Design's Long Term Ownership Thread - 2017 Si

Design

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I kept an ownership thread in the Mazdaspeed forums that was fairly popular. Thought I would create one here too - especially knowing that this is Honda's first foray into Turbo Direct Injection. Hopefully it proves useful to those considering this car later down the line, new or used.


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Intro

I picked up a 2017 ABM Si Sedan with 4 miles on the clock. The intention is to keep this car at least 10 years/200K. Previous to that, I owned a 2009 Mazdaspeed3 and a 00 Si, with 192K and 206K respectively. I've learned a lot about Turbo DI from owning the MS3 long term.

My main concern with the Si is long term carb deposits - an issue that affects a good portion of direct injection powertrains. These days, manufacturers seem to have it under control through a combination of valve timing and a good PCV/oil separator. Whether Honda has capitalized on these advancements remains to be seen.

My plans for this car are minimal. Last week I added the clearbra. Next year I may consider the HFP bi-mode suspension, and possibly a tune depending on long term test results. For now, I will continue enjoying this car out-of-the box as it was intended.

Some of you are probably wondering how I landed on an Si coming from a platform with 100 more horsepower. So I've attached my initial impressions from the Si forum.

More to come later. Thanks for reading!

After talking and obsessing over a new car purchase for two years, I finally scored a decent deal on an outgoing 2017 Si. My plan was to hold until end of year. But pricing was too good to pass up.

Up until this week, my daily driver was a 2009 Mazdaspeed3. Before that, a 00 Si. I picked up the MS3 with 8 miles on the odometer with the intention of keeping 10 years for a growing family. Back then, turbo direct injection was relatively new in mass produced cars. But everything else about the Mazda had a fairly good track record. It wasn't until I hit 100K that I started having more frequent issues. Mostly involving the DI powertrain. The most devastating was the aggressive oil consumption from carb deposits.

In my hunt for the "perfect" family car, my criteria was pretty simple:
  • Must haves:
    • 6MT
    • Room for a growing family
    • Fun/sporty
    • Low cost of ownership
  • Nice to haves:
    • Sunroof
    • Factory HID/LEDs
I cross-shopped the Si with the following:
  • Accord Sport
  • Civic Hatch Sport
  • Civic Sedan EX-T
  • GTI Sport/SE
  • Focus ST-2
  • WRX Premium
  • And just for fun... the Elantra Sport.
Unfortunately, I drive too many miles to consider a lease, many used cars, or higher priced cars with sharper depreciation.

I discovered that every car had their charm for one reason or another. And had I not wanted to keep long term, the GTI would have been the clear winner. But the Si came out ahead when I factored price, features, ergonomics, driving experience, passenger volume, and long term projected cost of ownership. It's not the fastest. Nor is it the most refined. But it offers an unbeatable blend of practicality and performance for the price. The extra bits like the adaptive suspension and keyless entry were icing on the cake.

I've only put 170 miles on the car but I absolutely love it. The high points for me are the precision short throw shifter, composed & confident bi-mode suspension, bolstered & supportive front seats, 360* driver visibility, smart entry, and front/side profile styling. The low points have been a few issues with the body panel alignment, navigating the infotainment, "excessively plastic" rear door panels, and a relatively mute growl from the exhaust. To be fair, I expect the exhaust will get more pronounced after 500-1000 miles. And the dealer network's body shop will be addressing the panel gaps this Monday.

I'll plan to give a more in-depth review once I get past the break-in period. For now, I'll keep looking for excuses to drive. Thanks for reading. :cool:

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OP

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Update at 3K:

Got the Ventureshield clear film protectant installed on the nose, side mirrors, and rear cargo area. I had installed one on my MS3 with great results. So I considered this one of the few "must haves" early on.

On order are a couple small items - leather center console, side impact protectors, and cargo net & hooks. I'll plan to update after those have been installed.

Few pics of the film. Thanks for reading!

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And just for fun, a few other projects in the barn.

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kritz

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Love the leather!!
 

JDM_DOHC_SiR

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How much did the front clear wrap set you back with labor?:hmm:
 
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Another minor update. Side impact protectors installed.

The alignment tool is provided in the packaging. Make sure to claybar the doors of any residue, then wipe with alcohol to ensure a tight seal.

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The video below provides a good overview of the process. Fairly easy if you take your time with the alignment.

