Honda Integra Type R DC5 Buying Guide & History

The Honda Integra Type R DC2 was a smash hit when it launched in 1995. Car journalists and motoring enthusiasts alike praised the little Honda for its incredible handling and performance. With such high regard for the first-generation Integra Type R, the second generation had a lot to live up to.

While the DC5 Integra Type R may not be as well known or as loved as the original car, it didn’t disappoint in the performance department. It is regarded as one of the best-handling front-wheel drive cars of all time and is fast becoming a modern classic.

In this Honda Integra Type R DC5 Buying guide you will learn everything you need to know about the incredible car, from its history to purchasing advice and even information on how to import one from Japan.

How To Use This Integra Type R DC5 Buyer’s Guide

This is going to be a long article, so buckle up and check out the handy table of contents below. Skip to the section you want to read or just read it all!

To start with we will be covering the history and the specifications of the Honda Integra Type R DC5. Following these two sections we will be looking at buying advice for the DC5 and then more general car purchasing advice later in the article. To finish off we will be covering information on how to import a Honda Integra Type R DC5 from Japan.

History of the Honda Integra Type R DC5

When the final DC2 Integra Type R rolled off the production line in 2001, it left a hole in Honda’s performance car segment. Thankfully, this hole didn’t last long as the DC5 was announced the same year. The new performance car was designed to not only replace the outgoing Integra Type R, but also the Prelude Type R as well, as Honda decided to merge the two products.

Compared to the DC2, the new generation DC5 Integra Type R was both larger and more practical, but with more tech to make it arguably a better all-rounder.

At the heart of the new Honda was an improved & expanded K20 1,998cc engine, that was 200cc bigger than the B18C found in the DC2. Despite the extra displacement, the new engine was actually 10kg lighter.

In true Honda tradition, the K20 engine in the DC5 Type R came with more tech than you can shake a stick at. It came with a short ‘isometric’ intake manifold, dual exhaust manifolds, high-strength crankshaft and conrods, and a variable-valve silencer.

The K20 also featured a revised version of Honda’s famous VTEC technology, i-VTEC. This new intelligent VTEC system added VTC (Variable Timing Control) that could push-forward or delay the valve timing, whereas earlier versions could only adjust the lift and duration.

What this meant for drivers was more usable and flatter torque and power curves. Despite this, the 2.0-litre four cylinder engine was still a screamer and had all the right VTEC characteristics. The peaky engine revved willingly all the way to a redline of 8,400 rpm and produced 220 horsepower for JDM models. At around 6,000 rpm, the high-lift cams kicked in and gave that on/off feeling that older Honda’s have become famous for.

Along with a new engine, the Type R Integra received a brand new six-speed close ratio manual transmission. Compared to the gearbox fitted to the previous generation, the new more compact transmission was shorter by 20mm and lighter by 2.5kg.

The DC5 Type R’s gearbox was also the world’s first 2.0-litre production car to use multiple synchromesh cones for all gears (triple-cone for first & second, while third to sixth had double-cone). There was also a forged chromoly flywheel that helped to reduce inertia, improving acceleration and throttle response.

Along with the improvements made to the engine and transmission, Honda’s engineers also strengthened the DC5’s body substantially. Torsional rigidity was increased up to 116 per cent when compared to the older car and aluminium was used for many of the new components to help reduce weight. The sound deadening was also removed to save some important grams as well.

Despite Honda’s best efforts, the second-generation Integra Type R weighed more than the DC2. While the two cars featured the same wheelbase and overall length, the DC5 was both wider and taller, which lead to a weight gain of 60 kg (bringing the total weight to 1,180 kg (2,600 lbs)).

The Integra Type R DC5 was given struts up front while the rear suspension was a double wishbone layout. Honda’s engineers designed the DC5 around performance, and as such the suspension was pretty hard. They fitted a rather thick anti-roll bar to the rear and unique lightweight alloy wheels that helped to reduce the car’s unsprung mass.

The rack-and-pinion steering with its variable assistance was greatly lauded by those that drive the car. It was ultra-quick (2.6 turns lock to lock) and incredibly precise with a crisp turn-in.

To stop the hot Honda, new four-piston aluminium calipers (jointly developed with Brembo) and 300mm ventilated discs were fitted to the front of the car. Honda also gave the Type R high performance Ferodo pads that had plenty of bite and could withstand plenty of abuse.

In terms of appearance, the new DC5 Type R was a significant departure to the smooth lines & low stance of the previous car. Hideaki Uchino, who had recently finished a stint at Pininfarina, gave the DC5 a taller stance and more chunky appearance. His reason for the significant styling change was that the Ferrari 360 Modena had been a massive success over the lower slung 355, so why couldn’t Honda do the same.

The lights on the car were also different with four multi-reflector headlights set in pairs into the chiselled nose, while the rear’s were more angular.

On the inside, the new Type R was described as “dynamic yet also snug” by Honda’s PR team. While it was small on the inside, the DC5 was still significantly larger than the outgoing model, which could hardly be called a 2+2. Two fully grown adults could get into the back of the DC5 in modest comfort, although they wouldn’t want to be there during a road trip.

Thanks to the new compact suspension design the car featured a very usable flat boot that could fit a surprising amount of stuff in it.

The cabin also featured a number of performance orientated and themed items from Recaro bucket seats to a Momo leather steering wheel and red trim accents. There was also a polished aluminium gear lever, handbrake lever, console trim and pedals.

2004 Update

During its production life, the DC5 Integra Type R only received one major upgrade. In September 2004 the car was given new restyled headlights and rear lights, along with redesigned bumpers and air intakes. An auto-levelling HID headlight option was offered as an additional feature.

On the inside of the updated DC5 there were new white gauges and titanium-coloured trim pieces, plus an HDD sat nav for those that chose it as an optional extra.

Underneath the body Honda’s engineers worked their magic on the car’s suspension system. They gave the DC5 harder bushes and stronger mountings. Honda also updated the car with a larger brake master cylinder and tougher pedal mountings.

When the DC5 launched in 2001 it was one of the fastest production front-wheel drive cars money could buy. With a lot more low-down torque and a peak output of 220 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, the second-gen Integra Type R could hit 241 km/h (150 mph) and go from 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) in as little as 6.5 seconds. With the improvements made the DC5 could finish a quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds, almost a second quicker than the DC2.

The question of what Integra Type R has the better handling is still widely debated. While the DC5 does feature some body roll, it is incredibly precise and doesn’t suffer from understeering problems that many other performance front-wheel drive cars have.

