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Old 12-26-2014, 03:36 PM   #1
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Prelude trunk leak fix- DIY or dealer

Hey guys, so there's been a puddle of water in my trunk for a while and I finally checked. I'm guessing it's the taillight gaskets. I called Honda and they said with parts and labour it can be done for $180. I'm pretty sure the gaskets can be bought for under $20 each.

So my question is, do you guys suggest getting it done from the dealer or trying on my own? I have already stripped majority of the trunk and backseats as well.
I don't have much experience doing repairs like this but if it's simple enough and worth the savings, I'm willing to try.

I'd appreciate any advice, thanks guys.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:53 PM   #2
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Try on your own! There's DIY guides online.. just follow it
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:40 PM   #3
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If you can loosen a few nuts and remove bulbs, it's a DIY job.

If you have more money than time, send it to the dealer.
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:03 PM   #4
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Go to Micheal's, buy two sheets of ~6mm foam, trace the old gaskets and cut new ones out. Then re-install
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:16 PM   #5
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Search tool is usefull on google
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:28 PM   #6
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What year Prelude? My 97 sometimes leaks as well, I never thought to check the taillight gaskets.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:41 AM   #7
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thanks guys, i think i'm going to give it a shot

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What year Prelude? My 97 sometimes leaks as well, I never thought to check the taillight gaskets.
its an 01. i searched around and the most common issues seem to be either the taillight gaskets or the sunroof drain tubes
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Old 12-27-2014, 08:23 AM   #8
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Do it yourself. If you can turn a 10mm wrench its easy.
Common leak on them as they age. Mine used to but replaced the seals. Order them online and they are super cheap too.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:43 PM   #9
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Just called Honda. The guy said that if water leaked in to my backseat then it's most likely not because of the taillight gaskets. So should I be looking at the sunroof drain tubes?
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:47 PM   #10
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-remove trim around taillights
-fold seats down
-spray water at lights
-look for leak
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Old 12-27-2014, 03:21 PM   #11
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Leaked into your backseat?? mine leaks a little bit but its restricted to the small area near the tailights. I've never bothered to fix it but you can just get those silicone paste tubes and just put it on where it leaks if its a small one and if you cba to take the thing out
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:28 PM   #12
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The most common thing that causes a leak is the taillight gaskets. They are $20 each from Honda, and replacing them will fix the problem for a while, the long term fix is what was suggested above, go to Michael's or any art store buy foam and make your own using the old one as a template.

As for the bolts holding the taillight on, they are 8mm not 10mm, and are very easy to break if overtightened (I broke one myself).

I replaced my taillight gaskets about a month ago, and it was seriously a 30 minute DIY job. Just unplug the wiring harness for the lights, undo 6 bolts per taillight, pull the light assembly out, remove the gasket replace the gasket and reinstall the light.

Hopefully this has been helpful and it goeas well for you.

PS. my leak stopped immediately once they were replaced.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:30 PM   #13
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DIY: taillight gaskets - Honda Prelude Forum : Honda Prelude Forums
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Old 12-27-2014, 09:56 PM   #14
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Thanks guys, definitely gonna give it a shot on my own. No way I'm paying Honda $130 an hour to do dick all.

Trying to avoid spending much money on the car as its a shitty auto and I don't see myself having it for very long.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:48 AM   #15
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some info here at a local prelude club forum

VancouverPreludeClub.net ? View topic - stupid water!!

I've had a similar problem on my Prelude. It was the sunroof drain hose plug. The black rubber piece that connects the hose to the car at the bottom of the trunk on the sides. Somewhat above and behind the real wheels but in the trunk. You should see them if you pull your trunk carpet out.
The other issue was the plug in the trunk near the spare tire. I removed them so the water can drain right out if water should start pooling in that area.

I also made my own rubber taillight gaskets with some foam that I bought from Michaels. I forget the brand name but I remember the label was blue and had a penguin on it. This is the closest one I could find:
http://www.michaels.com/M10390268.html

At the time, only the Langley location had the item when I purchased my rubber foam gasket thingy

Good luck,
Mike
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Last edited by european; 12-29-2014 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:15 PM   #16
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Sorry to change the topic of this thread, but aj94, you mentioned you have an auto 5th gen right?

