Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Should art history professor sell 1990 Honda Prelude?

I LOVE my 1990 Honda Prelude - my baby! That said, I’m wondering if it’s time for me to retire her to the Junkyard in the Sky:

2 months ago I put in $1,466.08 for replacing alternator, master brake cylinder, rear brake pads & rotors. Plus some miscellaneous maintenance stuff. My mechanic, who I believe is honest & trustworthy, recommends another $855.00 of replacing drive belts, timing belt, engine mount, oil pan gasket, timing cover, etc. Now my A/C has failed - apparently due to a faulty master controller. One mechanic (he’s closer to home) recommends splicing electrical wiring to bypass controller. My trustworthy mechanic said by phone that that could be a mistake to mess with splicing electrical wiring and suggests local mechanic is trying to save me an expensive replacement.

I’ve been resisting buying a new car because I love my baby and also because as an art history professor at a Cal State (still paying off student loans), I don’t have the funds. At the same time, I don’t want to start dumping money into a car that is on its last wheels. I’m also concerned about the lack of airbags and my 90-mile rt commute on SoCal freeways.

What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are expressed in your other, identical post. ;0}

As Confuscious say, “he who splices wires to bypass circuit lives life of regret”.

Most of the stuff on your list is regular maintenance, some of it normal wear and tear, but the recommendation to replace the oil pan gasket makes me wonder of the crankcase is becoming pressurized from too much blowby (worn out engine).

The big issues for me would be the lack of safety features and the bad master cylinder, indicating that the brake system may be tired. Those issues alone would make me not want to continue driving this car on the LA freeways.

This stuff is all upkeep-- once this is done you should be good for a while. I will say, the price for the brakes & alternator seems really high to me. The $855 seems like an okay price for the second set of repairs and since those things are more labor-intense I’m guessing he’s fair with the labor, just pricey with parts. Is he using genuine Honda parts? Those are very pricey and generic parts should work just fine. As for the AC controller a used one is probably the way to go. See your mechanic can get a one but if not you may need to call around to junkyards yourself.