The End of the Type R Integra

Despite being incredibly well-received by both motoring journalists and enthusiasts, the DC5 Type R didn’t sell as well as planned. During its total production run, the car sold a modest 12,247 units in Japan. Most of these Type Rs were sold in the first two years of production (4,875 in 2001, and 3,431 in 2002). For the final year only 997 DC5 Type R Integras were sold.

The somewhat disappointing sales figures were partly due to the fact that the car was only sold in Japan and New Zealand (NZ models only produced 200 hp). Honda UK believed that the second-gen Integra Type R was too similar to the new Civic Type R EP3, and as such they decided to not import the model.

When the final Integra DC5 rolled off the production line in 2005, it would spell the end for the Type R Integra. Honda pushed Integra enthusiasts towards Civic models and in 2007 the FD2/FN2 Civic Type Rs were released. These were designed to replace both the EP3 Civic Type R and the DC5 Integr Type R.

Honda Integra Type R DC5 Specifications

ModelDC5 Integra Type R
Year of production2001 – 2005
LayoutFront-engine, Front-wheel drive
EngineK20 i-VTEC four-cylinder


220 hp @ 8,000 rpm

(lb ft)

152 lb-ft (206 Nm)
Transmission6-speed short-shift manual

Semi-auto also available

Weight1,180 kg (2,600 lbs)
0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)6.5 seconds
Top speed241 km/h (150 mph)

 Honda Integra Type R DC5 Buying Guide

Now that we have gone over the history and specifications of the DC5 Integra Type R, let us take a look at what you need to watch out for when buying one.

We recommend that you try to inspect any DC5 Integra Type R you are thinking of buying in person or get a reliable third party to do so for you. It is also a good idea to take a second pair of eyes and ears with you when you go to an inspection as they may spot something you missed.

While the second-generation Integra Type R is very reliable for a high-performance motor vehicle, there are still plenty of bad examples out there. It is important to inspect any DC5 Type R thoroughly and don’t rush into a purchase.

Try to organise a viewing in the morning when the engine is cold. We recommend doing this because warm engines can hide a number of serious and expensive problems that could cause trouble in the future.

Additionally, you should avoid inspecting a DC5 Integra Type R when it is raining or if the vehicle is wet. This is because water on the bodywork can hide a number of problems from paint issues to damaged parts and more. If you do happen to inspect a vehicle when it is wet, try to arrange a second viewing before you make your decision.

What’s a Good Price for a DC5?

You are probably wondering how much you should spend on one of these cars. While it is a good question, it is not something we are going to answer in this article. This is because prices can vary quite a bit depending on the condition of the car, where it is located in the world and a number of other factors.

We recommend that you do a google search and look at auction websites to see where prices are at. If something seems to good to be true, then it probably is and the seller may be looking to pass their problem onto you.

Integra Type R DC5 Inspection

Below we have laid out all the things you need to check when inspecting a DC5 Type R and common problems with the vehicle.

Quite a few second-gen Type Rs have found there way into the hands of people who can’t look after them or won’t look after them properly. While the DC5 is a reliable car, do not purchase one that is in bad condition. Getting a vehicle in poor condition back to a satisfactory level is time consuming and can cost some serious coin (if it is even possible).

Exterior & Interior Combinations

Below we have listed the different interior and exterior combinations that were produced from factory. If the car you are looking at does not have one of these combinations it is none-stock. Note: all rear seats are black, and the carpet matches the front seat colouring. Additionally, all black seats could be combined with any factory body colour.

  • Blue – Blue/Black – Pre-Face Lift cars are Arctic Blue Pearl Metallic, while Face Lift Cars are Vivid Blue Pearl Metallic
  • Championship White aka cream – Red/Black
  • Milano Red – Black
  • Silver – Black
  • Night Hawk Black – Red/Black
What Is a C-Pack DC5 Type R?

You may notice that some DC5 Type Rs are advertised as C-Pack models. The C-Pack was essentially a package with additional equipment. In total there are three main pack types (A, B and C), with C being the most up-market package option. C-Pack cars have the following:

  • Tinted rear 3/4 and rear screen windows
  • Electric folding mirrors.
  • Rear window wiper and screen wash nozzle on the roof

Despite what many say, C-Pack cars did not come with a push button starter or parcel shelf, these were optional extras.

Check the VIN

We always recommend that you take a look at the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of any DC5 Integra Type R you are thinking of buying. The VIN can reveal quite a bit of information about a car and its history. Run the VIN through a checkup website such as CarJam (NZ) or Carfax. You can usually find the VIN in the following places and it should look something like this, DC5-2xxxxxx:

  • Blue plaque on the right side of the engine bay
  • On the bulkhead engraved into the panel itself

The VIN/Engine number can be found in a few other places as well, so if you find them make sure they all match up.

Engine & Exhaust

To start your inspection of a DC5 Type R’s engine, lift the bonnet and take a good general look at the engine bay – do you see any modifications or additions? Is there any visible damage to any of the components or any obvious leaks? Does it look clean and well maintained?

Once you have done this start checking the fluid levels to make sure they are at the correct level. Remember to check the fluid levels both before and after a test drive.

Incorrect fluid levels (both too low and too high) can lead to premature engine/part wear and possibly even total failure. Additionally, if the fluid levels are not at the correct height it is a sign of a badly maintained vehicle and should be a major warning sign.

When to Change the Oil/Oil Filter on a DC5?

It is important to replace the engine oil and oil filter at or before the recommended service interval. This is because old oil that sits at the bottom of a DC5’s crankcase can breakdown overtime and become diluted in the presence of contaminates. In the section below we have listed when the oil & oil filter should be replaced on a DC5 Type R.

Engine Oil – While Honda recommends that you should change the engine oil every 16,000 km (10,000 miles), many owners recommend doing it much earlier. Enthusiastic owners will often change the oil ever 5,000 km (3,000 miles) or every sixth months, but you can probably go a bit longer. If you plan to use the car on a track or drive it hard regularly, you may want to change the engine oil more frequently.

The engine oil needed in a DC5 can vary depending on a few factors from temperature to what the car is used for, to how many miles it has done. Heavier weight oils (higher numbers) are usually better for hotter environments while thinner oils are better when it is cold. Honda’s own 10W-30 FEO or other 10W-30 oils from the likes of Castrol are good places to start. If the car burns too much oil than move up to a thicker oil.

Many owners like to use 5W-40 or 10W-40 engine oils such as this one from Fuchs. Another common choice of oil is Castrol Edge 10W-60. Remember to ask the owner what oil they use. If they have maintained the car well and know their stuff, we would probably continue using the same oil they use (as long as it is a good quality oil and excessive burn is not occurring).

