Thursday, August 27, 2009

Proton Saga fuel economy tips

I googled "Proton Saga fuel efficiency" and found this article in It was about a fuel efficiency contest that was run by Proton itself for Proton Saga BLM.

Proton Saga Proven Frugal on Fuel

Saturday, February 07, 2009 By YS Khong

The Proton Saga has proven to be a car that is economical not only to own, but is economical to run as well. In a recent competition held for Proton Saga owners, the top winners returned some very impressive consumption figures.

In the Proton Saga Economy Run, a total of 30 Proton saga owners registered for the event. The rules were simple; over a set course of 190 kilometres, with a driver and one passenger who also acts as the navigator, the winner is the saga that uses the least amount of fuel between the two points. Under the contest regulations, no fuel-saving devices are allowed, and cars have to be mechanically in ‘series production’ specifications. There were handsome prizes for both the manual and automatic category winners.

Registered participants were required to undergo ‘scrutineering’, during which all cars were inspected for compliance with the rules and regulations, and the bonnets, all fuel lines, all possible points where the fuel line or the fuel tank can be accessed, including the fuel lids, were sealed by the main motoring authority in Malaysia, the AAM (Automobile Association of Malaysia). Before the final sealing of the bonnet and fuel lid, all participants were given the opportunity to fill their fuel tanks to the brim.

As the event was to start on the next day, all the sealed cars were impounded and under strict security for the night at the Centre Of Excellence, the headquarters of Proton.

The Proton Saga Economy Run route took the competing cars from the Proton COE to Clearwater Sanctuary in Ipoh, with a stop over at an appointed petrol station where the cars were again topped up to the brim to measure the amount of fuel used in the economy run. Before the refuelling, AAM officials were on hand to inspect all the seals, and to the credit of all the very sporting spirit of the competitors, not one seal was found to have been tampered with.

In the Proton Saga 1.3 Automatic category, Ahmad Saifuddin Bin Abdullah, co-driven by Ahmad Zharif Bin Ahmad Zubid took top honours with an impressive 27.429 kilometres per litre (3.645 litres per 100 kilometres) fuel consumption. Second spot went to the young couple of Azmi Samsuddin and Rozna Ramli, who clocked in with 25.99 kilometres per litre (3.846 litres per 100 kilometres). The third and final prize for this category went to an all-girl team, Nur Fatihah Abdul Hamid, partnered by Nor Salehah Md Isa, who came all the way from the East Coast to participate in the event.

In the Proton Saga 1.3 manual category, the results were even more impressive. Norazila Binti Azimi and Mohd Zulkernain Bin Buahab returned an astounding 44.719 kilometres per litre (2.236 litres per 100 kilometres) to win top honours. In second place was Illesarah Binti Abdul Haziman and Rohaizad Bin Ithnin with 32.908 kilometres per litre, while third place was awarded to Mohd Faizol Bin Razak and Mohd Nazri Bin Othman.
When interviewed, Mohd Zulkernain said that his technique was to apply very gentle throttle, and make sure the engine is running below 2,000 rpm. “Of course, in our normal driving, the fuel consumption is more than what he achieved in the competition; sometimes we are in a hurry, so I use more fuel when I drive the car hard, or in situations where traffic is heavy. But now I know just what the Saga is capable of, and if I generally drive gently, there will be savings in the long run,” he added.

As a finale to the competition, Proton Edar organized a contest to see how many people would squeeze into a Proton Saga, and amazingly, the winning team managed 17 adults!

Okay, so the guy who got 44.719 kilometres per litre was driving really slowly, at 2000 RPM or less... plus he was driving a manual. That must have been a really slow assed drive!

When I first got my car, I was trying to keep it under 3000 RPM but I wasn't used to the accelerator, I kept pressing it until it when to 4. I guess coming from a manual transmission car, I wasn't used to the car doing my gear shifts for me.

Now I drive with the RPM at 2000-3000PM. It's just that when I'm crossing a road at a busy intersection that I use more gas as I have to really step on the gas. I worry that the car won't have enough power to get me across the road fast enough... maybe it's just in my head.

Petaling Jaya rain storm

I came home and saw this scene when I came out of the lift at my apartment. There was a storm cloud crossing, from east to west at the south of my aparment. It was moving very rapidly. I quickly, ran back to grab my tripod to take a few shots of it.

