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I had my local shop install Ktuner flash on my 18 CRV in late April, about a month ago. Car had about 7,000 miles on it then. A little over 8,000 now.

I did not pay for the whole Ktuner flash tool. My local shop did the flash for $400. Shop recommended Ktuner over Hondata for any newer turbo models. They showed me the laptop and available tunes/options. I did not want to max it out and possibly break my brand new car, so stuck with mid-level boost (19.5psi) and "improved level 1" for each of the available options incluing throttle response, boost spool, boost response rate and one more. Each setting had stock and 2 levels of "improved" available except for the boost response rate had a 3rd level. The stock ECU tune runs when in Eco-mode.

Performance is significantly improved, the car really wants to go when you push on the gas, do not need to use much gas or rev much to accelerate briskly. There is still some turbo and transmission lag before it takes off when you dump on the throttle, but less than before and much less so in S than D. For driving around I think it is pretty much right, not too sensitive or jumpy. It's still not a sports car, but zips around better. My wife noticed the difference when she drove it and liked it.

I bought the car new last September. Heard about the oil dilution issue and did not want to do the flash until the recall was performed first. The oil dilution recall was performed in early February with about 6,000 miles on the car; recall also included the first oil change. The car heats up at least as fast as it did before the flash and the temp gage sits at the same place it did before the flash; so i'm not worried about that.

When I drove away from the shop, lots of warning lights were on, but everything except for the auto-high beams resolved itself within 20min of driving. The auto high beam warning was gone the next morning. Have had no maintenance issues. If the flash was to cause an issue, then that would not be covered by warranty, but do not expect it to cause any issue. Warranty on anything not caused by the tune is still in full effect. I can take it in for emissions test and everything is operational and reads as normal.

Overall I'm glad I had this done, I liked everything about the CRV except the overall sluggishness and it does not feel that way anymore!
 

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I think anyone expecting anything more than the crv has to offer for power is a bit confused as to what type of vehicle they have purchased.

With that said, I would love to flash my crv. But for the longevity of the engine and transmission, I have decided against it. Because in the end I bought the vehicle to be reliable long term. Not sporty, short term.
 

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I think anyone expecting anything more than the crv has to offer for power is a bit confused as to what type of vehicle they have purchased.

With that said, I would love to flash my crv. But for the longevity of the engine and transmission, I have decided against it. Because in the end I bought the vehicle to be reliable long term. Not sporty, short term.
^^ I agree.

If I wanted sporty performance.. I would have gone with the new RDX for an SUV... but again.. SUV and "sporty performance" to me always reads as kind of an oxymoron. Two different makets for two different purposes in consumer wants/needs. That said.. there are a few performance brands that insist on filling the performance SUV niche.. and to the extent there is a market for them... more power to them.

Personally, having owned multiple generations of CRVs over the last 20 years... I am quite happy with the performance of my gen5 CRV, especially compared to my earlier CRVS. 95% of the time.. I don't need the engine to give me top performance... but for that 5% where I do... it is very much there with just an additional lean into the throttle. Most of the time, I just want a smooth, fuel efficient, reliable ride.
 

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I have a Ktuner for my Civic. I'm running the 21psi tune and the car is a little rocket now. One of the benefits of owning the device is I can take my Civic back to stock and try it on the CR-V. Also I can sell it or use it on another car if I trade or it gets totaled. Ktuner has done extensive testing with calibrations above stage 2 with their own test vehicles with no failures so unless you abuse the car, it's unlikely you will have any reliability problems. The stage 2 tune in the Civic CVT is estimated to be about 240 lb-ft of torque. That and the other enhancements are the best parts of the tune. I doubt the CR-V tune has that much torque as the traction afforded by all wheel drive would be harder on the CVT. In my Civic if you get on it from a stop, there's quite a bit of torque steer and I generally have to hit the eco button in the rain or the tires spin like crazy. The best part about the whole thing is that unless you are gunning it from a stop every time, gas mileage doesn't suffer. I just went on a 500 mile round trip to Seattle going 75-80 about 80% of the trip and still averaged 41 mpg in the Civic.
 

