Honda Haters

The purpose of this page is to help disprove some of myths and misinformation that are being spread by owners and supporters of Honda and Acura automobiles, and to give my opinions on Hondas and Acuras. I am constantly hearing and seeing people praising Hondas and Acuras, THE MOST OVERRATED & OVER-HYPED CARS to ever come out of Japan. These same people bash American cars and like to tell you how "superior" their Hondas/Acuras are. This page will tell you the other side of the story, what the Honda/Acura folks don't want you the find out, and refuse to believe.


False Hondas and Acuras    

I'm sure that all of you have seen one of these stickers on on the back of a Honda or Acura. I think that these lemmings actually think that the placement of this badge will make their car fast! Lets take a minute to distinguish the facts, shall we? First of all, there were never any Civic Type R's sold in the U.S. The REAL Civic Type R was born a hatchback and sold in Japan only. There was a variant sold in Canada named the Civic SiR, which was also in hatchback form. Most of the Civics you see hyping this badge are bottom of the basement Civic HX or DX econoboxes with 92-110 HP. Throw on a Fart Cannon and away we go! Go Speed Racer, go!

Now on to the Acura Intergra. There were a few (around 2,000) true Acura Intergra Type R's sold in the U.S. All others are simply fakes. I have heard that the actual Type R's had a unique pearl white paint.

As far as I know, there is no such thing as a Honda Prelude Type R. If there is, it is a Japan only model as well. I have seen many of these fakers. 


Honda Hype Vs. Reality

Honda cars have got to be the most overrated cars ever built. It seems that anyone who owns a Honda becomes a brainwashed Lemming, buying into the delusion that Hondas are defect free, never break down, and have better performance than any other make of car, especially those "unreliable American gas guzzlers". The automotive press consistently praise Honda products while overlooking their flaws, and do exactly the opposite to any domestic vehicles.


There are about three times as many American cars on the road as there are Japanese cars. This means if the quality is the same, there will be three times as many complaints about American cars.

While Hondas can be very good cars, they are far from perfect. Honda has had their share of product recalls. They are machines designed by humans. However, their owners like to overlook any quality or design problems. These problems are never mentioned when they are comparing their perfect Honda products to an "inferior domestic", but are well known by Honda owners. Check out any of the big WWW sites for Hondas and you will find pages devoted to complaints Honda & Acura owners have about their cars but will only admit when they are in a "Honda friendly" atmosphere. Below are some examples:

See messages posted to USENET about problems with Hondas (Deja News). Many Honda lovers say,"There are hardly any posts in the honda newsgroups about problems unlike those other inferior cars." Find out for yourself here.

Honda Civic Complaints Page(from the Civic Homepage)
Read the complaints that Honda owners have made about their cars. Complaints like squeaks and rattles, poor quality,and noise, which are all the things that the "inferior, poor quality" American vehicles are supposed to suffer from. But..But...I thought Hondas were defect-free! Everbody says so!

Acura Integra Problems & Repairs(from the Honda/Acura Integra "Performance" Page)
On this page you can learn about the quality problems that Integras have with poorly machined engine blocks, faulty distributors (The "secret" recall), exhaust noise problems, etc.

Honda Hub Problems, Complaints & Solutions Message Board
Read what problems Honda owners talk about amongst themselves.(site currently broken)

Here some other links that show that the "Honda quality" reputation is just hype:

An American Honda Employee's thoughts on Honda Quality
Read an American Honda Quality Assurance Engineers statements on Honda quality. What he has to say may suprise you.

Letter from an Disatisfied Honda Owner
Read a letter sent to me by a reader of this page who is disatisfied with his Honda car and the customer service he recieved when dealing with his less than perfect Honda Accord Coupe.

Search the NHTSA Recall Database for Honda/Acura Recalls
The US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration records of auto manufacturer recalls. The majority of people never hear about a Honda or Acura recall, but when a domestic automaker has a recall, it is usually the top story on the 11 o'clock TV news. The only thing most people have been brainwashed to "know" is that Acuras and Hondas are "quality" cars.

Search the NHTSA Defect Complaints Database for Honda/Acura complaints
So nobody complains about Hondas because they always leave the assembly line defect-free? WRONG! Here you can see the complaints Honda owners have made to the NHTSA.


