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So I've been looking for a first car, and I really like the Prelude. The problem is, my budget is quite small. ($3000). With that price range, the Preludes that come out have very high kilometers (usually in the high 200 000s). Buying a car with that much on the odometer, how many more would I expect to get? I don't mind getting my hands dirty, as that's one of the things I was hoping to learn along the way of car ownership. (not too much work though, still busy with school). My parents are willing to pay a couple grand more if needed, but I would prefer if I didn't have to ask them too much if I had to

If that's not a good idea, what other cars can I get at that price range?
 

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I think it's a perfectly fine first car. Yeah they run slightly more expensive than say, a civic, but it's a nicer car. I had a 3rd gen that went to 400k, so don't be too afraid of km's. Just try to find one that's been maintained well.

And hold out for a manual transmission, even if you don't know how to drive it yet. It's worth learning!
 

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I think it's a perfectly fine first car. Yeah they run slightly more expensive than say, a civic, but it's a nicer car. I had a 3rd gen that went to 400k, so don't be too afraid of km's. Just try to find one that's been maintained well.

And hold out for a manual transmission, even if you don't know how to drive it yet. It's worth learning!
That's great to know, I especially like the styling of the 3rd gen preludes. There's a pretty clean looking one for sale near where I live for $2000, at 280k. If I decide to look at the car in person, is there anything specific I should look for?
 

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I took a look at craigslist and think I found the car you're talking about. It's red, right? :) I'm not a stalker, I just know that most 3rd gens in Canada are concentrated in this area, and you talk like a Canadian.

If I'm looking at the right car, it is slightly modified. Note the homemade intake. There's an aftermarket exhaust header, so potentially loud exhaust - though the muffler isn't shown so it's hard to tell. It's got 17" wheels (bigger than I personally like), and an aftermarket automatic shift knob. These are all things that you might want, or you might not. Hard for me to know. It looks to have a typical amount of rust in front of the rear wheel arches. If you can find one that's totally stock, with less rust and a 5-speed it would be a better starting point. Then again, it's a first car. My first was the world's crappiest Accord and I still ended up liking Hondas. When buying a car this old, it's a risk even for people who know all about them.

Parts availability is pretty limited. You can still get a lot of common wear items like brake pads and rotors, but nothing like door seals, window trim, interior parts... if you want to stay out of the junkyard, don't buy a 3rd gen. And maybe not a Prelude, now that the newest ones are 15 years old. If you're cool with junkyarding, buying parts off forums, stuff like that, this is a fun and rewarding car to own.

I suggest reading through Prelude3g.com, lots of good info there...

I could talk about these cars all day :)
 

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small world :) Just realized that you're in Chilliwack- I'm in Surrey

Yes, that's the car I was looking at. I don't mind junkyarding so I suppose the prelude is fit for me. I'm in no rush to buy a car so I'll just take my time to read through both forums. Hopefully I'll find a prelude with lower km's in that time- then again there's one on the Island for $4000 at 100k km's
 

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That one is in really good shape but might be carbeurated. That's not a deal breaker but does bring a little less power and more finickyness.
 

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As a serious question, have you considered a newer gen Prelude for your first car? The 4th and 5th gens are more common, have more parts availability, and are a little bit easier to work on (less vacuum hoses!).

Preludes are wonderful to own and drive, but as previously said, parts are very limited and getting more difficult to find. If you just want a car to pound around in on the cheap, an Accord or a Civic may be easier to find and a cheaper alternative.
 

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My vacuum hoses have never given me a problem, not even on my first car, a high mileage 3rd gen Accord with a carb.

I'd encourage you to buy the car you want. Civics are gutless and Accords just aren't quite as much fun. And if I'm able to keep my Prelude running, most people probably can too!
 

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I am open to any gen Prelude (they all look good to me). However, the lack of availability of parts kind of concerns me. Junkyarding doesn't seem like a definite way to get parts.

How about the Acura Legend? It's a four door so I suppose it would be more friendly on insurance. My parents used to own a 96' 3.2tl and that thing was a tank- was still going strong at 280k kms. It probably would still be on the road if a van had not had backed up into it.

Would the Legend also have the same predicament when it comes to parts or does it share parts with more common cars at that age?
 

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Legend parts might actually be harder to find than Prelude parts. Regarding paint - hard to know without a picture, link to the ad?
 

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Yup, Legends are just as bad if not worse than Preludes.

Honestly, an Accord or a TL is a great bet if you're okay with looking at sedans. The '03+ Accords are awesome cars, and very plentiful with 5-speeds. I currently have an '03 Accord sedan 5-speed as a 'winter car', and I love it to death. It's not that much slower than my Prelude, actually. ...I'm not sure if that shows how slow my Prelude is, or that the Accord isn't a total stone. :lol:

I would shy away from an automatic in any car, especially any of the V6 cars.
 

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If that's the case, I suppose neither car is right for me. Parts availability is a real dealbreaker for me. I'd definitely be interested in an Accord though. Anyways, might as well post the link of the Legend for future reference If I see another car with oxidization too.

http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/pml/cto/5301208164.html
I'm not 100% sure it's oxidization, but it looks to me that they sprayed water on the car and snapped pics before it rolled off.
 

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If that's the case, I suppose neither car is right for me. Parts availability is a real dealbreaker for me. I'd definitely be interested in an Accord though. Anyways, might as well post the link of the Legend for future reference If I see another car with oxidization too.

http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/pml/cto/5301208164.html
I'm not 100% sure it's oxidization, but it looks to me that they sprayed water on the car and snapped pics before it rolled off.
I would hazard to say you're right on the money. The seller sprayed it down to make it look glossier, as older paint typically fades pretty badly if it wasn't always cared for. I'd avoid it, because finding parts for it will be a nightmare.
 
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