I saw some spectacular lightning but didn't get any shots of it. I love seeing the storm rolling over the city and I could see it dropping rain as it passes over the rush hour traffic. Everyone was on their way home during the buka puasa rush home.

Wonderful sight, the power of nature.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya clear night sky

Tonight is just an amazing night. The sky is so clear, the air is fresh and there's a wonderful breeze. I spend the evening taking some night pictures. On the east side of my apartment, I can see KLCC and KL Tower from the fire escape.

Wonderful sight. I used a long exposure to capture both photos.

In the photo above, you can even see a bright star (I think it could be a planet) shining brightly above. Just click on the picture to see a bigger and clearer one.

I think everyone in the Klang Valley is starting to appreciate the cleaner air now that the haze has cleared up (for now anyway). We're all just starting to appreciate things that we took for granted.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Proton Saga service after 1000KM

I when to the Proton Service centre in Mutiara Damansara in the morning to send my Proton Saga for the first 1000KM service. I told them there was 3 things I needed them to check on.

1. Fuel mileage was very low. 7KM/L for city driving, and 11KM/L for highway.

2. Back window level was hard to wind. Needs lubricant.

3. One of the key has a cracked plastic casing. When I received the key, there was a hairline crack where the screw is. I think it was screwed too tight so it cracked. Now the crack is getting bigger and bits of the plastic fell of.

I got there at 10AM and I only had to wait 30 minutes before they took the car from me to inspect. They said it would be ready by 1PM so I said I'll walk to The Curve to wait then.

Walked around the curve and surfed the internet at the Starbucks until they send an automated SMS to tell me it was done.

When I got back to the service centre at 1:30PM, they said they were closed for a break. So I hung around some more waiting for the guy. He finally came back from his break and I asked him what happened.

For my first complain, they did engine tuning. The second complain, he didn't explain (I also forgot to ask). The third complain, he said he has to speak to my dealer (Raymond) since Raymond not around, that one they will call me back. Anyway, there's no stock for the spare key. Probably next week only they will have.

I called Raymond and told him to follow up with the customer service guy (Mu'azd, odd name, never heard before). I paid RM117 for the first service. Small things like topping up cleaning fluid for the wiper also they charge me. I remember using it less than 10 times only, that also by accident because I keep thinking it was for the signal.

Anyway, I spoke to another customer service guy about the fuel mileage problem. He said a lot of other customers also complain about the high fuel consumption in city driving. He said, it's 23-24 sen per KM. Not sure how to convert that to KM/L ratio. Anyway, that one also probably based on old fuel price.

He said, the car does well on the highway and I would have to agree, it's just the city driving that it does quite bad. The car if it's driven above 3000RPM, it does well. He said it's got to do with the high gear ratio. In stop go traffic, we have to constantly get it from low to high gear. It stays in the low gear quite often.

After the service, I drove straight to a car wash in Aman Suria. Normally, I wash my car at a petrol station or at one of those open car wash. Today, I decided to try one of those car salon shops there. Its still the same price, RM10 so I gave it a try.

A bit of an improvement over the other car washes I tried. The guy actually used a brush to brush of the dirt on the dashboard. So that helps. Normally, they just wipe with a dirty old rag.

I think I'll try one of those other car salons. Someone told me there's one in Aman Suria that has a RM50 per month unlimited car wash. That means, you pay RM50 and you can was as many times as you want. I think it's worth it if you wash at least once a week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Overcast skies.

I love the rain. Today's weather is just perfect. The cloud is overcast so its not hot and there's a slight drizzle outside my apartment. I love the view when the air is clean and clear and you can see until the end of the horizon. I can see for at least 5KM.

My apartment faces directly south so this picture is a view of southern Petaling Jaya.

parking samaritan

I like going out of the way to look for good hokkien mee so I found quite a nice one in Damansara Perdana. It's a corner shop called TBC Corner. The best time to eat Hokkien Mee of course is in the middle of the night.

I was sitting down to wait for my food and I noticed across the road, some cars had double parked. It was already quite late, about 11PM. The only shop that was open was the restaurant, a mamak, a 24 hrs convenience shop and a cybercafe. There were lights on in the shops lots above them.

