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1996 Prelude Online Reference Owner's Manual Use these links (and links throughout this manual) to navigate through this reference. For a printed owner's manual, click on authorized manuals or go to www.helminc.com.

Contents

Owner's Identification Form Introduction ......................................................................................................................................... i A Few Words About Safety.................................................................................................................ii Driver and Passenger Safety ..............................................................................................................3 Proper use and care of your vehicle's seat belts, and Supplemental Restraint System. Instruments and Controls.................................................................................................................27 Instrument panel indicator and gauge, and how to use dashboard and steering column controls. Comfort and Convenience Features .............................................................................................. 69 How to operate the climate control system, the audio system, and other convenience features. Before Driving.................................................................................................................................. 93 What gasoline to use, how to break-in your new vehicle, and how to load luggage and other cargo. Driving ..............................................................................................................................................103 The proper way to start the engine, shift the transmission, and park, plus towing a trailer. Maintenance.....................................................................................................................................121 The Maintenance Schedule shows you when you need to take your vehicle to the dealer. Appearance Care..............................................................................................................................175 Tips on cleaning and protecting your vehicle. Things to look for if your vehicle ever needs body repairs. Taking Care of the Unexpected......................................................................................................183 This section covers several problems motorists sometimes experience, and how to handle them. Technical Information.....................................................................................................................205 ID numbers, dimensions, capacities, and technical information. Warranty and Customer Relations (U.S. and Canada)................................................................217 A summary of the warranties covering your new Acura, and how to contact us. Authorized Manuals (U.S. only)......................................................................................................223 How to order manuals and other technical literature. Index...................................................................................................................................................... I Gas Station Information A summary of information you need when you pull up to the fuel pump.

Introduction

Congratulations ! Your selection of a 1996 Honda Prelude was a wise investment. It will give you years of driving pleasure.

One of the best ways to enhance the enjoyment of your new Honda is to read this manual. In it, you will learn about your vehicle's many safety features, and how to operate its driving controls and convenience items. Afterwards, keep this owner's manual in your vehicle so you can refer to it at any time.

Several warranties protect your new Honda. Read the warranty booklet thoroughly so you understand the coverages and are aware of your rights and responsibilities.

Maintaining your vehicle according to the schedules given in this manual helps to keep your driving trouble-free while it preserves your investment.When your vehicle needs maintenance, keep in mind that your Honda dealer's staff is specially-trained in servicing the many systems unique to your Honda. Your Honda dealer is dedicated to your satisfaction and will be pleased to answer any questions and concerns.

Main Menust Safety Messages

Your safety and the safety of others is very important. We have provided many important safety messages in this manual and on the vehicle. Please read these messages carefully.

You will also see another important symbol:

A safety message alerts you to potential hazards that could hurt you or others. Each safety message is preceded by a safety alert symbol one of three words, DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION. These mean:

and

NOTICE

Your Honda or other property can be damaged if you don't follow instruc- tions.

You WILL be KILLED or SERIOUSLY HURT if you don't follow instructions.

The purpose of these messages is to help prevent damage to your vehicle, other property, or the environment.

You CAN be KILLED or SERIOUSLY HURT if you don't follow instructions.

You CAN be HURT if you don't follow instructions.

Each safety message tells you what the hazard is, what can happen and what you can do to avoid or reduce injury.

Main Menust Driver and Passenger Safety

This section gives you important information about occupant protec- tion. It shows how to use seat belts properly. It explains the Supple- mental Restraint System. And it gives useful information about how to protect infants and children in your car.

