S2000 owners advice

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Following my previous postings here about looking for a car that won’t depreciate but can daily social wise, I’ve purchased an S2000.

35k miles, FHSH, 2005 plate, and spotless. Some dealers are advertising these at around £20k, I managed to get it for 2/3 of that as the old boy seemed to very much like me Vs the time wasters he had been dealing with.

Obviously with cars of this age you take a punt just based on age alone but I’m hoping it’s as reliable as people claim they are in general.

Do any owners on here have any advice or tips? First thing I’m doing tomorrow is getting the radio changed to something with an amp and Bluetooth, next up will be speakers and sound deadening I guess. I desperately need a phone holder also.

Cars already got brand new PS4’s on which I’m happy with, the roads are utterly soaked but I’ve not encountered any issues driving it back to Bristol from London. I’m assuming it’s the AP1 which was snappier and being a facelift model mine won’t be that bad.

First impressions are that it’s incredibly fun, far more so than my old Z4’s, much more of a smile similar to my original MX5’s I had as a kid. Also someone’s either fitted a short shift kit or holy lol is that gearbox short throw as standard. I think I’ll be changing the gear knob, it’s a bit too tall and thin for my liking.
 
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What's your expectation regarding value when considering your projected ownership length and mileage?

Depends how long I own it, I tend to keep my cars a long time if I like them and I have a feeling I am very much going to like this car long term.

No ones got a crystal ball, but I avoided depreciation on 3 of my last 3 cars, if I can run this and sell it for what I bought it for in how ever long, I’ll be very very happy.
 
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The consensus is alignment and rust. I’ll be going those routes. It was only just serviced and given a clean bill of health with 0 advisories on its MOT and its service advisory by Honda in October.

Does anyone know of any Honda or S2000 specialists in Bristol or near by? Centre of gravity is a bit of a trek but needs must if not.

I got very lucky by having the best BMW garage Redish only 6 miles from me when I had the Z4’s.
 
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@hurfdurf I would be interested to hear how this compares with your Z4M.

It's far lighter, 300kg or so, its massively noticeable. The handling is much sharper, although you feel less through the wheel. The gear box is much better in the S2000, the handling and chassis is leagues better. The only thing its down on is power, but the engines more responsive and fun than in the Z4M.

I didn't get on with my Z4M in many ways, and whilst the E89 Z4iS was a massively more comfortable car, I didn't get on with that either, it wasn't even genuinely sporty.

I have gone through a few cars looking for something that can put a smile on my face like my MX5's did but with a bit more power so I can over take things, I think I have found it.


Suspension - OEM replacement or KW/Ohlins. All other Coilovers are pap.
If your geo bolts are rusty then lube up your wallet and replace them. I went for mugen and hardrace bushes all round. Compliant and transformed the car (I changed to KW V1 as my stock suspension died)
Consider also a toe arm set. Will probably be needed for a full setup if you go down the suspension refresh route.

If it doesn't have PS4 tyres then throw them on if your car has the 17" wheels. Everything else that fits isn't great.

Check for rust. The key areas are the H beam below.the stock air box. Water gathers here and doesn't escape. In addition check the trailing end of the front arches for stone chips if you are running any remotely grippy tyres. Rust there will escalate quickly.

Last piece of advice is boot floor damp and ingress. Check this regularly. Remove the jack stand foam and feel the carpet liner. If the car exists on this planet then it will be taking water in at some point. Just remove the liner.and dry it out. Plenty of info on how to prevent it long term.

Other than that, if you have a GT then keep the hardtop on for a bit but make sure you regularly remove it and.move the roof a few times to keep it free. Buy a tube of shin etsu grease for your rubber seals and use it often.

If you don't know.when.the TCT was done then look at just replacing.it. buy the honda part from Japan. Use ling's honda to find part codes then find your parts cheaper elsewhere or import as it's usually cheaper.

Don't do the UK exhaust mod because it sounds absolutely craaaap.

Set a reminder on your phone to check your oil every week.

Enjoy S2000 ownership because I spend the day being sad every time I see one and remind myself that mine was amazing and it doesn't belong to me anymore.

Already got the PS4's on.

Do I really have to check the oil weekly? I've heard do it every time I fill up with petrol.
 
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your OP said you were using it daily so assumed weekly checks would be about in like with that.

If you're using it regularly then just monitor it.
Mine didn't use oil but I know a lot of owners who had to top up frequently. It's worth doing a check at least anyway.

Will be doing so just to make sure
 
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Any tyre recommendations in particular? People are saying a stiff sidewall is a must. I don’t want track day tyres but as sporty as possible would be ideal.

Current got MPS4… I know the 5 is out, and the MPS4s. Don’t know the differences.
 
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In short, it’s great.

I’ve put 10k miles on it and I think I bought just as values dipped so have probably lost a small bit on it, but I’m not playing with big money toys so I’m not bothered and no plans to sell.

