Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems – Does It Have Oil Dilution?

Are you in the market for a used Honda and you don’t know what engine to choose? There are plenty of engines but the 1.5 looks the most appealing to you? You probably want to learn about the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems. If that is the case, we are here to help you out and explain to you in-depth everything you need to know before you make a purchase.

Doing proper research anytime you buy a used car is a great idea. Without proper research, you buy a car blindfolded and you don’t know what you are getting yourself into. On the market, there are hundreds of models that are out there. All these models have their weak points and strong points as well.

To make a good purchase, you have to learn all the strong sides and all of the downsides of each one of them. Knowing them will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Why I’m saying this? Although the car might seem in okay condition to you at first glance. There are still some factory defects that cars are prone to. And this is where you save money on possible future repairs.

In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to the 1.5 engine. We will learn the basics and then we will discuss the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems. Then we will share our opinion on this engine. So, let’s dive in.

Honda 1.5 Turbo

The Honda 1.5 turbo engine is a small 4-cylinder engine that was produced by Honda from 2016 till the present day. This engine is the entry-level engine in their lineup of engines.

Every base car that Honda produces is equipped with these four-bangers. But mostly in the smaller cars that do not require a lot of power to run. We will go in-depth with the applications of the 1.5 in a bit but first, let’s discuss the 1.5 specs.

As we said the 1.5 is a four-cylinder engine that is equipped with a small turbocharger. With the help of the turbocharger, this 1.5 is producing 174hp. While the more tuned version of this engine with a bigger boost that is installed in the Civic Si is getting 205hp which is impressive for an inline-four engine.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

This engine is of all-aluminum construction. This means that both the head and the block are manufactured from aluminum.

The engine is a dual overhead cam like most of Honda’s engines. The difference is that this engine is running a turbocharger. The turbocharger is rather small and also has some of Honda’s ingenuity in it that allows the engine to run without noticeable turbo lag which makes the 1.5 the perfect engine if you are looking for a small and fuel-efficient engine on the market right now.

As we said, the engine produces between 174 and 205hp and 162 to 192 lb. ft of torque. The more powerful versions are quite punchy and they are the way to go if you want an engine that is making a lot of power.

But what are the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems? We are about to find out later in the article. But first, let’s learn more about how a turbo engine works.

Are Turbo Engines Reliable

Turbo engines work on the same principle as naturally aspirated engines but with a little twist (if you want to learn more, check out our write-up on what does naturally aspirated mean). And this twist is the turbocharger.

The turbocharger is a turbine that drives more air into the engine with the help of exhaust gases. This turbocharged forced induction system has gained traction in the last few years since this system makes the car more efficient.

This means with less displacement you get more power. Less fuel is spent on combustion since most of these engines are running direct injection as well.

Direct injection is quite different compared to multi-point injection because there are two fuel pumps and the fuel is driven with 2,200 psi of boost and this is a lot. This is a drawback of these direct injection systems that we are going to cover later in this article when we are going to discuss the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems.

These 1.5 engines are equipped with a smaller turbocharger and the lag is less noticeable. But what is turbo lag? Turbo lag is the delay from the point where you put your foot on the gas and the boost to kick in to spool the turbo. The bigger the turbo the more delay you have and lag in the process.

That’s why Honda uses this smart system to allow drivers to enjoy more in their vehicles more by reducing the turbo lag. Making this engine a popular choice among Honda buyers. But what about the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems? We are going to cover the problems but first, let’s discuss the applications of this engine.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Applications

The 1.5 turbo engine has found its way into many of the Honda products out there. Most notably in smaller applications since this engine is not a large displacement engine and doesn’t have the power to move some of their larger cars. But in which cars are the 1.5 most widely used?

Well, one of the top choices for the 1.5 turbos is the Honda Civic (to find out more, check out our explainer on are Honda Civic reliable). The Honda Civic is a small compact car that has been made by Honda since 1972. This is probably Honda’s bestseller and the 1.5-liter in the Civic is also one of the bestselling engines.

Other applications include the CR-V which is a small crossover and one of the best-selling crossovers in the US.

This engine is also included in the bigger Honda Accord sedan. This engine is basically included in all lightweight vehicles that Honda produces because this engine delivers the best performance and fuel economy to the table.

