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Saturday, November 29, 2008

LONGTERMERS #1, Update 5: Ford Telstar i4 DOHC 16v

LONGTERMERS #1, Update 5: Ford Telstar i4 DOHC 16v GHIA

Many things happened to my Telstar in the month of November. Last month my Telstar got ‘Kissed’ by a Kia Spectra driven by a Teenager. The rear bumper cracked, misaligned which also caused the BOOT difficult to close. I set aside RM300 for repair. The solution? RM166 Knock the mountings and welding on the inside of the bumper followed by 2 screws on the right side of the bumper.

Guess what?

My Telstar was without bumper for 1 day. (See photo above).

Beside that, the Telstar temperature went up again. Changed the thermostat and ONE "used" Radiator fan worth RM245.

Without further ado, let’s proceed to the Logbook.


Year of manufactured: 1998 (registered January 1999)
Purchase price: RM42,000 (Aug 2005)
Current value: RM18,000 (As at October 2008)
Depreciation per year (averaged): RM8,000
Mileage last month: 137483km.
Mileage now: 138580km.

Fuel consumption: Now using back to Mobil RON97. RM80 (40L as at RM2.00/L) lasts for 250kms... A "savings" of 40km +/-.

Expenses (this month)
1) Bumper knocking, welding and screwing. RM166
2) Used Radiator fan, thermostat: RM245

Here's a parting shot of the Telstar...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Some of you will ask, what is "TARA 3"? Well it stands for "The Amazing Race Asia 3" which ended recently. The season premiered on September 11, 2008 and consists of 11 episodes, two episodes less than the first and second seasons. The season finale aired on November 20, 2008. This season had 20 teams racing across 4 continents covered 50,000 kilometres (32,023 miles) in 24 days. AND THE WINNER IS?


My (oto-reviewer's) Thoughts:

This season's race was also known as "The Toughest Race Ever". I agree, BUT there's something missing from Season 2. Here's my series of questions:

1) Where is "Intersection (or 2 teams working together)?
2) Why ALL countries they went confined to Asia?
(Last Season at least they went to Czech Republic).
3)Why 5 eliminations in A ROW?

4) WHY ARE THEY SO MANY CELEBRITIES in the Show? If you want celebrities, 2 teams will do. But here we have "TWO Ex-MISS UNIVERSE", TWO MODEL/ACTRESS (Ida and Bernie, the latter's 1990s Supermodel), TWO Stand-up comedians (Sam and Vince)... It's OVERLOADED with CELEBRITIES. Please GIVE CHANCES to the Public (in TARA 4), finger's crossed...

Overall, besides the above questions, I kinda enjoyed the Reality TV Show. But I missed "HILARIOUS" teams such as MARDY and MARSIO (M&M) (season 1) and MARC and ROVILSON (Season 2). The FORMER INSPIRED me as I'm their SIZE. If M&M can do bungee, I CAN, if they can dive, I can, if they can eat GROSS foods I CAN... Also the unforgettable quotes: "I like to eat but I select what I eat!" AND "Mardieee, Mardiee WAIT UP!".

Besides my ramblings, I dished out 2 articles from the web... Enjoy...

SOurce 2: Posted on November 20th, 2008 (2)

The stage is set for the final episode of The Amazing Race Asia 3 and it’s an exciting one! Almost eliminated twice in the race, can Ida and Tania sustain their lead to win it all? Will Geoff and Tish’s lack of good chemistry ruin their chance to be 1st? Can Sam and Vince catch up despite their 4-hour penalty?
Read on and find out.

Still in Muscat, Oman

Ida and Tania left the pit stop at 5:42 AM with Geoff and Tish trailing behind by ten minutes. Their first task is to drive to the Office of the Governorate of Muscat.
Upon reaching the site, they encountered an Hours of Operation for 8 AM. Not a problem since Sam and Vince are still hours behind.

Camel Crossing

Next task is for teams to drive to Said’s Camel Farm and transfer 10 camels into a holding pen.

Geoff and Tish were just following Ida and Tania. But they managed to get way ahead and still able to grab something to eat. Maybe Geoff and Tish stopped and ate somewhere?

At around 10 AM, Sam and Vince left the Pit Stop.
Ida and Tania were the first to arrive at the camel farm and finished the task even before other teams arrived.


Teams must then drive to a nearby sandy area and a team member must use a metal detector under the scorching sun to locate a key buried in the sand that will unlock the clue box. There are only 7 correct keys out of 70 and the the sand is really hot.
While on their way, Ida and Tania already felt the heat of the sun and Ida even commented that she didn’t wish her worst enemy to be stuck under it.

Unknowingly, Geoff and Tish’s vehicle got stuck in the sand so Geoff did a lot of pushing to get them out. When they got to the farm, they quickly transferred the camels and head to the roadblock where they met and Sam and Vince along the way. Team Hong Kong’s catching up.

