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3 Common Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems & Effective Solutions

If you drive a Honda, it may interest you to know the common Honda 1.5 Turbo engine problems and how to fix them.

Honda vehicles such as the Acura CDX, Honda Accord, Honda Civic turbo, Honda Civic Si, Honda CR-V, and Honda Civic Hatchback run on the 1.5 Turbo engine.

While this engine promises a thrilling and exciting drive experience from time to time, coupled with its excellent fuel economy that is comparable to a small engine. Still, the Honda 1.5 Turbo is not flawless.

Over the years, individuals who own and drive a Honda with the 1.5 Turbo engine installed in it have reported several engine-related issues or problems and how they affect efficiency and performance.

The effect of these problems may either be in the short term or long term.

As you read along, we will consider these problems and how you can detect and tackle them.

Also, we will discuss the Honda 1.5 turbo engine reliability. This promises to be an insightful and fun read.


Features of Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine

  • 174 to 180 horsepower depending on the model
  • 4 valves per cylinder
  • 5600 rpm
  • 3 compression ratio
  • Intercooled turbo
  • Direct injection and Variable Timing Control
  • 162 lb-ft to 177 lb-ft torque
  • Negligible turbo lag for fast throttle response
  • Outstanding EPA fuel-economy ratings
  • Cylinder block material: Aluminum
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Direct fuel injection fuel system
  • 0 mm Bore & 89.5mm Stroke
  • 5L engine oil capacity

Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Reliability

Yes, the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine is impressive and reliable. As you know, there is no perfect machine or mechanical component out there.

The only difference is that one design may have a more complex issue to tackle or battle with than the other.

Enhances users confidence

The Honda 1.5 Turbo engine is well-known for its emission-friendly and fuel efficiency attributes.

Overall, this engine is pretty reliable, and it holds up well. If we are to rate the reliability level, it will definitely be graded above average.

Nevertheless, the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine is still a new engine design. As a result, it will take some time to give a complete assessment about how it holds up in the long term.

Easy to fix issues/problems

There are some particular issues associated or linked to the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine. When you take a look at the complete picture, these issues are not too extreme or complex.

However, it is essential to get familiar with these problems, know the associated symptoms and how best you can fix them.

For instance, fuel dilution, one of the major issues reported by the 1.5 Turbo engine users, should be carefully monitored and treated with more caution.

When this issue happens consistently, or you fail to tackle it early enough, this may affect the engine’s longevity.

When you take the proper action when issues are detected. This helps to keep your engine in check and in good working condition. These issues aside, the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine is reliable, robust, and solid.


If you are driving a car with the 1.5 Turbo engine for the first time, you may not know the maintenance requirements.

Here is the thing. The maintenance is a bit more complex or demanding than the port-injected engines.

For instance, components such as ignition coils and spark plugs are subjected to aggressive wear and tear, especially if you apply the turbochargers boost heavily.

This means you may have to replace these components more often than usual.

Nevertheless, when you adhere to the maintenance guideline and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on keeping your engine in excellent condition. The Honda 1.5 Turbo engine can comfortably cover more than 200,000 miles.

In the long run, an excellent maintenance culture and your ability to detect issues and fix them immediately are the right combinations for outstanding Honda 1.5 turbo engine reliability.

You may check the honda 2.4 engine’s common problems and the great solutions.

Common Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

Although the issues discussed in this section are common to the 1.5 Turbo engine, that doesn’t necessarily mean your vehicle will run into all of these problems.

Since you can’t predict what exactly could go wrong with the engine at a particular time.

Your best bet is to have an idea of all of these issues so that you can easily pick them out and resolve them when they arise.

Also, asides from these common 1.5 Turbo engine faults highlighted in this section.

Other issues similar to those experienced in other engine types may also occur in the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine.

01. Fuel & Oil dilution

This issue is a natural/common occurrence experienced in most engines. This only becomes an issue in the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine when this situation occurs more often.

Excessive/frequent oil dilution in a 1.5 Turbo engine is very common in regions or areas known for freezing weather.

So, the colder the 1.5 Turbo engine becomes, the higher the possibility of having the fuel stuck to the cylinder walls, which later mixes with the engine oil.

Usually, the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine takes more time to heat or warm-up.

Suppose you live in a very cold region and do not cover a long distance at every drive. In that case, this leaves your engine susceptible to fuel dilution.

Users have reported that this issue causes power loss, stalling, and misfires in their engines.

However, if this issue goes on for a longer time without being fixed. Fuel and oil dilution takes a tremendous toll on the reliability of the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine in the long term.

When there is excessive fuel in the oil, this disturbs or restricts the oil’s performance.

The oil won’t flow to the engine moving components as usual, which prevents adequate lubrication.

As a result, this may raise the stress level, leading to excessive wear on the internal components of your 1.5 Turbo engine.


Since internal components failure or wear doesn’t become evident or pronounced until several years later.

It is essential to take the necessary steps to detect this issue early and get it fixed as soon as possible.

Interestingly, Honda has designed software updates that keep users informed and help them ease the fuel dilution issues.

Whenever you experience any of the fuel & oil dilution symptoms (power loss, misfires, or stalling) in your engine.

Ensure you visit an expert as soon as possible to have your engine evaluated.

In some cases, fuel dilution may occur without any warnings or symptoms to show for it until a major breakdown is experienced.

We advise that you conduct an oil analysis once in a while. This doesn’t take time, and it is not expensive.

