December 29, 2008

Fit Vs. Snowstorm 08 = Fail

Time sure flies. It is now the 3rd Winter I've had my little Fit. The last couple of winters, the car wasn't great in the white stuff, but it handled it ok, even with the factory all-season 175 width Dunlop SP31 tires.

This year, unfortunately, the Fit was defeated. A number of factor contributed to this defeat. One, I am now running on wider 195 width tires since the upgrade to the Civic SIR wheels. Second, the tires that came with those wheels are worn out Bridgestone Potenza RE92s in the rear, which are summer only tires that are terrible even in the wet. These were actually in the front before my last service, at which time I moved them to the rear and rotated the also crappy Kumho Powermax, (yeah, they don't even make this anymore) tires with slightly better threads, and a just for show M+S rating on the sidewall.

Third, Vancouver is currently 2cm shy of resetting it's own December snowfall record. 88cm have already fallen this month, and the record is 89.7cm set in 1964. The whole Metro Vancouver area is not used to this kind of snow, and thus do not budget much for snow removal. This compounded with my crappy tires made the Fit a fun little sled, and nothing more; You need to push it to get it moving, then when it does, it doesn't have much control. Of course parking on the street and having to crawl over a snowbank just to get out doesn't help either. I'm just glad I was too lazy to get the Progress Rear Anti-Sway Bar installed before the snowstorms.

... I miss my Audi.

December 05, 2008

Oil Change #6 (30985km)

Just looking back at my previous maintenance posts, and noticed that January 31, when I had my recall done, I was at 14,480km. Today, I just had my 30,000km oil change done. So I'm did a bit over 15,000km in 10 months or so.

Anyway, I noticed right away when I picked up those Civic SIR wheels that one of the rears was a bit off balance at above 110km/h. So I had all 4 tires checked for balance while I had the car in for the oil change. Sure enough, one of the rear was out of balance and fixed. Living across from a construction site sucks 'cause apparently there was another nail in my tire. but this time it was not near the sidewall so it should seal with the plug. We also rotated the tires front and back just because the rear Khumos were at least all-seasons, while the front front Bridgestones were not.

Also took the opportunity to put on polished closed factory lug nuts and wheel locks on the wheels in place of the open ended ones that came with my original stock steelies. Thanks to "Doc" for letting me borrow them off his car since they won't work with his custom polished Volk TE-37's anyways. *jealous*

Otherwise, just your standard oil and filter change every 5000km. Oil still looked pretty clean when it came out, but that's a good thing.

November 18, 2008

Funny Craigslist Ad for Hubcaps

Everyone knows about Craigslist by now, and I browse my local list for deals from time to time, and have also sold a few things there. But there are always some people who have strange ideas regarding the value of their items. This is a good example of one. If this is really what the market value is on Honda Fit Hubcaps, I'm offering to trade mine mint set (taken off day one) for a 3G iPhone!

Hubcaps- Honda Fit - $200 (New Westminster)
Reply to: [removed to protect the ignorant] [?]
Date: 2008-11-11, 8:40PM PST

Four 2007 Honda Fit hubcaps. One in perfect condition; the other 3 have usual wear-and tear scuffs. Located in Queensborough. $200 for all.

* Location: New Westminster
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 915627638

October 05, 2008

JDM Replica LED Taillights Installed

I remember some guy saying that he was not going to modify his Honda Fit, that it was just a commuter... I wonder where that guy went.

Early on in this blog I had posted various taillamp options available for the Honda Fit/Jazz. Well, a good deal came up that I couldn't pass up. So I ended up with a used set of N1 Concept JDM replica smoked/red LED taillamps.

The fitment wasn't great. The previous owner had already cut off an alignment tab on one taillamp, and I had to cut off the one on the other side also for a better fit on my car. Aside from the fit, the LEDs themselves are not what I'd consider "Better" than stock. The LEDs are actually pretty bright, and do react much faster than incandescent bulb. However, the LEDs on the N1 Concept taillamps have a VERY narrow viewing angle. Meaning if you're viewing these taillamps slightly off-axis, they become very dim very quickly. This can become a safety issue if someone is merging into your lane behind you and do not see your brakes light up due to the viewing angle.

