December 15, 2007

The Fit Finally Met Its Match

Well, the winning streak is over. Today, after swallowing countless items we did not think would go into the car, we finally encountered something that didn't fit.

My wife and I have a furniture and space design company, so we haul large and odd shape items quite often. This is part of the reason why we chose to purchase the Fit. And truthfully, the car has surpassed our expectations many times in terms of cargo capacity. From full set of dining room chairs, large bar height tables and 4 bar stools, long curtain rods, bookshelves, office chairs, even my mother's luggage while seating 4. And believe me, anyone who knows her knows that is a feat in itself.

Finally today, for the first time, we were unsuccessful in carrying a furniture piece. The item was this Galant left-hand corner table top from Ikea. 160cm x 120cm with a few more cms on each side for the packaging materials. When I saw the package at the full serve counter, I had my doubts that it was going to fit. My wife thought otherwise. And so far, she has been right everytime. So we pushed the cart to our car and decided to give it a go.

If we could only get it inside, it would have worked just fine. The problem was that we were just unable to get the item into the cavernous cargo area. A few more inches either in the back or through the rear doors and we would have made it. We even took it out of the package thinking we can angle it into the Fit, but it still didn't work. We briefly considered putting it on the roof, but we didn't have anything to tie it down properly. So we pushed the cart back to the delivery counter and gave them the address for out client's townhome. Oh well. It was bound to happen sooner or later. But I'm certain this car will continue to surprise me, as well as the many furniture warehouse workers who raise their eyebrows in doubt when they see us pulling up to the loading bay in out Fit.

November 14, 2007

2nd Oil and Filter Change (11215km)

First oil change was done at the dealership because I had a free one with the purchase of the car. But for the second and future oil changes, I am going to my regular mechanic/friend. I had my second oil and filter changed today with genuine Honda oil filter and the recommended 5W20 weight motor oil. As soon as my mechanic started to remove the old oil filter and it started creaking, he knew the dealership service guys did not put oil on the filter before threading it in. Just more reason why I'd rather bring my car to someone I know and trust. They also checked my air filter, antifreeze strength, and adjusted my tire pressure for the now colder temperatures. I was a little late on this oil change because my parents were visiting, and since we only have one vehicle in the family, I waited until they left.

And of course, I forgot to reset the oil life reminder in the dash until just now. So when I go out later, I will reset it. For those who don't want to dig out the owner's manual from storage, or the bottom of the drawer, the procedure for resetting the service reminder on your Honda Fit can be found here.

November 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Fitty!

Fitty? It just seemed more personal than just calling it the Fit. Especially for such an occasion. I don't really name my cars... actually, that's not entirely true. I called my Mustang "Bob", and my Mazda "K.I.T.T." due to all the gadgets and the digital dash, but do not use the names on a regular basis.

Anyways, where were we? Oh yes. I had to renew my car insurance yesterday, so that means I've now officially had the Fit for a year. During this time, I have been very happy with it. It's a great in-town hopper, can swallow a lot of cargo, and has been worry-free (just gas-and-go). Sometimes I miss having a more powerful engine (which is any other car I had to pick from at the time), but as you can see from the last post, it's already enough power to get me into trouble.

I also had a look at the odometer, and it's reading just over 10,500km. So time to stop by Honda and pick up a new oil filter and do an oil change again. It's treated me nice. So it's only fair I keep up my end of the deal.

September 28, 2007

Speeding Ticket? In a Fit?!

I have not had a single entry in my driving record for over 6 or 7 years, but today the streak was ended.

I had crossed the Peach Arch Crossing into Blaine, WA in the morning, on my way down to visit a friend from high school and her new daughter in Renton for a couple of days. I planned to stop by a mail receiving company on the way down as I had ordered some motorcycle gear online in the US, and took advantage of their free shipping within the US offer. However, because I got to the border so early trying to avoid the lineup, The depot wasn't opened yet. So I drove down further and had some breakfast before coming back on the local surface street to pick up my items.

There was a school zone on the street, and so I slowed and follow a couple of cars along the street before they turned off a side street to stop and drop off their kids. As soon as they turned off, I saw the cruiser parked in the school's driveway at the end. I had already slowed down, and was following two other cars through most of the school zone. But I checked my speed anyways. Unfortunately for me, it took me a while to figure out my actual speed because my car's main dial is in KM/H, and the much smaller, and indigo-on-blue MPH markings were difficult to read in the morning light. Sure enough, as I was passing the pullout at the end of the school, the cruiser had put its lights on and was pulling out behind me.

