The 2012 Honda Civic is a reliable compact car loved by many for its fuel efficiency and low maintenance costs. However, with only 140-horsepower on tap, the 2012 Civic can feel quite slow and uninspiring to drive. If you want to add some excitement back into your daily commute, there are several modifications you can make to help your 2012 Honda Civic accelerate, handle, and brake better. This article will provide an overview of How To Make A 2012 Honda Civic Faster both in a straight line and around corners.
Increase Horsepower With Engine Modifications
One of the most direct ways to make your 2012 Honda Civic faster is by increasing its horsepower output. Here are some of the most common engine modifications Civic owners make:
Cold Air Intake
A cold air intake replaces the factory air intake system with a larger diameter tube and high-flow air filter. This allows more cool air into the engine, resulting in better throttle response and 5-10 extra horsepower. Brands like Injen and AEM make bolt-on intakes specifically designed for the 2012 Civic.
Replacing the factory exhaust from the catalytic converter back with a larger diameter aftermarket system reduces backpressure. This allows the engine to exhale easier and free up 5-15 horsepower. Go with a cat-back exhaust from manufacturers like Magnaflow, Borla, and DC Sports.
Getting an ECU tune optimized for the mods on your 2012 Honda Civic can unlock an additional 15-30 HP. A tuner will optimize factors like ignition timing, fuel trim, valve timing, and boost pressure using aftermarket software. Opt for an ECU tune after other bolt-on mods are installed.
For the biggest jump in horsepower, consider adding a turbocharger kit to your naturally aspirated 2012 Civic. This will require supporting mods like a front mount intercooler, boost controller, larger injectors, and an ECU tune. With the right supporting mods, a turbo can safely provide an extra 100-150 HP.
Improve Handling With Suspension Upgrades
Now that your 2012 Honda Civic has some more power under the hood, let’s look at suspension and handling upgrades to help put that power to the pavement. Here are some affordable mods to make your Civic handle better:
Lowering springs are an easy way to enhance handling by lowering the center of gravity. Quality springs from Eibach, H&R or Megan Racing can lower your Civic 1-2 inches for better cornering and looks. Make sure to get an alignment after installing.
Stiffer front and rear sway bars reduce body roll when cornering hard. Pick up an adjustable set from Progress or OBX so you can fine tune the stiffness. Sway bars also help put more power down coming out of corners.
Strut Tower Brace
A strut tower brace or strut bar bolts between the strut towers under the hood to improve chassis rigidity. Common brands for the 2012 Civic are DC Sports and Injen. Better rigidity equals better handling response.
One of the easiest ways to improve grip and cornering is by upgrading the tires to an aggressive summer compound. Tires like the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S or Continental ExtremeContact Sport provide much more grip without breaking the bank.
Enhance Braking Performance
Upgraded brakes are crucial to harness the added speed from your 2012 Honda Civic performance mods. Here are some economical brake upgrades:
High Performance Pads
Swapping the factory pads for aggressive street pads like Hawk HPS or EBC Redstuff will significantly improve brake bite and reduce stopping distances. Make sure to get pads suited for your usage.
Slotted or Drilled Rotors
Slotted and drilled rotors provide better heat dissipation and grip when braking hard from high speeds. Brands like Power Stop and Centric make affordable blank rotors for the 2012 Civic.
Stainless Steel Brake Lines
Stainless steel brake lines offer better pedal feel and braking response versus the factory rubber brake hoses. Kits from manufacturers like Aeroquip and Russell are a budget friendly upgrade.
High Temp Brake Fluid
Swapping in high performance brake fluid like Motul RBF 600 or Castrol SRF prevents brake fade during repeated heavy braking. This affordable upgrade complements other brake upgrades.
Shed Weight For Optimal Handling
Reducing vehicle weight is one of the cheapest ways to improve acceleration, handling and braking. Try these weight reduction tips:
- Remove unnecessary interior components
- Switch to lightweight aftermarket wheels
- Replace heavy factory seats with racing buckets
- Install carbon fiber body panels like hood, trunk lid or fenders
- Take out spare tire and jack
- Run lighter weight fluids
Every pound removed from your 2012 Honda Civic will make it faster, especially at lower speeds around town. Focus on taking weight out of the highest and farthest points away from the ground.
With carefully chosen mods focused on horsepower, handling and braking, you can transform the driving experience in your 2012 Honda Civic. Prioritize changes that provide the biggest bang for your buck. Work in stages starting with simple bolt-ons, then move onto more advanced modifications once you’ve maximized cheaper upgrades. Focus on quality parts, proper installation and tuning to help your 2012 Civic reach its maximum performance potential safely.
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