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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched the forums for this question but could not quite find what I was looking for so please forgive me if it has already been posted. Anyway, I just purchased a 2020 Accord 1.5 sport and was wondering how reliable these 1.5 accord CVT's are with the tune. I am not that concerned about the engine, but mostly the CVT. I am coming from a 2018 Civic EX that I had tuned with KTuner so I already have a KTuner device, and I've read on the Civic forums that most 1.5 owners are pretty reliable with a simple out of the box tune. So I was wondering if it's the same case for the Accord? If anyone has experience with these motors/CVT's and tuning them please let me know. Happy to join this forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Tuned CivicX Experience & Reliability Thread (for all models) | 2016+ Honda Civic Forum (10th Gen) - Type R Forum, Si Forum - CivicX.com

This is from the 10th gen civic forum but this is worth a look. The author of that thread and creator of that tuning survey, gtman, has compiled a lot of data about tuning on the 1.5 with both the 6MT and CVT. There are certainly limitations to the CVT but you should be plenty fine with one of the ktuner base tunes. There is always a risk to tuning but a large number of failures come with abuse, neglect and then yes, over extending the capabilities of those transmissions. I've seen plenty of guys running tunes on the CVT reliably. Do your homework before you outright dismiss it.

Edit: Also realized you're coming from a civic with a tune. You already know what to expect. If you were on civicx then i'm sure you already did gtman's survey lol welcome to the accord!
Yeah I was on the civicx forums for a while so I know all about the reliability survey haha. What I'm seeing from most of the replies here is that most people are warning against tuning the 1.5 CVT in the Accord, whereas on the CivicX forums it's completely different and the consensus there is that it should be safe as long as you're not abusing it (like you're saying). So I guess my question is what is the difference in the Accord 1.5 CVT and why do people seem to be more wary of tuning it?

Main reason I did not get the 2.0 turbo is because put simply, I didn't want to spend the extra money to upgrade and the 1.5 Accord was already a massive upgrade from my 2018 Civic EX with the naturally aspirated 2.0 engine. If I do tune it, I am definitely sticking with the stage 1-2 base tunes and nothing else. If anyone here seeing this has a tuned 1.5 CVT please chime in and let me know how it's going for you. Also, happy to be here in the Accord forums, and am Loving the car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why do people who want to do power mods buy the CVT? If the 2.0T is out of your price range, the 1.5T came with a manual trans which can handle more power better than a CVT can. :confused:
Went with CVT because with what I am using the car for it's much more comfortable. I didn't buy this car with the intention of modifying it, I was mostly just asking because I already have a KTuner on hand and I wouldn't mind the extra power if you can safely do it. The stock power from these 1.5 Accords is already worlds better than my tuned 2.0 Civic which you had to rev the nuts off of to make any power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is probably my 5th time trying to post...as you'll see on my past attempts below this. For some reason it keeps getting grouped into an old post I made months ago.

Basically i'm trying to figure out if there are any good reasons as to why the consensus across the Civic forums and Accord forums are so different. On the Civic Forums, people are reliably pushing their KTuner and Hondata base tunes as seen in a reliability survey that they have (The Tuned CivicX Experience & Reliability Thread (for all models)).

Basically the overall opinion there is that as long as your not pushing too much low end torque and abusing or launching the car, the canned base tunes are for the vast majority pretty reliable and provide a nice bump in power. Over here though, people just say "why didn't you get the 2.0" or the "CVT will blow up" etc. But to me it seems that these canned tunes are pretty reliable and within a reasonable power threshold at least from the research i've done.

Ive seen the youtuber who blew up his CVT but that was mostly because he was racing and beating on it and also trying to push too much power, so it's only natural that his blew up. So for all the guys out there with some knowledge on this...if the civic guys are pushing tuned CVT's just fine, what's up with the accord? Am i missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I see that a moderator has moved your thread and merged it with a similar thread, which already contains a reply by me... with that said- I was in the middle of typing a response to your most recent post- so I'll post it anyway...