Looks wise though, I rather like them. I think the smoked/red is a nice contrast on the Canadian only Alabaster Silver Metallic colour, and it's definitely less "bug eyed" looking than the OEM ones. Maybe later on I will buy a set of the same smoked/red replica taillamps made by Depo, which are supposedly DOT approved. That should mean the LEDs will have a much wider viewing angle that's closer to the OEM lamps. And maybe I'll get black housing headlamps to match the look up front... Who was it again that said he wasn't going to modify his Fit?

Installation Guide:

I've read posts saying that you don't need to take off the rear bumper to take off and reinstall the taillights on the Honda Fit if you have a long enough screwdriver. But after doing the install myself, I think it's actually a lot easier taking the bumper off than trying to use a long, and preferably magnetized screwdriver, and then having to work the taillights in/out on an angle while not scratching the surrounding paint. So I suggest you simply take your rear bumper off, which only involves 6 fasteners. Taking the bumper off and putting it back on were the fastest parts of the install. Trust me.

1. Take off the rear bumper: As I mentioned, there are six fasteners in total for the rear bumper cover. Two phillips head screws, one in each of the rear wheel well near where the rear bumper cover meets the rear quarter panel. Two plastic quick clips on the buttom on the bumper. Just slide a flat head screwdriver into the center where there's a slot, and pull the center part out to release the clips. then, two more hex head screws on the bottom of either side of the hatch opening. You'll see them easily after opening the hatch. After all six fasteners are removed. Start pulling the bumper cover from the wheel well, away from the car. This will release the clips on the sides. Then, preferably with the help of someone, pull the bumper straight back from the car to release the clips across the top of the bumper cover.

2. Unplug taillamps: Open the rear cover panels behind the taillamps in the hatch and unplug each lamp at their sockets. There are 4 in total.

3. Remove nuts from back of taillamp: There are three nuts per side holding the taillamp to the body. Find them and remove them.

4. Unbolt the L-brackets at the bottom of the taillamps: Go back outside of the car, take a socket and remove the nuts holding the L-brackets to the car. Do this last so there's still something holding the taillamps in place while you remove the inside mounting nuts. Hold the taillamp while you remove the last nut, then pull the taillamp straight back to remove from vehicle.

(This is where you'll see why it's better to take the bumper off. The taillamps are held to the L-bracket by the phillips screw which some will tell you you can get to without removing the bumper. That's true. but where the screw goes into the taillight actually is lower than where the bumper sits. So to remove the taillamps without removing the rear bumper, you'd have to angle the top of the taillamp out first. However, the taillamps are also held in at this point by the alignment posts behind, which goes straight back from the taillamps to the body, preventing you from easily tilting the top out first.)

5. Remount the L-bracket to new taillamps: Another phillips screw on the bracket. Remove it, and reinstall with bracket to new taillamp.

6. Remount turn signal and reverse lamp sockets to new taillamps: Take the turn signal socket from the OEM taillamps and move them to the upper hole of the new taillamps. Take the reverse socket and move it to the new taillamps. The reverse socket will not fit properly. You will need to modify either the socket (cut off tabs) or the hole in the new taillamp (cut slots longer to fit. Preferred method so socket is still fully reusable in OEM taillamps) for the socket to fit. This is normal, and not a defect. North American taillamps use a different reverse socket then others.

7. Mount new taillamps to car: Reverse as before. Slide the taillamps in, fasten to car by lower L-bracket, but don't fully tighten yet, then go back inside and secure the three mounting nuts. Once the three nuts inside are secure, then go back out and tighten the lower L-bracket.

8. Extending wires: Now, you may or may not need to extend some taillamp wires in order for the plugs to reach their new socket locations. Most likely you will need to. I'm not going to tell you how to extend the wires because if you don't know how, then you should get someone else to do it for you.

9. Test the taillamps: Plug the taillamps back into the sockets. You'll have one plug left over. don't worry about it. check functions of tail, brake, turn signal, and reverse lamp to ensure proper functions.

10. Put the bumper back on: Reverse of removal. line up the clips, the push bumper cover straight in towards the car. then push in the side clips, and attach all 6 fasteners removed earlier. And you're done.

See, what did you spend more time on? 6 easily accessible fasteners for the bumper cover? or trying to remove the six nuts behind the taillamps and scratching up your hand in the tiny cutout space? And if you had to extend wires, I'm sure that took longer than either. Sure, a long screwdriver might be able to remove that hidden phillips screw easy enough, but trying to put it back in while aligning the little hole in the tiny space you can hardly see, and balancing the screw on the top of your screwdriver, would be extremely difficult.

