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Family Car Wiring Project and Technical Education Class:
Installation of a Trailer Hitch Harness for a Honda Pilot 2012-2014 (i.e. trailer wiring package installation)

Great skills can be gained, in addition to getting a job done and saving some on car expenses, by working together as a family on a car project.  

Project Preparation

We tried installing a trailer wiring for our Honda Pilot vehicle, but the UHaul place could not get it to work.

So, we researched and found out that a Honda Wiring package has to be installed on it first (ours, being a basic model vehicle, didn't come with it). So, we bought the wiring package from the Honda Parts Superstore (Trailer Hitch Harness 2009 - 2011 Honda Pilot), or use Trailer Hitch Harness 2012 - 2014 Honda Pilot and read the instructions given on the same page or from another Honda place at College Hills Honda) and were ready to start in the morning. Pavle, our older son who is almost 10 years old, read the instructions before hand, as well as did Daddy.

Preparing the car

We worked together to pull away the plastic trim panel in the back, using a screwdriver and a plastic trim tool i.e. No-Scratch Tool for Removing Fastener & Molding and following the step-by-step instructions.  While Daddy has installed a car radio before, without the trim tools above and using a screwdriver, slightly damaging the paneling, now learning from experience and reading some of the product reviews on the topic, we were able to remove the paneling easily. We thought that we would not have to remove the back left 3rd row seat, but the plastic panel would not come out without this step.

Installing the Wiring

We installed two boxes (Control Unit box, a Control Unit Harness i.e. a Relay Box), along with some wires in the left back wall of the car, and then it came time for us to crawl under the vehicle to install the Trailer Socket Harness. Our younger son, Stefan, who is 3 years old, was very excited to crawl under the vehicle. We got a tarp to lay on, a flashlight (one of those very powerful flashlights that we sell), and some pliers. This, turned out to be the hardest part of the work, as there was a dummy connector that was stuck and would not easily come out. Daddy had to use lock pliers to pull it out (and got a small scratch on his hand, from the nearby hitch end - a lesson for next time for Daddy to use some gloves!)

The children enjoyed being under the car, examining the various parts that one can see there, exhaust pipes and more! Laying on a tarp outside, is quite and exciting thing to do for boys, too!

Lessons

Besides getting a job done that was useful and saving some on car expenses (about 1/2 of the cost that it would have cost us otherwise), we learned some important lessons, such as: prepare in advance i.e. plan before doing a project via research and get the correct parts, read the manual. This reminds us of Jesus' words:

28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30, NASB)

Children learned about how things work, what cars look like inside the paneling and under them. This is also very exciting, as it is part of the greater project of learning about God's creation and how things work in God's creation, along with how we as people can rule over God's creation via the making of various technology inventions (like cars, wires, electricity, towing, and such). We all learned to be patient when something does not work (dummy plug not coming out), something to do better next time (wear gloves Daddy!), and to enjoy the time together as a family, plus a beautiful day outside. It took us about 4.5 hours to do the project together.

- Daddy (Zoran), Pavle (almost 10), Stefan (3 years old), April 2012

 

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