My Car Lifestyle - Car Reviews

A one stop center to get all the essential informations on the high demand cars.

My Car Lifestyle - Car Facts

A place where you get to know how your car works.

My Car Lifestyle - Car Care

A place where you learn how to care your car.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Camry 2.5V

All new Toyota Camry 2.5V


The Toyota Camry is a car “enthusiasts” love to hate. It’s an uncle car, big and boring, overpriced and underspecced, they say. Rubbish, some might add. For an online reviewer to say that it’s decent would be akin to running across a firing line. Online? Without the scrutiny of active feedback from you, dear readers, papers and car mags can get away with almost anything.
Anyway, we believe there’s a car for everyone, and one that’s not to your personal taste doesn’t make it a bad car. After drving this XV50 Camry 2.5V for few days, not only am I quite fond of it, I now fully understand why the Camry is such a popular car, the default big sedan that racks up sales Koreans dream about in our part of the world.

First, let’s get some niggles out of the way. There’s no Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) available, even on our range topping RM180,900 2.5V. This is either very stingy or a big oversight on Toyota’s part, especially when the previous Camry had it. Needs to be rectified for the facelift, if not sooner.
Looks wise, I prefer the quiet elegance of the previous model (pre-facelift was even smoother) than the sharper “more dynamic” lines of this Camry. Could be just me, but it looks a little forced. Perhaps they wanted to incorporate “more Lexus” into the image, but those who prioritise eye-catching design won’t be looking this way, not with the Sonata and Optima in town.
The chiselled new face, dominated by that huge chromed grille, is bolder but a bit fussy, and those LED strips below the fog lamps can’t be anything but an afterthought. There’s more adventure then you’d expect from Toyota’s designers though – there’s an arc that rises from the headlamps, diving down to meet the rising belt line for a signature character stroke.
Another unique cue is the way the car’s sides don’t meld into the front and rear surfaces, and are instead “cut off” quite severely. Toyota calls this “aero corner design” and it helps simplify air flow, aiding aerodynamics along with the discreet “aero stabilising fin” behind the wing mirrors and under-floor covers.
Moving inside, I like the simplicity of this new dashboard. Same amount of functions, via less buttons – a completely opposite approach from the Honda Accord.
Another plus point for me is the rich meter panel, now incorporating a fuel-consumption section (needle for average FC, light bar for instantaneous) and a two-tier trip meter. When the latter shows average FC and range, I rarely need to jog it via the steering buttons. And like most new cars, an ECO light is included to coach your right foot.
It has to be said though that the more spartan feel (“feel” because there are no less functions than before) and plain black plastic on the centre stack do little to add to the impression of luxury, something that the previous car did better. Points are clawed back with the stitched dashboard, stereo knobs with fine cut surfacing and a richly-lined handphone slot below the AC panel.
If wood is a must, then they’ve done all they can to make the cabin look “younger” compared to the previous Camry and the Nissan Teana. The black-beige colour combo is right for me, especially in a car like this. The lighter hue provides an expansive feel, while the contrasting black (dashboard, steering, door caps) adds dynamism. Better than the Teana’s different shades of beige theme, I think.
Let’s not forget the Camry specials. Things like a powered rear blind, manual rear window blinds and shoulder switches give the Camry a touch of limo appeal. The latter is located on the side of the front passenger seat, allowing the driver to adjust that seat electrically without bending over and stretching. Ferrying the family over the weekend, I used it often.
Speaking of limo appeal, rear occupants can really sit back and relax, like a boss. Besides the features above, the Camry’s front passenger headrest can be folded down for a better view.
The rear bench seating position is good (base not too low, seat back angle not too reclined) and there’s plenty of knee and legroom, more than before thanks to reshaped front seat backs and centre console, which houses air vents. The Camry’s exterior dimensions, 2,775 mm wheelbase included, are unchanged, but packaging has been improved to realise better cabin space.
Kit wise, our 2.5V came with niceties like HID projectors (across the range), eight-way powered seats with electric lumbar for the driver, touch-screen DVD-AVN system with USB, AUX, Bluetooth and reverse camera, front and side airbags, plus keyless entry with push start button.
Good stuff, but for the money, I would have liked an anti-glare rear view mirror (current one is a thin, cheap looking unit) and wing mirrors that auto fold along with the keyless entry. There’s also no auto headlamps and wipers.
Much has been said about the rise of the Koreans, who are doing a great job, but this new Camry is proof (or rather reminder) that Toyota really knows how to make a big sedan work. No edgy design or fancy glass roof here, just a very comfortable and effortless cruiser.
The 2AR-FE 2.5-litre engine (Dual VVTi, 181 PS, 231 Nm) is very well insulated and smooth revving, and the way it picks up speed with that strong mid range is impressive.
Same goes for the silky six-speed auto gearbox, which is a good balance between smoothness and speed – changing gears is not so sharp till you feel it, but it does not overlap and slur its way around either. Judgement and perception is very good, which is why I never felt the need to use manual mode.
There’s a slickness and effortlessness to this drivetrain that’s missing in say, a Hyundai Sonata, which is more rough around the edges, and the hushed way the Camry goes about its business should appeal to more in this segment than charismatic nemesis Honda Accord.
The Camry is a smooth operator, which is why I was surprised at the higher than expected vibration at idle, which isn’t in character. Could be an isolated case, but even if not, I reckon that it’s not something that many would notice, only because we’re serial testers.
Some might say that the Camry has always been smooth. True, but it has never been this competent when hustled. The big Toyota is still not a driver’s car, or even as nice to drive hard down a B-road than an Accord, but it doesn’t feel as uncomfortable as before should you insist.
The steering has surprising weight to it, too. Not much feel, but its precision and weight alone makes the Camry a sharper tool than before. Trunk road driving is not a nightmare as many keen drivers would expect – tyres squeal very early on, and there’s quite a bit of roll, but body control is decent.
Ride comfort is good, and the primary high-speed ride isn’t disconcertingly floaty. Road and wind noise are very well insulated, adding to the XV50′s mile munching cruiser appeal. The Camry has always been a smooth operator, but this time around, the dynamics have caught up a little.
Living with it for a few days, I can understand why the Camry is so popular with the conservative buyer. It’s not the most exciting player around (far from it), there are spec (too low) and price (too high) issues, and there’s that image problem with younger folks; but Toyota understands what the bulk of D-segment buyers want, and executes the plan well, on the 2.5V at least.
Of course, there’s also the strong resale value and service network the brand commands, things that are high up the priority list of many car buyers.
I’m pleasantly surprised. The uncle never had it this good.
Paul says: The Camry does well in matters that the target buyer wants and can perceive. But everyone thinks bad things only happen to the next guy, and the lack of demand of stability control even in this RM150k-RM200k segment (and hence the removal of this feature in all variants of the Camry for whatever reasons) shows how alarmingly uneducated Malaysian buyers are about safety features.

