Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Driver Training Manual

I have always wanted to learn how to drive professionally and i knew that BMW car owners have those free training given t them when they buy a new car.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oil Pressure Gauge Kong!

Before i buy the gauge I noticed that the oil press gauge set is not in best condition, I talked to the Boss and he assured me that this product will be under warranty for 3 months (except for wrong installation). The 1st picture is taken when all the meters were installed fine. The 2nd picture shows that oil pressure meter's LED had KONG (the right unit)! When I go to the shop and complained on the burnt LED gauge, he immediately called the supplier and got a new unit which was passed to me today without any question.

This morning I received a call from my home that there is an oil leak on my porch, this means my car is leaking engine oil. I brought my car and the new gauge set to the workshop. During inspection, we found out that the oil pressure sensor had leaked. As this unit was manufactured on year 2004 (5 years ago), i would have expected this to happen. By the workshop mechanic quoted that even good Japanese gauge may leak after a few years. Bearing that even the new unit was also Taiwan made and my engine OIL pressure is definitely very high during VTEC, i give the Boss of the gauge shop a call. Without hesitation he allow the gauges to be returned back to him and i would get a full refund. Now this is what I called Business Ethics. No wonder his shop is famous in Tanjung Rambutan and IPOH (Shop name Wing Soon, I would recommend my friends to go there as they are very responsible to the customers).

Now my car only have 2 gauges (Oil Temp and Water Temp). Out of the 2, water temp is more important to Honda cars as the engine can warp easily if over heated and it does not have the special feature that toyota 4AGE have (I personally saw a 4AGE engine shuts off itself when there is no water in the raditor due to broken hose and the lady owner did not notice it).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oil Pressure vs Oil Temp.

There is heavy rain today before we are off from work. This rain significantly cooled down the car's engine. I took a look at the gauges and below are some of my observation.
1) When i start up the car from cold, Oil Temp is less than 50 degC but the Oil Pressure shoots up to 6kg/cm2 (Engine rev at ~1k).
2) After waited for a while, oil temp reaches 50degC and Oil Pressure drops to 5kg/cm2.
3) After a few minutes of cruising drive, oil temp goes up and stabilize at 85 degC and Oil pressure drops to a stabilize 2kg/cm2 (Engine rev at ~1k).
With this observation; we can see that as temperature goes up but the oil pressure will drop. This normal is due to the effect of increasing engine heat causes the oil viscosity to drop. Lower viscosity oil means that the oil can be compressed more thus lowering the pressure at the same engine rev (1k).
Therefore it is advisable to let your engine to heat up for 1~2 minutes before start driving it to ensure the oil viscosity is at lower optimum spec which is able to flow and protect your engine life by reducing wear. If you drive your car hard immediately after cold start, you may cause much more wear in your engine component as its lubrication is not optimized yet.(Hope this helps 4 newbies)

Oil Temp, Oil Press, Water temp readings.

Finally got all my gauges install, i know these are cheaper Taiwanese gauges (can not even compare to DEFI, Apexi or HKS). I do know know how accurate the reading is but you can see that the oil temp tint is not even and is much darker one side so you get what you pay for. :) Below is some rough guide and readings i got from the gauge.

Oil Pressure (>2 kg/mm2): Idle (2~3), Cruising (3~5), VTEC (6~6.5)
High oil pressure : ( suddenly increases) Pressure relief valve could be not working.
Low oil pressure: Insufficient oil in engine, leakage, damaged oil pump, and worn out oil.

Oil Temp (<130 degC): Idle (85~90), Cruising (80~90), VTEC (slightly above 100)
High oil Temp: Insufficient oil level, insufficient cooling (if modded), blocked passage, damaged oil pump, bad bearing and worn out oil.
Low oil Temp: Over cooled engine, normally due to oversize oil cooler used.

Water Temp (<110 degC): Idle (85~90), Cruising (80~90), VTEC (slightly below 100)
High water Temp: Thermostat jam, insufficient water, insufficient cooling (if modded), blocked passage, damaged water pump, and worn out coolant (normally water is ok unless heavy mod engine).
Low water Temp: Wrong radiator size causing overcooling or slow heating up.

Known Honda Problems

Known Honda Problems


This page contains some of the known problems with Honda Civics that I have personally run into. Some of these problems aren't well known to those outside the Honda community so your local mechanic could spend days trying to find some of these.

Main Fuel Relay

This Honda Civic problem was potentially the most frustrating problem I have ever had with a car, period. Basically the Main Fuel Relay that controls power to the fuel pump stops giving it power at what appears to be completely random times. This is supposedly cause by cold solder cracks in the PCB. When I eventually found out that this problem existed the mechanic at the time opened the relay up to have a look and everything looked fine. We still replaced it though and that fixed the problem.

The problem slowly gets worse and worse with the frequency of non-starts getting higher and higher. Diagnosing wasn't easy. A non-starting car can be caused by lots of things, but basically it boils down to not having enough fuel, air or spark (assuming that it is cranking over). If a fuel pressure gauge had been used during the diagnosis it might not have taken so long to diagnose. However, knowing what was causing the fuel pump not to run would have been a nightmare to find. Thank goodness for the interweb thingy.


  • The car would intermitently just decide not to start. The starter motor would crank over but the engine would not fire.
  • It was worse in summer when the internal temperature in the car was high.
  • Once the car started there were no problems.
  • No ECU Error Codes were thrown.


The follow tips can help diagnose whether or not your symptoms are caused by a faulty Main Fuel Relay.