When asked why I was speeding, I tried to explain that it was difficult for me to read the numbers on the gauge. The officer took a look and said that he could read it perfectly even from outside of the car. I don't think he understood I was talking about the MPH markings, but I'm not gonna argue at that point, and I'm not going to bother saying I had followed the two other vehicles (local, Washington plates) through most of the school zone already. He took my license and registration, and came back with a VERY HEFTY fine for speeding in a school zone.

Oh well. I suppose I was speeding, so I'll get a US Dollar bank draft and pay the ticket. But when I mentioned the fine to my friend in Renton, he said it was quite excessive. But since the officer knows very well I'm not likely to get a court date and wait at the border just to get my fine reduced in court, he probably tacked on the maximum fine. So, all the money saved buying my gear in the US versus locally, has gone out the window (and then some).

I'd like to think I'm a safe driver. And my driving record shows it. I wonder if the officer had access to my driving record in BC, and saw my clean record, maybe he would have cut me some slack?

September 14, 2007

JDM Passenger Sun Visor Installed

Before picking my wife up at work today, I stopped in my mechanic's garage to say hi. He was not too busy at the time, so we walked around the complex to A&J Racing and I picked up a JDM passenger sun visor, while he inquired about the LED daylights for his own vehicle.

The difference between the stock North American one and the JDM visor is that the JDM one has a flip up mirror on the underside of the visor, as well as two pockets in the front for business cards and/or parking passes, etc. The mirror is a big plus as the wife can now fix her makeup easily. The lack of this mirror was a big pet peeve I had about the Fit from the beginning.

Installation of this item is a cinch. There are two exposed torx screws holding the sun visor in place. Remove these two screws and reinstall the new visor in its place. Easy as that. My wife used it as soon as I picked her up from work that day as we were heading straight to a friend's birthday dinner downtown, so it's definitely worth it.

August 25, 2007

It's Official, I'm a Licensed Rider

Well, It's official. I'm now a fully licensed rider in British Columbia. Thanks again to all the wonderful people at Pacific Riding School, and my family and friends for sending me there. I passed with only a single mark on the sheet for keeping my signal on too long once, and was told by the examiner that I was a very safe rider. That's really all that I was after.

Now I'm hooked and legally allowed to dive into yet another potentially expensive hobby. It's time to start playing the lotto.

August 17, 2007

My Lame Excuse for Not Updating

Wow, I haven't updated this blog for a while. The reason is, I have not spent any time online looking on Fit related information.

Remember back in my New Years post, I had mentioned that my family and friends were sending me to motorcycle riding school as my Christmas present. Well, I got my Learners in January, but since then, had not done much more about it. Anyways, I finally called up the school and booked myself in July.

I was picking between BCSC and Pacific for schools, mainly due to their proximity. Both had good reputations, but when I finally decided to book my class, BCSC had lost their use of Boundary Bay Airport, and wasn't sure where their lot sessions were going to be held yet. So I went with Pacific. After going through their course, I would highly recommend them. They didn't really teach you how to ride a bike, but how to think when you ride a bike. I had so much fun all the way through the course.

Anyways, Since I completed the course, all I've been looking at online are motorcycle related things. what type of bike, what kind of gear, etc.. I've already went to a few local shops trying out all brands and models of helmets trying to figure out which one fit my head, and sat on a few bikes and read up on what's best for a beginner. So far, I've narrowed my choices down to either a 2003+ Suzuki SV650, or a 2006+ Kawasaki Ninja 650R. I also know that aside from the expensive Shoei helmets, the HJCs fit me best.

Now comes the tough part, picking designs/colours. Motorcycling is all about looking good, let's be honest. If you don't want to be seen, you'd sit inside a car; it's much safer. So now that I know which helmet, I need to pick a design, then the rest of the gear like jacket, gloves, etc as well. It all has to be somewhat neutral in colour since I don't know what colour bike I will get yet, and don't want to have to buy new gear to match each new bike. But the gear still has to look good. Tough huh?

Anyways, my motorcycle road test is next Friday, and it will have been almost a month since I've been on a bike (I don't already have a bike to practice on, unlike some of my classmates), so I'm a bit nervous. We'll see.

And oh, I sold my old Mazda Today.

June 30, 2007

Taillamp Post Updated

I've fixed the broken picture links on my previous post Fit Taillamp Options. I've collaged the pictures and put them on my own webspace so that they are clean, easy to understand, and hopefully won't disappear again. Also added are a few more taillamp variations which I have later found.