Oil filter – Honda’s recommended service interval for the oil filter is pretty big, so we would personally change it much earlier. Many owners like to change the oil filter with every second oil change. If you don’t change the oil that frequently we would change the filter with every engine oil change. Use OEM oil filters for the Integra Type R DC5.

Do DC5 Type Rs Burn a Lot of Oil?

Honda states that the K20 engine in these cars should burn about 1-litre of oil every 1,000 km (620 miles), so they don’t burn too much. Ask the owner about how much oil the car uses and if it seems excessive find out what oil they use. Oil burning problems can usually be fixed by switching to a thicker oil, however, they can also be an indication of bigger problems.

What about leaks?

During an inspection remember to keep an eye out for any leaks. You will probably find some small ones, but they should be pretty insignificant. If you notice any major oil leaks or puddles of oil on the ground underneath the car, you should move onto another DC5 Integra Type R. Remember to check for oil leaks both before and after a test drive. Here are some common causes of oil leaks:

  • If the car has a sandwich plate fitted for extremal oil coolers/gauges
  • Rocker gasket cover (common problem as it gets taken off for valve clearances)
  • VTEC solenoid gasket
Inspecting the Cooling System of a DC5 Type R

It is always important to thoroughly inspect the cooling system of any car you are thinking of buying. A problem here could lead to some serious expense, so make sure the system is in good working order and there are no leaks. The main components of a Type R’s cooling system include the following:

  • Radiator – removes heat from the water/coolant
  • Thermostat – sends water/coolant that is hotter than the target temperature to the radiator to be cooled
  • Water Pump – belt that is driven from the e-shaft pully. Pushes water/coolant through the engine
  • Overflow or Expansion bottle – removes air from the system and provides a filling point
  • Coolant Lines – hoses that allow water/coolant to remain contained as it moves through the engine/cooling system

A failure in any one of these components can lead to total engine failure. Remember to check for leaks both before and after a test drive, and don’t forget to check the height of the coolant. Expect the coolant level to change slightly during a test drive, but if it drops drastically there is a problem.

What Coolant Should be Used in a DC5 Type R?

Using the wrong coolant can lead to some pretty nasty problems. Additionally, the coolant can tell you a lot of information about the health of a DC5’s engine and its history. The coolant should be replaced with Honda Type 2 coolant, which is blue in colour. Other coolants will work, but always be extra cautious of cars with non-stock coolant.

Watch out for Type Rs with coolant that is brown or muddy in colour as it shows that it has not been replaced in a while. Along with being bad for the engine, it is also a sign that the vehicle has not been maintained properly. If you notice any oily bubbles in the coolant move onto another Integra Type R.  

Does the DC5 Type R Have a Timing Belt or Chain?

Thankfully, Honda decided to design the K20 engine with a timing chain, so you don’t need to worry about replacing it and all the problems with belts snapping. If the owner or seller of the DC5 you are looking at states that the timing chain has been replaced it could be down to the following reasons:

  1. They are lying and think it sounds better
  2. very cautious and they like preventative maintenance
  3. the car has something wrong with it (Timing chain has stretched, etc.)
  4. They don’t know what they are talking about

A small number of DC5 Type R Integras have required new timing chains and chain tensioners. This is because they can sometimes start to become noisy and/or get slack, which can lead to destroyed chain guides. If the timing chain has been replaced at any point, make sure it was replaced with a genuine Honda one. At the end of the day, you only need to replace the timing chain if it is absolutely necessary.

What Other Servicing Should Be Done?

The following needs to be done every 120,000 km (75,000 miles) or every 6 years. This is quite an important service so make sure it has been done. Some people recommend that you get this work done sooner at 96,000 km (60,000 miles).

  • Oil
  • Oil filter
  • Air filter
  • Pollen filter
  • Fuel filter
  • Spark Plugs (NGK Iridium)
  • Gearbox oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Valve clearance Adjustment (check every 40,000 km/25,000 miles)
  • Chain tensioner check/replace
Checking the Spark Plugs

If you can, try to inspect the spark plugs to see if they are in good condition. The appearance of spark plugs can tell you quite a lot about the history of a vehicle and how it has been maintained. Check out this handy spark plug analysis guide to learn more about what the appearance of a spark plug means.

What are the Correct Spark Plugs for the DC5 Type R?

It is recommended that you use NGK IFR7G-11KS Iridium spark plugs for the DC5 Integra Type R. Some other spark plugs will work, but we would personally stick to the ones we just listed. If the car you are inspecting has different spark plugs make sure they are from a good brand such as NGK.

Remember to check the service history and with the owner to see when the spark plugs were replaced (they should have been replaced with the big service or before). If they have not been changed in a long time it suggests that the car has not been maintained properly.

Engine Mount Problems

Unfortunately, the engine mounts (four in total) are quite prone to failure but thankfully not all at once. Excessive vibrations in the car usually indicate failing engine mounts, however, this can also be caused by upgraded mounts or an Engine Torque Damper (ETD). You will need to visually inspect the engine mounts to work out which one is the offending one.

The engine mounts can either be replaced with original OEM mounts or with aftermarket ones or an ETD. Aftermarket mounts or an ETD will lead to more vibration in the cabin as the engine is now ‘mated’ to the chassis and is not free moving.

Inspecting the Exhaust System of a DC5 Type R

During an inspection make sure you get under the car and check as much of the exhaust system as possible. Exhaust problems can be expensive to fix/replace, so make sure the one on the DC5 you are inspecting is in good condition. Below we have listed some things to watch out for:

  • Black sooty stains – Indicates that a leak is/was present
  • Corrosion – While the exhaust system on a DC5 Type R is pretty tough, it can corrode/rust. A tiny bit of corrosion is usually fine, but if you notice lots of rust the car has a big problem.
  • Cracks or accident damage – If there is accident damage to the exhaust it indicates that the car has had a pretty hard life. Accident damage or cracks can be expensive to fix.
  • Dodgy repairs – As the exhaust system on a DC5 can be expensive to fix, you may come across one that has a bodged repair. We would be very cautious of any vehicle with a badly repaired exhaust.

There are a few different aftermarket exhaust options available for DC5 Type Rs from branded to custom. While a good aftermarket exhaust can improve performance, it can also reduce the value of a DC5 (as it hurts the originality of the car). If the car you are inspecting has a no-name or cheap branded exhaust move onto another vehicle.

Smoke or Vapour from an Integra Type R

Remember to check for any smoke or vapour from the back of a DC5 during start-up and during a test drive. A small amount of vapour from the exhaust is normal during start-up and is caused by condensation in the system. This vapour should go away quickly but may be more noticeable on a cold day.