But what about the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems, are there any big issues with this engine? Well, we are about to find out in the next chapter.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Specs

1.5 Turbo Honda Engine Specs
Technical Designation L15B7
Cylinder Block Material Aluminum
Cylinder Head Material Aluminum
Fuel Used Gasoline
Fuel System Direct Injection
Cylinder Count 4
Cylinder Configuration Inline-4
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Valvetrain Type DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshaft)
Bore 2.87 inches (73.00mm)
Stroke 3.52 inches (89.50mm)
Displacement 1,498cc or 1.5-liter (91.4 cubic inches)
Aspiration Turbocharged
Compression Ratio 10.6:1 or 10.3:1
Horsepower Output 174hp to 205hp (peak power at 5,500RPM to 6,000RPM, respectively)
Torque Output 162lb-ft to 192lb-ft (peak torque at 1,600RPM to 5,000RPM, respectively)
Firing Order 1-3-4-2
Engine Oil Type SAE 0W-20
Oil Capacity 3.7 quarts (3.5 liters)
Oil Change Interval Every 9,000 miles (15,000km) or 12 months
Applications Civic, Civic Si, CR-V, Accord, (Acura) CDX, etc.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Problems

Now we come to the important part and that is the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems. Like every other engine, the 1.5 turbo has some issues that you need to consider before getting one.

Most of these problems are by design and are shared among all of the 1.5 turbo engines and you need to pay close attention when you buy a used car with a 1.5-liter turbo. Are these problems a real deal-breaker? Let’s find out.

Honda’s 1.5L turbo engine, also known as the L15B7 engine, is a popular choice among car enthusiasts for its impressive power and efficiency. However, like any other engine, it has its fair share of problems. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common issues associated with this engine and what you need to watch out for.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #1. Oil Dilution

Oil dilution is a common problem with turbocharged engines, and the Honda 1.5L turbo engine is no exception. This issue occurs when gasoline mixes with the engine oil, reducing its viscosity and lubricating properties. This can lead to increased wear and tear on the engine components, ultimately affecting its longevity and performance.

Honda has acknowledged this issue and implemented a fix in the form of a software update. However, it is essential to monitor the oil levels regularly and get the oil changed at the recommended intervals to prevent this problem from occurring.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #2. Overheating

Overheating is another common issue with the Honda 1.5L turbo engine. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a malfunctioning radiator, thermostat, or water pump. It is crucial to address this issue promptly as it can lead to severe engine damage.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the cooling system can help prevent this issue. Additionally, keeping an eye on the temperature gauge while driving and addressing any abnormal temperature spikes can help prevent severe damage.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #3. Turbocharger Failure

The turbocharger is a vital component of the Honda 1.5L turbo engine, as it helps increase the engine’s power and efficiency. However, it is also prone to failure. Common signs of turbocharger failure include loss of power, increased exhaust smoke, and a loud whining noise from the engine.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the turbocharger can help prevent this issue. Additionally, avoiding aggressive driving and letting the engine warm up before driving can also help extend the turbocharger’s lifespan.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #4. Fuel Injector Failure

The fuel injectors play a crucial role in the engine’s performance by delivering the right amount of fuel to the combustion chamber. However, they can fail over time, leading to a variety of issues such as poor fuel economy, rough idling, and engine misfires.

Regular maintenance and the use of high-quality fuel can help prevent this issue. Additionally, getting the fuel injectors cleaned at the recommended intervals can also help extend their lifespan.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #5. Carbon Buildup

Like any other direct injection engine, the Honda 1.5L turbo engine is prone to carbon buildup on the intake valves. This can lead to a variety of issues such as poor performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and engine misfires.

Regular maintenance and the use of high-quality fuel can help prevent this issue. Additionally, getting a carbon cleaning service at the recommended intervals can also help keep the engine running smoothly.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #6. Timing Chain Issues

The timing chain is a crucial component of the engine as it helps synchronize the movement of the pistons and valves. However, it can wear out over time, leading to a variety of issues such as a rattling noise from the engine, poor performance, and even engine failure.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the timing chain can help prevent this issue. Additionally, getting the timing chain replaced at the recommended intervals can also help extend the engine’s lifespan.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #7. Coolant Leak

The coolant is essential for maintaining the engine’s temperature. However, there have been reports of coolant leaking into the engine oil. This can lead to oil dilution, as mentioned earlier, and other severe engine damage. Regularly checking the coolant level and getting it replaced at recommended intervals can help prevent this issue.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #8. CVT Transmission Issues