While the car is competent, Toyota seriously needs to add VSC stability control back into this car with the facelift. Until then it is hard to recommend anyone to purchase this if you care about your safety on the road.

If you really want a Camry, perhaps you can look for a low mileage last generation model with VSC and some warranty left. You can look for used Toyota Camry XV40 on oto.my.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rubber Wiper Care

Rubber Wiper Care

Wiper function is to sweep rainwater from the surface of the windshield, thus the driver can see into front. One component that windshield wipers should be checked regularly is a rubber wiper. Checking it is to know whether the rubber on the wipers still elastic or not. If the rubber has hardened, the wiper will not give maximal function as it should.

Rubber wiper that is hard and inelastic is a sign that the rubber wiper is already time to be replaced with new ones. Other sign  is there is dew on the windshield after swept by the wiper. So the result of cleaning is not perfect. In addition a hard rubber wiper can scratch the windshield, so that it can impede the driver's view.

Sunlight hitting the car windshield, making the windshield surface temperature increased. Because the wiper position, attached to the windshield, of course heat will flow to the rubber wiper. Effect of changing weather that hit the rubber wiper, made it becomes inelastic. Because at the heat temperature, rubber wipers to expand, while during the cold, the rubber wiper became shrunken. Continuous temperature changes ultimately make the rubber wiper becomes damaged.

To keep the rubber wiper from from windshield surface, we can simply position the wiper lever in an upright position (refer to image below) when the car was parked, especially when the car was parked in hot areas without shade/shelter.

Wiper lever in an upright position
To be more safe, choose a car parked in a cool place or with shelter. Install the car's sun shade on the car when the car was parked in a long time, this can also protect the rubber windshield wipers. Because these steps can prevent a rubber wiper from drastic changes of outside air temperature continuously, which can damage the wiper rubber elasticity as described before. In addition, you also can buy a car accessory that is used to support the rod wiper, so that the rubber wiper can easily be dissociated from the surface of the windshield when the accessory is turned on. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Idle Engine

Idle Engine

Photo: Oto Tip of the Day:

If the insides of a car are its organs, then the engine is its heart. One of the simplest ways to extend its lifespan is to not leave it idle for long periods, and accelerate slowly when you start to drive.

