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Old 10-01-2010, 05:09 AM   #1
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Buying a 5th Gen Prelude. What should I look out for.

Hey guys, Im new to hondas and shit. I currentley drive a lifted Chevy Silverado, so this will be a major change. I have been reading a lot, but still have some questions on what to look for on a used 5th gen. My truck is currently costing me $120 a week on gas, so I really need something better, plus I want something which handles really good, and is somewhat fast


What usually Goes wrong at the 80-100,000 mile area. Most Preludes in my area are around that, some are a little less.

Should I try and find one with mods already done to it, or go for a completely bone stock lude.

Also, everyone seems to complain about the Auto going bad, when does the Auto tranny usually fail? I don't know how to drive Standard (got my license 5 months ago) but I will definatley learn to (i live in the middle of nowhere anyways) So I will avoid the SS at all costs.


And is it worth a little more money to get the SH? The ATTS thing sounds pretty damn cool, and apparently it works great for sure.

My plans for the car are an OEM kit (maybe WWRS or a GReddy lip or something), some nice 17" 5 spoke rims, a OEM spoiler if the car doesnt have one already, some window tint and maybe a small lowering kit, nothing much though, I like to keep stuff clean and simple.


But yeah, what should I look out for on used Ludes? And what should I be paying for a Lude with 100,000 miles or so in Canada???
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:19 AM   #2
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i drive an auto (sadly), and do not recommend it at all, ive driven my friends base 5-speed and its a lot more fun, but the auto tranny can die at any time, ive heard people that have had it die around 40-60k but sometimes it will die sooner or later than that, my car had 117k and still runs good, thankfully.

I would go with a bone stock lude unless there is one out there modded like what you wanted to do. if the price isnt to much more, buy an SH or you could buy a LSD and use it your base tranny. But thats up to you. I'm not sure about pricing up in canada, but watch out for Rear Quarter Rust!!!!

Buy an OEM Lip Kit if you can find one, in my opinion, They look the best.

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Old 10-01-2010, 08:40 AM   #3
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OP: Avoid the SS, you know that. Avoid it like a tumorous, plague ridden, lice infested, foul smelling, discolored, water-buffalo-esque, heavily trodden hooker decorated with ostentatious amounts of glitter and with a scent evoking nightmares of the most popular french brothel to have ever existed... in a gutter.

Oh and it's got really bad acne as well.

All that aside, do everything you should do when inspecting any car for purchase. Check the body for scratches, dents, dings, paint mismatch, over spray etc. Check the interior for good condition, get in there and play with all the switches, buttons, levers, dials, etc to ensure functionality. Look for discolorations or stains in the interior, check for smells, make sure the CEL(as well as the ATTS light) are not on when the car runs. You should prefer to see the car with the engine COLD first. You have a better chance of hearing anything wrong with the engine when it first starts up before all the parts expand. Check the oil, make sure it is at the appropriate level, ask for service records (in the 90,xxx mile range there is a BIG service procedure which should be done, the timing belt.) Inspect the accessory belts for looseness, tears, or other uneven wear. Check all the fluids in the engine bay, most should be clear, the coolant should be a nice bright green. Look at the amount of and location of oil/grease buildup on the engine and transmission. Turn the car on, turn the wheel all the way to one side and inspect the front tires for wear patterns, look at the ball joints, axle boots, and other suspension components for tears or odd looking bends. Look at the brake rotors for warping, grooving, or uneven wear. Do the same for the rears tires/suspension. Check the trunk, make sure it opens nicely, closes tightly. Check the tail lights for condensation inside the housing, check the trunk spare tire well for gathered water or signs of gathered water. Take the car for a test drive, make sure it handles well and drives in a straight line. Hit VTEC at least once if legally possible. It should engage around 5,200 RPMs, noticeable by a change in acceleration and engine tone. Get on the highway with it, make sure all gears work and do not grind.

As for modifications: Ideally, buy a bone stock 5th gen. You have a better chance of finding a car that hasn't been abused by some teenagers driving habits which may have been inspired by the fast and the furious.

If you want to know how much you should be paying, look at the KBB value of the car. Compare and contrast to the available preludes for sale in your area. Talk people down on the price. You can always get a car cheaper than what it's advertised for. Always. Especially if you have cash on you, or can write a check right then and there. (If you get mugged carrying that much cash on you, it is your own damn fault! lol)
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:10 AM   #4
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Simple, buy a Manual transmission prelude!
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:29 AM   #5
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Also check for structure damage = D i was an idiot and didnt, and now i regret it. Also another good thing to check is the rear seat feel if its wet at all, if it is could mean clogged sunroof drains, or even a bad seal, which leads me to another point check all the seals (doors, trunk, hood)

And yeah dont get a ss unless u plan on doing a 5 speed swap instantly.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:50 AM   #6
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What usually Goes wrong at the 80-100,000 mile area. Most Preludes in my area are around that, some are a little less.
Check the auto tensioner. If it hasn't been done, you'll be buying the car and replacing it soon. If it has been replaced, good.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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At 100k, you want to make sure the timing belt, water pump, clutch, throwout bearing, and any rubber hoses (radiator and heater) have all been replaced. Beyond that, normal maintenance should be done as well (plugs, wires, change fluids, etc).

