Dec 24, 2008

Motorcars cannot drive without roads

In general, it is imperative that roads be constructed so that cars and vehicles can traverse over them. But not just any kind of roads, but reasonably flat and even terrain roads.

However, the roads of the following pictures are quite a challenge to motorists:

Strange Roads1

Strange Roads2

Strange Roads3

Strange Roads4

Strange Roads5

Strange Roads6

Strange Roads7

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Nov 21, 2008

The Hondas have done it again...

honda accord sedan

Once again the Honda won another award. This time it was voted by the online users through a poll by Yahoo. It is called the "Yahoo! Autos Excelerator Award Winner".

You can view it here: Click Here


This is the latest 2009 model and it will take the auto industry by storm. Already, the size is bigger than the Toyota Camry, so it will give the top car a great fight.


The engine is a V6 - 271-hp engine and uses the i- VTEC for great power and engine efficiency at all the speeds. This car also has the built-in Variable Cylinder Management technology meaning that the engine's cylinders are only activated as needed and giving the immediate push for both fuel savings and powerful acceleration from the blocks. Many of the regular functioning buttons are founded on the steering wheel, making you look like a Ferrari driver, even the hands-free button for your mobile phone.


Let's hope this will turn around the auto industry which is already plagued by the financial turmoil.


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Nov 19, 2008

To Honda or not to Honda ??

I was approached by Mr. Eric Lam, the proprietor of the local Honda franchisee, of Haslita Motor Sdn Bhd to purchase a Honda Accord new model about two days ago.Of course the initial reaction would be, "sure, why not?" Let's have a look, especially with the latest newspaper report on the Asimo robot, and how advance Honda technology is. Hey, this robot is almost human. This is getting too close to be like the show "Matrix".


asimo robot


One look at the price tag of the Accord brought such a heavy deterrent to the soul. The new Accord is way beyond the normal wage earner, unless you can write it off as a business expense. On further checking, the "Honda Fit" seems like a great alternative. This is the latest addition to the Honda family. As someone once said, if you need to get a new car, go for the latest model. The old phasing-out model may have problems with spare parts later.


honda fitHonda Fit


So reading on further Honda Fit reviews brings up bigger surprises. The car is actually more like an MPV rather than a sedan car. It is 7 feet 9 inches long and can seat five adults comfortable. Further EPA estimates the fuel consumption to be 33 mpg - which is great, considering all the turmoil over gas prices and gas wars nowadays. In one of those 2008 Honda Fit reviews, I found that they actually overdid their features - the car has 10 beverage holders! Not 5, but 10. That means each passenger gets to have two holders - which can come in handy if you are driving on a ten hour journey.


Besides the basic utilities, other extras are like 6 air-bags, built in GPS, built in USB Audio Interface - accessible to maps and mp3s (all within the control of the steering wheel handle - makes you feel like an F1 driver).


Safety? No problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2008 Honda Fit a Five (5) Star rating. Hey, that is the max, already.


Any, bad news? Yes. Sorry, guys and gals, it is only available here in 2009. I guess they are trying to clear the old stock of the previous models first. Cross your fingers and wait patiently.

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Oct 31, 2008

Pump more petrol - price is dropping














The government of the day is announcing that pump prices are dropping. What a welcome news to motorist and joy riders.


"Friday October 31, 2008
Govt expected to reduce petrol price by 15 sen a litre Saturday
By ROYCE CHEAH

PETALING JAYA: Petrol prices are expected to be cut by 15 sen a litre at 12.01am tomorrow – the fourth reduction since August.

This means the RON97 will cost RM2.15 a litre, down from RM2.30, and the price of RON92 is also expected to go down... The Star "

What a wave of refreshment. What a time of relief. What a smile for everyone.

For that matter, it is everyone's hope that all consumer items should also decrease in price. Especially the cartel over raw materials, construction products, transportation costs etc.

Does that mean that there is no more tightening of the belt for the average Joe? Can we afford to indulge in one's past-time favourites again? How about the long awaited holiday that every member of the family is looking forward to? Can we afford to spend as if tomorrow the price will drop further?

Wow, so many uncertainties. Just cross your fingers and hope for the best. But for the motor enthusiasts, this is the best time to take a joy ride all along the whole Expressway to burn off some of the joy of savings.

Sep 22, 2008

Necessity is the mother of invention - in the motor industry

Many people in the world are still staggering from the full impact of the recent fuel price increase. The developed countries like US, Britain, France are also in the same predicament as those in Third World countries, all be it, to a lesser degree. However, it is about time that an alternative should be made viable for the mass, such that total dependence on fossil fuels should be unchained.

There is a renewed interest in the electric powered car production. No longer do we need to be controlled by the Middle East Oil crisis - fighting for oil with violence, as quoted by those "anti-Iraq war" patriarchs, but we can strongly look forward to a greener world and a lesser dependence on limited fuel resources such as petroleum.