This is because the most wear to the engine and drivetrain occurs in the first 10-20 minutes of operation and the engine hasn’t operate at its peak temperature yet.
VTEC Engine
If the insides of a car are its organs, then the engine is its heart. One of the simplest ways to extend its lifespan is to not leave it idle for long periods, and accelerate slowly when you start to drive.

This is because the most wear to the engine and drivetrain occurs in the first 10-20 minutes of operation and the engine hasn’t operate at its peak temperature yet.

Coolant Radiator

Coolant Radiator

Coolant in Radiator

Replenishing your radiator with only tap water can cause scaling and corrosion, as mineral deposits can lead to total radiator failure in the long run.

Most car engines today are manufactured with a mix of materials that can react to each other - follow your car manufacturer's recommended coolant mixture to avoid extra costs of radiator corrosion, repairs and replacements.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Inflated Tires

Inflated Tires


Tires tread
Tyre pressure levels are crucial to tyre longevity and also to your safety, especially on a long trip. Under/over-inflated tyres can affect grip, causing irregularity in your car's handling.

The graph image can be used as a general guide - it's best to check once a month, and follow the PSI recommendations in the owner's manual or on the door post as they vary for different cars.


Source: www. reallygoodideas.com.au

Monday, October 22, 2012

Car Battery Facts

Car Battery Facts

Photo: DID YOU KNOW that typical normal car battery able to last for around 2-3 years or even more than 3 years if taking good care of it by refilling distilled water from time to time. 
While maintenance free (MF) battery able to last until 2 years or even less. Maintenance-free batteries use a calcium alloy of lead instead of an antimony alloy which is suppose to sustain the water longer without refilling. Longer does not mean forever. 
After all, MF battery is much more expensive than normal car battery. Be hardworking, take good care of your battery. Your battery will reward back to your wallet :)
MF Battery

Did you know – a ‘maintenance free’ car battery does not last as long as a normal car battery? The truth:
Like many things in life, the term “maintenance-free” is only partially true. Lead-acid batteries normally consume some of the water during a normal charge-discharge cycle. It actually electrolyzes into hydrogen and oxygen and escapes as gas. So adding water periodically is necessary to keep the plates flooded.



Maintenance-free batteries use a calcium alloy of lead instead of an antimony alloy which is suppose to sustain the water longer without refilling, but certainly not forever!
Any abnormal electrical system condition or high ambient temperatures may boil off more than the normal amount of water, however. Adding water may extend the service life of these supposedly maintenance-free batteries.
Conclusion:
Especially in places with consistent or all year round hot climate (tropical weather or desert areas), the ‘maintenance free’ battery will not achieve it’s full life span and will fail prematurely.
Tip:
Though using ‘maintenance free’ batteries maybe convenient, but it’s definitely not as economical as a normal car battery as it tends to fail earlier. So be a little hardworking and use a normal car battery which requires refilling of the water. =)
Test:
A simple test was done to estimate the lifespan of:-
a) Maintenance Free battery (claim – 2years) actual 8mths to 1.5years
b) Normal battery (claim – 2years) actual – from 2 years to up to 4years with proper on-time maintenance


Source and photo from : http://www.ears.my/awareness/automotive/basic-car-maintenance/the-truth-about-maintenance-free-battery/

Bird Shit On Your Car


Photo: Never leave bird shit on your car for too long

A shady place to protect the paint is the preferred parking for classic car owners. If the shade is created by our oxygen producing friend, the tree, remember it is also the preferred parking place for our not-so-favorite friend, the bird.

A bird can create one of the most damaging “natural disasters” to a car’s paint – its droppings. Bird’s ka ka (as its spelled in the Urban Dictionary), is highly acidic, and the longer you leave it on your paint, the more damage it will cause. If you try to wipe a bird’s ka ka off, even with a wet towel, you can scratch the paint. You see our friend the bird, uses gravel to digest their food, and this grit is one of the major components of what you will be wiping into your paint. Ouch!

That’s why we carry a fresh bottle of no salt seltzer water in the trunk, or boot, of all of our classic cars. No salt seltzer water is just water and carbon dioxide, which will not harm your paint. What it will do - if you take the lid off, and put your thumb over the spout, and shake it up real well - is create a blast of water to wash off the acidic, paint wrecking substance some bird left on your car.

If you didn't catch the "bird bomb" right away, any good paint polish can be used to fix the damage it's caused with a fair amount of rubbing. It's better to start with a fine polishing compound or scratch remover, followed by a good coat of wax.

Bird Shit on your car

Never leave bird shit on your car for too long

A shady place to protect the paint is the preferred parking for classic car owners. If the shade is created by our oxygen producing friend, the tree, remember it is also the preferred parking 

place for our not-so-favorite friend, the bird.