Excessive amounts of vapour or smoke is a major problem and you should move onto another DC5 Type R if you encounter this problem. Here is what the different colours of smoke indicate:

White smoke – This is usually caused by water in the cylinders and indicates a blown head gasket. A sweet smell from the smoke is probably coolant.

Blue smoke – This colour smoke indicates wear to the pistons, piston rings, and/or worn valve seals. To check for this problem, get a friend to follow you as you drive the car or get the owner/seller to take the car through the rev range while you watch out the back. Blue smoke on start-up and overrun is a sign that the car has been thrashed. 

Black smoke – If the engine is running too rich (burning too much fuel) you may encounter this problem. Check/replace the air-filter and other intake components to see if it fixes the problem.

If the ambient temperature is warm or hot outside you really shouldn’t notice any exhaust gases.

What are the Signs of Overheating and/or a Blown Head Gasket

Any form of overheating is bad and if you notice any signs of it or if the owner mentions the car has overheated in the past, proceed with cation. We would personally avoid any Honda Integra Type R that has a history of overheating problems. While you are checking the car out, keep on eye out for the following:

  • Coolant leaking externally from below the exhaust manifold
  • White smoke from the exhaust pipe (this is especially so if you see lots of it)
  • Bubbles in the coolant overflow tank or radiator
  • Overheating engine (check the temperature gauge)
  • White & milky engine oil
  • Spark plugs that are dirty
  • Low cooling system integrity
  • Coolant smell from the engine oil
  • Sweet smell from the exhaust
What to Watch out for During Start-Up

It is always a good idea to get the owner/seller to start the vehicle for you. The main two reasons for this are as follows:

  1. You can see if any smoke comes out the back of the car (very important)
  2. If the owner revs the car hard you know to walk away

A DC5 Type R that doesn’t start or struggles to start may have a number of different problems from something simple like a bad battery to much more serious issues.

What is the Idle Speed for a DC5 Type R?

The idle speed should hover around 750 – 850 rpm, but don’t worry if it is about 1,500 rpm for the first 10 – 20 seconds of start-up. Remember to check the idle speed when the air conditioning and all the electronics are on. The idle speed will probably increase a bit, but if the car stalls there is a problem. A small drop in idle speed is also to be expected after the engine is revved.

If the DC5 you are looking at hunts for revs during start up it is typically caused by a sticking butterfly/ACV valve. This usually occurs if the car has not been driven in a while and a quick drive should sort it out. If this doesn’t work, cleaning or replacement parts may be necessary.

Noises to Listen Out For

Strange noises such as loud banging, knocks or rattling are not normal so keep an ear out for them. Here are some noises and their causes:

  • Rattle whilst driving – This could be coming from the manifold or drive shaft heat shield. Most DC5 Type Rs have had this removed so it shouldn’t be a problem. Replacements for the heatshield are available from Honda, but they will eventually rattle as well. There is no loss from removing the heat shield, so many owners do it. If the rattling is not caused by the heatshield
  • Screeching on start-up – A horrible screeching sound on start-up is usually caused by a cold starter motor. To fix this problem you will have to get some replacement parts, but the issue will probably return at some point. It is nothing to be alarmed about if it goes away after a short period of time.
  • Engine making sound like bag of nails – When driving in heavy torrential rain the car may make a noise like a bag of nails/bolts. This is not a common problem and is produced by the frequency and resonance from the engine when it interacts with the water. It’s not a major problem and should go away with a change of gears/revs.
  • Misfiring or chugging sound – If you hear a misfiring or chugging sound (especially when the car is cold), it is usually caused by low compression and/or worn injectors.
  • Tapping sound – a tapping or ticking noise is a sign that the tappets may need to be adjusted. Adjusting this is part of the 120,000 km or six-year service.
Honda Integra Type R DC5 VTEC Not Engaging

It is important to check that the VTEC system engages properly when you test drive a DC5 Type R (around 6,000 rpm). Once the car has warmed up properly, accelerate both hard and slow to test that it works. While it is usually caused by a lack of oil/oil pressure, it can also be caused by coolant temperature issues and more.

Should I Get a Compression Test Done on a DC5?

While a compression test is not completely necessary, it can tell you a lot of information about the condition of a DC5’s engine and how it has been maintained.

If you want to get a compression test done on a Type R, we recommend that you take the car to a good mechanic or Honda specialist (unless you know what you are doing and the owner is happy for you to do it). While a compression test can indicate a problem with the engine, it will not tell you what that exact problem is.

Compression readings across all four cylinders should sit around 160 – 190 psi when cold. The most important thing with a compression test is to make sure that the results are all within about 5 to 10 % of each other and that the results are not too low.


The six-speed manual transmission in these cars is fairly robust and reliable and can withstand quite a lot of abuse.

During a test drive shift through all the gears at both low and high engine speeds. Listen out for any weird noises such as whining or grinding and make sure that the shifts are smooth. Remember to pay particular attention to second gear as the synchro mesh is a common failure point and is difficult to repair. It is also important to check that the transmission doesn’t jump out of gear during hard acceleration.

Transmission fluid should be changed every 96,000 km (60,000 miles) or every 3 years, so make sure it has been done. Some owners change it more frequently, which is a good thing. The DC5 Type R’s transmission has a capacity of 1.5 litres of Honda MTF (It should flow out when the transmission is full).

A tight transmission in cold weather or when the vehicle is first started is normal and should loosen up as the car warms up. Synchro wear and other gearbox problems can also

You may find that the transmission is a bit tight when it is cold, but it should loosen up as the car warms up. Synchro wear and other transmission issues are a sign that the car may have been thrashed (but it’s not always the case).

Aftermarket Transmission Options

Some owners have fitted short shifter kits with B+M and Buddy Club being popular options. There are a number of owners with Buddy Club kits that have reported some problems, but this is easily fixed by reverting back to the original shifter.

Testing the Clutch

A worn clutch can result in an expensive bill and makes driving the car a nightmare, so here are some things to watch out for

Clutch Engagement – The first thing to check is the engagement. To do this put the DC5 you are inspecting into gear on a level surface and let the clutch out slowly. It should engage around 7 to 10 cm (2.5 to 4 inches) from the floor. Engagement that is early or too late indicates a problem.

Clutch Slippage – The way to check for this is to shift into a gear that is too high for the speed you are going. Once you have done this, plant your foot on the throttle and watch the revs. If the engine speed goes up but the car doesn’t accelerate the clutch is slipping. Here are some things that can cause slippage

  • Worn clutch
  • Clutch covered in oil
  • Clutch cable is too tight and is not releasing properly

Clutch Drag – Get the car on a flat surface and press the clutch pedal to the floor (do this while you are stationary). Rev the car hard (once it is warm) and see If it moves. If the car does move, the clutch is not disengaging when you shift and parts will wear prematurely.

