM body kit that was lowered with these nice looking 18" wheels that I really liked. I still plan on keeping my car pretty much bone stock.

    Parked right in front of the restaurant was a brand spnakin' new (still w/ temp plates on it) Spa Yellow/Black, Stick 2002 Acura NSX. That car is absoultely gorgeous and is a credit to engineering and refinement. Many people & magazine editors have criticized the NSX for many years for remaining the same, I think it is great. Part of what makes the 911 so successful is the fact that the overall shape and proportions haven't changed too much over the years.

    The NSX and the 911 are 2 of my favorite (and dream cars). If I had the $90K, I'd have a hard time making the decision. I hope to be in that position one day.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    Ah, but where would you park that NSX, then?

    NSX sightings never happen here in Detroit area unless you're at the auto show. Preludes are common in Ann Arbor and pretty infrequent elsewhere, even older (3rd and 4th gen) models.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Hopefully by then I'd own a house w/ a garage:)

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Well, good news everyone, I'm back in the fold. The silver SH I traded in for the S2000... well, it was cheap, the previous owner happened to take very good care of it (ha) and I couldn't think of a better coupe currently on the market. (Wasn't willing to wait for the G35, which was looking to be very expensive if you threw on options.) So I bought back my Prelude for a mere $500 over what I traded it in for. Yes, bad financing, I should have kept it to begin with, because I had to pay sales tax twice, which is ugly.... However, I guess I made up some of that cost by not having to insure it for a few months :)

    The dealer's doing a little detailing, and I pick it up either tomorrow or the day after. The S2k will remain the daily driver until October, at which point I'm going to put it in storage. Unfortunately this means the Prelude doesn't get the garage slot, but it's a trooper, it can handle some good ol' Detroit acid rain.

    I'm ecstatic! This is the combination I wanted originally but I didn't think I could afford it back then and I was too anxious to get a convertible before summer started. I thought about holding off for a while but didn't see too many coupes superior to the Prelude coming out in the near future at anywhere near a reasonable price point, and I just don't want to spend $40k on a 330Ci. Plus, I babied my old car and I knew I wouldn't be as confident with another Prelude that someone else broke in.

    The only bad news is that my car shopping days are over for at least a few years. I paid cash + Prelude trade-in on the S2000 but that ran my savings pretty low, so the Prelude is mostly financed.

    Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    How long ago did you trade the car in? It has been sitting on the dealer's lot for that long? You paid $500 more than what the dealer gave you for it? You know that if you change your mind and decide to trade the Prelude back in next week, they'll probably give you $1000 under what you just paid for it! LOL!

    A Prelude as a winter beater...there's a concept! A Prelude & and an S2000...great combination!

    Welcome back to Prelude ownership!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I've driven Preludes through a few winters and they're pretty good. I remember once incident where I flew right into a snow drift at about 45 miles an hour. I wasn't paying attention. The Prelude completely lost all traction. And yet, amazingly, it tracked perfectly straight - I mean perfectly. No spin, and when I felt traction come back, I was still in the right lane. So, I have a great deal of confidence in the car's suitability as a good winter car. (Just get rid of the stock tires.)

    Yeah, the dealer "mark-up" was pretty sad, but it'd been sitting on the lot for four months, and I figure that I'm getting an oil change, a pretty thorough detailing and some other junk for what is in reality a rather small markup to the dealer. I don't mind paying them $500 for the detailing and the trouble of having it sit on their lot forever, plus whatever they may have paid to insure it, because $500 is easily what I'd have paid to insure it had I owned it for the last four months. What I *dislike* is paying sales tax twice. The government is rich and I'm already unhappy about my tax dollars being used to buy dinners for Enron execs and drop bombs on Palestinians, and now they're double-charging. Blah.
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    Congrats, Sphinx. An S2000 for the summer and a Prelude for the winter sounds like a great combo...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    So with your new old Prelude as a winter beater, are you going to run all season tires on it or winter tires? What brand?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Good question.

    The Prelude has the stock RE92s with about half their life left on it. Those tires were ok last winter; they are by no means excellent winter tires, but RE92s have gotten me through two winters with no major issues and I will probably stick with them through the winter (cost issues) unless they wear quickly and become antsy towards the tail end of winter.

    I have heard that good performance tires like S02s are servicable in snow while maintaining excellent ratings in dry/wet; in fact I've heard people say that S02s are stickier in wet than many all-season tires; my old boss has been running them on his 911 through several consecutive Detroit winters without issues. (He does have a 4s though.)

    I know this has been brought up a few times (I'm being lazy in asking again), what is everyone else doing? My gut feeling is to stick through the winter with the RE92s then get S02s next spring if I get a decent bonus, or cheapo all-seasons if I don't....
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