A bird can create one of the most damaging “natural disasters” to a car’s paint – its droppings. Bird’s ka ka (as its spelled in the Urban Dictionary), is highly acidic, and the longer you leave it on your paint, the more damage it will cause. If you try to wipe a bird’s ka ka off, even with a wet towel, you can scratch the paint. You see our friend the bird, uses gravel to digest their food, and this grit is one of the major components of what you will be wiping into your paint. Ouch!

That’s why we carry a fresh bottle of no salt seltzer water in the trunk, or boot, of all of our classic cars. No salt seltzer water is just water and carbon dioxide, which will not harm your paint. What it will do - if you take the lid off, and put your thumb over the spout, and shake it up real well - is create a blast of water to wash off the acidic, paint wrecking substance some bird left on your car.

If you didn't catch the "bird bomb" right away, any good paint polish can be used to fix the damage it's caused with a fair amount of rubbing. It's better to start with a fine polishing compound or scratch remover, followed by a good coat of wax.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Insight & Prius C

Honda Insight And Toyota Prius C (Hybrid Vehicle)

This section we going to talk about Hybrid car. As nowadays everyone is concern to our mother  earth environment and also price of our petrol. Thus people are looking for a vehicle that make most of the drop. Honda and Toyota already think ahead for us by invented new concept of  where   petrol engine + Integrated Motor Assist(IMA) concept to run the car which we called as Hybrid Car.
 Hybrid car become more and more popular. Both of these cars are around RM97K ~ RM99K.
Currently there is a new Jazz Hybrid too, but the demand not as popular as Insight. Thus, I will talk about Insight in this section.

Thanks to our goverment, budget 2011 made it 100% exemption for BOTH import duty and excise duty. The deal, for hybrid cars with 2.0 litre engines and below, was supposed to expire on Dec 31, 2011. Then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Tun Razak announced on Budget 2013 where this 100% exemption to be extended until 31th Dec 2013.  
In other way, if you buying Hybrid car, the price that you pay is cheaper than it should if compared to normal car.

Let see what Insight and Prius C have :)

Exterior

Insight with Mugen Kit

Honda Insight with Stylish Mugen Body Kit


Prius C with TRD Body Kit 

Toyota Prius C with TRD Body Kit


Recently, Honda has introduce newer version of Insight. Insight come with new facelift version with more contour bumpers, halogen headlamp with projectors and blue highlight. The new redesign fog lamps also seduced me. While Insight is so attractive, Prius C may not lack behind. Prius C do come with halogen projector headlamp as well and able to manually levelling to provide excellent visibility.
Insight come with 16' rims while Prius C come with 15' rims. From the exterior, Insight have sporty outlook and Prius C is more to pleasant outlook. Personally, I may attracted to Insight outlook more compared to Prius C. Yet, everyone is unique and have different opinion. No offence to Prius C's fan :D 
If you are not satisfied with their outlook, you can always enhance it with the bodykit that available in the market just like above. Cool, isn't it? :)

Interior

Honda Insight

Insight's sleek dashboard come with ergonomically design where driver can easily access everything. Panel meter come with multi information display (MID) to provide full information to driver.


Stylish In Car Entertainment with CD and USB+AUX Jack entertain you with 4 speakers. Control the cabin temperature at ease with digital display.

Insight's have a large and comfortable room for driver together with passengers. Black seat fabrics together with black dashboard which enhance the cabin outlook


Toyota Prius C

Stylish spacious cabin with easy access. Ergonomic dashboard style make your driving comfortable.

 
Drive with confident in Prius C with Advanced Multi-Information Display in 3.5 TFT screen. 

Key-less entry, simply make your car ON/OFF in style.

Auto air-conditioning. Make your your ride simply much comfortable. Temperature/fan speed can be easily adjust on steering as well.

Optimized space for your lifestyle. Fold-able backseats easily give you 260L boots space.

Both Insight and Prius C have ergonomic interior styling that make the ride comfortable. For spacious, both of these hybrid cars offered comfortable space to driver and passengers. Yet, still sedan car will have better capacity for luggages when you required it :)

The ride for Insight is nice and quiet but I do notice when your car is idling while waiting for traffic light become green, the air-conditioning may slightly warmer due to the compressor stop operating. This happen due to the engine is cut-off to improve the fuel efficiency. Insight have loud engine noise when you have hard acceleration on your right foot. The steering may have 'plastic feel' which not as firm as Prius C. These are the few drawbacks which I notice when test drive Insight. But overall, Insight was a beautiful car with stylish interior especially on the panel meter and roomy cabin spaces, not to mention it's sporty outlook.


