Saturday, August 15, 2015

Proton Wira modifications under RM1K project: Part 2

This is a very long overdue update on my Proton Wira modifications under RM1K project.

Picking up from what I last posted, the Proton badge (meant for Proton Iswara) finally arrived but there was a problem. The original was a screw-on badge while the new one was a stick on and somehow I could not find a way to get it to stick properly on the original place. So I came up with an idea. Was not sure whether it would work but fortunately it did. I peeled off the plastic logo and super glued it on to the original screw-on base.





I also bought a new Proton Manual Car Leather Gear Knob Carbon With R3 stitching on the sides for RM50/, also from a seller on Lelong.


Definitely a great improvement on the original rounded plastic knobs which were worn out. This brought me to a new total of RM363.90.

Thinking of what to do next, I thought about the faulty reverse sensor. I have been meaning to change it for a long time but kept putting it off. So one day I drove down to the Brother's outlet near my house in PJ. However, the place was packed and I could not get any parking. I was impatient and decided to go to another car accessories place - Elegance Audio Sdn Bhd. in Kelana Jaya.

I was delighted because there were not that many customers around. Their manager came out and told me that it would cost me around RM200+ to install new reverse sensors. This was much costlier than what it would normally cost me at Brothers but I assumed that at that price their product would be of a better quality than at Brothers, which was where I had installed my old reverse sensors. Since the shop was specialised in audio equipment and I was still under budget, I decided to install front speakers in the car. Previously it only had 2 rear Clarion speakers. The cheapest speakers was the Powerbass S-4002 4-Inch Coaxial speakers (105 W), at around RM260 a pair. A little bit steep but he assured me that the sound quality would be really great. This would nicely bring me just below my budget of a Thousand dollars and I decided to go ahead.


However, this is where it all went wrong. I was waiting inside their office with my son when the manager came in and showed me the old speakers - it was completely torn. I knew it was old but I am sure it was definitely not that bad. I now had no choice but to replace the rear speakers as well. I went along with what the manager recommended and installed a pair of EFX 6x9" rear speakers (RM480).

I was dismayed when I learnt that as the new speakers would not fit into the original speaker enclosure and they would have to cut into the rear speaker board. I wished the manager had explained that to me before I said yes.



The final damage - a whooping RM1020 in total including the installation charges. These three items alone would have blown my small budget of RM1K at one go.

In hindsight, I could have said "No!" and this would have left me with a total budget of RM903.9. I could have then gone to Brothers and have cheaper speakers installed. But that is what you call "buyer's remorse" and I am trying hard not to have any regrets. However, I hope other people reading this would learn from my experience and make an informed choice.

I am sure that some of you are wondering "what's the difference"?

Now, I do notice that I don't have to crank up the volume and sound quality has definitely improved but no once else - neither my family members nor my friends seems to have realised the difference. The only guy who noticed is my son who went along with me and tries to put peanuts and other stuff into the holes in the speaker covers - a clear design flaw if you have hyperactive kids with itchy hands.

So my budget is blown and I have failed in my project. It was stupid anyway as an old car needs constant attention and replacement of parts. In conclusion, RM1000 goes a bit but is but a drop in the ocean if you decide to hold on to an old car and decide to "pimp it". However, on the other hand, well maintained cars can go a long way and is considerably cheaper than getting a brand new car - specially if you leave in Malaysia.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Range Rover Evoque prices: UK vs Malaysia

Recently met an old friend after 18 long years. We were university mates and both of us ended up in the UK in quite different occupations. However, despite being only about 100 miles apart we were unable to meet up because of something or the other.

It was quite ironic that we finally met up in Malaysia, around 9000 miles away from the UK. Anyway, we got to talking about cars like car lovers usually do and the cars we drive. My friend recently bought the Ranger Rover Evoque, which coincidentally also happens to be my dream car.


We were discussing car prices and how the Evoque is quite out of my league with prices starting at RM413,888 (without insurance).  Source: Paul Tan.

My friend was visibly shocked as the cost in the UK was around £30K (OTR). That's considered quite a handsome even for a luxury brand. However, it translates to about RM180K at the current exchange rates, which means that we are paying more than double the price of the Evoque here in Malaysia as compared to the UK. 