There was a lady there who was the owner of a small Perodua Kembara. She was parked legally in of the parking lots and a black Honda Civic was double parked right behind her car, blocking her exit. I watched as she when from shop to shop asking who was the owner of the car.

To make matters worst, her car honk was really soft so every time she laid on the honk no one could hear it. I could see her getting quite frustrated and frantic as she was on her mobile phone trying to get help I think.

After I finished my hokkien mee (it was okay only). I was going to walk of but I bought a pau from another restaurant nearby. As I was waiting for my pau, I saw her trying to shake the car so the alarm would go of, it didn't work. When I finally got my pau, I stood there a few more minutes to see what else she would do to get her car out.

After awhile, I finally decided to cross the road and watch from a closer distance. I could see that the other car that was also parked illegally next to her parking lot has reversed. She was trying to squeeze thru that small point to get out. She moved the car forward so close to the curb I could actually hear her hit it.

That's when I finally walked over to her car window and bend over and asked her gently if she would like help in reversing her car. By then, there were quite a few bystanders standing around trying to guide her out of the tight spot.

She happily got out of the car to let me try and reverse it out. I think I must have gone back and forth more than 10 times before I could finally moved the car to the right position. I was just a few MM from hitting the black civic that was parked illegally behind her.

After 15 minutes, I finally could get the car out and I got out and handed it back to her. She was quite glad and happy. She said it wasn't her car, it was her friend's car. Maybe her friend should know she scrapped the bumper on the curb!

Anyway, that was my good deed for the day... felt guilty for parking illegally and blocking someone after that lunch date with Hannah Tan the other day.

If I was in the lady's position, I think I actually might have gone back into the convenience store after getting the car out to buy a little present for the black civic. I would have bought a bottle of ketchup and wrote asshole on the windscreen with ketchup.

Then again, that's so not me!

New Desk

That's my new desk in the office. Today was moving day. Previously, we were squatting in a few places as the office under went renovation. Previously, all the TV stations had their own production arm but now they've all merged together in a new entity, Primeworks Studio.

Well, the new office looks like a plate of spagetti. All the tables are in squiggly lines instead of grids. It's a headache walking from one of the room to the other. Kind of like driving in KL. Who is the interior who designed this place? Obviously doesn't understand Feng Shui.

Some of the tables are ridiculously small. The guy setting next to me has a table half the size of mine. WTF? That's crazy.

Anyway, we don't have working phone lines and ethernet connection for the PC's yet. Good thing we still have wifi so no problem for me.

Going to take awhile before I remember the route to take to get to my table from the front door or the route to get to the toilet!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Proton Saga fuel economy

I just want to share my experience with my new Proton Saga (auto). Just reached my first 1000KM, going to send to service.

I read some reviews about the bad fuel economy of the car. This is my experience.

First few hundred KM, I drove just around PJ. A lot of stop go traffic, very little highway. I found that the fuel economy after 3 tanks full average about 7.5KM/Liter or about 250KM per every full tank I pump in (about 35L every time I pump).

That's really bad compared to my old car, Nissan Sunny. My old Nissan sunny which I traded in for this car could get 11KM/L in city driving conditions. For every 35L I put in, I could get at least 400KM in city driving.

Two days ago, I drove the Proton Saga to Ipoh and back from PJ on the North-South Highway. Average speed between 110KM/H-140KM/H. I found the car very stable, even in very heavy rain. Tyres and suspension were good. No vibration at high speed and even in the heavy rain.

The fuel economy for highway driving was 11KM/L. So, that was a much better improvement than the city driving consumption.

I think the reason why this car uses so much fuel in city driving is because of the auto transmission and the soft gas pedal. The RPM shoots up to 4 when you depress it half the way.

I've changed my driving style, previously, I tend to drive slow. Now I tend to drive faster. I find that the fuel economy is much better when you drive faster, when the auto transmission changes to the higher gears. Previously, I drove just under 50KM/H in city driving. Now I try to get the auto transmission to change to the highest gear as soon as possible by accelerating steadily by keeping the RPM at 2.5-3.

