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CD Changer Error Indications If you see an error indication in the display while operating the CD changer, find the cause in the chart to the right. If you cannot clear the error indication, take the car to your Honda dealer.

Comfort and Convenience Features

AM/FM/CD Audio System For Special Edition model in the U.S. Your Honda's audio system provides clear reception on both AM and FM bands, while the preset buttons allow you to easily select your favorite stations.

The Anti-theft feature will disable the system if it is disconnected from the car's battery. To get the system working again, you must enter a code number (see page 116).

Audio System






Comfort and Convenience Features

You can use any of three methods to find radio stations on the selected band: TUNE, SEEK, or the Preset buttons.

TUNE — Use the TUNE bar to tune the radio to a desired frequency. Press the to a higher frequency, and the

side of the bar to tune

side to tune to a lower

frequency. The frequency numbers will start to change rapidly. Release the bar when the display reaches the desired frequency. To change the frequency in small increments, press and release the TUNE bar quickly.

Audio System

Operating the Radio The ignition switch must be in ACCESSORY (I) or ON (II) to operate the audio system. Turn the system on by pushing the PWR/ VOL knob. Adjust the volume by turning the same knob.

The band and frequency that the radio was last tuned to is displayed. To change bands, press the A M / FM 1-2 button. On the FM band, ST will be displayed if the station is broad- casting in stereo. Stereo reproduc- tion on AM is not available.

Comfort and Convenience Features

SEEK — The SEEK function searches the band for a station with a strong signal. To activate it, press the SEEK bar on either the or

side, then release it.

Depending on which side you press, the system scans upward or down- ward from the current frequency. It stops when it finds a station with a strong signal.

Preset — You can store the fre- quencies of your favorite radio stations in the six preset buttons. Each button will store one frequency on the AM band, and two on the FM band.

To store a frequency:

1. Select the desired band, AM or FM. FM1 and FM2 let you store two frequencies with each Preset button.

2. Use the TUNE or SEEK function

to tune the radio to a desired station.

3. Pick the Preset button you want for that station. Press the button and hold it until you hear a beep.

4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 to store a total

of six stations on AM and twelve on FM.

Once a station's frequency is stored, simply press and release the proper Preset button to tune to it. The preset frequencies will be lost if your vehicle's battery goes dead, is disconnected or the radio fuse is removed.

Audio System






Comfort and Convenience Features

Audio System

AUTO SELECT — If you are traveling far from home and can no longer receive the stations you preset, you can use the Auto Select feature to find stations in the local area.

To activate Auto Select, press the A. SEL/RPT button. A. SEL will flash in the display, and the system will go into scan mode for several seconds. It automatically scans both bands, looking for stations with strong signals. It stores the frequen- cies of six AM stations and twelve FM stations in the preset buttons. You can then use the preset buttons to select those stations.

If you are in a remote area, Auto Select may not find six strong AM stations or twelve strong FM stations. If this happens, you will see a "0" displayed when you press any preset button that does not have a station stored.

Comfort and Convenience Features





With Auto Select on, you cannot manually store any frequencies in the preset buttons. If you do not like the stations found by Auto Select, you can use the TUNE and SEEK functions to find other stations.

Auto Select does not erase the frequencies that you preset pre- viously. When you return home, turn off Auto Select by pressing the A. SEL/RPT button. The preset buttons will then select the fre- quencies you originally set.

Adjusting the Sound Bass, Treble, Balance, and Fader are each adjustable. You select which of these you want to adjust by pressing the MODE button several times. The selected mode, BAS, TRE, FAD, or BAL is shown in the display.

Balance/Fader — These two modes adjust the strength of the sound coming from each speaker. BAL adjusts the side-to-side strength, while FAD adjusts the front-to-back strength.

Select BAL or FAD by pressing the MODE button. Adjust the Balance or Fader to your liking by turning the PWR/VOL knob. The number in the display (from — 9 to 9) shows you the current setting.

Audio System



Treble/Bass — Use these modes to adjust the tone to your liking. Select TRE or BAS by pressing the MODE button. Adjust the desired mode by turning the PWR/VOL knob. The displayed number (from — 5 to 5) shows you the current setting.

The system will automatically return the display to normal mode about seven seconds after you stop adjusting a mode with the PWR/ VOL knob. You can also continue pressing the MODE button until the frequency is displayed.

Comfort and Convenience Features

Audio System

Radio Frequencies Your Honda's radio can receive the complete AM and FM bands. Those bands cover these frequen- cies:

AM band: 530 to 1,710 kilohertz FM band: 87.7 to 107.9 megahertz

Radio stations on the AM band are assigned frequencies at least ten kilohertz apart (530, 540, 550). Stations on the FM band are assigned frequencies at least 0.2
megahertz apart (87.9, 88.1, 88.3).

Stations must use these exact frequencies. It is fairly common for stations to round-off the frequency in their advertising, so your radio could display a frequency of 100.9 even though the announcer may identify the station as "FM101."

Comfort and Convenience Features

Radio Reception How well your Honda's radio receives stations is dependent on many factors, such as the distance from the station's transmitter, nearby large objects, and atmos- pheric conditions.

A radio station's signal gets weaker as you get farther away from its transmitter. If you are listening to an AM station, you will notice the sound volume becoming weaker, and the station drifting in and out. If you are listening to an FM station, you will see the stereo indicator flickering off and on as the signal weakens. Eventually, the stereo indicator will go off and the sound will fade completely as you get out of range of the station's signal.

Driving very near the transmitter of a station that is broadcasting on a frequency close to the frequency of the station you are listening to can also affect your radio's reception. You may temporarily hear both stations, or hear only the station you are close to.

Radio signals, especially on the FM band, are deflected by large objects such as buildings and hills. Your radio then receives both the direct signal from the station's transmitter, and the deflected signal. This causes the sound to distort or flutter. This is a main cause of poor radio reception in city driving.

Radio reception can be affected by atmospheric conditions such as thunderstorms, high humidity, and even sunspots. You may be able to receive a distant radio station one day and not receive it the next day because of a change in conditions.

