Last post on May 08, 2012 at 11:07 AM
You are in the Honda Prelude
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Honda Prelude, Coupe
#683 of 2496 re: disappointment
Jun 29, 2002 (9:36 pm)
It's been awhile since I checked into this board...I bought a leftover 2001 Prelude Sportshift in March of this year. Since that time I've put 5,770 miles on it, and I must say that, at this point, I truly regret buying it.
First there is the rattle from the left front suspension area that the dealer can't find (of course), which sounds like a 1977 Chevrolet Impala with 100,000 miles on the odometer. If I wanted that effect, I could have picked up the old Chevy for thousands less.
At 2,000 miles the front rotors were so warped that the steering wheel was vibrating in my hand when I stopped while coming down a hill. And no, I'm not an aggresive driver, nor do I live in a mountainous area. The dealer, of course, would just resurface them, which means that they would start to warp within another 2,000 miles. I thought I'd be smart and have the Honda dealer installed Honda-approved cross-drilled rotors on the front. The vibration is still there...the service manager says the "old pads have to conform to the new rotors. This should take about 7,000 miles." Well, it has been 3,000 miles since I had the new rotors installed, there has been NO improvement in the vibrations or pulsations, and I'm getting tired of waiting for the "pads to conform to the rotors." Again, if I wanted crappy brakes, I could have bought that 1977 Chevy...
The rotors on my 1996 and 1999 Civics were prone to warpage, but I figured that since the Prelude is (supposedly) a performance car (not to mention a more expensive one), Honda would install tougher rotors on it. Even the Civics went more than 2,000 miles before the rotors had to be resurfaced!
Last week I tried to use the accessory plug in the dashboard - and promptly blew a fuse. Not only did the accessory plug not work, but neither did the dome lights. And to further add to the effect, when I tried to turn the dome lights on, the radio would cut out.
Turns out the factory installed a fuse that was too small. I guess we, as Americans, can take comfort in knowing that Japanese-made Hondas are not superior to American-made ones. Japanese workers can be just as sloppy as their American counterparts.
This week I used the accessory plug again - and it worked. However, when I later started the car, the "check engine" light came on. Whether they are connected, I do not know. Yes, I always make sure I turn the gas cap until it clicks at least three times, and I always fill it up with premium gasoline. So now I have to get up early on Monday morning, drive to the dealer, and see if the car can be serviced that day. I'm already thinking about unloading this dog...
Jun 29, 2002 (10:19 pm)
Sounds like you got a lemon, and a very rare one at that.
Prelude-SH uses what kind of fuel, sphinx/anyone else?
My Mie-made Integra is one fine car, but I wouldn't worry too much about getting an Ohio-made model. (I definitely think Mie is a better place to sightsee than Ohio, too.)
Jun 29, 2002 (10:23 pm)
uses premium fuel.
GRBECK - Sorry about the problems you are having. I've had my SH for 4 years and the only problem was the timing belt tensioner. Don't give up on it yet. Get through this stuff and enjoy your ride
Jun 29, 2002 (10:39 pm)
Ditto. Just the timing belt tensioner on my 98 sh.
Jun 29, 2002 (10:47 pm)
stuartbonia: Thanks for the encouragement, but at this point I'm thinking about "getting through this stuff" so that I can unload this dog. Who knows WHAT ELSE is down the road with this car, and I'm not too keen on finding out. One good thing about a Honda is that depreciation isn't too bad, but I'll still take a loss.
As for the car itself, aside from the problems - it's okay, but now that the initial thrill of owning a new car (and a sporty one, at that) has worn off, I can see why it didn't make much of a mark in the market. And it definitely does not have the charisma that would make it worthwhile to put up with this kind of nonsense.
verozahl: Yeah, aren't I the lucky one?
Jun 29, 2002 (11:00 pm)
Never said you were lucky, grbeck. Go for the Oldsmobile of your dreams!!!
Jun 30, 2002 (5:35 am)
That's very odd. I suppose the blown fuse is possible but the fact that the rotors warped this quickly is very strange. Do you brake aggressively? I put about 60k miles between two fifth gen Preludes and while I ate through the pads and tires quick enough, the rotors stayed good. I'm also concerned that you went with cross-drilled rotors as a replacement, by all accounts there is no benefit unless you are running heavy laps at a track, but now you risk rotor fractures and significantly increased pad wear. Have you noticed a difference with the new rotors, in terms of stopping ability?
