How to Get More Power From My Civic Hatch 1.5L

by Jillian Hahn
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The 1.5-liter engine found in a Honda Civic is known for its outstanding reliability and gas mileage. Coupled with a lightweight and responsive chassis, the Civic proves to be an entertaining car to drive. Although the 1.5-liter engine is underpowered and slow in stock form, with a little bit of money and knowledge you may perform modifications to the engine to extract more horsepower and increase engine performance.

Power Modifications for a 1.5-Liter Civic

Step 1

Replace the stock air box on your Civic with a cold air intake system. This is the best performance modification you can make for the money. Installation is as simple as pulling out the old air box and replacing it with the new cold air intake. The end result is a filter that is lower in the engine compartment, which allows it to suck up cooler, more dense air for combustion. This increases engine power and responsiveness.

Step 2

Remove the stock crankshaft pulley and install an underdrive crank pulley, which will be smaller and lighter than the stock pulley. The underdrive crankshaft pulley serves two purposes. First, the smaller crankshaft pulley will slow the spin of the accessories' pulleys --- such as those of the air conditioning compressor and the alternator. This will reduce the power used by those accessories, increasing horsepower. Second, decreasing the crankshaft pulley's mass lowers the amount of energy required to get the pulley to spin, causing another gain in horsepower for your Civic.

Step 3

Take out the stock exhaust system and replace it with an aftermarket system. An exhaust system consists of headers, a catalytic converter and an exhaust pipe. Swapping out these parts on your Civic's exhaust will allow the exhaust gas to flow more freely from the engine, providing an increase in power output. Additionally, most aftermarket exhausts weigh less than stock exhausts. While this does not increase power, it will enhance the effect of the existing power by reducing your Civic's weight.

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