Audio System

Electrical interference from passing vehicles and stationary sources can cause temporary reception problems.

Comfort and Convenience Features

AM/FM 1-2







Audio System

Operating the CD Player You operate the CD player with the same controls used for the radio.

With the system on, insert the disc into the CD slot. Push the disc in halfway, the drive will pull it in the rest of the way and begin to play. The number of the track that is playing is shown in the display.

You can also play 3-inch (8-cm) discs without using an adapter ring.

When the system reaches the end of the disc, it will return to the begin- ning and play that disc again.

You can switch to the radio while a CD is playing by pressing the A M/ FM1-2 button. Press the CD button to return to playing the CD. The CD will begin playing where it left off.

Comfort and Convenience Features

If you turn the system off while a CD is playing, either with the PWR/VOL knob or by turning off the ignition, the disc will stay in the drive. When you turn the system back on, the CD will begin playing where it left off.

Press the eject button to remove the disc from the drive.

If you eject the disc, but do not remove it from the slot, the system will automatically reload the disc after 15 seconds and put the CD player in pause mode. To begin playing the disc, press the CD button.

You can use the TUNE and SEEK bars while a disc is playing to select passages and changes tracks.

To move rapidly within a track, press and hold the TUNE bar. Press the side to move forward, or the side to move backward.

Release the bar when the system reaches the point you want.

side of

Each time you press the the SEEK bar, the system skips forward to the beginning of the next track. Press the side to skip backward to the beginning of the current track. Press it again to skip to the beginning of the previous track.

REPEAT — To activate the Repeat feature, press and release the Repeat button. You will see RPT in the display. The system continuously replays the current track. Press the Repeat button again to turn it off.

Audio System

RANDOM PLAY — This feature, when activated, plays the tracks on the CD in random order, rather than in the order they are recorded on the CD. To activate Random Play, press and hold the A. SEL/RPT button until you see A. SEL in the display. The system will then select and play tracks randomly. This continues until you deactivate Random Play by pressing A.SEL/RPT again.

If the system is in Repeat mode, you must turn it off by pressing A.SEL/ RPT before you can select Random Play. Then press and hold the button again until you see A.SEL displayed.

Comfort and Convenience Features

Audio System

Operating the CD Changer (Optional) A trunk-mounted Compact Disc changer is available for your car. It holds up to six discs, providing several hours of continuous entertainment. You operate this CD changer with the same controls used for the in-dash CD player.

Load the desired CD's in the magazine and load the magazine in the changer according to the instructions that came with the unit.

To select the CD changer, press the CD button. The disc and track numbers will be displayed. A "0" will flash for the track number as the CD is loaded, then it will change to a non-flashing

" 1 ".

Comfort and Convenience Features

To select a different disc, press the appropriate preset button (1 — 6). If you select an empty slot in the magazine, the changer will, after finding that slot empty, try to load the CD in the next slot. This continues until it finds a CD to load and play.

When you switch back to CD mode, the system selects the same unit (in- dash or changer) that was playing when you switched out of CD mode.

To use the SKIP, REPEAT, and RANDOM functions, refer to the in- dash player operating instructions.

If you load a CD in the in-dash player while the changer is playing a CD, the system will stop the changer and begin playing the in-dash CD. To select the changer again, press the CD button. Play will begin where it left off. Use the CD button to switch between the player and the changer.

If you eject the in-dash CD while it is playing, the system will automatically switch to the CD changer and begin play where it left off. If there are no CDs in the changer, the display will flash. You will have to select another mode (AM or FM) with the button.

Protecting Compact Discs

Audio System

To clean a disc, use a clean soft cloth. Wipe across the disc from the center to the outside edge.

Handle a CD by its edges; never touch either surface. Contamination from fingerprints, liquids, felt-tip pens, and labels can cause the CD to not play properly, or possibly jam in the drive.

When a CD is not being played, store it in its case to protect it from dust and other contamination. To prevent warpage, keep CDs out of direct sunlight and extreme heat.

A new CD may be rough on the inner and outer edges. The small plastic pieces causing this roughness can flake off and fall on the re- cording surface of the disc, causing skipping or other problems. Remove these pieces by rubbing the inner and outer edges with the side of a pencil or pen.

Never try to insert foreign objects in the CD player or the magazine.

Comfort and Convenience Features

Audio System

CD Player Error Indications If you see an error indication in the display while operating the CD player, find the cause in the chart to the right. If you cannot clear the error indication, take the car to your Honda dealer.

Comfort and Convenience Features

CD Changer Error Indications If you see an error indication in the display while operating the CD changer, find the cause in the chart to the right. If you cannot clear the error indication, take the car to your Honda dealer.

Audio System

Comfort and Convenience Features

Audio System

Operating the Cassette Player (Optional) The cassette system features Dolby B* noise reduction, automatic sensing of chromium-dioxide (CrO tape, and autoreverse for continuous play.

The tape direction indicator will light to show you which side of the cassette is playing. The indicates the side you inserted facing upward is now playing. If you want to play the other side, press the PROG button.

If you turn the system off while a tape is playing, either with the PWR/ VOL knob or by turning off the ignition, the cassette will remain in the drive. When you turn the system back on, the tape will begin playing where it left off.

Dolby B noise reduction turns on when you insert a cassette. If the tape was not recorded with Dolby B noise reduction, turn it off by pressing the NR button.

To switch to the radio or CD player while a tape is playing, press the AM/FM1-2 or CD button. To change back to the cassette player, push the CD button.

When the system reaches the end of the tape, it will automatically reverse direction and play the other side. If you want to remove the cassette from the drive, press the EJECT button.

Make sure the tape opening on the cassette is facing to the right, then insert the cassette most of the way into the slot. The system will pull it in the rest of the way, and begin to play.

* Dolby noise reduction manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corpo- ration. "DOLBY" and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories

Licensing Corporation.

