Which Honda Civic has VTEC?

If you are interested in a good compact car, you may want to consider the Honda Civic. The Civic has been around since 1972 and has had raving reviews from car owners all over the U.S. and abroad.

The Civic is not only known for its good looks, but also for its reliability and the fact that it is a part of the outstanding Honda lineup.

In addition, the Civic is a sporty car that lives up to its reputation for being able to go from zero to 60 in less than 10 seconds.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the Civic VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control) engine and a little history about its VTEC engine.

When did the Civic get VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control)?

The Honda Civic Si coupe model got its first VTEC engine in the United States in 1999, even though the VTEC engine had already been launched 3 years earlier in Japan.

The combination of the coupe and the power of the VTEC dual over-cam 6.6-liter engine was very impressive for any driver, especially the sports car fanatic.

How do I know if my Civic has VTEC?

Some car owners may be able to tell if their Civic has a VTEC engine right away. This is especially true if they were looking for this type of engine in their Civic before they made their purchases.

On the other hand, if you were not looking for a specific type of engine in your Civic, you may not be able to provide this information to anyone else unless you know what to look for.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to determine if the engine in your Civic is a VTEC or another type of engine.

Molded Onto the Top of the Valve Cover

First off, if you have an older model Civic that dates back to the 1999 model year (i.e. years when first introduced), you will be able to see the word “VTEC’ molded onto its valve cover.

The word ‘VTEC’ is molded on the valve cover of all VTEC variations. So, it is a very common word in the automotive industry and is very simple to identify on the earlier model civic vehicles.

Look for the VTEC logo on the Camshaft – Rocker Arms

Unlike the earlier model civic vehicles, the later ones do not have a VTEC logo molded in the valve cover. Instead, the only word that you should see on the top valve cover is the make of the vehicle, which is the word ‘HONDA’.

Unfortunately, because of the latter changes, Civic owners may have difficulty determining or believing that the engine is VTEC until they can confirm this information in another way or a different method.

Thankfully, another method can be used to determine and confirm that the engine is Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control. And, that is to remove the valve cover to see if the camshaft-rocker arms mechanism is marked as VTEC.

For instance, if you remove the valve cover, you will have an opportunity to see exactly what VTEC implementation has been used. That said, here are some of the ways that the information may be written.

  • VTEC-E
  • 3-stage VTEC

Check the Engine Bay for the VTEC Logo

You may also look at the engine bay to determine if the engine in a Honda Civic is VTEC. If you are using this method to determine the engine’s VTEC status, you will need to find the VTEC hydraulic actuator switch.

You can find this switch beside the car’s valve cover. It looks like a light-grey colored cylinder, and it can be found attached to the head assembly.

The type of VTEC engine that is in the car will determine where this identifying information is located. For instance, on a DOHC VTEC Civic engine, you will need to look near the distributor.

Or, if you are looking at a SOHC VTEC engine, this information can be located in a different place. The typical place for this information, however, can be found above the intake manifold runners.

What’s better VTEC or turbo?

The answer to this question may vary based on some different factors, including the driver’s personal preferences.

For example, the turbo engine is known for producing more torque and horsepower and for using more fuel while the VTEC is more about pushing the horsepower to its maximum capacity.

Also, unlike the VTEC engine, the turbocharger does not suddenly “kick in” at a specific RPM. Instead, it is designed to provide a varying amount of boost within a wide range of RPM.

The VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control) technology is based on a “digital” device that is either on or off.

Are all Hondas VTEC?

According to information published on garagedreams.net, The VTEC engine was not always the primary favorite for the Honda brand. Over 30 years ago, not one Honda vehicle had the VTEC engine.

However, since the inception of the VTEC engine, almost every new Honda has had some form of VTEC engine or another. Honda gradually implemented the VTEC into its entire range of vehicles. This was primarily because the VTEC engine was initially reserved for performance models.

Here are all of the Civic models that have VTEC engines:

  • Civic EX
  • Civic EX – L
  • Civic HX (6th Generation)
  • Civic Si
  • Civic Si-R
  • Civic VTi
  • Civic VTiR
  • Civic CTR


There is a wealth of information available on the internet today about different types of Honda vehicles and their overall design. Some of this information is related to the Honda Civic and the VTEC engines they have been equipped with.

The VTEC is a system that was developed by Honda and is currently in almost all of their vehicles today. It is known for improving performance, while also reducing the consumption of fuel.

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