Although not directly related to the engine, the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) used in Honda vehicles with the 1.5L turbo engine has had its share of issues. These include shuddering, jerking, and even transmission failure. Regular maintenance and inspection of the transmission can help prevent these issues.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #9. EGR Valve Failure

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve helps reduce the engine’s nitrogen oxide emissions. However, it can fail or get clogged, leading to increased emissions, poor performance, and even engine failure. Regular cleaning and, if necessary, replacement of the EGR valve can help prevent this issue.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #10. Vibration at Idle

Some Honda 1.5L turbo engine owners have reported excessive vibration when the vehicle is idling. This can be due to various reasons such as engine mount failure, unbalanced tires, or alignment issues. A thorough inspection of the vehicle can help identify and rectify the cause of the vibration.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems #11. Fuel Pump Failure

The fuel pump is responsible for delivering fuel from the tank to the engine. A failing fuel pump can lead to poor performance, engine misfires, and even engine stalling. Regular inspection and maintenance of the fuel pump can help prevent this issue.

While the Honda 1.5L turbo engine has its fair share of problems, regular maintenance and addressing issues promptly can help keep it running smoothly for a long time. Keeping an eye out for common issues such as oil dilution, overheating, and turbocharger failure can help prevent severe damage and costly repairs.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any issues can go a long way in keeping your Honda 1.5L turbo engine running smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Honda Oil Dilution

This engine is famous for this problem. The fuel simply is finding its way into the oil and the oil and fuel mix with each other and create a mess. This will result in bad oil performance since the oil will lose the lubricating characteristics that allow it to lube the pistons and bearings.

Why this is happening? This problem is not caused by a factory defect but is caused by cold weather. And most of the 1.5 engines that are run in colder climates have this problem with Honda oil dilution.

This is caused because this engine is too slow in getting up to temperature. And some of the fuel is sticking to the cylinder walls. This fuel that is stuck on the cylinder walls is picked up by the rings on the pistons and then it goes into the oil. Then this gasoline dilutes the oil.

The most affected vehicles with this problem are the ones that are driven short distances in cold climates. Numerous drives like this and your oil gets diluted. These engines are exposed to high risks of premature wear of the components.

This means that your engine will wear down pretty quickly if you don’t track the oil level and its condition. But what are the symptoms of oil dilution?

Symptoms Of Oil Dilution

There are a few symptoms that will help you out distinguish when you are experiencing a problem with oil dilution. Some of them are dead giveaways while some of them are not that clear to understand and can indicate other issues. So, which are they? Let’s find out.

1. Smell Of Gas When Checking The Oil Level

If you pull out your dipstick, you will notice how there is a smell of gas in the oil. This gas smell indicates that there is a problem (and forces you to understand how to get gasoline out of clothes). Oil should smell like something burnt if it’s old. But it should never smell like gas.

2. Increased Oil Level

If the oil is diluted you will also experience an increased oil level. The oil level will be increased when you have this problem. This is because the oil is mixed with the gas. And if the oil is above max on the dipstick (and make sure you understand where the oil should be on the dipstick), then this is a clear sign that you have an engine that is mixing oil and gas.

3. Other Symptoms

Other symptoms when you have an issue like this may include engine stalling, misfires, and possible power loss caused by the excessive amounts of oil in the pan.

4. How To Avoid This Problem

The only way to avoid this problem if you live in a place where the climate is cold is to allow the engine to reach the proper working temperature. If you go to work in the morning let the engine run for a few minutes. That’s especially true if your car struggles to start when the engine is cold.

Let it get up to temperature and then go to work. A few minutes should be enough, just in case you’re wondering whether do you have to warm up your car. Also, change your oil more frequently because the oil gets diluted and this oil is not good to use.

Changing the oil every 5,000 miles will be a good idea. Also, track your oil level more frequently and pay attention to the smell of the oil. If you sense gas then it’s a clear sign that you have an oil dilution problem.

Honda Earth Dreams Carbon Buildup

Carbon buildup is one of the most frequent downsides of this engine. But why there is carbon buildup specifically in this engine? This is because the engine is using direct injection.

Carbon buildup is one of the major flaws that these engines have and this is by design. Every direct-injection engine has a carbon buildup. Some of them are more while some of them are less prone to this issue.

