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MEGA REVIEW: Subaru Levorg 1.6 GT-S

Subaru Levorg!  This is the Sports wagon I'm looking forward to...  I loved the car so much that I downloaded and scanned the Singaporea...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Unresolved problem with Proton - Why? Read on...

SOURCE: The Star Online Blog (Blog.thestar.com.my) August post. Posted by: sisleysusie, 1-Aug-2007.

Here's the article...

"I bought a brand new Proton Satria Neo 1.6 Auto HL in September 2006. Problems started after eight months of normal usage.

The first problem occurred in April-May this year and in a time span of four weeks I've been to the Proton service centre in Plentong 10 times to rectify one problem.

The second round of problems happened recently, in July/August.

Nature of the problem: Engine warning light will suddenly light while driving causing the car to jerk. This would be followed by a sudden gear change and drop in speed. The car can still be driven, however the RPM of the engine would increase to above 4,000 because the gear wouldn’t change, but would be locked in third gear (auto transmission).

Recently, the car behaved abnormally when the problem recurred. In fact, the car almost broke down all of a sudden when I was driving at 90kmh in the fast lane.

Every time the problem occurs, I have to drive for 40 minutes to the service centre, and spend a few hours waiting for my car to be fixed.

1st visit 21/04/07: They suspected a loose sensor and attempted to fix it but the problem was back three days later.

2nd visit 24/04/07: I was told that it’s a wiring or sensor problem. They fixed the sensor instead because that's the easiest to do, but the problem returned less than a week after my second visit.

3rd visit 30/04/07: They said the pedal sensor was faulty and the engine warning light was lit because the pedal sensor gave the wrong signal. They had no spare parts so I had to wait for the parts to arrive within 1-2 weeks. They also assured me that the initial problem had been fixed.

4th visit 04/05/07: The problem recurred. This time round, I demanded to see the service manager. I got the pedal sensor changed on the same day.

5th visit 05/05/07: The problem was still recurring. I reached the service centre at 6pm, but it was closed although the signboard reflects that the centre opens everyday until 8pm. A technician who was on standby assisted me, and once again assured me that the problem had been fixed.

6th visit 07/05/07: I went to the centre again to get the car further checked. The staff assured me that the problem would not recur.

7th visit 12/05/07: The problem returned soon enough. I called the manager and he said he would attend to us. Got the ECU and TCU changed which they had suspected earlier but did not take any action.

8th visit 14/05/07: After taking the car back, I realised that instead of solving the old problem, I was given even more problems related to the engine. I complained to the service manager, and I was told to leave my car at the service centre while they gave me a temporary replacement car.

9th Visit 15/05/07: I was called to the service centre to test drive the car. To my surprise, they removed my sport rims without my permission although the rims had nothing to do with the initial problem.

10th Visit 17/05/07: I collected my car and was assured many times that the problem had been solved.

11th Visit 27/07/07: The problem returned. This time the engine almost broke down, and the sudden drop in speed caused a trailer to almost hit me from the back. At the service centre I was told a wire was loose and they fixed it.

12th visit 28/07/07: Less than 12 hours after my 11th visit, the problem returned. I was driving at 90kmh in the fast lane along Jalan Skudai when the car suddenly jerked and the speed dropped suddenly. I almost had an accident because I was driving in the fast lane.

My car is still at the service centre now. Basically, it has been used as an experiment car to solve a problem which even Proton cannot solve. The car is barely one year old, but it has been repaired and cannibalised like a 10-year-old car.

I feel cheated of my RM54K. I'm a freelance programmer and also a student. As such, money is difficult to come by, and it wasn't easy to get my loan approved. But Proton has been playing around with my hard-earned money by selling me a faulty product.

I have filed a complaint via e-aduan at the Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs website. I only hope the ministry will be able to assist me in this matter."



Visitors Comments:

• We did some research some time ago in a foreign country for a motor magazine, comparing the quality of different vehicles. We only asked one core question - how busy is the service department and other sub-rider questions.

Proton's service department is very busy. This does not solve your current problem but may help your decision-making process when you consider your next vehicle.