People often respond with "why didn't you just get the 2.0t?" mainly because that's arguably the better option if you are looking for more HP and torque out of an Accord. Yes, it requires a bit more in terms of purchase price, but it's probably the best option given that it's backed with the full warranty and you have the benefit of Honda's own developers figuring out the best balance between performance, economy, and reliability. A Sport 2.0t Accord starts out at about $34,000, which is about $4000 more than a 1.5t Sport... and also comes with a ton of extra features that largely justifies its price. I've never really understood people who buy the base engine and then want to tune it to push out more HP... when what they really should have done is just saved up a bit more money to buy the car with the performance that they wanted- stock from the factory with the full warranty.

For the Accord, that's a realistic option. The upgraded engine requires about $4000 more in terms of purchase price- as stated. With the Civic, things aren't that simple. Yes, the Civic Si is available with an extra 20 or 25hp over the 1.5t EX or Touring, but that's not that much extra performance. People who want extra performance out of a Civic either have to dish out nearly $40 grand (or more with markups) for a Type R, or they have to tune. Unlike the Accord which offers a more powerful engine for a reasonable price, the Civic is stuck with either the 158hp 2.0L, 180hp 1.5t, or the 205hp 1.5t Si. That's likely why more people are willing to tune their Civics...and why it might be more reasonable to suggest that it's an appropriate option.

Tuning is always a game of risk vs reward. Honda provides a 5 year powertrain warranty on the car from the factory- but the moment you tune it- all bets are off. Can the CVT handle more torque? Probably. How much you want to push it largely depends on how much you are willing to risk having to pay out huge amount if the CVT fails and Honda denies your warranty claim- or the transmission fails at 100,000 miles rather than 200,000+. If you want to tune- go ahead and tune. lots of people have. To me, given the fact that there isn't an affordable and reasonable option to get a more powerful engine in the Civic without paying way more for a Type R... I can understand why someone would tune the 1.5t engine in the Civic. I can't understand why someone would tune that engine in the Accord- because it just makes way more sense to buy the car with the power that you want- from the factory- without tuning. Yes, it's essentially the same engine and transmission... but the risk vs reward balance isn't the same due to the fact that there is a much more reasonable option for the Accord to get more performance. Maybe it's not so much the risk vs reward balance... but rather the 'which is the more reasonable and practical option' balance with the Accord that makes the 2.0t the much better choice for those looking for more power.

To me it's like people who buy the Accord LX and then want to know if it's reasonable or possible to add all of the features and equipment that come standard on the Touring trim. Yes, it's possible- but in the end it probably would just make more sense to buy the car that you actually wanted from the beginning. For people who say that they couldn't afford to buy the 2.0t engine in the Accord- but still want to tune- I'd counter with the argument that if they couldn't afford the extra $4000 to buy the 2.0t engine... they probably can't afford to replace the CVT or engine on a 1.5t if they screw something up or push the car too far.
Yeah not not really sure what is going on or why my threads are constantly being moved...this post was a bit old and i wanted a new thread for this question.

I see what you're saying about the 2.0t being good value for money and it certainly is but let me put it into perspective. That $4000 extra translates into a higher monthly payment and more money financed if you are choosing to finance your car. Maybe not a drastic amount more but still...a higher monthly payment nonetheless along with all taxes included.

A tune meanwhile costs a $450 one-time payment and you have a good power bump from stock making the car more fun and driveable. Maybe not even close to 2.0t power levels but still a noticeable bump in power. For $450, id hardly say that's a bad option and still very much worth it for 1.5 owners looking for some extra oomph. Also to put into perspective, im a college student who was lucky enough to get have a car given as a gift from my parents. I wasn't about to ask for a 2.0t because it was a gift and I was more than grateful/happy with what I got. I already have a KTuner lying around from a previous vehicle so I figured I might as well use it and it would make the car more fun. My plans for this car pretty much include a KTuner base tune and maybe a PRL intake that uses the stock air box anyway. Hardly pushing the car I would say.

