Honda Prelude Automatic Transmission Problems

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Robert Wilson

The Prelude was one of Honda’s first sports coupes and it quickly gained a following among young drivers.

But many Preludes were equipped with automatic transmissions, and these have proven to be troublesome over the years.

Here is some information about the most common transmission problems in the Honda Prelude:

One of the most common transmission problems is slipping. This can happen when your car is trying to shift gears.

The engine revs up, but the car doesn’t move as quickly as it should.

Slipping can also happen when you’re driving at high speeds and then suddenly slow down.

Another common problem is hard shifting. This happens when your car has trouble shifting gears, or it feels like it’s grinding when it shifts.

Hard shifting can be caused by low fluid levels, dirty fluid, or a problem with the clutch or other parts of the transmission.

Most Common Issues: Honda Prelude

Here are some common problems with Honda Preludes and their solutions:

Honda Prelude 1992
ProblemAffected ModelsDifficulty LevelPart Required
Knocking SunroofAll 4th Gen Models1Lubricating runners
Uneven IdleAll Models1Idle Control Valve
Sticking Clutch PedalAll 4th Gen Models2Brake Master Cylinder
Weak Low Beam Headlights5th Generation Models1Xenon HID Bulb
Non-Functioning Gearbox1997-2001 Automatics4Gearbox Transmission Automatic
Pulsing Brake PedalAll Models2Brake Disc
Brake Light Is OnAll Models2Brake Master Cylinder Reservoir
Rough EngineAll Models1Oxygen Sensor
Warm ACAll Models1Radiator Fan Motor
5th Gear GrindAll Models35th Gear and related parts
Whining From EngineAll Models2Alternator
Steering Warning LightAll Models3Sensor Adjustment or ECU
Problems with the SpeedoAll Models3Speedo Sensor
Oil Leak or Gear Changing ProblemsAll Models3Driveshaft Oil Seal
Rust around Wheel ArchesAll Models3Rust Repair
StallingAll Models2Ignition System

Note: These solutions are provided as general guidelines. Specific diagnosis and repairs may vary.

If you encounter any of these issues with your Honda Prelude, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance or refer to online guides for more detailed instructions.

Honda Prelude Complaints by Model Year

Issue DescriptionModel YearNumber of Complaints
Water in the rear seat wells and foot wells19983
Rusted areas above rear wheels19922
Idles too loud up and down wasting gas19902
Slow to retract / won’t retract19922
Loses power, stalls19932

Honda Prelude Automatic Transmission Service

Are Automatic Preludes Reliable?

If you’re in the market for a used Honda Prelude, you may be wondering about the reliability of these vehicles.

With their reputation for being sporty and fun to drive, Preludes are certainly enticing. But are they reliable?

When it comes to reliability, Preludes tend to fare quite well. In fact, many owners report that their Preludes are still going strong after years of ownership.

Of course, like any vehicle, there can be issues from time to time.

What Parts Break the Most in Honda Prelude?

ComponentNumber of Complaints
Airbags & Seat Belts3

This table shows the number of complaints for each major component that tends to break the most.

But overall, Preludes are considered to be reliable cars. One potential issue that some owners have reported is with the automatic transmission.

While manual transmissions are typically very reliable, automatics can sometimes be less so.

If you’re considering a used Prelude with an automatic transmission, that’s fun to drive and relatively reliable, a Honda Prelude should definitely be on your list!

Honda Prelude Years to Avoid

Model YearWorst Issues DescriptionNumber of Complaints
1992Rusted areas above rear wheels24
1998Water in the rear seat wells and foot wells5
1993Loses power, stalls4
1990Idles too loud up and down wasting gas3

Why Do Honda Automatic Transmissions Fail?

One of the most common issues with Honda automatic transmissions is that they tend to fail prematurely.

There are a number of reasons why this might happen, but the most likely culprit is simply wear and tear.

Honda Prelude Automatic Transmission Problems

Over time, the parts in an automatic transmission can start to break down and degrade, eventually leading to a failure.

Another potential cause of Honda automatic transmission failure is improper maintenance.

If you don’t regularly service your transmission and change the fluid as recommended by the manufacturer, it can start to break down prematurely.

This is especially true if you drive in stop-and-go traffic or in other demanding conditions.

Last but not least, another possible reason for automatic transmission failure in Honda vehicles is simply manufacturing defects.

In some cases, parts may not be up to par and could break down sooner than expected.

2000 Honda Prelude Automatic Transmission Problems

As a result of the 2000 Honda Prelude’s automatic transmission problems, many drivers have had to deal with costly repairs.

In some cases, the entire transmission needs to be replaced. These issues have been well-documented, and Honda has issued a recall for affected vehicles.

If you own a 2000 Honda Prelude with an automatic transmission, it’s important to be aware of these problems and what your options are.


Honda Prelude Automatic Transmission Problems can be caused by a few different things.

The most common cause is low transmission fluid levels. If the fluid level is too low, it can cause the gears to grind and eventually fail.

Another common cause of automatic transmission problems is a bad torque converter. The torque converter is what allows the engine to spin independently of the wheels.

Lastly, worn out clutch plates can also cause automatic transmission problems.

If the clutch plates are worn out, they won’t be able to grip the gears properly, which will eventually lead to slipping or stalling.


  • Robert Wilson

    Introducing Robert Wilson, your go-to source for automotive technical solutions. With 5 years of industry experience and a mechanical engineering background, Robert's expertise was honed at the heart of Ford Motors in Michigan back in 2010. Join him on this blog as he shares his knowledge and practical fixes to keep your vehicles running at their best.

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