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1998 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.................................................................................................................49 Instrument panel indicator and gauge, and how to use dashboard and steering column controls. Comfort and Convenience Features ............................................................................................. 91 How to operate the climate control system, the audio system, and other convenience features. Before Driving..................................................................................................................................119 What gasoline to use, how to break-in your new vehicle, and how to load luggage and other cargo. Driving ..............................................................................................................................................131 The proper way to start the engine, shift the transmission, and park, plus towing a trailer. Maintenance.....................................................................................................................................159 The Maintenance Schedule shows you when you need to take your vehicle to the dealer. Appearance Care..............................................................................................................................219 Tips on cleaning and protecting your vehicle. Things to look for if your vehicle ever needs body repairs. Taking Care of the Unexpected......................................................................................................227 This section covers several problems motorists sometimes experience, and how to handle them. Technical Information.....................................................................................................................251 ID numbers, dimensions, capacities, and technical information. Warranty and Customer Relations (U.S. and Canada)................................................................265 A summary of the warranties covering your new Acura, and how to contact us. Authorized Manuals (U.S. only)......................................................................................................271 How to order manuals and other technical literature. Index...................................................................................................................................................... I Service Information Summary A summary of information you need when you pull up to the fuel pump.

Accord Value Package Audio System

Introduction

As you read this manual, you will find information that is preceded by a information is intended to help you avoid damage to your Honda, other property, or the environment.

symbol. This

NOTICE

Congratulations ! Your selection of a 1998 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 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 A Few Words About Safety

Your safety, and the safety of others, is very important. And operating this vehicle safely is an important responsibility.

To help you make informed decisions about safety, we have provided operating procedures and other information on labels and in this manual. This information alerts you to potential hazards that could hurt you or others.

Of course, it is not practical or possible to warn you about all the hazards associated with operating or maintaining your vehicle. You must use your own good judgement.

You will find this important safety information in a variety of forms, including:

Safety Labels — on the vehicle. Safety Messages — preceded by a safety alert symbol

three signal words: DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION. These signal words mean:

and one of

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

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

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

Safety Headings — such as Important Safety Reminders or Important

Safety Precautions.

Safety Section — such as Driver and Passenger Safety. Instructions — how to use this vehicle correctly and safely.

This entire book is filled with important safety information — please read it carefully.

Main Menust This section gives you important information about how to protect yourself and your passengers. It shows you how to use seat belts properly. It explains your Supple- mental Restraint System. And it tells you how to properly restrain infants and children in your vehicle.

Important Safety Precautions .......... 4 Your Vehicle's Safety Features........ 5 Seat Belts........................................ 6

Airbags............................................ 7 Seats & Seat-Backs........................ 8 Head Restraints............................. 8 Door Locks..................................... 9 Pre-Drive Safety Checklist........... 9 Protecting Adults............................. 10 1. Close and Lock the Doors...... 10 2. Adjust the Front Seats............ 11 3. Adjust the Seat-Backs............. 12 4. Adjust the Head Restraints.... 13 5. Fasten and Position the Seat

Belts...................................... 14 6. Adjust the Steering Wheel..... 15 7. Maintain a Proper Sitting

Position................................. 16 Advice for Pregnant Women...... 17 Additional Safety Precautions.... 17 Protecting Children......................... 19

All Children Must Be

Restrained................................ 19

Children Should Sit in the Back

Seat............................................20

The Passenger's Airbag Poses

Serious Risks to Children....... 20

If You Must Drive with Several

Children.................................... 21

Driver and Passenger Safety

If a Child Requires Close

Attention................................... 22 Additional Safety Precaution...... 22 General Guidelines for Using

Child Seats................................ 23 Protecting Infants........................ 27 Protecting Small Children .......... 31 Protecting Larger Children........ 35 Using Child Seats with

Tethers......................................38

Additional Information About Your

Seat Belts.................................. 40 Seat Belt System Components... 40 Lap/Shoulder Belt....................... 40 Seat Belt Maintenance................ 42

Additional Information About Your

SRS............................................43 SRS Components......................... 43 How Your Airbags Work............ 43 How Your SRS Indicator Light

Works........................................45 SRS Service................................... 45 Additional Safety Precautions.... 46 Carbon Monoxide Hazard.............. 47 Safety Labels.................................... 48

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main Menust Be Aware of Airbag Hazards While airbags save lives, they can cause serious or fatal injuries to occupants who sit too close to them, or are not properly restrained. Infants, young children, and short adults are at the greatest risk. Be sure to follow all instructions and warnings in this manual. (See page 5.)

Control Your Speed Excessive speed is a major factor in crash injuries and deaths. Generally, the higher the speed the greater the risk, but serious accidents can also occur at lower speeds. Never drive faster than is safe for current conditions, regardless of the maximum speed posted.

Don't Drink and Drive Alcohol and driving don't mix. Even one drink can reduce your ability to respond to changing conditions. Reaction time gets worse with every additional drink. So don't drink and drive, and don't let your friends drink and drive, either.

