Friday, October 16, 2009

Short Circuit Accelerator Pedal: Episode VI Return of the Vroomy

2 weeks has passed since the last episode. Vroomy had been dissected and her innards pushed and prodded by experts and a panel of parts suppliers. After much detailed checking, Vroomy has returned. As suspected, it was a wiring problem. According to the report shown to me, one of the cables was actually not inserted properly into a socket. So sometimes it would lose connectivity and that caused the voltage drop and engine light to come on.

Driving feels seriously different now. Before, it felt like I could not control the acceleration. It felt like it was either disconnected or accelerating too strongly. Now I can control the acceleration much more accurately.

Thanks to the guys at Center of Excellence for taking a serious look at my car and finding the root cause of the problem. Also thanks to them for providing me a car to use for the past two weeks.

Since I drove the old saga, I could see a huge difference in the old generation and the new. The old saga although had those huge exhausts, seemed severely underpowered compared to Vroomy. For e.g. even on a flat road, I could not get the car moving from 1st gear without having to first step on the accelerator. With Vroomy, I actually don't have to press the accelerator to get it moving. Oh and that loud sound that came from the exhausts actually caused the alarm of the car parked next to me to go off! TWICE! hahaha Sound of Thunder! Shifting gears in the old car was also very different. I had to move the gear handles a lot more to get them in gear compared to the shorter movement in Vroomy. The gear changing was a lot easier tho. Not as much resistance. Although the car had only seen 6k km of roads, the parts in the old saga were already rattling a lot! Hopefully Vroomy will continue to give me a quiet ride.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Short Circuit Accelerator Pedal: Episode V Jerk Strikes Back

Vader: "Luke.. I am your father"
Luke: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...."

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.. it happened again.. and much like the movie it leaves you feeling depressed that the good guys didn't win.

This time it happened in Subang Jaya so since it was close to the Center of Excellence, I went straight there and showed them the engine light on condition.

At first they looked at the car and wanted me to come again on Monday because they couldn't do much today anyway and they didn't have a car for me. "You mean you want me to drive a car that you yourself admitted is a safety problem?!"
After many Fbombs thrown by urs truly to the service manager and customer complaints guy, we agreed that I would get a loan car immediately and that this would be their last chance to fix it. They would have to prepare a detailed report of everything they have checked and changed. And if it happens again after this time, the manager gave me permission to take more serious action against them.

So to find out what action I could take, I went to the National Consumers Complaints Centre website there were already similar complaints against Proton but for different problems.

Similar Complaint: "If the car which bought by the consumer has problem ( major) and after numerous complaint and fixing it or repaired the car but problem still persistent, than the consumer able to get back a new car or refund. "

I also sent in a complaint of my own detailing the events and asking for advice.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting An Educationism

They say driving is statistically more dangerous than flying. I think it's because of 2 things.

1) Pilots have significantly more training before they are allowed in the airspace. We would have a lot more air crashes if all pilots had to do was fly for 20 hours and pay the examiner 50 bucks. They are taught (I hope) how to handle difficult situations and how to make quick decisions that will keep the hundreds of passengers safe in those situations. Like if some ducks fly into u.

2) Planes can't afford to breakdown while in the air. So the pilots/engineers have to check it regularly before traveling and be able to identify potential problems.

So basically we need more training lah..

Defensive driving involves identifying potentially dangerous situations, how to anticipate and avoid them. Basically you have to assume that everyone else on the road is stupid and what might go wrong will go wrong.. wait a minute.. haha then you might be forced to stay at home.. Of course they teach u all the skidding stuff too during the course but usually it's the anticipation skills that you should get out of defensive driving because then you won't get in a situation where you need to use the skidding stuff..

So now you can avoid all the idiots on the road. But how bout your car? Driving is one of the most dangerous things you could do in your life and you don't know the first thing about the car? Part of safety is also knowing how to take care of that 1 Ton hunk of metal on wheels. Of course you can leave it to the guy who services your car. But the universal truth is.. just as things that go up must come down, most mechanics can't be trusted :P. So at least you should be able to tell if something is wrong with your car, simple maintenance, and know if the mechanic is taking you for a ride.

So if you get an education at least you can assume that everyone else is stupid except you.. If you don't then you're just like everyone else..