Comfort and Convenience Features

Tape Search Functions With a cassette playing, you can use the FF, REW, TMS, or REPEAT function to find a desired program.

side of the

FF/REW — Fast Forward and Rewind move the tape rapidly. Press and release the TUNE bar to fast forward the tape, or the side to rewind. You will see FF or REW flashing in the display. To stop fast forward or rewind, press the PLAY button. If the system reaches the end of the tape while in fast forward or rewind, it automatically stops that function, reverses direction, and begins to play.

Audio System







Comfort and Convenience Features

Audio System

side to advance to the

TMS — The Tape Music Search function allows you to find the beginning of a song or passage. To activate TMS, press the SEEK bar. Press the beginning of the next song or side to return to passage, or the the beginning of the current song or passage. FF or REW will flash in the display as the tape moves. When the system reaches the beginning of the next song or passage (FF), or the beginning of the current one (REW), it goes back to PLAY mode.

REPEAT — The Repeat function continuously replays the current song or passage. Press the REPEAT button to activate it; you will see RPT displayed as a reminder. When the system reaches the end of the song or passage currently playing, it will automatically go into rewind. When it senses the beginning of the same song or passage, the system returns to PLAY mode. It will

Comfort and Convenience Features






continue to repeat this same program until you deactivate REPEAT by pressing the button again.

The TMS and REPEAT functions use silent periods on the tape to find the end of a song or passage. These features may not work to your satisfaction if there is almost no gap between selections, a high noise level between selections, or a silent period in the middle of a selection.

Caring for the Cassette Player The cassette player picks up dirt and oxides from the tape. This contami- nation builds up over time and causes the sound quality to degrade. To prevent this, you should clean the player after every 30 hours of use. Your dealer has a cleaning kit available. If you do not clean the cassette player regularly, it may eventually become impossible to remove the contamination with a normal cleaning kit.

The player automatically ejects cassettes that do not play properly. If it ejects a cassette before it begins to play, it is probably defective and should not be inserted again. You may have a cassette suddenly stop playing, reverse directions once or twice and then eject. This is normally an indication the tape is wound unevenly. It should play after the tape is manually rewound.

Use 100-minute or shorter cassettes. Cassettes longer than that use thinner tape that may break or jam the drive. Look at the cassette before you insert it. If the tape is loose, tighten it by turning a hub with a pencil or your finger. If the label is peeling off, remove it from the cassette or it could cause the cassette to jam in the player. Never try to insert a warped or damaged cassette in the player.

When they are not in use, store cassettes in their cases to protect them from dust and moisture. Never place cassettes where they will be exposed to direct sunlight, high heat, or high humidity. If a cassette is exposed to extreme heat or cold, let it reach a moderate temperature before inserting it in the player.

Never try to insert foreign objects into the cassette player.

Audio System



On LX and EX models in the U.S., and EX-R model in Canada As a reminder, after every 30 hours of use, the system will flash CLEAN in the display for 5 seconds every time you insert a cassette in the player. After you clean the player, reset the CLEAN indicator by pressing the Preset 6 button while playing a tape. Hold the button until you hear a beep and the indicator goes out.

Comfort and Convenience Features

You will have to store your favorite stations in the Preset buttons after the system begins working. Your original settings were lost when power was disconnected.

If your car's battery is disconnected or goes dead, the audio system will disable itself. If this happens, you will see "Code" in the frequency display the next time you turn on the system. Use the Preset buttons to enter the five-digit code. If it is entered correctly, the radio will start playing.

If you make a mistake entering the code, do not start over or try to correct your mistake. Complete the five-digit sequence, then enter the correct code. You have three tries to enter the correct code. If you are unsuccessful in three attempts, you must then leave the system on for one hour before trying again.

Audio System

Theft Protection On EX and Special Edition models in the U.S., and EX-R model in Canada Your car's audio system will disable itself if it is disconnected from electrical power for any reason. To make it work again, the user must enter a specific five-digit code in the Preset buttons. Because there are hundreds of number combinations possible from five digits, making the system work without knowing the exact code is nearly impossible.

You should have received a card that lists your audio system's code number and serial number. It is best to store this card in a safe place at home. In addition, you should write the audio system's serial number in this Owner's Manual. If you should happen to lose the card, you must obtain the code number from your Honda dealer. To do this, you will need the system's serial number.

Comfort and Convenience Features

On Special Edition model in the U.S. The security system helps to protect your car and valuables from theft. The alarm sounds and all the exterior lights flash if someone attempts to break into your car. This alarm continues for two minutes, then the system resets.

To reset an alarming system before the two minutes have elapsed, unlock either door with the key or the remote transmitter.

The security system sets automati- cally 15 seconds after you close and lock the doors, the hood, and the trunk. The security system light on the center console next to the clock starts blinking immediately to show you the system is setting itself.


Once the security system is set, opening either door (without using the key or remote transmitter), or opening the hood, will cause it to alarm.

Security System

With the system set, you can still open the trunk with the master key without triggering the alarm. The alarm will sound if the trunk is opened with the trunk release handle.

The security system will not set if the hood, trunk, or either door is not fully closed. If the system will not set, check the Door and Brake Lamp Monitor on the instrument panel (see page 35), to see if the doors and trunk are fully closed. Since it is not part of the monitor display, manually check the hood.

Comfort and Convenience Features

Before you begin driving your Honda, you should know what gasoline to use, and how to check the levels of important fluids. You also need to know how to properly store luggage or packages. The information in this section will help you. If you plan to add any accessories to your car, please read the information in this section first.

Before Driving

Break-in Period.............................. 120
Gasoline.......................................... 120
Oxygenated Fuels...................... 120
Driving in Foreign Countries... 121
Service Station Procedures .......... 122
Filling the Fuel Tank................. 122
Opening the Hood..................... 123
Oil Check.................................... 124
Engine Coolant Check.............. 125
Fuel Economy................................ 126
Vehicle Condition...................... 126
Driving Habits............................ 126
Accessories..................................... 127
Loading Cargo................................ 128

Before Driving

Break-in Period, Gasoline

Break-in Period Help assure your car's future reliability and performance by paying extra attention to how you drive during the first 600 miles (1,000 km). During this period:

Avoid full-throttle starts and rapid acceleration.

