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A track-day romp illuminated a key weakness in our otherwise excellent 2019 Civic Type R.

by Dave VanderWerp, 9 July 2020

30,000-Mile Update
After months of winter and pandemic quarantining, we were especially in need of the kind of emotional cleanse that driving the meanest Honda Civic delivers. Staff editor Austin Irwin voiced what many of us were thinking: "Driving the Type R lifts spirits. Three hundred six horsepower of antidepressant. I'm totally abusing my prescription, and it feels fine!" (Ask your doctor if Type R is right for you.)

Speaking of a heavy dose, once spring hit we wanted to fully excise the cobwebs with a track day, so we trekked over to GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. That's where we ran headlong into the Type R's shortcomings.

Initially we were once again won over by the Type R's massive front-end grip and impressive chassis balance for a front-wheel-drive car. These are the same qualities that let it shine at our annual Lightning Lap track test, where the Civic Type R still holds the title of the fastest front-drive car we've ever run.

2019 honda civic type r

However, in the low- to mid-80-degree temperatures at GingerMan, the Type R's engine temperature gauge quickly shot into the danger zone—and we could feel it noticeably lose power—while running a single hot lap with multiple cool-down runs in between. The car also flashed a check-engine light and went into limp mode, logging a P0087 fault code for low fuel-rail pressure. We suspect that bit came about because the fuel tank was getting low, and after clearing the code all was well again.

We had none of these issues at Virginia International Raceway during our Lightning Lap event but suspect that GingerMan's shorter length and lack of high-speed sections provide less cooling airflow to the Type R's powertrain. We couldn't help but notice the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS that were also at this track day weren't having the problems we were. This is not a new complaint on Type R owner's forums, and it's no surprise that Honda increased the grille opening by 13 percent to improve cooling as part of the Type R's updates for 2020.

2019 honda civic type r

Away from the rigors of the track, we've made it as far south as St. Louis in the past 10,000 miles and as far east as Greenwich, Connecticut. But the majority of our miles have been close to home. With the odometer now showing 31,217 miles, our Civic's oil-life monitor still says we have 15 percent left before the next service, even after driving nearly 10,000 miles since our last visit at 21,430 miles. That means since our last update six months ago, we have yet to spend another dollar on service. Or, more impressive, we haven't damaged another wheel or worn through another tire.

Months in Fleet: 14 months Current Mileage: 31,217 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 25 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 12.4 gal Observed Fuel Range: 310 miles
Service: $221 Normal Wear: $989 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $2012

 

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I think I heard Matt Farrah say pretty much the same thing about the Type R.

But going 10K between oil changes? I wouldn't go that long no matter what the magic oil life monitor says. Especially if it's a high strung engine(with heat issues) you beat on. sheesh.
 

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Please continue to follow that oil light that way I see less of those ugly ass things
Don’t care how fast
It’s funky and fugly
Period
 

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Do you guys follow the oil life light on our car?

I get mine changed every 5,000 miles.

To each their own, but at my age the CTR is just too juvenile for me.
 

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I follow the computer. 62,000 miles and hasn’t failed me yet. I do similar intervals on my WRX and it has 228,000 miles now. People are too paranoid about oil and waste lots of money changing it all the time.
 

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I follow the computer. 62,000 miles and hasn’t failed me yet. I do similar intervals on my WRX and it has 228,000 miles now. People are too paranoid about oil and waste lots of money changing it all the time.
Yes they do. Modern group 4 or better oils can go well beyond 5,000 miles without issues. A 5000 mile oil change is just wasting money and resources. It's a bit like women's face products it seems.No matter the fact that a basic moisturiser twice a week is all that's needed they still insist on spending mega dollars on face creams every day.
5,000 mile oil change intervals is the "face cream feel good factor" of the automotive world. Any dummy can do it and feel all warm and fuzzy about it:)

Ciao
 

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Unrelated, but as a 5,000 mile oil changer here (Mobil 1)... wondering how many miles people average before the computer advises a change? It's been 2.5 years since I bought the car and no longer even remember what the manual advised either. That being said, I do every 10,000 miles in the wife's car.
 

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Yes they do. Modern group 4 or better oils can go well beyond 5,000 miles without issues. A 5000 mile oil change is just wasting money and resources. It's a bit like women's face products it seems.No matter the fact that a basic moisturiser twice a week is all that's needed they still insist on spending mega dollars on face creams every day.
5,000 mile oil change intervals is the "face cream feel good factor" of the automotive world. Any dummy can do it and feel all warm and fuzzy about it:)

Ciao
I got a maintenance plan on my car, so why not?! lol.