Juddering or stiffness in the pedal can indicate that the clutch needs to be replaced. The life of a clutch will depend on how it has been treated and how the vehicle has been driven. They can last a long time or wear quickly if the car has seen repeated high rpm shifting. However, a general rule of thumb is that they last around 65,000 km (40,000 miles).

What About Semi-auto DC5 Type Rs?

A number of second-generation Type R Integras were produced with a semi-automatic transmission. Compared to the manual, the semi-auto is quite a bit slower and the manual is a much better buy.

Are There Any Problems With the LSD?

The DC5 Type R has a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) fitted as standard and there are no known problems with it. There are upgrades available that make it better for track use, but to the detriment of on road performance.

Bodywork and Exterior

Problems with the body, paint and exterior components of the car can be an even bigger nightmare than engine or transmission issues. Always inspect a DC5 Type R’s body as thoroughly as you can as replacing or repairing parts can be very expensive.


Thankfully, rust isn’t a major issue on these cars, but you still need to check for it. This is especially so for cars that have been in countries that salt their roads (the UK for example), lived by the sea or those that have lived outside for significant periods of time. Here are some places you may find rust/corrosion on a DC5 Type R:

  • Wheel arches and inside the wheel wells
  • Door sills and around the bottom of the doors
  • In the engine bay – some parts are prone to corrosion due to the material they are manufactured out of and their location
  • Underbody
  • Around the windows/windscreen
  • Around the boot/bootlid (lift up the carpets in the boot)

Rust is an indicator of poor maintenance. Good owners will regularly check their cars for problems such as corrosion, so be mindful of this.

Rust Repairs

Remember to not only inspect a DC5 Type R for present rust but also for past rust as well. Inspect the body thoroughly and keep an eye out for any areas that may have been repaired (inconsistencies in the paintwork, non-standard parts). Also check the service history and ask the owner about any past rust problems, but don’t completely trust the owner’s answers

Use a magnet on steel sections of the car or a coating gauge thickness tool such as this one to find any areas that may have been repaired.

Did Honda Under Seal the DC5 Type R?

Japan does not use salt and other nasty products on its roads and as such they do not usually underseal their cars. When cars are imported into countries like the United Kingdom, the importers will usually get them undersealed before sale. The problem with this is that many importers/dealers skimp on the undersealing, leaving parts of the underbody exposed to the elements.

Get under the car and check to see if it is undersealed. It is not a major issue if the underseal is not complete as you can get a body shop to do it or you can do it yourself. If the underseal is not complete, be extra thorough checking for rust.

Accident Damage on a DC5 Type R

The Honda Integra Type R DC5 is a performance car and as such more than a few have been in accidents. Crash damage and other accident damage is a major issue as body panels can be expensive to replace. Remember to ask the owner/seller about any past accident damage, but don’t take their word for it. Watch out for the following:

  • Misaligned panels or large panel gaps – Check that the bonnet lines up correctly and fits as it should. Inspect the doors, tailgate and the lights for any damage or signs of past damage. If the panels are uneven it could suggest an accident has occurred.
  • Doors that drop or don’t close properly – If the doors drop or don’t open/close properly the DC5 you are looking at may have been in an accident or may have some sort of other problem.
  • Inconsistencies such as waving, rippling or different coloured panels – This is a good indication of crash damage or rust repair.
  • If the bonnet/hood looks like it is popped when it is not – This is usually a sign that the vehicle has been in an accident and that the owner is careless. This problem can be fixed but is a pain to get right.
  • Bent or broken parts underneath the car – Check to see if everything is straight underneath the vehicle and watch out for any replaced parts. Take a good look at all the suspension, steering and exhaust components for damage.
  • Rust in strange locations – indicates that the DC5 you are looking at has been in an accident or has some other problem.
  • Paint runs or overspray – This could be a factory issue or a sign of a poor repair.
  • Missing badges or trim – can be due to repair work (body shop couldn’t find replacements) or a number of other things (stolen, etc.)
Light Problems

Condensation can sometimes make its way into the front lights. If you turn on the main light it should evaporate the water until you turn them off. The other alternative is to put the lights in an airing cupboard for the night to let them dry out.

When you turn on the HIDs there should be a small flicker at the start and then a blue/white light should follow. If the light is not blue/white and is instead a pinkish colour, then the ‘pack’ is about to die (the bumper will need to come off for this). Replacement packs are quite expensive, so check to make sure these are working correctly. If the lights produce a normal colour then they are just normal bulbs.

Aftermarket lights are available for the DC5 Type R, but watch out for these as they don’t work as well as the original OEM ones.

What about the rear lights?

There are two main issues with the rear lights:

  1. The first issue is that water can make its way into the housing. This can be fixed by removing the light, drilling a small hole in the casing (where it can’t be seen) and then letting the water drain out. The hole can then be resealed with clear sealant and the light housing can be put back on.
  2. Water can sometimes seep into the boot behind the rear lights. Check the boot for any dampness and remember to lift up the carpets. If any water is found it needs to be dried out as soon as possible. Don’t forget to check for rust as well.
Missing Side Stickers

The DC5 Type R Integra came with side stickers. If these are not there it may be due to the fact that the car has been resprayed or the body panels have been replaced. Alternatively, they may have been removed by the owner on purpose. These can be purchased from Honda or online.

Suspension and Steering

While the original suspension on the Integra Type R DC5 performs well and is pretty reliable, many owners find it a bit too harsh. This is because Japanese roads are a lot smoother compared to many Western countries.

Try to inspect as many of the suspension and steering components as possible, as they can be expensive to repair or replace. If they look worn, damaged and/or corroded they will need to be replaced at some point. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Dipping and swerving when the brakes are applied
  • Excessive Rear-end squat during acceleration
  • Tipping during turns
  • High speed instability
  • Excessive vibration coming through the steering wheel (could indicate alignment issues or failed ball joints)
  • Delayed or longer stopping distances
  • Uneven tyre wear
  • Excessive tyre bounce after hitting a bump
  • Leaking fluid on the exterior of the shock/strut
  • Knocking or creaking sounds during a test drive (don’t forget to drive in a tight figure 8)

If you are allowed to jack the car up and have a play with the suspension arm, you may notice a bit of play in the strut. This is normally a problem, but can also be nothing to worry about.

Wheel Alignment

During a test drive remember to check that the vehicle drives straight without you having to correct the wheel. If you do have to correct the steering the wheel alignment may be out (do this on a flat road). Try to find out when the wheel alignment was last done. If it has been a while or is well past the recommended service date it is a sign of poor maintenance.