September 24, 2008

Black Rims

I saw this post on Revscene, a large local import enthusiast site in Vancouver. I was laughing so hard that I had to share. But since only registered members can view the threads, I'll repost it here. Members of can see the original thread here.

Title: Black Rims
mooki7777777> how much are black 17'' rims

Alphamale> They cost a lot of money.


orange7> need better descriptions..

woozzle> black rims are no more than $10 black spray paint cans from wal mart

minix3> Take the hubcaps off and it will be black.

xfactor78> wow this kid must be like 10

dodingman> just wait for santa

"DA"token Black> I'll sell you black rims for $400 16"x7"/4x100. PM me if your interested.

sirensong> How much would a 4 door car cost? *ROFL*

!SG> *palm forehead*
black rims generally dont cost any more than regular finish rims, its only special finishes like black chrome, "brilliant" finishes, pin stripping, color matching, chroming, which cost more.

10adrien10> i got 17" black menzari's put on my lancer i got a good deal, over a G for the average person

Catspider1> Hmm good black paint might cost you 20$, then again might want to clearcoat, another 10$, and lets not forget stickers, they are extra, i think.

jurson> i just had a wtf moment there...



tiff08> hahahaha anyting in paticylar you are lookin for?

BabyblooLexus> L M A O Hillarious Posts!!!!!!!!!!!

September 01, 2008

Civic SiR Rims on the Fit

I mentioned in my last post that the tire with the plug wasn't holding pressure anymore. We tried to replug it, but it was a lost cause. I put on my spare, and researched my immediate options since I have to drive on the highway for part of my work commute.

My mechanic had given me a price on a set of 17" Motegi SP10s (nice look and 16.5lbs ea.) with tires for a decent enough price, but it was still a good chunk of change that I wasn't sure I was ready to spend on the car. A local member was actually selling his set of stock 175/65/14 Dunlop SP31 tires, but I only really needed one, and didn't need three extras.

I had also posted a WTB (want-to-buy) ad at a local import enthusiast site for 4x100 OEM rims with tires, and had a couple of replies within two days. One of which was a set of EM1 Civic SiR (Si in the US) polished 7-spoke wheels with tires. I had seen some photos of these wheels on a Fit, and thought they actually went well with the car. So I decided to pick them up yesterday.

They're not mint, but that's ok. This is a daily driver, not a show car. Plus I don't have to worry as much about curbing them. The important part is, they've got tires on them that'll last me a little while, and I can get off the 80km/h max temporary spare. I paid less than 1/2 of what the 17" Motegi's with tires will cost, plus it will keep my car more low key.

The only thing is, with the polished rims in place, the fender gap is a lot more noticeable. This wasn't an issue when they were just gaping black holes with the steelies. I might have to start looking into lowering springs.

... and so it begins... again...

August 25, 2008

Oil Change #5 (25250km)

Yup, another 5000km has come and gone. Another oil change completed.

I have been noticing that the tire with the plug in it has not been holding pressure well. It was punctured within one week of ownership, and it's held up so far. But lately, It seems to be loosing pressure rather quickly. My mechanic tried to replug it and torched the plug to melt around the tire to see if it will hold. I will keep a close eye on that tire.

July 31, 2008

Fit with Sunroof

This car was parked in front of my building. A Canadian Fit with a sunroof!

I had heard of a local dealer offering this as a dealer installed option. So this could be one of them. Also, has a thread where someone installed an aftermarket sunroof in their Fit here.

The one installed on that particular Fit is from Webasto Hollandia. They also make a number of different types of sunroof, including twin vent single sunroof, and a large panoramic moonroof that expands almost the entire length of the Fit's roof. Now that I think would be pretty cool to have.

I remember back in my Audi days when I had my entire interior reupholstered, the shop I went to also did sunroof installations. It might be worth looking into for some people.

June 21, 2008

RDX Cargo Light With Switch

This is something that can come in handy. Maybe you're parked having a picnic and want some music from your car, or maybe you're just carrying a long cargo (yes, even too long for the Fit) and need the hatch to remain at least partially open for the drive. The ability to switch off the cargo area light would come in quite handy.

Well, guess what, thanks to local Vancouverite and fellow member Mugen_Dom, we now know that the cargo light from the new Acura RDX, as well as the 2007+ MDX, is a direct plug-and-play replacement for the Fit.