This carbon buildup is usually created in the intake ports of the head. The carbon buildup can be so excessive that can even clog the intake ports completely and make them not seal properly. Which can result in rough idle and misfires in the engine.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

Why is this happening? In port injection vehicles, the fuel is sprayed in a higher amount and at lower pressure. This basically works like an engine cleaner.

In direct injection cars, the gas is sprayed at 2,000 psi of pressure which turns the fuel into dust and this doesn’t act well since the oil that goes past the oil rings doesn’t have the time to be washed out from the cylinder walls. The end result is carbon buildup.

The carbon buildup usually starts to appear above 60k miles. Why above 60k miles? This is because the piston rings are starting to allow some oil to pass through at this point and the problem starts to appear. But what are the symptoms of carbon buildup in the 1.5 turbos? Let’s find out.

Symptoms Of Carbon Buildup

The symptoms of carbon buildup in the 1.5 engine are shared among all of the engines that are running direct injection. All these symptoms appear when there is an excessive buildup of carbon inside of the engines and this is most frequently after 100,000 miles.

If you have an engine like this, it is useful to know about this issue and give the engine some carbon cleaning. That we are going to discuss this after we cover the symptoms of carbon buildup. But what are these symptoms?

1. Engine Misfires

One of the first symptoms, when you have excessive carbon buildup, is an engine misfire. But how to notice that you have a misfire? This can be tricky since they can only be identified through listening. They usually sound like small bangs on the top of the cylinder.

Also, if you put your hand on the exhaust you will notice how there are pops of air when the car is idling. This means that the engine is misfiring badly. This symptom can be extremely annoying when you have excessive carbon buildup and an engine that was never cleaned.

2. Engine Idles Rough

When there are misfires in the engine you will also notice how the engine is running rough as well. You can notice this symptom pretty easily. You can hear how the engine is trying to keep up running.

The needle that is on the tachometer is moving up and down (basically, the RPM fluctuates while accelerating). This is because of the rough idle and the uneven work of the engine. This symptom can also indicate problems with the ignition.

But if you have one of these direct injection engines it is worth considering checking the carbon buildup in the engine as well.

3. Engine Hesitation And Loss Of Power

Engine hesitation (such as when your car hesitates when accelerating from a stop) and an increased loss of power will also be notable if the engine has a lot of carbon in it. The carbon will prevent the normal function of the engine and the valves will not seal properly.

This will result in low compression symptoms appearing and basically less power. You might lose even 50 to 60 horsepower from the engine. When the problem goes too far it may also destroy the valve and there will be no compression at all.

It is important to act quickly when you have power loss from the engine. This can be connected as well with bad ignition components. So, it is of great importance if you have this engine to consider the carbon buildup problem as well on your checklist of possible issues.

4. Damaged Spark Plugs

Spark plugs can also get damaged (this is crucial once you understand what do spark plugs do in your engine) because of this issue with the misfires but we are going to cover that in a separate chapter.

5. How To Clean Carbon

Fortunately, there is a method that is made for cleaning carbon from these direct injection engines. This method is called Walnut Blasting. How this works is pretty simple, the walnut material is put inside of the valves and is blasted with compressed air. This compressed air blows the carbon away from the valves.

There are also chemical solutions that are poured inside the valves. Then after a few minutes, this solution is sucked out from the valves with a vacuum and then the valves are nice and clean once again.

Both of these methods cost quite a bit to perform and you can expect to pay somewhere between $500 to $600 for this sort of work.

Spark Plug Problems

The spark plug problem with these engines is also worth noting. This problem is caused by two factors. One of the factors is the increased carbon buildup inside of the engine that covers the spark plugs with carbon and this results in damage to the spark plugs. So, it’s worth looking into what does a bad spark plug look like (and knowing how to tell if spark plug is bad).

Another cause is the increased spark plug wear on turbocharged engines. Engines that are turbocharged are quite known to wear spark plugs too often. It may, therefore, be necessary for you to learn how to check spark plugs regularly.

When the spark plugs are damaged, a few bad spark plug symptoms are starting to appear. They can be quite bad at times, such as seeing oil in the spark plug well or noticing oil on the spark plugs themselves. But what are the symptoms?