Avoid hard braking. New brakes need to be broken-in by moderate use for the first 200 miles (300

You should follow these same re- commendations with an overhauled or exchanged engine, or when the brakes are relined.

Before Driving

Oxygenated Fuels Some conventional gasolines are being blended with alcohol or an ether compound. These gasolines are collectively referred to as oxygenated fuels. To meet clean air standards, some areas of the United States and Canada use oxygenated fuels to help reduce emissions.

If you use an oxygenated fuel, be sure it is unleaded and meets the minimum octane rating requirement.

Before using an oxygenated fuel, try to confirm the fuel's contents. Some states/provinces require this information to be posted on the pump.

Gasoline Your Honda is designed to operate on unleaded gasoline with a pump octane number of 86 or higher. Use of a lower octane gasoline can cause a persistent, heavy metallic rapping noise in the engine that can lead to mechanical damage.

We recommend gasolines containing detergent additives that help prevent fuel system and engine deposits.

Using gasoline containing lead will damage your car's emission controls. This contributes to air pollution.

In Canada, some gasolines contain an octane-enhancing additive called MMT. If you use such gasolines, your emission control system performance may deteriorate and the Malfunction Indicator Lamp on your instrument panel may turn on. If this happens, contact your authorized Honda dealer for service.

If you notice any undesirable operating symptoms, try another service station or switch to another brand of gasoline.

Fuel system damage or performance problems resulting from the use of an oxygenated fuel containing more than the percentages of oxygenates given above are not covered under warranty.

The following are the EPA-approved percentages of oxygenates:

ETHANOL (ethyl or grain alcohol) You may use gasoline containing up to 10 percent ethanol by volume. Gasoline containing ethanol may be marketed under the name "Gasohol."

MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) You may use gasoline containing up to 15 percent MTBE by volume.

METHANOL (methyl or wood alcohol) You may use gasoline containing up to 5 percent methanol by volume as long as it also contains cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors to protect the fuel system. Gasoline containing more than 5 percent methanol by volume may cause starting and/or performance problems. It may also damage metal, rubber and plastic parts of your fuel system.


Driving in Foreign Countries If you are planning to take your Honda outside the U.S. or Canada, contact the tourist bureaus in the areas you will be traveling in to find out about the availability of unleaded gasoline with the proper octane rating.

If unleaded gasoline is not available, be aware that using leaded gasoline in your Honda will affect perfor- mance and fuel mileage, and damage its emissions controls. It will no longer comply with U.S. and Canadian emissions regulations, and will be illegal to operate in North America. To bring your car back into compliance will require the replace- ment of several components, such as the oxygen sensor and the three way catalytic converter. These replace- ments are not covered under warranty.

Before Driving

Service Station Procedures

Filling the Fuel Tank


1. Because the fuel fill cap is on the driver's side of the car, park with that side closest to the service station pumps.

2. Open the fuel fill door by pulling

on the handle to the left of the driver's seat.

Before Driving

3. Remove the fuel fill cap slowly.

You may hear a hissing sound as pressure inside the tank escapes. Place the cap in the holder on the fuel fill door.

4. Stop filling the tank after the fuel pump automatically clicks off. Do not try to "top off" the tank, leave some room for the fuel to expand with temperature changes.

5. Screw the fuel fill cap back on,

tighten it until it clicks. If you do not properly tighten the cap, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp may come on (see page 230).

6. Push the fuel fill door closed until

it latches.

Gasoline is highly flammable and explosive. You can be burned or seriously injured when handling fuel.

Stop the engine and keep heat, sparks, and flame away. Handle fuel only outdoors. Wipe up spills immediately.


Opening the Hood



Service Station Procedures

1. Shift to Park or Neutral and set the parking brake. Pull the hood release handle located under the lower left corner of the dashboard. The hood will pop up slightly.


2. Standing in front of the car, put

your fingers under the front edge of the hood to the right of center. Slide your hand to the left until you feel the hood latch handle. Push this handle up until it releases the hood. Lift the hood.

3. Pull the support rod out of its clip and insert the end into the hole on the front of the hood around the center.

To close the hood, lift it up slightly to remove the support rod from the hole. Put the support rod back into its holding clip. Lower the hood to about a foot above the fender, then let it drop.


Before Driving

Service Station Procedures

Oil Check


Check the engine oil level every time you fill the car with fuel. Wait at least two minutes after turning the engine off before you check the oil.

1. Remove the dipstick (orange


Before Driving

2. Wipe the dipstick with a clean

cloth or paper towel.

3. Insert it all the way back in its tube.

Engine Coolant Check


Service Station Procedures

Refer to Owner Maintenance Checks on page 162 for information on checking other items in your Honda.



4. Remove the dipstick again and

check the level. It should be between the upper and lower marks.

If it is near or below the lower mark, see Adding Oil on page 164 .



Look at the coolant level in the radiator reserve tank. Make sure it is between the MAX and MIN lines. If it is below the MIN line, see Adding Engine Coolant on page 168 for information on adding the proper coolant.

Before Driving

Driving Habits You can improve fuel economy by driving moderately. Rapid acceler- ation, abrupt cornering, and hard braking use more fuel.

Always drive in the highest gear that allows the engine to run and acceler- ate smoothly.

Depending on traffic conditions, try to maintain a constant speed. Every time you slow down and speed up, your car uses extra fuel. Use the cruise control, when appropriate, to increase fuel economy.

A cold engine uses more fuel than a warm engine. It is not necessary to "warm-up" a cold engine by letting it idle for a long time. You can drive away in about a minute, no matter how cold it is outside. The engine will warm up faster, and you get better fuel economy. To cut down on the number of "cold starts," try to combine several short trips into one.

The air conditioning puts an extra load on the engine which makes it use more fuel. Turn off the A/C to cut down on air conditioning use. Use the flow-through ventilation when the outside air temperature is moderate.

Fuel Economy

The condition of your car and your driving habits are the two most important things that affect the fuel mileage you get.