 
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Update at 18K:

Got a few nasty dings on the rear driver's door. All high impact, suggesting these were rear passengers in SUVs. I also got a hit from a cyclist who parked too close to my car. Here's the estimate from the body shop:


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Decided to try out a local paintless dent removal guy who came very highly recommended. I've done paintless dent removal before and know that the results are sometimes mixed (depending on the area and severity). But I'm happy to report that he did phenomenal work. And all at roughly a quarter of the cost.

Before:

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After:

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I'm due for my third oil change in a few weeks and will be running a UOA on the Mobile 1 OW-20. I'll be sure to report back.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading!
 
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Forgot to post my UOA from the oil thread so here it is:
  • Mobile 1 OW-20 AFE
  • 7800 miles since last oil change
  • 50/50 city and hwy
  • Oil sample taken within 30 minutes of driving 12 miles
  • MM = 15% oil life
Viscosity is slightly low but the wear metals and fuel dilution are excellent. For a stock powertrain, I think this oil is well matched with the factory MM. I might step up to something more resilient if/when I do power mods.

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That's it for now. Thanks for reading!
 
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Update at 25K:

Did the B12 maintenance which included air and pollen filter, in addition to the normal oil and filter change. Both filters were extremely dirty as evident in photos below. I decided to stick with OEM despite being a few dollars more than a comparable Wix filter.

Also worth noting, Honda uses a small amount of locktight on the screws holding down the resonator box. On other platforms, this is known as a way for automakers to easily track minimum required maintenance should an issue arise during the warranty period.

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Now... on to a bit of bad news. A while back I ended up hitting some object on the road at night. Not sure what it was, but it ended up impacting the entire driver side. Left front tire end up with a small leak, while the rear tire took a majority of the hit. Bumper also got gouged in the lower section. All in all, could have been much worse.

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The entire ordeal cost me around $130 to fix. Most for the rear tire and the rest to touch up the bumper. It's not perfect, but I'll plan to respray if/when I get more visible damage.

For the price, I'm quite surprised on the performance and road manners of the Barum Bravurous replacement. It's only intended to be temporary. But for $56 it's not a half-bad interim solution. I'll be replacing with a set of Michelins once they go on sale.

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Update at 37K:

Battery

For the past 6K I had been experiencing intermittent issues with the OEM battery. And it appears this is a common problem with Honda's supplier (Johnson Controls). Some have reported low water level in the core over time, leading to partial failure. As frustrating as it was to happen just outside warranty, Honda was willing to credit me half the cost to replace. But Costco's Interstate battery costs just $73, and comes with a full replacement warranty @ 3.5 yr/unlimited miles. Choice was a no-brainer.

Two things I learned throughout this whole ordeal:
  • Costco's Interstate battery is reportedly made by Johnson Controls as well.
  • The manual trunk release is in a weird spot, both on the car and in the manual.
Driving 22-24K per year, I don't expect this battery to last longer than 2.5-3 years. But if I get a free replacement, I won't complain all that much. :cool:

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Ktuner V2

Over the last 20 months of driving this car, I became more sensitive to the 1.5T's shortcomings. This includes:
  • Boost delay between shifts
  • Excessive rev hang at high rpms
  • Low TQ-to-HP ratio
I still feel the Si is a solid value out of the box. But after previously owning the MS3, I yearned for the midrange punch that was somewhat lacking in the Si. Honda tuned this car very conservatively, prioritizing fuel economy/emissions over performance. That translates to a lazy throttle and buzzy behavior at higher rpms. And it felt frustrating to get this car to scoot efficiently around traffic. A basic tune can fix a lot of this by building boost a little earlier in the powerband, and by closing the throttle plate earlier between shifts. All evidence so far suggests this motor can easily handle a modest 10-20% increase over stock long term. Clutch, not so much.

I've driven on both OTS tunes from Hondata and Ktuner. And I feel they are both very solid, well-engineered solutions out of the box. I've personally spoken with Doug at Hondata. And the big advantage I will acknowledge is their ongoing partnership with HPD, and the brutal environments under which they're tested.