Tania did the roadblock and was clearly having trouble working under the heat. She even stopped to rest and get hydrated. Anyway, she found the correct key even before Geoff and Tish arrived.

Sticky Situation

After a few more difficultness maneuvering their vehicle, Geoff and Tish arrived at the roadblock. They saw Ida and Tania having trouble getting their vehicle out of the sand. They’re at a disadvantage because they lack the power to push their vehicle.

Tish did the roadblock. I wonder why she didn’t wear any gloves for the hot sand.
Back at the camels, Sam and Vince were unfortunate to be stuck with the most uncooperative camels of the bunch. The camels kept running around and dragging the boys who had a hard time with the task.

Tisha found the correct key and they quickly went to their next destination. They manage to overtook Ida and Tania who still can’t get their vehicle out of the sand.
Finally, the Malaysians asked help from the locals to help them with their vehicle and were on their way out as well. I wonder why they didn’t think of that at first?
On their way out, they saw Sam and Vince who also had the problem of being stuck in the sand.

Phuket Here We Come

Teams must then fly to Phuket, Thailand then travel by taxi to Sam Poh Kong Temple to get their next clue.

At the airport, Ida and Tania caught up with Geoff and Tish. There are only a few flights available from Oman going to Phuket so Ida and Tania took a gamble by flying to Dubai on an earlier trip and get a connecting flight from there.

Geoff and Tish took a flight that will take them to Dubai -> Bangkok -> Phuket. Geoff was disappointed when Sam and Vince managed to make the same flight as theirs.
In Dubai, Ida and Tania missed their connecting flight! Uh oh! They had no choice but to get another flight to Phuket via Singapore.

When their flight arrived at Phuket, Geoff and Tish got a head start from seating at the front. Geoff was getting cocky knowing that they’re number one. They arrived at the temple first and got their clue.

Sam and Vince were just minutes behind.

Ice Cold Task and Karma

Teams must get to the Thai Trade Food Ice Factory at the port in Siray Island. Once there, they have to search for a small Amazing Race ice cube buried in a barrel full of ice shavings.

Karma bit Geoff and Tish as their taxi driver told them that he didn’t know where the ice factory is.

Sam and Vince got to the factory first and were surprised to see three untouched barrels of ice. They quickly went on to the task and found the cube for their next clue before other teams arrived. They’re on the lead!

Get to Lam Hin Pier

Teams must make their way to Lam Hin Pier to get their next clue.
Sam and Vince were glad to be ahead but their driver told them that their taxi just ran out of fuel. Not near any gas station, their driver was able to call in a friend so they could transfer taxis. Whew.

Finally, Geoff and Tish got to the ice factory but were clearly frustrated at their driver. They found the cube and their clue and were glad that their driver knew where their next destination is.

Ida and Tania finally arrived at Phuket and rushed to get their clue.

Floating Fisherman

At Lam Hin Pier, teams must ride a long-tail boat and look for a marked fisherman fishing in the middle of the sea. He will give them their next clue.
Sam and Vince arrived first and had no problems getting to the fisherman. They got their clue and were on their way to the next task.
Geoff and Tish got to the pier and went out to the sea. Geoff who seems not to be bothered losing their lead took his time taking the clue from the fisherman. Arrrghhh, stop horsing around.

DETOUR: Pull or Plunge

Teams must make their way via the long-tail boat to a nearby beach for a detour.
In Pull, teams must kayak to a nearby oyster farm and pull the oyster lines till they find the marked shell. They will exchange the shell for their next clue back at the beach.

In Plunge, teams must snorkel and search for a giant clamshell with a pearl inside and exchange it for the clue.

Sam and Vince chose Plunge. When they started doing the task, they found out that it’s hard to search the murky water along with the strong current so they decided to switch to Pull.

We’re Done

On their way to the beach, Geoff and Tish chose to do Pull since Tish is not good in swimming. Geoff was confident that they can catch up with Sam and Vince if they chose to do Pull since he thought they would have a hard time with the kayak. He’s pretty confident with their kayak skills.

When they got to the beach, they saw that Sam and Vince were still at the oyster farm. They quickly got to the kayak but realized that rowing it was harder than they thought. They were just going in circles and even flipped their kayak.

They gave up rowing for a while with Geoff’s temper flaring up. Geoff even mentioned that they’re done. Done with their relationship or done with the race? Either way, they just gave up. Sheesh.

Sam and Vince found the marked shell while Geoff and Tish are still stuck in their kayak. Geoff and Tish got dejected when they saw Sam and Vince heading back while they are still just sitting on their kayak.

Buried Treasure

Teams must get to nearby Rang Yai Beach and dig the sand for a buried treasure chest. They must then carry the chest towards the finish line.
Geoff and Tish eventually found the correct oyster shell and got their clue.
Ida and Tania knew that they were far behind so they just enjoyed the rest of the race. They efficiently did the ice task and then enjoyed the boat ride searching for the fisherman.

