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Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:37 AM
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Icon5 Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Hello, everyone.

I have recently purchased my first Prelude (I'm pretty stoked about it), and have some questions.

But, first: 2000 Honda Prelude, black/black, 140k miles. I don't think it's the original engine, because the engine has VTEC on it, but there are no VTEC badges on it. Yeah, someone could have removed it if it was there, but I don't see anything on the paint that would indicate that it ever had the VTEC badge. I could be wrong. I bought it from a dealership (one headache after another - for those in the St. Louis, MO, area, never go to West County Honda) and they didn't have much history other than the CarFax report (which I suspect.)

Now, to the brass tacks.

1. When I mentioned to a co-worker that I now own a 2000 Prelude, he said that he heard, somewhere, that you have to put high-octane/premium gas in the tank, or it won't run very well. I'm inclined to believe him, as for the first few days it ran like a champ, but now has suddenly developed idling issues. I have not, yet, been able to determine what causes it, but half the time when I downshift and come to a stop, the idle will drop to almost zero, as if it's going to die, then hover around 500 RPM (I think it's supposed to idle at 750?) for a minute before coming up to 750. Am I stuck buying premium gas for as long as I own this? Despite some hail damage, I really like this car! The A/C is ICE COLD, it looks great, and it has some zip to it.

2. Oil.. I'm pretty sure it's eating it, because it doesn't leave any marks on the driveway, but I'm losing about half a quart every 14 days. The same co-worker from #1 said that it might be burning oil "under load" (ie, anything over 60 mph, or high acceleration.) What could be causing this, and how much (ballpark) will it cost to fix it?

3. "Honda Feedback Acoustic System". I hate it. It sounds distorted, and there isn't much that can be done with the Bass-and-Treble-only controls. I would like to put a better stereo system in it, but don't want to upgrade the speakers if I don't have to. Thoughts?

4. Hydraulic clutch: how long should it take to get used to driving a car with a hydraulic clutch? I've been driving it since July 11, 2012, and still have some learning to do. Sometimes I get excellent acceleration (cops start staring at me), other times it feels like it's being starved of fuel. Possibly related to #1 idle issue?

5. Radiator temperature gauge - what is the normal operating temperature indication? Every other car I've ever owned, after 5 minutes or more of driving the needle usually hovers around 1/3 of the way up from cold. But this is almost at half. Has a previous owner (apparently one) replaced the thermostat with one that opens at a higher temperature? Or is almost halfway up from cold the norm? When I adjust the environment controls from cold to hot, you can almost cook a Porterhouse from what it coming out of the vents. (Okay.. that's a slight exaggeration.. but the air coming out of the vents is hotter than any other car I've had.)

6. Semi-related to #5: Electric radiator fans. I have owned a few Hondas in my lifetime, and all of them (except this one) will turn on the electric radiator fans a few seconds after I shut off the engine. This Prelude isn't doing that. I can come home from work, park in the garage, and return 3 hours later and the hood is almost as hot as it was when I first got home. This kind of worries me. Right now I am running the dash vents on heat (windows down) for the last 15 minutes of my to-work commute, and when I return home I have a box fan in front of the car that I turn on for an hour after I park. The fans do run when the engine is running, but I did have a bit of a scare a few days after I took possession of the car, sitting in bumper-to-bumper, hardly moving traffic, and the temp gauge hit 2/3 of the way up from cold - engine started bogging down (very little acceleration) until I turned on the interior heat.

I really did not want to write a novella for this, but as you can see, there is a lot on my mind. I really like this car, and want to take good care of it.

Thank you,

^_^
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:19 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Well, im pretty sure your engine is the original, All 5th gens have Vtec. Do you know if its a h22a4 engine? Thats the stock one, unless he switched it too like h22a.

1) I've heard that the car wont drive as good without 91 in it... I've always been afraid to find out, but lots of people say not too. I wouldn't do it...