It sounds as though the car had some serious wear right off the lot, or you picked up a rare find - a Prelude lemon. Like others I'd stick with it for a while - these problems are *not* typical for the Prelude, and eventually you notice that its charm is in its improved handling and precision over more charismatic vehicles. But, if you feel the experience is already tainted, then by all means dump the car and look for an appropriate replacement. (With, hopefully, a good 5-speed or 6-speed!)
#690 of 2496 Peludes and 01 Integs(GSR)
Jun 30, 2002 (5:52 am)
They got to be the hardest cars to find. Well, that's how I ended up with my Type S.I found the last 01 SH in N.E. but,I swear it was Barney purple.
My Integs had more torque in 1st and second and wasn't as knotchy.(synthetic MTF next)
Honda doesn't get it. The Prelude should of never been replaced by the RSX.)IF that was their intention.)
Jun 30, 2002 (9:08 am)
verozahl: From what I've read, the only Oldsmobiles I can afford - the Alero and Intrigue - are even worse! And I grew up in a family that faithfully bought Oldsmobile 88s up until 1999, when my parents switched over to a Park Avenue.
sphinx99: I try not be aggressive with the brakes. The service manager told me that these rotors would better resist warping. I figured that instead of fighting with the dealer over replacement rotors (or merely having them resurface the rotors), I would just go with the cross drilled rotors. Around town, in very low-speed situations (25 mph and below), the new rotors do give a better feel through the pedal. Otherwise, at higher speeds, the vibrations are still there, because the "pads haven't conformed to the new rotors yet," according to the service manager.
I guess my disappointment stems from my previous very good experiences with my Civics (aside from the rotors). I wanted an affordable sports coupe, and there aren't many left on the market. The Acura RSX was a little too tightly strung for my tastes...very noisy, with a ride that bordered on harsh. It seemed like a car built for the 20-year-old tuner set.
The Toyota Celica is, to my eyes, rather unattractive, while the Mercury Cougar has many niggling problems. Also, I didn't relish the prospect of getting a Cougar serviced at dealerships more used to dealing with grandpa's Town Car. Judging by their placement on the lots, most Lincoln-Mercury dealers already regard the Cougar as an orphan. Granted, the Prelude is already gone, but it did fit well into the Honda lineup and Honda dealers should keep Prelude owners happy on the chance they will trade for an Accord coupe. There really isn't anything else in the Lincoln-Mercury lineup for current Cougar owners, so I don't think dealers have a real incentive to keep them happy. They'd rather focus on selling grandpa one more Town Car.
The Dodge Stratus R/T and Chrysler Sebring LXi are available with a five-speed and a V-6, plus they are the best looking coupes this side of a Mercedes E-Class. Unfortunately, judging by the posts on Edmunds.com, they still have quality control problems, and I've heard very few positive experiences from people when they deal with their "five star" Mopar dealer.
Moving up, the Pontiac Firebird is so over-the-top it's almost a joke, while the Chevrolet Camaro gave me the impression I was driving a bathtub. The dashboard alone seemed to stretch for a few feet. Plus, neither is a paragon of quality.
The only real competitor, in my view, was the Ford Mustang GT coupe. I felt comfortable in it, and I loved the sound and performance of the V-8 and five-speed. Unfortunately, I would be paying a good $500 more a year in insurance over the Prelude and the interior materials were nothing to write home about. (Forget the V-6.) And, of course, we all know that Fords are more troublesome than Hondas. At least, that is what I DID think. I'm beginning to wonder...
So, I bought the Prelude and it's off to the dealer AGAIN tomorrow morning. Boy, I can hardly wait...
Jun 30, 2002 (5:01 pm)
grbeck, is the dealer as evil as your Ford dealer? I mean, if you got a Mustang lemon, then you would have to put-up with Ford service departments, and if you live in an area (like around here) where one is on every corner, it still wouldn't matter, they all act the same.
What's left on the market currently is the Celica, RSX, and Tiburon. Did you consider a 6-cyl Tiburon?