Sam and Vince had to do a lot of digging with their hands. The chest was buried deep in the sand and they had to clear lots of sand around it.

The editing crew made it look like that Geoff and Tish can still catch up. However, when they got to Rang Yai Beach, Sam and Vince are nowhere to be seen. Or are the buried treasure locations far apart from each other? Anyway, both Geoff and Tish are still not in speaking terms and they just went on digging.

Ida and Tania did the Plunge task which I think is the easier one. They were goofing around while snorkeling with Tania even lifting up an anchor. They just laughed when they saw that the giant clamshell was placed in shallow waters so there’s no need for swimming.

Towards the Finish Line

Sam and Vince were able to dig the chest out first and carry it towards the finish line where the other eliminated teams are waiting.

When they step on the mat, Allan declared that they’re the official winners of The Amazing Race Asia 3. Congratulations guys! You did well overcoming your disadvantage at the start of the race.

Meanwhile, Geoff didn’t allow Tish to help with the chest and just carried it all by himself towards the finish line for second place. He didn’t even allow Tish to kiss him on the lips and just presented his cheek.

Article From The Star: 21 November 2008 (1)

Malaysians Ida and Tania lose lead after missing flight in finals of Amazing Race Asia

BANGKOK: They may not have won The Amazing Race Asia 3 but Malay¬sians Ida Nerina and Tania Khan are still happy they made it to the finals.
The two, dubbed the actress and the heiress in the race, came in third in a heart-stopping and unpredictable finale.

The race was won by Sam Wu and Vince Chung from Hong Kong while Geoff Rodriguez and Tisha Silang from the Philippines came in second.

“I think it was only frustrating because we fell behind, not of our own doing but because of a third party. All our magical planning went to waste,” said Tania.
Tania and Ida were leading in the beginning but lost crucial time when they missed their flight to Phuket, the final destination of The Amazing Race Asia 3.

Previously, in The Amazing Race Asia 2, the Malaysian team consisting of sisters Pamela and Vanessa Chong came in second, and in the first season, Malaysians Joe Jer and Zabrina walked away as champions.

The two contestants from Hong Kong walked away with the US$100,000 (RM365,000) cash prize. Sam and Vince were overjoyed with their win.
“It’s out of this world and an experience money can’t buy,” said Vince.
“It’s been totally unbelievable and we’ve had such wonderful experiences,” said Sam.

The Amazing Race Asia 3 saw 10 teams from all over Asia participate in gruelling challenges, covering over 20,000km in more than seven countries, such as Vietnam, Taiwan, China, India, Oman and Thailand, where the race began and ended.

Rockin in Bangkok for the TARA3 Finale Party (3)
Rockin in Bangkok for the TARA3 Finale Party

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2008 4:59AM / Standard Entry

Even though I was unable to partake in the festivities and merrymaking this year at the Finale Party for The Amazing Race Asia, I'm happy to be able to see that everyone present had a rockin good time! Thanks to Marlene at AXN for sending me these pictures so that I can see how great everyone looks after they're all cleaned up once again!
Natalie definitely was back in Miss Universe mode after the race...

The top three teams always enjoy their special time together on stage to share about the entire experience...

...and don't forget to check out the "bump" on Tania, who's got a little "racer" on da way!
A lot of the teams from Season Two and Season One also arrived in Bangkok to partake in the festivities...

Then there's gotta be a group shot for all the teams from this season in the "Toughest Race Ever"...

Congratulations once again to Sam and Vince from Team Hong Kong. Like I said earlier, you two totally deserved every penny of the prize money!

During the night, it seems that Geoff couldn't keep his eyes--and hands--off the big check from AXN for one hundred thousand US Dollars...

...and even snuck off with it in the end!

I wonder if he tried to cash it too?!

(1) The Star online (for pictures and article)

(2)Source Posted by a blogger named calvin:
(3) Wu's blog)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Citroen Xsara 1.6i

SORRY for NO PHOTOS... Streamyx Down for the past week, Now using Dial-up 56k. WIll upload pictures by 29 November... Picture uploaded as promised on 29/11/08

In this blog entry, I’m covering 1999 to 2002 Citroen Xsara 1.6i. The Xsaras were on sale in Malaysia in 3 bodystyles which is Coupe, 5 door hatchback and estate. It was priced from RM89,000 to RM98,000 back in 2000. The then distributor, Directional Motors Sdn Bhd managed to import 300 to 400 units between 1999 to 2002. The used car values of Xsara in Malaysia are as follows (2001 and 2002 are estimated figures as I can’t find any in the used markets):

Year: 1999 2000 2001 2002
Price (RM) 17k 20k 24k 30k

As usual, I don’t have a testcar to brag about. All is not lost, I dished out a COMPLETE Review by GoAuto Australia (1), followed by 6 Owners reviews from (2). Enjoy…


The Xsara range went through a reshuffle at the beginning of 2001 with the arrival of a facelift which saw the addition to its five-door hatch of two coupe models - the 2.0-litre VTS and the 1.6-litre VTR. Coupe is a bit of a misnomer, by the way, as they are both definitely three-door hatchbacks. The VTR is the plain-jane 1.6-litre version (tested here), while the 2.0-litre VTS is the grungier of the two. Both add a real touch of panache to the Xsara, and the Citroen range as a whole.

