Friday, January 22, 2016

The 3-minute Fast Forward Car Check

Buying a used car can be great value-for-money, but the last thing anyone wants is a car that does nothing but give you maintenance headaches after you’ve driven it for a few weeks.

But then again, it’s so time-consuming to scrutinize every vehicle we look at bumper to bumper and under. By the time we’re on car choice 3, we’re hot, exhausted and just about ready to just pick anything already (only to possibly regret that rash decision further down the road).

So the next time you’re in the market for a second-hand car, here’re some fast-forward ways to quickly check whether it’s a car you’ll love, or a lemon. Doing all this should only take you a couple of minutes, and it’s a good starting point for any car you check out.

Quick 1-minute check to the structural integrity or car frame: 
  • Make sure that the hood, trunk lid, and the doors close tightly. If they do not close properly, chances are replacements parts were used due to a major accident
  • Clamp marks on the frame rail (under the car) would indicate that the car has been on frame machines - which would suggest that it has been in a serious accident. 
  • Another thing to look out for to indicate that the car has been in accident would be signs of welding and mismatched replacement parts
Quick check for paint job

  • For indication of car being repainted, keep a look out for inconsistency of paintwork or stray paint that landed on the gasket or moldings. 
  • Quick run of finger along the inside of the doors’ edge and check to see if there is a smooth or rough finishing; the latter is usually caused by overspraying during a repainting job. 
  • If these sign are found, enquire further about the nature of the repainting - is it to cover up some minor scratches or was there major accident involved?

Quick check of the engine (and other parts of the car)

    • Find the Car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) and do a quick search online (try www.vindecoderz.com) to see if the car’s stated trim, manufacture year, and other details match with the car on sale. Sometimes the cars on sale are passed off as a higher trim variant just to entice buyers.  The VIN is located in the engine bay, lower edge of front windscreen, or on the car registration card. 

    • Keep an ear out for any engine noise (or any other noise for the matter) during the test drive. 
    • Make sure the odometer moves when you are on your test run. 
    • Also check to make sure that the car mileage is low - second hand cars with a higher mileage tends to break down more often or requires repairs. To benchmark, an average car clocks roughly about 12,000 kilometres per year, or 1,000 kilometres per month. Do also stay alert if the car has a mileage that looks suspiciously low – there’s a chance that it has probably been adjusted! 
    • If possible, check the history of the car - going through more owners would indicate that the cars have given problems to the others - why else would it be sold from one to another? 

    For more fast-forward tips on motoring, cooking, beauty and fitness, check out panadolfastforward.my.

    Monday, January 18, 2016

    3 Fast Forward Tips For Driving In The City

    There’s so much to enjoy in the busy city centre of KL. The place is always bustling. But the trouble is that the city roads tend to be so packed, and it is frustrating trying to navigate through all of that. Even finding parking can be a pain, too. But does that mean we should stay in more and not get out there? Not at all. There are quite a few ways you can save yourself a headache and fast-forward your trip. All it takes is some prep and a little know-how. Start with these fast forward driving tips for the big city.

    1. Fast forward how you get there

    Find the ideal route beforehand. Research for any special events or road closures – if you are driving somewhere because there’s an event, chances are that many others might be thinking the same thing!  Consider the road layout and parking facilities of your route. Certain roads in Kuala Lumpur are often closed during weekends or events such as for marathons or for official government functions. The roads can be pretty confusing too, so try to take note of the road’s name.
    Another handy tip is to get a navigation system such as Waze. You will get route and traffic updates in real-time, which is a really handy way to avoid unwanted last-minute surprises en-route.
    Do take note of the highway route or road - keep left might not mean that you should take a left turn or exit the freeway. Papago is better in this aspect as they have lane assist which will provide an actual picture of the lane with nice big arrows telling you which lane to turn. Remember to use your turn signal indicators!

    2. Fast forward how you park
    Instead of 15 minutes waiting and hunting for parking, try seeking out alternative parking location - alternative parking locations may be within walking distance of the destination but are underutilized. It’ll save you lots of time and you’ll get to where you want to be that much quicker.
    For example, searching for an empty lot at the Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre can be quite difficult, especially on weekends. Instead, try to park at the Sunway Pyramid Hotel & Resort, which has more vacant lots and is connected with the shopping centre. Most malls have office blocks located nearby with abundant vacant lots during weekends.
    3. Fast forward how you get home

    Forgetting where you parked can happen, especially in unfamiliar locations. Nobody wants to spend time sweating in a stuffy, dark parking lot searching for a car after a long day.