When the analysis is completed, the outcome shows the amount of dilution ideal for your engine.

You can then adjust/design your oil replacement routine accordingly. While the recommended oil change interval is after every 9000 miles covered.

Replacing the oil earlier can significantly help in preventing excessive dilution.

You can also avoid idling for an excessive period to prevent the internal components from cooling down faster.

02. Carbon Build-Up

This issue is regarded as one of the major drawbacks of DI (direct injection) engines.

Carbon build-up occurs as a result of fuel restriction to the intake valves. Instead of fuel flowing through these ports, it is sprayed right into the cylinder.

Usually, as you cover more miles, engines produce some unwanted oil leakages, which are commonly known as blow-by.

These leakages later escape into the intake tract and get stuck on the intake valves, accumulating over time.

In a port injection system engine, the setup/design allows fuel to be sprayed directly on the intake valves.

In the process, this gets rid of dirt and unwanted particles such as oil blow-by to keep the valves clean.

Since the fuel doesn’t get to the intake valves in the 1.5 Turbo engine.

This eventually results in the accumulation of oil on the valves, which becomes a problem after a long period.

The severity and complexity of this issue (the carbon build-up) greatly depend on how efficient the 1.5 Turbo engine controls and limits the accumulation of oil blow-by on the intake valves and ports.

The popular symptoms of carbon build-up are power loss, misfires, stuttering while trying to accelerate, and rough idle.

You may experience any or all of these symptoms when the carbon build-up starts restricting airflow into the engine.


The most effective method or technique you can adopt when it comes to the elimination/removal of carbon build-up is Walnut blasting.

The process is not complex, and it is pretty labor-intensive.

The price of walnut blasting for carbon build-up cleaning/evacuation is not fixed. However, this costs between $300 and $600 on average.

While cleaning the intake valves doesn’t require immediate correction, ensure you take the necessary action once any of these symptoms are detected.

This is the only way the improvement in drivability can be maintained.

03. Issues with the spark plug

Compared to the previous problems discussed in this section, this issue is the smallest of them all.

Usually, it is considered a normal occurrence. As a result, it may sometimes be overlooked when the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine problems are discussed.

However, you may experience early spark plug issues or failure on your Honda 1.5 Turbo engine for various reasons.

As discussed earlier, it takes a longer time for the 1.5 Turbo engine to properly warm up.

When the engine is cold, it also affects the spark plugs’ performance since they need adequate heat for efficient performance/operation for an extended period.

When the spark plug is constantly cold and doesn’t get enough heat, this could also lead to carbon build-up, similar to what is experienced with the intake valves.

This affects the plug’s ability to adequately/uninterruptedly ignite the air to fuel mixture in the cylinder, causing it to misfire.

Other symptoms of a cold spark plug include power, hesitation while accelerating and rough idle.


When you experience any of the symptoms associated with this issue, ensure you inspect your spark plugs to detect carbon accumulation.

If the plugs are not in suitable condition, get them replaced immediately.

The exciting thing is that spark plugs are not expensive, can be purchased easily, and are very easy to replace.

For best performance, we advise you get the 4 plugs replaced at the same time.

The plugs replacement costs between $40 and $80 on average, and anyone can perform or engage in the replacement exercise.

Pros & Cons of Honda 1.5 turbo engine


  • The Honda 1.5 Turbo engine are fuel-efficient and emission friendly
  • This engine provides a significant improvement in overall engine performance
  • Guarantees durability, reliability, and longevity with regular maintenance



Honda 1.5 Turbo Engine Problems

Photo Credit: wikimedia.org; C.C

Maintenance Tips

  • Do not idle for an extended period
  • Ensure you conduct oil change sooner than the recommended interval
  • As the engine warms up, avoid using excessive power. Drive gently for a few minutes before you apply much pressure
  • Ensure you take your vehicle to the workshop for routine checks

To know how much costs to replace the Honda Civic engine learn here.

People Also Ask For

What makes the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine different from its competitors?

Several impressive features distinguish the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine from other Turbocharged designs available on the market.

However, the most notable features are the exceptional and quick throttle response, fuel economy, thrilling acceleration, and the superb efficiency you enjoy during every ride.

When should I conduct oil change/replacement in the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine?

You should replace the engine oil at every 15,000km or 9,000 miles covered. An important rule of thumb is getting your engine oil replaced at least once a year.

How can fuel dilution be corrected or controlled in the 1.5 Turbo engine?

It is a great idea to conduct oil changes more frequently than usual to correct or tackle fuel dilution.

In a simpler sentence, the oil change interval should be shortened and doesn’t necessarily have to be after 9000 miles.

How long can the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine last?

When you subscribe to regular maintenance and you correct issues or faults immediately you detect them, your 1.5 Turbo engine is expected to last longer than 200,000 miles.

When do Honda 1.5 Turbo engine issues occur?

No one can carefully predict when you may experience any of the problems we have discussed.

They could appear earlier or even later. The most important thing is to detect these issues when they occur and correct them immediately.

What do you know about Honda?

Final Words

The Honda 1.5 Turbo engine problems discussed in this guide are not entirely unavoidable, considering that the DI (direct injection) technology is a new addition to Honda engines.

No doubt about it, the manufacturer still has a lot to do to correct the commonly reported issues by users for more efficient and long-lasting performance.

While some of the problems are what can be fixed independently in your driveway. For instance, the spark plug replacement.

If you do not have the technical skills or experience to handle any of the replacement tasks on your own, do not hesitate to hire an expert.