3.5L J35A/J35Z/J35Y Engine - In-Depth Look at Design and Reliability (2024)

3.5L J35A/J35Z/J35Y Engine - In-Depth Look at Design and Reliability (1)

The J35 is a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine that was first introduced in the 1998 Honda Odyssey. This new 3.5L six-cylinder J35A was based on a 3.2-liter version of the J-series engine family - J32A. In subsequent years, the engine was used on several large and heavy Honda's sedans, SUVs, pickups, including Acura cars. Over the years, the J35 has gone through many updates, and the current J35Y version moved significantly ahead forward compared to its predecessor in terms of fuel efficiency, power, and emissions.

The J35A engine stayed in production for almost fourteen years (1998-2012). Like the J32A, this engine has a compact aluminum cylinder block with a 60-degree angle between cylinder banks. The deck height is 235 mm. The bore size and pistons remained the same, but a new forged crankshaft provides a longer 93 mm stroke. This stroked J32 also has 158.5 mm long, lightweight connecting rods. On top, there are aluminum cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder and a single overhead camshaft. Camshafts are driven by a timing belt. The valve train is equipped with Honda's VTEC system. Valves are pushed by roller rocker arms (there are no hydraulic tappets). The J35A1 features 34 mm intake valves and 29 mm exhaust valves. The J35A1 intake system includes an aluminum 1-stage intake manifold and 55 mm throttle body. This engine also had a 9.4:1 compression ratio.

In 2000, the manufacturer introduced a slightly improved version of the J35A1 - the J35A3 engine for the Acura MDX. It features a 10:1 CR, 2-stage intake manifold, a new engine control unite, and settings for the VTEC engagement. This engine was laid in the base of the J35A5, produced from 2002 to 2006. Like the previous engine, this power unit was installed in the MDX. It had a new cylinder block with cast iron sleeves, a new 2-stage intake manifold, an electronic throttle body, a better exhaust system, tuned camshaft. The VTEC engagement was moved to 4,400 pm. The next J35A8 engine (2005-2008) for Acura models had a compression ratio of 11:1, oil jets for cooling pistons, and new connecting rods. There are modified heads with 36 mm intake valves, optimized intake ports, and hollow camshafts inside. The J35A8 got a new 2-stage intake manifold activated at 4,000 rpm, fitted with a cold intake.

In 2001, the J35A1 went through a significant upgrade. The new engine, marked as J35A4, has a revised intake system (64 mm throttle valve, a new intake manifold), redesigned exhaust system, and an improved VTEC system. The cylinder head was equipped with larger valves; the diameter of the intake valve is 35 mm, of exhaust - 30 mm. The fuel system uses 240 cc injectors. The engine efficiency also was improved by a 10:1 compression ratio. In 2005, the J35A4 was already replaced by the J35A6 (an electronic throttle body and new exhaust). The J35A9 is basically identical to the J35A6 and has some adaptation needed for the Honda Pilot AWD and Honda Ridgeline applications. There is one more version based on J35A6 - it is a J35A7 engine. This 3.5L V6 engine was equipped with Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) - 3-cylinder override system, which saves fuel by using the VTEC system to disable one cylinder bank.

The J35Z series was used in 2006-2014 Honda and Acura models. The J35Z1 replaced the J35A9. The J35Z2 with a 10.5:1 compression ratio and Honda's VCM system was a continuation of the J35A5. In 2008, the J35A8 was discontinued and replaced by the J35Z6. This engine had an 11.2:1 compression, pistons oil jets, a 64 mm throttle body, and a new 2-stage intake manifold actuated after 3,900 rpm. The VTEC system joins the game at 4,750 rpm. The J35Z3 was offered in the Honda Accord Coupe V6 6MT and produced 280 hp with 254 lb-ft (344 Nm) of torque.

The latest J35 series is the current 3.5L Earth Dreams J35Y engine family. The first J35Y1 engine was launched in the 2013 Honda Accord. The J35Y1 features a traditional VTEC on the intake valves plus Honda's VCM system on the rear (based on location in the engine bay) cylinder bank under low and moderate load. The cylinder head got a reshaped intake and exhaust ports. VTEC kicks after 5,150 rpm. The new power unit replaced the J35Z2/J35Z3 and remained in production until 2017. The J35Y2 differs from Y1 in a 10:1 compression and VTEC without VCM. It also was offered for the Honda Accord, but with a manual gearbox only. Nowadays, Honda uses a range of variations of the J35Y4, which was first introduced in 2014 Honda Legend/Acura RLX. This engine is equipped with a direct fuel injection system, high compression ratio (11.5:1), and VTEC with Variable Cylinder Management (AT models).