What im trying to say is...im still not understanding why canned tunes are so discouraged on this forum. Theres a variety of reasons of why someone would rather spend a couple hundred on tuning their 1.5 rather than selling their car and incurring thousands in costs for trading for a 2.0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
It's because you attempted to start another thread that's about a topic that has already been discussed... many times. In order to prevent the forum from becoming a complete mess of random threads where information is located in different threads started by different people, Admin and Moderators condense similar threads so that information is easier to find... both for the people who made the threads as well as future visitors who might want the information. Having five different threads that all have different discussions going on about the same topic is confusing and makes it hard for people to get the information they need. Moving it into one condensed thread makes it easier.



To which I will repeat my previous point. If you can't afford the extra $4000 for the 2.0t engine, can you really afford the cost of a CVT replacement that's not going to be covered under warranty?



Think of it this way- Honda spends tons of money developing and testing engines and has a pretty good reputation for providing a quality product. Honda likely studied the idea of pushing more performance out of the 1.5t engine but declined to do so because it would not reach their specific goal or balance of economy/reliability/performance. I imagine that if Honda could have pushed more performance out of their 1.5t and could do so with the same level of long-term durability and reliability, they could have done so. They chose not to... so we have to wonder why. It probably isn't in the name of efficiency- as they likely test the car with the eco mode on- and Honda is smart enough to create different driving modes where they could push the 1.5t motor to produce more power in regular and sport mode while keeping it very efficient in eco mode... so why didn't they?



I don't think that canned tunes are necessarily discouraged on this forum. If you read the posts above- you'll find tons of responses that include people saying that lots of people have done it without issue. You'd also find responses like mine- which say that tuning is generally a game of risk vs reward. If you are a college student on a budget that's lucky enough to be driving a relatively new Accord that you've gotten as a gift, I'll go back to the question of if you can afford to replace the CVT if you blow it out? If not, that's something to consider before you tune your Accord.

If you want to tune your Accord, that's great. You can find lots of threads that have tips and guidance for how to do it... but if you are looking for people to jump up and down and tell you that it's a good idea- a practical idea- or a financially wise idea... you probably aren't going to find that here.

It's your car- and your wallet. If you want to tune your car- go ahead. No one here can tell you what the acceptable balance of risk vs reward is for tuning your car... only you can decide that. Stop wasting time worrying about what others think. If you want to tune your car- tune it and accept the risk that comes with that decision.
Maybe i need to do some more digging but my main reason for this post was because in most of the 1.5 tuning threads ive read, the responses arent very constructive and rather more dismissive by saying either their car will break or to sell and get a 2.0. Didnt see much feedback from people running the tune or something like that . This thread is a great example, most people essentially said tuning the 1.5 is not safe period besides 1 or 2, not much mention of using base tunes. Not much feedback on what tune to use or what setting to use etc. Stuff that might actually be useful.

As far as cost of replacing the cvt goes, sure its a possbility but my opinion based on my research is that the risk of blowing it is only there if the car is abused or pushing too much torque. It is motly reliable from what I have seen, if the cvt does blow one day then I have the money for it but im not going into this thinking that ill blow it, otherwise why tune at all?

And I think the reason they didnt push more power through the 1.5T is the same reason they didnt push the 2.0 to 300hp to the crank from factory even though the 2.0 is shown to push that number fairly reliably. Or why BMW doesnt make the B58 450 HP from factory even though that engine can make 500+ in it's sleep. Its all value proposition, if the 1.5 was making 200+ from factory then the value of the 2.0 goes slightly lower right? That and manufacturers are always going to be more conservative in tuning their engines by default. Anyway, point is I see a most people here say tuning the 1.5 t at all is a recipe for disaster to which I disagree. It's almot impossible to mention tuning this platform here without someone mentioning that, but it is what it is I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There are plenty of threads in this Performance Sub-Forum that talk about the various options regarding tuning for both the 1.5t and the 2.0t engines. Lots of information is available if you read through those threads. Your threads asked about if tuning was a good idea or not- so you got responses regarding that. If you wanted information about which tune to use or the settings- check out the other existing threads that have that information. Pretty simple.