1. Bad Spark Plugs Symptoms

These symptoms are pretty much the same as the symptoms that occur when the engine is running with increased carbon buildup.

Most of these symptoms include engine misfires, engine hesitation, rough idle, and power loss.

2. How To Solve This Problem

The only way that you can solve this problem is by installing new spark plugs. Spark plugs on these engines usually last somewhere around 30,000 miles. That’s in case you’re wondering about how long do spark plugs last.

Replace them at this timeframe and you will not experience any issues with the engine. There are four spark plugs which cost around $10 each. Therefore, the total spark plug replacement cost isn’t too expensive (especially once you learn how to replace the spark plugs, and figure out how many spark plugs in a V8, as well as how to change spark plugs).

This job is also DIY-friendly and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to start wrenching on their car. Starting from simple things like this is key if you want to learn about mechanics. There is no better teacher than the real problem-solving experience that you get by doing things.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Reliability

The 1.5 turbo is considered to be a reliable engine although there are some Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems that plague this engine.

These engine problems are not problems that are something too scary if the engine is properly maintained. And by this, I mean the engine needs to be walnut blasted and the intake ports cleaned on the head.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

Also, spark plugs should be changed more frequently than other engines. Since by design, these engines are going through spark plugs more often than other engines. And there are only four of them.

So, replacing them will not be a big issue for many car owners. You can even do this job at home using only a socket torque wrench and that’s it. You might even consider looking into platinum vs iridium spark plugs if you value longevity and performance. Or, be diligent about specific spark plug brands, such as NGK vs Denso.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Lifespan

The life expectancy of this engine is fairly good and can last for more than 150,000 miles before major issues start to appear. If you follow the advice that we have listed above this engine can even last more than that with no problem.

When getting a car with this engine the best thing is to inspect the vehicle and see if the engine is good. Make sure that the engine pulls well and the transmission shifts properly. This will guarantee that the engine is good and you will not have major problems with the drivetrain.

Although, you never know what could happen with cars. But let’s hope for the best and that is carefree ownership. After all, the core engine itself is decently reliable and robust. Honda has also made some improvements in the following years since.

Facts: Honda 1.5T L15B7/Si Turbo Engine Specs, Problems & Reliability

  1. The Honda 1.5L turbocharged engine is a result of Honda’s downsizing strategy that uses small displacement units with a turbocharger to provide fuel efficiency and decent power.
  2. The engine features an aluminum open-deck cylinder block and cylinder head, lightweight steel connecting rods, and cavity-shaped pistons with plateau honing for reduced friction and increased operating efficiency.
  3. The cylinder head has four valves for each cylinder and a dual overhead cam (DOHC) driven by the timing chain, and the intake and exhaust camshafts are equipped with actuators of the VTC.
  4. The engine has a mono/single-scroll turbocharger MHI-TD03 with small-diameter turbines and an electronic wastegate to minimize the turbo lag effect and provide rapid response to acceleration.
  5. The Honda 1.5L turbo engine uses a water-cooled exhaust manifold built into the cylinder head, exhaust-port passages cast directly into the head, and a more common air-to-air intercooler to reduce the temperature of the intake air.
  6. The 1.5-liter turbo engine for the Honda Civic Si copies the European 1.5T VTEC Turbo engine specs and produces 205 hp at 5,700 rpm and 192 lb-ft (260 Nm) at 2,100 rpm.
  7. The Honda CR-V and Honda Accord engines are based on the Si engine and have different compression ratios and boost pressures.
  8. The most reported problem for vehicles with a Honda 1.5L turbo engine is a high or rising engine oil level due to oil/gas dilution problem, which causes gas smells inside the cabin, a higher-than-normal engine oil level, check engine light, and engine misfires.
  9. Short trips on a cold engine can cause carbon build-up on the backside of the intake valves, which is a problem for all engines with direct injection and no port injection.
  10. The Honda 1.5L turbo engine has different modifications, including L15BF with a 10.6:1 compression ratio and L15B9 with a 179 hp (133 kW) power output, offered in the Chinese Market Acura CDX.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems: In Conclusion…

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the Honda 1.5 engine. We learned the specs of this engine and its displacement. Then we covered turbocharged engines and their benefits.

Then we focused on the main topic of this article and which is Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems. This engine is prone to some issues. These were the oil dilutions that affected most of the engines that were running in colder climates. Also, the carbon buildup was caused by the direct injection system and the spark plug failing issue.

