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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...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

GOODBYE MOBIL... Hello ESSO!

GOODBYE MOBIL Stations.  According to Mobil SS2 and Bandar Utama which I frequents, both sources quoted: "ALL 200+ MOBIL STATIONS THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA are CONVERTING to ESSO".  No More Mobil stations...

Well I have some photos:


Below, the LAST Mobil Station in Petaling Jaya converting to Esso. That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this blog entry of mine.  My Original Work! 

LONGTERMER #1: Update 22, April 2010: Ford Telstar 2.0i4 Ghia

LONGTERMER #1: Update 22, April 2010: 
Ford Telstar 2.0i4 Ghia

Longtermer #1, Update 22, April 2010: Ford Telstar 2.0i4 16v Ghia


In this blog entry, I am updating my Ford Telstar i4 Ghia. This is the 22th update.


What's up in the month of April?


As I am typing this, the Telstar covered 953km. Now, 152,908km. Previous month, it's 151,955km.

This month, the temperature goes up again.  But this time only during Traffic Jam or LONG >5 minutes idling.  It goes down while the car's moving.  I sent my Ford Telstar to Ford Auto Connexions PJ Service Centre.  The date was 2 April 2010, which happened to be Ford Sales and Service Carnival.  I was treated with Buffet lunch.  After waiting there for 3 hours, they revealed to me that the Flywheel Oil seal leaking.  I was told to service outside as it's AT LEAST 30% more expensive (according to its service adviser).  They only billed me RM60 for inspection fee.
 

On 19 April, I was supposed to sent my car to my Auntie's mechanic (A BMW and Mercedes Specialist) in Kampung Pasir, off Jalan Klang Lama to fix the leaking Flywheel oil seal.  He said need to Remove engine and gearbox before can replace the flywheel oil seal AND gearbox oil seal (Both leaking).  It'll take 2 working days to fix these problems.  He asked me to prepare RM700 to fix these problems.  The Flywheel oil seal itself costs RM180 only, But the Topping up of Gear oil and workmanship jacks up the price.  I DID NOT SEND due to insufficient funds and needing to use the car urgently.

Went back to the mechanic few days later,  after my commission cleared.  He was Pissed.  Now on waiting lists till 4 May.  He is the ONLY mechanic willing to repair these problems, I was turned down by 3 mechanics citing "A LOT OF WORK" as excuse NOT to repair the Telstar.
In a meantime, my Telstar is UP FOR SALE again...   Advertised in Mudah...

Without further ado, let’s proceed to Logbook…

LOGBOOK:

Year of manufactured: December 1998 (registered January 1999)
Purchase price: RM42,000 (Aug 2005)
Current value: RM12,000 (As at March 2010)
Depreciation per year (averaged): RM7,500

Mileage Last Month: 151,955km
Mileage Now: 152,908km
Mileage used April 2010: 953km

Fuel consumption (so far):
BEST: 10.2km/l (24 December 2009)
WORST: 5.9km/l (September 14, 2009) => 100% City driving

THIS MONTH (April):
BEST: 8.5km/l on 11 April 2010 (80% Highway driving). WORST: April 23: 6.6km/L, 90% City driving. I used either RON95 Shell OR Mobil RON95 only.

0-100km/h: 10.8 secs (1/1/2010). Previous run 10.4 secs (27/9/2009).

TODAY, As at 29 March 2010,

Expenses (this month)

1) Fuel expenses (RM320)
2) Parking and tolls charges... (RM80 est)
3) CHARGES:
- RM60 workmanship for check-up at Ford Autoconnexions PJ 3S Centre
- RM25, to weld back leaking extractor.

GRAND TOTAL: RM475.00.


Before I go, here's some parting shots below:
Above: A Peek into the Service bay... Very neat...  Below, the Spare parts carnival.





LASTLY, before I signed off, this is the LATEST photo of my Telstar.  Picture taken using my Latest Gadget, Panasonic LUMIX TZ7.  Location: NEW Ford Showroom at Jalan Ipoh, where I test driven the new Ford Focus TDCI earlier this month.

