Honda 1.5 Turbo L15B7 Engine Review, Specs, Problems and Reliability


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With the advent of the brand’s youngest model and Civic sibling, the Fit (Jazz) compact car, Honda has launched a new family of “L” petrol units, the most voluminous of which are the L15 line. The motor replaced the rather popular D15, which was slightly larger in size.

In this 1.5L engine, Honda engineers used a 220mm high aluminum BC, an 89.4mm stroke (compression height 26.15mm), and 149mm long connecting rods.

The I5 L15 is equipped with a VTEC system that operates at 3400 rpm. The extended intake manifold is optimized for mid-range operation. EG6 exhaust gas recirculation gates are made of stainless steel and used in the EGR system.

There are variations of the L15 with the proprietary i-DSi (Intelligent Dual Sequential Ignition) system with two spark plugs positioned diagonally opposite each other. These engines were specially designed to save gas and reduce emissions, and after the Fit, they migrated to other models from Honda, notably the Mobilio and City.

In addition to the 8- and 16-valve L15, they are also available with one or two camshafts. Furthermore, some modifications of this internal combustion engine – equipped with turbocharging, PGM-FI and i-VTEC system – are also available as hybrid variants: LEA and LEB.

Honda 1.5 Turbo Specs

The L15B7 1.5L engine requires 3.7 US Quarts (3.5 Liters) of new SAE 0W-20 oil for an oil change with a new oil filter.

Manufacturer Honda Motor Company, Ogawa plant
Fuel type Gasoline
Production years 2016-present
Type of internal combustion engine Four-stroke, turbocharged
Cylinder block material Aluminum
Cylinder head material Aluminum
Fuel system Direct fuel injection
Displacement, cc 1,498 cc (91.4 cu in)
Configuration Inline
Number of cylinders 4
Valves per cylinder 4
Valvetrain layout DOHC
Bore 73.0 mm (2.87 in)
Stroke 89.5 mm (3.52 in)
Compression Ratio 10.6:1
10.3:1
Horsepower 174-205 hp (130-153 kW)/ 5,500-6,000
Torque 162-192 lb-ft (220-260 Nm)/ 1,600-5,000
Engine weight
Firing order 1-3-4-2
Oil capacity 3.5 l (3.7 qt)
0.28 l (0.3 qt) – oil filter
Oil type (viscosity grade) 0W-20
Oil change interval 9,000 (15,000 km) or 12 month

Engine Applications

  • Honda Civic
  • Honda Fit
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Accord
  • Acura CDX

Honda L15 engine modifications

  1. L15A VTEC (L15A1) – engine with 16 SOHC valve head and VTEC system. Exhaust diameter 43 mm, compression ratio 10.4, power 110 hp. at 5800 rpm, torque 143 Nm at 4800 rpm. Installed on Honda Fit, Mobilio, Airwave, Fit Aria.
  2. L15A i-DSI (L15A2) – a motor with an i-DSI system, where two plugs are used per cylinder. SOHC head with two valves per cylinder, exhaust diameter 38 mm, compression ratio 10.8, power 90 hp. at 5500 rpm, torque 131 Nm at 2700 rpm. Was installed on Honda Fit Aria and City.
  3. L15A i-VTEC (L15A7) – the engine began production in 2007 and received improved intake. Exhaust manifolds, pistons of a new design, lightweight connecting rods, a modified cooling system, as well as a modified 2-stage i-VTEC system on the intake valves, the intake valves have been increased to 28mm, and the rockers have been lightened. Power increased to 117 hp. at 6600 rpm, a torque of 145 Nm at 4800 rpm.
  4. L15B (L15B1) – a motor with a DOHC head, with an i-VTEC system and a variable valve timing system on the VTC intake camshaft. The intake valves have been increased from 28 mm to 29 mm, and the exhaust valves from 23 mm to 25 mm. A plastic intake manifold is used at the inlet.
    In addition, this engine features new pistons for a compression ratio of 11.5, oil nozzles, a lightweight crankshaft with 4 counterweights. The power of this L15B1 is 130 hp. at 6600 rpm, torque 155 Nm at 4600 rpm.
  5. L15B Turbo (L15B7) – turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection. The engine uses lightweight pistons that are cooled by oil nozzles, and the compression ratio is 10.6. The block is covered with a DOHC cylinder head with direct injection and variable valve timing on both VTC shafts. A small Mitsubishi TD03 turbine is used as a supercharger, and the boost pressure is 1.15 bar. Engine power L15B7 – 174 HP at 6000 rpm, and a torque of 220 Nm at 1700-5500 rpm.
  6. L15B7 Civic Si – modified L15B7, in which the compression ratio was reduced to 10.3 and the boost pressure was increased to 1.4 bar. Power 205 hp at 5700 rpm, torque 260 Nm at 2100-5000 rpm.
  7. L15Z – engine with 16-valve single camshaft head (SOHC) and i-VTEC system. Compression ratio 10.3, power 120 HP at 6600 rpm, a torque of 145 Nm at 4600 rpm. Found on cars for South Africa and Asia.
  8. LEA – hybrid engine for CR-Z and Fit Hybrid. It features a 16-valve SOHC head and i-VTEC on the intake valves that switch to 2300 rpm. at the inlet, a new intake manifold and electronic throttle valve are used, at the outlet, a modified stainless steel exhaust system. The compression ratio is 10.4, and the LEA engine power is 122 hp. at 6000 rpm, and a torque of 174 Nm at 1000-1750 rpm. The power of the electric motor is 13 hp, and the engine is 113 hp. Since their maximum output is achieved in different ranges, the combined power is 122 hp.
  9. LEB – hybrid engine for Vezel. This engine uses a DOHC 16-valve head with i-VTEC and direct injection. Compression ratio 11.5, power 132 hp at 6600 rpm, torque 156 Nm at 4600 rpm. Electric motor power 30 HP Total power 152 HP at 6600 rpm, torque 190 Nm at 4600 rpm.
  10. LEB – analogue for Fit Hybrid, but working on the Atkinson cycle. The engine is equipped with distributed fuel injection, and its compression ratio is increased to 13.5. The LEB power for the Fit is 100 hp. at 6000 rpm, and a torque of 119 Nm at 5000 rpm.

