Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wira upgrade project September 2017 update

I have done a few minor upgrades to my old Wira since my last update (including the engine mounts as mentioned in my last post).

1. Roof moulding.

The old roof moulding was cracked and you could see the metal inside, I tried to get this fixed at the nearly Proton workshop but when I went there, they did not have it int their stock. One of the guys went on to dissuade me saying that it would be very costly and that it is very difficult to attach and may fly off while driving, blah, blah, blah. I was quite annoyed the way sometimes mechanics talk to us - like we are fools.

Anyway, I went over to the Proton Wira Malaysia page on Facebook  and found a seller. I contacted him via Whatsapp and transferred the money after getting a quote. I was pleasantly surprised when I received it the next day. 

I had no idea how it was attached and there were no videos on YouTube either. I guess I should have made a video. I gently pried the old moulding out checking for the clips and it came off quite easily.

There was a lot of junk underneath and I cleaned it up. As I mentioned before, taking it off was quite easy but fixing the new one presented a few challenges. The clips on the roof went in quite easily but the ones in the front by the windows simply would not go in. I guess this was what the Proton mechanic was talking. I solved this by arranging the clips so that they would go into the original spaces and putting a bit of superglue. It has been a few months, and they have not come off.




2. Number plate holder.

My old number plate was partly cracked and the numbers were in different shades - older ones were yellow while the new ones were bright white. So I decided to change the whole thing. Bought a number plate frame older from Lazada for RM28. Slight different from the original as the length is less but is taller. It has the Proton logo and the words "Spirit of achievement". I got this done at a shop in Kelana Jaya.


3. Seat Covers.

The car still has the original seats and you can see some wear and tear. I was initially planning to changes the seats to new sporty semi-bucket Recaro or Bride seats but they cost a bomb. Even the fake ones cost more than RM500. So I decided to go for the seat covers until I could afford to buy the seats. I found these nice looking covers on Lelong.com.my - black with red stitching. The are supposed to be semi-leather whatever that means. They cost me RM180 for both the front and back seats.



Putting them on were not as easy as I thought they would be. I also had to cut out holes for the headrests. They did look good when they were finally on but I realised that I would need to take them out and staple the seats to prevent them from running around. however, I have not been able to get around to doing that. 
Actually matches my steering wheel.

3. Daytime lights.

Most modern cars now have daytime running lights. Actually this is not something new and even my old Volvo S40 had them. However, they are not automatic and I will need to switch them on before driving. I had them installed at the same place I replaced my car number plate.

installing the lights at a nearby worksop

Off

On
4.  Bonnet Struts (Hood Dampers)

Finally, I decided to install bonnet struts. Besides looking great, they are quite useful when you fiddling around the engine bay. Got this pair of  yellow ones on Lazada. You only see these on the luxury cars. However, they only cost RM60 for the pair and I sometimes wonder why Proton does not install these on all their cars.  

They were really easy to install and I am quite pleased with my DIY skills.



There are so many things I want to do but I have to decide which ones are a priority.

1. I need to change one of the tyres but I am seriously considering upgrading the original 13" small steel tyres to 14" alloy rims. Some advised me to go for the 15" which will definitely look better however, I have read on various forums that they affect the power of the car and also affect the fuel consumption. Apparently 14" is the sweet spot.

2. If I change the tyres, I may as well upgrade the brakes as well. Seriously considering ventilated front disc brakes. I asked the Proton workshop if I could change all the tyres and the brakes with the ones on the Iriz. I was hoping to hear them say that it might be possible but they told me that it would be quite difficult as the cars were quite different and it would be really expensive. I asked how much? The lady replied,  more then a thousand.

3. The car also seriously needs a complete paint job. I have touched up some of the scratches and they look OK from far but looks quite bad when you get close. I may also need to change the rear bumper as some fool banged them and left without saying anything. Now it has a crack in the middle. Asked the friendly paint guy near my house and he quoted RM2000 for the whole car.

4. Other minor upgrades I have planned besides the big ones above include window tints (good quality and legal), minor upgrades to the engine including  POD filters, iridium spark plugs, exhausts and maybe the ECU.