By datuk_angin, 2-Aug-2007

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• Proton is the most expensive car in Malaysia when you take into account the servicing and money spent.
By HiraiKen, 2-Aug-2007

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• The very reason why I always advise others: Just say NO to Proton cars, no matter how great they look or how cheap they are.

In this case, the car looks great but being a Proton car, the price is not cheap either.
By joeina, 3-Aug-2007

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• My company "in following government policies and advice" bought some Protons in 2001, this is a simplified description of our problems with them:

a) One Wira had non-stop air-cond problems from Day 1 until today. Our log book showed 22 trips to Proton authorised workshops and the problem has yet to be solved.

b) Of 6 cars with auto cruise, 5 had the system failing on the drivers including one serious situation where the auto cruise refused to disengage.

c) It cost more to service a Perdana than to service a Honda (using authorised agents)- Standard Service.

These are just some of the "headaches" we face in using Proton as our company vehicle.

Our log also helps us in making future decisions when it comes to choosing a model to be our company car and this time Proton won't be on the list.
By mediaterrorist, 3-Aug-2007

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• I am very fortunate that the Proton cars that I bought - Saga, Wira and Iswara - have not given me any problems at all. But I have friends who had countless problems with theirs.

For the time being, I would not consider buying Proton cars because their parts and assembly practices are simply not up to par. I am particularly concerned about parts that are "Proton-designed", such as the Cam Pro engine, which has a poor reputation but Proton insists to continue to use. I was happy, as with other Proton owners, with the "older" engines that were or based on Mitsubishi engines.

Proton has no reason, other than foolish pride, to design and build its own engines. Not all other car manufacturers produce their own engines. Korean car-makers are smart to use engines that are developed jointly with prominent engine-makers. Ssangyong doesn't even develop its own but uses Mercedes Benz engines.

I think that Proton, with its pride and desire to move ahead, has clearly misstepped here. Instead of careful growth, it tried to join the big league too quickly. The blame lies squarely on the Government's practices to protect Proton. Proton has not evolved because there has been no need to. So, instead of having "strong legs" to compete, it is now a lame duck.

The vision of a global car-maker has all but vanished. The Government should realise and acknowledge this fact. Proton is quickly and surely losing market share even on homeground. How does Proton even dare to dream of competing regionally and globally?

It is fortunate that Malaysia still has another car-maker, Perodua, that is doing very well. Perhaps this is because Perodua is essentially a Toyota company, being 51% owned by Daihatsu, which in turn is owned by Toyota.

By sleekk, 3-Aug-2007

STILL WANT A "PROTON"? Think again...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Propose: Road tax based on insurance instead of...

I hereby proposed that our roadtax be determined by Insured value (or resale value) instead of Cubic Capacity (CC). Why?

Because it's Unfair for say (Example 1) a 15 years 0ld 3200cc car (1991 Honda Legend) owned by a Pensioner worth RM10,000 but have to fork out RM3,000 road tax PA. The pensioner don't want to sell his car due to sentimental value. It's his LAST COMPANY Car which he bought over when he retire...


Again, it's unfair as (Example 2) A New 350,000 E-class owner only pay RM3xx roadtax PA. Why is it so? Because the car's a 1.8.

Can you sense the irony in this 2 examples?

To ensure fairness, the Government should implement this proposal As soon as possible (ASAP) so that some Rich folks won't get away with the Loophole. It's SHOCKING, a 1796cc Mercedes E200K worth RM350,000 owner only have to pay RM3xx roadtax.

Avoid Lemon car/s...

How to find quality in your next car
Friday August 11, 6:00 am ET
Terry Jackson

While it's still possible to get a "lemon'' -- a new car that has a
plethora of problems -- the truth is that new vehicles today are more
reliable and better built than ever. The days are long gone when a dealer
sent you out the door with your new car and the advice, "Make a list of
things you find wrong and bring it back in a few weeks and we'll fix them.''

J.D. Power and Associates' most recent Initial Quality Study of new car
owners showed that 2006 models had the fewest problems of any year on
record -- a 59 percent drop since 1992.

A more extensive study by Consumer Reports mirrored the J.D. Power
findings. Since 1980, the number of glitches in new cars has been cut by
about 80 percent. Nearly every manufacturer has significantly improved
their products year to year.