Engine Specs


Honda Motor Company

Production years


Cylinder block material


Fuel type


Fuel system

Multi-point fuel injection;
Direct injection



Number of cylinders


Valves per cylinder


Valvetrain layout


Bore, mm

89.0 mm (3.50 in)

Stroke, mm

93.0 mm (3.66 in)

Displacement, cc

3,471 cc (211.8 cu in)

Type of internal combustion engine

Four-stroke, naturally aspirated

Compression Ratio


Power, hp

210-310 hp (157-231 kW)/ 5,400-6,200

Torque, lb ft

229-275 lb-ft (310-369 Nm)/ 3,500-5,300

Engine weight

550 lbs (250 kg)

Firing order


Engine oil weight

SAE 5W-30, 5W-40 (J35A);
SAE 5W-20, 5W-30 (J35Z) ;
SAE 5W-20 (J35Y)

Engine oil capacity, liter

4.7 l (5.0 qt) - before 2003;
4.3 l (4.5 qt) - 2003-2013;
5.4 l (5.7 qt) - 2013+

Oil change interval, mile

6,000 (10,000 km)/12 months


Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, Honda Inspire, Honda Ridgeline, Acura CL, Acura MDX, Acura RL, Acura TL, Acura TLX, Acura TSX, Acura RLX, Saturn Vue

Honda 3.5 J35 Engine Problems and Reliability

The J35 V6 engine series equipped with a VCM system can unpleasantly surprise owners with an oil leak. This VCM unit is located near an oil dipstick hole and above an alternator. While driving, oil constantly drains through bad VCM gaskets and falls on the alternator causing significant damages to the engine and its electronic systems. The low oil level here leads very quickly to the camshaft cams wear. Fixing that leakage is very easy; just replacing the old gaskets with the new kit.

So many Honda engines suffer from rapid camshafts wear. The J35 is not an exception. The reason number one is the lack of maintenance. For J35 engines, it is required to adjust valves after every 30,000 miles. Also, don't forget to change oil and keep the level high. Keep an eye on the condition of the timing belt. It stands up rarely more than 50-60k miles. The pistons will bend the valves when the timing belt breaks.

These are all common problems that can be mentioned about Honda's 3.5l V6 engines. In real life, the J35's life is close to 200,000 miles (more than 300,000 km).


J35A1 - 210 hp (157 kW), 229 lb-ft (310 Nm) - Honda Odyssey engine.
J35A3 - 248 hp (185 kW) at 5,800 rpm, 242 lb-ft (328 Nm) at 4,500 rpm. Application: Acura MDX.
J35A4 - 240 hp (179 kW) at 5,400 rpm, 242 lb-ft (328 Nm) at 4,500 rpm, 10.0:1 compression ratio. Application: Honda Pilot and Honda Odyssey.
J35A5 - 265 hp (198 kW) at 5,800 rpm, 250 lb-ft (339 Nm) at 3,500 rpm. This is an Acura MDX engine.
J35A6 - 255 hp (190 kW) at 5,600 rpm, 250 lb-ft (339 Nm) at 4,500 rpm. This is the next engine for the Honda Pilot and Honda Odyssey.
J35A7 - 244 hp (181 kW) at 5,600 rpm, 241 lb-ft (325 Nm) at 4,500 rpm. It came with Variable Cylinder Management. Application: Honda Odyssey, Honda Inspire.
J35A8 - 286 hp (213 kW) at 6,200 rpm, 256 lb-ft (347 Nm) at 5,000 rpm. Application: Acura RL, Acura TL Type-S. The J35A8 was on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2005, 2008 and 2009.
J35A9 - 247 hp (184 kW) at 5,750 rpm, 245 lb-ft (332 Nm) at 3,500 rpm. Application: Honda Pilot 4WD, Honda Ridgeline.
J35Z1 - 244 hp (182 kW) at 5,750 rpm, 240 lb-ft (325 Nm) at 4,500 rpm. Application: Honda Pilot 4WD.
J35Z2 - 268/273 hp (200/204 kW) at 6,200 rpm, 254/251 lb-ft (344/340 Nm) at 5,000 rpm. Application: Honda Accord with AT and Acura RDX.
J35Z3 - 268 hp (200 kW) at 6,200 rpm, 254 lb-ft (344 Nm) at 5,000 rpm. The engine was offered only for the Honda Accord with 6-speed manual transmission.
J35Z4 - 250 hp (186 kW) at 5,700 rpm, 253 lb-ft (343 Nm) at 4,800 rpm - Honda Pilot engine.
J35Z5 - 250 hp (186 kW) at 5,700 rpm, 247 lb-ft (335 Nm) at 4,300 rpm, 10:1 CR. Application: Honda Ridgeline.
J35Z6 - 280 hp (209 kW) at 6,200 rpm, 254 lb-ft (344 Nm) at 5,000 rpm, 11.2:1 compression. Application: Acura TSX V-6, Acura TL.
J35Z8 - 244 hp (182 kW) at 5,700 rpm, 250 lb-ft (339 Nm) at 4,800 rpm, 10.5:1 CR. Application: Honda Odyssey.
J35Y1 - 278 hp (207 kW) at 6,200 rpm, 252 lb-ft (342 Nm) at 4,900 rpm. You can find this engine in the Honda Accord V6 with automatic transmition.
J35Y2 - 278 hp (207 kW) at 6,200 rpm, 251 lb-ft (340 Nm) at 5,300 rpm. This engine is used in the Honda Accord 6MT V6.
J35Y4 - 310 hp (231 kW) at 6,500 rpm, 272 lb-ft (369 Nm) at 4,500 rpm. This is a direct injection version with 11.5:1 compression ratio. Application: Acura RLX or Honda Legend.
J35Y5 - 290 hp (216 kW) at 6,200 rpm, 267 lb-ft (362 Nm) at 4,500 rpm, direct injection. Application: Acura MDX.
J35Y6 - 280 hp (209 kW) at 6,000 rpm, 262 lb-ft (355 Nm) at 4,700 rpm, direct injection. Application: Honda Pilot, Ridgeline, and Odyssey.

