Help – My 2003 – 2007 Honda Accord Trunk Won’t Open

My 18 year old son is driving a 2007 hand-me-down Honda Accord coupe and last week he came home and said, DAD – HELP! My trunk wont open. I immediately said did you overload the trunk with your hockey equipment and one of the bag straps get caught in the striker? He said no way, it opened at the hockey rink when I put my bag in the back, but now its stuck.

HOW TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE TRUNK

I initially tried pulling up on the trunk lid, even slid a crowbar in between the lid and the bumper (yes I know dumb move, but hey its a 12 year old car so its already scratched). I could here the electric solenoid trying to pull the lock open and we even pulled the manual release from up front. NO JOY. Its a good thing the back seats fold down in this car because we were able to gain access to the trunk and remove most of the contents. Finally my son was able to hit the emergency release on the latch and POP the trunk opened.


WHY DID IT FAIL?
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Yesterday Radio Shack Electronics Project Kit – Today Elegoo on Amazon

I feel as if I have been a technology geek for as long as I can remember. I often wonder why as a child of the 80’s I gravitated toward electronics and not sports. I guess I would lay some of the blame on my father who seemed to push me toward electronics and would bring me all sorts of fun gadgets from Radio Shack.

Early Kits – Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE

I have very fond memories of the Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE Electronic Project Kit. As a kid I didn’t appreciate the components, but simply followed the instruction “cook” book and wired the circuits with the included jumpers. I can remember making a crystal radio, touch sensors,  sound generators (or color organs as they were called) It wasn’t long before I started making my own creations.

As I got older, I noticed the kits had started to vanish from Radio Shack. In my late teens and early twenties I even worked at Radio Shack for a while and the kits were all but gone!

30 Years later and WOW – These kits are amazing!

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2013 – 2018 Lexus GS 350 Cabin Filter Replacement Procedure

Once a year I change my air filter and cabin filter to help keep my GS 350 performing at its best. The Lexus dealer can charge upwards of $150 for each of these services. You can save yourself hundreds of dollars if you take 5 to 10 minutes to do it yourself. In this post I will show how easy it is to swap out the GS cabin filter. Click this LINK to see how easy it is to change the Air filter.

Where to get the correct Cabin Filter?

I believe many Lexus models take the same cabin filter.  I searched on Amazon and many of the filters i came across said they were NOT a match for my car. Finally I found this EcoGard filter that said it was going to be a good fit, I took a chance and made the purchase.

 

EcoGard filter for GS350 $16.54 at Amazon.com

There are lots of other compatible filters. Picking a cabin filter is more a personal preference since they are a creature comfort and will not affect the performance of the car. Use this link to search all of Amazon for filters that should fit the GS 350 – CLICK ME

Changing the filter

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2013-2018 Lexus GS 350 Air Filter Replacement Procedure

My 2017 Lexus GS 350 needs a new air filter. It’s been about 20,000 miles and is ready for a replacement. No matter what car I drive, weather it be a $500 Honda Accord or my GS I’m still a do-it-yourself kind of guy and refuse to hand over money for something I can easily do on my own. The Lexus dealer can and will charge upwards of $150 to replace the air filter. If you follow my instructions below I will save you over $100 and have your car done in 5 to 10 minutes!

Where to get the correct air filter?

I like to shop on Amazon, they usually have great prices and with my prime membership the orders arrive at my door super quick.

There are quite a few manufactures that make replacement filters for the GS, I tend to steer toward name brands I trust and have used in the past.

Fram is my first choice in filter, they tend to be slightly more expensive than other brands, but they perform well and last. This particular filter has an extra layer of filtration material on the bottom. I haven’t seen that previously on others. I’m curious if it adds that much more filtration without cutting down the airflow to the engine.  $33.99 at Amazon Continue reading “2013-2018 Lexus GS 350 Air Filter Replacement Procedure”

Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System

Camera systems are so inexpensive these days that it may make sense to purchase a Zmodo or Arlo system from Amazon and call it a day. What fun would that be? I love making little electronic projects and then improving on them as I go. Rather than install a pre-packaged surveillance system, motioneye here we come.