    A fast forward tip is to take a picture of your car’s lot and the surrounding. Try to take a picture of the car or its surrounding such as the car park’s number, the pillar with floor and parking designation, colour of parking zone, or the nearest exit. While locating the car you can also try to unlock the car with your remote. If you’re nearby the lot, you should hear the car’s unlocking notification chime.

    Do visit www.panadolfastforward.my for more speed hacks on other areas such as food, beauty, parenting and fitness.

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    F55 Mini Cooper & Cooper S 5-Door Hatch Prices and Quick Overview

    Mini 5-door hatch - won't it look weird? One of the biggest "wanted" features of a Mini Cooper, be it the R53 or R56, is to have it with extra doors. Previously, the closest thing you could get is the Mini Countryman, but that car looks whacked and nothing like a what a Mini should be. For those who desire the Mini hatch look with approval from the missus and extra brownie points for family practicality, meet the Mini F55 5-door hatch.

    The base F55 5-door hatch looks pretty slick like its 3-door brother. Powering the Mini 5-door hatch is a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that produces 136 PS at 4,400 rpm, and 220Nm of torque at just 1,250 rpm. All this power is channelled to a 6-speed automatic. Despite being just 1.5-litres, the Mini 5-door hatch does the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.1 seconds, with a top speed of 207km/h. service package. Perhaps the best part is the fuel consumption, as it is rated at 100km/5.0 litres, or 20km per litre of fuel. On the other hand, the 5-door Cooper S comes with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 192PS and 280Nm of torque, controlled by a 6-speed auto. 0-100km/h is done in a blazing 6.8 seconds, with a top speed of 230km/h. Noticeable faster than the 1.5-litre variant, but if you don't need the extra oomph both are equally enjoyable! Fuel consumption for the Cooper S is slightly higher at 100km/5.5 litres or 18.2km/litre.

    Does adding extra doors make the F55 Mini 5-door hatch into a family car?
    While it is roomier than the standard 3-door hatch Mini Cooper, the rear seats sit 2 adults comfortably instead of the suggested 3 seater. Think of it has a Mini 3-door hatch with easier access to the rear seats, and more legroom.

    Standard on the Cooper and Cooper S is the push-start button, cruise control, and Mini radio with 6.5 inch display with bluetooth connectivity. The 5-door hatch comes with 4 airbags, DSC, DTC (Dynamic traction control), and electronic diff. locks.  The 5-door Mini hatch comes with a 2 years unlimited mileage warranty and 3 year or 50,000 km Mini

    F55 Mini Cooper & Cooper S 5-Door Hatch Specifications
    Engine: 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo (Cooper) 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo (Cooper S)
    Horsepower: 136 PS (Cooper) 192 PS (Cooper S)
    Torque: 220 Nm (Cooper) 280 Nm (Cooper S)
    Acceleration 0-100km/h: 8.1 seconds (Cooper) 6.8 seconds (Cooper S)
    Top Speed: 207 km/h (Cooper) 230km/h (Cooper S)
    Fuel Consumption: 20km/l (Cooper) 18.1km/l (Cooper S)

    F55 Mini Cooper & Cooper S 5-Door Hatch Prices
    Mini Cooper 1.5-litre turbocharged from RM189,000
    Mini Cooper S 2.0 litre turbocharged from RM238,888

    F55 Mini Cooper & Cooper S 5-Door Hatch Pictures / Gallery

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    Honda Jazz with Lamborghini Aventador style custom bodykit

    This is one creative custom bodykit - transforming a normal Honda Jazz into a Lamborghini Aventador. The owner did not try to replicate something it is not, but instead replicated a cute / mini version of the Lamborghini Aventador. It seems like nearly the whole Honda Jazz has been transformed, including a wide-body kit that created a vent on the side, because what is a Lamborghini Aventador without a vent? The estimated cost of this conversion should be nearly equivalent to the Honda Jazz itself, though don't be surprised if it costs more!