Also added here are some other taillamps that have been customized by their owners, and are not readily available for sale:

Tinted OEM Taillamps:

These OEM bulb-style taillamps have been tinted by their owners. The left one has just the center clear portion tinted, and the right has the entire lamp tinted. I was actually considering doing the left version as well, as it would look similar to my sister's Euro-spec GTI taillamps on her MkIV Golf.

Mercedes Style Taillamps:

These taillamps were done by the Japanese tuner "Noblesse" for one of their project cars. They put a red strip across the center of the clear section on an OEM bulb-type taillamp to emulate the Mercedes-Benz taillamps. The goal I assume is to complement the VIP look of the car by making it appear more like a MB.

Custom JDM LED Ring Taillamp:

This again was customized by Noblesse of Japan for their project car. They bypassed three LEDs in the cluster and made the taillamp light up as a ring. Interesting concept. Would be cool if they could have wired it so that the ring acts as the taillamp and the centers lit up bright along with all others for brake lamps; Kind of Skyline-ish.

Honda Extreme Concept:

This car was done by Honda for the 2006 SEMA show. At first glance it just looks like the clear version of the JDM LED taillamps. However, look closer and you'll see that it is actually unique. The reflector sections were left alone while the rest of the inner housing has been darkened, similar to the OEM smoked clear or OEM bulb type LED smoked clear taillamps.

May 29, 2007

Resetting The Oil Life Reminder

As I mentioned in my first maintenance post, the dealer had forgot to reset the oil life reminder in the dash. So I finally remembered when I got in the car today and reset the reminder myself. The procedure is actually in your owners manual, but here's the quick and dirty of what you need to do:

  • Press the trip meter select/reset pin until you the oil life reminder is displayed

  • Press and hold the select/reset pin down for approximately 10 seconds until the oil life reminder is blinking

  • Press and hold the select/reset pin down for another 5 seconds or so until the oil life reminder is reset to 100%

And that's it. It's that easy. This will be good news for people who change their own oil, or does not wait until the reminder tells them to before changing the oil and filter.

May 26, 2007

Animated Fit GIFs

I found a fun site called GifNinja where it will convert a 4 second WMV video file into a animated GIF right there on the website. So I decided to make a few quick animated GIFs for the Fit from the Honda quicky ads I had posted earlier.

I also made one from an edit of the Ferocious Dominator ad where the Fit swallows an SUV. GifNinja can also make animated GIFs from your pictures. Have fun.

May 25, 2007

First Maintenance Appointment (5487km)

I have finally reached 5000km on my Fit, after nearly 7 months of ownership. I called to setup a service appointment with my dealer via my salesperson because he had a parking light bulb he had ordered previously for me, and I wanted to replace the burnt out one the same time I did my first service to make things easier for me. He was able to fit me in the next afternoon.

Aside from the first oil change, which was free at my dealership, I also had them perform the SRS (airbag) software update as I had received the recall letter in the mail. And besides replacing the burnt out driver side parking light in the front (apparently a $10 bulb, but covered under warranty for the first year), I had them check for a rattle I've been experiencing under the car. Unfortunately, the service techs could not hear the rattle on their test drive. They did however tighten up my exhaust heat shield as another tech who owns a Fit had experienced a rattle from that area. Unfortunately, that wasn't the source of my rattle, as I can still hear it coming from underneath the car. I'm guessing a loose skid plate under the gas tank possibly.

One thing was that the dealer forgot to reset the service reminder in the dash. But the owners manual does tell you how to reset it yourself. Now I've just got to remember to do it next time I get in the car. Not that it really matters though, I plan to be changing my oil around every 5000km anyway.

May 18, 2007

Lucky Limo Downtown

I went into downtown yesterday and parked on the street. I fed my meter and went into the building across the street. When I came out, I saw this limo parked behind me. I thought it was pretty funny, so I snapped a picture with my phone.

Look how small the fit is compared to the limo. And boy did the limo driver luck out. Normally he would have had to feed two meters to park on the street I'm sure. Funny thing is, we both still got a bit of space left over in front and behind our cars. I left my car there while I had lunch nearby, and when I came back, the limo was still there. I guess the next car to park in my spot would have to be another small car.

May 16, 2007

Cargo Cover Installed

The lack of a standard cargo cover on the Honda Fit was something that annoyed me from the beginning, as I believe this should be a standard item on any hatchbacks. Now thanks to fellow Fitfreak member George02, I was able to pick up his cargo cover for my Fit without paying the ridiculous price ($236.16CAD) the dealers wanted for the piece. I've now got it installed in my car, and I already feel much better about having to leave items in the car while parked, even if it's just my jacket.

