really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Honda Prelude engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Honda Prelude Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 182001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Four-speed automatic transmission abruptly downshifted on its own causing the car to rapidly brake then accelerate with no driver control. At the time, I was told by Honda that they have never heard of this happening, the car was out of warranty, there were no replacement transmissions available for sale, and I would have to go to an independent transmission shop to have it rebuilt. The transmission shop showed me the friction surface on the clutches disintegrated, clogging the pump and filter which caused the eratic self-shifting. I was told this was faulty material used in the transmission. I now see in the los angeles times that there have been a number of problems with Honda and Acura automatic transmissions that the company has been trying to keep quiet.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #2

May 152001


  • miles
Auto transmission new technology, gears can be upshifted or downsifted manually. When the transmission shifts into 4th. It won't catch and would just rev. Transmission shifted hard (jolting) throughout the gears. Reverse won't catch until after the car starts to roll in reverse direction. Scraping metal noises could be heard when the car starts moving in idle. Transmission also produce whuffing, an rc noise while in park or in neutral- a sign of transmission being shot. Failure of 4th gear and the ongoing symptoms makes the car a harzard on the road because of the unpredicatable jolts in shifting or the gear not catching when speed is required while driving especially on the freeway. This is not an isolated incident. Many auto Prelude owners are having this problem. Honda has taken care of customers with transmission problems if they were still under warranty 3years or 36000miles or if they bought Honda care, extended warranty 6years or 100,000 miles. Honda wasn't able to assist me with my problem. The service rep told me to trade in the car and get rid of it because it cost $4000 for a rebuilt tranny. So, I'm looking at about a additional $4000 plus labor to have it fixed. Reliability, quality product has always been a trait and reputation of Honda, I'm am very disappointed in the defective manner the transmission was built. I have not heard normally of other autos having their auto tranny shot at barely over 50,000miles, not even 3 1/2 years old. Prelude cost about $25000, so $4000+labor is almost 20% of the car cost. Just plain unreasonable!!! I have endured long emotional hours in trying to resolve this financially burdensome situation. The car was bought brand new, I'm very happy with the car...just wishing that I bought a manual Prelude instead because of this poor worksmanship and production of the tranny. Once again, this is not an isolated case....I can get in touch with many people on the internet with the same situation. Thank you *sigh. "

- San Gabriel, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 011998


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cruise control failed.

- Sun City, CA, USA

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