My system consists of four Raspberry Pi units running MotioneyeOS. Three of the four units are Pi Zeros that are my actual cameras, and the fourth is a Pi 3 that aggregates the feeds to one central monitoring station. The benefit of this is there is only one IP/domain that needs to be accessed in order to monitor all the cameras on my system. Continue reading “Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System”

Weekend Project – Clean The Echo GT-2000 Exhaust Port.

I purchased my Echo GT-2000 trimmer almost 18 years ago and it has served me well. I’m usually if it ain’t broke don’t fix it kind of guy and haven’t done any maintenance on my GT-2000 ever. For the last 18 years its been pull the cord and start on the first try! That is until this season. I was able to get the trimmer running but it would stall the instant I would throttle it up.

Thinking to myself this is the end for the GT-2000, I actually started to look for a replacement. I looked  in Lowes and Home Depot but they weren’t selling the Echo brand. I decided to take a chance on fixing the unit and began looking for possible causes.

The Exhaust Was Oily and Black

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MotioneyeOS Cam Working As Designed, Catches Ass-Hat driving over my lawn & trash!

Coming soon in another post I’m going to detail how I made a home surveillance system using a few Pi Zero’s, MotioneyeOS and some odds and  ends around the house. The system is partially up and running with one camera on the house since the beginning of January and I have already captured a few interesting clips.

This particular one is of an ass hat making a k-turn in my driveway, driving over my lawn and then proceeding to run down my trash.

Where did you learn to drive?

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Weekend Project – Check Your Check Engine Light For $20

Modern cars offer a ton of on board self diagnostic  equipment to help point us in the right direction when things begin to fail. However it seems that most auto manufactures would prefer the diagnosis of the dreaded “check engine” light left to the professionals. I don’t believe this should be the case. If you own the car you should be able to diagnose issues and make decisions on how and where to have them repaired.

ODB2 PORT

Fix your check engine light with a $20 ODB2 scanner

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Remote Fix Your Parents Computer (from the comfort of your own home)

If your parents are like mine they are tech savvy enough to get by. What I mean by that is they know how to launch Fire Fox and surf the web, maybe play checkers or chess and print a few documents when necessary. The problem arises when something goes wrong with their computer. Maybe they click on something they shouldn’t and get a virus or malware infection. Then again a Microsoft update could change some setting they are not familiar with and causes stress and a phone call to you. These days you have your own family and live an hour away from your parents and really can’t make the trip back home right now. This is where a remote solution comes into play!

Remote Solutions

Next time you are at your parents house, install one of these remote solutions and be prepared for the dreaded “my computer is broken” phone call.

Skype

Microsoft’s free video-calling software doubles as a very decent screen sharing program. Although you can’t directly interact with your friend’s desktop or take control of their computer yourself, you can view their screen as you both continue speaking, which makes the troubleshooting process more straightforward. And with the recent revamp of its appearance, Skype is easier to use than ever.
SKYPE.COM

Chrome Remote Desktop

This extension for Google Chrome can go beyond the web browser to share anything on a computer screen with someone else. Chrome Remote Desktop gives one user full control over the other computer for an experience almost like sitting in front of your mom’s  machine.
CHROME REMOTE DESKTOP

TeamViewer

Businesses use the professional TeamViewer tool, but it’s simple enough for anyone to use. And for personal,  use—like helping out Dad with computer problems, it’s also free. It allows full control of the remote system
TEAMVIEWER.US

 

Remember when installing any remote viewing tools to keep passwords safe and out of prying eyes. Other than its nice to visit Mom and Dad for a few hours and fix their computer, a remote solution can come in handy when time is short or distance is long.

Thank you for reading my blog,
Joe

 

BONDO – Its not just for 1970 auto body repair!

If you’re as old as I am you may remember some of the auto body repair techniques of the late 70’s and early 80’s. It was an era of body fill ,shape and repair rather than today’s replace replace replace.  While Bondo is still used in the automotive industry there are so many other uses for this stuff its ridiculous.

What I like most about Bondo is the fact it will not harden in the can and you are able to store it almost indefinitely. The other amazing quality about this stuff is it hardens  and is ready for sanding and paint in under 15 minutes.

Repairing The Porch With Bondo!

Recently I noticed the columns holding up my covered front porch were showing signs of rotting at the very bottom. Apparently some of the caulking around the top of the column weathered and was allowing moisture in the pole and causing rot.
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