Well Known Issues
The FK8 has a few issues/failures that have been well documented by numerous owners. There aren't very many problems overall compared to other platforms, but the few we do have are documented here. Issues related to tuning and what holds back adding power can be found on the Tuning article.
Overheating on the track
Despite the FK8 supposedly being a track-ready car, it's fairly easy to overheat and end up limping back to the pit on a track, especially in a warm climate. The main issue is that there is a very limited amount of airflow over the radiator. There are various ways to combat this, namely:
- New grille
- Upgraded radiator
- Reverse radiator hoses
- Turbo/downpipe blankets
- Oil cooler
The 2020 Type R features a new front grille that increases airflow by 18% and a better radiator core with more fins, but it hasn't completely solved the overheating issue and many 2020 FK8s still end up in limp mode given a hot enough day or hard enough driving.
Even if you aren't hitting limp mode, the ECU will gradually reduce ignition as ECTs rise past normal levels. Generally speaking, any increase in cooling ability will be a direct increase in power on the track.
Heatsoaking on the street/dragstrip/dyno
The number one enemy of the FK8 is engine bay heat. The intake system practically wraps around the lava-hot turbocharger and downpipe, causing intensely high IATs when you aren't constantly on the move like you are on the track or highway. The FK8 has a very small intercooler, which is beneficial for allowing more airflow over the radiator on the track, but is not well suited to any other kind of driving.
It is strongly recommended that unless you strictly track your FK8, you get an aftermarket intercooler. Even if you don't modify anything else, it will have a profound impact on the longevity of power and keep your FK8 pulling hard, even from a stop. There are several other modifications that can help greatly with reducing heat, but an intercooler is easily the best one and doesn't require a tune.
In-tank fuel pump failure
A lot of FK8s have been having their in-tank fuel pump fail, resulting in rev match and emissions codes and heavy stuttering when under load. Honda issued an official recall for many Type Rs (as well as many other 10th gen Civics), but many more that were not part of the recall have also been experiencing issues more and more. If you experience random stuttering and rev match/emissions errors, especially if you aren't tuned, you may have a failing lifter pump and should contact your preferred dealership.
It is fairly easy to diagnose via datalogs if it is due to the lifter pump failing.
OEM charge pipe failures
It is a good idea to upgrade your charge pipes if your FK8 will be driven hard, especially with an aggressive tune or an upgraded turbocharger. The hot side rubber charge pipe has been known to tear on the track. The coupler between the throttle body and aluminum charge pipe is also known to tear, which at this time only the PRL kit replaces.
Grinds and lockouts
There are some problems with the transmission. While it's normally buttery smooth and has arguably one of the best shifters Honda has ever produced, most FK8 owners will sooner or later experience grinding while hard shifting into 2nd, 3rd, or 4th and lockouts when downshifting from 5th to 4th.
Honda has not officially acknowledged this problem, but it is most certainly an issue. It is not a matter of being unable to properly drive a manual.
Some things you can try is changing transmission fluids, deleting the clutch delay valve, or rebuilding your transmission.
3rd and 4th gear track failures
FK8s seeing heavy track duty have documented complete failures of the 3rd and 4th gears, even with only lightly increased power levels. There are reinforced replacements for these gears already available.
Flickering dash after window tint
The cause isn't entirely known, but it's fairly common to have your dash and keyless entry system start malfunctioning after getting your windows tinted. It appears there's a component somewhere that is very sensitive to condensation and moisture. The issue usually resolves itself with in 24-72 hours.