- First Name
- Mar 10, 2019
- Reaction score
- Watervliet, N.Y.
- 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
A little background. My 2017 Civic EX-L is my first turbo and first CVT. It's a great car but I wanted a bit more performance from it. I hate that lag you feel going from a light to heavy throttle. In certain traffic situations it makes accident avoidance and lane changing a bit dicey. And of course, I love the idea of a bit more power overall.
I'm one of those people that researches and researches before I make a decision. Long time members here know I made topic after topic and post after post asking about tuning. Months of asking and asking and learning.
I finally decided to get the Hondata Flashpro. After using their tunes for a while I changed to Ktuner. First off, this topic is not a Ktuner vs. Hondata thread, let me make that clear. The truth is, both are quality products and us 10th gen owners are lucky two have two good tuning choices. There are certain areas where I prefer Hondata and certain areas where Ktuner is tops. You can't go wrong with either device.
Just like most of you on the fence about tuning, I had 3 concerns. Warranty, CVT longevity and the turbo. Would I lose my warranty? Can the CVT and turbo engine hold up with all the extra torque and boost? Well here's the thing. You're NOT going to lose your bumper to bumper warranty on stuff just because you're tuned. But, if you throw a rod or wreck your CVT due to the tune, that's another matter entirely. You have to go into tuning figuring that YES it's "possible" you could screw up your warranty and your transmission and/or engine. But the real question is this... how likely is it that an out of the box base tune will damage your car?
In my opinion, both Hondata and Ktuner have done their homework. They've created tunes that were tested extensively (and continue to be tested) to make sure they're safe to be daily driven. You may have read about CVT's that have gone up and blown turbos. Read a bit deeper and you'll see that those vehicles were abused. You can only raise boost and torque so high. You can't launch the car holding the brake and revving the engine. But, drive like a normal human being and you will be shocked how much more fun these cars are tuned with just a base tune. Of course, you can take things beyond a base tune safely, but you do need to be cautious. With many mods especially, a custom tune by a pro is the way to go.
So how does a tuned 10th gen CVT turbo feel compared to stock? It's noticeably quicker and a whole lot more confidence inspiring. Highway passing becomes a no sweat situation. Merging is almost a relaxing event cause you know you have power to spare. There's less lag and more throttle response. Ktuner in particular, has tons of easy quick adjustments that fine tune the way the car drives.
One thing a lot of people don't realize is that you can tune your car to stock type power levels if you want, but reduce the lag and up the throttle response. Even though you haven't added much boost that way, the adjustments make the car drive so much better than stock. You can even tune the car in such a way that you can change from a higher boost tune to your stock type tune at the switch of a button.
How does a tune affect MPG's? There can be a small MPG hit at part throttle but for the most part (if you stay out of boost), mileage is close to stock levels. On the other hand, the extra power is kind of intoxicating so it will be hard to keep your foot out of it.
If you do get tuned, the extra power means you should upgrade your tires. The stock tires are OK but you'll need something with better traction for sure. Which also brings up another cool feature of tuning... Boost By Gear. With BBG, you can reduce power in low gears to help limit wheel spin.
All in all, tuning is fantastic with the CVT. In the 5 minutes or so that it takes to upload a new tune to your ECU, you get what almost feels like a new and better car. It's that good. It's easily the best bang for the buck mod you can get.