THE Citroen Xsara may not look like a Citroen, drive like a Citroen or ride like a Citroen, but the badge may be enough to lure buyers to this Peugeot-based small car. The Peugeot connection can be seen as a positive - the Xsara picks up the 306's peerless-in-class chassis, renowned for its splendid balance of ride, handling and roadholding qualities. So it is comfortable in a Renault sort of way, well equipped and capable of taking up to five passengers, with luggage.

The Car

Citroen claims the Xsara is one of the most spacious cars in the segment, offering the longest cabin length and the biggest boot capacity of 408 litres

Equipped with Citroen's self-steering rear axle, the Xsara offers the marque's traditional ride and handling qualities

The central rear view mirror is fitted with two ball joints so it can be adjusted for tilt as well as height

The door check straps have three positions to make it easy to get in and out of the Xsara. The first notch enables the door to be opened slightly so you do not hit the car parked next to you

An indicator on the instrument cluster shows the distance to be covered before the next scheduled service. If the figure is less than 500km, the display flashes

The main points of inspection in the engine bay are clearly identified through the use of bright colours and symbols to simplify routine maintenance

All Xsara models are equipped with an electric function to adjust headlamp elevation

The use of high-strength steel in the doors and substructure brings a considerable increase in stiffness without a weight penalty

The rear parcel shelf can be stored vertically against the back of the rear bench
Electric windows, climate control air-conditioning, remote central locking and a powered passenger door mirror are standard along with a driver airbag.

The Car - Seat Plan

THE Xsara coupe is a five-seater, with five lap-sash seatbelts, five headrests and dual frontal airbags. There are small door pockets front and rear, along with two seat-back pockets and a reasonably-sized glovebox. Further storage space is provided by a lidded centre box, lidded boxes in each door armrest and a coin holder with a rubber mat in the vertical centre console. But no sign of a cupholder anywhere except in the glovebox lid.

The Car - Seats

ALTHOUGH Citroen doesn't describe them as such, the seats are heavily bolstered enough to be called sports seats. Finished in a cloth trim, they - along with the rest of the interior presentation - continue the European mania for all things dark. A little red relieves the black in the seat and door trim, and the cloth is interrupted by vinyl on the seat sides and backs. The driver's seat has height adjustment via an excellent VW-style lever, but the front passenger misses out on this feature, which is a pity because the hip point is high, placing tall passengers' heads too close to the grabhandle above the door.

The Car - Dash

THE Xsara coupe places its two major dials in a hooded recess in the dash, with the speedometer on the left and the tachometer on the right. As with any would-be sporting model, the dials are done in white, with the needles in red. The tripmeter and odometer are digital and placed within the speedo dial, while the oil pressure gauge within the tacho. Water temperature gauge sits at the bottom left of the recess and the fuel gauge at bottom right. The indicator arrows sit top dead centre and, unusually, are backlit outlines rather than fully lit-up when activated. The recess is surrounded by hard, black plastic which houses the joystick-type power mirror adjustment on the right and instrument illumination adjust on the left.

The Car - Controls

The overall presentation of the VTR is moderately sporting, with some carbon-fibre trim and a burnished metal gearknob. But the centre verticle console doesn't tilt in toward the driver at all, as some sporting cars do - BMW for instance - and the whole impression is pretty dark. There are some odd touches too, like the horn on the end of the left-hand indicator stalk, the power front window switches mounted in the vertical centre console rather than on the doors. The rear windows are manual push-outs by the way. After that it starts getting a bit sparse: no sign of cruise control or any other steering wheel controls, no trip computer, no internal fuel or hatch release, not even variable intermittent wipers. At least the left footrest is a proper one.

The Car - Wheels/tyres

WHILE the VTR's six-spoke plastic wheel covers are quite stylish, if you want alloys you'll have to pay the extra for the VTS. Nevertheless, the wheel covers are easy enough to clean with no small crevices to access. Citroen hasn't skimped on the spare, with a full-size item mounted on a bracket under the floor - no, we don't mean under the boot floor, we mean underneath the car altogether. The sturdy-looking jack is securely located in a plastic box located in the boot.

The Car - Luggage

CITROEN claims 408 litres of boot volume with the rear seats in place, with an impressive 1190 litres created when the 60/40 split-fold rear seats are dropped down. It's noticeable there's quite a high lift into the cargo area, although once you get there it's fully carpeted except for the rear bulkhead, and the floor's flat. The child seat straps are in the floor, which won't help carrying cargo. Theres no sign of hooks or parcel nets, only a fragile rubber strap on the right-hand side which we think was designed to secure objects.