← More Honda Engines

3.5L J35A/J35Z/J35Y Engine - In-Depth Look at Design and Reliability (2024)


What is the most reliable Honda engine? ›

The Honda K20 and K24 are some of the most reliable engines ever built. They come in vehicles from 2000 to around 2015, like the Civic, Acord, Acura, and more. The K20 (i-VTEC) is an inline 4-cylinder, 2L engine making - depending on other components - making 150-221 HP/131-151 lb-ft.

Why are Honda engines so reliable? ›

One of the primary reasons behind the reliability of Honda engines is their design. Honda engines are designed with precision to ensure maximum efficiency, durability, and performance. They feature lightweight components and a fuel-efficient design, which enhances their performance and longevity.

What are Honda engine blocks made of? ›

Honda uses aluminum-alloy castings for major components such as the cylinder block, cylinder head and transmission cases.

Why do Honda cars last so long? ›

Honda's powertrains, like the famous VTEC engines, have become a cornerstone of the brand's reliability. These engines, known for their reliability, can typically last between 200,000 to 300,000 miles when properly maintained.

Which Honda engines have oil dilution problems? ›

The Hondas that we've seen being the most affected by oil dilution problems are the 2017-2018 Honda Civics and the 2016-2018 Honda CRVs. This is for our shop in particular, though we have seen people talking about this oil dilution issue with that same year of Honda Accords.

What is the difference between Honda C Series and J Series? ›

The J-series is a 60° V6 unlike Honda's existing 90° C-series engines. Also unlike the C series, the J-series was specifically and only designed for transverse mounting. It has a shorter bore spacing (98 mm (3.86 in)), shorter connecting rods and a special smaller crankshaft than the C-series to reduce its size.

What is the most reliable Honda car ever made? ›

What are the most reliable Honda cars?
  • Honda Civic.
  • Honda CR-V.
  • Honda HR-V.
  • Honda Odyssey.
Jan 24, 2024

Which is better Honda or Toyota engine? ›

While both Honda and Toyota engines epitomize reliability, Toyota holds a slight edge in durability, necessitating fewer repairs over time. Despite Honda's reputation for robust performance, Toyota engines demonstrate superior resilience, solidifying their position as stalwart powerhouses.

How long are Honda engines good for? ›

Honda cars are one of the most reliable car brands on the market. The typical lifespan of a Honda car is about 200,000 miles. However, many Honda models are known to outlast this expectation with proper maintenance.

What material is BMW block? ›

Blocks of metal, predominantly aluminum or alternatively magnesium, are cast, processed and machined at the southern German plant to produce BMW engine parts.

What would cause a cracked engine block? ›

Overheating: Excessive engine heat can weaken the block, leading to cracks. Poor Maintenance: Neglecting coolant changes or engine maintenance can accelerate block deterioration. Engine Stress: High-performance or older engines may be more prone to cracking.

How do I know if my engine block is bad? ›

Contents hide
  1. 2.1. White Smoke (Steam) From the Exhaust Pipe.
  2. 2.2. Coolant or Oil Leaks.
  3. 2.3. Engine Overheating.
  4. 2.4. Rough Running and Misfiring.
  5. 2.5. Combustion Gases In the Cooling System.
  6. 2.6. Coolant-Oil Intermix.
  7. 2.7. Illuminated Warning Lights.
Feb 6, 2024

What is high mileage for a Honda? ›

A used Honda can run well with high mileage because they are built to last. Honda's average lifespan is 200,000 miles and over.

How long do Honda transmissions last? ›

The lifespan of a transmission can vary widely; some may last over 100,000 miles, while others could surpass 200,000 miles. Routine maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of your Honda transmission. Regular checks and services help prevent major issues and ensure your vehicle remains in optimal condition.

Which Honda has the best longevity? ›

Reliability Ratings and Consumer Reviews. The Civic is frequently praised for its reliability, earning high marks from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. It's loved for its low maintenance costs, fuel efficiency, and longevity. Many owners report driving their Civics for over 200,000 miles with few issues.

Is the Honda k24 engine reliable? ›

Beyond that, the K24 has repeatedly shown it can last at least 200,000 miles with regular maintenance, but no engine is entirely devoid of its weak points.

Which engine is better, Toyota or Honda? ›

While both Honda and Toyota engines epitomize reliability, Toyota holds a slight edge in durability, necessitating fewer repairs over time. Despite Honda's reputation for robust performance, Toyota engines demonstrate superior resilience, solidifying their position as stalwart powerhouses.

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