I'm using a stock photo of the hatch cover for now since I let my relatives borrow the digital cam on their trip to the Canadian Rockies. Really though, it just looks like that. So I might not bother updating the photo with my own. This is definitely a worth while item to buy. To avoid dealer prices, I recommend looking for a used one, or even a replica one. They will look and function almost exactly the same as OEM. Look on ebay, or at Zeta Products.

April 19, 2007

Prototype Glovebox Light

One of the things that annoy me about the Fit is the lack of a glove-box light. Trying to find something in there at night is like sticking your hand into a raffle box; never knowing what you'll grab out of there, and hoping you got what you really wanted.

There's been a few different lights installed into the glove-box of the Fit, and many other cars that didn't come from the factory with them. Most requires at least basic knowledge of electrical wiring to install. I have no problems with wiring up lights in a car, but I wanted to see if I can find a solution that's easy enough for anyone to install in almost any car.

So far, the setup in this teaser picture I've installed in my Fit is looking very promising. Extremely simple install without wiring. And unlike some previous glove-box lights posted, turns on when the lid is open, and off when closed.

I will keep you updated on the progress of this item.

April 18, 2007

How To Be A Street Racer

I saw this on a forum I visit, and it's probably one of the better ones I've seen. Enjoy.

How to Be a Street Racer

General Life Guide - 'Import Car'

So, you’ve watched 'The Fast and the Furious' eight times, and you live by Dominic’s famous words, "I live my life a quarter-mile at a time, in those ten seconds or less I am free," you are a bonafide street racer. If you’re fat please don’t confuse this life motto with, "I live my life a quarter-pounder at a time, no lettuce or tomato and french fries for free," you’re just a bonafide fat ****.

Anyways, before you go blowing your cash on a fixed-up Honda, Nissan, or Acura, take a look in your own garage first. If you own any type of imported vehicle, you can be a street racer! You don’t need a fast car; all you need is some stickers, sweet driving skills and a little imagination.

Driving Techniques

First, let’s discuss how to properly drive your imported vehicle. Even if your import has a stock engine, you can’t let anybody else know this. Although people rarely know the difference, a little mystery will help your image. Driving your vehicle properly is imperative. Think of the street cred points you would lose if you drove just like every other Average Joe? Here are some driving tips that are sure to get you the reputation you deserve:

* ALWAYS drive fast, even if the next stoplight is only 500 feet away.

* Try to secure the front spot when waiting at a stoplight. Make sure your front end is all up in the pedestrian crosswalk to let everyone know who is boss.

* If you cannot secure the front spot, be sure to stop behind a car that has a higher probability of driving fast. For example: If you are faced with the decision of either stopping behind a Dodge Caravan or a Ford Focus, choose the Focus even if you are almost at a stop already. Cutting people off makes them realize how fast and powerful your car is.

* When driving in traffic: One word. Weave. Always try to get in front of people who are blocking your way to VTEC happiness. If someone refuses to heed to your Japanese balls of steel, drive about one foot behind them. This is international car talk for "Please move your vehicle when possible". If somebody honks at you, it is not because you are driving recklessly; it is simply horns of applause at your aggressive, talented driving.

* When you see a Mustang GT or SRT-4 on the freeway, casually pass them and put on your hazards on, signifying your win. Immediately go home and post on your favorite internet car forum that you raped a Mustang on the freeway. Then masturbate to the thought of your 4-cylinder naturally aspirated monster destroying an eight cylinder with low HP per liter, realizing that at sexual release, only the feeling of going into VTEC is better than jizzing in your hand. Don’t forget to wipe it up with your sock!

Car Image

The image of your car is important to you as a street racer. Without it, you are nothing. Image is MUCH more important than what is actually under the hood. Here are some simple steps that enhance your bragging Horse Power (numbers you don’t need to worry about, just know it makes your car fast in Honda land):

Step 1 - Lower your car: all street racers have lowered cars, without it, you might as well be driving a Yugo.
+ 5 Horse Power

Step 2 - Body kit - Be sure to have a body kit on your import.If you can’t afford one, make it out of cardboard. If you can, don’t worry about painting it, this is not important to your street racing image.
+ 10 Horse Power

[Extra Horse Power if your car has a primered body kit with a painted car and you leave it like that for 6 months or more. + 2 extra Horse Power]

Step 3 - Carbon-Fiber anything: Carbon-Fiber makes your car lighter and faster.
+ 5 Horse Power

Step 4 - Spoiler: The bigger, uglier, more obnoxious the better. A well-placed spoiler SCREAMS "Street Racer".
+ 7 Horse Power