Autoworld is organizing 2 courses in the next couple of months:

1) The Safety and Defensive Driving Course:

Date : 8th November 2009 (Sunday)
Time : 8.30am – 5.00pm

Fees : MYR 380 per person

Theory : Kelab Golf Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah (KGSAAS)
Practical : Shah Alam Stadium

here are articles on the last course they organized:

2) The "I Love My Car" Car Care & Maintenance Workshop

Date : 31st October, 2009 (Saturday)
Time : 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Fees : MYR 199 per person (99 for members of Autoworld)
Venue : The Otomotif College
No. 10 Jalan 19/1, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya.
Selangor, Malaysia

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the wall.. who's the widest of them all?

Staying Safe In Your Car:
Driver Blind Spots

Blindspots are dangerous. Especially on our roads where motorbikes are allowed to ride in the middle lane of the federal highway! Being able to see everything is definitely comforting as it gives you more confidence when changing lanes. So when I saw this huge mother of a mirror I knew I had to have it.

It's made by a Japanese company called Napolex. They make quite a few car accessories. They have many different sizes and it comes in tinted versions for glare reduction. I just got the biggest one :P

peekaboo! i can see you!

Original Mirror

New W I D E Mirror

Blocks the visors tho..

And of course because I got the Concave version, things do appear further

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Short Circuit Accelerator Pedal: Episode IV A New Hop

ok.. so not writing in the blog that it was fixed still didn't prevent it from happening again. So in Episode 3, the service center in Section 13 had a good look at it and the problem actually happened while they test drove the car. So they opened up the dashboard to look at all the cabling. After a bit of pulling and tugging they said they changed the "cable bracket"(?) and it's fixed. So I took it home.

Fast forward 8 days later and once more the engine warning light came on and the car started jerking or "Hop-ing" again... since I was around PJ, I drove straight to Section 13 praying they would be opened. But they don't work on Sunday.

So after a call to Proton, there was a Authorized Service Center opened in Old Klang Road. So off I went. Once again the engine error code was "Pedal Pot Low Voltage". They cleared the code, unplugged and replugged the pedal connector and sent me on my way. Seems fine. But then again it always appears fine for awhile. Even if I switch my engine off for awhile and start it again, the engine light will disappear and the jerking will be gone. That makes it harder to diagnose.

So on Monday morning, I decided to send it to where I would assume would be the most no. of experts. The mothership! that huge ass space ship looking building next to KESAS highway. The Proton Center of Excellence. Yes. that's really what it's called. If you call yourself that you had better be Excellent eh?

So they tell me after test driving it that they couldn't find any problems. I explain to them the whole story about how I had been to a Proton Service Center every week for the past 5 weeks and they tell me they'll do a more detailed check but I would have to leave my car there. Since I didn't have any car they told me they don't lend out replacement cars anymore as a policy cos ppl never came back with it. (I would take the car that works over one that doesn't too u know)..
They had a driver send me home. which was cool i guess. But it was the least they could do since I had already taken so many half days leaves to go get the car fixed.

Now it's Tuesday evening and they just called me and said that they still couldn't find any problems. They just reset the ECU. Great! I could have done that myself. That will last me another week. Center of Excellence.. really?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Short Circuit Accelerator Pedal: Episode 3 Revenge of The Sick

ok so my car must be connected to the world wide web.. cos exactly 2 hours after I posted part deux, the car jerked and the engine light came on again.. maybe next time if it's fixed i won't be posting about it..

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Short Circuit Accelerator Pedal: Part deux

On Monday the service center guy said it will come tomorrow.
On Tuesday the service center guy said it was supposed to arrive today but it wasn't on the lorry. (?!?) Did it fall off?? :P I should compile a book of all the excuses I hear.. I think it'll make a good read for when you're feeling down and need a pick-me-up..
On Wednesday it arrived so I went back to the service center on Thursday morning to get it fixed. Within 1.5 hours, I was back to zooming on the roads..

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Short Circuit Accelerator Pedal

Alamak.. exactly 1 week after sending my car for 1000km Service, suddenly while driving home from work the car started jerking randomly and the engine warning light came on!

Hey.. is that supposed to be on?

Had to drive home in that condition because EON Assist told me that they can only help me if my car can no longer move and has to be towed. "Oh you're sick? Sorry dude, the doctor can only see you if you are dying. Do let us know when you are dying and we'll be glad to help you."

Anyway took it back to the Proton Edar service center in Section 13 and after an 1.5 hours of investigating they told me that my accelerator pedal short circuited and that it had to be replaced. The parts are not available and they can't tell me when they will arrive. Cmonla I order pizza also can tell u when it can arrive. Don't tell me your sophisticated computer ordering system doesn't have ETA info. When I asked if it was safe to drive the car since it was jerking, their reply was "yes safe to drive. just don't go long distance". haha thanks for the tip guy..