One of the latest to join in this array of manufacturers of electrical cars is the Chinese car industry players. A Chinese electric car called the Flybo has reached the U.S. market and it is sold by a U.S. distributor, Wuzheng North America.













During the Beijing Olympics last month, various car makers have came up with hybrid or hydrogen powered vehicles for the Olympic use. Some taxi drivers have upgraded their cars to hybrid models, hopefully giving themselves better fuel economy and playing their part in preserving the environment.

Sep 18, 2008

Cars need roads to run...


Cars need roads to run. Without roads, there will be no wheels, only bullock carts.

Some of the most interesting roads I have seen are found here.







































You can see more of them at this website:

http://matadortrips.com/the-worlds-most-spectacular-roads/

Sep 15, 2008

More tips for saving gas / petrol














1. Keep your tires properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Under inflated tires make the vehicle run less efficiently and waste gas.

2. Don’t be an aggressive driver. Sudden jerking starts, tire screeching stops and speeding can lower your gas mileage by 5% on city streets and as much as 33% on highways.

3. Avoid excessive idling. Idling your engine for 15 minutes wastes one gallon of gas. Whenever possible, time your traveling to avoid lingering at traffic lights and reduce the amount of time you let your car warm up. In warm weather, driving is actually the most efficient way to warm up a combustion engine.

4. Slow down. The faster you go, the less efficiently your vehicle uses gas. 55 is the most efficient mph on highways. Go above 60 and your fuel efficiency decreases rapidly.

5. Remove excess weight. If you’re used to driving around with your golf clubs and a chain saw in your trunk, you’re paying a heavy price for it. Removing an extra 100 pounds from your car will increase your fuel efficiency by as much as 2%.

6. Don’t use premium fuel unless your vehicle manufacturer requires it. Check with the manufacturing guidebook - to have the optimum type of fuel for your vehicle. High grade fuel costs much more.

7. Have a mechanic check your oxygen sensors. A faulty oxygen sensor will mistakenly send more gas to the engine then is needed. Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can save you as many as six fill-ups a year.

8. Make sure your air filter is clean. A dirty air filter dramatically reduces fuel efficiency, so don’t just blindly follow some predetermined schedule for putting in a new one. Consider your actual driving conditions. Driving ondirt roads—or just plain dirty roads—or in heavily polluted cities will get your air filter filthy a lot faster than you might expect.

9. Check on your “forgotten filters.” Most motorists know to check the air filter when they do a tune-up, but not many think to check on the fuel filter, the PCV valve and the breather filter. Replacing these “forgotten” filters once a year or every 12,000 miles can help improve your gas mileage by up to 15 percent.

10. Get a new gas cap—and make it one with a lock. Old gas caps can get out of shape. As gas fumes expand in your tank, they can escape past a faulty seal and waste precious fuel. Some studies suggest you can save as much as 17 gallons of gas a year just by replacing an old gas cap. And consider making that new gas cap a locking model because sadly, as gas prices go up, so do gas thefts.

Sep 10, 2008

Are Car Magazines useful in buying a new car?

Honda

Many people rely on other people's advice especially on the purchase of an automobile / car. The words of a trusted friend goes a long way to convince a car purchaser on what type of car to buy. The investment for a regular guy that goes into a new car is quite a considerable amount in present market value and is usually the second largest purchase after the purchase of a house. What happens when there is no reliable friend around? Who can give solid advice to a purchaser? Would the potential purchaser depend on newspapers, classified ads, car magazines, books or the old-fashioned salesman at the car showroom?


Today, with the advent of the Internet, it is normal for a yuppy (and not necessary an-internet savvy person) to consult with on-line blogs, car review websites, forums, and even eBay before plunging the initial step of placing a deposit for a set of new wheels. The convenience of participating on comments in blogs, forums etc. has opened a new realm of social networking for personal benefits. You actually have lots of people who are more than willing to share their experiences with you and to offer free advice to you - without any obligations or other ulterior motives.


Once upon a time, we used to look out for the classified ads at the back of the Star papers, just to check out the prices of the vehicles but a quicker and cheaper way today would be to "google" for it.


You can even view them in video sites such as youtube, metacafe or google videos all at the comfort of your armchair in front of your computer. No need to waste your time and money running from showroom to showroom gawking at the vehicles.


So, are car magazines important or useful when purchasing a new car? Yes and no. Yes, when the car magazine is an online version with all the featured tabs. No, when you have to buy the soft copy magazine, and then finding out that many of the information is not covered or it does not give a wider scope of reliable information.


Happy hunting!

Sep 2, 2008

Winglet - Is this the end for the taxi and local transport industry?












