Acura Honda C32A engine

Honda C32A Engine Specs, Problems and Reliability

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By Scott Matthew

The Honda C32A 3.2-liter V6 engine, manufactured from 1990 to 1999, epitomized power and performance, finding its place in the second generation of Legend models, Inspire, and equivalent models under the Acura brand. With standard variations yielding 200 to 205 horsepower, the C32A also boasted a Type 2 version with an impressive 230 horsepower output.

The C-Series Lineup and Noteworthy Variants

Within Honda’s esteemed C-series lineup—encompassing engines like the C27A, C30A, and C35A—the C32A stood out for its prowess and diversity, catering to different models and performance demands.

Applications in Prominent Models

The C32A engine found its application in various renowned vehicles, including:

  • Acura TL 1 (UA) between 1995 and 1998
  • Daewoo Arcadia 1 from 1994 to 1999
  • Honda Inspire 2 (UA) spanning 1995 to 1998
  • Honda Legend 2 (KA7) utilized this engine from 1990 to 1995
  • Honda Saber 1 (UA) covering the years 1995 to 1998


Production years1990-1999
Displacement, cc3206
Fuel systeminjector
Power output, hp200 – 205 – Type I: C32A1, C32A2, C32A3, C32A4 and C35A6
230 – Type II: C32A1 Performance Variation
Torque output, Nm285 – 295 – Type I: C32A1, C32A2, C32A3, C32A4 and C35A6
280 – Type II: C32A1 Performance Variation
Cylinder blockaluminum V6
Block headaluminum 24v
Cylinder bore, mm90
Piston stroke, mm84
Compression ratio9.6 – Type I: C32A1, C32A2, C32A3, C32A4 and C35A6
10.0 – Type II: C32A1 Performance Variation
Hydraulic liftersno
Timing drivebelt
Phase regulatorno
Recommended engine oil5W-30
Engine oil capacity, liter4.7
Fuel typepetrol
Euro standardsEURO 2/3
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (for Honda Legend 1994)
— city
— highway
— combined
Engine lifespan, km~330 000
Weight, kg217

Honda C32A engine Problems and Reliability

The Honda C32A engine, revered for its reliability, nonetheless presents certain challenges that owners may encounter during its lifespan. While it maintains a reputation for dependability, understanding these concerns is vital for effective maintenance and longevity.

  • Fuel Consumption Discontent: Many users express dissatisfaction with the engine’s fuel consumption, highlighting this aspect as an area of concern that affects overall operating costs.
  • Oil Leakage from Valve Covers: A prevalent issue revolves around oil leakage originating from under the valve covers, demanding vigilance and timely seal replacements to prevent oil seepage problems.
  • Grease Infiltration and Ignition Coil Damage: Entrapment of grease in the spark plug wells can lead to ignition coil damage, potentially affecting engine performance and requiring careful cleaning to mitigate this issue.
  • Lambda Probes and Pump Replacement: Typically, components like lambda probes and the fuel pump might require replacement before reaching 100,000 km, constituting routine maintenance practices.
  • Oil Burning at High Mileage: Beyond 200,000 km, there’s an observed propensity for oil burning due to piston ring wear, necessitating attention and potential rectification to manage this issue.

The Honda C32A engine, while robust and reliable, faces specific maintenance challenges that owners need to address proactively. Management of fuel consumption, timely valve cover maintenance to prevent oil leakage, regular cleaning of spark plug wells, and adherence to recommended replacement intervals for components like lambda probes and the fuel pump are essential.

Moreover, acknowledging the potential onset of oil burning after extended mileage and taking preventive measures can help owners maintain the engine’s efficiency and reliability over its lifespan. Prioritizing regular maintenance and addressing these concerns promptly will contribute significantly to sustaining the C32A engine’s performance and longevity.


The Honda C32A engine stands as a testament to Honda’s commitment to crafting powerful and high-performance engines. Its tenure from 1990 to 1999, powering notable models under the Acura brand, signifies its impact and significance in automotive history.

As part of the distinguished C-series, the C32A engine’s diverse variations and application in iconic models like the Legend and Inspire solidify its place among Honda’s celebrated engines, known for their performance, reliability, and technological advancements during that era.

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