The Car - Climate control

AIR-CONDITIONING is standard and Citroen describes it as a 'climate control" system. It looks just like an old-style system with red and blue zones denoting hotter and colder, only Citroen's painted some numbers on the fascia to give you a rough idea of the temperature you're setting. Climate control or not, our past experience with this system is that the Aussie summer can tax its capacities to the limit. Commendably, the system does include a pollen and particle filter.

The Car - Sound system

THE VTR employs a Eurovox sound system familiar to purchasers of cars from a variety of European car-makers, including Citroen's sister car company, Peugeot. The six-speaker system includes an in-dash single-CD player, and AM/FM stereo. Of a cassette player there is no sign, the stereo offers 12 FM pre-sets, six AM pre-sets and all functions are operated by push-buttons. Annoyingly, the unit will not turn off when you shut down the engine and withdraw the ignition key. Why?


THE VTR is equipped with remote central locking of the doors and hatch, via a large fob. To prevent picking, the locks have two rows of cyclinders which means the number of possible combinations increases from 2000 to 20,000. To reduce the risk of a thief copying the key by stealing the fuel cap, the fuel cap lock has only one row of barrels. The locks are also freewheeling and the rods secure against picking. Citroen has also ensured the boot lock cannot be accessed by removing the lights and number plate. The NRMA awards the Xsara 76.5 points out of a possible 110 for theft security, losing 10 points for the lack of an alarm alone.

We like: Interior space, on-road competence, build quality
We don't: Choppy low-speed ride, average performance of 1.6-litre version

Our Opinion

Xsara is the name of Citroen's small medium car, which first appeared here in 1998 as a five-door hatchback. A totally orthodox car which shares much of its underpinnings with the Peugeot 306, it's been a small but consistent seller

UNDER the skin, the Xsara is a modified, updated Peugeot 306. Xsara is more fortunate than most in this regard. We still find the 306 to be one of the sweetest driving cars around, especially dominant in the under $40,000 class. Steering response is not dull, although the car never feels as agile as the 306.

The Citroen benefits from a supple, cosseting ride, ideal for the urban elite at whom it is aimed. People like this car. They point at it, they ask about it. They like it. It's not aggressive, it's not confronting, it's simply nice.

Citroen might prefer the VTR to be regarded with more apprehension, or lust perhaps. But this is a benign car, as easy to drive as it is easy on the eye.

The main reason for that is the 1587cc 16-valve four-cylinder engine, which produces 83kW at 5750rpm and 150Nm of torque at 4000rpm. Perfectly decent numbers for a 1.6, but combine it with an 1134kg kerb weight and any prospect of eye-watering performance is absent.

It's a nice, enthusiastic engine which revs hards without rough patches or excessive noise, but that punch associated with real sports vehicles is missing.

Frugal, relaxed driving ensures the engine remains all but inaudible. On test, an intriguing harmonic at cruising speed droned its way through the interior - a characteristic we hope was confined to our manual review car.

The tail is truncated but the notchback shape (with more than a nod to its bigger Xantia sister) hides a large boot for the class. Visibility is questionable. Looking forward it's fine, but the "shoulder check" by the driver isn't all that valuable because of the proximity of the B-pillar and the slope of the C-pillar - the latter also making it hard for little people to see out from the back seat.

Handy bungee chords inside secure small parcels while a lightly sprung hatch has a useful handle that is easy to grip even with snow gloves on.

Priced and equipped attractively, the Xsara makes an appealing proposition in its segment.

- Automotive NetWorks 05/07/1999

Mechanical - Engine

THE VTR is powered by a 1.6-litre 16-valve four-cylinder engine that produces 83kW at 5750 rpm, and 150Nm of torque at 4000rpm, good figures for an engine of this capacity and threatening some 1.8s. Codenamed TU5J4, changes from this engine's predecessor include reprofiling the inlet and exhaust manifold, and increasing the size of the inlet valves. Sequential fuel injection and a fly-by-wire electronic throttle are also now part of the package. Standard unleaded fuel is okay to use, with the official consumption given at 9.3L/100km on the city cycle and 5.5L/100 for highway driving.

Mechanical - Suspension

THE Xsara Coupe shares its suspension layout with the famous Peugeot 306. Why? Because Peugeot and Citroen are all part of the same big, happy French family known as the PSA Group, which also includes the much smaller specialist makers Matra and Talbot. Front suspension is by MacPherson struts with coil springs, dampers and a decoupled anti-roll bar. At the rear there's a torsion beam axle with two trailing arms, an anti-roll bar and dampers.
Did you know?
Citroen employs a self-steering rear axle in the Xsara, which basically stops the rear wheels heading in the opposite direction during hard cornering

Mechanical - Steering

THE Xsara is steered via a rack-and-pinion system with variable power assistance. The steering wheel adjusts for both height and reach. The VTR turns from lock-to-lock in 2.5 turns and has a 10.7-metre turning circle. The rear axle employs a system called passive rear steering, which is designed to rid the rear wheels of the tendency to steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels when loaded up, and reduces the risk of the car becoming unsettled during cornering. Compared to the previous coupe, which we didn't get in Australia, this car's front track has been widened by 10mm and the rear by 12mm.