All these problems are not that serious and can be easily treated. Carbon should be cleaned more often and the engine should always get up to temperature before you drive off early in the morning to prevent oil dilution. Also, change the spark plugs more often if you want to avoid ignition issues.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re still unsure about the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems, our FAQs here might have the answers…

Honda Accord 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

The Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems include its inability to heat up sufficiently while idling. In other words, it takes more time before the engine warms up enough, which can be a problem for those living in colder climates. In some cases, it won’t create enough heat until you start driving. Cold engines can cause condensation to appear, as well as produce excess fuel vapors. Altogether, that excess fuel could easily dilute the engine oil. Another downside of its direct-injection design is the carbon build-up on the intake valves. This is made worse when combined with that cold engine.

Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

Just like the larger Accord, which has a higher tune of the 1.5 turbo engine, the Civic also suffers from similar issues. There’s fuel-oil dilution within the engine, which typically occurs in colder climates. The 1.5 turbo engine is so efficient, that it takes far too long to heat up. At this point, excess fuel vapors are left unburned, which stick onto the cylinder walls. This then gets picked up by the oil, which dilutes it. This oil dilution problem subsequently joins two other major issues. Firstly, the carbon build-up on the intake ports is quite severe. Additionally, the spark plugs could also get fouled pretty easily.

2021 Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

On the bright side, many of the Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems were solved as of 2021 and 2022. The primary issue with the 1.5 turbo engines was oil dilution, which caused other issues on its own. This is primarily due to how long it takes the 1.5 turbo engine to heat up, especially in colder weather. To solve this, Honda simply tweaked the ECU a tiny bit. This allowed the 1.5 turbo engine to run slightly richer from a cold start. And, Honda diverted some of the heat from the passenger cabin into the engine to help it heat up.

How Long Do Hondas Last

Hondas are one of the most robust and durable cars on earth. You can easily expect them to last upwards of 200,000 to 300,000 miles reliably. You could extend this even further with diligent care and servicing. In some cases, owners have depended on their Hondas for up to 20 years, and without significant issues compared to most other cars.

Did Honda Fix The Oil Dilution Problem For 2021

Unfortunately, despite a software tweak to help Honda’s engines heat up more (which is the main cause of oil dilution), this issue still persists in 2021. In particular, the 1.5 turbocharged Earth Dreams engines still suffer from oil dilution, even throughout 2021 and 2022. The only solution is for owners to change their motor oil more frequently before excessive dilution takes place. Some owners recommend swapping the oil every 3,000 miles or sooner.

How Long Do Turbos Last

Turbocharged engines – so long as you don’t modify and tune them excessively – usually last a long time. For example, many turbo-diesel trucks could easily last 250,000 miles before a rebuild of the engine is necessary. Some might even go upward of 500,000 miles and beyond. Similar concepts apply to regular passenger cars too, where turbocharged engines last just as long as naturally-aspirated engines. The only thing you need to be wary of is good maintenance to keep it running for a long time. That includes needing regular oil changes, using good motor oil, and ensuring that you practice a cool-down time – basically, letting the engine cool a bit after driving it before shutting down.

Is A 1.5 Liter Engine Good

When it comes to Honda’s 1.5-liter engines, they’re indeed pretty good. A smaller 1.5-liter displacement, especially when coupled with a turbocharger or two, can feature numerous benefits. With such a small motor, Honda was able to extract a good amount of performance out of it. Yet, it still retains the natural benefits of downsizing to smaller displacements. That includes lower emissions and improved fuel efficiency. In addition, Honda’s 1.5-liter engines, in particular, are generally rather reliable, with serious issues only cropping up sporadically. Thus, it’s the jack of all trades, offering a good mix of power, efficiency, and reliability.

13 Comments

  • Paul Arendes Says

    O rings are not piston rings.

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, Paul Arendes!

      Good spot, we’ve fixed this error now, thanks.

  • barry lever Says

    2021 honda civic 175hp with turbo, reading some bad reviews, could you give me all bad reviews! thanks

  • Kurtis Wiesjahn Says

    Had a 2017 honda civic turbo not O e problem just traded with 99000 miles just kept oil changed and alternator went out the only thing still ran like new but was a little worried once it hit 100000,and trade gave me 13500 for it and upgraded to an 2022 accord, Hondas are safe and all ones I’ve had been good never had a car go 99000 and not put brakes on crazy good cars in my book.