Honda Lover's Delusion: Honda & Acura engines are more powerful than American V8s

The Mysterious VTEC

Ask almost any Honda or Acura enthusiast which is more powerful, an American V-8 or a Honda engine and he will always say, "Hondas, because they have VTEC and the shitty American engines don't!" Honda and Acura enthusiasts are always boasting about how "VTEC" makes Honda engines the greatest thing since the wheel was invented. VTEC is just variable valve timing, a feature that Nissan, Ford, and BMW all have in some of their engines. VTEC is just a crutch that Honda uses to make their tiny engines more drivable. Why do Honda engines need this crutch?

Honda engines used in Integras and Civics are very small (less than 2 liters) Small displacement engines need to spin HIGH RPMs in order to make power, and be cammed for optimum air/fuel and exhaust flow at high RPM. This causes the small engine to have almost ZERO low RPM torque. Without variable cam timing which gives a different camshaft lobe profile for high RPM and low RPM, the engine would make the car undrivable. A typical American pushrod V-8 has very good low RPM torque due to larger displacement and can make horsepower at both high AND low RPMs.


The Horsepower Per Liter Ploy

A lot of Honda and Acura lovers like to cite their engines' "superiority" and "efficiency" with "Hondas make more horsepower per liter." Ahh... the lame old "power per liter" ploy. Some high performance Honda engines make over 100 horsepower per liter. While that is nice, Honda lovers forget that those engines are only a tiny 1.8 liters! A high performance American 4.6 liter V-8 makes about 305 horsepower. Do the math!

305 horsepower > 195 horsepower

305 horsepower is more than 195 horsepower, no matter what the engine's displacement. Ants can lift 100 times their body weight; humans can lift much less. Ants are much smaller in size than humans. Humans are so much less "efficient" than ants, so does that make ants "superior" to humans?

Horsepower per liter means nothing, when a car with lower specific output but more total horsepower is beating you! A stock VTEC Integra has specific power well above a stock Mustang Cobra, but in an acceleration contest, the less "efficient" Mustang Cobra will win. On the street, small engines only provide the loser with an easy excuse. What will the Honda owner do after losing? Whip out his calculator, punch some keys and tell the V-8 owner, "You won, but your engine has lower specific output than my highly superior Integra!!!"


102 Horsepower per Liter

Many Honda enthusiasts smugly say, "Name me one American car that has 100 hp/liter STOCK--YOU CAN'T!" American automakers have done this before, years before Honda! In 1991-93, the Dodge Spirit R/T made 224 HP @ 6000 RPM from a 2.2 liter 16V DOHC turbo engine. This works out to 102 HORSEPOWER PER LITER! In 1993 the Dodge Daytona IROC R/Tused the same engine and made the same horsepower. Why didn't we hear more about these cars? The Honda lovers were too busy saying American cars suck!


Many Honda people have written in crying, "No fair--that's a turbo engine! If you put a turbo on a Integra GS-R..." But we're not talking about "if" here. It seems they can't accept the facts. Honda does not make turbo-equipped engines stock from the factory, and what I am talking about here are STOCK horsepower ratings, regardless of induction. I guess it just hurts some Honda enthusiasts to shatter another one of their beloved myths, that only Honda is able to make over 100 HP per liter.

Anoter irony is that one of the most popular modifications for VTEC Hondas is a turbocharger or supercharger. If Chrysler had the foresight in the 80's to install them on the assembly line, then maybe there were a step ahead.

Oldsmobile W- 41 Quad 4

Another American example is the famous Oldsmobile W-41 Quad 4 engine from 1991-1992. That bad boy made 190 hp and 165 ft. lbs. of torque with no turbo! The math only works out to 83HP per liter, but the Honda Si 1.8 liter that makes 100 HP per liter only has 180 HP.

Honda's Larger displacement Engines

Also note that there are only a few of these "high specific output" engines installed in Honda cars. Honda themselves are using more and more larger displacement engines in their cars besides the Civic, Integra and Prelude, such as the V6 in the Accord and in Acura's larger sedans. Even Honda knows there's no replacement for DISPLACEMENT!


Another Honda Lover's Myth: Hondas and Acuras Have "High Tech" engines, while American Cars are "Low Tech"

Honda lovers like tell you that their cars have engines with the ultimate in new high technology while American cars are "low tech". This is not true. All the things that Honda and Acura lovers think of as "high tech" and "modern" actually are designs that have been used in cars since the 1930's. In fact, the inline 4 cylinder is actually an older design than the V-8. Things like DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder were used on cars in the '20s and '30s.