2) Our cars are known for burning oil, but some might burn a lot more than others. Just check the normal oil maintenece when it was done and see if you just need some new parts.

3), Sounds distorted? Mine always sounded perfect, make sure your amp for the system still works. I'd also check your speakers to see if their not blown. I think the front speakers blow pretty easy.

Thats all i got for now! Haha GOODLUCK! WELCOME TO PZ!

PICTURES!
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:49 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

1) if the valve cover of the engine says Vtec on it, you have Vtec . Anddd if it does in fact say Vtec, you BETTER be putting premium in that bad boy!! In only comes out to like an extra $2 every fillup, whats the big deal.
Normal idle when the engine is warm is 700 +- 50.
Yes, the poor/low idle could very well be related to the low octane fuel.


2) Vtec is controlled by oil, and are also NOTORIOUS for burning oil. Get used to it, and get used to checking your oil at every fillup. And get used to carrying around extra oil in your trunk

3) Go for it. Headunits are all preference.

4) If your daily driving this beast, I'd say a month MAX to get used to the clutch. This your first manual?

5 & 6) Sounds like you have a slightttt overheating problem, cuz 1/3 is about normal. When the engine is HOT, which rad fans turn on? One of both?
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But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:42 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Quote:
Originally Posted by iRoarzer View Post
Well, im pretty sure your engine is the original, All 5th gens have Vtec. Do you know if its a h22a4 engine? Thats the stock one, unless he switched it too like h22a.
I do not know if it's h22a or h22a4. How do I make that determination?

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Originally Posted by iRoarzer View Post
1) I've heard that the car wont drive as good without 91 in it... I've always been afraid to find out, but lots of people say not too. I wouldn't do it...
I guess I found out the hard way. IF that is, indeed, the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iRoarzer View Post
2) Our cars are known for burning oil, but some might burn a lot more than others. Just check the normal oil maintenece when it was done and see if you just need some new parts.
So, the next oil change ask my mechanic to do what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iRoarzer View Post
3), Sounds distorted? Mine always sounded perfect, make sure your amp for the system still works. I'd also check your speakers to see if their not blown. I think the front speakers blow pretty easy.
Hmm.. yeah, speakers are kind of old.. they could be blown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iRoarzer View Post
Thats all i got for now! Haha GOODLUCK! WELCOME TO PZ!

PICTURES!
Thank you, and when I get a chance to take some pics, I'll be sure to put them in here, first.

Cheers!

^_^
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:51 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

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Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
1) if the valve cover of the engine says Vtec on it, you have Vtec . Anddd if it does in fact say Vtec, you BETTER be putting premium in that bad boy!! In only comes out to like an extra $2 every fillup, whats the big deal.
Normal idle when the engine is warm is 700 +- 50.
Yes, the poor/low idle could very well be related to the low octane fuel.
I'm on my third tank of Costco 91 octane (was using Sam's 87). The rattle is gone, but the performance is still hit or miss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
2) Vtec is controlled by oil, and are also NOTORIOUS for burning oil. Get used to it, and get used to checking your oil at every fillup. And get used to carrying around extra oil in your trunk
Walmart, here I come. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
3) Go for it. Headunits are all preference.
When I have the $$$, I'll go for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
4) If your daily driving this beast, I'd say a month MAX to get used to the clutch. This your first manual?
Not my first manual (VW Rabbit, Mazda B2000, Chevy Monza, CRX Si, Mustang GT) so it's just the hydraulic part that's getting me.. but then it could be related to the former use of 87 octane, too. Sigh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
5 & 6) Sounds like you have a slightttt overheating problem, cuz 1/3 is about normal. When the engine is HOT, which rad fans turn on? One of both?
Not sure.. I hear the whirr, but don't bother opening the hood to see while the engine is running.

Thank you for your input.

^_^
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:43 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

why do you say hydraulic clutch as if its different from other manual trans cars? ive never heard of a clutch that doesnt use brake fluid
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:04 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

To check the engine code, it will be on the left side of the block on a lip facing upwards towards your face. If you bought it from a dealer, it is most likely the a4.

