Replacing a Honda Civic or Honda Accord Engine

Published: 29th April 2010
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The Honda Civic engine and Accord are two of the most popular cars on the road today. They provide good reliability, performance, and fuel economy. With proper maintenance and repair, these cars will last for many years. But as with all cars, eventually the engine will need to be overhauled or replaced. Replacing a Honda Civic engine or Honda Accord engine will extend the operating life of the car for several more years.

In any replacement project, you will need a clear idea of what engines are available for each model. For the Honda Civic, there are only 4-cylinder engines, while the Honda Accord comes in 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder versions.

One of the most important features of the Honda Civic is the VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system. Honda first introduced this system in 1984, and it has been an important development in automotive engineering. VTEC produces dynamic changes in the intake and exhaust profiles to adapt the engine to changing conditions. This maximizes power, while increasing fuel economy in these small-displacement engines.

Examples of the Civic model numbers to look for are D17A1, R18A1, and K20Z3. The D17A1 (non-VTEC) engine was first produced in 2001 for the Honda Civic DX and LX models, and it is still very popular with engine tuners. While it does not have the VTEC system, it delivers good performance and fuel economy. The R18A1 is the 2006 model Honda Civic engine that features the i-VTEC system, which delivers even better fuel economy than the standard VTEC system. Also featuring iVTEC is the K20Z3, which powers the 2006 and later Civic Si. At 2.0 liters, this is the largest and most powerful engine available in the Civic line.

The 4-cylinder Accord models include the F23A4 and F23A5. The F23A4 features ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) certification, which designates very low exhaust emissions. The F23A5 was featured in the Honda Accord Value Package, and has lower performance numbers. The K24A4, K24A8, and K24Z2 are all non-VTEC engines that power 2003 through 2007 Honda Accords.

The 6-cylinder Honda Accord engine models all feature better performance than the Honda Civic engine models previously mentioned. All featuring VTEC technology, the J30A1, J30A4, and J30A5 are found in Accords from 1998 through 2007. The most advanced in the 6-cylinder Honda Accord engine line is the J35Z3, which produces up to 271 horsepower in the 2008 Accord.

If you are considering a used engine, in the Honda Civic engine market, you can choose from either a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) or United States Domestic Market (USDM) engine. Some of the 4-cylinder Honda Accord engine models are also available from as JDM used engines. But the 6-cylinder Honda Accord engine models are all built in the US for the domestic market, so that choice is not available in these engines.

In order to maintain emissions and electronics compatibility, the same engine model should be used where possible, or if necessary install an approved option engine. Obtain a complete estimate for the work required, and make sure the replacement project is economically feasible.

About: This is the best way to avoid having a Honda Accord engine or Honda Civic engine replacement project cost more than the value of the car itself.

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