Vehicle Condition Always maintain your car according to the maintenance schedule. This will keep it in top operating condition.

An important part of that mainte- nance is the Owner Maintenance Checks (see page 162). For example, an underinflated tire causes more "rolling resistance," which uses fuel. It also wears out faster, so check the tire pressure at least monthly.

In winter, the build-up of snow on your car's underside adds weight and rolling resistance. Frequent cleaning helps your fuel mileage and reduces the chance of corrosion.

Before Driving

Your Honda dealer has many Genuine Honda Accessories that allow you to personalize your car. These have all been approved for installation and use on your car, and are covered by warranty.

Your car has several computer- controlled systems, including the SRS system, the engine's fuel injection, and the Anti-lock brake system. Strong electronic inter- ference can affect their operation.

Some non-Honda accessories you can buy in the "aftermarket" are designed for universal applications. Although they may fit your Honda, they may not be within factory specifications. For example, after- market wheels may not meet Honda's specifications for width and offset. They could cause suspension problems that would not be covered by your warranty. Improperly- designed accessories can adversely affect your car's handling and stability.

Electronic communications equip- ment, such as cellular telephones and two-way radios are regulated by the FCC (DOC in Canada) and should not interfere with your car's systems. Improper installation, or using electrical equipment not in- tended for mobile use may interfere with your car's operation. If you want to install a cellular telephone, other mobile communications equipment or even add-on stereo amplifiers, please discuss it first with your Honda dealer.


In many cases, improper installation is the real cause of problems with aftermarket accessories. Have these accessories installed by qualified technicians who are familiar with your Honda. If possible, have your Honda dealer inspect the final installation.

Before Driving

Loading Cargo

The maximum load you can carry in your Honda is 850 Ibs (395 kg). It includes the total weight of all passengers and their belongings, any accessories, and the tongue weight of a trailer. This 850 Ibs (395 kg) figure is shown as the Vehicle Capacity Weight on the tire infor- mation label attached to the driver's doorjamb.

Before Driving

To figure out how much cargo you can carry:

Figure the total "occupant weight" you will be transporting. To do this, multiply the number of people (driver and all passengers) by 150
Ibs (70 kg). Subtract this number from the Vehicle Capacity Weight (850 Ibs/ 395 kg). If you are towing a trailer, subtract the tongue weight. See Towing a Trailer on page 146.

This final number is the total weight of cargo you can load in or on the car. With five occupants (driver and four passengers), the maximum recom- mended weight for cargo is 100 Ibs (45 kg).

Where you store this cargo, and how well you secure it, are just as important as how much it weighs. Make sure you load cargo so it will not shift while driving. Items stored in the cargo area should be stored as far forward as possible. You could store additional items on the floor behind the front seats. Make sure they cannot roll under the front seat and interfere with the pedals.

If you must carry large objects that prevent you from closing the trunk lid, be aware that exhaust gas can enter the interior. See Carbon Monoxide Hazard on page 28.

Never place items on the shelf behind the back seat. Those items can fly forward and injure you or your passengers if you brake hard or are involved in a collision.

This section gives you tips on starting the engine under various conditions, and how to operate the 5-speed manual and automatic transmissions. It also includes important information on parking your car, the braking system, and facts you need if you are planning to tow a trailer.


Preparing to Drive......................... 130
Starting the Engine........................ 131

Starting in Cold Weather

at High Altitude ..................... 132
5-speed Manual Transmission..... 132
Recommended Shift Points...... 133
Maximum Speeds...................... 134
Automatic Transmission............... 134
Shift Lever Position Indicator.. 135
Shift Lever Positions................. 135
Maximum Speeds...................... 138
Shift Lock Release..................... 138
Parking............................................ 139
The Braking System...................... 140
Brake Wear Indicators.............. 140
Brake System Design................ 141
Anti-lock Brakes........................ 141
Important Safety Reminders.... 142
ABS Indicator............................. 143
Driving in Bad Weather................ 144
Towing a Trailer............................ 146


10. Turn the ignition ON (II). Check the indicator lights in the instru- ment panel.

11. Start the engine (see page 131).

12. Check the gauges and indicator

lights in the instrument panel (see page 33).

5. Check the adjustment of the seat

(see page 58).

6. Check the adjustment of the

inside and outside mirrors (see page 66).

7. Check the adjustment of the steering wheel (see page 44).

8. Make sure the doors are securely

closed and locked.

9. Fasten your seat belt. Check that

your passengers have fastened their seat belts (see page 7 ).

Preparing to Drive

You should do the following checks and adjustments every day before you drive your car.

1. Make sure all windows, mirrors, and outside lights are clean and unobstructed. Remove frost, snow, or ice.

2. Check that the hood and trunk are

fully closed.

3. Visually check the tires. If a tire

looks low, use a gauge to check its pressure.

4. Check that any items you may be

carrying with you inside are stored properly or fastened down securely.


1. Apply the parking brake.

2. In cold weather, turn off all

electrical accessories to reduce the drain on the battery.

3. Manual Transmission:

Push the clutch pedal down all the way. START (III) does not function unless the clutch pedal is depressed.

Automatic Transmission: Make sure the shift lever is in Park. Press on the brake pedal.

4. Without touching the accelerator pedal, turn the ignition key to the START (III) position. If the engine does not start right away, do not hold the key in START (III) for more than 15 seconds at a time. Pause for at least 10 seconds before trying again.

5. If the engine does not start within

15 seconds, or starts but stalls right away, repeat step 4 with the accelerator pedal pressed half-way down. If the engine starts, release pressure on the accelerator pedal so the engine does not race.

Starting the Engine

6. If the engine still does not start,

press the accelerator pedal all the way down and hold it there while starting in order to clear flooding. As before, keep the ignition key in the START (III) position for no more than 15 seconds. Return to step 5 if the engine does not start. If it starts, lift your foot off the accelerator pedal so the engine does not race.