  • When you switch the key to ON there is normally a slight hissing noise and a then a click. This is the fuel pump pressuring the fuel supply line. If you hear this noise and the car starts, great. If the Main Fuel Relay is causing problems you won't always hear this noise and when you don't, the car won't start.
  • Switching the car to OFF and then ON repeatedly helps to get it started.
  • Remove the Main Fuel Relay (leaving it connected of course) so you can handle it. Give it a whack. If the car is more likely to start after you whack it, then you may have a faulty relay.

Vehicle Speed Sensor

This Honda Civic problem is quite frustrating. Every now and then while driving along the speedo just stops working. This in itself isn't all that annoying, but when you remember that VTEC won't engage unless the car is doing or 20 or 30km/h it can ruin any spirited driving outing.

The problem doesn't really seem to get any worse once it starts, it just carries on happening. If the speedo stays out long enough eventually a code will be thrown indicating the VSS. At first I couldn't really see how a VSS could go bad, but apparently it is quite common. I have yet to replace the VSS, but I am just going to replace it with a second hand ones are quite expensive.

Oxygen Sensors

This Honda Civic problem was very, very puzzling and took some time searching on the interweb to finally figure out what the problem was likely to be. When I did the B16A Engine Swap I carefully labelled which Oxygen Sensor went to which set of primaries in the exhaust. However, it doesn't appear like I was careful enough. Somehow they managed to get swapped around somehow.

The PW0/PR3 ECU in the Honda Civic SiR uses one Oxygen Sensor to monitor the fueling for two cylinders. So, if you get them around the wrong way the computer is going to lean out two cylinders and richen up the other two since the readings are all reversed.


  • The car would idle fine.
  • The car would hestitate on the motorway when starting to accelerate from a constant speed.
  • Fuel economy decreased, but not substantially.


  • Unplugging the Oxygen Sensors rectified the problem. With the Oxygen Sensors unplugged the car would always run in open loop mode using predefined maps for the fuelling based on other sensors like the throttle position, and rpm.
  • Putting a volt meter on the Oxygen Sensors while the car was idling and up to temperature showed one output reading high (~0.9V) with the other one reading low (~0.3V). These readings would remain reasonably constant.
Note: I really have to thank this webpage author for writing this up, please do visit his website and give all your credit to him/her. Now i know i am starting to have MFR problem, need to replace it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Painted Waja BMW Evolution

Check this out.... It even have the BMW steering wheel installed. I must say the idea is pretty original and creative. Some people hate it, some people like it. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", so what can i say?.

Update 16 March

I got my sensor and adapter installed today while changing the engine oil. The easiest to install is the water temp adapter, but you need to cut the hose.

Oil Pressure sensor is hard to install if directly install on to the adapter. So i got the L - connector to help angle the pressure sensor to ensure it fit into the position. Check out the oil filter area, no room for the sensor, it is not easy trust me :).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Decided to get 1 more gauge

I just got this set to complete today....
But no time to install yet.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Next Addition.

A pictures says a thousand words" So now there is a few pictures, do i need to say more? I plan to DIY this to save the workmanship charge but i do not know how much i could save.... Funny rite? Should I DIY (more satisfaction and better budget)? Even the meter pods was planed to DIY too... :P. With these, it would be much easier for me to know how my car can react at that time......
Where should i place the meters? On the Dash? On the Pillar? I plan to have it on the steering wheel hub (between the original meters and steering wheel). If you have any idea, please comment. Thank you in advance!

Cameron 8 March 2009

I went to Brinchang (never knew it is so developed) today to look for for some old friends never met them since 4 years ago. We met in a trip to Shanghai and i promised to burn the video to disc and pass them a copy. The plan was delay as the foolish me had (1) Misplaced the DVD and (2) Lost their contact (washed in washing machine). However after review the videos again, i found that i have captured their face and remember they told me their shop is in Brinchang. So today armed with photo fit, i went searching. Maybe it is fate, I found them on the 1st try. We have a drink and chatted for 1 hour and exchange phone numbers and address.
On my way back, it rained so everyone is driving slowly. I stopped at Green View for a while to wait for the rain to stop and to buy some gift for my family. When the rain starts to stop, I continue my jurney home. This jurney was rather plesent other than there is this idot who drives a Ssangyong Kyron. It goes 40kmh at croners and when you tried to over take, he will speed up the car. At straight he will go at 70kmh, but if you try to over take he will go up to 100kmh to block you even when you are the opposite lane and there is car coming. As it was cold, most probally the engine is not hot enough for the VTEC to kick in so i failed to overtake. Learning the method used to block me with the fat ass car, i had to wait in 3rd gear (keep the car revving at 4k~5k "heating it up") for the corners until i saw a long straight and there is car in front blocking it. See this chance rev my baby up to engage VTEC CAM. It then tried to cut into the opposite lane to block me but it was too late, I was way infront of him by then. So to keep it simple, please give way if the car at the back is faster (It will surely overtake you). It is better and safer for both party if you just give way, even if you drive a 2L 4WD with HUGE ASS worth more than 120k while the other guy is just an EL Cheapo. Once at the traffic light i had to stop (it just turned Red and i never beat Red lights), i waited for more than 3 minutes then the lights turn green and I go home.

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Wax....

I just bought a new wax with 20% discount :). Don't get me wrong that the turtle wax ICE is no good. There is difference between the ICE and this Platinum, mainly the compound in Platinum series contain "A blend of Brazilian carnauba wax and light reflective polymers". Whie ICE® is a clear wax formulated with completely new technology that blends silicone and hydrocarbon polymers (with UV barrier). So now for ease of use, i will use ICE as it can be applied anywhere (plastic and rubber as well) at any time (even when the surface of the car is hot). While the Platinum one will be used when night (need to be cold and shaded) and i have more free time (do not apply on plastic or rubber, if possible to avoid). Check out the refelection on the hood... Yeah, this is what i call a shine and you do not need to go SPA. (Note: I am still too lazy to clay my car).