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This is a very long overdue update on my Proton Wira modifications under RM1K project.

Picking up from what I last posted, the Proton badge (meant for Proton Iswara) finally arrived but there was a problem. The original was a screw-on badge while the new one was a stick on and somehow I could not find a way to get it to stick properly on the original place. So I came up with an idea. Was not sure whether it would work but fortunately it did. I peeled off the plastic logo and super glued it on to the original screw-on base.





I also bought a new Proton Manual Car Leather Gear Knob Carbon With R3 stitching on the sides for RM50/, also from a seller on Lelong.


Definitely a great improvement on the original rounded plastic knobs which were worn out. This brought me to a new total of RM363.90.

Thinking of what to do next, I thought about the faulty reverse sensor. I have been meaning to change it for a long time but kept putting it off. So one day I drove down to the Brother's outlet near my house in PJ. However, the place was packed and I could not get any parking. I was impatient and decided to go to another car accessories place - Elegance Audio Sdn Bhd. in Kelana Jaya.

I was delighted because there were not that many customers around. Their manager Oliver Lim, came out and told me that it would cost me around RM200+ to install new reverse sensors. This was much costlier than what it would normally cost me at Brothers but I assumed that at that price their product would be of a better quality than at Brothers, which was where I had installed my old reverse sensors.

Since the shop was specialised in audio equipment and I was still under budget, I decided to install front speakers in the car. Previously it only had 2 rear Clarion speakers. The cheapest speakers was the Powerbass S-4002 4-Inch Coaxial speakers (105 W), at around RM260 a pair. A little bit steep but he assured me that the sound quality would be really great. This would nicely bring me just below my budget of a Thousand dollars and I decided to go ahead.


However, this is where it all went wrong. I was waiting inside their office with my son when the manager came in and showed me the old speakers - it was completely torn. I knew it was old but I am sure it was definitely not that bad. I now had no choice but to replace the rear speakers as well. I went along with what the manager recommended and installed a pair of EFX 6x9" rear speakers (RM480).

I was dismayed when I learnt that as the new speakers would not fit into the original speaker enclosure and they would have to cut into the rear speaker board. I wished the manager had explained that to me before I said yes.





The final damage - a whooping RM1020 in total, including the installation charges. These three items alone would have blown my small budget of RM1K at one go.

In hindsight, I could have said "No!" and this would have left me with a total budget of RM903.9. I could have then gone to Brothers and have cheaper speakers installed. But that is what you call "buyer's remorse" and I am trying hard not to have any regrets. However, I hope other people reading this would learn from my experience and make an informed choice.

I am sure that some of you are wondering "what's the difference"?

Now, I do notice that I don't have to crank up the volume and sound quality has definitely improved but no once else - neither my family members nor my friends seems to have realised the difference. The only guy who noticed is my son who went along with me and tries to put peanuts and other stuff into the holes in the speaker covers - a clear design flaw if you have hyperactive kids with itchy hands.

So my budget is blown and I have failed in my project. It was stupid anyway as an old car needs constant attention and replacement of parts. In conclusion, RM1000 goes a bit but is but a drop in the ocean if you decide to hold on to an old car and decide to "pimp it". However, on the other hand, well maintained cars can go a long way and is considerably cheaper than getting a brand new car - specially if you live in Malaysia.

An increasing number of motorists in the UK are installing in-car dashboard cameras or dash cams, as they are more popularly known. The mini video cams are fixed discretely on the windscreen of your vehicle. The main reason is the rise of the so-called "crash-for-cash" scams.

There are gangs who stage fake accidents in order to make fraudulent insurance claims. Their modus-operandi is to slam on their brakes suddenly and causing the vehicle behind to crash into them. The Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates that the annual cost of these fraud cases amount to around £392 million (1). This highlights the importance of this issue and it is no wonder that many van owners and operators have also started to install dash cams in their fleet of vehicles. In the event of an accident, the accurate recordings of the events can prove useful in legal proceedings and insurance claims.

Another possible benefit of installing these cams is that the drivers would probably drive more responsibly as they are aware that the cams are running and recording their entire journey as well. Thus, they can encourage safer driving.

On the other hand, you may want to just record the beautiful landscape on a trip. I wish I had one during our amazing driving trip to the Scottish highlands and the Isle of Skye last Easter.

There are a range of dash cams out there with prices ranging from around £10 to over £100. Their quality and features vary widely as well. Anyway, I was delighted when I was given the opportunity to review the HP Car Camcorder f200. The camera is quite small and discreetly fits behind the mirror. However, the power cord dangling down was quite annoying and I may have to run it along the top of the windscreen.


