Road Test: 2018 Honda Civic Type-R

Road Test: 2018 Honda Civic Type-R

“It’s basically a development tool for us,” he tells me. “It brings all the weak points of a car to the surface. The lap time is basically a verification that every department has achieved its objectives. Having said that, even we were quite surprised when we managed the lap time we did…” – Hideki Kakinuma, the Civic Type-R’s chief engineer.

In 2017, the Honda Civic Type R set the lap record for a front-wheel drive vehicle at the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a 7-minute, 43.8-second lap time. To illustrate how bonkers that time is, the Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SuperVeloce was just a hair quicker at 7:42. With a 661 horsepower V12 engine and V12, the Lamborghini was just 1-2 seconds quicker. 

We set out to see how Hideki’s mad creation felt on normal streets around the LA area. From the steep Carraciola-Karussell to the offramps of Interstate 110. I sourced a Type-R from the car-sharing app Turo and set my sights on the Angeles Crest Highway.

The Type-R comes with a direct-injected, 2.0L 4-Cylinder K20C1 engine with 306 horsepower. The engine is mated to a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission continuing the tradition of its predecessors with limited-slip differential as standard. The K20C1 is race-proven, powering purpose-built racecars, including F4 and F3 feeder series for the climb to Indy Car, British Touring car, IMSA, and many other forms of endurance racing.

Honda’s 2.0L turbocharged engine has a lightweight aluminum cylinder head. Compared to the naturally aspirated K20A, no valvetrain or intake/exhaust manifolds will interchange between the two. Even the water jackets are significantly revised. The exhaust manifold is cast with the head as one unit. The cylinder head has a two-piece water jacket.

By making the ports waterjacketed, it helps control exhaust manifold temperature, as well as exhaust temperature. This also helps with emissions. The 2.0L turbo engine has 16 valves (4 valves per cylinder) and dual overhead camshafts. It used thin-wall hollow camshafts driven by the low-friction timing chain. The engine is equipped with Honda’s VTC (Variable Valve Timing Control) for intake and exhaust.

Fans of the wild induction sounds of Honda’s past VTEC motors will be slightly disappointed to hear VTEC no longer exists on the intake side.. The K20C1 features a different valvetrain setup, featuring single, beehive-style springs and VTEC only on the exhaust side. Previous VTEC motors existed as a means to package a larger camshaft without making the car utterly un-drivable at lower rpm. With the quick-spooling turbocharger installed on the K20C1, 295 lb-ft of torque is on-tap at only 2,500rpm.

In addition to this, engineers installed the Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) which changes valve lift, timing and duration of the exhaust valves to reduce turbo lag through increased exhaust pressure at lower rpm. The cylinder head also features sodium-filled exhaust valves and small M12 spark plugs.

The K20C engines are produced only with direct injection which able to provide such high fuel efficiency together with low emissions. The 2.0L turbo engine has high-pressure (20MPa) multi-hole fuel direct injectors with a small-diameter bore which delivers fuel directly into each cylinder. The shapes of the intake ports and piston crowns were optimized to generate a strong tumble flow and promote fuel mixture consistency within the cylinder. That said, the newer intake ports have much less flow than previous K20 engines (158cfm vs 300cfm) due to the tuning characteristics/needs of a direct-injected engine.

What’s it like to drive?

The Type-R I drove was clearly well-used, with over 30k miles of Turo duty. The wheels were marked with severe road rash and the seat fabric worn down. Incredibly, the drivetrain felt tight and responsive. Honda does manual shifters better than almost any other manufacturer and the Type-R is no exception. The gear shifter action felt positive and didn’t have any notchiness or weird crunching sensations of other cheap manuals. However, I still preferred the 6-speed manual of my Honda Accord Type-S (Acura TSX) I drove for a few years while living in Europe because the action was more effortless and “clicked” into the gates more re-assuringly. 

With 306 horsepower, the Type-R accelerates briskly. However, if you hammer it in first gear, the front tires start to jump and squirm and you hit redline in a split second. Second gear pulls are really where you feel an extended rush. It’s quick, but the turbo doesn’t have the lag-then-punch sensation of turbo cars of the past. The power felt more linear. Honestly, I thought the car would feel faster but that’s probably because I tested a BMW M2 Competition shortly before this, which is in another league power-wise.