But as with any competition, there are vehicles that rank at the top of the
quality lists and ones that rank at the bottom. So how can you tell if the
vehicle you're considering is a high-quality vehicle?

The best way is to see for yourself. Here are 10 of the key things to look
for at the dealership:
10 keys to look for

1. Look at the seams.
2. Match colors.
3. What lies beneath?
4. Under the hood.
5. Eye the glass.
6. Door "thunk".
7. Interior design.
8. Exposed wiring.
9. Little things mean a lot.
10. Serious test drive.

First, check out the body of the car, looking beyond the styling and paying
attention to the details.

1. Look at the seams. Check the gaps between body panels. Are the gaps
uniform throughout? A well-engineered and constructed car will show the
same body gaps around the doors, the trunk and the hood. Pay particular
attention to this on vehicles that have been significantly redesigned or
are all new to the market. Although the old adage about not buying a
redesigned model in the first year generally no longer applies, varying
body gaps may indicate the assembly process needs some adjusting.

2. Match colors. Pay attention to the places on the body where different
materials are used, such as where a nose made of a composite plastic
material meets the steel of the rest of the body. The paint should not
noticeably change hue from one surface to another.

3. What lies beneath? Look under the car to see what protrusions,
particularly at the front, could get hung up on parking berms and rip free.
Most cars have some sort of air dam underneath the vehicle at the front to
aid in cutting aerodynamic drag. But such air dams should be mounted far
enough back so parking berms won't rip them off or should be mounted in
such a way as to bend rather than break when encountering an object.

4. Under the hood. Even if you're no mechanic, closely inspect the engine
bay. Most cars have a cover that surrounds most of the top of the engine.
Make sure it's mounted securely -- you shouldn't be able to shake it. The
same test should apply to any battery covering. Look at the wiring. It
should be either covered or tightly bound together to prevent anything from
coming loose.

5. Eye the glass. Look at the window glass and see how the side windows fit
against the rubber gaskets when closed. Anything less than a perfect fit
will result in wind noise that will only get worse as the car ages.

6. Door "thunk". Open and close the doors, looking for how many so-called
"stops" are built into the hinges. A vehicle's door should have two
settings so that it will stay open in a half-way position and fully opened.
Shut the door and listen for any sort of hollow boom, which could indicate
there's less sound-deadening material in the door, which will mean greater
road noise.

7. Interior design. Check out the finish on the interior panels. While
plastic is the industry norm when it comes to door panels and dashboards,
there's a wide variety of grains and finishes applied to the plastic. The
dash and panels should have a rich-looking color and have a textured feel
to the casual touch. As with the body, the gaps between interior panels
should be close and uniform. Look especially where the air bags are hidden.

8. Exposed wiring. If the car you're interested in has power-adjustable
front seats, feel under them to see how the wiring and motor coverings are
secured. Loose wires or coverings could lead to problems in the future.

9. Little things mean a lot. Pay attention to things like seat latches.
They should work with minimal effort and all handles should feel secure,
not prone to bending or twisting. Check the stitching and seams of the
seats for any loose threads or less-than-straight sewing. Open the trunk
and see how the floor covering is secured and whether it's made of a
material that will stand up to carrying heavy or dirty cargo.

10. Serious test drive. Lastly, when you've all but settled on the vehicle
you want, take an extended test drive, not just a spin around the block.
Drive at freeway speeds and pay attention to wind and road noise. Pay
attention to how the automatic transmission shifts. It should change gears
smoothly and quickly. On a manual transmission, feel where the clutch
starts to engage and how long or short the pedal travel is. It should
engage gradually and not have any abrupt lurches. Find a safe area to test
the brakes. You're not so much looking for what the car will do in a panic
stop, but rather how the brakes feel when you apply the pedal. Depending on
how far the pedal travels, the feel of the brakes should inspire confidence
that the vehicle will stop in a relatively short distance.

All of this may sound like a no-brainer step to buying a car, but according
to a recent study, more than 40 percent of new car buyers closed the deal
without even taking a short test drive.

Smart buyers will pay attention to every aspect of a car in order to get a
vehicle that will deliver value.