I have one as well, and am very paranoid about the transmission. How many kms do you have? and have you had any issues with your transmission?
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:03 PM   #17
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If you are worried about running into problems with the automatic transmission, you can either do a 5speed manual transmission swap or sell your Prelude and buy another with a manual transmission.

If you are interested in doing a 5speed swap, look at this information thats posted on a local Prelude club.

VancouverPreludeClub.net ? View topic - 5 spd Swap

VancouverPreludeClub.net ? View topic - Automatic to manual transmission swap

I posted this info on Revscene as well. A few other members were asking about auto transmissions.

http://www.revscene.net/forums/69702...-question.html
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:48 PM   #18
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I've dealt with the auto tranny failing and it's a pain, but not the end of the world if you convert to manual. The auto's are a flawed design produced by GM on contract from Honda, basically if yours hasn't failed it will so either sell it or start acquiring parts for the swap.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:16 PM   #19
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Ended up taking the car to Honda because even with the trunk completely dry, I would hear water moving around while driving. Apparently there's water somewhere in the body by the rear passenger side. Honda said it would need to be sent to a body shop and quoted roughly $700. Anyone ever had an issue like this?
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:26 PM   #20
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Sorry to change the topic of this thread, but aj94, you mentioned you have an auto 5th gen right?

I have one as well, and am very paranoid about the transmission. How many kms do you have? and have you had any issues with your transmission?
Mine is at about 213km. it isn't as strong as when I bought the car but that was expected. If your car is still in decent shape with low mileage, I'd suggest selling it soon or looking in to the swap soon. The sooner you start sourcing out parts, the cheaper it can be
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:34 PM   #21
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Uh...did you check your spare tire area? There's supposed to be a 2 plugs in that area for whatever reason and sometimes water gets in there if your plugs are missing...its more than likely just tailight gaskets and not whatever $700 thing they're charging you for
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:00 PM   #22
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Ended up taking the car to Honda because even with the trunk completely dry, I would hear water moving around while driving. Apparently there's water somewhere in the body by the rear passenger side. Honda said it would need to be sent to a body shop and quoted roughly $700. Anyone ever had an issue like this?
If you're hearing water moving about, there would have to be a fair amount of water to hear it. Sure its not gas in the tank sloshing around?
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:50 AM   #23
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Very unlikely there's a pool of water somewhere inside the body. That would mean there's a hole somewhere between the drain tubes and fender... highly unlikely.

I would second the belief that you are hearing the gasoline in your tank sloshing around. I hear it all the time especially since I stripped my trunk lining due to 3 water leaks. I stopped caring about them.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:22 AM   #24
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Uh...did you check your spare tire area? There's supposed to be a 2 plugs in that area for whatever reason and sometimes water gets in there if your plugs are missing...its more than likely just tailight gaskets and not whatever $700 thing they're charging you for
Yeah, I've already removed those 2 plugs and they're still out.

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If you're hearing water moving about, there would have to be a fair amount of water to hear it. Sure its not gas in the tank sloshing around?

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Very unlikely there's a pool of water somewhere inside the body. That would mean there's a hole somewhere between the drain tubes and fender... highly unlikely.

I would second the belief that you are hearing the gasoline in your tank sloshing around. I hear it all the time especially since I stripped my trunk lining due to 3 water leaks. I stopped caring about them.
I honestly didn't even consider that but yeah I'm pretty sure you guys are right. For the time being I think I'll replace the gaskets, clean the sunroof drains, and leave the trunk and seat area stripped for a while to see if the leaks stop
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:43 PM   #25
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Took the taillights apart today and realized I didn't buy the right kind of foam. I've heard from a few people who have just cleaned the old gaskets and put them back on. I was thinking about doing this for the meantime while I order and wait for new gaskets.

is this a good or bad idea? And if its okay to do, is there anything specific I should do?
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