Took it in for a full service including all fluids at the local Honda specialist, £600. Had to have a tyre repaired. Other than that, it’s been perfect cost wise.

I’ve changed the stereo so have Bluetooth and hands free. Important on a daily. As it’s a daily I’m not spending mega bucks on go faster mods, it’s already great fun stock with good tyres. Anything I change is just going to be every day comfort stuff without compromising anything. Took me a little while to get used not to having parking sensors!

Next on my list is going to be some cheap speaker upgrades and under-seat subwoofer, and a BYS seat rail install so I can lower the stock seat a tiny bit. I’m 6’0 and I’m just a little too big to be sat in it perfectly, I’m not uncomfortable, but it’s not exactly where I want to be. I also might change to a sportier steering wheel so my legs have a bit more room.

One tiny barely noticeable annoying thing is the key position. My house keys dangle down and touch my leg, I have no idea how to prevent this other than having the key not on any kind of keyring.

One of my weekly clients lives from my house down a great driving route on some perfect B roads and it never fails to entertain on my face on the way back late at night when there’s no other traffic. Makes me realised how privileged I am to run a classic sports car as a daily.

I’ve had some nice compliments from blokes into cars who’ve asked me about it at petrol stations and car parks which is always kind. One of the things I missed about my MX5 was all the other owners waving, S2000 owners do so but there are no where near as many, buts what’s nice is I’ve realised MX5 owners have started waving again.

The only time I wouldn’t want to drive it and would borrow someone else’s car is when I have to do anything 1 hour plus, especially on the motorway. Luckily I’ve got options to borrow much more suitable vehicles for that kind of journey.
 
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Well, the mrs has given me the go ahead to get another S2000. When asked, the response was "I always thought you were mad to sell that car". So, there we go. The hunt begins next month.

Nice, what’s your budget and would you consider modified cars? I wanted a completely stock car but the one that I came across that was too good to be true had a K&N, which didn’t bother me.
 
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Looking at £15k so should be enough for a post 2004 example on sensible milage. The really good ones are £20k+ but I'm not going there. Not looking for anything concourse. Just a good, honest example. Willing to take a modified one. Exhaust, FIPK etc. Not wanting one that's had any kind of FI though. It would be nice to find one without siezed suspension adjusters but that's wishful thinking for that budget.
My main concern is finding one with a roof in decent condition, without holes where the shoulders rub. Ideally I want one between 2004 and 2006 as I prefer the cable throttle to the electronic one on the post 2006 cars. Also much cheaper tax for pre Mar 2006. Post then it's £700/year which is kind of annoying.
There are a few examples around that I'm going to see if I can get to see next week. They don't seem to be moving as many have been advertised for quite some time.

The funny thing is, my £15k budget is exactly what I sold my 2007 example for in 2016. It's also what I bought it for in 2012!

That sounds exactly like mine, I was very lucky and got it at a great price considering the miles on it. Good luck with your search. There seems to be a few that are advertised in that realm but not selling, whereas others are selling in days, so I’m wondering what is wrong with the ones that aren’t.

Edit: Wow, I thought I’d have lost some money on mine this year putting 10k on it, but a quick glance on auto trader shows there’s only 18 in the country post 2004 that have less than 50k on, and the cheapest is almost £3000 more than I paid for mine!
 
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very likely to be crashed by someone thinking its as forgiving as an mx5.

I don't understand how this is possible, I had MX5's for about 8 years in total, and it feels completely different in that it holds grip longer, but is clearly far harder and therefore snappy on the limit vs progressive.
 
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I just droped the S2000 off at TGM Motorsport for a going over and to have the silencer bypass mod done. I ummed and ahhed about getting an aftermarket pipe but in the end decided to have the same mod done that I had before on my last S2000. I was one of the first people in the world to have this mod done back in 2012 and it's now a very popular thing to do to an S2000 to have more sound without droning and while retaining the stock lock.

My original thread on it here: https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/threads/s2000-exhaust-modification.18412541/#:~:text=This was dreamed up by,to bypass the rear silencers.

Is that now known as the “UK exhaust mod”?

I’m very tempted myself.
 
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So the one I was enquiring about did indeed have a gap in servicing but it's been very consistent for many years since so I don't consider it an issue. Honda 05-06 then Gap until 2012 due to low use etc. then serviced consistently until the last one in 2023.

I feel that's fine for a car that I intend to use essentially daily. It will hold value regardless imo (and that's not what this purchase is about anyway)

It wasn’t serviced for 6 years?!
 
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More money spent.
I can’t quite get comfortable in my current S2000 when compared to my last one and was wracking my brains as to why. I checked back on stuff I did to that one and remembered I had fitted the BYS lowered seat rails which drops the seat by around 20 to 25mm. Bingo!
Ordered some.

Got a link to where you ordered yours? I’ve been tempted but I’m also moving out of the city and might need to get a more comfy daily, so also might be selling mine only 2 years in :(
 
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