Step 5 - If you are a girl: be sure to show your Honda power with a pink, flowery sticker that says "Powered By [Your name here]" or better yet, "Powered By Bitch."
+ 2 Horse Power

[Again, + 2 Horse Power more if the sticker color does not match your car at all]

Step 6 - Muffler tip: Don’t waste your time doing your entire exhaust system. No street racer knows the difference anyways. Just go to your local muffler shop and pick up a 3 inch muffler tip. Sound is perhaps the most important aspect of your import.
+ 10 Horse Power

FYI: Don’t have time/can’t afford a muffler tip? That’s OK! Just get a drill and put a golf-sized hole in your muffler. Works just as well! + 4 Horse Power

Step 7 - Stickers: Stickers on your car enhance and add the much-desired Horse Power. They can be from anywhere, your local muffler shop, body shop, or the sticker from your favorite radio station.
+ 1 Horse Power for every sticker.

Step 8 - Car Color: If you are Mexican, make sure some kind of neon color makes it onto your import. No need for professional paint, spray paint will do.
+ 10 Horse Power

Step 9 - Your Nationality: Being short and Asian with spiky black hair gives you even more street cred…if you are ready to handle the attention, bleach the tips of your hair and bust out your Linkin Park/Jay-Z "Collision Course" CD
+ 10 Horse Power

Step 10 - Tagging your Acura as a Honda: There is no greater sign of greatness in the import world. If you live in the U.S., tagging your Acura as a Honda gives you the BIGGEST penis on the block! You see, in Japan, Acuras are Hondas.
+ a billion Horse Power

Pre-Racing/ Getting someone to race you:

Step 1 - Get in behind them and flash your brights, this is international car talk for "Would you like to eat my dust?"

Step 2 - When coming to a stoplight, intimidate your opponent by revving and rolling down your window to shout mild racing obscenities such as:
* "Your mom goes to college!"
* "Where did you get that spoiler?! The toilet store?!"
* "I slept with your girlfriend last night!"
* "I put my wiener in your sister’s mouth last night!"


Honk 3 times, and on the 3rd honk, place the pedal to the metal.

Winning/ Losing

Whether you win or lose, let your opponent know who they’re dealing with:

If you win, get in front of them and flash your hazards. This is international car talk for "Oh snap, I kicked your ass, you stupid bitch."

If you lose, drive off with your head held high and don’t let them see you cry. Talk shit about them to your friends saying it doesn’t matter and their car was a piece of shit anyways, and if you had a better launch you would have won.

Final Thoughts on the Street Racing Life

To finalize your life as a street racer, you must dabble in all aspects of street racing life. For example, you could visit the online Honda Forums daily or stop watching porn and look at live streaming videos of real Japanese Nissan Skylines,those down-and-dirty Toyota Supras or God’s own chariot the Integra Type-R. Whatever it is, remember to always live life a quarter mile at a time.

Bonus videos:

Ricer Song - Vol 2

The Classic: Anti-Rice Compilation

April 16, 2007

ATTN Autoplan Brokers!! 2010 Winter Games Plate Wanted!!

The 2010 Winter Games plates went on sale today. I think they look really nice, and wouldn't mind having one on my Fit. So to all ICBC Autoplan brokers reading this, I am interested in a 2010 Winter Games plate with the numeral combination "561". Preference will be given to plates with interesting/funny/good luck/meaningful/etc. alpha combination, as well as proximity to Richmond, BC.

If you have a 2010 Plate with "561", please contact me with the whole plate combination, and keep them coming. I will remove this post when I have finally decided on a plate, and contact the autoplan broker who has my desired plate.

Please note, I am NOT willing to pay anything on top of the standard ICBC license plate fees. So if you're trying to make extra money, please do not contact me.

Please pass this on to all your Autoplan broker friends for me. It will increase my chances. Thanks

April 15, 2007

Back from Caribbeans

Well, it's been a while since I updated I know. I just came back from a cruise in the Caribbeans where I swam with dolphins and snorkeled with sea turtles and other tropical fish. It was fun, but now I'm flat broke. So any larger purchases for the Fit might have to wait a while.

Before I left though, I did pick up a set of JDM style window visors from a good friend of mine. So I will install those probably fairly soon. In the meantime, I might start looking into some other "cheaper" mods such as disconnecting the A/C from defog mode, and maybe some interior lighting options. I might also break down and buy a cargo cover as well because I really hate that I can't leave things covered in my car when I park.

February 27, 2007

Fit/Jazz TV Commercials

Just thought I'd compile some Honda Fit/Jazz commercials from around the world here for all to see.

