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Bunker Hill, WV
ABS and/or 'check engine' light on also?
Garden hose outside , flashlight inside. Windshield ever been replaced?
To the "full" mark on the dipstick? ..............sorry, couldn't resist.........nevermind.....
Check(or have checked) the COOLING fan relay (not the A/C condensor fan relay)most likely bad. Same type relay as A/C compressor clutch , and they have lots of problems with those.
While moving or just in park?
IF the reason for V.C. gasket replacement is because of an oil leak then yes , but you don't need to remove the valve cover to replace the starter, you need to remove the intake.Those gaskets are re-usable 99% of the time. Be sure to have radio code available for afterwards.
Have the tires been rotated , to see if any difference? that would help rule out the tires. Where was all the rest of the work done?
Just a thought , going from the other info posted, try drying the cylinders out (plugs out -compressed air for a minute or two each) , get a FRESH set of OEM plugs and put a FEW drops of oil in each cylinder. Unplug injectors and crank over a few times, then plug the injectors back in and make sure all your intake (mass-air) is hooked up correctly--NO LEAKS between air filter housing and throttle body!!!! Then loosen exhaust a little somewhere in front of the converter to let it breath. My theory is you've got plugged exhaust causing the cylinders to flood and wash the rings etc...............mind you ....just a thought , but I've seen it before. Good luck.
Truck moving or standing still? Noise change with engine speed or vehicle speed?
Dealer may be more expensive at first , buy if your prelude has the early type immobilizer system , that may be your best bet in the long run.