That's all folks!  Thanks for having the time and patience to read this Blog entry of mine...  See you on May 29 2010 for the 23th update...  AN ORIGINAL JEFF LIM'S PRODUCTION.  My original work...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ARTICLE: HP Interest rate up again!

Saturday April 24, 2010

Higher loan rates will hit car sales

By YVONNE TAN and EUGENE MAHALINGAM
starbiz@thestar.com.my


PETALING JAYA: Interest rates on car loans have increased by an average of 0.25 percentage point for national cars and 0.7 percentage point for non-national makes since the overnight policy rate — the benchmark interest rate which determines banks’ lending rates — was revised upwards by 25 basis points to 2.25% in early March.

Dealers said they were already feeling the impact.

New car registrations reached 56,139 units last month, 25% higher than the same month last year, as buyers locked in their purchases before the widely-anticipated interest rate hike.
The real impact on car sales figures would probably be seen from April, according to industry players.

“We are expecting an adverse impact on sales from the recent hike,” Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia president Armin Baniaz Pahamin told StarBizWeek.
“Already, national cars have higher interest rates than non-national cars before the hike.”
This is traditionally the case because the credit risk in the national car segment is perceived to be higher than in the non-national car segment as the former tends to target the lower to middle-income earners.

OSK Research in its recent report on the sector noted that dealers had fully capitalised on the recent OPR rate hike in making their earlier sales pitches. “This caused a rush as buyers locked in their orders before the OPR was increased in early March,” the research outfit said.
Proton and Perodua car loan rates had been adjusted to 3.75% for loan tenures of five years and below, 3.9% for six to seven years and 4% for eight to nine-year loans, according to major car dealers. Previously, they ranged from 3.5% to 3.75%.

With the new rates, for example, a person looking to purchase a RM40,000 Perodua car with a five-year loan tenure (at the new rate of 3.75% per annum) will have to pay RM791, or RM8 more, per month.

This goes up to about RM20 more a month for a longer-term loans.
As for new non-national makes, a dealer with Kah Motor Co Sdn Bhd which distributes Honda cars, said hire-purchase rates for new non-national cars had been raised to 3.25% for loan tenures of five years and below, 3.4% for six to seven years and 3.5% for eight to nine-year loans.

Before, hire-purchase interest rates were in the range of 2.4% to 2.8%, he said.
“There is some impact on sales so far. We see some individuals holding back purchases,” the dealer added.

Honda’s market share fell last month on weak sales, sliding 5.8% year-to-date as sales halted largely caused by the impending launch of its new CRV towards the end of this month, OSK Research said.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Honda Freed

Yesterday, 22 April 2010, was the launch of the New Honda Freed.  I happened to dropped by Sumber Auto Edaran Showroom to check out the car.  How is the car?

UNIQUE SELLING POINT: (USP):
1) Power sliding doors, operated via either remote OR via switch behind the steering wheel. 
2) Walk through, from 1st row to 3rd row.  But adults need to bend down (40 degree) to walk thru'.  A no no for a lady wearing LOW CUT OR loose fitting top.  100% sure exposed...
3) Economical yet high revving 1.5 IVTEC Engine as found as Honda Jazz (Below).  It produces 118ps@6600rpm and a torque of 146Nm@4800rpm.  
4) 2 tiered stylish Dashboard. 
5) Multiplex seating arrangements (3rd row higher than 2nd row, 2nd row higher than 1st row).
6) The 3rd row flod up and away and tied to the side of the car.  Providing FLAT floor (see picture  below)
7) Compact exterior dimensions (4215mm length - slightly shorter than the Honda City) yet LONG wheelbase of 2740mm.
8) SAFETY: 6 star J-NCAP Crash tests. Dual Airbags, ABS + EBD +Brake Assist.
9) 5 speed automatic + Drive by wire.
10) Automatic Air-cond (Climate control).  (But NO Air vents for 2nd and 3rd row seats.)
11) Can't think of anything more...