The original brakes on a DC5 Type R are more than adequate for road use, so if they feel underpowered or soft then there is a problem. Remember to check the brakes for the following during an inspection:

The brakes on the Mk1 Focus RS are more than adequate for road use, so if they feel spongy or underpowered there is a problem. During an inspection look at the brakes and check for the following:

  • Pad life
  • Pitted, scored or grooved discs
  • Corrosion
  • Modifications
  • Any leaks in the brake lines (get a helper to press on the brake pedal while you inspect the lines)

Worn or broken brake components can be expensive to remedy, so inspect the brakes thoroughly. If there is a problem with the brakes and you want to purchase the car try to get a discount on the vehicle. Alternatively, get the owner of the DC5 to replace the worn/broken parts before purchase.

It is quite common for the paint on the brake calipers to fade or chip. There are off the shelf kits available to repaint them or alternatively you can get them stripped down and resprayed (many owners get them resprayed in a different colour).

During a Test Drive 

When you are test driving a DC5 Type R make sure you use the brakes under both light and hard braking conditions. Pulling to one side indicates that the vehicle may have a sticking/seized caliper. Seized calipers usually occur when a car has been sitting for an extended period of time. A load thud when you pull away for this first time can also be a sign of a seized caliper.

Watch out for any juddering through the steering wheel when braking as this is a sign that the discs are warped. This usually becomes first apparent under braking at high speed.

Loud bangs, knocks or other strange noises when the brakes are used should be investigated closely as they may signal some expensive bills on the horizon. Weak feeling brakes or brakes that struggle to stop the car signal an issue.

Brake Modifications

Brake modifications are quite common with upgraded pads being a popular and relatively cheap way to improve performance. Ferodo DS2500 pads are quite a good option for those wanting to improve braking performance on their DC5 Type R.

Complete aftermarket brake kits with new calipers, discs, etc are available. If the DC5 you are looking at does have aftermarket brakes make sure they are from a good brand. Additionally, remember that if the aftermarket brakes need to be repaired or replaced it could be very costly.

Another popular brake modification is to upgrade the brake fluid and replace the OEM lines with steel braided ones.

Wheels & Tyres

Take a look at the wheels – are they curbed or scuffed? Are they original or modified? Are they all the same? Curbed or damaged wheels are a sign of a careless owner and if the rims are not stock ask the owner if they have the originals. Remember to check the tyres for the following:

  • Amount of tread
  • Uneven wear (Can be a sign of alignment or suspension issues)
  • Brand (they should be from a good or well-reviewed brand)

The original tyre size is 215/45/17 and if you are looking for a stiffer sidewall choose an XL version. Non-XL tyres will be better for those looking for a more comfortable ride. Some owners also like to fit larger tyres such as the following:

  • 215/40/17 – These fit but make the speedo under-read by about 11 – 16 km/h (7 – 10 mph)
  • 225/45/17 – An even slightly larger option, but they can cause scrubbing

Interior & Electronics

Overall, you shouldn’t find too many issues with the interior in these cars, but expect to find the usual wear and tear, especially on vehicles that have been maintained poorly. Also remember that the interior is quite bare and lacks some of the creative comforts of a normal car (sound deadening, etc.)

During your inspection of the interior keep an eye out for any stains, rips or tears on the seats and other trim pieces. Replacing the seat material or seats is costly, so make sure they are in good condition. If the car has a blue set of seats it will be impossible to get the material replaced, so you will either have to get a whole set of new seats or change the material.

It is quite common for the bolsters to sag, especially if someone of the larger persuasion has owned the vehicle. Replacement bolsters are available, so don’t worry too much about this.

The point at which the seat belt cuts across the shoulder area of the seat can quickly become worn. If this has already occurred, you will need to buy a new seat if you want the vehicle in tip-top condition.

Another thing to watch out for is if the seats slide on the runners correctly and do not move during braking or acceleration. It is incredibly dangerous if they do move and will almost certainly lead to a MOT/WOF failure.

Take a good whiff of the interior, does it smell like somebody has smoked in it? Additionally, look at the headliner above the driver’s seat, if there is a stain or it is a slightly different colour to the rest of the headliner it indicates a smoker has owned the vehicle.

We also recommend that you check the steering wheel, gear shifter, pedals, carpet and mats for wear as they can indicate how far the DC5 you are inspecting has travelled. If there is excessive wear for the mileage, it could be a sign that the vehicle’s odometer has been wound back (or the car may have just had a very hard life).

Many DC5 Type Rs will have non-stock shifter knobs or steering wheels. This is a common issue as they were often lost, stolen, replaced in Japan.

Remember to check that all the electronics work as intended. Play with all the buttons, switches and toggles and watch out for any warning lights on the dashboard. If no warning lights appear during engine start-up, they may have been disconnected to hide an issue.

Aftermarket components need to be inspected closely to make sure they work and are installed correctly. Poor workmanship here can be a sign of a careless owner.

Common Honda Integra Type DC5 Modifications

While we have talked about a few modifications already, we thought we would go into a bit more detail in this section. Many/most DC5s will have been modified in some way, whether this is major or minor.

Exhausts – Aftermarket exhausts are quite a common modification on these cars, especially as the original can get pretty beaten up due to the cars low ride height. Be wary of really loud exhausts such as ASBO’s ones as they can be more problem then they are worth. Another common exhaust modification is to replace a new manifold. The CAT will usually have to be removed for this and the engine mounts may need to be strengthened.

Air Intake – Another common modification that you may encounter. There is lots of conflicting information about what is better, so we will leave you to do your own research for this.

RBC Inlet – Air inlet plenum that bolts onto the front of a DC5’s engine. It offers good price/performance; however, mapping will need to be done to get the most out of it.

ECU Mapping – There are a couple of options when it comes to ECU mapping for the DC5 Type R. Pre-programmed options from the likes of Mugen are available or, alternatively, custom programable options can be set-up by a tuner. The most common custom option is the K-Pro, but other ones are available. The benefit of a custom option is that it can be set-up to work better with your modifications.

Turbo/supercharger – While this isn’t exactly a common modification, there are a number of DC5 Type Rs out there with a supercharger or turbocharger. We would personally avoid a DC5 with this modification.

Strut Braces – It is quite common for owners to replace the front and rear strut braces for both performance and aesthetical reasons.

Brake modifications – upgrading the pads is a very common and easy modification. Some owners will also replace the calipers and discs for more powerful and sustained braking performance.

General Car Buying Advice for a DC5 Type R

How to Get a Great Deal on a DC5 Type R

This information applies to both dealers and private sealers. Knowledge is power and it can save you a lot of money when purchasing a vehicle.