I put 93 octane fuel in my Lude ALWAYS. According to the owner's manual, you should always put 91-93 octane to avoid detonation. Plus it says on your speedo "premium fuel only"

I love Kenwood, but like it's stated above, that's all preference when it comes to headunits. Check the ICE threads on that one.

I've only had my Lude for 2 weeks, and I'm already needing to add oil xD. My car leaks oil also though. . . I do show sympathy and plenty of Purple Power for my driveway haha.

Enjoy your Lude and yes, pics plz
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:26 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Quote:
Originally Posted by 671 View Post
why do you say hydraulic clutch as if its different from other manual trans cars? ive never heard of a clutch that doesnt use brake fluid
I'm not a gear-head, just going on what my mechanic tells me. I mentioned to him that the clutch might need to be replaced because the pedal is almost to the floor to actuate. He said that there's plenty of meat on the clutch, and the "almost to the floor" situation was because it's a hydraulic clutch, and that's how the previous owner liked it. Between that and the idle issue (I suspect), I'm getting a lot of jerky starts (about half the time.)

^_^
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:40 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Quote:
Originally Posted by 671 View Post
why do you say hydraulic clutch as if its different from other manual trans cars? ive never heard of a clutch that doesnt use brake fluid


Cable clutches
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2005 Stage2.5+ Subaru WRB STi : RzKar!
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Quote:
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But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:39 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

NOt only says on the gauge faces but also inside the fuel door "premium fuel only". All h series engines require premium due to their high compression ratio. The ECU will retard timing to prevent detonation if it senses somehting is wrong, this is where your lack of power comes from.
Someone more than likely removed the VTEC badge early in the car's life or it has been painted. Check around door jams and other edges for signs of a new coat of paint.
You need to check your oil at least once every 2 weeks. Check it when the engine has been off for at least 30 minutes and on a level surface. H22's consume oil, no if's and's or but's. Stay out of VTEC if you don't want to consume as much. On the other hand, if VTEC doesn't engage, or doesn't feel right, you're more than likely around a quart low on oil already.
Fa as getting used to the clutch....no gas until it's at the engagement point, and then gas as it starts to grip, then clutch out the rest of the way. You can also change the engagement point to your liking, i think there's something up above the pedal. I'm sure if you search you'll find it.
As for temp, h22's run hot. Mine averages a bit under halfway on the gauge and i'm sure others would agree. I've never owned anything but honda's, this is my second prelude and i have never had fans run after shutting the engine off. Wouldn't worry about that so much. Mabye flush and fill cooling system and replace t-stat.
Also to the member that asked about both fans....one is for engine cooling and one is for A/C.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:31 PM
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Icon6 Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Much thanks to everyone for their advice/suggestions.

I have FINALLY found the tag that contains the engine code.. it was difficult to find because it was covered with grime. H22A4.

After three tanks of Costco 91, I have now used three tanks of Phillips 66 93 octane, and I'm still having the idle issue. Trying to get a list of everything that I need for a tune-up, hoping that will fix it.

I just noticed that the tires are from a manufacturer that I've never heard of, before: HANKOOK. Looked them up (apparently, it's Korean for "Korea".) Usual mix of reviews. What do you guys think? The cracks in the rubber means I'm going to need to replace them, soon (the rear tires have PLENTY of tread; the front, not so much.)

Any recommendations for a place to purchase a case of oil for not an arm-and-a-leg? 5w30, or 10w30?

I'm surprised that the fans are not supposed to turn on after the engine is shut off. My Accord does that, why not the Prelude?? Also, if I don't turn a fan on it when I get home, I can come out to the garage three hours later and the hood will be almost as hot as when I got home. Is that normal??

I will be taking the car to the wash and making it decent for pics; should have some posted, soon.

Thanks, guys!