I do my daughters and it's a commuter. She does not push it hard and I put mobil 1 high mileage and mobil 1 oil filter, that I use the oil life light.
 

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Unrelated, but as a 5,000 mile oil changer here (Mobil 1)... wondering how many miles people average before the computer advises a change? It's been 2.5 years since I bought the car and no longer even remember what the manual advised either. That being said, I do every 10,000 miles in the wife's car.
Our light is just based on mileage, something like 12k miles. I've had it come on within 100 miles of a fresh oil change, so it's not actually monitoring anything.
 
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Gullwing doors..... classic... now:

342555
 

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Our light is just based on mileage, something like 12k miles. I've had it come on within 100 miles of a fresh oil change, so it's not actually monitoring anything.
I don’t think so, mine has come on as low as 7000 miles. I recall reading that it’s a bit smarter than just a mileage clock. It will shorten or lengthen based on driving conditions.
 

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For those claiming that there is some magical wizard living in the engine constantly watching and testing the oil...

Long, long ago back in 2016... Our cars had a 10,000 mile interval programmed into the computer. One of the first recalls changed that after some people drove their cars almost completely dry. They seemed to think the magical wizard would tell them "hey dumbass... you either need to add some oil or change it. Hop to it already" 🧙‍♂️

Sadly The powers that be at Ford were perplexed by this. "Don't people check their oil level on a regular basis?":oops:

Most people... Nope. :eek:

So I believe they lowered the monitor clock to 6500 or 7500 miles. 🤨

I know, I know... the magical wizard. I'm getting to him... or her... crap... I'm assigning gender aren't I.... :rolleyes:

Anyway. I drive my car maybe 2500 miles a year. I get my oil changed once a year regardless of mileage. Out of all the times the dealer has changed my oil, not one tech has reset the oil life monitor. A year or two ago, not long after a full synthetic oil change. Around 7000 miles the reminder popped up. It was maybe 1 month after a change. So... The wizard must've moved away. and was replaced by a mileage counter. 🤷‍😭

Now that's not to say that the computer might take how hard you beat on the poor car. But for my driving, it's just mileage.🤠
 

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My car just had it's 36-month service and has only done ~13k kilometres in that time. I have seen the oil change indicator twice and both times came shortly after receiving the car back from a service which included an oil change.
 

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Warning! Old guy with culture shock.
1 1/2 mo. ago, my wife bought a new F-150. Ford Emails mileage / service update stats.
eg. time until oil chg., service, tire rotation, etc. They’re watching....
The other day, the nav. screen notified me my, right trailer brake light was not working.
I’ll have to name the wizard....but, I’m sure mine‘s female....a cute one...
 

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I don’t think so, mine has come on as low as 7000 miles. I recall reading that it’s a bit smarter than just a mileage clock. It will shorten or lengthen based on driving conditions.
I’ve been following the computer and it doesn’t seem to vary all that much. It’s really close to 10K intervals whether I do 0 track days or 4 in that interval.

I figure that since the car is designed for track use and is supposed to intelligently monitor conditions, Ford can buy me a new engine if bad oil causes an issue. I’d probably be a lot more cautious if I was tuned and didn’t have the 8-yr warranty.

I do regularly check the level, especially before during and after track days...
 

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Mine dropped significantly when I was commuting in stop and go traffic. Otherwise it stays pretty close to the 10,000 mile mark.
 

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Ha. I hit the oil change date long before I hit the mileage one. I prepaid (~$450) for 10 oil changes when I bought my car. I just take it in every few months or after a track day.

However, my RS was overheating on the track yesterday way worse than any other time. Only like 2-3 laps before drive mode selection unavail, then 4-5 before the car went into limp mode and I just aired it out on the track. Frustrating, but it was 100*. Two other RSs out and both having issues. Pretty sure both were stock. One guy threw some 110 in his tank and was having worse go of it. I guess of the 4 track days I've had in an RS, one was RSAA and it was flurrying (and the RSAA cars...), one was an evening track night, and the only other day track sesh I had was 80s and it wasn't that bad. Sucks, but you just gotta do 2 fast laps, 1+ cool lap, or just 1 to 1. At the end of the day, it's a street car in some extremely demanding conditions. If I needed it to not over heat, I know it can be done without much work. But the 1-2x a year I'm out on the track, I can do 2 fast then 1 cool, or go on the fringes of the season.

Anyway. So the best 2 cars in the hot hatch segment over heat on the track in demanding conditions. Most CTRs and RSs wont see a track anyway.
 
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