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Old 01-08-2008, 08:13 PM
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Prelude attention required

In another Prelude forum i read it came to my attention that getting a prelude in automatic is a horrible thing and this is what followed is this all true and is it really not worth getting a prelude in automatic in the quote the (SS stands for Sports shift)

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It may not actually be everything, but I figure that I should post information I've got on the SS Auto's here.

If anyone of you that own a 5th Gen have an SS Auto, then you may be aware that Honda has finally decided to warranty 2000-2001 Prelude Auto Transmissions up to 100,000 miles.

Of course, this means that the rest of us that have been *****ing about the numerous failures we've been experiencing with our 1997-1999 Preludes are out of luck...

Basically, SS Auto failures have historically fallen into two categories:

1) Never had a problem.

2) Transmission went very early on (under 20,000 miles), and possibly again afterwards.

I've been following this issue for a number of years and have a fair amount of information. I'm going to post that info here for everyone:

SS Auto Background:

Honda used the Prelude as it's test bed for much of it's new technology. This was the case for the SS Auto 5th Gen and the 4 speed version of the transmission.

Initially, Honda thought that the design would translate from paper to a decent product. Unfortunately, they ran into manufacturing problem - mostly quality control related due to the very tight tolerances in the transmission.

When the first problems started to be reported, Honda let the local dealers attempt to fix the problem. Generally, this entailed sending the trans out to a local trans shop to repair the unit with Honda OEM parts. Unfortunately, the trans' design was a little to new and a lot more difficult to work on. The failure rate was almost 100% attempting this form of repair.

So, Honda decided that they had to put a stop to dealers working on the transmissions. They immediately told the dealers that there was only one fix for an SS Auto: Let it completely fail and then replace it.

It turns out that Honda's own remanufacturing division started to have problems as well. They started to see a 40% failure rate on the SS Autos from the Prelude.

So, after a few years of horrible results, they turned to a company that was in the remanufacturing business. These guys were able to reliably rebuild the SS Autos and even offer a decent warranty.

That same company recommended a few improvements in the SS Auto parts, and in 2000 Honda silently updated some of parts and changed the part numbers.

The primary reason Honda has been so successful at ignoring Prelude owners and not dealing with the problem in a timely manner is that there are so few Honda Preludes with the SS Auto transmission. In a typical year Honda sold about 10,000 Preludes (5th Gen), and maybe 40 percent of those sales were SS Autos (4000 cars a year times 5 years of production = 20,000 car total!).

They would never be able to get away with this with a Honda Accord, which sells about 450,000 cars a year. So any problems would be reported by the masses to the NTSA and possibly risk a recall. (Hence the reason the SS Auto extended warranties began...Someone with a Acura TL was almost killed.)

Like many large companies: Honda's likes to screw the little guys. Unfortunately, it is more likely that someone will have to die in an accident related a sudden transmission failure before Honda will take care of all SS Auto vehicle owners. They simply don't want to pay for a recall.

Last edited by italianboy6857; 01-08-2008 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:26 PM
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There have been troubles with them. But contrary to that article, the Accord trannys did have the same issues.

You could have no problems, you could have lots of problems; it's a lottery.

Though having said that, I've had mine for a couple of years (00, 115,000 km) and not had any trouble whatsoever. But will be doing the SS-->5spd swap as soon as I can afford to.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brash22 View Post
There have been troubles with them. But contrary to that article, the Accord trannys did have the same issues.

You could have no problems, you could have lots of problems; it's a lottery.

Though having said that, I've had mine for a couple of years (00, 115,000 km) and not had any trouble whatsoever. But will be doing the SS-->5spd swap as soon as I can afford to.
ditto...i have about 115k on my SS auto tranny....no problems yet, knock on wood...like brash said you could get lucky and not have any problems. im also doing a 5spd swap before i supercharge the old girl...
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:14 PM
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Well with what was said do you think me buying a 5th generation Prelude maybe between 90-120 thousand miles is a bad idea?

Im looking at a 2000-2002 Nissan Maxima as my alternative car if i cant get the prelude but its a tough decision because the prelude is my favorite Car
and i could get it in stick but for me its not an option i couldn't ever
And as soon as i decide on what to do i get my car but i want to make the right decision and although its between a Maxima or a Prelude i just dont know lol
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:22 PM
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get a 4th gen! lol..i don't think the 4th gen auto's had problems but i could be wrong on that.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:38 PM
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That's a tough call, Maxima vs Prelude. I mean boring practicality vs lots of fun and no space whatsoever. Why is it exactly that you want an auto?
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:48 PM
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i want an auto because for me its easier i dont have 2 b focused on driving shifting pushing in the clutch all that i just want 2 go into drive and go

I change my mind on the maxima im going 2 go for a 2000 Acura TL
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