The best thing about this car is definitely the steering and body controls. On the Angeles Crest Highway, which is filled with curvy mountain roads, the Type-R really shines. I felt like I could take the curves at any speed. This sensation is helped along by the ultra-aggressive seat bolsters. You definitely get the “race car” feel sitting here. The steering reacts quickly and responsively to every input. The peak joy of driving this car is that feeling when you set the car into a corner and feel the confidence to hammer it out of the corner without any body roll or drama. It just goes. You start to feel invincible and heroic. 

I found myself shifting gears incessantly while cruising around, even in a slow parking lot, just to feel the quality “click” of the gear shifter over and over again. It was such a joy to operate.  On the mountain roads, I left the car in second or third and just let the wave of torque carry me from corner to corner. 

In terms of normal everyday driving on the highway and city streets, the suspension has a comfort mode that helps makes things manageable. From reading other magazine reviews, you would assume the car rode like a Lexus. It doesn’t. It probably rides a little worse than a normal Civic. That’s not a bad thing. It’s perfectly liveable day to day and given how thin the sidewalls are, it’s a minor miracle that Honda engineers were able to tune the suspension to exhibit nearly zero body roll yet it doesn’t have any spine-crunching shocks.

How does it compare?

Competition is fierce in the mid-30s range. What the Type-R has over the competition is the unbeatable combination of practicality, comfort, and pure performance. Just check out how massive the cargo volume is. If you have to transport kids around and a stroller in the back, the Type-R can totally do it! Combined with Honda’s stellar reliability record, you might be able to persuade the spouse as well!

With 46.2 cubic feet of space (seats folded), the Civic Type R approaches mini-SUV levels of cargo volume. (Notice the dent on the back bumper too. This thing has taken a beating)

What’s the Verdict?

I have a special connection to Hondas due to my ownership experience. The Honda Accord Type S (Acura TSX) I owned is top 3 one of my favorite cars ever because of how well-built it felt, the VTEC motor, and the shifter. This car takes all my favorite Honda attributes and puts it on Meth. I’m still dumbfounded at how special the suspension tuning is.

However, I feel like this specific car wasn’t a great representation of what the Type-R ownership experience would be like. This particular Type-R was pretty rundown since it was rented out a few hundred times, so it doesn’t have the “new” feeling anymore. The styling is pretty subjective as well. I really love the fender vents and how butch it looked from certain angles. I’m not a fan of the spoiler, fake vents, or the red outline trim that runs the length of the car. The front-end of the car is definitely my favorite view. 

If I wanted a reliable and practice car with supercar levels of suspension tuning and sophistication, this would be it. However, it does fall short in a few major areas. I think having a more pleasant exhaust note and better styling would have endeared this car to me more. The exhaust sounds pretty standard and the sound a vehicle makes scores a ton of points for me. Even my old Honda had that incredible intake sound which is sadly missing here.

At the end of the day, it’s an amazing enthusiast’s car that I’d feel confident hammering mountain roads all day without fail, and yet there’s no practical downside in daily operation.

– Joseph Tseng

Video: 2020 Chevy Blazer RS Review (The Straight Pipes)

Video: 2020 Chevy Blazer RS Review (The Straight Pipes)

2020 Chevrolet Blazer review by The Straight Pipes. They’re back! Glad to see the car reviewers from up north are back doing live reviews again. Check out what they think about Chevy’s aggressively styled Blazer RS.

The Chevy Blazer RS comes with a 308hp and 280lb-ft tq V6 engine used widely across GM’s portfolio. Is the Blazer more bark than bite? Would be mighty nice if they can put an LT1 V8 in it!

Car Cleaning Supply Deals 6/2/2020

Car Cleaning Supply Deals 6/2/2020

AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth – 24-Pack

The AmazonBasics microfiber towels are 90 percent polyester and 10 percent polyamide.

