The Top 5 Honda Sins

Don’t go away mad, just go away.


By Aaron Gaghagen


As 2016 begins, I look back on 2015 fondly. The car meets and shows like Eibach and Wekfest were stronger than ever. Drag racing was as exciting as ever too, with huge events like HDay. Hondas killed it, KILLED IT at SCCA Runoffs with five of the top seven places in Super Touring Light (probably would have gotten more if it weren’t for some contact that took out other leading Hondas) and taking first in numerous other classes. Honda time attackers won countless events and the Spoon Sports USA Civic Type R took back the FF record from that ridiculous F’wing Scion TC years ago. It seems even Honda corporate brought their A game this year with the release of an OEM turbo Civic.

But it is not all golden in the land of VTEC and burning rubber. There are a few Honda sins that I would rather not see continue with us into 2016. This list isn’t all-inclusive and not all of them are exclusive to Hondas or specifically started in 2015, but they ought to stay in the past.

Agree or disagree, here are my top 5:

5. Half-assedness

OK, “half-assedness” may not be in the dictionary, but it should be. We all know how janky unpainted ill-fitting body kits are. That is not half-assedness, it’s just lazy. The half-assedness I am talking about is the stuff that is generally accepted by Honda heads. Things like baller wheels (really anything that isn’t a knockoff) with crappy off-brand tires. Any performance gains from a lighter or stronger wheel will be negated by tires placed as an afterthought. Think about it, what is the point of an upgrade that doesn’t perform as well as stock? Just like installing a nice coilover suspension that is optimized for your specific needs and not getting it aligned, or slapping on turbo without upgrading the fuel system or getting it tuned, it’s half-assed and must stop.

4. Tire Lettering

“But it looked so sick in Honda Tuning (R.I.P.) and on The Chronicles!” Two things about that, they are representing for either their tire sponsor or their brand. Either way it’s because they got money to do so or they are advertising their own brand to get money. That badass Integra or Civic sitting by the Falken big rig with “Falken” in big contrasting letters on the tires is receiving compensation in some form for rocking the tire lettering. If you’re not, then why pay extra to merely look like you are?

3. Played-Out Stickers

I appreciate funny or clever vinyl. It doesn’t help you go any faster or be a better driver, but it can be entertaining and provide a reflection of the owner of the car. Those aren’t the stickers I’m talking about (unless the owner is played out too) here.  Two of the best examples are “built not bought” and “the shocker” stickers. Yes, I totally believe you created that Mugen “style” front lip and those Rotas with your own two hands. Come on, y’all! Unless you got it as a gift, a sponsorship or stole it, YOU BOUGHT IT. Who sees this on a car and thinks “WOW, we’re really dealing with a hardcore builder!” Nobody, quit it. And, I can guaran-freaking-tee that 95% of the thousands of people rocking “the shocker” stickers have never tried it and even fewer have tried it a second time.

2. Low-Balling EVERYTHING

Compared to modifying non-Hondas, fixing up a Honda is pretty cheap. Even though it is cheap in comparison, the cost of doing things right can build up and getting a good deal is a huge help. After all, we all have budgets we’re trying to stick to without racking up credit card debt. We destroy the value of what we do when we aren’t willing to give each other fair money for it. If you’re buying someone’s hard work and investment for a fraction of what it cost them, then what is what you get worth? Yes, I know to never expect to get out of a project what I put into it, but it seems like Honda heads abuse that old adage. If we don’t value what we do, why do it?

1. Support Thieves

In the Honda world we really are dealing with two kinds of thieves: the kind that steal our cars and the kind that steal ideas. Car thieves steal Hondas and sell parts at low prices, so if a deal seems too good to be true, be wary. You may just be marking yourself as a future victim. The thieves that steal ideas usually make their money by making knockoffs and selling them as if they were the originals or as their own brand. Fake parts suck because the person buying them typically will pay close to what the authentic parts sell for, only to discover they don’t perform to expectation. Knockoffs that bill themselves as “value” brands may seem harmless until you think about all the research and development that went into the original and what kind of corners had be cut to bring that product to you at such a low price after the distributor and retailer take their part of the profit.

There are a lot of great things for us to build on for the upcoming year and if we can leave some of these bad habits behind in 2015, the Honda world will be even better.

Aaron Gaghagen on Email
Aaron Gaghagen
Multimedia Editor at VTEC Academy
Aaron Gaghagen is a veteran video editor and longtime Honda enthusiast. All told, he’s owned seven of them, and has enjoyed every single minute of wrenching on every single one. Except for that automatic one. That was probably a mistake. In 2010 Aaron teamed up with Brian Gillespie who along with another partner launched Nacho Speed Garage, a venture that capitalized on Aaron’s video expertise to do its part in entertaining and educating the Honda masses. Nacho Speed Garage took everything to the next level. Instead of reading magazines and cruising forums for content, Aaron and Brian were generating it themselves. The demise of Honda Tuning magazine in 2014 was the impetus for Aaron to do something even more impactful, though, which led to the creation of VTEC Academy and aims to carry that Honda torch forward in the same spirt of not just Honda Tuning but Nacho Speed Garage.