My friend owned a 1989 Prelude too, and he bought the car for $50, and he and his dad replaced the motor with a motor from Japan. They had the car towed to Florida from Virgina, and while the car was in Florida, the whole audio system was replaced and slight modifications were added (exhaust and intake), along with body work and a nice paint job...
After all that, the car worked for about 5-6 months, and then one day driving the car home from school, it threw a a rod and blew the motor...
So I've heard from some people that their Prelude has lasted them for ever and ever, and it's taken anything you can throw at it.. it's just sad my friend's did not.
Interesting review. To the first poster - there is a difference between routine wear and tear and replacements in an old car, and a total mechanical meltdown. The former is routine and the latter is potentially bankrupting; in this case get rid of the car!
It is often the case with old cars that you will hear a plethora of different appraisals and opinions about the exact same model. I have indeed heard that sometimes Preludes are frustratingly unreliable, but on the other hand I have also heard that they are uncannily reliable.
I have been trying to kill mine for the last year and it just won't quit. The thing hasn't been serviced in about 20,000kms, is half finished (engine rattle, blue smoke, LUMPY idle, shot suspension), yet it simply refuses to die. It is an extremely stubborn car, and in my personal experience I would recommend it in a second for reliability; though not for any sort of drivability. In this regard it is pure cheese!
I own a 1989 Japanese model Honda Prelude 3rd gen.. it has done just over 220,000km's...
I honestly have not had any problems at all... I have owned the car for 7 years, and since ownership, the clutch, the shafts, and shaft seal, is all I have replaced on that car...
It is a real sexy and sporty; not so fast, but good enough for me type of car...
That guy that posted that essay above, he really had some bad luck... but not once did he mention how heavy his foot is on the accelerator...
For that many things to go wrong... what can you say... my car has been the best I have ever owned... extremely reliable... and mind you, I do punish my car... I ask for trouble... but the beast keeps rolling along... it is a beauty... I would definitely recommend it to any one that is looking to buy... ***** five star car... cos it's a Honda!
I have to say that I just bought an 89 Prelude today with only 182000klm on the clock. When I took it for a test drive, I gave it heaps to see if it was blowing smoke, however it did not. But get this, I purchased the car, and on the way home on the motorway I punched it till about 110 KLM/h, and thrn it played up running rough for a bit, then blew a heap load of blue smoke. Very unhappy.
Well I just bought my 89 Prelude Si, and it won't start now. 136,000 miles, new alternator, new ignition coil, new battery, and I have no spark going to the distributor, and I have no clue why it won't start.
My Dad bought a 89 Honda Prelude about three months ago, $2000 used because the guy needed a bigger car, and this thing is small. There is no room in the back seat, the engine is a mess, needed a new AC, and a bunch of other horrible stuff. I think the 99 Porsche 911 Carreras have more room.
I think we have brought it into the shop at least 2 times in the last 3 months, and those aren't routine checkups! Maybe a by yourself back and forth to work car, but nothing else. My advice; get a larger and more reliable car.
I have an 89 Prelude. It blows smoke, but that's why they call Japanese cars rice burners. I thrash the guts out of it, and it has not let me down. All I have spent is money on oil. Buy one and thrash the guts out of it; they love it.
I have an 1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS. It has been a great car. I have only had the car for about a year now. I had its timing belt replaced and it was the original timing belt still in the car at 235K miles. The mechanic said the engine has never been apart, and was still in great condition.
The only problem I have with mine is the rust on the back wheel well. I also had to replace a cheap Midas exhaust that was put on the car 5 years ago. Also, a headlight went out.
But let me tell you, that is so much cheaper than the problems I had with my 2000 Toyota Celica Gt-s. Never again will I buy a Toyota!
Hondas are very reliable. It is the American cars that have electrical problems and stop running completely at the age of 7 years. You never see a 20 year old American car; they do not last. I will not buy American.