People don't skydive thinking that the parachutes will fail and people don't get behind the wheel thinking that they will die in a car accident either- but stuff happens. Again- it's all a game of risk vs reward- and you have to figure out how much risk you are willing to take for the reward of more performance. The important thing is not what WE THINK... but rather what you are willing to risk. If you want to tune your Accord- go ahead- read through the many threads that talk about the various options and make a choice that you are comfortable with... and ignore the people here that advise against tuning the car. Just don't expect sympathy or outrage if your engine or transmission fail and the dealership denies your warranty claim.



If you disagree, that's fine. Read the other threads about your options, tune your car, and be happy. But to post multiple threads asking people what they think- only to complain about their responses... doesn't seem really logical. If you don't care what people think... don't ask.

Do what you want and be happy.
Look its pretty simple. The reason i asked the question in the first place is from a place of pure logic. The Civic and Accord 1.5 CVT share pretty much the exact same drivetrain right? Over here, most of the responses say not to tune whereas over there on their forums its encouraged as long as its not past a certain level. Simple as that.

So being a person who likes to research things before I do stuff, it was not adding up on as to why the responses were so different over here. So im not "complaining" but at the same time as a person who came from the Civic forums and now im on the Accord forums, the change in responses here is pretty stark hence why I was genuinely confused. If you want to attribute that to me just complaining then go ahead...but I was merely just pointing out a valid difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just posted this on another forum and just throwing it out here as my 2 cents worth.

I got KTuner stage 2 on my '21 Sport 1.5T CVT since August. I get on it everyday and never had issues with the engine nor the CVT. I'm currently at 12,000 miles. KTuner found ways to map the "gearing" on the CVT so that it builds progressively rather than being instant off the line. This does a lot to save stress to the CVT as that seems to be where most of the issue lies.

I am positive that KTuner stage 2 is on the safe and conservative side as I'm on Phearable stage 3 performance tuning now lol. The power output difference is night and day.

I found this funny image while browsing Reddit lol. There's always that 1.5T wants to do performance:

View attachment 537036
Didnt even know a Stage 3 existed for our cars, sounds like your experience has been solid so far. Thats good to know that KTuner took that safety measure of "delaying" when the max torque kicks in. A lot of torque early in the rev range is a sure way to smoke the CVT. Will probably flash this weekend and maybe write a post on my experience with it after some time with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Hey, i see it’s been quite some years since this comment and I was honestly just curious to see if you still had the 1.5T, and if you did, what has your experience been like, how many miles you have, and what issues you have? I am a 1.5 owner and i’m scared about the mechanical failures of the car.
If you don’t own it anymore, at how many miles did you trade it in at and why? Thanks in advance!!
i know your question was for slickpanther but just curious, what mechanical issues are you scared about? Reason i ask is because the 1.5 has proven to be a pretty strong motor so far, real issues identified with it besides some of the oil dilution complaints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I honestly think it has more to do with how you drive the car vs a Tune in regard to the CVT..Also probably true those who has added more horsepower probably drive it like they stole it and break stuff

My point is if you take your stock accord out and beat the crap out of it you don't complain if you have CVT issues :)


When My 2021 is out of the 3/36K I plan on adding a tune just to improve the mid range and throttle response
Agreed, If you’re constantly beating on it and abusing it then yeah you can’t really be surprised when it goes boom. But If you drive normally with some spirited driving here and there, you are most likely going to be fine. I’m 7 months in of being tuned and it’s been great. Sometimes I put it in eco which returns to factory boost to remind myself the difference between the tune and factory, it adds so much to the car.
 
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