Keep Your Vehicle in Safe Condition Having a tire blowout or a mechanical failure can be extremely hazardous. To reduce the possibility of such problems, check your tire pressures and condition frequently, and perform all regularly scheduled maintenance. (See page 162.)

Important Safety Precautions

You'll find many safety recommendations throughout this section, and throughout this manual. Following are a few recommendations we consider most important.

Always Wear Your Seat Belt A seat belt is your best protection in all types of collisions. Airbags supplement seat belts, but airbags are designed to inflate only in a severe frontal collision. So even with airbags, make sure you and your passengers always wear your seat belts, and wear them properly. (See page 14.)

Restrain All Children Children are safest when they are properly restrained in the back seat, not the front seat. A child who is too small for a seat belt must be properly restrained in a child safety seat. (See page 19.)

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main MenuTable of Contentsst Your Vehicle's Safety Features

Your vehicle is equipped with many features that work together to protect you and your passengers during a crash.

Some safety features do not require any action on your part. These include a strong steel framework that forms a safety cage around the passenger compartment; front and rear crush zones that are designed to crumple and absorb energy during a crash; and a collapsible steering column.

These safety features are designed to reduce the severity of injuries in a crash. However, you and your passengers can't take full advantage of these safety features unless you remain sitting in a proper position and always wear your seat belts properly. In fact, some safety features can contribute to injuries if they are not used properly.

Driver and Passenger Safety

(1) Safety Cage (2) Crush Zones (3) Seats & Seat-Backs (4) Head Restraints (5) Collapsible Steering Column (6) Seat Belts (7) Airbags (8) Door Locks

Main MenuTable of Contentsst Your Vehicle's Safety Features

Seat Belts For your safety, and the safety of your passengers, your vehicle is equipped with seat belts in all seating positions.

Your seat belt system also includes a light on the

instrument panel to remind you and your passengers to fasten your seat belts.

Why Wear Seat Belts Seat belts are the single most effective safety device for adults and larger children. (Infants and smaller children must be properly restrained in child seats.)

Not wearing a seat belt properly increases the chance of serious injury or death in a crash, even though your vehicle has airbags.

Driver and Passenger Safety

In addition, most states and all Canadian provinces require you to wear seat belts.

Help keep you from being thrown against the inside of the car and against other occupants.

Not wearing a seat belt properly 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.

When properly worn, seat belts:

Keep you connected to the vehicle so you can take advantage of the vehicle's built-in safety features.

Help protect you in almost every type of crash, including side and rear impacts and rollovers. (Your airbags can only be helpful in severe frontal collisions.)

Keep you from being thrown outside of the car.

Help keep you in a good position should the airbags ever deploy. A good position reduces the risk of injury from an inflating airbag, and allows you to get the best advantage from the airbags.

Of course, seat belts cannot completely protect you in every crash. But in most cases, seat belts can reduce your risk of serious injury.

What you should do: Always wear your seat belt, and make sure you wear it properly.

Main MenuTable of Contentsst Your Vehicle's Safety Features

Airbags

Your vehicle has a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with frontal airbags to help protect the driver and a front seat passenger.

This system also includes SRS an indicator light on the instrument panel to alert you to a possible problem with the system.

Following are the most important things you need to know about your airbags.

Airbags do not replace seat belts. They supplement seat belts by providing extra protection for the heads and chests of front seat occupants.

Airbags offer no protection in side impacts, rear impacts, rollovers, or minor or moderate collisions. Airbags are designed to deploy only during a severe frontal collision (such as a 25 mph [40 km/h] crash into a parked car of similar size and weight).

Airbags can pose serious hazards. To do their job, airbags must inflate with tremendous force and speed. So while airbags save lives, they can cause serious injuries to adults and larger children who are not wearing seat belts, are not

wearing them properly, are sitting too close to the airbag, or are not sitting in a proper position. Infants and small children are at an even greater risk of injury or death.

What you should do: Always wear your seat belt properly and sit upright and as far back as possible from the steering wheel or dashboard.

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main MenuTable of Contentsst Your Vehicle's Safety Features

What you should do: Move the front seats as far back as possible, and keep adjustable seat-backs in an upright position whenever the vehicle is moving.

Head Restraints Head restraints can help protect you from whiplash and other injuries. For maximum protection, the back of your head should rest against the center of the head restraint.

Seats & Seat-Backs Your vehicle seats are designed to keep you in a comfortable, upright position so you can take full advantage of the protection offered by seat belts and the seats' energy absorbing materials.

How you adjust your seats and seat- backs can also affect your safety. For example, sitting too close to the steering wheel or dashboard increases your risk of being injured by striking the inside of the vehicle or being injured by an inflating airbag.

Reclining a seat-back too far makes your seat belt less effective and increases your chance of sliding under the seat belt and being seriously injured in a crash.

Driver and Passenger Safety

Main MenuTable of Contentsst Door Locks Keeping your doors locked reduces the chance of being thrown out of the vehicle during a crash. It also helps prevent occupants from accidentally opening a door and falling out, and outsiders from

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