Toyota just unveiled the Toyota Winglet on August 1, 2008, which is a self-balancing two-wheeled scooter. It is quite similar to the Segway but the maximum speed is only 3.7 miles per hour as compared to the 12.5 mph of the Segway. The Segway did not really picked up because of the hefty price tag, but if Toyota have its way, it will also conquer the world market similar to the way that their passenger cars did. Ask anyone in the world and only an alien would not have heard of Toyota.

For the Winglet, it is not known when it will be available on a commercial basis but keep your fingers crossed. Japanese companies have a way of pricing them reasonable cheap just to make it vastly available. In Fall 2009, Toyota will begin testing the devices on a larger scale in a Japanese airport and a seaside resort.

You can read more about it at Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,396261,00.html

Aug 18, 2008

Top ten fuel saving tips by Aboutdotcom





The following is an except for fuel saving.

You may install a great device for saving fuel but you still need to consider changing your habit of driving so that you can maximize your savings especially in these times of hardship.

Top 10 Fuel Saving Tips

By Aaron Gold, About.com

Whether you drive a two-seat hybrid or a three-ton SUV, chances are you can squeeze a bit more distance out of each gallon of fuel -- and at today's gas prices, an improvement of just one or two miles per gallon (MPG) can really add up. These ten fuel saving tips have served me well over the years, and they can help you improve your car's fuel economy and take some of the sting out of high fuel prices. Most of these tips will give you a very slight increase in MPG -- but use several together and the gas mileage improvements will really add up.

1. Slow down

One of the best ways to save gas is to simply reduce your speed. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases exponentially. If you one of the "ten-over on the freeway" set, try driving the speed limit for a few days. You'll save a lot of fuel and your journey won't take much longer.


2. Check your tire pressure

Under-inflated tires are one of the most commonly ignored causes of crummy MPG. Tires lose air due to time (about 1 psi per month) and temperature (1 psi for every 10 degree drop); under-inflated tires have more rolling resistance, which means you need to burn more gas to keep your car moving. Buy a reliable tire gauge and check your tires at least once a month. Be sure to check them when they are cold, since driving the car warms up the tires along with the air inside them, which increases pressure and gives a falsely high reading. Use the inflation pressures shown in the owner's manual or on the data plate in the driver's door jamb.

3. Check your air filter

A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air into the engine, which harms performance and economy. Air filters are easy to check and change; remove the filter and hold it up to the sun. If you can't see light coming through it, you need a new one.

4. Accelerate with care

Jack-rabbit starts are an obvious fuel-waster -- but that doesn't mean you should crawl away from every light. If you drive an automatic, accelerate moderately so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears. Stick-shifters should shift early to keep the revs down, but don't lug the engine -- downshift if you need to accelerate. Keep an eye well down the road for potential slowdowns. If you accelerate to speed then have to brake right away, that's wasted fuel.

5. Hang with the trucks

Ever notice how, in bad traffic jams, cars seem to constantly speed up and slow down, while trucks tend to roll along at the same leisurely pace? A constant speed keeps shifting to a minimum -- important to those who have to wrangle with those ten-speed truck transmissions -- but it also aids economy, as it takes much more fuel to get a vehicle moving than it does to keep it moving.

6. Get back to nature

Consider shutting off the air conditioner, opening the windows and enjoying the breeze. It may be a tad warmer, but at lower speeds you'll save fuel. That said, at higher speeds the A/C may be more efficient than the wind resistance from open windows and sunroof. If I'm going someplace where arriving sweaty and smelly could be a problem, I bring an extra shirt and leave early so I'll have time for a quick change.

7. Back off the bling

New wheels and tires may look cool, and they can certainly improve handling. But if they are wider than the stock tires, chances are they'll create more rolling resistance and decrease fuel economy. If you upgrade your wheels and tires, keep the old ones. I have fancy sport rims and aggressive tires on my own car, but I keep the stock wheels with a good narrower-tread performance tire in the garage. For long road trips, the stock wheels give a smoother ride and better economy.

8. Clean out your car

If you're the type who takes a leisurely attitude towards car cleanliness -- and I definitely fall into that category -- periodically go through your car and see what can be tossed out or brought into the house. It doesn't take much to acquire an extra 40 or 50 lbs. of stuff, and the more weight your car has to lug around, the more fuel it burns.

9. Downsize
If you're shopping for a new car, it's time to re-evaluate how much car you really need. Smaller cars are inherently more fuel-efficient, and today's small cars are roomier than ever. Worried about crash protection? The automakers are designing their small cars to survive crashes with bigger vehicles, and safety features like side-curtain airbags and electronic stability control are becoming commonplace in smaller cars.

10. Don't drive

Not a popular thing to say on a car site, I know, but the fact is that if you can avoid driving, you'll save gas. Take the train, carpool, and consolidate your shopping trips. Walking or biking is good for your wallet and your health. And before you get in your car, always ask yourself: "Is this trip really necessary?