American cars had them, too, in Auburns and Dusenbergs, just to name two. In the '70s, Americans could buy a compact car with an all-aluminum 16 valve DOHC, EFI engine that could turn 8,000 RPM. Sound's like an Integra of today, doesn't it? Surprise! it was the Chevy Cosworth Vega


Honda/Acura lovers are constantly critizing American performance cars such as the Firebird, Camaro, & Corvette for having pushrod operated valves instead of SOHC or DOHC. The truth is, the LS1 engine used in these cars makes HORSEPOWER & TORQUE. Much more than any Honda or Acura engine, including the NSX. And this engine is available in an $24,000 car, not just the top of the line flagship.

Pushrod engines work very well and make power,but since SOHC and DOHC are latest fad these days, all the American manufacturers make them. Ever hear of the:


These engines have all the so-called "high tech" parts. In fact, the Ford DOHC V8 used in the Mustang Cobra was selected as one of Ward's Ten Best Automobile Engines in 1997. For those of you who don't know, Ward's publishes prestigious journals of the automobile industry, both foriegn and domestic. There WERE NO HONDA ENGINES ON THE LIST OF BEST ENGINES. Who's "low tech" now?


"High tech" Honda engine VS. "Low Tech" American V8

A lot of Honda enthusiasts say it is easy to build a 500 HP Honda engine. Sure it is if you have enough money! Buth then with enough money, you could make a lawn tractor outrun a top fueler.

The April 1998 issue of Hot Rod magazine featured 2 engine buildup stories: one a "high tech" turbo Honda engine built by JG Engine Dynamics, and an "old tech" Buick 455 V8.  Hot Rod, unlike most "sport compact car" magazines, gets into the details of the engines in featured cars and the costs to build. Both made 500 horsepower, but the Honda cost almost 3 times what the Buick cost . Basically, they threw away the bottom end of the Honda, since in stock form the Honda cannot withstand the pressures of  making 500 HP. They basically rebuilt the block with ductile iron cylinder sleeves  and closed the open block deck by welding in a deck plate.The pistons and rods were replaced with expensive aftermarket pieces.

The "low tech" Buick used nearly all stock parts with the exception of ported stock heads, an aftermarket cam, aluminum intake manifold and headers. The Buick's short block uses a stock rods,crank, and block. It will  make 500 HP using  ordinary premium pump gas, while the Honda needs expensive racing gas to make the full 500 hp.

The Buick engine was installed in a large 3950 lb. Buick GS and ran the quarter mile in 11.59 secs. It would be much quicker if the engine was put in a lighter car, like a Nova, Skylark, or Ventura. According to JG Engine Dynamics, their Honda engines usually run low 11sec. - quarter-miles  in a 2500 lb.Civic.

 Keep in mind that the Buick 455  is not even a popular engine to modify; parts for Buick engines are more expensive than more common Chevys. But for the same price as ONE high-strung, grenade-waiting- to-detonate Honda engine, TWO mild, more durable "old tech" Buick V8s could be built with money left over. In fact, you could build the Buick engine and  pick up a  fairly nice car to put the Buick engine in for less than the cost of the Honda engine alone!

So unless you have a  rich mommy and daddy, or don't mind maxing out your credit cards or taking out a 2nd mortgage, Hondas engines are not great  to modify for drag racing if you want to go fast for a reasonable amount of money
Make Buick 455 
home built
Honda 1.8 VTEC 
JG Engine Dynamics 
custom built
Output 500 HP 500 HP (33 lbs boost)
COST $3,926(US) $10,500(US)
Fuel Required 92 octane pump gas 118 octane racing gas
Block Stock Buick, 
.038 overbore 
cleaned;new core plugs
Highly modified Honda: welded in  aluminum top block deck 
to prevent stock floating cylinder sleeves from breaking; 
ductile iron cylinder sleeves replace stock aluminum 
Pistons Cast Aluminum JE .38 over Forged Arias
Connecting Rods stock Buick HD Crower aftermarket
Rings Chrysler 440 N/S
Head(s) Greg Gesler Level 2 ported Buick Honda w/1.35" intake valves  
replacing stock 1.29
Crankshaft Stock Buick, .010 under N/S
Camshaft(s) Lunati 241-241 "Hemi Killer" Radical JG Engine Dynamics Custom Grind
Induction Normally Aspirated:  
Edelbrock Performer Aluminium manifold; 
Stock GM Quadrajet 4bbl
Forced Induction:  
XS Engineering turbocharger; 
air to air intercooler; 92 lb/hr injectors; Aftermarket ACCEL DFI system with General Motors MAP sensor
Ignition Stock Buick HEI ignition controlled by Aftermarket ACCEL DFI system
Exhaust 1 7/8" TA Performance Headers N/S
N/S= not specified