Ultra soft, non-abrasive microfiber cloths will not scratch paints, coats or other surfaces

Black Magic No Scrub Wheel Cleaner

Dissolves brake dust, dirt, and road grime quickly and easily

Powerful formula improves the appearance of all types of wheels without hazing or discoloration

Top 10 Best Radiator Stop Leaks 2020

Top 10 Best Radiator Stop Leaks 2020


Do you suspect that your radiator is leaking? Have you seen the temperature gauge start to rise above normal while driving? Is there billowing white smoke coming from the hood of your engine? Are flames coming out? (okay, this might be beyond just a radiator leak now)

Symptoms of a Radiator Leak:

  • Overheating Engine
  • Leaks under the vehicle (red, yellow, or green fluid)
  • Fluid discoloration in coolant overflow tank
  • Heater stops working

Radiator stop leak is a type of additive made of ceramic fibers, sodium silicate, aluminum, copper, iron, or ground-up almond shells. It’s designed to seal and fix minor damage to your radiator. Your radiator works by moving coolant from the front of the vehicle to the coolant passages in the engine. There are a number of hoses where a small leak can develop.

The criteria of this guide is based on if the stop leak is fast, cheap, and effective. There are certain stop leaks that require a ton of work or are expensive. We’re looking for something that’ll get your car back on the road ASAP. That said, stop leaks can’t fix everything, and are mostly suitable for minor damages.

1. K-SEAL Coolant Leak Repair, ST5501 8oz, Multi-Purpose Formula

K-SEAL Coolant Leak Repair

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Verdict: Safe and effective, this stop leak repair can seal leaks up to 1/32 of an inch. Once cured, the repair withstands the high pressure of the combustion chamber, all without failing or clogging the cooling system.

Usage: Shake the bottle and add the fluid to the coolant system

How it works: Microfibers in the fluid mesh together when a gap is found, and a seal is built fiber by fiber. According to K-Seal, is is designed to repair holes up to 0.635mm in size yet it is small enough to not block the passageways in your radiator.

2. Bar’s Leaks 1186 Liquid Aluminum Stop Leak

Bar's Leaks 1186 Liquid Aluminum Stop Leak

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Verdict: The key ingredients in this fluid are what Bar calls “Liquid Aluminum and Xtreme Cool”. It was designed to be directly added without having to flush anything.

Usage: Add fluid and drive/idle the vehicle for 10 to 20 minutes.

How it works: Liquid Aluminum stops the leak and Xtreme Cool conditions the system to stop overheating and reduce water temperature.

3. Prestone AS145 Radiator Sealer Stop Leak

Prestone AS145 Radiator Sealer Stop Leak

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Verdict: Uses a corrosion inhibitor to protect against pitting and corrosion. Has the ability to seal leaks up to 0.020″ x 0.5″. Acts similar to K-Seal by using fibrous particles to seal leaks. By inhibiting corrosion, it can help prevent future leaks.

Usage: SHAKE well and add entire contents of bottle into radiator.Fill with Antifreeze and close cooling system. Run engine with heater on high for 10 minutes after reaching normal temperature.

How it works: Uses the same durability fibrous materials as bulletproof vests

4. AlumAseal ASD24/2-24PK Radiator Sealer Tube Dispenser

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Verdict: This is the easiest and fastest choice. This is designed to work with rubber, metal and plastic as well as compatible with antifreezes and coolants.

Usage: Pour powder into radiator, turn heater to hot, then drive.

How it works: Finds and seals the cooling system as well as lubricates the water pump.

5. ATP AT-205 Re-Seal Stops Leaks

ATP AT-205 Re-Seal Stops Leaks

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Verdict: This product is designed to seal not just radiators, but also stop leaks in engines, transmissions, power steering, and hydraulic systems. The common denominator in these systems is the rubber parts. It does not contain petroleum distillates so it does not breakdown seals.

Usage: Pour fluid into cooling system

How it works: Restores worn or dried out seals in the cooling system

6. Zerex Super Radiator Sealer

Zerex Super Radiator Sealer

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Verdict: A bit pricier than the rest. However, this fluid uses all natural materials and is water-based so it is lower risk (plant fiber, clay and water). This product is authorized by Cummins (legendary engine manufacturer) and is proven safe.

Usage: Seals leaks in about an hour

How it works: Uses all natural materials to seal cooling system leaks

7. Irontite All Weather Seal

Irontite All Weather Seal

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Verdict: If your vehicle undergoes extreme conditions (hot or cold weather), this product is a good choice. This also works with all types of materials in your radiator (aluminum, cast iron, plastic, rubber). It’s been designed not to clog heater cores.