Monday I have my first 1000KM service. I'll see what the technician says.

lunch with Hannah Tan

I had lunch with Hannah the other day. It's been ages since we had time to talk. Most of the time, it was just short SMS's about work.

At first we were going to go try the Seremban Char Siew in Aman Suria but since we could only meet after the place's closing time, we decided to have lunch at SS2 instead. I told her its really hard to find parking there and she said, just double park in front of the shop

When I got there, I found her car already double parked in front of her shop so I did the same thing in front of her car. Awhile later, a car started honking and the duck rice shop owner we were eating at said a car I was blocking wanted to go out. So I ran out to move the car and parked in the guy's spot instead.

After that, the shop owner again came to tell me that the MBPJ wanted to summon my car because I forgot to buy a ticket. Damn it. So I ran out to buy a ticket to put in the car. From far, I could see that they were also looking at Hannah's car and when they saw her looking out from the shop at her car, they just left after that. Damn, they came after me but left her alone? So unfair!

She said I was such a square for always following the rules. I am a square because of things just like this, I don't like to worry about getting summoned or blocking someone's car. Plus the fact my car's brand new, I didn't want anything to happen to it. Then again, she drives a car a few times more expensive then mine and she's not worried.

Anyway, it was nice to catch up with her again, I didn't realize we actually sat in that shop for 2 hours talking about work, relationships and people we know. She's such a sweet girl. I can't reveal what we talked about but the things she told me were so funny I bursted out laughing in the shop a few times. I think the shop owner gave me a few wierd stares from the other corner of the shop.

The nice thing about talking to a pretty girl is that they're easy on the eyes. It's easier to maintain eye contact when you talk with someone. That's why we put them on TV, so you maintain as much eye contact with the contents on TV.

Looking back at the lunch, I had my overdose of high cholesterol duck rice and siew yoke. That will definitely cut down my life span but the conversation definitely improved my quality of life. It's a simple trade of.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How's your day?

Recently, anytime someone asked how's my day I would say, "it's great!" or "it's good!". I read a little about the law of attraction and it says that if you keep doing that then your perception of the day will change and it would really be a good day.

So how has it worked so far? Well, it's working! I've been having some great days for the pass few days.

Like yesterday, I drove my new Proton Saga car to Ipoh. I told myself it's going to be a good day and it was because I had a lot of fun testing it on the highway.

The car handled really well on the highway. I was driving between 120 to 140. The car was very stable and the fuel efficiency on the highway was 11KM/L. I think it could be better but at least it was fun.

On the way back, it rained really heavily. I didn't realize it but I was doing 120KM/H in the heavy rain. That means the tyres and the car's handling was pretty good too.

So how was my day today? Another pretty awsome day!

I got two customer service representatives call me to check on their service. The first was from Samsung and they wanted to know if my TV was ok after the technician repaired it. They also wanted to know how long I waited. If I was charged for anything and if I had any comments. I said everthing was fine but I was worried this might happen again because it sounded like an engineering design flaw from what the technician told me. They said they will look into it. Anyway, I'm glad they callled. I was already happy with samsung's service.

The other call was from proton to ask how was the car. I said the fuel efficiency was quite bad (7KM/L in city driving and 11KM/L highway driving). Also the key they gave me, the plastic cover was cracked. I think they screwed in the tightening screw too tight and it cracked the casing.

I also made an appointment with them for my first 1000km servicing. They asked me how was the salesman that served me. I said I was very happy with the service provided so far.

Now that I think about it, I heard a lot of horror stories previously about proton and their poor customer service and product quality. I have to say so far my experience has been pretty good so far. Other than the fuel efficiency problem and the cracked key, proton has been really good to me.

Not sure if my optimistic view on life is my good reviews on Samsung and Proton so far but at least I'm happy!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, August 14, 2009

Modern fears

First, we feared the terrorists. We were afraid of getting bombed when we when out. We were afraid of going to tall buildings and having a plane crash into it. We couldn't open our mails as we feared someone will mail us death.

Then came the fear of flying, we were afraid to get bombed in the air.

Then there was the government in turmoil. We were afraid and also angry at the government. We wanted change... and we had our change but we're afraid of the untested now.

After that, the economy crashed and we feared loosing our financial security. We were afraid of losing our jobs and savings.