^_^

PS. I'm thinking of purchasing a K&N air filter for it. Will I have to do anything else, if I do? Or will the change to aspiration be so subtle that nothing else needs doing?

^_^

Last edited by WolfShade; 09-09-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:58 PM
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Icon5 Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

BTW.. now that I've purchased new plugs, wires, cap, & rotor.. any advice? It's been a while since I've done my own tune-up (back in the late 80's). Anything I should look out for, be careful of, do, NOT do, etc.?

^_^
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:51 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Bolts on dizzy cap break easy don't over tighten. It's a very easy job.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:48 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Thanks, Racon88. I'm pretty nervous since it's been so long. I'll remember to check the torque before pulling them off. Anything else?

^_^
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:18 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

ENG: 5th Gen. - Cap and rotor replacement
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:13 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfShade View Post
I mentioned to him that the clutch might need to be replaced because the pedal is almost to the floor to actuate. He said that there's plenty of meat on the clutch, and the "almost to the floor" situation was because it's a hydraulic clutch, and that's how the previous owner liked it. Between that and the idle issue (I suspect), I'm getting a lot of jerky starts (about half the time.)
You can adjust the free play in the clutch pedal so it doesn't grab so far down. Just don't put it so far up that it doesn't completely engage the clutch. There should be a little bit of free play before you feel the pressure.

With your tune up, you should also replace your fuel filter. Chances are it hasn't been done recently.

As previously stated, ALWAYS use premium fuel in this car. It should say right on your gauges in all caps. PREMIUM FUEL ONLY. Hell, it might also say it on the gas cap or fuel door.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:59 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

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Originally Posted by WolfShade View Post
I do not know if it's h22a or h22a4. How do I make that determination?
On the engine block itself, below and between the header, and where the hose from the radiator attaches, there will be an engine code.

I'll tell you straight away that if it's got a black valve cover that says DOHC VTEC, and it's a Prelude built for the North American markets (USDM or CDM), it's the H22A4. That's the engine that came in all Canadian and American 5th Gen Preludes, as well as the Australian VTi-R's if I'm not mistaken. The H22A was only ever put into Japanese Domestic Market Preludes.

And yes for the love of God put the highest octane fuel the local gas station sells. I use 94 and it feels healthy, gets the best mileage, etc.

Not sure about your particular tires but Hankook makes some sick rubber.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:01 AM
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Icon5 Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

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When I click the link, it says I must have at least one post and I have 0. Makes no sense because I've obviously made more than one. But, it is what it is.

Thanks, though.

^_^
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:02 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

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Originally Posted by schmitty915 View Post
With your tune up, you should also replace your fuel filter. Chances are it hasn't been done recently.
I did not grab one from AutoZone when I got the tune-up parts. I'll go back when I can. Is the filter inline, or in the tank?

Thank you,

^_^
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:05 AM
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Icon9 Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

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Not sure about your particular tires but Hankook makes some sick rubber.
I was thinking of getting Michelin, or something else. I've already spent $5k+ on purchasing the Prelude, and about $400 in minor repairs, so far. I just don't have a huge budget for anything, right about now.

^_^
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:54 AM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

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Originally Posted by WolfShade View Post
I did not grab one from AutoZone when I got the tune-up parts. I'll go back when I can. Is the filter inline, or in the tank?

Thank you,

^_^
It's in the engine bay, right next to the firewall toward the left side. You can follow the fuel line from you fuel rail to the filter if you can't find it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:48 PM
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Re: Serious need for info/advice: 2000 Prelude

Och.. I still need to go pick up the filter. I don't know when I'm going to have time to do the tune-up, but I know I need to do it, soon.

Anyway, as promised I have uploaded pics. It's nothing special, now, but I suspect the previous owner showed it - some leftover adhesive on the headlights from tint, and the interior was immaculate until a co-worker dropped a lit cigarette in the back seat.

Album is here.

Thanks to everyone for your help!

^_^
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