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, Kurtis Wiesjahn!

      Indeed, Honda’s are rock-solid reliable cars. Glad to hear about your experiences 🙂

  • Thomas b. Says

    Does the normal 1.5 earth dreams without turbo has the same probles?
    The one is in 2018-19 honda jazz/fit.

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, Thomas b.!

      From what I’ve been able to find, yes, it looks like some non-turbo 1.5 engines have similar oil dilution issues too (noted for the smell of gasoline in the oil reservoir, and the oil level going above the MAX mark on the dipstick), including in the Jazz/Fit. Not too bad though, from what I’ve read (https://www.fitfreak.net/forums/3rd-generation-2015/101355-1-5l-earthdreams-engine.html) when compared to the turbo ones. This is likely due to Honda’s inclusion of direct injection systems in the engine.

  • Marlene Says

    Hello I’m new to the Honda world I’ve been hearing bad things about 1.5 on the head gaskets being blown. Due to the fact of coolant and oil mixing I just purchased a Honda accord 2022 1.5 does this happen to all 1.5 or no

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, Marlene!

      From what I’ve been able to find, these head gasket failures on 1.5 Hondas are pretty rare (https://www.civicx.com/forum/threads/are-head-gasket-issues-a-thing.62689/). The most common causes of these blown head gaskets that you might’ve read beforehand either come from folks tuning their Hondas (which puts more strain on the motor), or perhaps they didn’t properly service and maintain their engines all too well, I believe.

  • Tony Says

    Since I own a honda civic sport touring 1.5L turbo engine model and have 51000 thousand miles on it and I have been very mechanically inclined all through my 56 years of life i figured I would chime in and tell people the facts about this vehicle and the real reason for the oil dilution issue!And the reason why it gets worse when it is cold out is because of all the things that get turned on when its cold. These cars have more electronics than the battery can handle!From what I have heard is that the battery in a honda that is sold in Canada or cold areas are thirteen pounds heavier than the cars sold in America! And if you know anything about battery’s you have cold cranking amps and you have reserve compassady, and reserve compassady is how much electricity will the battery store and how long it will take to drain the electricity!So if you have ever seen the size of the battery in a newer civic it’s not very big at all! So now you remove thirteen pounds(And I’m sure that was not the plastic case that they trimmed that weight from! It was the lead plates inside the battery that store the power!) And the reason was to shave as much weight as possible anywhere it was possible for fuel mileage reasons. But when it’s cold out, the first thing you do is start turning on heater, headlights, wipers, heated seats, stereo system, traction system, Ect…Now you’re taking away from the coil packs electricity supply and it doesn’t have enough power to make an efficient amount of fire to burn all the fuel efficiently and when it squeezes the gas inside the cylinder and not enough fire to burn all of the gas it gets compressed and some of the unburned fuel gets pushed past the piston rings! At 24000 thousand miles my civics battery took a crap on me!noticed the car was loosing power and I was reading a post in a forum on 2017 civics and someone said to check the positive battery cable because his was loose and he had never touched it before so it was that way from the factory! I go out and check my positive battery cable and guess what? Loose!So I decided to take the battery hold down strap out of the way and removed the sticker from the top of the battery so I could open the six cap plugs and check the water level in the battery and when I opened them I found that the battery was only half full and the lead plates were exposed and only half of the lead plates were submerged in liquid! And I knew that was a throw away battery!And the box that the battery was in was full of the acid/water mixture and that was real fun cleaning that up! I bought the best battery I could get for it and still don’t seem to have the power it needs for everything to function in the car but way better than it was. Now here is another thing that I think can contribute to the fuel in the oil factor,And that is the way i see the kids driving cars around these days! We got are civic used with 1600 miles on it and I have no idea who put those miles on it and if they drove it the way they tell you to for the first 500 miles of break in.I don’t think most people understand the importance of being easy on it so that the piston rings can seet! These kids don’t understand that you can’t just drive your car wide open throttle every where you go!and even the race car guy’s have to put new valve springs on an engine that is run hard all the time or you will have catastrophic failure!And that DreamWorks engine has a PCV Valve that is a joke!A plastic piece of crap! It sticks the one way check valve inside of it and causes the car to lose vacuum when it does. So if your brakes start feeling like they are not working as well as they used to that is what is causing it! And the car has no power from a stop till you get moving that’s why! Because you’re engine has more vacuum at idle than any other time, and as you give it more throttle and get it moving it overcome it but once a week or so I have to remove it from the valve cover and every time I do i shake it and I don’t hear it rattling like it is supposed to do! I squirt mass air flow cleaner through the hole in the end to remove the oil thats not supposed to be sucking up inside of it and makes it stick open and lose your vacuum signal and when I put it back in the engine the car stops running rough at the stop light and the brakes work as they should when I do this! But it only lasts about a week or less and it’s stuck again! And when the gas tank gets around half full the car will start running rough and as soon as I fill the gas tank full it starts running good again which tells me that the vent valve in the EVAP system is not sealing properly unless the tank is full.And just because the gas prices are insane don’t mean that you can start running regular gasoline in this vehicle folks! You will detonate the engine to death! And the hotter the temperature is the worse it does it! You must use premium fuel in this engine! Regular gasoline will catch fire under compression and high temperatures and don’t even need a sparkplug to light it on fire! It throws the engine way out of timing and fights itself. I promise you that if you run premium gas your car will get better gas mileage and have way more power! All you do is keep pushing down harder on the gas pedal trying to make your car go faster and burn more fuel and making the issue worse the hotter the temperature gets and destroying the engine in the process! 😉

