I know the button you clicked on to get here said "My Cars" and then you got here, and it only says "My Car". I am very much aware of the mis-match and please know that it will be rectified in coming years.
Back in August of 99 I was looking for a car, because my older one (an '86 Celica) was starting to smoke real bad at the exhaust pipe. What I wanted was at least a V6 with a sunroof, and manual transmission. I was looking at Camrys, Accords, Maximas, and anything else that could possibly fit the description. It was during my research of cars, that I learned the superiority Japanese cars had over American cars.. Better performance, better gas mileage, more comfortable, and more reliable... And at one time were actually cheaper, too. The good ole tariffs took care of that, though.
Anyway, when I got discouraged enough by stupid sales people telling me I couldn't afford Accords or Maximas, I started looking at Celicas, 240SX's, and Preludes. I saw the 240SX somewhere, had everything I wanted at a decent price (14 grand w/60,000 miles on it). But I couldn't bring myself to get it. Because it's color was gold. Not yellow. Gold. Like a gold tooth gold. When I priced a good paint job, the total would have been well over 16,000.. and 14 was pushing my limit on it's own.
So I went to NTC for a month (Ft. Irwin, CA - The Desert) and came back in such a bad mood that I felt I had to get a new car to make me better. So for three days I searched and searched. Looking at prices, etc, etc. And then, on my way back to the barracks from seeing a movie with a friend, at last minute I veered onto an exit, suddenly deciding to go car shopping some more. The second place I went to, had the car I currently have.
As soon as I saw it I knew that I wanted it... But I felt I would get told it was "Out of my league" like I heard so many other times as an E-3, but I asked the sales-guy how much it was just for kicks. Every other car like it, even lower end models with more miles and older were priced between $16,000 and $19,000... So imagine my disbelief when the guy said $12,800. I was so excited at hearing that that I didn't negotiate at all... I told him straight... "I want to buy it"... No test drive, didn't know what year it was or how many miles it had on it. I mean, it even had leather seats!
Anyway, the sales guy made me stand in front of the dealership while he pulled the car around for me to test drive it. He arrived, rolled down the passenger window, and said 'Man this car is smooth.. If I didn't know my wife wouldn't let me get it, I would have told you it was already sold". I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed. I drove it. I was scared to drive like I normally do, because the sales guy was sitting in the passenger seat. I think my friend was squeezed in the back seat.. It was a long time ago, so I don't remember. The sales guy went to turn the stereo on, asking me what kind of music I listen to. I said "Swedish Death Metal" and he looked at me as though he didn't know if I was joking or not. Because of that, I had to tell him "I'm serious! But 104.7 would do (they played a lot of Offspring)". The stereo didn't work because the anti-theft system was activated, meaning you had to punch in a special code to make it work (specific to the VIN of the car - which you had to call the company with your info and they would tell you the code). So all that could be heard was the purr of the 2.3 liter 160 hp absolutely beautifully refined engine, and the sound of my drool falling into my lap.
By the time you get here, the GIF should already be loaded.
This, by the way is the car that I ended up with. 95 Honda Prelude Special Edition. It's treated me good for over three years/60,000 miles, so far. I drive it like a maniac, as that seems to be the way it's meant to be driven. Nothing major has broken on it so far. The auto down feature on the driver window works only when it wants to. The power antenna stopped working for no reason (it ended up getting bent when I went through a car wash, and then I just broke it completely and shoved the top part into the hole that was left near the base). The sunroof rattles when opened (like the auto down, that was like that when I bought the car). I change the oil every 6,000 miles or so. Usually synthetic. When I check it after about 5,000 the oil only has the slightest of a blackness to it. It performs just as well as it did when I bought it, if not better.
As you can see, the dashboard is very unique. There has not been one person, that when riding in for the first time that did not say something about it. The most common thing I've heard was "Wow. This is like a space ship". From other reviews I've read, it said something about how Honda designed it that way as an effort to include the passenger as part of the ride. Apparently they were successful. It's unfortunate they abandoned this design completely with the next model Prelude.