Jerking Short Circuit??

Monday, August 17, 2009


wow the Buzz Saga is already 1000KMs old! The Buzzster went in for it's first service last weekend. I took the Buzzmobile to Section 13 Service Center. Stalling with Hills and I arrived around 7:45am and there was already a queue. Buzztimus was no.4.

First they keyed in Buzzella's information into their system. Then they asked if there were any problems with Vroomy. I informed them about Buzzanator's brake light turning on even if the handle was all the way down and the engine warning light that came on for awhile a few days back.

Here's the breakdown of the stuff done to Hang Cepat:

Oil Change Mach 5 20W50: RM69.01
Oil Filter: RM12.22
Gasket Plug Oil Drain: RM2.52
Window Washer Fluid RM5.20
Labour: Free labour coupon

Total : RM88.95

sorry just trying out a few nicknames..

Backseat condom

Not enough space in your boot for skates? Got kids armed with Slurpees? Does your pet like road trips? Protect your backseat from smelly wet skates, Slurpees , pet fur and stains with the backseat condom!

Ok that's not really what it's called.. but i'm sure it would have sold more if it was..

Rear seat protector for the furry friends in your life

Fits nicely and can be easily folded up in case you need to transport Bipeds

Furry Culprit: Just wanted an excuse to post Digi's picture :P I can do a belly up pose too! take that V3P0!


Just noticed that I've only uploaded pics of the exterior.. Here are a few of the interior:

Cockpit. However will I learn what all those buttons do?

What the heck does that pedal on the left do??

Backseat. Lots of room to sleep


Monday, August 10, 2009

Strut your stuff

"A strut bar, or commonly known as a strut brace or a strut tower brace, is designed to tie the two opposing strut towers together to form a single unit. This is to minimize the strut tower flex during hard cornering.

When taking a turn, a car's strut towers normally flex. This may cause the losing of some traction. The strut tower brace keeps the strut towers from flexing. They distribute the pressure applied to one strut tower when taking a turn on both towers instead of just one.

This results in improved chassis rigidity. Understeer is reduced(not sure bout this part. Some sites say increase), the tire wear is improved and metal fatigue is minimized in the strut tower portion. Adding a brace between these two strut towers is a great way to solidify a vehicle's suspension."

That's a typical description of a Strut bar.

This Cusco site has a few videos which demonstrates the flexing of the car body and how using a strut bar can reduce this and improve handling.

Ultra Racing is a Malaysian manufacturer and they make all kinds of bars for improving chassis stiffness.

I have not been able to get a definite answer as to whether the bar will improve handling only in racing driving conditions or whether it will improve handling in normal driving too. However, the general consensus is that the amount of effect felt will depend on how stiff/flexible your car is to begin with.

Although many sites emphasize better handling as the main selling point of strut bars, I'm more interested in the frame and chassis support part of it.

Just like my hockey sticks that are designed to flex, they do lose their flex after a short while and become soft way before they break. So I can totally imagine this happening to the frame of a car over time. So it looks like in the interest of extending the life of my car's chassis and frame, this might be my first modification.

From the few quotations I received, this modification would cost around RM150 or less and is a really short and simple process of screwing the bar on to the tops of the struts.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Be Considerate

Quit honking. Gimme a call and i'll move my car.

Double parking. I'm sure everyone has done it. There's just never enough parking right in front of the building you wanna go to :D The difference is some ppl double park and keep an eye on their car in case they need to move it. Others double park and hide themselves in a sound proof room and put some ear muffs on. The later is the cause of that honking you've been hearing for the last 30 minutes..

Check out my new license.. "License to Double Park" :P
It's one of those sign board thingys that you stick to your window. It comes with a 7 Segment style numbering that you black out to display your number.
Sweet. So now, I can double park and not be worried that ppl will be honking at no one for half an hour. Maybe I can get some calls from pretty ladies too..

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meguiar's RX Plu.. Nickname?

Ok. So I was checking out the Meguiar's website because that is the brand of product recommended by the guys at Posh Car Care. Meguiar's website has a service called Meguiar's RX Plus Garage where you can key in your car details and driving, parking habits and how shiny you like to keep your car. The site will shoot out some recommendations of what products you should use to keep your car looking great.