This cargo light comes with a built-in switch that enable you to turn off the cargo area light completely. The light pictured on the top is the Fit cargo light, and bottom is the RDX light with the switch.

Installation is very straight forward. Use a flathead screwdriver and pry the existing unit off the car; You'll see where you should insert the screwdriver blade. Unplug the light module, and replace with RDX module, then put the new light back in the car. Part number for the RDX light is 34265-SFE-003, and the list price is US$12.30.

Photo by Robert Gold

June 06, 2008

Another Oil and Filter Change Already? (20496m)

Another oil change already? Guess the 85km/day commute three times a week I do now is adding up faster. Still not too bad though. Considering the car is a year and a half old and I've only done 20,000km.

Just the standard affair with the proper weight oil and Honda oil filter. But this time while the car was up, I started to notice more wear on the front tires than the rear. So I asked my mechanic to rotate my tires while it was up there. No charge! Try that at a dealer!

Also took out the air filter element and checked it. Wasn't as bad as I had expected, considering all the construction that's going on around my house. So I just borrowed the air hose at the shop and blew the filter clean of debris and loose dust. Will check it again next time to see if it needs replacement.

May 18, 2008

DRL Saved My Life?

Most of my friends know, and I made it pretty clear in my instructions here on how to disable the DRL in the Honda Fit, that I do not like the North American application of DRLs (Daytime Running Lamps). One of the first things I do when I get a new car is disable the DRL system. However, the DRL on another car may have just saved my, and some fellow drivers' lives tonight.

I had just merged onto the highway after a late dinner, and was about to move to the inside lane. The highway has concrete dividers separating the 4 lanes of traffic; two in each direction. After checking my surroundings, I initiated my lane change. Just as I start to cross the broken white line, the two cars ahead of me, who were about shoulder to shoulder at this point, both hit their brakes and started to squirm in their lanes a bit. I saw a squint of white light while they moved around and immediately got a feeling something is not right. So I canceled my lane change and moved back into the outside lane and slowed down. Just as I got back into my lane, the two cars ahead of my suddenly parted like the red sea, and I see two headlights coming at me the wrong way down the highway!! The two cars ahead had no time to react, but I was anticipating something, and I had already checked my surroundings because I was about to do a lane change. So I had time to hit the horn while I swerved around the car in order to warn the other drivers behind me.

After I was safely past the car, I check in my side mirror, and that's when I finally saw the offending car had stopped. Yes, he/she was still moving the whole time prior to this. But what really scared me was that when he/she let go of the brake pedal, the back of that car went pitch black. That's when I realized that the headlight we saw, was their DRL!!! They did not have their lights on!!!

This person was obvious drunk, or otherwise intoxicated to have traveled at least 150 yards from the offramp and got on the highway facing the wrong way. Ignored the "Do Not Enter" signs, the fact you just entered a divided highway on the left hand side, and that headlights are coming at you, and just kept driving down the center of the road. So for someone in this state of mind, they see light in front of their car from the DRL, would naturally assume their headlights are on. And that's what I hate about the DRL systems here, as previously stated in my other post. But in this case, the fact that the car was equipped with DRL might have just saved mine, my fellow drivers', and his or her own life.

May 12, 2008

DC2 Type-R Weighted Shift Knob

So my part-time boss, full-time friend lent me his JDM DC2 Type-R weighted shift knob for the weekend. I had tried an imitation one (i.e. fake) that did not weight as much for a day, and did not feel much difference. But even with my casual, light, commuter shifts, I could feel a difference as soon as I screwed on the heavier OEM weighted shift knob in my Honda Fit.

I have to be honest, it wasn't night and day, but it was noticeable enough. The shifter just clicked into the next notch with my guidance. I tried a few harder shifts and it felt much better than stock. The weighted knob made it feel much more solid.

I like it. And now that A&J has come out with their own very reasonably priced short shift lever for the Honda Fit under their T1R line, I think I might have to look into getting the short shift lever with a nicely weighted shift knob. Maybe not a DC2 Type-R one though, it does get hot under the sun.

March 24, 2008

3rd Oil and Filter Change (16747km)

Noticed that my self-set service service interval was up (5000km), so I called my mechanic and had my oil and oil filter changed today. just the usual, Genuine Honda filter with the recommended 5W20 weight oil. Because the Fit engine uses a timing chain instead of a belt, fresh oil is important to prevent build-up on the guides, sprockets, and lessen wear on the chain itself. Keep it clean and the chain should last the life of the engine.