Overall exterior styling, I like the front, very stylish.  The side, OK lah!  The BACK: UGLY.  "Squashed" rear lights. The back windscreen is more protrude than the bumper.  This defies the purpose of the bumper.  (See picture below).  Oh!  Asking price: RM112,980 OTR which I find EXPENSIVE.  That's TWICE the price of Perodua Alza.  Note that this car is imported from Indonesia (NOT JAPAN).

There's a saying, a picture's worth 1000 words.  Without further ado, let's
proceed to the photo gallery.


Above: Dunlop 185/65R15 tyres.  15" x 5.5J alloy rims 
 
ABOVE: The UGLY. "Squashed" rear light...

 
ABOVE: PARTING SHOTS: Another colour, Brilliant White Pearl.  
This angle is the best looking. 

That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this blog entry.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ARTICLE: What is "Sambung Bayar"?

Sambung Bayar

SOURCE: http://blog.carlist.my/2010/04/news-and-opinions/sambung-bayar/ 

April 15, 2010 by tim syrlac
 
Filed under: News and Opinions 

So what exactly is ‘sambung bayar‘? This was an alien concept to me up until recently when I realised that cars were bought and sold on what felt more like a gentleman’s agreement than a binding contract.

The term ‘sambung bayar‘ really refers to an owner who is still currently servicing a loan for his/her car but wants to sell it off to a party that would purchase it and continue servicing the original owner’s loan. Up until the loan repayments are completed, the car’s ownership is then transferred over to the purchaser via a JPJ K3 form.

The seller usually gets a one time deposit from the purchaser as a guarantee of intent as well as a fallback in the event that the purchaser falls foul on servicing the seller’s loan. A simple agreement is signed between both parties at point of handing over the car, to signify that the purchaser will now continue servicing the current loan and is responsible for the vehicle itself and that the transfer of ownership will be performed upon the completion of the loan.

So what drives folks to not mind ‘purchasing’ a car without having a ownership transfer performed? One of the main reasons for this is the fact that the purchaser wants to drive around in a better car than he/she can otherwise afford if he/she were to purchase it second hand (due to second hand loan rates, heavy downpayment etc). Others purchase cars through this method because they are not able to get the credit line required for such a purchase.

Whatever the reasons for buying and selling through the sambung bayar method, it undoubtedly has its own market here locally, unbeknown to some of us – at least up until you read this article, perhaps.

END OF ARTICLE...

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

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do remember that speed kills...

The Star: Monday April 19, 2010,

Do remember that speed kills


IT WAS just a month ago that I spoke to my friend Rizal. He was very excited about his new ride, a Yamaha R1 that has a massive 180 horse-power. It is also a new model.
I was a little jealous of him getting to ride this beauty. Nevertheless, I was happy for him as a fellow superbiker.

Ever wondered what riding a 180 horsies bike, weighing a little more than 180kg, feels like?
Let’s compare the R1 to a Formula 1 car. Ferrari’s F1 car is rated at 800 horsepower, and weighs around 800kg. The power to weight ratio of a Formula 1 car is a massive 1,000 horse-power per tonne.

Thus, both the Yamaha R1 and the Ferrari Formula 1 car have a similar power to weight ratio. Which means what a Formula 1 car driver feels upon acceleration, an R1 rider similarly feels it too. We are talking about G force here.

But the similarities end here. A Formula 1 car cannot be bought from showrooms, but a superbike can. A Formula 1 car can only be driven by a driver possessing a super licence sanctioned by the FIA, the world governing body.

As for a superbiker, all he needs is a full “B” licence. To get it, all the rider needs to do is to prove to JPJ (Road Transport Department) that he is capable of braking effectively, making a figure eight and showing some hand signs when turning.

It is a far cry comparing a Formula 1 driver and a superbike rider in terms of qualifications. But they both handle similarly powered vehicles.

I am not feeling sour here or questioning my friend’s capabilities in handling his bike.
But the fact is this: 1,000 horsepower per tonne bike of his cost him his life, and his wife’s, too.
His wife was riding pillion when they crashed on the North-South Expressway somewhere around Air Keroh in Malacca. They died on the spot.

I was devastated when I heard about this as both husband and wife were great people and good friends.

Imagine the devastation caused to their families and to their daughter who is only three years old.

