The Honda Civic Kind R lastly confirmed up on our shores this yr, packing polarizing styling and over 300 horsepower going to its entrance wheels. Demand has been excessive and sellers have taken benefit by including ADM on high of the mannequin’s MSRP. Many purchasers are completely happy to pay the premium.
We’ve had the Kind R on the highway and on the observe and, whereas the opinions on styling differ, everybody appears to be impressed with the efficiency. Nonetheless, whereas it retains up with way more highly effective vehicles on observe, it hasn’t escaped the struggles of a first-year mannequin.
Points corresponding to overheating, rev-match errors, and equipment grinds have been reported by homeowners and journalists alike. Our personal Bark M. skilled a number of of those points whereas taking the Kind R from observe to trace throughout the Southeast, and I used to be there to see a few of them and consider their affect.
I met up with Mark at Charlotte Motor Speedway on a sizzling August afternoon and hopped into the passenger seat of the Civic for a number of laps across the Speedway. From my view, the automotive obtained across the observe with no hitch and Mark appeared to have the ability to push it laborious even within the sophisticated turns of the infield.
His abilities performed an enormous position in how the automotive obtained across the observe, however the rev-matching system certainly performed a giant half as nicely — at the very least, till it broke. After my session, Mark took a number of extra passengers out for ride-alongs, however a couple of minutes later I noticed him pulling in with the all-too-familiar “race automotive is damaged” look on his face.
I joined Leo the Honda tech and driver and technician Jason Owens to search out out why the Civic now confirmed “rev-match disabled” and “emission error” on the gauge cluster. After grabbing my transportable code reader, we have been in a position to deduce that the automotive had gone right into a limp mode as a result of gas hunger and a turbocharger underboost situation. The gas hunger problem was shortly solved (we seen there was lower than 1 / 4 tank of gas left, and gas had possible sloshed away from the pump because the automotive was on the banks of the Speedway).
The underboost situation was a thriller till Jason talked about he had seen points with the wiring for the increase management solenoid, which required harness alternative. We checked the plug for the solenoid and it appeared to have been repaired or changed. The plug was pulled and reseated as Leo went off to refuel the automotive. The remaining periods of the day didn’t current any points.
After trying up the codes and checking the boards, the difficulty seemed to be fairly frequent for homeowners. Based on a just lately found Technical Service Bulletin, Honda has launched a repair within the type of an up to date engine harness. The TSB states that the unique problem stems from the frequency of the engine, which causes the wires within the connector for the increase management solenoid to vibrate and break. The up to date harness fixes this by doubling again on the harness and wrapping it in shrink wrap (together with two zip ties on high).
The up to date half appears extra like a fast repair that we’d do on the race observe than a manufacturing facility half, however it might be the results of Honda attempting to get the repair out as shortly as potential. The rev-match and emission errors have been a direct results of this sensor dropping sign, as each techniques seem to make use of it as a part of their performance.
Mark made it all the way down to Atlanta Motorsports Park the following morning and, though the sooner points have been gone, the automotive began to overheat after about 10 minutes on observe. The Georgia summer time temperatures certainly didn’t assist, however it seems that the automotive wasn’t getting sufficient cooling. They have been in a position to do a number of cool-down laps and get again on observe for a number of extra periods.
The identical problem introduced itself in one other Kind R loaned out by Honda when Matt Farah went out on observe at Street Atlanta throughout a Gridlife occasion a number of weeks later. Ambient temperatures have been as soon as once more excessive and Matt instructed me he was in a position to make about two laps across the observe earlier than the temperature began creeping up. After the temperature spiked, he determined to activate the warmth within the cabin to bleed a few of it off and was in a position to efficiently run the automotive till it was nearly out of gas (with the gauge sitting at about three/four of the best way to “sizzling”).
Honda hasn’t commented on the overheating problem, however aftermarket suppliers are already testing and developing with options. The consensus appears to be that the radiator is giant sufficient for the automotive however doesn’t get sufficient stream. As a result of oil temperatures keep sizzling, most are trying in the direction of including higher oil cooling with a view to carry general engine temperatures down. A couple of homeowners have additionally taken issues into their very own arms and discovered that temperatures will keep down in the event that they take away the logo and among the plastic grille cowl to get extra airflow to the radiator.
The final problem that generally pops up is a grind from the transmission when shifting from first to second gear. Jalopnik has famous a number of instances the place homeowners have complained, however Honda instructed them “there isn’t a indication presently of a particular mechanical drawback inside these transmissions.”
Regardless that Honda denies the difficulty is widespread, a number of homeowners on the CivicX boards have obtained alternative transmission and at the very least one famous that Honda plans to ship his grinding transmission again to engineering for investigation.
The wiring repair was first step to creating the Civic Kind R dependable on the highway and on observe, however Honda might want to tackle the overheating and equipment grinding points in the event that they anticipate the automotive to reside as much as its aggressive appears.