Your Occupant Protection System.. 4 The Seat Belt System

and How It Works...................... 5 Why Wear Seat Belts.................... 5 Important Safety Reminders........ 5 Seat Belt System Components..... 6 Lap/Shoulder Belt......................... 6 Wearing Seat Belts Properly........ 7 Wearing a Lap/Shoulder Belt...... 7 Advice for Pregnant Women........ 9 Seat Belt Maintenance.................. 9 Supplemental Restraint System..... 10 SRS Components......................... 10 What Happens In a Crash........... 10 Important Facts About

Airbags...................................... 11

How the Driver's Airbag

Works........................................12

How the Passenger's Airbag

Works........................................13

How the SRS Indicator Light

Works........................................14 System Service............................. 14 System Service Precautions....... 15 Additional Safety Information........ 16 Seat-back Position........................ 16

Door Locks................................... 16 Storing Cargo Safely................... 17 Driving with Pets......................... 17 Child Safety...................................... 18 Where Should Children Sit?....... 18 Important Safety Reminders...... 19 General Guidelines for Restraining Children Under 18 kg (40 Ibs)............... 19

Restraining an Infant Who Weighs Less Than 9 kg (20 Ibs).......... 19

Restraining a Child Who Weighs Between 9 and 18 kg (20 and 40 Ibs)..... 20

Restraining a Child Who Weighs

Over 18 kg (40 Ibs).................. 21

Securing a Child Seat with a

Lap/Shoulder Belt................... 22

Using Child Restraints

with Tethers............................. 22 Storing a Child Seat..................... 23 Alcohol and Drugs........................... 24 Carbon Monoxide Hazard.............. 25 Safety Labels.................................... 26

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main Menust Your Occupant Protection System

Your Honda is equipped with seat belts and other features that work together to protect you and your passengers during a crash.

Seat belts are the most important part of your occupant protection system. When worn properly, seat belts can reduce the chance of serious injury or death in a crash.

For added protection during a severe frontal collision, your Prelude has a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with a driver's airbag and a front passenger's airbag.

Two indicator lights are also part of your safety system. One reminds you to make sure you and your passen- gers wear seat belts. The other alerts you to a possible problem with your supplemental restraint system (see page 14).

The seats, head restraints, and door locks also play a role in occupant safety. For example, reclining the seat-back can decrease the effec- tiveness of your seat belt. Head restraints can help protect your neck and head, especially during rear-end impacts. Door locks help keep your doors from being accidentally opened during a crash.

Driver and Passenger Safety

To get the maximum protection from your occupant protection system, check the following before you drive away:

Everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt properly (see page 6). Infants and small children are properly secured in child safety seats (see page 18). Both doors are closed and locked (see page 16). Seat-backs are upright (see page 16). There are no loose items that could be thrown around and hurt someone during a crash or sudden stop (see page 17).

By following these guidelines, you can reduce injuries to yourself and your passengers in many crash situations. Remember, however, that no safety system can prevent all injuries or deaths that can occur in severe crashes.

Main MenuTable of Contentsst The Seat Belt System and How It Works

Why Wear Seat Belts Wearing seat belts, and wearing them properly, is fundamental to your safety and the safety of your passengers.

During a crash or emergency stop, seat belts can help keep you from being thrown against the inside of the car, against other occupants, or out of the car.

Of course, seat belts cannot com- pletely protect you in every crash. But, in most cases, seat belts reduce your chance of serious injury. They can even save your life. That is why many states and all Canadian pro- vinces require you to wear seat belts.

Not wearing a seat belt increases the chance of being killed or seriously hurt in a crash.

Be sure you and your passengers always wear seat belts and wear them properly.

Important Safety Reminders Seat belts are designed for adults and larger children. All infants and small children must be properly restrained in child safety seats (see page 18).

A pregnant woman needs to wear a seat belt to protect herself and her unborn child (see page 9).

Two people should never use the same seat belt. If they do, they could be very seriously injured in a crash.

Do not place the shoulder portion of a lap/shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back. This could increase the chance of serious injuries in a crash.

Do not put shoulder belt pads or other accessories on seat belts. They can reduce the effectiveness of the belts and increase the chance of injury.