The camera supports micro SDHC cards up to 32GB. However, the spare card I had at home was only 8GBs. It has a 2.4" LCD Color TFT screen at the back which helps to position the camera and is surprisingly clear. I plugged the power cord in and started playing around with the menu which was quite easy to navigate.

First of all I changed the dates and time and then formatted the memory card. I then realised that it had started recording. The camera allows for total hands free operation as you can set the camera to start recording as soon as it detects motion. It can also be set to start recording automatically when it detects a collision or sudden braking situation. You can select the sensitivity but I think that it defeats the whole purpose as you would want to see the events leading up to an accident as well - before the collision actually happens. Fortunately, I did not get the chance to test the automatic collision recording feature and I hope it remains that way.

I recorded a recent trip to my son's school. The camera has a wide angle fixed focus lens F2.4 and records in full HD (1920 x 1080) including voice recording. It also has a built in 3-Axis gyro force sensor which keeps the images steady even on bumpy Coventry side roads.

On playing back the video on our TV, we found that the quality of the video was really good. I could easily read the car number plates and the distant landmarks we passed on the road were really clear. Check out the short video which I uploaded on YouTube.



I definitely recommend this camera. Prices of the cam varies widely depending on the online retailer, from £85.50 to £114.54.

This review was sponsored by Tesco Compare van insurance

Related Link: Insurance Fraud Bureau


Here is a review I wrote sometime back but forgot to post up. I have been trying out the new glass cleaner from the Mantis Car Care range called Fast Glass. 

This new product from JML promises a "crystal clear, smear-free finish on glass and plastic windows”. As a marketer, I am aware of all the unsubstantiated claims that companies make about their products and I was sceptical. However, it did just what it claims - just sprayed the windscreen and wiped it off. See the result below. 

I also wanted to test the claims that it creates a "rain-resistant shield".  

It was the Easter break and we were driving to the Scottish highlands. As some of you might recall, the weather was really strange and we had light rain and sleet most of the way. Perfect way to test out the claim. On the motorway I did not even have to use the wiper as the rain drops just slid away from the glass. I have to point out that we did not have heavy rain then but it does work even under very wet conditions, though I did have to use the wipers as well. I am definitely going to keep using this windshield glass cleaner/ water repellent. 

I only have one complaint. It is with regards to the quality of their spray mechanism. I am not sure why but the liquid kept leaking out when I sprayed and in the end, I  transferred it to an empty Dettol cleanser spray bottle I had at home. 

Mantis Fast Glass is available here in the UK for £9.99

While giving one of my friends a lift to the railway station on my old trusty Volvo S40, he somehow punched a hole through the speaker on the passenger side. I took it to the garage and they told me that it would take about £100 to replace the speakers and cover, plus the service. That was several months ago. I tried some DIY repair work on the speakers by putting super glue but that was a bad idea and it did not turn out well. The sound was terrible. In the end , I used the balancing knob on the music system to shut off the left speakers. It was irritating but I was not going to shell out almost £100 for one speaker. 

Anyway, one day while surfing eBay I chanced upon someone selling used speakers and covers from a S40 and without thinking much, I just bought them - all for £17.50.

I then went to YouTube looking for a tutorial video, I was sure there was bound to be at least one and I was right. 


It took me less than 10 minutes to replace the speakers with the new (old) ones and save myself around £80. 


New speaker in

Pop the cover on

The old speakers and cover

It is so great to finally listen to music with all the speakers on. 

As I was driving to work today I realised that the inside of my car is looking a bit scruffy. I have a stock of car and wheel cleaners but none for the inside of my car. Moreover, now that winter is finally here, I also need to stock up on car accessories including ice scrappers and like all parents with kids, a good carpet cleaner.

There are a range of car wash products out there and I usually buy the good quality brands because you do not want to skimp when it comes to your car care products. To save on money, I usually buy them in bulk or in larger packs. I do not want to be running down to the supermarket every few weeks. A good tip is to look for wholesale dealers on the net.

Anyway, quite recently I got to know about a wholesale car wash supplier on the net - Pronto Sales. The site carries an amazing range of car care products and car accessories ranging from paper air fresheners to even snacks and candies. I also noticed that they have a Winter Windshield Shade which is something I am definitely going to buy. Saves a lot of time and effort - I hate scrapping ice of the glass in winter.

They are now offering free shipping on orders over $100. So if you are looking for wholesale car wash accessories, check out the Pronto sales site.

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