Full Length Ads:

The Tetris Ad

Jazz Lounge


Boutique Hotel


Amazing Possibilities

Award Winning

Make the Move

Bellhop/Porter Ad with Penelope Cruz

Animated: Relax

Animated: New Tricks

Animated: Bus Lane

Claymation (Extended Length)

Ferocious Dominator

Quicky Ads:

Speed Demon

Silver Bullet

Nocturnal Flyer

Frisky Predator

Appetite for Cargo

February 02, 2007

Random Picture of the Day

So I was grabbing a quick lunch at A&W today, and after picking up my food and bringing it to the table, I looked out at my car and noticed a seagull had just landed on my roof.

It just hung around like it was home, walking a bit back and forth. I was debating whether to run out and try to shoo the rat with wings away from my car, but I decided that it looked kinda funny and was worth a photo. I then hit the panic on my alarm to try to scare it away... nothing. It just kept walking like nothing is happening.

The seagull eventually got off my roof, without making a deposit.

January 25, 2007

Back from the Bodyshop, but... (also, Alarm Installed)

Well, the bodyshop called yesterday letting me know the car is ready for pickup. Very fast turnaround. However, I didn't get the message until just before they closed when the owner called again. So I told him thanks and I'll pick it up first thing in the morning.

Anyways, it was a nice, sunny morning, and when I drove up to the lot, my car was parked there. It looked good. Colour-match was fantastic, and the crease in the rear bumper was absolutely smooth! They also painted my passenger side mirror to fix the scratch at no extra charge, and did a great job there too. But wait a minute, what's that on the passenger side door?

There's a ding right at the crease of the front passenger side door, looks like it was caused by a door being opened into it. In fact, this damage is worse than the slight rear bumper damage I took my car in to get repaired for. That really bites. I'm just can't have things perfect with this car for some reason. Within the first two weeks I had a puncture in my brand new tire, then the Christmas-Eve rear ender, now the ding in the door. It is very frustrating.

The body shop owner said he's try to get the pull-a-dent guys to try and fix it, but we both kind of doubt it would work since it's right in the crease of the bodyline. Plus the ding is bad enough the door would have to be repainted. So I'm going to wait on the bodyshop to see if they will take care of it. I know it's not exactly his fault, but it certainly wasn't mine, since the wasn't even in my possession. The fact that he offered to help was nice. We'll see what happens with this.

I also took advantage of the bodyshop's proximity to a car audio shop my friend works at and got an alarm installed at the same time. I had worked it out with both shops so that once the rear bumper was off, the car was taken to the car audio shop for the alarm installed, then once that's done and the rear bumper was fixed and painted, it went back to the bodyshop and got the rear bumper put back on. Less downtime for me this way. I like aftermarket alarm system for the fact that thieves don't automatically know where the go to disable it like a factory alarm. Plus now my LX has keyless entry!

January 22, 2007

Taillamp Combination Rewired

For reasons unknown to me, the North American spec Fit have their turn signal on the inside of the taillamp, and the reverse lamps on the outside. I don't know why this bugs me so much, but it does. So I finally got around to reversing the two lights around last night.

Let me just say that unless this really irritates you, don't bother with it. It's probably more hassle than it's worth. I had originally thought it would be a simple case of switching the bulb holders over. Unfortunately, that turns out not to be the case, as the tabs on the bulb holders, and the corresponding cutouts on the back of the taillamp, were different between the turn signal and reverse lamps.

So then just swap the bulbs between the clear and the amber and switch the connectors in the back right? Wrong. the connectors for the turn signal and reverse lamp bulb holders are different, and not compatible with each other. And also, the clear reverse bulb (7440) and the turn signal bulb (7440A) are actually slightly different with the glass tabs on the clear 7440 bulb being slightly bigger. This prevents the 7440 (reverse) bulb from going into the 7440A (turn signal) bulb holder.

Ok, now we're getting creative. What if I swapped the pins in the harnesses so that the turn signal wires are going to the reverse lamp bulb holder, and vice versa. Well, that didn't work either since the pins are actually different for each harness, and they won't seat properly in each other's harness (staying loose, able to move back and forth within the harness). Plus, even if that worked, the bulbs still can't swap easily as mentioned above.

So, what would work? Well, I see three ways of doing this.

