Sunday, February 22, 2009

newbie to motoring (accident repair)

got a very value for money workshop to do up my bumper; Khek Joo Workshop nearby Tampines Safra. Brought my car down to let him assess the damages, got quoted $100 for panel beating and reinforcement of the bumper retention clips. Sent it in 2 days later, and got it back within the same day.

the repair is flawless, except for a spray mark at my fog light cover. Plus some invisible spray marks on my right headlight that felt rough during washing. Used my claybar on it, got them off too.

met up with AL for our detailing session; lasted 4 great hours into the owl night. I was somewhat faster than him, maybe wasn't too detailed at the procedures. He had to do extra stuff too; the polishing.

Was doing waxing, he was doing polishing i think

See the accident spot?

Hardworking on his jazz

Finished with wax, wiped off the haze


Sunday, February 15, 2009

danga city mall

took off from work, went with vincent and melvin to the heavily advertised mall in JB via KTM rail. The mall is special because the existing track runs past it, so the authorities created a platform and allowed boarding/alighting. However, the mall has been there for at least 10 years. Originally called Plaza Best World, the entire mall was abandoned due to poor business. It is (still) in front of a busy flyover, that's the problem. No buses or taxis can easily stop there.

the mall itself is rather disappointing - the major tenant was Metrojaya, somewhat like our dept stores. More than 50% of the shops were unoccupied. In the end, we took a taxi to City Square and spent more time there.

Nicer tickets now

The same notice board

The very familiar platform

Free seating?


the railway station has much value to me. For about 14 years my parents took my siblings and me to Malaysia for our CNYs via rail. Used to cramp into the cabin, stand for 3-4 hours in the burning heat. The airconditioned cabins were available, but were going for a much higher price. Eventually we took coaches up after shifting to Woodlands, since it is faster and more comfortable. Anyway, past times were bad, finance was tight. Must appreciate the present.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

newbie to motoring (accident)

very unfortunate to get into an accident just less than a month after getting the car. To make things short, i wasn't careful in multistory carpark, and had bumper-bumper collision with another car. Lucky the other party's damage was limited to his bumper, not his doors (if he braked later) or anything else. So we agreed to settle it privately without any claims through our insurers.

Accident spot

My bumper

Much cosmetic damage, protective bar beneath it was slightly bent too

His damage

the good thing was, the other party had no temper and was accommodating. On the other end, i was very kanchiong because it's my first encounter. Brought out my camera, took some photos like a cam-pimp and we quickly exchanged particulars. There was one red Accord driver who made his presence known by sounding his damn horn, but i treated him as a class lower than us. Really rude and maybe blind as well.

met up with him at his factory with WQ, got a quote for the repair works. Now looking around for mine too, unsure to just do up the bumper, or change the bumper and then do up.

it's time to list down the hazardous areas i encountered as a new driver so far... which driving schools or instructors don't really teach.

- turning: most people don't practise stopping at stop line, checking is dead important here

- carparks, especially HDB multistorey: Turning on headlights is not enough, need to horn or high beam if necessary. There can be cars or humans speeding or lurking around ramps.

- parking: don't reverse all the way in. Never know what's at the back that may crush your rear bumper or exhaust.

- expressway driving: filtering out, exit filter lanes

- blind spot: some big cars have blind spots, found that i can spot a motorbike or even a car beside my passenger doors, when my mirrors didn't show them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lord Stow's Bakery

my dear gave me this; a year ago i pulled my buddies from Macau main island to Coloane Island on an expensive taxi trip, for this fantastic eggtarts. Didn't regret spending that MOP 120 fare.

it's a pleasant surprise!

Make no mistake, it's the best eggtart so far.

PS: Besides Coloane Island town centre, it's available over at HK's Excelsior Hotel. But we didn't manage to find that branch even after going round and round for 30 minutes...

newbie to motoring (poisonous)

when one really gets into something, there will surely be poisonous stuff along the way. Say as a result of my computing hobby, i have tons of vintage hard drives, tons of old memory modules plus many other spare parts. I think it's happening to my new possession, and must take care to differentiate between the needs-vs-wants.

some highlights:

K&N oil based drop in filter

As the description says, just drop into the air filter box and latch up

RainX for the rainy days

The dirt remover

read so many types of mods for the air intake; drop-in, cold air induction (CAI), etc. I'm not keen to make any real alterations to the engine bay, so decided on the drop-in variant instead. Then there is the K&N oil based vs Hurricane stainless steel drop-in. Saw someone selling the K&N more than half price off, so went for that. The improvement is quicker up-gear response for slopes.

picked up the RainX and Black&Decker at Autobacs BB... trust me it's a poisonous place to be.

