Turbocharger for 2007 Honda Civic

My daughter has a 2007 Civic EX Coupe (15,000 miles), with a std. transmission. She recently drove a friend’s Dogde SRT which the owner had modified by adding a turbo charger. She was so impressed by the pick-up and speed that she requested I add a turbo charger to her Civic.

I went online and found that kits are available for this vehicle. If I make this modification, what surprises are in store for me; e.g. (1) will the car still pass emissions (we live in NJ); (2) will other modifications have to be made to the car; (3) will the change stress other car components and cause it to break down more frequently (I assume the clutch will wear out sooner).

Any insight will be appreciated.

If your daughter wants a faster car, I suggest she should buy a faster car. Modifying this one will be trouble.

Adding a turbo to this car will reduce its reliability and longevity considerably. In addition, its fuel mileage will plummet and it will probably have to burn premium fuel. Basically, all the good reasons to own a Civic will be negated.

You won’t know whether it will pass an emissions test until it’s too late.

Yes, the clutch will not last as long as it should, and other drive train components will be over-stressed as well.

Can’t she find a nice Civic SI or something? An Acura RSX, maybe? Let the factory do the hot-rodding.

Here’s an idea: trade the Civic for a Mazdaspeed3. It’s a factory-built hot rod, turbocharged to within an inch of its life, but done correctly, and it comes with a warranty.

$4,000 for a turbo kit? You’re just asking for problems converting a non-turbo engine over to turbo charging. You’ll be far better off selling this vehicle and purchasing a vehicle that was designed from the factory with turbo charging if she must have it.


In addition to mcparadise’s good advice, I want to add another little factoid:

The installation of after-market equipment like a turbocharger will void the car’s Powertrain Warranty.

Since the stresses imposed by the turbocharger will likely shorten the life of the engine, I think that it is very short-sighted to lose the protection of that warranty. This could turn into a real money-pit, especially if the girl is very “enthusiastic” in using the power boost of that turbocharger.

Add in the loss of fuel efficiency, the necessity of using premium gas, and a likely increase in emissions, and I think that adding a turbocharger to that Civic would not be a good idea.

FYI, a dodge Neon SRT4 came factory with a turbo. That means the factory had upgraded the transmission, drive axles, etc to handle the additional power.

IMHO, Bad idea.

Add-on turbos are famous for melting pistons, etc. Do not do this to the Civic. Even if it works, mileage will be in the dumper. To be avoided.

You’re kidding, right?

The easiest and cheapest solution is take the Civic and trade in for a used/new Subaru WRX. They can be had just over $20k for the leftover 2008’s. Turbocharging included along with very good reliability beyond a truely fun to drive car. It also is a safer car in crash & insurance testing than similar Honda products.

Subaru engineers are experts from the factory on reliable turbo engines.

adding a turbo to a Civic is pretty straightforward and pretty cheap (as far as adding a tubro goes) If you keep the boost to reasonable levels there shouldn’t be any drivibility issues. The stock internals will tolerate about 8 pounds of boost. Any more than that and want forged internals and low compression pistons. To do it right, you’ll want an intercooler, a less restrictive exhaust, a custom ECU tune, and possibly bigger injectors. As for the emissions, some kits will pass, some won’t. Also the CV joints and clutch will wear out faster, but when they do you can replace them with more robust parts. Overall expect to pay around 3k-4k for parts and labor, add another grand to that if you go with forged internals.

The biggest question is this:
Who is paying for this car? Are you, or is your daughter? If it’s the former, tell her to bugger off, if it’s the latter, let her pay for it herself. If she complains that you won’t buy her a TC, then tell her you’ll just sell the car and save the arguments for later.

One approach would be to take her to a good “Speed Shop” and let them discuss the effects of boosting compression pressures, the cost do do it properly, and the tradeoffs. The “tuner” crowd soups up Civics all the time, so there are kits available, however people who soup up cars beyond their design envelopes know that they’re going to be replacing parts regularly. Breaking parts is part of pushing the envelopes of the engine and drivetrain.

My guess is that when she has the facts she’ll realize the folly.

First off adding a Turbocharger WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.

I’ve beefed up engines before or added new engines and it’s NOT a easy task. And every time I’ve done it I also beefed up the rest of the car to handle this increased performance (new shocks, suspension…etc). And I would NEVER consider this for vehicle like the Civic. I think the Civic is a GREAT vehicle…but not the kind of vehicle I’d be spending THOUSANDS on to make faster. It’s NOT worth it.

Second…Adding a turbo charger to one of your kids cars is NOT something I would consider being a good parent. I sure wouldn’t. Here you go son…Have a faster car so you can speed down the road…and that is EXACTLY what she will be doing.

I think it’s a big mistake to consider this. You can kiss any warranty, present or any potential good-will warranties, goodbye.

One modification usually means another and another and another and it’s going to get expensive; plus it’s going to be rough on the entire drivetrain along with potentially being an engine destroyer.

Most turbocharged cars do not even get into the boost during normal driving; it’s only when they’re hammered down fairly hard. So if you do this and the daughter talks constantly about that “great turbo feeling” you’ll know she’s likely got it flat on the floor and trouble could be brewing.

Try to mention how you feel her pain, but you don’t want to suffer any worse. It will waste a lot of time and money. Save the money, you will need it for gasoline.