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2014 Honda Odyssey Automatic Rear Tailgate Kit

by autosphere on 16 Nov 2017
Last week I installed an automatic open/close boot strut kit in our 2014 Honda Odyssey and have learnt a number of things along the way that I thought I'd share in a detailed review.   The kit came from the supplier and was listed as the latest revision with an improved soft close function.  However it was missing installation instructions (!).  I had to work with the supplier for step by step instructions as the existing instructions that they had were either for the previous generation kit or not for an Odyssey and this took a bit of time. Contents of the kit   Once the instructions were sorted out, the install was fairly straight forward.  The trickiest parts of the install was feeding the wiring through the cabin, through the waterproof tube in the boot and down in to the rear boot.   Mid-install wiring mayhem First impressions: The automatic boot open/close function is super convenient!  I've always found the boot required a bit of effort to close in one go and often had to close it in two bites (once with the interior handle and then a second time pressing on the exterior of the boot to close it).  The wife also loves the extra functionality for the same reason and the hands off approach to opening/closing the boot is now something we'll be looking for in a future vehicle we purchase.      There are 5 ways to open (and close) the boot: Click on the unlock button on the remote 3 times. Use the normal unlock button. Use the supplied button next to the open/close sliding door buttons. Use the close boot button in the rear handle (only works for closing the boot). Use the foot sensor.   Other thoughts: The foot sensor doesn't work when I wear slippers however works fine when wearing sneakers. The feature that prevents the boot from closing when something physically interrupts the closing sequence requires a bit of resistance before it cancels the close.  But it works. The kit allows you to set the boot height.  Great for shorter people! The wiring is designed for a left hand drive version of the Honda Odyssey, which is sold in China so I had to extend 7 wires. The boot struts emit a high pitched hum when open which is a bit annoying when you're installing the struts but not noticeable in real life situations outside.  The manufacturer says that this hum is normal and is quieter than other products out in the market.   Overall, the negative points that I raise are a minor inconvenience that is outweighed by the awesome new auto open/close feature.  The family loves the convenience of opening and closing the boot without having physically move or lift a hand and would recommend it for anyone who owns an Odyssey.  Its definitely something that Honda forgot to include when they released the car but this kit will address that issue!

The importance of regular oil changes

by autosphere on 07 Feb 2014
  A couple of months ago, I purchased a car with an unknown service history from the auctions as we needed a cheap car to runaround in.  Upon initial inspection of the dipstick, there was no oil registering so I decided to drain out whatever was left in the sump and to fill it up with oil before starting her up to see if the motor was in a working condition. Whilst I was opening up the oil fill cap, I discovered what infrequent servicing and neglect looks like: The black, solid looking substance which is clinging to the oil cap and top of the fill hole to the motor is oil sludge.   This shot of the head of the motor shows the extent of how much sludge has infiltrated the crevasses of the motor.   Its obvious that the previous owner has neglected to service the car and that the oil that was previously in there has become contaminated with engine metals, acids and air humidity, transforming it into sludge.  This oily sludge is solid and hard to clean, which in turn can clog up vital passageways in your engine if not removed. So, remember to change your oil frequently, sticking to the factory service recommendations at a minimum otherwise you run the risk of sludging up your motor and damaging it!  

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