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I came across something odd. As far as I know the 1988 3rd Generation Honda Prelude is a 4-speed automatic. Correct? Well Why is there S3 and S4 My owner's manual says its for loads. It says that they are my load gears. Why would someone need to haul a load at 100+ Mph?!?!?! I also had the faint Idea that it might be for racers. Because insted of a gear spot (on an automatic you can pull the gear lever and feel the positions lock in. Like P,R,D,S3,L, thats what Im talking about "Spots") on your shifter. Its just a button. Am I crazy or is it a racing handy feature? Now I know power shifting is a good way to fuck over your transmisson but seriously its a button not a spot. Anyone care to enlighten me?​
 

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ShadowKing_05 said:
I came across something odd. As far as I know the 1988 3rd Generation Honda Prelude is a 4-speed automatic. Correct? Well Why is there S3 and S4 My owner's manual says its for loads. It says that they are my load gears. Why would someone need to haul a load at 100+ Mph?!?!?! I also had the faint Idea that it might be for racers. Because insted of a gear spot (on an automatic you can pull the gear lever and feel the positions lock in. Like P,R,D,S3,L, thats what Im talking about "Spots") on your shifter. Its just a button. Am I crazy or is it a racing handy feature? Now I know power shifting is a good way to fuck over your transmisson but seriously its a button not a spot. Anyone care to enlighten me?​
i dont understand why threr is an s3- i thought s4 meant something like sports 4 speed trans- anyone know the real meaning of it?
 

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They dont mean load like haul, they mean it like if your goin up a hill there is an extra LOAD on your e ngine. you use it when you dont want your engine to shift to a higher gear, like when your goin up hill and your car starts slowing down, you can select a lower gear for more power.
 

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s3 and s4 are "Sport modes". That is, they tell the transmission computer (part of the ECU on autos?) to stay in lower gear longer for more spirited driving. Try it some day, head up some twisties at decent speeds, and play with the pedals a lot. In s4/s3 the tranny doesn't go into higher gears (lower torque) or converter lockup as often. They are also useful for trailering, because it puts more strain on the tranny to tell it to shift up, no wait, shift down, actually changed my mind, shift up again, crap it's heavy shift down... So s3/s4 = keeping it in gear longer = more engine-based fun = less tranny-based wear and tear.
 

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When you shift into S you are able to control when it shifts from 3rd gear to 4th gear. It also shifts from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd at a higher rpm to keep it in the gears longer. Its called a sports shifter. You could use it for racing but it would not give you much if any benefit.

If i am wrong some one correct me
 

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Oh yeah, totally forgot about that part of the question. S3/S4 do absolutely nothing for your 1/4 mile times, they are just a nice thing for frequent speed/torque changes.

On the uphill twisties (which our cars love long time), a driver with a manual tranny will keep it in the lower gear even at about 5k RPM because he sees the next hill coming and he doesn't want to speed up. An auto tranny in "D" will shift up because there's a momentary loss of load (flat ground). But if you put 'er in S3, you're telling the tranny to just hang on a sec, there's another fun part coming up, so don't act like a stupid idiot and go into overdrive with torque lockup. Doesn't change how the tranny does redline shifts.
 

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ya my 91 si auto has that and i think it adds some power but some people i no say its just a suspension kit but i seriousely dont no wat it does i say just use it and check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They dont mean load like haul, they mean it like if your goin up a hill there is an extra LOAD on your e ngine. you use it when you dont want your engine to shift to a higher gear, like when your goin up hill and your car starts slowing down, you can select a lower gear for more power.
Still who goes up hill at 100+mph? I am going to try it this saturday. If its says in a lower gear and streches the rpms its porbably putting in more gas and changing the g-a ratio. Becuase I noticed that I get less mpg when its in S. I will inform you guys later on my results.

Also For anyone else who owns a 1988 2.0Si. How do I increase the responsivesness in my acceleration.... I can press pedel to metal and its takes 5 seconds to actually kick into gear and take off. Anyone?
 

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ShadowKing_05 said:
Still who goes up hill at 100+mph? I am going to try it this saturday. If its says in a lower gear and streches the rpms its porbably putting in more gas and changing the g-a ratio. Becuase I noticed that I get less mpg when its in S. I will inform you guys later on my results.

Also For anyone else who owns a 1988 2.0Si. How do I increase the responsivesness in my acceleration.... I can press pedel to metal and its takes 5 seconds to actually kick into gear and take off. Anyone?
1) It does not change the air/fuel ratio. It just holds it in gear longer. This is why you get worse fuel economy in S3/S4. Because the higher the revs (staying in lower gear), the more fuel is being consumed. The ECU always cheeses the best A/F ratio based on engine speed and pedal punch. Leave the car in D if you want mileage. Leave it in S4 if you want a sportier feel. It does not change how the engine burns gasoline.

2) Change your transmission fluid. Sounds like your gears are starting to slip a little; your tranny's old and needs some lovin'. Look in the FAQ for the manual, look in the manual for the tranny fluid dipstick. Look on the dipstick for fluid level :turn: I suspect that'll make your flat-out starts much better.

WHITE:JHMBA said:
all mine did was flash the S3 light and wouldnt switch to S4 when i pushed the button.
Your transmission is not happy. Search for "flashing S3" or something like that. You should be able to tell that that's not normal behaviour... :Rock:


btw, why is the eyebrow smily labeled "rock" ?
 

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doesn't pressing s4 basically tell the tranny "its okay you can use 4th gear, just keep shifting late so i can get some engine braking in"

essentially its useless, s3 is all you need for some spirited driving up mountains. 4th gear is essentially overdrive right?

anyone use 2nd, even when not on a hill?
 

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The only difference between S3 and S4 is of course 4th gear, which is indeed "overdrive". But the big difference between S4 and D is the torque lockup in 4th gear. Try it on the freeway, going from D to S4, then lightly increase throttle. Your revs should increase more than your speed does, because the torque converter is no longer locked. If in D, the speed and RPM should increase linearly unless you really mash on it.

I doubt anybody uses 2 besides downhill, or maybe to make people think they have a manual from stoplights :/
 

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alanoneil said:
The only difference between S3 and S4 is of course 4th gear, which is indeed "overdrive". But the big difference between S4 and D is the torque lockup in 4th gear. Try it on the freeway, going from D to S4, then lightly increase throttle. Your revs should increase more than your speed does, because the torque converter is no longer locked. If in D, the speed and RPM should increase linearly unless you really mash on it.

I doubt anybody uses 2 besides downhill, or maybe to make people think they have a manual from stoplights :/
i use 2 almost exclusively when i autocross...

as for the torque converter lockup in 4th gear, it locks up in both D and S4...
 

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:emthup:

S4 just allows it to use the S3 sports mode but still go into 4th gear and lock-up if conditions dictate.
 
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