I'm sure you can see here, as well that this is one of the few Preludes that have leather seats. As a matter of fact, I've only seen one other with the same feature. It was wrecked. Poor thing. :( Anyway, I have a Mag-lite sitting there (that's the red thing you see next to the driver's seat), mainly for protection now that the batteries are dead. The seats themselves are probably the best bucket seats in the world. Once you are in them, you wont get out easily. Especially if you are old or fat. Hopefully I wont have too many fat people in my car. I wouldn't be able to get to the stick-shift.
Well, there she is boys and girls, in all her glory. With her rims backwards. I'll have them fix that when I get the tires rotated in a few months. The brakes always squeak, but that's because I'm pretty rough on them, and the heat of the friction causes the shoes to crystalize on the surface, allowing it to produce a loud squeaking sound. And lately the clutch has been squeaking. I'm told it's the bearing, and not mechanically dangerous -just annoying. Landmark Honda wants to charge $1300 to fix it. Who the hell has that kind of money? Well, I do... but to replace things that don't need replacing (Master and slave cylinder, and the clutch itself) that seems kind of steep. Anyway, that concludes my pissant Prelude review. I hope you enjoyed it and that I didn't bore you too much.
The car is now past 130,000 miles now. It's at 133 to be exact, but no matter. Between 120,000 and 130,000 the following things have happened: Clutch started squeaking, sunroof mount broke (so when going faster than 60MPH generally it will lift up on it's own and may possibly one day fly completely off into traffic behind me) (UPDATE: Fixed. It costed $188 to fix. All it was were some clips that got bent and they replaced them. The entire cost was labor. I was not charged for the clips.), speedometer is flaky (10-20% off at times, perfect at other times), and now when I turn my steering wheel, it will make a squeaking sound. Fluid levels are good.. I guess the car is just getting old.. But these problems are getting annoying. Now that the car is paid off, maybe I can distribute some of that money over to repairs, eh?
Well, it's finally happened. At 149,000 miles, something major finally broke. It was the clutch. It didn't break because of the gradual increase of slipping like normal clutches need to be replaced for, but rather a piece of the flywheel broke off inside and was getting in the way of the application (though the car was still drivable.. just shaky when using the clutch to make it go).
And this is where the evilness of Landmark Honda begins to cloud my world.
Because I didn't want to get myself stranded on the way to the shop, I had to go to the closest place available... And that place was the very car maintenance shop that I despise most.. Landmark Honda. $1290 later (that price point must be a sweet spot for them) and the clutch is fixed. Of course, while they had it in their possession they "found" a few other things that I should be concerned with. A leak in my distributor gasket, a leak in my oil pan gasket, a leak in my power steering rack, a leak in my CV boot, a broken band around my other CV boot, and most importantly a leak in my radiator. They didn't seem to find the leak that they saw in my clutch slave cylinder last time I took the car to them three years ago.
I tell them not to fix anything but the clutch and flywheel and they do just that. I get my car on a Wednesday and it drives wonderfully. Friday I'm sitting in traffic like every other day and I notice that my temperature gauge is past the halfway mark for the first time ever. Not only is it past half, but it's all the way on the red "H". I did what I could to preserve it (turn on the heater, and shut it off when traffic was moving oh-so-slowly down hill).. When I got home I popped the hood open and antifreeze was everywhere.. All over the fans, the radiator and the bottom half of the engine. I saw it fizzling out of the top of the radiator... I went inside and put a bottle of water in my overflow bottle and the next morning I filled the radiator with water.
After the twenty minute drive to work, I park and open my hood and see antifreeze everywhere (again) and notice my overflow bottle is empty again.
It would seem to me, that at the rate this stuff is leaking out of my radiator, that the hole would have had to be put in within a day of me bringing the car to Landmark Honda. It would also seem to me, that the hole was put there (possibly inadvertently) by the mechanic that was working on it. They offered to replace it for me for a meager $748.
Needless to say, I went to AutoZone and bought a new one for $168 and will replace it myself.
The next major thing to break on this car, I think will be the last nail in the coffin.. When it starts costing just as much money to maintain a car as it does to pay for a new one, then what's the point of driving the old one?