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main MenuTable of Contentsst The lap/shoulder belt retractor in each passenger seating position has an additional locking mechanism that is intended to secure a child seat (see page 22). If the shoulder part of the belt is pulled all the way out, this mechanism will engage. The belt will retract, but it will not allow the passenger to move freely. If the belt feels too tight, unlatch it, let it retract fully, then pull it out as far as needed.

The Seat Belt System and How It Works

Seat Belt System Components Your Honda has lap/shoulder seat belts in all four seating positions.

Your seat belt system also includes a light on the instrument panel to remind you to fasten your seat belt, and to make sure your passengers fasten theirs. This light comes on when you turn on the ignition if you have not fastened your seat belt. A beeper also sounds for several seconds (see page 31).

The following pages cover more about the seat belt components and how they work.

Driver and Passenger Safety

Lap/Shoulder Belt

SHOULDER PORTION

UPPER SEAT BELT ANCHOR

LATCH PLATE

BUCKLE

LAP PORTION

This style of seat belt has a single belt that goes over your shoulder, across your chest, and across your hips. Each lap/shoulder belt has an emergency locking retractor. In normal driving, the retractor lets you move freely in your seat while it keeps some tension on the belt. During a collision or sudden stop, the retractor automatically locks the belt to help restrain your body.

Main MenuTable of Contentsst The Seat Belt System and How It Works

Wearing Seat Belts Properly You can increase the effectiveness of your seat belts if you take a little time to read the following pages and make sure you know how to wear seat belts properly.

Wearing a Lap/Shoulder Belt Before putting on the seat belt, move the driver's seat as far back as is practical while still allowing you to maintain full control of the vehicle. Make sure the seat-back is upright (see page 16). The front seat passenger should move the seat as far back as possible.

Not wearing seat belts properly increases the chance of serious injury or death in a crash.

Be sure you and your passengers always wear seat belts and wear them properly.

1. Pull the latch plate across your

body and insert it into the buckle. Tug on the belt to make sure the latch is securely locked.

CONTINUED

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main MenuTable of Contentsst The Seat Belt System and How It Works

2. Check that the belt is not twisted.

3. Position the lap portion of the belt

as low as possible across your hips, not across your stomach. This lets your strong pelvic bones take the force of a crash.

4. Pull up on the shoulder part of the

belt to remove any slack. Make sure the belt goes over your collarbone and across your chest.

To unlatch the seat belt, push the red PRESS button on the buckle. Guide the belt across your body to the door pillar.

After you exit the vehicle, make sure the seat belt is out of the way and will not get closed in the door.

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main MenuTable of Contentsst The Seat Belt System and How It Works

Advice for Pregnant Women

When using the seat belt, remember to keep the lap portion as low as possible (see page 7).

Seat Belt Maintenance For safety, you should check the condition of your seat belts regularly.

Each time you have a check-up, ask your doctor if it's okay for you to drive and how you should position a lap/shoulder seat belt.

Pull out each belt fully and look for frays, cuts, burns, and wear. Check that the latches work smoothly and the lap/shoulder belts retract easily. Any belt not in good condition or not working properly should be replaced.

If a seat belt is worn during a crash, have your dealer replace the belt and inspect the anchors for damage.

For information on how to clean your seat belts, see page 179.

Protecting the mother is the best way to protect her unborn child. Therefore, a pregnant woman should wear a properly-positioned seat belt whenever she drives or rides in a car.

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main MenuTable of Contentsst Supplemental Restraint System

Your car is equipped with a Supple- mental Restraint System (SRS) to help protect the head and chest of the driver and front seat passenger during a severe frontal collision.

This system does not replace your seat belts. It supplements, or adds to, the protection offered by seat belts and other occupant protection features.

Not wearing seat belts increases the chance of serious injury or death in a crash, even if you have airbags.

Be sure you and your passengers always wear seat belts and wear them properly.

SRS Components Your supplemental restraint system includes:

One airbag in the steering wheel for the driver and another in the dashboard for the front passenger.

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