Did you know?
Citroen has campaigned the Xsara in world championship rallying for a number of years, scoring its first win in the Rally of Catalunya in 1999, when it was only a two-wheel drive up against four-wheel drives like the Subaru Impreza WRX and Ford Focus WRC


BOTH the driver and front-seat passenger are offered the security of "smart" airbags as standard, while front side and curtain airbags and ABS anti-lock braking with electronic brake force distribution are standard only on the VTS, although they can be optioned. Everyone gets height adjustable lap-sash seatbelts with the fronts also having pyrotechnic pretensionsers, force limiters and seatbelt grabbers. Headrests are also standard all-round, with height and tilt adjustment at the front. The facelifted Xsara gains additional reinforcements to side members, windscreen pillars, roof, B-pillars, doors, engine subframe and lower front.


* Three years/60,000km
* Major service intervals: 12 months/20,000km


* 1.587-litre 16-valve DOHC front-mounted transverse inline four-cylinder
* Power: 83kW @ 5750rpm
* Torque: 150Nm @ 4000rpm
* Bore x stroke: 78.5mm x 82.0mm


* Four speed automatic


* Front: independent by MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
* Rear: torsion beam axle with two trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar, passive rear steering


* Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
* Turns lock-to-lock: 2.5
* Turning circle: 10.7 metres


Front: Ventilated Discs,
Rear: drums, servo assisted dual circuits.
ABS anti-lock braking with electronic brake force distribution are standard on COUPE


* Length: 4188mm
* Width: 1705mm
* Height: 1405mm
* Front track: 1433mm
* Rear track: 1442mm
* Wheelbase: 2540mm
* Kerb weight: 1219kg

Maximum speed: 190km/h
0-100km/h: 12.8 secs

See owner’s review


* Remote central locking
* Twin front airbags
* Air-conditioning
* Front and rear fog lights
* Five lap-sash seatbelts
* Five head restraints
* Front/rear foglights
* Cloth upholstery
* Electric windows/mirrors
* Height/reach adjustable steering wheel
* Split-folding rear seat

Without further ado, let's proceed to Owner's review (2)
CENSORED.  Due to copyright issues by

That's all folks. Thanks for having the time and patience to read this LONG Review.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Check it out: 1969 VW Beetle 1.6 @ 93mph (150km/h)!

VW Beetle '69 1.6cc Stock 93MPH / 150KM/H
Elite highway, Shah Alam - Putrajaya/Cyberjaya

The car shakes when it gets to 62mph-70mph after that it runs smooth....
until 92mph (over the meter) shakes abit but after i think about 95mph it doesn't shake as much but i dare not press somemore.
my fren from JB says he tries 160KMH and also dare not try to over speed anymore.his meter is a KMH at 160 max. - Askar_lcy from Lowyat forum.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FULL Review: Saab 9-3S

FULL REVIEW: Saab 9-3S 1999 to 2002

In this blog entry, I'm covering SAAB 9-3S. It's a very rare in Malaysia. Hong Leong Auto Concessionaires brought in few units between 1997 to 2000 (1997 to 98 was called Saab 900s), 1999 onwards were called 9-3s. Then there's changes in 2001, "Auto Eurokars" owned by Dato' Mokhzani Mahathir took over the distributorship. They imported in few units from 2001 to 2003 before being replaced by 2nd generation Saab 9-3s.

As usual, I don’t have a car to test/brag about as this Saab’s Freaking RARE. The resale value depends on buyer as this car's too RARE to gauge the Resale Values. Spotted a 2001 model for sale @ RM55,000 and a newer (next generation) 2004(!) model for RM78,000. All is not lost, I dished out a FULL REVIEW from GoAuto Australia (1), Owners’ review (Worldwide) with both Positive and Negative ones from Carsurvey (2). ENJOY!

MSN Auto US Average Rating
(Updated every 3 hours)

Overall Rating 8.2

Styling 9.0

Performance 8.6

Interior 8.5

Quality 7.6

Recommendation 7.8

START OF GoAuto Australia's review


SAAB's move to all-turbo engines for its 9-3 in late 1998 spiced up an ageing model range. With the improved dynamics of a reworked suspension and the upgraded safety and comfort levels introduced with the 9-3 a few months earlier, the turbo engine added to an already appealing package. It offers a bigger boot than practically anyone, but rear seat passengers are not so well treated and general dynamics are not class leading.

Previous Model

Saab 900
March 1994-June 1998

Saab's first GM-based car came with teething problems that persisted until the 9-3 model in June 1998. The front-drive 900 was however relatively spacious with a huge boot. Four-cylinder 2.0-litre normally aspirated and turbo engines were offered, along with a 2.3-litre and a 2.5-litre V6.