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91+ octane is recommended for best performance but not required. The performance difference is amazing on the Civic. Probably not quite as amazing on the CR-V though since it is about 500 pounds heavier than the Civic. If you want more performance there is no better way to spend your money. I do recommend buying a Ktuner device though. That way if you change vehicles or just decide you don't need a tune anymore, you can unlock it from your car and sell it for probably 90% of what you paid for it. I got mine new for $380 when Ebay was running a 15% off site wide deal.
 

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I wonder how much of the perceived performance difference is just re-mapping the sensor to make the gas pedal more twitchy.

I don't doubt that these programs increase the available power, but unless you drive like a maniac, most folks don't take often advantage of the peak power available already. (Speaking for myself, I have the need to floor it maybe once a week?)
 

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Actually, even using stage 0 which doesn't up the boost, the change is noticeable. The car overall is more responsive to your inputs. The turbo spools earlier and the ECU keeps it spooled longer so there isn't such a wait if you need to get on it. For example, merging onto the freeway is a whole new experience. It's the low end torque increase that makes the most difference. In a heavier car like the CR-V, it should be more noticeable. I'm probably going to unlock it from the Civic and try it on the CR-V next weekend if I have time. I doubt I will buy another one since my wife could care less. I'm just curious if it makes as noticeable a difference with the CR-V.
 

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Actually, even using stage 0 which doesn't up the boost, the change is noticeable. The car overall is more responsive to your inputs. The turbo spools earlier and the ECU keeps it spooled longer so there isn't such a wait if you need to get on it. For example, merging onto the freeway is a whole new experience. It's the low end torque increase that makes the most difference. In a heavier car like the CR-V, it should be more noticeable. I'm probably going to unlock it from the Civic and try it on the CR-V next weekend if I have time. I doubt I will buy another one since my wife could care less. I'm just curious if it makes as noticeable a difference with the CR-V.
I'm not sure how the ECU could help the turbo spool earlier. Below a certain point, there's simply not enough exhaust gas to get the turbine going fast enough to produce boost.
 

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I'm probably going to unlock it from the Civic and try it on the CR-V next weekend if I have time. I doubt I will buy another one since my wife could care less. I'm just curious if it makes as noticeable a difference with the CR-V.
I thought it was locked to an ECU when you first used it and you couldn't reuse it on another car or even if you swapped your ECU. Have you tried moving it to another car before? is there a limit on how many times you can lock/unlock it? Maybe I misunderstood the reply I got from them when asking if I could use it on different cars.
 

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I thought it was locked to an ECU when you first used it and you couldn't reuse it on another car or even if you swapped your ECU. Have you tried moving it to another car before? is there a limit on how many times you can lock/unlock it? Maybe I misunderstood the reply I got from them when asking if I could use it on different cars.

You can use it on one car at a time, not simultaneously.
 

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I'm not sure how the ECU could help the turbo spool earlier. Below a certain point, there's simply not enough exhaust gas to get the turbine going fast enough to produce boost.
Everything on these cars is controlled by the ecu. Go to Ktuner.com and look through the help files. There's all kinds of options in the software to control how quickly the turbo spools. Turbos have an electronic wastegate that bypasses the turbine. All you have to do is adjust how the wastegate works to keep the exhaust going through the turbo rather than through the wastegate. On these cars the turbo is connected directly to the exhaust ports so the small turbo is able to spool quickly if allowed. It's not anything I would mess with myself, I trust the base tunes that are included. Honestly, you really have to drive a car that has been tuned to understand. It is stunning how different the car behaves with the tune vs. stock. Nothing really could have prepared me. It is the single best bang for your buck on these 1.5 turbo Hondas.
 

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I thought it was locked to an ECU when you first used it and you couldn't reuse it on another car or even if you swapped your ECU. Have you tried moving it to another car before? is there a limit on how many times you can lock/unlock it? Maybe I misunderstood the reply I got from them when asking if I could use it on different cars.
I haven't done it yet but it is possible. Basically you are paying for the license for the software for one car but it's the hardware device that is tied to the car. In the case of tuners that just sell tunes, their devices are different. It's probably more appropriate to say that it is locked to a single VIN at a time rather than an ECU. You take the car back to the stock tune, unlock it from the VIN/ECU and then it can be used on another supported vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
civiccrv, if you do flash your CRV I would be interested in what that last tuning option was and what the 3 different levels of boost response rates are labeled. I should have taken pictures of the laptop screen. The shop will reflash with different settings if I want at no additional charge.
 