  1. Research, research, research – Prior to starting your hunt for a DC5, figure out what specs and condition you are happy with. Is a highly modified Type R okay or are you looking for something completely original? Do you want a low mileage example or are you happy with a car that has travelled far?
  2. Shop around – It is always best to shop around a bit before you make a purchase. Don’t limit yourself to one dealer or platform (or even location). If you open up to more shopping options, it will make it easier to find a good DC5 Type R.
  3. Test drive multiple cars – Don’t just take one DC5 out for a test drive and then buy it. Drive as many Type Rs as you can get your hands on. This will give you a good idea of what makes a good and what makes a bad Integra Type R.
  4. Adjust your attitude – Never rush into a purchase. If you are desperate to buy a car you are more likely to get ripped off. Take your time looking through all the different Type Rs available and then go check out the promising looking ones
  5. Use any issues with the car to your advantage – Take a mental note of any issues you find with the vehicle. When it comes to discussing the price, use these problems to try and drive down the price. For example, if the car needs new tyres or brake pads make a point of it and try to get the seller to reduce the price.
  6. Don’t trust the owner – While some owners/sellers are honest about their cars, many will lie to get a quick sale. Take in what the owner has to say but back it up with a thorough inspection.
  7. Go between sellers/dealers – If you are looking at multiple DC5s, let the owner/seller know. This way they will know that you have other options and they may try to undercut the price.
  8. Be prepared to walk away – If you are not happy with the deal, simply walk away. You may miss out on the car or the seller may get back to you with a better offer.

Mileage vs Condition 

Mileage vs condition is always a hot topic for debate, but we feel that it is always better to buy on condition and then on mileage. There are lots of low mileage, poor condition DC5s out there, so don’t discount a one with a few more K’s.

Lots of owners make the mistake of believing that they are preserving their car by not driving it. In reality, this is completely false and not driving a vehicle can actually do more damage than good. Short distance trips are not kind to the engine in a DC5 Type R as it does not have time to warm up properly and get lubricated.

Rubber seals and plastic parts will fail regardless of mileage and can even deteriorate quicker on cars that don’t get used often. Letting a car sit will not prevent rust or stop the electronics from failing.

Mileage will never decrease with age, so go out and drive your car!   

Service History and Other Documentation

It is incredibly important to check any vehicle’s service history and any additional paperwork that goes along with it. The service history will give you a good idea of how the Type R you are inspecting has been maintained. In addition to this, receipts and paperwork for modifications can help you determine whether they have been done by an experienced tuner or a bad one.

If the owner can’t or won’t let you see the service history, you should probably pass on the vehicle. A complete service history will only add value to any Honda Integra Type R and will make it easier to sell the car in the future.

Additionally, you can check websites such as CarFax (USA) and CarJam (NZ) for more information about the car you are thinking of purchasing. These sort of websites can be incredibly useful, but there is usually a cost associated with them.

Questions That You Should Ask the Seller/Owner 

  • How often do you drive the car?
  • When was the last service and who was it serviced by?
  • How much oil does it use?
  • What oil do you use in the car?
  • What parts have been replaced (engine, catalytic converter, etc.)?
  • When were the coils, spark plugs, leads changed?
  • What’s the compression like?
  • What modifications have been made to the vehicle?
  • Has the vehicle overheated at any point?
  • Has the car been in any major or minor accidents? Is so, what repairs were made?
  • Is there any money owing on the car?
  • Have you got any information on the previous owners and how they treated the vehicle?
  • Is there any rust?
  • Has rust been removed at any point?
  • Has the car been used for track use at any point?
  • When were the brake pads replaced and have the calipers seized at any point in time?
  • Where do you store/park the car usually?

There are loads more questions you can ask the seller, but we feel these are some of the most important.

Things That Would Make Us Walk Away from a DC5 Type R

Here are some things that would make as walk away from a Type R. While you may be happy with a vehicle with these problems, we are not.

  • Overheating problems
  • Significant Crash Damage
  • Money owing on the car
  • Stanced
  • Modifications with no paperwork or carried out by a poorly reviewed tuner
  • Excessive amounts of power
  • Bad compression
  • Bad resprays
  • Significant rust problems
  • Engine swaps with non-standard engines
  • Significant track use
  • Major engine or transmission issues
  • Owner who is not forthcoming with information (could be trying to hide something)

Notes on the Owner 

The owner is one of the most important things to think about when viewing any vehicle. You need to ask them plenty of questions when inspecting their DC5  (however, don’t trust their answers completely). Remember, it is your problem if you wind up buying an absolute lemon. Here are some things to watch out for.

  • How long have they owned the vehicle? If it is less than 6 months it tends to suggest that the car needs major work done to it that they can’t afford. It also could be a sign that they deal cars as well.
  • Do they thrash the car when it is cold or continually launch the vehicle? If so, you are better to walk away.
  • Why are they selling the vehicle? Could be a genuine reason or they may be trying to offload their problem onto an unsuspecting buyer.
  • What sort of area do they live in? Is it a good area or a complete dump?
  • How do they respond when you ask them simple questions?
  • Do they know anything about the DC5 Type R and the model they are selling?
  • What can they tell you about previous owners?
  • Do they have lots of cars on their drive? If they do it may mean they are a dealer.
  • What is their reaction when you ask them about money owing on the car? Tell them you are going to do a check and see how they respond.
  • What is their reaction to you asking for details for HPi check?
  • How do they react if you ask to do a compression test on the vehicle?
  • How do they respond when you ask them to show you the service history and paperwork for the car?

If you get a bad feeling about the owner, you are better off moving onto another DC5.

Where to Find a Type R DC5 for Sale

Auction/Classifieds Websites

Websites such as Craigslist, Kijiji, TradeMe, Piston Heads and GumTree are great places to start your hunt for Integra Type R. You will find a range of DC5s for sale at different prices and in different conditions. You can easily compare the price, specs and condition of different Type Rs and you will be able to select the ones that look the best

Dealers and Importers

Most dealers and importers will have an online presence, so make sure you check out their website for any Honda Integra Type Rs for sale. Dealers tend to be a bit more expensive than private sellers, but sometimes you can get some extras thrown in or better protection.

Social Media

Websites such as Reddit, Facebook and even Instagram can be excellent places to find a DC5 Type R for sale. Check out some of the many enthusiast groups or subreddits and let other users know you are interested in buying a Type R. Additionally, social media groups are often great places to find spare parts or get advice from other owners.

Owners’ Clubs

This sort of ties in with the above, but many owners’ clubs have their own website or they may not even have a website at all. Look to see if there are any Honda clubs in your area as these are often great places to find cars for sale or ask for advice.