Method 1. Go behind the driver side rear taillamp rear cover, and you should see a 10-pin harness. That's the floor wire harness from the car to the rest of the taillamps. Disconnect the harness, open it up, and swap a few wires around. Namely the left turn signal wire (green/red) with the left reverse lamp wire (green/black), and the right turn signal wire (green/yellow) with the right reverse lamp wire (green/black). Grounds don't matter since all of these bulbs go to ground themselves. Do this only on one side of the harness. Swapping pins here works because it's all from one connector harness, so the pins are the same. Now, take the turn signal (7440A) bulb holder, remove the connector pins inside, and file down the plastic ridge on both the top and bottom that is causing the 7440 bulb not to slide in. (you'll see which ridge is the problem when you try to put the bulb in).

This method is fairly clean, but the harness is rather difficult to work on unless you remove the entire interior trim panel and remove a few retaining clips. Even then, the removal of the pins might give many a lot of trouble if they're not used to working with such things. Also, the turn signals are a thicker gauge wire than the reverse lamps. They should both be drawing the same current, but because the turn signal turns on and off constantly, the thicker gauge is preferred. By swapping the pins at the 10-pin harness, the rest of the circuit for the turn signals wll be running at the thinner gauge wires. It shouldn't cause any problems, but it's just something to keep in mind.

Method 2. Cut the wires at the bulb holder harnesses and swap harnesses between the turn signal and reverse lamp wires. Then, you'll have to take the 7440A bulb holder, remove the metal connector pins inside, and file down the plastic ridges on the top and bottom that is preventing the 7440 bulb from going in all the way. This is the method I choose as it was easiest for me to work on. I didn't want to remove the entire inside panel in the back to loosen the 10-pin harness mentioned in method 1. And also of note is that with method 1, some wires may still need to be extended to reach their new location (namely the driver side reverse lamp)

Also note, if there is a remote possibility of you swapping out your taillamp for any other types; JDM LED, Altezza, 3D, anything, Do not do this mod with method 1 or method 2, or else you'll have to swap the connectors back again when you change taillamps.

Method 3. (recommended) This is the method I would recommend, provided all the wires will reach without extending (please double check, especially driver side reverse lamp). However, this method might cost you money. Go to Honda parts and order the bulb holders for the reverse bulb (p/n 33515-SJD-003 USD$5.47 retail) and the turn signal bulb (p/n 33514-SAA-003, USD$6.47 retail). These come in pairs. After you get them, use a file to reshape and/or remove tabs so they they will fit in their new locations. Try not to completely remove more than one tab or else the bulb holder may not sit in the taillamp securely. This is probably the cleanest and easiest method for those who would rather not work with the electrical system, and easily reversible (just replace modified bulb holders with stock ones), and keeps the connectors proper for future taillamp upgrades (JDM LED, etc).

Alternately, you can just file down your stock bulb holders to fit. Technically it will probably still be reversible since your tabs are now smaller if anything. But they might not be as secure as before.

As I mentioned before in my blog, patience is not one of my virtues. Since I had already started the project last night (Sunday), and even took the pins out of the bulb connectors, I decided to finish the job then instead of waiting 'til the next chance te dealers open and I can go buy some bulb holders. Well, that plus on my car it really looked like I'd have to extend wires on the driver side anyway. So I employed method #2. Everything is done cleanly, but hey, it's always better if you don't have to cut wires, and is totally reversible easily and without a trace, like in method #3. Oh well. It works. And now my turn signal and reverse lamps are in their "proper" places. So I'm happy.

January 18, 2007

Independent Fog Light Operation

There had been a thread on regarding getting the fog lamps to work independently. I had followed it since I'm a bit of a light freak, but had not posted in the thread since I didn't have fog lights on my LX trim Fit.

From the factory, the Fog lamps will only work when the low beams are on. If they're not on, the fogs can't be turned on. And if you switch to high beam, the fogs will cut out. This is the mandatory way for fog lights to operate in some States for some silly reason. So Honda made it work this way for all North American spec Fit. This is however silly in my opinion. If there is indeed heavy fog, you don't want to have to run low beams. You want your light source as low as possible so you don't get the light shining too high and end up hitting the fog and glaring back at the driver. You're not suppose to drive fast in heavy fog anyway, so fogs and parking/taillamps will do. And when high beams are on, it leaves a bit of unlit space directly in front of the car, and fog lights would help fill that void nicely. This is why European spec cars are wired so fogs can be turn on with just parking/tail lamps, and do not cut out with high beams.

