1988 Honda Prelude Si 2.0 litre from North America


Tons of zip, sporty handling, and unbelievable reliability


Only one thing ever went "wrong," meaning other than ordinary maintenance for its age and mileage. The automatic transmission had to be replaced twice during the car's first year, both times under warranty. It's third has worked flawlessly since.

Apart from that, the major repair items have been as follows:

- Front half shafts replaced at 8 years/48,000 miles due to noisy constant velocity joints (replaced the axle boots as well)

- Rear muffler replaced at 8 years/50,000 miles

- Front right ball joint replaced at 10 years/60,000 miles due to it drying out and squeaking

- Alternator replaced at 15 years/79,000 miles due too bad voltage regulator

- Water pump and thermostat replaced at 8 years/50,000 miles for preventative maintenance purposes at the same time the cam belt was being replaced as part of the standard maintenance schedule

- Rear quarter panels refinished at 15 years/78,000 miles due to rust behind rear wheels

- Minor rust (about 2-3 inches wide) above windshield area

- Roof liner started to come loose, beginning at 8 years, each time it was easily fixed with contact cement and never recurs in the same place

- Air conditioning temperature sensor replaced at 12 years/65,000 miles due to compressor cycling off prematurely

- Trunk leaks sometimes in heavy rain. Has done so since new. Can't figure out where it's coming from so I live with it as the car's one quirk.

General Comments:

The Prelude Si is the most reliable car I have ever owned. It starts first time, every time regardless of the outside temperature. On a -10 degree morning, my Volvo -- the car from hardy Sweden -- wouldn't start. The Honda started with one crank!

It's easy to maintain for a do-it-yourself mechanic -- tune-up, valve adjustment, brakes, belts, etc. At 16 years/82,500 miles the engine performs every bit as strong as when the car was new. It doesn't burn a drop of oil.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2004

1988 Honda Prelude Si 2.0 PGM-FI from North America


Quick, nimble, and sleek, even if it's price tag is a little high


The Honda "H" emblem on the steering wheel came off.

At 191000 K'S I needed new wheel bushings.

The Heater control knob has broken twice. It's broken now, too, but I'm not fixing it.

General Comments:

This is a powerful car, especially when you are in sport shift mode. It handles like a dream, although mine is lowered. The leather seats are very comfortable in the front, but I feel sorry for anyone who has to squeeze into the back. The back of the back seat is metal, so now they rattle if I face my Sub woofers toward them. My trunk rattles if I face them the other way, because My trunk lid and rear bumper is from the '91 Prelude Si.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2004

1988 Honda Prelude Si 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A true luxury sports classic


Rust around the sunroof, front windshield, rear window, fuel filler and boot gutter.

Small oil leak from rear main seal.

Noisy air conditioner compressor.

General Comments:

This is one amazing vehicle. It may not be the quickest, it may not be the most luxurious, it may not be the nimblest, but it gives an extremely good balance of all of them.

The 4 wheel steering makes the Prelude the easiest car for parking and negotiating tight spots.

The Prelude's styling allows it to age very well. It still looks like a modern sports car.

My only concern is with the amount of rust in my vehicle, but it appears this is a very rare occurrence in Preludes.

The 2.0L engine just keeps going. At 271,000kms it has no sign of slowing down. It actually feels better than when I bought it almost 70,000kms ago.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2003

30th Jan 2004, 10:04

Its not a rare occurrence in 88 Preludes!! Just bought another Honda Prelude and its rusty too... Guess I will have to give it a paint job since its only got 85,000 miles on it!!