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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:21 am
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Default Is it bad news when a car idles rough?

I found a 1988 Honda Prelude with 37,000 miles. It's going for a very nice price. I talked to the dealer on the phone. He said the only problem with the car is that it idles rough. Is this a big problem? Does this tend to have an expensive fix? Is this odd for a car with such low miles?I'm test driving the car tomorrow so I'll be able to see for myself just how rough he was talking. I just don't want to end up buying a car because it's such a deal and then ending up paying tons of money to fix it.Yes, I do plan on getting a carfax report on it. The miles did seem off to me. But assuming the mileage is correct...
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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:24 am
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Something is very fishy about an 88' lude with 37k....check car fax for flood damage and odometer discrepancy.if the car truly had only 37k, it would only idle rough, because in all likely hood, it needs an oil change bad. that or the injectors are super dirty from, what sounds like being a garage queen all those years.
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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:27 am
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First of all, the chances of you finding a 1988 prelude with 37,000 miles are next to none. Even a 1998 prelude will have more miles than that. Only two options....The odometer has rolled over, or someone has rolled it back. I wouldn't touch it simply because of that, unless you had it verified that it hadn't rolled either way. It could possibly be a case where the original motor blew, and they replaced it with a motor that had estimated mileage of 37,000 miles...Which in that case, a rough idle could still be some serious issues. Like I said, I wouldn't take it.
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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:30 am
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37,000 is a bit sus. It may just need an oil change and a new oil filter. It may also need a new air filter and an adjustment made to the idle speed.
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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:33 am
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1988 cars were all carburetted engines. In those engines just a mere vacuum leak can cause the car to run rough. Actually fuel injected (electronic ignition) engine would run rough also but not as much. If that is the case then you can probably feel your way around each vacuum hose and replace it for about $5.But it is also possible that there's too much load (pressure) from the transmission even though it is not moving. In that case you are talking about major fix.Take the car to a mechanic (assuming everything else is clean) and see what he / she says is the problem. ====One thing you should know: cars with extra low mileage is NOT always a good thing. Cars are meant to be driven. Parts stay loose by moving. My Civic was sitting for 3 weeks this summer while I was away. When I came back the brake rotors (discs) were rusted red. By driving the rust would never form or develop, but while sitting the rust really spread.So don't think this is has to be some crazy great catch. You just never know.Good Luck.P.S. Make sure you get a mechanic who is old enough to know how to fix old cars. I fix my own cars whenever possible, but vacuum porting was always a mystery to me.
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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:36 am
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i would say that it needs an oil change... BAD!!! how much for the ar? if it has only 37k REAL miles that is a steal
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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:39 am
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My thoughts are also a vacuum leak or PCV valve.
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Old 31 Oct 2007, 10:42 am
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Is this an 2.0S or 2.0Si model. The S model was carbureted; The Si was fuel injected. If the 37K on the odometer is legitimate, it could be that the injectors need cleaning (Si model) or the carburetor needs to be rebuilt or replaced. Your best bet is to take the car to a mechanic and have it inspected before you buy it. If the dealer won't let you do that, don't bother. They are hiding something. A rough idle could be the sign of something serious as well and they maybe trying to hide it.
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