1988 Prelude 2.0 Si 5 Speed Auto


My car’s steering column will shake when I am stopped in drive, when I put the car into neutral the vibrating will go away. When it changes gears it will sometimes change a little late and then jerk (a bit not bad) after proceeding into the next gear. I have checked the transmission fluid and it is at the right level and it is nice and red. I am worried that the transmission is going bad but am not sure. When I am accelerating it feels a tiny bit like I am in neutral. Could it be the vacuum modulator that has gone bad or lost it’s seal somehow? Or is it some sort of electrical problem related to the transmission? I did have a problem with the car not starting in the heat during the summer. We tracked it down to a relay fuse which controlled the ignition. The chips inside had soldering points that had gotten smaller because the car was old, therefore there was more resistance and it would not start the car when it was hot. What could be wrong with my peice of Honda???


Could the timing belt be off? I am just a poor college student far away from home. So I need answers and I can’t go and pay for them.


Definitely not the timing belt, so don’t worry about that-- although if it hasn’t been changed in the last 70k miles or 6 years, do worry about it-- get it changed!

The steering wheel vibration issue just sounds to me like a combination of a low idle speed and/or bad motor mounts. This car has an odd little temperature controlled valve that opens up when the car is cold and requires periodic adjustment-- but if you don’t really know what you’re doing and the car isn’t actually stalling, I wouldn’t mess with it. When you pop it into neutral, the engine stops turning the torque convertor and it starts moving faster, which smooths things out.

If the transmission is slipping, though, that’s bad. If it actually feels like power is only intermittently getting to the front wheels, you’ve probably got a new transmission in your future, sorry to say. The modulator and all the electrical stuff will only throw off the shift points, which won’t cause slippage.