Making Your Honda Civic Track-Worthy
Okay, so you’ve had the car for a while and want to make it go faster. Understandable, we’ve all been there. Before you even think about doing engine swaps, you have to understand that not everything is about power, especially with front-wheel drive light hatchbacks. That being said, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can make your civic go faster for not a lot of money.
If you want to track the car, start by making it as light as possible. Remove the back seats, the sound isolation, door panels, climate control… you get the idea. Throw everything not essential for the car’s operation in the bin. It’s not uncommon to get rid of over 100 kilograms by simply removing unwanted weight. Be warned however, that you will experience an increase in road, tire and engine noise, so only do this step if you’re going to track the car. If it’s your daily driver, it’s probably best you skip this. On the plus side, it’s completely free, so you have nothing to lose if you do decide to go down the weight-shedding route.
Again, before you upgrade any part of the car you want to make sure it’s as safe and reliable as possible. Racing bucket seats are relatively cheap these days, offering a lot of lateral support and impressive safety in the event that you do happen to crash the car. Racing harnesses are a must, even if you’re doing ‘only’ autocross. They can be a real lifesaver in the event that you do flip over, so you definitely don’t want to skimp out on safety.
Believe it or not, tires make the most amount of difference when we’re discussing lap times. A good set of tires can shave several seconds off a lap time, making them a far more worthy upgrade than just extracting more power from the powerplant. What’s more, you’ll be able to effectively put all that power to the ground thanks to new rubber.
Lowered springs or complete shocks/coilovers go a long way in making your car more stable and predictable. You will immediately feel an increase in turn in, feedback and precision. Go for adjustable kits so that you can change your ride height depending on the track and whether you actually drive the car to and from the shops, day in and day out.
There’s nothing wrong with the stock brakes… if your plan is to stop once or twice. Although effective, stock brakes overheat incredibly quickly. Do yourself a favor and get good drilled or slotted rotors with upgraded pads and never worry about brake fade ever gain.
Now you can start thinking about adding power. Without going too crazy and spending a ton of money on turbochargers and superchargers, source a quality aftermarket intake and exhaust and watch the horsepower pile up. You’ll definitely feel the difference in speed, not to mention noise.