However, I am also worried whether these upgrades would affect my car insurance. I am specially worried about the exhausts as I do not want to attract attention from the cops and possible car thieves. I have also read that changing the POD filters and exhausts do not make any significant difference to the power of the car apart from being more noisy. What do you think? Would love to hear the advise of other car mod lovers who have gone through the same process.





Monday, September 04, 2017

Review of Fave offer - Lim Tayar @ SS2

Was going through some of the the discounts offered by Fave (known as Groupon previously) which I receive regularly via email. I was quite interested in the promotion offered by Lim Tayer. This company has numerous outlets in the Klang valley including two very near my house, one in SS2 nd another in Taman Sea, Petaling Jaya.

According to the offer, I would get the following services:

15-point check
  1. Battery
  2. Brake fluid
  3. Power steering fluid
  4. Auto transmission fluid (ATF)
  5. Wipers
  6. Lights
  7. Brakes
  8. Tyre pressure (including spare tyre)
  9. Tyre condition
  10. Rims
  11. Spark plug and air fliter (typo)
  12. Coolant
  13. All beltings
  14. Air cond gas
  15. Suspensions
Plus the following: 
Wheel alignment services
Off wheel balancing
Balancing weight + rim wash

Customers also get:
50% off for Valeo/AcDelco wipers (must be purchased on the spot).

It sounded faboulous as my old Proton Wira was due for a service and I could find out if there were any isssues. I selected the SS2 outlet and ook up the offer. I only had to pay RM17.50 with extra discounts for this offer.

Anyway, I just got back after getting the so-called 15-point check plus extras. 

The positives first:
I found out that my one of my tyres needed to be replaced soon. However, I know that Lazada has great offers on Continental tyres and I plan to buy from them online.

I also found out that needed to change my engine mounting. It was not that bad but I decided to go ahead and change them anyway.  

Here is the breakdown of the charges:

Wheel alignment + balancing + weight + RIM wash  was RM23.59 + RM 1.42 (GST)
Labour was RM30 + RM1.80 (GST).
Front and rear engine mountings were RM50 each + RM 6 GST. 
The total was RM162.81 (with GST).
Ended up paying a total of RM137.80 (after -RM25 discount).





First of all, they DID NOT do a 15 point check. From the entire list, all they did was look at the tyres, a cursory look at the brakes and the engine mountings. So no check of the fluids, suspensions, belts, lights or even wipers. They did not even mention the wiper offer and I did not bother. 

They also did not do a proper wheel alignment check. Hell, I did not even get my rims washed. 
However, I noticed that they did wash the tyres and rims of an Audi which got new tyres. Was this bad service due to the fact that my car is an old Proton Wira?

I pointed out to the lady in charge that I was supposed to get a 15-point check. After consulting with the mechanics, she told me that they had checked everything.

OK.

So my final verdict: DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS OFFER ON FAVE. IT IS A SCAM. 

Really disappointed with Lim Tyres. Was my first experience with them and my last.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wheelspine.com - New Malaysian car site launched

Wheelspine.com is a newly launched Malaysian automotive website. They claim to be Malaysia's largest used car aggregator with more than 300,000 used car results at any given time. They compile all used car results from all over Malaysia. Clicking on the search results will take you to the original source of where the used car was published.

Wheelspine also provides offline results which are displayed based on user submissions. This feature further eliminates the hassle of the entire search process for used cars.

Apart from used cars, Wheelspine also has a large database of new cars as well. Visitors to their website will be able to use their new car search feature that enables them to search for a new car based on Brand, Body Type (sedan, SUV, wagon, etc.), Price Range (price of the car), and Monthly Payment based on their budget and affordability.

Tailored for Ladies - 1st in the World

Based on the result of surveys carried out in Malaysia, they have specially designed a new car recommendation wizard targeted at ladies, which would allow them to easily find a new car based on lifestyle, colour of the car, and monthly commitment. These are all done in just 3 steps.

Get Rewards for Your Contribution
Wheelspine also rewards members who can earn points via their activities and contributions to their discussion forum. So you can earn points for daily logins, comments, responses and sharing. The points accumulated, can then be used to exchange for gifts.

