Friday, December 24, 2010

Season Greeting from

Every morning when I start the giant, it will greet me with a sweet Japanese voice announcing what day is it. It will say “今は十二月ニ十三日木てす” which means “Today is Thursday, December 23rd". The greeting always put a smile on me as it signal a new day has begin and remind me which day is it.

I didn’t drive the giant this morning so I was pleasantly surprise when it greeted me just now at 9:30p, with the message“メリキリムス今は十二月ニ十四日金てす” which means “Merry Christmas, today is Friday, December 24th". It seems the Japanese engineer who programs the greeting message has included seasonal greeting into their software. I have no way of knowing if it will say the same message early in the morning today but it seems the program has detected that the time is close to Chritmas so it added the seasonal greeting.

I didn’t notice this before so I wasn’t aware it was in there at all. I’ll keep an eye out next week for the greeting of a new year.

In the spirit of festivity in Malaysia, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my reader “Merry Chritmas” and “Happy New Year”. May the new year bring you bundle of joys, good health and good luck. May all you wishes to “dress” up you giant come through.


Update: Yes, the car greeted me with the Japanese version of Happy New Year when I drove the car on Jan 1, 2011. 明けましておめでとうございます.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Regular Workshop

I have been getting quite a lot of queries from my reader on the location of my regular workshop. Instead of replying to each individual email, I will post the location of the workshop in this blog so that the reader can find it themselves.

The workshop is located in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya. To get there, you drive along Lebuhraya Sprint heading towards the Damansara toll. Just before the toll, there is a ramp on the left that leads to Bandar Utama. Keep left and follow the road leading to that ramp. After you pass the BHP petrol station, on the left is a used car dealer called Petra Motor. When you see the Petra Motor signboard, immediately turn in to a slip road parallel to the main road. Go up the slip road and you’ll see a row of shops on your left.

The workshop I regularly visited is called Pusat Servis Kereta Hup Seng. They occupied the last two shop lots. If you are not familiar with that area, the Google Earth coordinate are latitude 3° 7'59.07"N and longitude 101°36'30.23"E. Or click this link to see the location in Google Map.

This is the entrance to the row of shops.

Just becareful as you pass through the tight entrance.

This is the view of the shop lots.
This is the workshop that I send my giant for service.

Yes, that white car on the hoist is my giant!

Hup Seng is an old fashion workshop that service all sort of vehicles. The owner is called Wong and he has been operating from this workshop for a long time. Beside his regular customers, he also provide pre-delivery maintenance service for imported used cars for another used car dealer. He is very familiar with servicing of imported used cars, including Toyota Alphard.

I am not promoting this workshop nor do I have any business relationship with the owner. I am just their regular customer for the last 15 years so they do allow me to bring my own spare parts and they charge me a nominal sum for services. If you do no want to source for your own spare parts, you can get from the workshop.

As usual, I want to put the disclaimer here. Readers who are interested to send their car to this workshop do so at their own risk.

If you need to contact them, call 03-77291029.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Fuel Consumption After Service and Battery Change

As I was preparing to return to my home base after my six months assignment, I decided to drive my giant to the kiasu land so that I can bring back all my stuffs in one go. Since I have left the giant at home while I was away, I decided to send it for service before my journey.

The last service was done around March this year so it is high time to service again. I bought my own engine oil (Penzoil 5W-30 semi-synthetic) and oil filter (friom Wing Hin) and did the service at my regular workshop. All in it cost me RM112 only.

Also I decided to change the battery as I think it is getting weak due to the fact that it has not been recharged regularly as the car has not been driven that often.

The original battery came with the car probably has been used since it left the factory. I think the battery can still last quite a bit. However, since I am going on a long journey and driving in kiasu land I think it is safer to have a new battery and for the peace of mind.

I was pleasantly surprised with the mileage that I got from these two changes for this journey. I drove down to kiasu land, drove around the city for 3 days and then head back to KL. I was able to get 585km with a full tank of RON 95 petrol. That’s gave me approximately fuel consumption of 11km/litre. It seems the new engine oil and the new battery help to achieve such good fuel consumption.

I did another full tank refill at Pagoh, drove back to KL and then drove around the city and managed to clocked 530km. This is equivalent to approximately 9.0km/litre. I expect it to be lower due to the congested route I had to go through to my new office in PJ. I hope that I can continue to maintain this kind of fuel consumption and I will continue to monitor it regularly.

If your giant fuel consumption is deteriorating recently maybe it is time for you to look at these two items.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How To Move The Middle Seat Forward

It was a pleasant surprised to receive a call from a reader who resides in Indonesia while I was driving to KL. Since I was driving in the middle of the city, it was not convenient to speak to him over the phone. Anyway he contacted me via email to find out how the passengers at the 3rd row seat of an 8 seaters get out of the car if the passengers in the 2nd row do not give them a helping hand to move the middle row seats forward.

It is truly an interesting question but I guess I understand his situation. I regularly bring my family out in my giant and I can see those sitting at the 3rd row struggled to push the middle single-seat to the front in order for them to get out. I have to constantly remind them to use the lever at the back of the middle seat!

At the back of the middle seat, there is a black coloured lever that does the job as shown below.

Those at the 3rd row seat just need to push the lever down and this will release the middle seat from the seat rail. It also lowered the back rest of the middle seat to give the 3rd row passenger more space to move out. When the back rest is lowered, you will find it not easy to push the middle seat to the front as the backrest does't give you much to hold. The best way is to use your leg to push the lever down and push the lever to move the middle seat to the front.

If you leave the lever in the unlock position, meaning with the backrest lowered, the middle seat is actually not locked to the seat rail. If you were to brake hard or accelerate hard from standstill, the middle seats will move along the seat rail. This could be the reason why you heard those loud banging sounds from the middle seat when you brake hard or accelerate hard!

I haven't heard from my reader if he has some issue with the lever not functioning and it need to be fixed. If you are in the same situation, remember the black coloured lever at the back of the middle seat.