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1990 to 2005 Acura NSX: Used

1990 to 2005 Acura NSX: Used
May 10, 2014
1990 to 2005 Acura NSX: Used
by Justin Pritchard , Auto123.com
Model: 1990 to 2005 Acura NSX

Vehicle Type: Performance Coupe

Pricing for the used Acura NSX: Used NSX models will be rare in the used market and tricky to find, though shoppers can expect pricing between $27,000 and $50,000, depending on the year, mileage, and condition of the model in question.


History/Description of the used Acura NSX: The NSX wasn't a car anyone bought to have the fastest supercar on the block. It was a car bought because it was cool-looking as all hell, and it had a gorgeous V6 bolted to the middle, and looked like a Ferrari, and handled like a fighter jet.

Ferraris from this era are still priced like real estate, but you can get an NSX on the affordable side of the spectrum. And, when you do, the local Honda Civic tuner crowd will be super-envious of your VTEC.

NSX models came one way: as a two-seater with a mid-mounted VTEC V6 driving the rear wheels. The NSX was a hard-topped coupe, while the NSX-T had a removable targa top.

Early models got a 3.0L V6 making 252 horsepower with the automatic transmission and 270 with the 5-speed manual. From 1997, a 3.2L V6 landed under the hood, bumping power to 290 horses. It was joined by a new 6-speed manual transmission.

The Used Acura NSX Test Drive: As with any used performance car ride, a few checks should be considered mandatory during your shopping and test-drive process.
  • Check the consumable parts. Tires, brake pads, brake rotors. and the clutch on a used NSX should all be presumed in need of replacement until the shopper and/or his mechanic confirm otherwise. As a performance car, replacing consumable parts won't be inexpensive, so be sure the seller isn't trying to pass a replacement bill onto you.

  • According to owner forums, some transmissions in earlier (1991 and 1992) NSX models may have a defective transmission-case design that allows a snap-ring inside of the gearbox to shatter. Symptoms of the snap-ring problem include a transmission that "pops" out of gear on its own or a grinding/growling noise while driving. Listen closely on your test-drive, noting that the transmission in the NSX is in the rear of the car. Using this information, an Acura mechanic can determine if the model you're considering has experienced snap-ring failure, which will require replacement or rebuilding of the transmission.

  • The NSX engine uses a timing belt to set its mechanical heartbeat. This component needs to be changed preemptively on a periodic basis before it fails. If it does fail, the engine in your used NSX will turn into a giant heap of shrapnel. Determine where the timing belt in the NSX you're considering sits within its lifespan. If you're unsure, budget for a change. A mechanic can easily change the water pump while changing the timing belt, too.

  • Have the model inspected for signs of worn or dried-up coolant lines (there are nearly two dozen of these), as well as other signs of fluid leaks.

  • Be on the lookout for leaks. Especially in targa-top models, you'll want to be sure there's no moisture or mildew in the carpeting, and that the seats show no signs of water damage. Weather seals around the top, as well as around the trunk and engine cover, should be plump, flexible and intact--not dried up, crispy or crumbling apart. Pull up the trunk carpeting and look for signs of moisture there, too.

  • Confirm that the remote keyfobs work, that the windows roll up and down as expected, and that the trunk lid stays up on its own. Run the climate control system on all settings to confirm proper operation, too.

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