Usage: Flush cooland if it is old and dirty. This is not required but recommended. Shake bottle, add into radiator. Fill coolant system with coolant and start vehicle. Leak should stop in 2-5 minutes.

How it works: Micro Fibers find leaks and stop them.

8. J-B Weld 2120 Radiator and Plastic Repair Kit

J-B Weld 2120 Radiator and Plastic Repair

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Verdict: This is an affordable solution from a very well-known brand. That said, this is a kit and not a pour-in solution. The kit contains epoxy putty, fiberglass cloth, sand paper and an application brush. It can fix holes up to 3/8″ in diameter or cracks up to 4″ long.

Usage: Cut out the piece of resin. Sand the crack. Mix liquid and use brush to apply. Place resin on top and add coat on top.

How it works: The kit contains a chemicals which become an epoxy which you apply to the crack or damaged area of the radiator.

9. Liqui Moly 20132 Radiator Stop Leak

Liqui Moly 20132 Radiator Stop Leak

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Verdict: This German made product is made for smaller leaks and is safe for aluminum and plastic radiators.

Usage: Add contents to cold cooling system, start up the heater, then drive for at least 10 minutes

How it works: Secures the combustion chamber from possible damage caused by coolant leaking in

10. Blue Magic 1008 Liquid Glass Metallic Seal-Up

Blue Magic 1008 Liquid Glass Metallic Seal-Up

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Verdict: Ideal for sealing up cracks and is able to withstand up to 2,000F

Usage: Pour into cooling system

How it works: Forms a copper-ceramic seal to fix cracks.

Why Should I use Radiator Stop Leak?

If the radiator needs to be replaced, the costs range between $300 and $1200 for parts and labor. The products on this list are much cheaper and can save you a lot of money if it works.

Tesla critics ‘jokingly’ rally to destroy Superchargers amid civil unrest

Tesla critics ‘jokingly’ rally to destroy Superchargers amid civil unrest

The civil unrest currently gripping the nation is very serious, and it revolves around an equally serious topic. Amidst the ongoing riots, physical violence, and mass damages to properties, the last thing anyone needs today are statements encouraging even more violence. This is made worse if these statements are targeted towards a very specific target.

Unfortunately, such is the case with Tesla critics. As news continues to be shared online about the successful launch of SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission and the riots happening across the United States, TSLAQ members maintained their usual flow of vitriol against the electric car maker and its CEO, Elon Musk. But recently, a member of the avid anti-Tesla/Musk group, @ValueDissenter, opted to advocate for something that could add some more drama to the current civil unrest.

(Credit: Twitter)

The proud TSLAQ member suggested that rioters should target and destroy Tesla Superchargers. In a tweet, the TSLAQ member that if he were in a riot, Superchargers would be his first target, since the charging areas were just “parking spaces for rich people.” “If I were a rioter, I would ABSOLUTELY go for the superchargers. F*ck Superchargers. They’re just parking spaces for rich people,” the Tesla critic wrote.

In a follow-up tweet, the TSLAQ member stated that he’ll be “the guy that incites the riot by trying to push the Supercharger over, maybe some spray paint, kick it a few times, and then bow out early and let someone else actually electrocute themselves destroying it.” The Tesla critic later noted in a reply that his tweets were a joke, but there is no denying that such calls to action, especially at these times, are in poor taste.

(Credit: Twitter)

This is especially true when one considers the fact that the initial tweet encouraging Supercharger destruction and vandalism was retweeted by @TESLAcharts, one of the most prominent and respected members of the TSLAQ community. This showed, at least in some form, that such ill-timed “jokes” enjoy support from the leaders of the anti-Tesla/Elon Musk movement.

There is absolutely nothing amusing about the civil unrest that is ongoing today. With sections of several cities burning and more and more people being injured due to the riots, today is a time to be as helpful as possible. And sometimes, one of the best ways to help out is to just keep one’s mouth shut. This is especially true considering that Superchargers are incredibly important for Tesla owners, as they provide a quick way to recharge vehicles.

Tesla critics ‘jokingly’ rally to destroy Superchargers amid civil unrest