Let move to Prius C's interior, Prius C's interior seem simply and bored? Well a lot people included me found out Prius C's interior not as attractive as Honda's interior or Kia and Hyundai's interior. Perhaps, that is how Toyota style it is. One more thing for Prius C is the room legs for rear passenger, Prius C's room legs for back seater are not comfortable due to narrow leg rooms.  Anyhow, even though Prius C don't have an attractive interior design compared to Insight but it do have as much function as Insight and Prius C have key-less entry feature! Driving Prius C was a pleasure, the car accelerate smoothly and quiet (thanks to the soundproof under the hood). 
(Insight +1)

Performance and Technology

Honda Insight


Insight I-VTEC 1.3L engine serve as main power source.


Insight electric motor and Intelligent Power Unit (IPU). Together with I-VTEC 1.3L engine, Insight able to produce acceleration same as 1.6L engine. Total Maximum Power [PS(kW)/rpm]88(65) + 10(14) (Engine + Electric Motor) and Maximum Torque [Nm(kg-m)/rpm]121[12.3] + 78[8.0] (Engine + Electric Motor)


Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) which is the favourite transmission nowadays where help to improve power and better fuel efficiency due to no power lose during shifting and also infinite gear ratio. This new CVT capable to cut-off high RPM when ECON mode activated. This greatly help the fuel efficiency.

Toyota Prius C

 

Prius C 1.5L engine(4-Cylinder In-line, 16-Valve, DOHC with VVT-i) with Transaxle/Motor/Inverter + Hybrid Battery(under the rear seat) capable of making 74kW (101PS)



Intelligent shift. The output from the petrol engine and electric motor are regulated during different driving conditions for maximum fuel efficiency and great performance


Regenerative break system which stored back energy to the hybrid battery when you de-accelerating and stopping. The brakes equipped Electronic Controlled Brake for optimum breaking force.


Choose between 3 modes, Normal, Eco, and EV mode.  Eco mode reduces overall energy consumption by prioritizing fuel economy and altering throttle response as well as air-conditioner performance. EV model is available in certain conditions where just the electric motor is used; speeds of up to 50 km/h can be achieved in this mode which gives the noise-free experience of an electric vehicle.

Insight and Prius C have the latest technologies equipped on them to ensure you have a fuel efficiency and safety yet comfortable drive. Prius C have much power packed under it's hood compared to Insight which gave Prius C much powerful acceleration which claim to be from 0-100km in 10.7sec. That was POWERFUL for a fuel saver car.


Honda claimed fuel consumption for Insight: 27.2km/l
Toyota claimed fuel consumption for Prius C: 35km/l


Prius C has better fuel consumption and more powerful acceleration compared to Insight. (Prius C +1)

Safety

Honda Insight


ABS, EBD, BA, Hill Start Assist and VSA 

The new Insight's Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) stops your wheel from locking up while its Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) controls braking distribution between the wheels. In emergencies, Brake Assist (BA) kicks in to bring you to a safe stop. Hill Start Assist is a new feature to help prevent backward rolling on inclines when the brake is released. Stay in control of your vehicle while maneuvering tight corners or during unexpected situations with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). Insight come with 2 air bags for driver and front passenger.

Immobiliser & Security Alarm System The Immobiliser and security alarm system in the Hybrid Insight provides you excellent prevention against car thef.


Toyota Prius C

Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control & Anti-lock Brake System

Even on slippery roads, the PRIUS c helps maintain vehicle stability with its Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). Other safety features include Hill Start Assist, Brake Assist and Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration.

7 SRS Airbags

For optimum protection, the PRIUS c is equipped with 7 Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags to reduce the force of impact on occupants in the event of a collision. The 7 SRS airbags include protection for the driver and front passenger, front side, curtain-shield and driver's knees.


Vehicle Security System

The PRIUS c is installed with quality security features such as an immobiliser, siren with back-up battery and cabin sensor.


In safety section, Insight and Prius C have all the advanced safety features such as ABS,VCA, EBD and many mores. But Prius C have extra 5 more airbags to protect the passenger compared to Insight which only have 2 airbags. 
(Prius C +1)

Pricing 

On the road with Insurance
Honda Insight 1.3 - RM99,800
Toyota Prius C 1.5- RM97,000

Prius C is cheaper compared to Insight by RM2,800.
(Prius C +1)

Maintenance

Honda Insight 1.3

Toyota Prius C 1.5

From the chart, we can see Prius C average maintenance's cost is cheaper than  Insight.  (Prius C +1)


Overall, Prius C have better features compared to Insight except smaller cabin space and the design is more plain.

Pictures from: 
Honda - www.honda.com.my
Toyota - www.toyota.com.my