Performance Benefits for Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo from an AEM Cold Air Intake

Tuning the inlet to match the engine's resonance helps move more air to the turbo

Fittings for the factory components are already welded to the pipe making installtion a breeze

For the 2016 model year Honda has introduced a new engine for the Civic: a 1.5 L turbocharged four cylinder. Despite its diminutive displacement, the 1.5 L produces 174 horsepower at a relatively leisurely 5500 rpm with a torque curve that’s flat from 1800 – 5500 rpm. Despite this high level of performance, there’s actually room for improvement.

Just looking at the air intake Honda installed at the factory, it was clear to AEM engineers they could do better, much better. So AEM developed a cold air intake for this new engine that replaces the birdhouse-sized air box with just a bird-sized hole for an inlet. In doing so, the 21-798C AEM cold air intake installed on an otherwise stock 2016 Honda Civic raised output by 10 horsepower at the wheels. For reference, the stock Civic recorded 148 horsepower at the front wheels, so with the addition of the AEM cold air intake it’s close to gaining an estimated 17 horsepower at the flywheel.

A cold air intake system relocates the filter to an area of the engine compartment where it’s best able to draw cool outside air. Cooler air carries additional oxygen, which translates into a more intense explosion in the combustion chamber which creates incremental horsepower and torque. And with a turbocharger packing air in even tighter, it makes that much more power.

But that's only part of the power equation. Tuning the inlet pipe in length and diameter to match the engine's resonance helps move more air to the turbocharger. During development, fuel trim monitor correction factors and all OBD II sensors are tested to eliminate leaning out the engine or activating a check engine light.

The kit comes with the necessary clamps and hardware for an OEM-type appearance

The AEM DryFlow filter is mounted right up front where it can grab cool incoming air

The AEM 21-798C cold air intake is a relatively inexpensive DIY modification that takes only a couple of hours to install with tools just about everyone has in their garage. It comes with the necessary clamps and hardware for an OEM-type appearance. OEM mounting brackets and hardware are utilized for seamless installation.

The filter itself is a tapered conical AEM Dryflow non-woven synthetic washable unit which provides outstanding air flow, filtration, and performance. The air intake tube is constructed from mandrel-bent aluminum tubing finished in a durable gunmetal gray powder coat. Further, this air intake system was designed so that the Civic engine’s factory emissions control devices including the mass air flow sensor and engine vent lines bolt right on.

The AEM air filter is good for 100,000 miles before requiring service (depending upon your driving conditions) so if you drive in dusty conditions, your filter may require more frequent maintenance. Cleaning consists of an application of AEM synthetic air filter cleaner which will loosen and dissolve grime and dirt build up, after which the filter can simply be rinsed with water, dried, and reinstalled. No messy oiling required. AEM warrants that its intake systems will last for the life of your vehicle.

The AEM 21-798C cold air intake fits the following vehicles:

2016 HONDA CIVIC 1.5L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models