For those considering getting a superbike or who already own one, please remember that sometimes we may forget that riding a superbike is close to driving a Formula 1 car.
These vehicles demand our absolute respect.

The slightest mistake may cost you your life.

So besides making sure your bike is shiny and ready for that next outing, remember that speed kills.  It will take us superbikers less than four seconds to break the speed limit of 110kph. Absolute respect for your bike is a priority.

While exhilarating in the sound and shine of the bike, like a knight in shining armour heading against the wind and defying the laws of physics, please remember “it is better to be late than never.”

By ABDUL HALIM CHEW,
Kajang.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

American Idol 9: Update 3: Top 9 => Top 7.

Jeff's opinion.  As a result of Last Week's Judges used their one and only save of the season on Big Mike @ Michael Lynch, this week, we have 2 elimination.  I just watched the Results show 4 hours ago live via satellite (Astro) and I dunno what to say.  All is NOT LOST...  I dished out a well written article from NJ.com.  Enjoy:


'American Idol' results: Top 9 gets cut down to Top 7 as two singers are eliminated

By Len Melisurgo/ The Star-Ledger

April 15, 2010, 7:00AM
American-Idol-Garcia-Stevens.jpg


The 'American Idol' journey came to an end last night for two finalists: Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens.

Two of the nine finalists of "American Idol's" season 9 saw their dreams of stardom come to an end last night in a tension-filled double elimination show.

After the votes were all counted, and the revelation drama was stretched out for a full 60 minutes, the two contestants who didn't survive the cut were California acoustic-guitar hipster Andrew Garcia and Connecticut high school singer Katie Stevens.

The results weren't all that surprising, following a relentless string of flat performances by the one-time front-runner Garcia and inconsistent singing by the sometimes robotic Stevens. But many observers -- including this blogger and our many readers who took the time to cast votes in our weekly online Idol poll -- had expected 16-year-old country singer Aaron Kelly to get ousted from the competition before Stevens.

Many other polls and bloggers across the nation also had predicted Aaron would end up in the bottom two spots along with Andrew, and the popular Dial an Idol website -- which uses special computers to measure busy signals during the Idol voting hours -- projected Andrew, Katie, Tim Urban and Siobhan Magnus were all in danger of going home.

But, as always, it's very difficult for anyone (even computers) to figure out the dialing and texting habits of millions of Americans.

THE LUCKY 7 SURVIVORS
American-Idol-Season9-Top9.JPG
This was the happy group of nine 'American Idol' finalists before two of them got the bad news that they were eliminated from season 9.

So now, the competition gets even more intense, with only seven finalists left -- including two who have been struggling of late (Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus), one who was voted off last week but saved by the judges (Michael "Big Mike" Lynche), and one who wasn't even supposed to be among the 24 semi-finalists and who was on the verge of elimination three times in the past five weeks. (Tim Urban)

The 20-year-old Texan, who has been nicknamed "Teflon Tim" because of his incredible ability to slide away from trouble and brush off harsh criticism, made it into the Top 24 only after another contestant was booted from the competition for violating a rule regarding music contracts.

However, Tim has made a remarkable turnaround during the past few weeks and has begun to earn a good deal of respect among the judges and fans of "American Idol," even though he clearly doesn't have the talent needed to make a run for the title.

But it's been fun rooting for this kid. He's the perennial underdog who's waging a difficult battle and somehow managing to overcome adversity and beat the odds.

A few short weeks ago, who in the world would have predicted Tim Urban would make it into the Top 7? If anything, Tim has added some much-needed excitement into an otherwise bland season of "American Idol."

Also moving to the next round, as expected, are front-runners Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Casey James.

HIGH VOTE TOTALS
American-Idol-Judges-Season-9.jpg 
 'American Idol' host Ryan Seacrest, center, flanked by the Season 9 judges: Ellen DeGeneres, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell.

Last week, Idol host Ryan Seacrest said 132 million votes had been cast this season since the public voting began, when the field was narrowed down to the 24 semi-finalists. Last night, Seacrest said 34 million votes were cast after Tuesday's show -- the largest number of any week this season.