Well, after I got my Helm Service Manual, I tried to help out my fellow Fit owners by looking through the diagrams and trying to figure out a way to make the fogs work independently of the low beams. And fellow member Leonine took my suggestion and tested it on his vehicle with success, finally ending the 9 page saga on this issue on FitFreak. Anyways, here are the instructions:

1. Ground the fog light relay
Grounding the fog relay is easy. Go to the fog relay (bottom-right relay in the underdash relay/fuse panel), and cut the red/white wire. Then take the wire coming from the relay side, and connect that to ground. Finally, tape off the other end of the wire you cut.

2. Powering the fog light switch
Remove the top steering column cover and disconnect the 16-pin harness from the headlight switch. Look for the red/yellow wire and cut it. Then, connect a long piece of wire to the end coming from the harness, and run that wire down to the underdash fusebox. Once there, connect the wire to a spare fuse slot that is ignition switched. Then plug your 16-pin harness back into the headlight switch. And your fog light circuit is now completely independent from the rest of the lighting circuit, and should operate whenever you have your ignition on.

2a. Alternate location for powering the fog light switch
The above method will let you turn on your fog lights ANYTIME the ignition is on without having any other lights being on. If you want your fog lights to operate more light Euro-spec cars, with the fog being able to turn on only if the parking lights/taillights are on at least, then instead of using the #24 slot for power, tap into the #22 fuse, which is the one that powers the dash lights, front parking lights, gauge lights, license plate lights, and taillights. (Note: This method makes the circuit identical to the online manual for E-spec Fit, but no one on FitFreak has confirmed its operation)

And here's the link to the post I made in the FitFreak thread on this topic. Scroll down a few posts from my instructions and you'll find Leonine's pictured instructions on how to complete part #2 of my instructions (just don't forget to do part #1 as well), as well as pictures of the results; One of which I borrowed and posted here on my blog. Thanks Leonine for being my tester!

January 05, 2007

Got my Helm Service Manual

Today I went to UPS to pick up my Helm Service Manual my sister had ordered for me for Christmas. *thanks* It's just fantastic. It's the official service manual used by Honda to service all North American spec 2007 Honda Fit. I couldn't wait to get it open once I got home, and right away flipped to the lighting diagrams. I can't help it. I'm the resident lighting freak amounst my friends and a couple of previous car forums. I basically changed and/or rewired every single light on my previous project Audi, and helped a friend design the circuits for a custom bi-xenon projector lamp headlight for his Prelude complete with hidden LED turn signals and optic rods for parking lights.

So as I was looking through some of the diagrams, I remembered some of the lighting threads on I had been looking at. So I went back to the threads and added some of my new insights from the manual, hoping to be of help to my fellow Fit enthusiasts. This manual is proving to be a big help already, as I already have ideas in mind for more lighting mods for my Fit. Stay tuned...

January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy new year everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday break. Aside from a small incident with my Fit, I had a great time. Tons of food, and a wonderful gift from my family and friends.

Alright, the Fit first. I was on my way to my sister's apartment for Christmas Eve dinner with my wife. While at a redlight, a mid 90's Jaguar hit me from behind. I wasn't sure if he couldn't quite stop intime, or was already stopped behind me, and just let go of the brake for a second. I'm inclined to believe the latter since the impact wasn't severe and I didn't hear any hard braking behind me. Anyways, once I showed him there was in fact damage on my bumper, we pulled over and exchanged information. Originally he said he'd pay for the repairs himself. At the time we both thought it was just paint damage. However, the next morning, when I got a better look at the rear bumper in the light and dry weather, I noticed the dent was more severe than I had expected, and there was actually a crease in the bumper.

After talking with my good friend Christmas night during dinner, he sugggested I report it to insurance anyway. He would still have the option of paying the insurance company on his own to avoid his rates from going up. So I reported it next morning. I felt it was better this way because then it will be a third-party assessing the damages. I don't want him to feel like I'm taking advantage of him by claiming extra damage we wouldn't see at the scene at night, in the rain. So I called him and let him know I had reported it. My appointment with the insurance adjuster is tomorrow morning. We'll see what they say.

And for Christmas, my family and friends pooled their money together to give me a pretty incredible gift... They're sending me to motorcycle riding school! I've wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle for a very long time. I'm the type of guy who chose to learn to drive on a manual transmission car, and want to know how to operate a motorcycle just so that whatever place or situation I'm in, I can always drive, or ride any vehicle that are available to me. Some places on vacation are better explored on two wheels, while other places won't be able to rent you an automatic vehicle at all. And since my family and friends know my desire, they figured it was safer for me to learn to ride properly, through a certified motorcycle riding school. I am so happy about this gift, and I know this wasn't cheap either. I'm getting ready to contact a couple of schools that are closer to my residence for their 2007 schedules, and to start studying for my class 6 learners license.