Honda 1.5 turbo engine problems and reliability

This engine is one of Honda’s best engines for several reasons. First, it has the ability to withstand high temperatures, which helps prolong its life span if you live in an area that has hot weather all year round or drive over extremely rough roads regularly.

Second, although not every part will last forever, parts like spark plugs should be replaced at least once per three years to ensure maximum efficiency. Finally, there are no problems with fuel consumption unless you’re constantly driving long distances at entirely too high speed because these types of conditions drastically increase the wearing of the motor.

On i-DSI engines, replace all spark plugs as needed. Otherwise, everything is as usual – timely maintenance, the use of high-quality consumables and oil. The timing chain does not require additional maintenance other than periodic visual inspection throughout its entire service life.

The reliability of the L15A, L15B and other 1.5-liter L-engines is at the highest level; everything here is extremely reliable and serves hundreds of thousands of kilometers without problems. On the i-DSI, you need to change all the candles if necessary, and not just half. Otherwise, service on time, use high-quality oil, and the engine will not cause problems.

Although the maintainability of the L15 is not the best, all the design solutions used by Honda minders allow these engines to have a huge margin of safety to withstand the most common mistakes in maintenance.

Engine tuning

For the initially turbocharged L15B7, there are no problems – you can do chip tuning, which will raise the boost pressure to 1.6 bar and give up to 200 hp. on wheels. If you need more, buy a cold intake, front intercooler (which is enough for a Civic 1.5 turbo), an exhaust system and a Hondata. With a maximum boost pressure of 1.8-1.85 bar, 210-215 hp can be obtained on wheels.

Owning a naturally aspirated L15B, you can put an HKS turbo kit on it and increase the power to 150+ hp. But this is illogical, and the problem is that the kit with the installation costs almost the same as Fit. You can assemble and inflate up to 200 hp yourself, this is the limit that a motor usually holds, but it is cheaper to change a car.

Conclusion

The L15 series engines did not arrive at the best times for Honda. At the turn of the century, the Japanese carmaker found itself in stagnation since the structurally perfect, old power units could not be surpassed from a technical point of view. However, the company’s potential customers wanted innovations that competitors were actively suggesting to them. And Honda was saved only by such hits as CR-V, HR-V and Civic, starting to think about a new generation of small cars. That is why the extensive family of L-engines appeared, which were originally conceived for the new Fit model, whose sales were very high.

L-motors can rightfully be considered one of the most demanded in the history of the Honda company. Although, of course, from the point of view of maintainability, these engines are significantly inferior to the power plants of the last century. However, there are much fewer problems with them.

The frequency of scheduled maintenance intervals and the endurance of the L series is also inferior to “old people” such as the legendary representatives of the D- and B-lines. Still, in the past, the units were not required to comply with such a large number of environmental standards and economy.

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

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