GUEST PERFORMANCES
Adam-Lambert-AP-Jeff-Christensen.jpg 
Adam Lambert

 Adam Lambert, the popular season 8 runner-up who served as a guest mentor for Tuesday night's Elvis Presley-themed show, hit the Idol stage again last night and performed his hit single, "Whataya Want From Me" -- complete with smoke machines and green laser lights. Lambert sounded great and brought back nice memories of season 8.
Brooke-White-Justin-Gaston.jpg 
Brooke White and Justin Gaston

Also performing last night were season 8 finalist Brooke White and singer Justin Gaston -- a former underwear model, a 2008 finalist on "Nashville Star," and a current star of the web reality series, "If I Can Dream."

One of the show's co-stars is popular season 9 Idol contestant Alex Lambert, who was dealt an unexpected early exit in the semi-finals. (The web series was created by Idol producer Simon Fuller.)

White and Gaston sang a duet last night and sounded pretty good. Their song is available, for free, on iTunes.

SOURCE: http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2010/04/american_idol_results_top_9_ge.html

ARTICLE: Cigarettes may contain pig blood!

To ALL Muslims smokers, this article might help you to do a double take on Smoking...   -trying to refrain from Laughing Out Loud-

Article Source:  http://www.news.com.au/national/cigarettes-may-contain-pigs-blood/story-e6frfkvr-1225847653290

Cigarettes may contain pig blood

CIGARETTES may contain traces of pigs' blood, an Australian academic says with a warning that religious groups could find its undisclosed presence "very offensive".

University of Sydney Professor in Public Health Simon Chapman points to recent Dutch research which identified 185 different industrial uses of a pig - including the use of its haemoglobin in cigarette filters.

Prof Chapman said the research offered an insight into the otherwise secretive world of cigarette manufacture, and it was likely to raise concerns for devout Muslims and Jews.

Religious texts at the core of both of these faiths specifically ban the consumption of pork.

"I think that there would be some particularly devout groups who would find the idea that there were pig products in cigarettes to be very offensive," Prof Chapman said today.

"The Jewish community certainly takes these matters extremely seriously and the Islamic community certainly do as well, as would many vegetarians.

"It just puts into hard relief the problem that the tobacco industry is not required to declare the ingredients of cigarettes ... they say 'that's our business' and a trade secret."

The Dutch research found pig haemoglobin - a blood protein - was being used to make cigarette filters more effective at trapping harmful chemicals before they could enter a smoker's lungs.

Prof Chapman said while tobacco companies had moved voluntarily list the contents of their products on their websites, they also noted undisclosed "processing aids ... that are not significantly present in, and do not functionally affect, the finished product".

This catch-all term hid from public view an array of chemicals and other substances used in the making of tobacco products, he said.

At least one cigarette brand sold in Greece was confirmed as using pig haemoglobin in its processes, Prof Chapman said, and the status of smokes sold was unknown.

"If you're a smoker and you're of Islamic or Jewish faith then you'd probably would want to know and there is no way of finding out," Prof Chapman said.

The Sydney office of British American Tobacco Australia was contacted by AAP.

A spokeswoman said a comment would be provided although it was not immediately available.


That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this article...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Top 16 Ugliest Cars in Malaysia

In this blog entry, I'll be covering Malaysia's Ugliest cars in my Personal Opinion...   Here are the lists:

1) Proton Juara (aka. Mitsubishi Town Box)


2) Fiat Multipla

3) Ssangyong Stavic


4) Toyota Alphard (Back 3 quarter view = UGLIEST PART)

5) Naza Sutera (aka. Hafei Lobo)

6) BMW 7-series (1st version, 2002 to 2005.  Later facelift looks better)

7) Fiat Doblo

8) Renault Kangoo

9) Mercedes Vito

10) Porsche Cayenne

11) Porsche Panamera

12) Mahindra Scorpio


13) Chana CM8 MPV

14) GM Hummer (Any model)

15) Mitsuoka Orochi

16) Ssangyong Actyon SUV



That's all folks! Thanks for having the time and patience to read this blog entry.