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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!  
Castrol SRF Racing Brake Fluid
$115.00
$119.95
Qty
  • Exceptionally high dry boiling point of 590ºF (Wet 518ºF)
  • Superior anti-vapor lock properties
  • Safe for all non-mineral oil-based disc and drum brake systems
  • Exclusive European formula!
  • Exceeds SAE 1703, ISO 4925, JIS K2233, FMVSS No. 116 DOT3 and DOT 4

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Castrol SRF Racing Brake Fluid is an ultra high performance product formulated specifically to satisfy the ever increasing stresses placed upon the braking systems used in international motorsport. The exceptional performance of Castrol SRF is due to a novel silicon ester technology pioneered by Castrol and unique to the extent that it has been granted patent-protection in numerous countries throughout the world.

Castrol SRF evolved as a direct result of Castrol's ongoing Research and Development program for brake fluids which identified this silicon ester technology as providing considerable performance benefits when compared with conventional glycol ether borate ester fluids.

Following exhaustive laboratory tests at Castrol's International Technology Centre in the UK, the final formulation for Castrol SRF was subjected to an extensive road-test programme on the Gross Glockner and Stelvio passes high in the Austrian and Italian Alps. It then underwent an independent track test program conducted by a famous Formula One racing team. Their assessment was that "Castrol SRF is the best racing brake fluid we have ever used."

Subsequently, Castrol SRF was offered to top flight racing and rally teams throughout the world including most of the Formula One teams, the all-conquering Jaguar and Mercedes -Benz sports car teams and the Audi, Nissan and Toyota rally teams. Enthusiastic recommendation by these experts soon created an immense interest in Castrol SRF throughout the whole spectrum of national and international motorsport. Today, Castrol SRF is regarded by the international motorsport community as being without equal and it is chosen not only by factory-supported teams but by private competitors throughout the world.

All conventional brake fluids used in cars and motor cycles are hygroscopic, that is, they absorb water from their surroundings. Strange though it may seem, the flexible hoses incorporated in braking systems are permeable to water and in time enough, water can find its way into the system via the hoses, and seriously affect the brake fluid's performance. This water reduces the boiling point of the fluid (ie, it lowers the temperature at which gas bubbles begin to form). When these bubbles form, they turn a virtually incompressible liquid into a mixture of gas and liquid which can be compressed quite considerably, thus severely reducing the efficiency of the brakes. In this situation, a driver finds that the brakes feel spongy. Brake-pedal travel will increase and it may be necessary to 'pump' the pedal to get the brakes to function effectively. However, when the brake fluid reaches a temperature at which the water in the fluid causes gas to be produced, which is equal to the volume swept by the piston in the rake master-cylinder, vapor-lock occurs and the brakes become inoperative. When this happens, the first indication the driver has that something is wrong is when he applies the brakes. The pedal goes down to the floor and the car carries on at undiminished - and possibly fatal speed.

The silicon ester technology in Castrol SRF addresses this problem in two ways. Firstly, Castrol SRF is less hygroscopic than conventional brake fluids - it absorbs less water in a given time. Secondly, unlike conventional glycol ether fluids, Castrol SRF reacts chemically with the absorbed water to reduce its adverse effects, thus preventing the fluid's high temperature performance and safety margins from deteriorating as rapidly as they would otherwise do.

Castrol SRF exceeds the US Federal Standards FMVSS 116 DOT 3 and DOT 4, ISO 4925, JIS K2233 and current SAE J1703 and is miscible with all conventional brake fluids conforming to these standards. However, mixing Castrol SRF and conventional brake fluids will reduce the benefits of Castrol SRF. It is strongly recommended that conventional brake fluid be drained from the system before flushing and re-filling with Castrol SRF.

The wet boiling point of Castrol SRF, 270 C, is vastly superior to the minimum requirement of 155 C demanded by the current US DOT 4 specification. The product's typical dry boiling point of 310 C is likewise outstanding. This ability to withstand temperatures in excess of 300 C, and its superior resistance to the effects of absorbed water, have established Castrol SRF as the world's premier fluid for the hydraulic brakes used in all forms of motorsport.

NOTE: DO NOT MIX CASTROL SRF WITH OTHER BRAKE FLUID


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