My reasoning for Ktuner was simply knowing that I could use the same device on a wider variety of Honda ECUs (one at a time), and knowing I could run datalogging at high bandwidth rates without the need for supplemental hardware. At the time of this writing, the extra perks like on-the-fly map switching, and variable quick adjustments, were icing on the cake. Though it seems that both manufacturers continue to update their software. On the platform I follow (Si), KTuner seems to have offered their updates more frequently.

Both tunes raise torque significantly. So much in fact that a clutch replacement is all but guaranteed. It's highly dependent on driving habits. So if you're like me and easy on the car more often than not, and don't constantly drag from a dig, the clutch should last many tens of thousands of miles. The higher midrange torque makes this car behave much more like the Focus ST and MS3, albeit less HP. Yet it doesn't need gobs of power to be just as much fun. Even a small increase of 3 PSI, changes the diving experience completely. At half throttle, the thrust from the motor feels smooth and effortless. And it's much easier now to navigate the daily grind.

Currently my tune is based of the factory/21.5 starter map, with mild padding on the rev hang disable. Throttle, boost ramp, and turbo response are all factory to help preserve both the clutch and fuel economy. I've learned that some rev hang is needed to help maintain oil stability in the sump, and to help regulate crankcase pressure. Though it can theoretically be dialed back some without wreaking too much havoc. Disabling rev hang too much could lead to rough shifts under light throttle, mild oil loss, and possibly an increase in intake deposits (due the increased circulation of oil droplets).

For now I've chosen to leave Advanced VSA alone. It's been reported that the ignition retard can slowly eat away at the cat over time. And since I don't usually hot-foot this car from a dig, it's not something I'll miss too much. Though I may test out at a later time.

I've been running the tune for a couple weeks and will continue to experiment with a few settings. I'll plan to report back in a few months.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading!

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Update at 39K:

So it appears my bad luck with tires continues. Hit an object on the freeway which resulted in a blowout on the rear passenger tire. And with the factory Goodyears down to 5-6 mm, it was time to replace them all.

My go-to tires are usually Continental DWS or Michellin Pilot A/S 3 - both of which wore very well on my MS3. Unfortunately both options were out of stock. Enter the Pirelli Cinturato Strada Sport.

The Stradas are essentially a modified version of the PZero Nero UHP all season, and are only sold through Discount Tire/America's Tire stores. I've run Pzeros in the past with good results. Though they can get a little noisy the last half of their treadlife. I'm pleased to report after 800 miles, the Stradas are excellent. Just as quiet as the Goodyears when new, with very predictable feedback/roadholding in the corners. I've also run them in damp conditions and they seem to grip fine.

Rim protection is minimal; there are no lip guards as seen on the Goodyears. I'll continue to report back as these tires wear in.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading!

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Syntek

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Update at 37K:

Battery

For the past 6K I had been experiencing intermittent issues with the OEM battery. And it appears this is a common problem with Honda's supplier (Johnson Controls). Some have reported low water level in the core over time, leading to partial failure. As frustrating as it was to happen just outside warranty, Honda was willing to credit me half the cost to replace. But Costco's Interstate battery costs just $73, and comes with a full replacement warranty @ 3.5 yr/unlimited miles. Choice was a no-brainer.

---

Currently my tune is based of the factory/21.5 starter map, with mild padding on the rev hang disable. Throttle, boost ramp, and turbo response are all factory to help preserve both the clutch and fuel economy. I've learned that some rev hang is needed to help maintain oil stability in the sump, and to help regulate crankcase pressure. Though it can theoretically be dialed back some without wreaking too much havoc. Disabling rev hang too much could lead to rough shifts under light throttle, mild oil loss, and possibly an increase in intake deposits (due the increased circulation of oil droplets).

Interestingly enough I had the same battery issues on my 2016 around your mileage. I went with diehard for my battery which costed me around 80 dollars at the time through K-mart after coupons. We'll see how my 2019 behaves after that point as well.


I actually didn't know about rev hang needed to maintain overall stability. I'll keep that in mind once I come around to modifying the car again to that point. I'm nearing 5k shortly so maybe after my first service I'll finally take the dive.
 
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Update at 45K. Got my latest oil sample back from Blackstone:
  • Mobile1 EP, 0W-20
  • 45K on the car, 6.8K on the oil, pulled at around 12%
  • Sample taken 45 min after driving 11 miles
  • Running Ktuner Factory/23 PSI base map
With these results, I feel comfortable trying out the TSP Stage 1 Map.

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