Other interesting features on the site includes the ability to
- Compare 10 Cars Side by Side (largest in the world)
- Compare Car Loans (with option for application & renewal)
- Compare Car Insurance (with option for application & renewal)


Please note that the site is still in the process of introducing a number of features with the aim of providing an all-in-one automotive solution. Head to Wheelspine.com to find out more.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The MG XS compact SUV unveiled

MG Motor UK officially unveiled its all-new compact SUV- the MG XS, at the London Motor Show. The new car is expected to arrive in dealerships in late 2017.

The MG XS will be available in two engine derivatives and either automatic or manual transmission.

According to Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing at MG Motor UK, the X in the name means extra and S stands for SUV. SO far, there is not much info available and full specifications, trim details and pricing will be announced later this year.

Customers can now pre-book test drives and pre-order model brochures via approved MG dealers.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 BMW 530i M Sport now available in Malaysia

The new BMW 530i M Sport is here in Malaysia. Comes with a 4 inline cylinder 1,998cc petrol engine, with max output (kW/hp/rpm) 185 / 252 / 5,200 - 6,500 and top speed of 250 km/h. It features a 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission.


This is the seventh generation in the G30 5 series and the version here in Malaysia is imported Completely built up (CBU), priced at RM 398,800 (recommended OTR price without insurance).

The 530i goes for about €47,450 and €50,000 for the four-wheel xDrive version in Germany. That's about RM224,725 and RM236,800 respectively (as of today).

The same model costs about £40,120 in the UK - approx. RM224,205.

So comparing with home country prices, that a difference of nearly RM174000. Even with all the taxes, it does not add up.

Note that for CBUs import duty = 30% for CBUS (on Factory price)
Excise duty (1,998cc) = 80%
Sales Tax = 10%

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover debuts two new concepts at the Shanghai Motor Show

Jaguar Land Rover showed off two new concepts at the Shanghai Motor Show – the Range Rover Velar and the Jaguar I-PACE Concept.

Scottish singer Amy Macdonald wowed crowds with her hit song This is the Life at the launch of the Range Rover Velar.

The new Range Rover Velar be will be built exclusively in the UK using Jaguar Land Rover’s lightweight aluminium intensive architecture and powered by the latest UK-built Ingenium petrol and diesel engines.

The Jaguar I-PACE is Jaguar’s first electric performance SUV Concept.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Comparison of car prices in Germany, UK, USA and Malaysia

Most people know that cars in Malaysia are expensive and blame it on the import duties imposed by the Malaysian Government on imported models in order to protect the local car industry. However, I am a bit curious how they came up with prices for Mercedes Benz cars imported into Malaysia as Completely Built Up (CBU) units.

Let us compare the showroom prices of the Mercedes Benz E300 Coupé  in 4 different countries including Malaysia.



Germany (Home Country): 54,740 Euros (Approx. RM 257,950)

UK: £41,025.00 (Approx. RM 230,930)
US: $52,150 (Approx. RM229,355). Considered the entry level E class in the US.

Malaysia: (CBU only) RM458,888

Interestingly, the model is cheaper in both the US and the UK. It is the cheapest in the US, and most expensive in Malaysia among the four countries. Please let me know if the specs differ for the models sold in different counties other than the side in which the steering wheel is placed.

In Malaysia, import duty = 30% for CBUS. Please note that this is on the factory price and not the showroom price.
Excise duty (1,991cc) = 80%
Sales Tax = 10%

The price seems a bit inflated even with all the taxes in Malaysia. 

However, what is surprising is that last year Mercedes-Benz Malaysia posted an all-time record sales of 11,779 units. While other auto car makers are suffering, they actually  recorded an 9% increase in sales (10,845 units sold in 2015). In fact, Malaysia has the highest sales of luxury cars in ASEAN, much higher than either Thailand or Indonesia which has much larger populations.

This is amazing when you consider that the per capita income in Malaysia was about RM36,000 in 2015. Compare that with the per capita income in the US which was about  $30,240 (RM132,965) based on the US Census Bureau in 2015. This indicates that we cannot estimate the market size on overall population size or per capita incomes. It is very important to identify and examine your target segments. 

Note: Mercedes-Benz USA also recorded the highest annual volume in the Country's history at 380,461 units sold in 2015.


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