Starting the Engine, 5-speed Manual Transmission

Starting in Cold Weather at High Altitude (Above 8,000 feet/ 2,400 meters) An engine is harder to start in cold weather. The thinner air found at high altitude above 8,000 feet (2,400
meters) adds to the problem. Use the following procedure:

1. Turn off all electrical accessories

to reduce the drain on the battery.

2. Push the accelerator pedal half- way to the floor and hold it there while starting the engine. Do not hold the ignition key in START (III) for more than 15 seconds. When the engine starts, release the accelerator pedal gradually as the engine speeds up and smooths out.


3. If the engine fails to start in step 2,

push the accelerator pedal to the floor and hold it there while you try to start the engine for no more than 15 seconds. If the engine does not start, return to step 2.

5-speed Manual Transmission

The manual transmission is syn- chronized in all forward gears for smooth operation. It has a lockout so you cannot shift directly from Fifth to Reverse. When shifting up or down, make sure you push the clutch pedal down all the way, shift to the next gear, and let the pedal up gradually. When you are not shifting, do not rest your foot on the clutch pedal. This can cause your clutch to wear out faster.

5-speed Manual Transmission

Recommended Shift Points Drive in the highest gear that lets the engine run and accelerate smoothly. This will give you the best fuel economy and effective emis- sions control. The following shift points are recommended:

Rapid slowing or speeding-up can cause loss of control on slippery surfaces. If you crash, you can be injured.

Use extra care when driving on slippery surfaces.

Come to a full stop before you shift into Reverse. You can damage the transmission by trying to shift into Reverse with the car moving. Push down the clutch pedal, and pause for a few seconds before shifting into Reverse, or shift into one of the forward gears for a moment. This stops the gears so they won't "grind".

When slowing down, you can get extra braking from the engine by shifting to a lower gear. This extra braking can help you maintain a safe speed and prevent your brakes from overheating while going down a steep hill. Before downshifting, make sure engine speed will not go into the tachometer's red zone in the lower gear. Refer to the Maximum Speeds chart.


5-speed Manual Transmission, Automatic Transmission

Maximum Speeds The speeds in this table are the maximums for the given gears. If you exceed these speeds, the engine speed will enter into the tachometer's red zone. If this occurs, you may feel the engine cut in and out. This is caused by a limiter in the engine's computer controls. The engine will run normally when you reduce the RPM below the red zone.

(U.S.: LX, Canada: LX)

(U.S.: EX, Canada: EX-R)

Automatic Transmission Your Honda's transmission has four forward speeds, and is electronically controlled for smoother shifting. It also has a "lock-up" torque converter for better fuel economy. You may feel what seems like another shift when the converter locks.


Shift Lever Position Indicator

Shift Lever Positions

Automatic Transmission


The shift lever has seven positions. It must be in Park or Neutral to start the engine. When you are stopped in D4, D3, 2, 1, N or R, press firmly on the brake pedal, and keep your foot off the accelerator pedal.

This indicator between the tachometer and speedometer shows which shift position the shift lever is in. The "D4" indicator comes on for a few seconds when you turn the ignition switch ON (II). If it flashes while driving (in any shift position), it indicates a possible problem in the transmission. Avoid rapid acceler- ation and have the transmission checked by an authorized Honda dealer as soon as possible.



Automatic Transmission

Park (P) — This position mechani- cally locks the transmission. Use Park whenever you are turning off or starting the engine. To shift out of Park, you must press on the brake pedal and have your foot off the accelerator pedal. Press the release button on the side of the shift lever to move it.

If you have done all of the above and still cannot move the lever out of Park, see Shift Lock Release on page 138.

You must also press the release button to shift into Park. To avoid transmission damage, come to a complete stop before shifting into Park. The shift lever must be in Park before you can remove the key from the ignition switch.


Neutral (N) — Use Neutral if you need to restart a stalled engine, or if it is necessary to stop briefly with the engine idling. Shift to Park posi- tion if you need to leave the car for any reason. Press on the brake pedal when you are moving the shift lever from Neutral to another gear.

Drive (D4) — Use this position for your normal driving. The transmis- sion automatically selects a suitable gear for your speed and acceleration. You may notice the transmission shifting up at higher speeds when the engine is cold. This helps the engine warm up faster.

Reverse (R) — To shift to Reverse from Park, see the explanation under Park. To shift to Reverse from Neutral, come to a complete stop and then shift. Press the release button before shifting into Reverse from Neutral.

Automatic Transmission

First (1) — To shift from Second to First, press the release button on the side of the shift lever. With the lever in this position, the transmission locks in First gear. By upshifting and downshifting through 1, 2, D3 and D4, you can operate this transmission much like a manual transmission without a clutch pedal.

Drive (D3) —This position is similar to D4, except only the first three gears are selected. Use D3 when towing a trailer in hilly terrain, or to provide engine braking when going down a steep hill. D3, can also keep the transmission from cycling between third and fourth gears in stop-and-go driving.

For faster acceleration when in D3 or D4, you can get the transmission to automatically downshift by pushing the accelerator pedal to the floor. The transmission will shift down one or two gears, depending on your speed.

Second (2) — To shift to Second, press the release button on the side of the shift lever. This position locks the transmission in second gear. It does not downshift to first gear when you come to a stop. Second gives you more power when climbing, and increased engine braking when going down steep hills. Use second gear when starting out on a slippery surface or in deep snow. It will help reduce wheelspin.

Whenever you move the shift lever to a lower gear, the transmission downshifts only if the engine's redline will not be exceeded in the lower gear.


Automatic Transmission

Maximum Speeds The speeds in this table are the maximums for the given position. If you exceed these speeds, the engine speed will enter into the tachometer's red zone. If this occurs, you will feel the engine cut in and out. This is caused by a limiter in the engine's computer controls. The engine will run normally when you reduce the RPM below the red zone.


Shift Lock Release This allows you to move the shift lever out of Park if the normal method of pushing on the brake pedal and pressing the release button does not work.

1. Set the Parking brake.

2. Remove the key from the ignition


3. Insert the key in the Shift Lock

Release slot next to the shift lever.

4. Push down on the key while you

press the release button and move the shift lever out of Park to Neutral.