The Car

SAAB was on a minimum budget when refining the 900 model to create the 9-3. The car builds on the basic strengths of the 900 and adds more authority with a bolder grille, while bringing the rear end into line with the bigger 9-5 model by relocating the licence plate between the tail lights and reprofiling the panel above the (also reshaped) bumper.

Did you know?
More than 1200 technical changes over the 900 were made to create the 9-3

The Car - Seat Plan

THE 9-3 seats five passengers. Lap-sash belts are provided in all seating positions. The Saab's hatchback design is an uncommon feature in the prestige segment.

The Car - Seats

THE 9-3'S front seats are basically the same as the bigger 9-5. The driver's seat offers adjustment for height and lumbar support. Both front seats have in-built heating. The reclining mechanism is wheel-adjusted. From 2001, leather upholstery is standard (pictured).

Did you know?
Saab began as an aeronautical company

The Car - Dash

THERE'S a lot to like about the thinking that goes into Saab dashboard design. Simple, clean and a servant of the driver rather than a distraction. Examples? The speedometer scales that compresses above 120km/h so more space is allocated to the lower speeds where we spend most of our driving lives and the "Night Panel" which at the flick of a switch lights only the basic instruments. Other neat touches include a lockable full-size glovebox and dual vanity mirror on the sunvisors.

The Car - Controls

THE steering wheel is adjustable for height only. The ignition key is located on the centre console. The ignition key can only be removed if the lever is in reverse in manual versions, or park in automatics. The pull-up handbrake is centrally located. Cruise control switches are located on the left-hand steering column stalk. The 9-3 uses a basic trip computer displaying ambient temperature, fuel average, distance to empty. Exterior mirror controls are located on the driver's door. The boot lid can be unlocked via a switch on the driver's door.

The Car - Wheels/tyres

THE 9-3 S comes standard with steel wheels, but alloy wheels, such as the one pictured above, are an option. The standard wheel size is 15 x 6-inch. The 9-3 comes standard fitted with Pirelli 9000 tyres and uses wider 195/60 x 15 tyres than the 900 it replaces.

Did you know?
The 9-3's four-cylinder engine and gearbox are basically the only major components that are all Saab

The Car - Luggage

THE 9-3 offers a particularly large luggage capacity for its size. The 9-3 has a split-fold rear seat to assist flexibility. The rear seat design incorporates a lap-sash belt for the centre passenger. The 9-3 external hatch lock automatically activates so the car cannot inadvertently be left unlocked. A light on the instrument panel illuminates if the rear hatch is not properly shut. The rear seats double-fold to maximise loading capacity.

Did you know?

Saab's "active" head restraint design won the 1997 Windscreens O'Brien safety award when introduced on the 9-5 model

The Car - What's changed

THE 9-3 is all about refinement rather than wholesale changes. The outer skin, as detailed above, has some changes, and there are mechanical refinements as well. Nothing, however, that elevates the car beyond the mainstream of a very competitive class.

The Car - Stand out features

THE 9-3 distinguishes itself in the thoughtful detail. Headlight washers are a standard feature; the redesigned tailgate features an exterior opening handle and a repositioned high-level brake light; the rear seat backrest incorporates a full-width beam that locates the centre lap-sash seatbelt and provides extra lateral rigidity; "Active" front seat head restraints protect against whiplash injuries; "Night panel" instrumentation illuminates dials on a need to know basis.

Did you know?
The Saab 9-3 comes in three-door, five-door and convertible forms

The Car - Climate control

THE 9-3'S standard heating/air conditioning system is manually operated and incorporates a pollen filter. The 9-3 uses rotary switches for temperature, air direction and fan speed. A separate button is provided to recirculate the air inside the car. The airflow capacity of the system was improved with the introduction of the 9-3. Headlights can be adjusted from the instrument panel. Rear-view mirrors are heated for better winter vision. The 9-3's air-conditioning compressor has better performance than that of the 900, particularly at low speed and when the engine is idling.

The Car - Sound system

THE 9-3 is equipped with a four-speaker sound system. The system is powered by a 120 Watt amplifier. A single-disc CD player is incorporated into the fascia. The sound system changes volume according to road speed. Up to six AM stations can be preselected. The radio offers two FM bands, enabling storage of 12 separate stations. The audio system can be operated by controls mounted on the steering wheel.

The Car - Security

THE 9-3 incorporates an electronic immobiliser. An anti-theft alarm system is activated when the car is locked. The 9-3's central locking system is operated by remote control.

Positive +ve: Smooth turbo power, massive boot, safety features
Negative -ve: Tight rear compartment, below-par handling

Mechanical - Plan views

SAAB'S 9-3 is based on an old GM platform which was used for such mundane transportation as the Vauxhall Cavalier. So, no surprises about the mundane nature of the drivetrain then, which comprises a transverse-mounted engine driving the front wheels. What does get interesting is when a fair amount of torque and kilowatts is channelled to those front wheels. Torque steer aplenty can be the result.