Now we fear for our health. We wear mask and avoid public places. We view with suspicion anyone who has a cough. We stay at home and watch the news as the death toll climbs everyday. It never decreases... it just goes up and up. When will they stop counting?

We have too much fear.

Steady yourself I say!

Live life as you should! Take in your fears but do not forget you have a life to live.

D not fear for there is nothing to fear but fear itself!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TV Ghost exorcised!

The Samsung technician came to perform an exorcism on my TV today.

Previously, the TV was changing volume and channels on its own. I called Samsung to come and have a look at it as it was still under warranty. They said they provided on-site repairs which was good because it would have been a bitch to carry it to their service center. I would have needed 2 persons to do that.

At first I was worried about the warranty period and all that, but in the end, it all turned out well. The technician just took a look at the serial number and he could tell it was manufactured in November. I told him I purchased it in March. So at least I didn't have to give a lengthy explanation.

He changed both the control panel and main board. At first he suspected it was the control panel board and after changing that, it was still acting wierd, so in the end he changed the main board also. He said this was the second Samsung LCD he's seen with the same problem.

The technician was quite friendly and he explained quite a lot to me on how the TV works.

I also got him to take a look at a Samsung DVD player I bought for RM99. It has no warranty and it only worked for a week after buying it. I had bought it for my nephew to play his cartoons but it died after a few days. He said he'll check how much it is to repair it. He added if it was more than RM30 to repair, it's probably not worth it. Better of buying a new one.

So I got my TV repaired for free, with on-site service too. I'm impressed with Samsung's customer service. When I initially called them and gave them my name and phone number, they knew who I was already. I had previously registered a few Samsung products online and they had me on their database already so that saved me the problem of a long explanation. Their service response time was also 2 days, so better than I expected.

At the end of the service, the technician updated on his Samsung PDA what were the parts that he changed and the data was send to Korea. Cool. They keep track of all the problems. Hopefully, they improve on the manufacturing process for the TV.

Now if I buy another product, I'll make sure it's a Samsung!

(this blog post wasn't paid for by Samsung)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Haunted TV

I woke up really early this morning to take a piss. As I was walking to the toilet, I saw that the TV was on, it was just white snow. I thought maybe my wife had left it on before she when to bed last night. After I came out of the toilet, I took the remote and turned of the TV. As I was walking back to the bedroom, the TV turned on by itself and started cycling through the channels on its own!

I took the remote and pressed the power button to turn it of again... and again it came back on. I then realized that the button for the channel down must be depressed. I took all the batteries out from the remote controls (yeah, I have 3 remotes). The channel was still still cycling down on its own. The normal TV channels don't have any signals because I use Astro and that come through on a AV input. So from channel 1-100 is just white snow.

Damn, that means there's something wrong with the channel down button on the TV control panel. Nothing I could do about it then. The only way I could turn of the TV was by turning of the main power.

If it wasn't in the morning, it would have been quite freaky to have the TV come to life on its own.

My biggest problem now is that I can't find the damn warranty. The reason for this is why I have 3 remotes. I bought this TV from my wife's friend's warehouse sale. Her family sells used Samsung products. I got another remote since I also wanted to control the TV from my dining table. I also got a Samsung DVD player, so that's why I have 3 remotes that can control the TV.

I found one warranty card but I'm not sure if its the TV's warranty card or the DVD's warranty card. I registered my product online at the Samsung website online and it accepted it. Maybe their serial numbers on the warranty card is not linked to any particular products. I then made an appointment for their technician to come over. Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I hope the they call me back to confirm the appointment to repair the TV.

That's the nice thing about Samsung, they have on-site servicing for LCD TV's bigger than 30 inch. I guess they realized it was too heavy for a customer to carry to their service center. I just hope their techncians bring all the right spare parts. I can just imagine a Samsung service van driving around with a bunch of odd spare parts, enough to build a TV, fridge or washing machine.

My wife's complaining now she's got no TV to watch. Personally, it really doesn't affect me that much. I just watch a few DVD's once awhile and maybe the news or CSI on Astro. Other than that, my wife is the one who watches the most TV.

Me, I'm on my notebook most of the time in my study room, while she's outside in the living room. This way we both have our own personal space.