5. Remove the key from the Shift Lock Release slot. Depress the brake pedal and restart the engine.

If you need to use the Shift Lock Release, it means your car is developing a problem. Have the car checked by your Honda dealer.

Always use the parking brake when you park your vehicle. The indicator on the instrument panel shows that the parking brake is not fully released; it does not indicate that the parking brake is firmly set. Make sure the parking brake is set firmly or your vehicle may roll if it is parked on an incline.

If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, set the parking brake before you put the transmission in Park. This keeps the vehicle from moving and putting pressure on the parking mechanism in the transmission-making it easier to move the shift lever out of Park when you want to drive away.

If the vehicle is facing uphill, turn the front wheels away from the curb. If you have a manual transmission, put it in first gear.

If the vehicle is facing downhill turn the front wheels toward the curb. If you have a manual transmission, put it in reverse.

Make sure the parking brake is fully released before driving away. Driving with the parking brake partially set can overheat or damage the rear brakes, and will cause the ABS indicator to light.


Parking Tips

Make sure the moonroof and the windows are closed.

Turn off the lights.

Place any packages, valuables, etc., in the trunk or take them with you.

Lock the doors.

On Special Edition model in the U.S. Lock the doors with the key or the remote transmitter. Check the indicator on the center console to verify that the security system is set.

Never park over dry leaves, tall grass, or other flammable materials. The three way catalytic converter gets very hot, and could cause these materials to catch on fire.


The Braking System

Your Honda is equipped with front disc brakes. The brakes on the rear wheels may be disc or drum, depending on model. A power assist helps reduce the effort needed on the brake pedal.

Put your foot on the brake pedal only when you intend to brake. Resting your foot on the pedal keeps the brakes applied lightly, causing them to build up heat. Heat build-up can reduce how well your brakes work. It also keeps your brake lights on all the time, confusing drivers behind you.

Constant application of the brakes when going down a long hill builds up heat and reduces their effective- ness. Use the engine to assist the brakes by downshifting to a lower gear and taking your foot off the accelerator pedal.

Check your brakes after driving through deep water. Apply the brakes moderately to see if they feel normal. If not, apply them gently and frequently until they do. Since a longer distance is needed to stop with wet brakes, be extra cautious and alert in your driving.

Brake Wear Indicators The front disc brakes on all cars have audible brake wear indicators. They are also on the rear brakes of cars equipped with ABS. When the brake pads need replacing, you will hear a distinctive metallic "screeching" sound when you apply the brakes. If you do not have the brake pads replaced, they will begin screeching all the time.

Your brakes may sometimes squeal or squeak when you apply them lightly. Do not confuse this with the brake wear indicators. They make a very audible "screeching".


The Braking System

Brake System Design The hydraulic system that operates the brakes has two separate circuits. Each circuit works diagonally across the car (the left-front brake is connected with the right-rear brake, etc.). If one circuit should develop a problem, you will still have braking at two wheels.


If this happens, you will immediately notice that the brake pedal goes down much farther and you need to press on it much harder. A much longer distance will be needed to stop the car.

Slow the car by downshifting to a lower gear and removing your foot from the accelerator pedal. Pull to the side of the road as soon as it is safe. Because of the longer stopping distance needed, brake system failure is very hazardous. You should have your car towed, but if you must drive the car in this condition, be extremely cautious. Have your car repaired as soon as possible.

Anti-lock Brakes The U.S. EX and Canadian EX-R models have an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) as standard equip- ment.

ABS helps to prevent the wheels from locking up and skidding during hard braking, allowing you to retain steering control.

When the front tires skid, you lose steering control; the car continues straight ahead even though you turn the steering wheel. The ABS helps to prevent lock-up and retain steering control by pumping the brakes rapidly; much faster than a person can do it.



The Braking System

You should never pump the brake pedal, this defeats the purpose of the ABS. Let the ABS work for you by always keeping firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal as you steer away from the hazard. This is sometimes referred to as "stomp and steer."

You will feel a pulsation in the brake pedal when the ABS activates, and you may hear some noise. This is normal, it is the ABS rapidly pumping the brakes.

Activation varies with the amount of traction your tires have. On dry pavement, you will need to press on the brake pedal very hard before you activate the ABS. However, you may feel the ABS activate immediately if you are trying to stop on snow or ice.


Important Safety Reminders ABS does not reduce the time or distance it takes to stop the car, it only helps with steering control during braking. You should always maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles.

A vehicle with ABS may require a longer distance to stop on loose or uneven surfaces, such as gravel or snow, than a vehicle without anti- lock. Slow down and allow a greater distance between vehicles under those conditions.

ABS will not prevent a skid that results from changing direction abruptly, such as trying to take a corner too fast or making a sudden lane change. Always drive at a safe, prudent speed for the road and weather conditions.

ABS cannot prevent a loss of stability. Always steer moderately when you are braking hard. Severe or sharp steering wheel movement can still cause your vehicle to veer into oncoming traffic or off the road.

If anything goes wrong, the ABS indicator on the instrument panel comes on (see page 35). This means the anti-lock function of the braking system has shut down. The brakes still work like a conventional system without anti-lock, providing normal stopping ability. You should have the dealer inspect your vehicle as soon as possible if this light stays on after you start the engine, or comes on while driving.

ABS Indicator


U.S. indicator shown

The ABS is self-checking. You may feel a slight movement of the brake pedal just after you start the engine. This is the ABS performing a check. It also checks itself whenever you use the brakes.

The Braking System


Driving in Bad Weather

Rain, fog, and snow conditions re- quire a different driving technique because of reduced traction and visibility. Keep your car well- maintained and exercise greater caution when you need to drive in bad weather. The cruise control should not be used in these condi- tions.


Visibility — Being able to see clearly in all directions and being visible to other drivers are important in all weather conditions. This is more difficult in bad weather. To be seen more clearly during daylight hours, turn on your headlights.