With that amount, I can buy a 2-sty Terrace/Link House 3 bedroom house near my office in Semenyih, Selangor. So literally the Ranger Rover Evoque is a house on wheels. 




Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Skoda Superb joins list of top safety achievers

According to the latest safety test results released by Euro NCAP, the Skoda Superb achieved 5 Stars, thanks to robust crash protection and its Autonomous Emergency Braking systems. The Superb is also equipped with crash avoidance technologies awarded under the Euro NCAP Advanced Rewards scheme such as Multi Collision Brake and Crew Protect Assist.

Among other cars tested, the Hyundai i20 supermini acheived 4 stars which is quite good for its segment, but misses out on the 5 stars due to a lack of an AEB system.

However, the Fiat Panda Cross recveived a modest 3 star rating. The supermini, based on the third-generation Panda 4x4 launched back in 2012, lacked assist technologies and also did not fare well in the latest full width crash test designed to evaluate the protection offered to smaller occupants in the driver and rear passenger seat.

Given below is the list of car safety ratings for 2015 so far, from the Euro NCAP website.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Jaguar XJ ad

Monday, June 01, 2015

New 2015 Peugeot 508 Facelift in Malaysia

Peugeot Malaysia just launched the new 2015 508 facelift sedan. There are three variants, namely the Peugeot 508 THP (est. RM175,000), 508 SW THP (est. RM185,000) and 508 GT (est. RM205,000).

So what's new?

Well the cars feature completely updated exteriors, new engines and new interior designs.

The most visible external design change is the vertically oriented front grille with the Peugeot lion logo in the middle.

There are two engine options: the 1.6-litre THP petrol engine and a 2.2-litre HDi diesel engine.

The two 1.6 THP-powered variants feature 18-inch alloy wheels, while the 508 GT runs on 19-inch alloys.

The tech includes head-up display, reversing camera, blind spot detection system, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth™ and satellite navigation with a 7" colour touch. screen.

Luxury features include full leather seats (while the top end GT features Nappa upholstery) with massage function. Just imagine that, you can get a massage if you feel tired. The cars also feature Quad-zone air-conditioning system and Premium JBL HiFi 10-speaker system.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ford takes top honours at the 5th annual Honest John Awards

The Honest John website is one of the most popular online destinations for people looking for reviews before deciding on a new car (or used one) in the UK. Yesterday, they announced the winners of the  5th annual Honest John Awards., The winners were the most popular models with the website's two million users.

Ford won a number of awards this time with the Ford Mondeo winning both Car of the Year and Most Popular Large Family Car. The Fiesta was also crowned the Most Popular Small Hatchback category while the Transit Custom won the Most Popular Van title for the second consecutive year.
Here is the full list of award winners:

Full list of award categories and winners:

Car Of The Year: Ford Mondeo

Most Popular Large Family Car: Ford Mondeo

Most Popular Van: Ford Transit Custom

Most Popular Small Hatchback: Ford Fiesta

Most Popular City Car: Hyundai i10

Most Popular SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe

Most Popular Large Executive Car: BMW 5 Series

Most Popular Performance Car: BMW i8

Most Popular Compact Executive Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Most Popular Classic Car: Mercedes-Benz W124

Most Highly Rated Car: SEAT Ibiza ST

Best Real MPG Performer: Honda Civic Tourer

Most Popular Small Family Car: Citroen C4 Cactus

Most Popular MPV: Volkswagen Golf SV

Most Popular Crossover: Nissan Qashqai

Most Popular Convertible: Mazda MX-5 RC

Most Popular Luxury Car: Audi A7 Sportback

Friday, May 08, 2015

Performance of European car brands in Malaysia

According to  recent report, of all European brands sold in Malaysia in 2014, Volkswagen performed the best with sales of 8916 units. They were followed by BMW (7808 units) , Mercedes-Benz (7131 units), Peugeot (5498 units) and Volvo (with 1210 units).

Mercedes-Benz may very well overtake VW this year with the German automaker seeing record breaking sales of 967 units in the first quarter of this year (up 13%). This growth was largely due to the sales of the new locally-assembled E300 Blue TEC Hybrid  (638 units) and the S400L Hybrid (270 units).


Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID

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