Mechanical - Engine

THE 9-3's four-cylinder engine is a Saab design and uses a cast-iron block with an alloy, twin camshaft, 16-valve cylinder head. Its standout features are the separate coils used for each cylinder and its low-pressure intercooled turbocharger. The engine is different to the new low-friction version used in the 9-5 and in Aero versions of the 9-3.

Mechanical - Suspension

WHEN the 900 became the 9-3, Saab did a lot of work ironing out many of the problems that beset the earlier car. More front suspension travel, a faster steering ratio and numerous changes including new steering gear mountings made the 9-3 a better riding, better handling car. Wider standard tyres also helped.

Did you know?
The 9-3 uses independent MacPherson strut front suspension. Rear suspension is a torsion beam design using an anti-sway bar

Mechanical - Transmission

THE 9-3 is available with a five-speed manual tranmssion, or with an Aisin Warner four-speed, electronically controlled automatic. The manual benefitted signficantly with the adoption of a hydraulically operated clutch in the switch from 900 to 9-3. The automatic offers two modes of operation and is able to "learn" individual driving styles.

Mechanical - Brakes

THE 9-3's braking system uses all the latest technology to maximise effectiveness. Backing the anti-lock is electronic brake force distribution that regulates the pressure going to the brakes according to various factors, including weight distribution. The Saab's front brakes were increased in size over early 900s that were found to have difficulty coping with repeated heavy use.

Did you know?
The 9-3 uses a four-wheel disc braking system and the front discs are ventilated to assist cooling

Mechanical - Steering

SAAB took a load of criticism over the steering characteristics of the first new generation 900s and for the 9-3 answered a lot of this with a faster ratio and some re-engineering of the mechanism's mounting points. The result is a better feel than the 900 and less reluctance to turn into a corner. More power assistance helped cancel out the effects of the faster steering ratio, although the 9-3 still asks for a bit of effort at the wheel.

Did you know?

The 9-3 uses power-assisted rack and pinion steering. The wheel goes from lock to lock in three turns. Turning circle is a tight 10.5 metres


THE front airbags are inflated by a "soft" charge, making them less aggressive to occupants seated well forward. Two-stage head-thorax side airbags protect the occupants' rib cage and head in side impacts. The body structure is designed to distribute the impact forces over as large an area as possible in an accident. The 9-3 incorporates Saab's "active" head restraints that protect against whiplash injuries.


* Two years/unlimited km
* Service intervals: 10,000km


* 1.985 litre, electronic fuel-injection, double overhead cam, 16-valve, four cylinder
* Power: 113kW at 5500rpm
* Torque: 219Nm at 3600rpm
* Bore/stroke: 90mm/78mm
* Compression ratio: 9.2:1


* Five-speed manual, four-speed automatic

The 9-3 uses a four-wheel disc braking system and the front discs are ventilated to assist cooling


* Front: MacPherson struts with direct-acting gas shock absorbers and anti-roll bar.
* Rear: H-formed twist-beam rear axle with inner and outer anti-roll bars. Coil springs and gas shock absorbers


* Power-assisted rack and pinion


* Length: 4629mm
* Width: 1711mm
* Height: 1428mm
* Wheelbase: 2605mm
* Track, front: 1452mm
* Track, rear: 1442mm
* Kerb weight: 1347kg

Top speed: 225km/h
0-100km/h: 9.3 secs (Auto) / Manual gearbox not available in Malaysia.

FUEL CONSUMPTION: See Owner's review.


* Air-conditioning
* Remote central locking
* Power windows
* Anti-lock brakes
* Front and side airbags
* Heated seats
* Active head restraint system
* Power steering
* CD player
* Steering wheel-mounted audio controls

ONE MORE Owner's review from AUTOS.MSN.COM (3)

"Born from jets?? More like born from garbage"
2000 Saab 9-3 5-Door
By: Stevo from St. Louis
Owned: 3 years
Review ID: #487092

The handling and comfort of ride are top quality.

The reliability of this vehicle is downright aweful. I bought it with 43,000 miles and got rid of it at 98,000 miles and had it less than two years. Some of the problems we encountered were a broken knob on the vent direction switch, the display for the radio/computer burnt out, the night driving mode on the dashboard went out so when you drove at night, only 0-80mph were visible and to top it all off... The engine siezed at 98,000 miles due to oil sludge. Saab knows of this problem and has extended the warranty but when it comes time to pay for a new engine, "oh we're sorry, our adjuster says that you didn't change the oil frequently." This is all in spite of the car being serviced at the S

Overall Review:
Stay away from this General Motors piece of garbage that has nothing more than a Quad 4 direct ignition engine that you see in just about every other GM car. Their slogan nowadays is "Born from jets" ... Well I'm sorry to say this but there's no way I'd buy a Saab again much less want to take a Saab fighter into combat.