I actually remembered to reset the service reminder this time. It said I was at 40% oil life, same as last time.

March 23, 2008

Fitfreak Vancouver Spring Meet

We had just finished with a client's home on Good Friday, so I had a bit of free time. I log on Easter Saturday onto, and notice that there is a meet today. The sun was still shining, and even though there was a chance of shower later in the afternoon, I took my car through a carwash before I headed down to join the group.

I knew I had missed the first meeting spot downtown, and was heading down 4th Avenue in Vancouver to see if I can catch them at the 2nd one. Seeing no Fits in the Safeway parking lot, I continued on towards my old stomping ground by Spanish Banks, as that was the planned route heading into the next spot, the UBC rose garden parkade.

As I drove along the beach, I noticed a group of little hatchbacks parking their cars in the next parking lot. I pull in and sure enough, it was the FitFreak group lining their cars together for a little pit stop by the beach. As I got out of the car, I recognized a few faces from the last meeting, and began to admire the latest additions to their Fits.

4 of the 5 (I was told) turbo'd Fits in the Vancouver area showed up, but everyone kept it calm during the cruise. We eventually ended up in the parkade of Oakridge mall, where we took more photos and exchanged information on parts, and just general chit-chat. It was a fun evening. Thanks Smatt for organizing this one.

Photos by Smatt. More photos here.

February 29, 2008

Budget Red "H" Steering Wheel Emblem

I was digging through the storage box and found some left over red vinyl from a previous project (used for paint masking). So I decided to use it to make a red background for the Honda "H" emblem on the steering wheel.

First, I used regular white masking tape to tape over the emblem. I then used a small knife to cut along the edges of the emblem to make the pattern. Next, I transferred the cut patterns onto a piece of the red vinyl, and proceeded to cut out the pattern on the vinyl. Finally, I taped the cut red vinyl pieces to the steering wheel. Tada! Red background "H" emblem on the steering wheel!

This is super easy to do, and the amount of vinyl needed is so little, you can probably just go to a local sign shop and ask for some scraps of whatever colour you want to use. And the added bonus, since vinyl stickers add 1hp each, I've just gained 4hp!! For Free!

February 03, 2008

FitFreak Vancouver Feb 2nd Meet

I believe this is the third official meeting of the Vancouver members. I had missed the previous two, so I made an effort to make it to this one. I was certainly not disappointed. I got to meet a number of fellow Fitfreak members in person, as well as other enthusiastic owners. We had a nice (and at times confusing for us and the staff) at Estea in Richmond, then proceeded across the street to regroup the cars at Lansdowne Mall, before a short drive to the BCIT AeroTech campus for photos. Unfortunately, we were asked to leave by security. So we headed to the roof parking at Aberdeen Mall before we were forced to leave. Since we didn't have a meeting spot after this, some cars were lost while others headed into Vancouver to finish photos at the Oakridge upper level parking.

In all I believe around 16 to 18 Fits showed up, making this the largest Fit meeting in the Vancouver area so far. I'd like to thank everyone for showing up, and Felix for organizing the meeting. After seeing all the modified Fits, it got me itching to start working on a few things I've put off for a while. Maybe by the next meet, I'll have something new on my car. Who knows, I might even wash it next time. *haha*


More photos by others can be found on this thread.

January 31, 2008

Second Recall Notice: Floor Wire Harness Corrosion (14480km)

I had received this 2nd recall notice for the Fit probably over 2 weeks ago. But I was very busy at the time and this recall didn't seem like a really big deal. But I did eventually call the dealer to make an appointment to bring the car in today.

Although I only have the carpeted floor mats, no corrosion was found, and all they had to do was the two splices. No harness replacement needed. It took a couple of hours, but I picked up my brother-in-law's 2004 TL Premium with Nav the day before so I could still drive around and work that day, so I didn't pick up my car until 1/2 hour before service closed.

As a side note, the TL is huge!! But it's a nice cruiser. Not very sporty feeling even though it has 270hp, but it sure gets you to illegal speeds quickly and quietly. Voice command navigation/radio/ac is a fun little toy. Since he was nice enough to let me borrow the car, I replaced his cracked/separating wiper inserts for him, so he should be able to see in the rain/snow again. =)