Inspect your windshield wipers and washers frequently. Keep the wind- shield washer reservoir full of the proper fluid. Have the windshield wiper blades replaced if they start to streak the windshield or leave parts unwiped. Use the defrosters and air conditioning to keep the windows from fogging up on the inside (see page 79).

Driving Technique — Always drive slower than you would in dry weather. It takes your car longer to react, even in conditions that may seem just barely damp. Apply smooth, even pressure to all the controls. Abrupt steering wheel movements or sudden, hard appli- cation of the brakes can cause loss of control in wet weather. Be extra cautious for the first few miles (kilometers) of driving while you adjust to the change in driving conditions. This is especially true in snow. A person can forget some snow-driving techniques during the summer months. Practice is needed to relearn those skills.

Exercise extra caution when driving in rain after a long dry spell. After months of dry weather, the first rains bring oil to the surface of the roadway, making it slippery.

Traction — Check your tires frequently for wear and proper pressure. Both are important in preventing "hydroplaning" (loss of traction on a wet surface). In the winter, mount snow tires on all four wheels for the best handling.

Watch road conditions carefully, they can change from moment to moment. Wet leaves can be as slip- pery as ice. "Clear" roads can have patches of ice. Driving conditions can be very hazardous when the outside temperature is near freezing. The road surface can become covered with areas of water puddles mixed with areas of ice, so your traction can change without warning.

Be careful when downshifting. If traction is low, you can lock up the drive wheels for a moment and cause a skid.

Be very cautious when passing, or being passed by, other vehicles. The spray from large vehicles reduces your visibility, and the wind buffeting can cause you to lose control.

Driving in Bad Weather


Towing a Trailer

Your Honda is designed primarily to carry passengers and their cargo. You can use it to tow a trailer if you carefully observe some general rules.


The total weight of the trailer and everything loaded in it must not exceed 1,000 lbs (450 kg).

The "tongue load" should never exceed 100 lbs (45 kg). This is the amount of weight the trailer puts on the hitch when it is fully-loaded. As a rule of thumb, the tongue load should be 10 percent of the total trailer package. For example, if the trailer and its load weigh 500 lbs (225 kg), the tongue load should be 50 lbs (22.5
kg). Adjust the trailer's cargo to change the tongue load. Start by putting approximately 60 percent of the cargo toward the front and 40 percent toward the rear. Never load the trailer so the back is heavier than the front. This takes weight off your car's rear axle and reduces traction.

The combined weight of the car, all passengers and their luggage, and tongue load must not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The GVWR is printed on the Certification label attached to the driver's doorjamb (see page 240).

The combined weight of the car, all passengers and their luggage, and tongue load also must not exceed the Gross Axle Weight Rating. The GAWR is also shown on the Certification label. It tells you the maximum load for the front and rear axles. It is possible that your towing package does not exceed the GVWR but does exceed the GAWR. Improper trailer loading, and/or too much luggage in the trunk can overload the rear axle. Redistribute the load and check the axle weights again.

Improperly loading your car and trailer can seriously affect its steering and braking performance, causing a crash in which you can be seriously injured.

Check the loading of your car and trailer carefully before starting to drive.

The best way to confirm that your total towing package is within these specifications is to get it weighed. Load the car and trailer as you normally would while towing, and take them to a public scale. Have them check the total weight and the weight at each axle, then compare the weights to the specifications.

Towing a Trailer

Trailer Hitches Your Honda dealer, or the Honda Customer Relations Zone Office, can give you advice on the proper hitch for your car. Never use a hitch that mounts only to the rear bumper. The bumper is not designed to handle that type of load. The hitch should bolt to the underbody of the car and distribute the load over a wide area. Always have a trailer hitch installed by a qualified technician.


A trailer hitch that is not adequate for the size of the trailer, or a hitch that is improperly installed, can cause damage to the underside of your car.


Towing a Trailer

Mirrors Many states and provinces have laws requiring special outside mirrors when you are towing a trailer. Check the laws in your area. You may want to install mirrors, even if they are not required. Hook up the trailer and see how much it obscures your ability to see behind you with the standard mirrors. If you cannot see directly behind you, or have a large blind spot next to the trailer or the car, you should install mirrors intended for towing.

Connecting the Trailer Most trailers that have a gross weight of 1,000 lbs (450 kg) do not have their own braking system. If you are thinking of getting a trailer that does have brakes, make sure they are electrically-operated. There are no provisions in your car to tap into its hydraulic braking system. Any attempt to attach the trailer's brakes to your car's hydraulic system, no matter how successful it may seem, will lower braking effectiveness and create a potential hazard.

Always use a safety chain when towing a trailer. Connect the safety chain securely at both ends. Make sure the chain crosses under the tongue so it will catch the trailer if it becomes unhitched. Leave enough slack in the chain so it can't bind in a sharp turn. Do not let it drag on the ground.








Your car has a trailer lighting connector in the trunk. To use the connector, remove the left taillight cover by unscrewing the knob. Refer to the drawing above for the wiring color code and purpose of each connector pin.

Since the lighting and wiring can be different for various brands of trailers, have a technician who is familiar with your trailer modify its lighting plug. A converter may be required between the car and trailer for the lights to work correctly.

Towing a Trailer

Before Starting Out As you are preparing to tow your trailer, do the following:

Measure the trailer's tongue load. You can do this with a bathroom scale. Verify that the hitch and safety chain are securely fastened. Check the condition and air pressure of all tires on the trailer and your car. Low tire pressure can seriously affect the handling. Also check the spare tire. With everything loaded and the trailer connected, check that the rear of the car is not sagging. If so, redistribute the load in the car. Check that all lights on the car and trailer are working properly.


Towing a Trailer

Towing Safety Your car will not stop as quickly with a trailer in tow. Leave extra distance between your car and other vehicles. Avoid braking or turning suddenly. This could cause the trailer to jackknife or possibly turn over.

Keep in mind that your total vehicle is now much longer. Leave more room when making turns. The trailer tracks a smaller arc than the car and can hit or run over something that the car misses. When passing another vehicle, make sure the trailer is clear before changing lanes.

The car/trailer combination is more