Recent Blog Posts

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!  
Motul 4100 Turbolight 10W-40 - 1 Litre
Technosynthese® lubricant specially designed for powerful and recent cars, powered by large
displacement Gasoline and Diesel engines, naturally aspirated or turbocharged, indirect or direct
injection, carburettor or injection, with or without catalytic converter.
Suitable for all type of fuels: leaded or unleaded Gasoline, Ethanol, LPG, Diesel and biofuels.
Compatible for catalytic converters.

  • ACEA A3 / B4
  • MB-Approval 229.3
  •  RENAULT RN0700
  •  VW 501 01 / 505 00
  • PSA B71 2300
The ACEA B4 performance requires an outstanding detergent/dispersant power and a better viscosity
increase resistance due to soot produced by Direct Injection Diesel engines (except VAG (VW, Audi,
Skoda and Seat) unit injector pump engines that require MOTUL SPECIFIC 505 01 502 00 5W-40).

The standard API SN is more stringent than API SM in terms of ageing resistance (average drain
interval increased), requires anti-oxidation properties that maintain a constant viscosity avoiding sludge
and deposits in the crankcase, anti-wear properties and dispersant power, and fuel economy benefits.

The MB 229.3 standard is more stringent than the 229.1 in terms of aging resistance (extended drain
interval: on board computer) and Fuel Economy performance: 1.2% Fuel Economy improvement
compare to a 15W-40 oil reference. The MB 229.3 standard applies for most of MERCEDES Gasoline
engines and the majority of MERCEDES Diesel engines without DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter).
RENAULT has developed RN0700 standard for oils able to provide a high thermal stability and insure
an outstanding resistance at high temperatures.
In general, RN0700 standard applies for all Naturally Aspirated Gasoline engines (except Renault
Sport) of RENAULT Group (RENAULT, DACIA and SAMSUNG). The RN0700 standard applies also to
all RENAULT vehicles fitted with Diesel engine 1.5 dCi without DPF < 100 HP with oil drain interval of
20 000 km or 1 year. Before use, always refer to the owner manual or handbook of the vehicle.

PSA for its B71 2300 norm requires oil to be able to endure the most severe thermal constrains in
order to lubricate some of their Gasoline engines and some Diesel engines without DPF.

The reinforced synthetic base stock provides very high lubricating power which reduces frictions,
decreases the volatility and ensures resistance to very high temperatures reached in modern engines.
The viscosity grade SAE 10W-40 is fully suitable for recent Gasoline and Diesel engines.
Anti-oxidation, Anti-wear, Anti-corrosion, Anti-foam properties

rain interval: according to manufacturers’ recommendations and tune to your own use. Can be mixed with synthetic or mineral oils. Before use or if in doubt, always refer to the owner manual or handbook of the vehicle.

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