Friday, February 6, 2009

the mighty shoe

Your shoe is prohibited... really?

do we have to go barefooted for high security talks and presentations soon?

we have seen a reporter throwing his shoe at former US President George Bush, few days ago a similar incident happened to Chinese PM Wen in Britain. Mind you, it was at University of Cambridge. Why can't (even) educated people fight it out, you may ask. However, the shoe thrower should have carefully considered the repercussions of his action, before deciding to do so. I don't think he has done that. Personally, i admire PM Wen for his work and don't think he deserved to be treated this way.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

newbie to motoring (car detailing)

learnt this term '"car detailing" from forums. In layman terms, it's to beautify the exterior aspects of our rides; through many techniques such as washing (the basic that everyone does themselves or by paid car wash), claying, polishing, sealing and waxing. Sounds all the same eh?

i read up some local forums, such as Singapore Honda Club or SHC, and Singapore Civic FD Club. In the process of understanding car detailing, many other tips in servicing and accessories to get (read: poison) came along. All these nice tips are bookmarked in my delicious profile, freely accessible.

being overly enthusiastic since it's my first car, i did price surveys at 2 Carrefours, 2 Homefix-es and 1 NTUC. In conclusion, apart from price differences, i find NTUC AMK Hub to be very competitive and well equipped for everybody's needs. Homefix comes second. If you happen to shop for grocery, then visit Carrefour. There's another well known and super comprehensive Autobacs at BB, but the prices are not exactly attractive.

car detailing part II

I gathered many views and opinions, and took this path -

1. washing

there are all kinds of car wash, from popular brands such as Meguiars, Armorall, 3M, etc. I bought the Armorall initially, but prepared the Duragloss 901 for my future waxed washes, since it's pH neutral. The Armorall would be for cleaning my wheels and stripping off treated layers when required.

found myself to wash in 3 smaller steps - wetting the car while removing all dirt (1 pail), shampoo-ing (1 pail) rinsing (1 pail) and drying. All by hand, maybe shampoo-ing with a microfiber cloth, to prevent swirling and scratches.

2. claying

took the soft99 claybar. It's like plasticine or art clay, but it's designed to run over surfaces and pick up stubborn stains. Ran it over the entire car, and found it to be only quite useful for door handles, boot area and bumper where stubborn dirt lies.

the claying process can be done between shampoo and rinsing. Soap water is good enough as a lubricant.

3. sealing

actually, i should have done paintwork touch up using polishes or swirl removers, but decided this can be delayed for another time. Went on to seal up the clayed exterior using AutoGlym Extra Gloss Protection. It smelt like some alcohol when i applied it on, and i let it turn to a haze for 30 minutes. Then, the haze was rubbed off.

other accessories: Mr Clean wax on/off cloth

Haze appearing after a while

4. waxing

another extra layer of treatment over the sealed layer for (supposingly) extra gloss and protection. I got 3M's liquid wax for this, application wise similar to the AutoGlym sealant. However, the haze was harder to observe. Maybe i was already quite tired, so didn't spend much effort on this.

used the wax on/off cloths from the Mr Clean pack; it has 4 pieces, just nice for sealing and waxing.

results? Quite happy with the improved gloss, and non-grainy feel when i run my fingers over the paintwork. Plus personal satisfaction. Will probably do the sealing and waxing every 2-3 months.

uncovered some paint chips after sealing, my 2nd hand dealer's touch ups all came off. All the flaws uncovered... but it's part and parcel of buying 2nd hand stuff.

now is to do the water beading test.


self service - replacing the aircon/cabin filter.

Previously, the car didn't come with the filter, only the plastic frame.
It's not the second hand dealer's problem, but Kah Motor's.

Removal of glove compartment

Kah Motor didn't put in that paper filter into the frame! How much can it cost? Even public buses have sponges and foams over their aircon intakes!

i'm positive about self servicing my car, since it lowers down costs. Changing engine oil, brake fluid, etc would be impossible for me now, but i hope to learn them to bring down labour costs to $0.

no air freshener in my car, no plan to get it. Might be adding a carbon filter into the plastic frame to remove odours. I'm a sucker for air quality, if you read my past aircon posts.