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Everything on these cars is controlled by the ecu. Go to Ktuner.com and look through the help files. There's all kinds of options in the software to control how quickly the turbo spools. Turbos have an electronic wastegate that bypasses the turbine. All you have to do is adjust how the wastegate works to keep the exhaust going through the turbo rather than through the wastegate. On these cars the turbo is connected directly to the exhaust ports so the small turbo is able to spool quickly if allowed. It's not anything I would mess with myself, I trust the base tunes that are included. Honestly, you really have to drive a car that has been tuned to understand. It is stunning how different the car behaves with the tune vs. stock. Nothing really could have prepared me. It is the single best bang for your buck on these 1.5 turbo Hondas.
Don't know if it actually matters with Ktuner.... but owners should be aware: The CRV shares the same turbo part number as the Civic Si, and is different then the turbo on the non Si Civics. Not sure what turbo is used on the Accord, but I bet it is the one used on the Si and the CRV.

base model Civic EX, LX, and Sports vs the Civic SI and CRV which have a different turbine wheel design. Both turbine wheels share the same 37mm inducer diameter (the larger side), but the SI and CRV have a 1mm larger exducer (the smaller side) diameter at 33.5mm. Not only is there a dimensional change but the number of blades and the profile of the blades between the two wheels are different. This difference in blade profile and count (11 vs 9) is why the SI/CRV turbo outshines the base model in performance.
source: https://www.27won.com/blog/10gen-honda-civic-turbocharger-breakdown

There are other part differences as well between the different 1.5T installs in different models. Which means the amount of up-tuning you can realize is different as well.

Since Civic Sis were deployed by Honda knowing that enthusiasts will retune them and modify them.. my take is that the Si 1.5T (and it's sibling in the CRV) has more headroom for tuning without compromising reliability. Of course the CRV is also a heavier vehicle.
 

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I'm definitely not interested in tuning with anything other than the Ktuner base tunes. I have no idea what I would be doing with all those options. This little motor is capable of big gains with most of the stock components. The limiting factor is the CVT, it can handle only so much torque before the belt starts to slip. Even the stock clutch on the Si can't handle much more than 260 lb-ft. The standard Civic, Si/CR-V and Accord are three different turbo part numbers. The difference between the Civic and Si/CR-V turbos are well known (from your link) but I couldn't find any info on the specifics of the Accord turbo. Honda says that the Accord has vtec though. Honestly it doesn't really matter because the stage 2 civic tune is around 220hp/240lb-ft (can't really dyno a CVT car and get accurate numbers) so it is easily capable of more power with the standard Civic turbocharger.
 

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If Ktuner offered a no OD tune option that would get my attention. Otherwise, it is just a CR-V. If I wanted more power, that are other factory stock SUV options without the risk of an aftermarket mod. IMO.
 

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I have been looking into the Ktuner and carb hondata flashpro and i think im going with hondata since they actually adjusted their tune for the crv to take in to account the update honda did for the OD junk.

Our crv never had any issues BUT i contacted hondata told them that i got the update and they said they updated flashpro so thats a plus.

Ktuner i’ll never up the tunes or play with anything but stage 1, we did it on my friends si and he loves it but already slowly ruining the car lol
Hes overboosting, beating the car racing around , our crv i barely ever use so should be fine!
 

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Thanks for sharing this option. Hope you'll come back periodically to let us know how it is going and how the vehicle is holding up with the tuning.

My wife has a 2009 VW Tiguan that has incredible torque and acceleration without any turbo lag. Outside of the throaty noise, you'd never guess it was a 4 cylinder engine. The Tiguan has 205K miles and is near the end of its life (repairs are frequent now). We've been looking at replacements. She's tried my '18 CRV, but feels it is too sluggish after driving the Tiguan for roughly 10 years. Tuning may be an option to help. Definitely not something we had considered.

I like the CRV choice for its reliability and economy. We're also looking at RDX, Mazda CX-5 (Grand Touring Reserve), and Audi Q5 (likely closest to Tiguan). She's only driven the CRV and Mazda to date. Wish she could drive a tuned CRV.
 

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Has anyone here tried the KTuner on a brand new 2019 CRV? I just bought the car maybe 2 or 3 months ago, tried tuning it, but there’s is no discernible difference. Maybe the model is just too new. But the support at ktuner.com said that it’s supported.
 
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