    • Thank you for sharing your personal experience and insights regarding the Honda Civic Sport Touring 1.5L turbo engine. It’s valuable to hear from someone who has hands-on mechanical knowledge and has extensively researched the issue.

      Your explanation about the potential connection between the battery’s capacity and the oil dilution issue in cold weather is interesting. It seems plausible that the increased power demand from various electronic components, combined with a smaller battery, could impact the coil packs’ electricity supply and the engine’s efficiency. This could potentially lead to unburned fuel getting pushed past the piston rings and contributing to oil dilution.

      Furthermore, your observation about the importance of proper break-in procedures and responsible driving habits is noteworthy. It’s true that driving a vehicle aggressively right from the start can have detrimental effects on the engine’s longevity and performance. Adhering to break-in recommendations and avoiding excessive throttle usage can help the piston rings properly seat and prevent catastrophic failures.

      Regarding the PCV valve, your experience highlights a potential flaw in its design. A malfunctioning PCV valve can cause a loss of vacuum, leading to rough idling and compromised braking performance. Your temporary fix of cleaning the valve and ensuring it functions properly is a practical approach, although it’s unfortunate that it needs frequent attention. It may be worth exploring if there are any aftermarket solutions or updated PCV valve designs that could provide a more reliable performance.

      Lastly, your emphasis on using premium fuel in the Honda Civic Sport Touring 1.5L turbo engine is a crucial point. Running regular gasoline in an engine designed for premium fuel can lead to detonation and timing issues, especially in higher temperatures. While premium fuel may have a higher cost, it is essential for maintaining optimal engine performance, fuel efficiency, and longevity.

      Thank you for sharing your insights and shedding light on the potential causes of the oil dilution issue in the Honda 1.5L turbo engine. Your practical knowledge and attention to detail provide valuable perspective for other Honda Civic owners and potential buyers.

  • Heather Says

    I purchased a brand new 2019 Civic hatchback (with turbo engine) bc I have always wanted a reliable car that would last forever. I live in Maryland (not a cold state) and I only drive a short distance to work. I have kids that need to be driven here and there. I put a decent amount of miles on the car. I am not a mechanic, but I got the oil changed regularly. I had to replace the battery at around 25,000 miles and now the engine is done (gasoline mixing in with the oil). My mechanic told me to get rid of the car. It only has 70,000 miles on it. No one told me when I bought it that I could only drive long distances with it and that I had to allow my vehicle to warm up before I could start driving it (to treat it like it was a car from the 80’s). I thought Honda was a reputable company. This is a safety issue (stalls out while driving on highway) that they are aware of and have not done anything to compensate those that have purchased one of the many cars they produced over a 5 year period, without fixing the issue. I have had the car back and forth to the dealership and they act like they have bonuses what is wrong. They know exactly what is wrong. They know Honda is making faulty vehicles (that will last only as long as their warranty is in effect) and not taking responsibility for it and just keep taking people’s money.

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