Never buy the sissy-stick unless you are a sissy.

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No IBTK?
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:33 AM   #8
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Nope, he already knew not to buy the auto.

And damn you I want my full quote in all it's full glory! It's very full btw.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:38 AM   #9
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Buying a 5th Gen Prelude. What should I look out for.

I'm a sissy
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:40 AM   #10
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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Man up sally!!!
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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Yeah I will look for a standard for sure now. Ill have to learn, not a big deal. Probably is way more fun in a prelude than say a truck, where it would be a hassle.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:41 PM   #13
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i was in the same situation as u like 5 months ago. i went for the 5speed and i never drove standard before that but i caught on in about 45 minutes. easy peasy. also i bought pretty much stock minus like air intake and fart pipe. kinda wish i bought a slightly more modded lude so i didnt have to spend my next 3 years salary making it how i want it lol. but thats just my 2cents. good luck with the search bro
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:54 PM   #14
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i was in the same situation as u like 5 months ago. i went for the 5speed and i never drove standard before that but i caught on in about 45 minutes. easy peasy. also i bought pretty much stock minus like air intake and fart pipe. kinda wish i bought a slightly more modded lude so i didnt have to spend my next 3 years salary making it how i want it lol. but thats just my 2cents. good luck with the search bro
Haha, I dont wanna mod it too much, just a few upgrades (intake,exhaust) and make it look nice.

The Prelude has more power than my Chevy truck, but weighs more than 3000 pounds less, so I will be very satisfied with it hahaha.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:50 PM   #15
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Make sure it doesn't burn oil. H22's are notorious for it. Dont buy a Type SH either. Replacement for it when(not IF) it starts to burn oil is more difficult to find than regular model.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:01 AM   #16
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How do I check if it burns oil?
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:58 PM   #17
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Great so the only prelude in my area which is a 5 speed and that I can afford is riced out.


Im gonna have to buy some stock parts. It has altezza tails
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:22 AM   #18
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How do I check if it burns oil?
I guess compression and leak down test?
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:50 AM   #19
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How do I check if it burns oil?
Most H22 preludes burn some oil. The important thing to check is compression and leakdown. Other seals can cause you to burn oil, its not only from the rings. I've heard of the valve seals being the culprit in burning oil many times. In fact the base model donor engine for my turbo build is going to have all the valve seals replaced because cylinder #2 had some leaky seals. Wouldn't make the engine die or anything, just would burn oil.

The most important thing is to get in the habit of checking your oil every few days the oil consumption varies from engine to engine, some preludes burn tons, some burn little to none.

I wouldn't get a modded one just because usually who ever owned it before put the mods on for more power, and used the power, maybe a lot, lol.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:54 PM   #20
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Most H22 preludes burn some oil. The important thing to check is compression and leakdown. Other seals can cause you to burn oil, its not only from the rings. I've heard of the valve seals being the culprit in burning oil many times. In fact the base model donor engine for my turbo build is going to have all the valve seals replaced because cylinder #2 had some leaky seals. Wouldn't make the engine die or anything, just would burn oil.

The most important thing is to get in the habit of checking your oil every few days the oil consumption varies from engine to engine, some preludes burn tons, some burn little to none.

I wouldn't get a modded one just because usually who ever owned it before put the mods on for more power, and used the power, maybe a lot, lol.
I dont understand any of that haha, but thank you haha.
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:15 PM   #21
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xxfall, can you tell us how you really feel about Auto trans ? Unfortunately I have one and it has issues(of coarse), I'm just waiting for it to blow so I can do the 5spd. swap. I wish there was a shift 'kit' like the Chevy Turbomatic (B&M for instance), would have to improve the performance, but all I can do is change the fluid and pray.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:00 PM   #22
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I dont understand any of that haha, but thank you haha.
Take an English class.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:35 PM   #23
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Take an English class.
You mean mechanics class, I can read.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #24
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At 100k, you want to make sure the timing belt, water pump, clutch, throwout bearing, and any rubber hoses (radiator and heater) have all been replaced. Beyond that, normal maintenance should be done as well (plugs, wires, change fluids, etc).

Never buy the sissy-stick unless you are a sissy.



No IBTK?
uh clutches should be able to go for more than 100k. i wouldnt replace it unless it needs it. ive seen many people go 150,000 or more on an original clutch. it just depends who drives it.

main points when buying any car. check the compression before you buy it, and make sure it doesnt have any leaks, rumbles, or strange noises in it.
if it does and you still want it, take that to the seller to negotiate down on the price.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #25
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uh clutches should be able to go for more than 100k. i wouldnt replace it unless it needs it. ive seen many people go 150,000 or more on an original clutch. it just depends who drives it.
So you prefer being stranded on the side of the road waiting for emergency maintenance instead of just doing scheduled maintenance when HONDA says to. That's your option. You could also run on the original spark plugs for the entire life of the car. Or how about the original air filter. Maybe even the original tires.

Don't make these kinds of suggestions please. We're here to help, not to hurt.
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