Importing a Honda Integra Type R DC5 from Japan 

If you are struggling to find a suitable DC5 in your country, you may want to look at importing one from Japan. Most new DC5 Type Rs were sold in Japan, so it is a great place to find them for sale.

Exporting vehicles from Japan is a big business as it keeps the country’s motor industry moving and older vehicles become more expensive to run. Below we have outlined everything you need to know about importing Honda Integra Type R from Japan.

How to Import a DC5 Type R from Japan

While importing a DC5 from Japan may seem a bit daunting, it is actually quite easy. The first thing we recommend you do is to Google search “import Honda Integra DC5 Type R”. You will be greeted with loads of different websites to choose from. These websites will let you search for Type Rs based on their age, generation, condition, price and more.

Most of the websites/companies you encounter should be based in Japan, but you may find some other ones that are located in different parts of the world.

Make sure you check reviews/feedback of any website or auction house you want to use. While you are unlikely to get completely scammed, many of these websites will be economical with the truth about a vehicle. We have listed a few examples of Japanese importers/exporters below:

JDM Expo – Is an independent subsidiary of Nikko Auto Co., which is recognized as on the most reliable exporters of Japanese cars in the country.

Car From Japan – is another large portal for connecting overseas buyers with Japanese second hand cars.

Japan Partner – Is one of the fastest growing exporters of used Japanese vehicles.

Note: many of these sorts of websites do not provide a grade or auction check sheet. The grade, auction check sheet, and car map are vital to picking a good car. Buyer beware!

Use a Private Importer

While the websites above are handy to give you a general idea of what to expect when importing a DC5, we recommend that you go with a private importer. A trusted private importer will be able to find the perfect Type R for you and import it, saving you the hassle. While it may cost you a bit more (sometimes it is cheaper) you are more likely to get a better vehicle.

You can get a full explanation of why we recommend using a private importer here.

How Does the Japanese Car Grading System Work? 

The auction houses and car exporters in Japan all get their vehicles in roughly the same way. The difference between them is how much support they are willing to provide, how honest they are, and how they grade their vehicles

They will provide what is known as an ‘auction check sheet’ – a document that contains most of what you need to know about the vehicle. As you can’t see the vehicle personally, you will have to rely on the check sheet and other information on the listing to make a decision. If the seller/website is not willing to provide you with an auction check sheet or additional information on the car, don’t proceed any further.

Before you make a purchase you need to learn how to read an auction check sheet. The sheet contains information on the make, model, condition, specifications and any other notes. There will be a grade on the sheet that denotes the overall grade of the vehicle.

While the grade on a check sheet is important, you should not rely on it to make a final decision. Different companies have different methods for grading their vehicles, so a grade 4 for one company may be a grade 3.5 for another.

Some websites may use a different grading system and if you can’t view the auction check sheet, you should contact the seller/exporter.

Use the grade to whittle down the number of DC5 Type Rs you are looking at and then use the check sheet and additionally information to make a decision. We also recommend you pay a third party to check out the car for you.

The Auction Check Sheet 

Below you can see an example of an auction check sheet. The grade is located in the top right corner of the check sheet. You will notice that there is both a letter and a number grade. The number indicates the overall condition of the vehicle, while the letter shows you the interior grade. At the bottom right of the check sheet is the ‘car map’. The car map tells you information about the exterior of a DC5 and where any problems are located.

Additionally, the sheet contains information about the specs of the vehicle and any modifications (major or minor). The inspector may also write some additional notes about the car.

What Does the Number Grade Mean? 
  • Grade 7 to 9 or S– New car with delivery miles.
  • Grade 6– Same as above but with a few more miles.
  • Grade 5– Vehicle is in excellent condition with low miles.
  • Grade 4.5– Overall condition is great, but may have up to 100,000 miles on the clock.
  • Grade 4– Overall condition is good, but can have low or high miles.
  • Grade 3.5– Similar to grade 4, but some work may be needed and they usually have more miles.
  • Grade 3– Can be the same condition as grade 3.5, but with more miles. Alternatively, the car may have lower miles but require more work.
  • Grade 2– Very poor condition car and may have significant mechanical or exterior issues. Not necessarily a right off, but you would have to be a brave buyer to purchase one of these.
  • Grade 1– Is modified in some way (can be extensive or something simple).
  • Grade 0, A, R, RA– Some repair history that can be major or minor.
The Letter Grade

As we wrote earlier, the number grade is usually accompanied by a letter that indicates the interior grade. An ‘A’ indicates that the interior is in exceptional or good condition. A ‘B’ indicates that the car is in average condition, while a ‘C’ displays that it is in poor condition. Grades below C show that the car’s interior is in very poor condition.

The Car Map 

The check sheet will also contain what is called a “car map”, which tells you all the information you need to know about the exterior condition of the car. It will show the location of any problems or damage to the vehicle. Any problems are indicated by a letter and a number. The letter tells you what the issue is and the number indicates the severity. You can read more about the car map in our “How to Import a Car from Japan” guide.

Our Guidelines for Importing a DC5 Type R from Japan 

  • Always demand to see and have the auction check sheet before making a purchase
  • If you can’t read Japanese or the company won’t provide a translated check sheet, get help from somebody who speaks/reads Japanese.
  • Try to go through a private importer
  • Check that the chassis number on the check sheet matches the one on the frame
  • Cross reference the check sheet with other websites
  • Don’t rely on the grade (always check the auction sheet thoroughly)
  • Investigate each website/service thoroughly (reviews, feedback, etc.)
  • Be careful of heavily modified vehicles
  • Get someone to inspect the car for you if possible. Ask for photos and get a good run down of the condition.
  • Avoid cars with unknown mileages
  • Stay away from bargains that seem to be too good to be true
  • Stay away from grade 0, A, RA, R vehicles that have been involved in accidents

Know Your Country’s Importation Laws 

Always make sure you check your country’s importation laws as you may find you can’t bring the vehicle you want in. For example, some countries have certain restrictions on importing cars under a certain age.

Wrapping Up This DC5 Type R Buyer’s Guide 

This buying guide should give you all the information you need to know to make a purchase. We will continue to update this article with more information and make sure you check out the useful links section below.

Useful Links – great website with lots of helpful owners. Much of the information in this guide has been sourced from here.

ozhonda.comanother great forum style website with helpful owners one of the best websites/forums dedicated to DC5 Integra models.


  • Ben

    From his early days playing the original Gran Turismo and with his Hot Wheels car set, Ben has had a long interest in all things automotive. His first foray into the world of automotive journalism was way back in 2009 and since then he has only grown more interested in the industry. Ben also runs and heads up the video production side of Garage Dreams, focusing on small informative documentaries about some of the world's most legendary cars.

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