So I got stuck at the first page of the form.. Nickname?? My car needs a nickname! Suggestions please? fire away.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Posh Car Care

Finally got my door visors from Consultint today. So since it was finally whole, decided to take the car for a wash, wax n polish.

I had done some surveying before hand. Quotations I got were inversely proportional to how far away the shops were to my house. PJ quote = RM 500. Sunway quote = RM 200. Shah Alam quote = RM 98!. Guess which one I went for?

So I made an appointment to get the Silver Package at Posh Car Care which the shop owner advised was all that was needed since it was a new car. So the Silver Package is Wash, Vacuum, Clay, 2 Step Polish and Wax.
It took about 2 hours to complete and they really make an effort to look for even the tiniest scratches or marks to make sure that your car shines. Even on their RM10 washing jobs they were really careful to make sure everything was clean and dry.

The staff were also generous with their advice on how to maintain the paint shine on my own and what products I could use. This was what impressed me the most.

Polishing away all the tiny scratches/ swirl marks after covering all the plastic parts

Wiping off the wax.. no buffing involved

The result.. Sorry can't tell from the pics but the red does look redder(note the new visors)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Enter The Dragon

Finally the Pre-saga Saga ends and the Saga we've actually been waiting for begins..

10 am: Line up at JPJ in Padang Jawa Shah Alam to choose my number and register the car.

11 am: Choosing tints at Consultint shop near EON Glenmarie. The light bulb demo was quite impressive. Went for lunch at D'Place.. actually quite tasty Malay food..

12pm: Went through my Checklist while waiting for the tint.. 4 5 wheels? Check.. :P
Shop lounge TV was showing Spiderman 3... man all that dancing was unnecessary..

2pm: Sales guy gave me a briefing on how to use all of the 5 buttons on my dashboard hahaha.. this car is no Mazda 3 that's for sure.

3pm: 10th round around the parking lot. No No i'm not lost. I just like driving in circles:P Stalled 3 times already..

4pm: After reaching home i decided to go back out n do some practice on my hill starts in the housing area nearby. Must have stalled an additional 10-15 times ahahaha

5pm: Passed out from the leg cramps. My left leg found muscles it never knew it had..

Here are some pictures of the externals after stalling 5 times from the showroom:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Farewell to my hero

Farewell to my veteran silver hero.. you have served me and my family well for so long. It's now time for you to ride into the sunset and be a hero to some other family.

Thanks for the good times...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Definition of Saga

sa・ga (plural sa・gas)

noun Definition: 1. A long story or series of events: a complicated series of events or personal experiences stretching over a considerable period of time, or a detailed account of such a series of events or experiences ( informal )

I thought they meant the many events or experiences I will have over a long period of time with the car. Not the many events or experiences I will have just to get the car :P

0th week: You can get the car next week

1st week: You can get the car next week

2nd week: Guarantee you can get the car end of the month

3rd week: The car is stuck in customs. Don't know when you can get the car

4th week: The car is out of customs and the paint is being touched up. You can get the car next week

5th week: The car is still stuck in customs. Don't know when you can get the car


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


So apparently because these 1.6 saga are ex-taxi cars, they were exempted from taxes. So now before they can be sold to the public, the taxes will have to be paid first. This is the cause of the delay. Currently there are 300++ of these being processed and it will take some time... boo hoo..

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Robot-oes before hoes

So first you get the crappy car/alien robot, then u get the hot girl...

Please don't wake me up :P

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hallucinations kicking in

Does imagining your car as a alien bodyguard robot that talks through the radio mean there's something wrong with you?

But seriously though..Knowing how the Autobots always choose the lousy cars and not the tanks or fighter jets, there is a good chance that bumblebee would choose a red taxi spec saga1.6 :P

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dude Where's My Car?!

I want the best, I want the cheapest and I want it now! :P

So.. Dude, Where's My Car?!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Check out It's a fuel consumption tracking website. This way you can keep track of how much you are spending on fuel, and compare it with similar cars. It also has a mobile interface so you can upload your mileage data on the road.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Specifications from PROTON website


All systems go

Today I received news that the loan for the new saga has been approved. Very fast considering I only booked the car yesterday and had the loan interview at the same time.

ETA latest by next Friday. Great!

Proton SAGA BLM 1.6L M/T RM39000
Solid Chili Red
Accessories: Power window, Central Locking, Alarm, Anti-Rust, A/C, Radio CD Player, Wheel Cover, Door Visor, Reverse Sensor