Car Tips

Tips For Driving Through Flooded Roads

By 3 weeks ago 0 comments

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Over the past few days, there has been a spate of flash floods within the Klang Valley, leaving many car owners stranded on the road.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with flash floods.

1. Avoid Driving Through One!

The general rule of thumb is to avoid risking a drive through a flood in the first place. If possible, turn back or wait for the flood water to recede. Mobile apps like Waze are a good way to check the traffic conditions ahead, allowing other drivers to report on if or not a flood or anything else is causing any issue.

You should only attempt to drive across a flooded stretch only if you are absolutely sure of the depth of the water, and only if it is standing water. Just one foot of fast flowing water is enough to push a small car away. Attempting to drive across fast flowing water could result in having your vehicle washed away by the strong current, which could possibly result in a fatal accident.

2. Gauging The Depth

Do not attempt to drive over flood water that is higher than the bottom of your vehicle’s body. This is to avoid water from being sucked in by your vehicle’s air intakes, as well damaging other parts of your vehicle. The exterior parts of your vehicle are made to withstand water. The insides are not.

Before deciding to drive across a flood, stop your vehicle and take note of the kerbs on either sides of the road. If you can still see them, then it is generally safe to drive across the road. If you can’t see it, exercise extra caution as the water level may be too high, plus there is always the danger of washed off or damaged sections of the road hidden by the water.

If you are absolutely certain that the path is safe enough to be crossed by your vehicle, aim your vehicle towards the ‘crown’ or the highest point of the road, as the water level will be the shallowest there. Depending on the way the road is constructed, this is generally either at the centre or the right side of the road. Of course, this only applies to right-hand drive countries like ours, where roads are designed to channel rainwater away from the centre to the gutters at the left. However note that there can be certain stretches, especially in hilly areas, where water may actually gather more on the right side than on the left.

3. Driving Across Standing Water

As mentioned earlier, never attempt to drive across fast flowing water. Never follow behind another vehicle when driving over a flooded stretch. This is to avoid your own vehicle from getting stranded if the vehicle in front stalls.

Once you are certain that the standing water ahead is still safe enough for your vehicle to drive across, aim for the shallowest point and gently ease your vehicle towards the water at speeds no faster than walking pace, about 3 km/h. Higher speeds may cause water splashes that may get sucked in by your engine’s air intakes.

Shift to a low gear, or ‘L’ or other similar function modes in your transmission.

Once your front wheels are over the water’s edge, gently accelerate to increase your speed slightly, at around 6 km/h. Accelerate just enough to create a bow wave in front of your vehicle. This bow wave will create a depression in the water level in front of your vehicle, allowing you to continue driving across the stretch safely. Try to keep a constant speed so this bow wave is not disrupted.

Never take your foot off the accelerator. Maintaining a constant pressure is important in keeping water out of your vehicle’s exhaust. Easing pressure off the accelerator pedal will result in a drop in exhaust pressure, which could then result in flood water being sucked in from the exhaust and into your engine.

After successfully crossing a flooded section, continue driving slowly while gently tapping on your brakes to dry them, as well to check their function.

4. Get Flood Insurance Coverage

Lastly, ensure that your car’s insurance protects your vehicle against flood damage. For a RM120,000, 1.8-litre C-segment family sedan, flood insurance adds about RM500 to the total motor insurance cost, but that’s only a very small price to pay when compared to the potential cost of repairing a flood-damaged car.

Remember that today’s cars are far more sophisticated, employing multiple electronic control units inside its safety, infotainment and convenience features. Repairing a flood damaged modern car can easily set you back tens of thousands of Ringgit.

This article first appeared on our sister-site LiveLifeDrive.com.

Battle Of The German Sedans: 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Vs. 2014 BMW 3-Series

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The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class was just launched in Malaysia earlier today, sporting two variants: the C 200 Avantgarde and the C 250 Exclusive. The new model is currently offered in CBU form only, while the sale of CKD units are expected to begin by Q2 next year.

As good as things appear on the surface, the coming of the latest-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class has some stiff competition to face, in the form of the dominant BMW 3 Series (F30), which has been here since 2012.

But how do they compare? Well, if you’re in the market for either one of these German frontliners, this is one report you may not want to miss. Take note this report is not a comparison review, it is based on just first impressions. The local test drive report for the new C-Class will be out once we get the car, meanwhile you can read our quick review of the car in France.

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class And BMW 3-Series Front Side View

Exterior Styling: Brawn vs. Beauty?

For style, the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class looks pretty like a shrunken S-Class – befitting its given moniker as the “baby S-Class”. The flowing lines and sculpted shape is classy and elegant, and largely contrasts that of the 2014 BMW 3 Series’ cut lines and sporty stance.

We’re not ones to argue with the old adage of beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and both carmakers have served up opposite ends of the spectrum which gives you clear cut choices to match your appetite.

Verdict: Both cars are handsome in their own rights, but we do see the F30 3 Series as starting to show its age – hopefully the coming facelift we’ve spied rights this. We’re voting in favour of the new C-Class.

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class And BMW 3-Series Interior

Interior design:

The cabin design of the W205 has been greatly influenced by the flagship S-Class as well – and to anyone, this is never a bad thing. It oozes luxury and the materials used are miles ahead compared to its competitors. Everything from the wood accents to the seat adjustment switches, looks and feels top notch.

In the sort of spec you get locally, the overall 3 Series’ interior leaves much to be desired when you look at what the C-Class has to offer. Everything in the 3 Series functions well, and is ergonomic, but there’s really nothing much to wow you with, and show off to your mates.

Verdict: The F30’s shortcomings here isn’t particularly limited to just this model – the 5er, 7er and other models have shared a common design for the longest time. But it doesn’t take more than a quick glance at the all-new C-Class to see how much quality oozes out of it, and as first impressions go, the W205 wins the bout hands down.

Features

This is another category that Mercedes-Benz’s latest offering appears to outshine the competition – seeing as how a good majority of what’s available to the S-Class has been poured over into the C-Class.

Locally, the BMW 3 Series seems a bit short on features, but this is partly due to the fact that Mercedes-Benz Malaysia just refuses to spec its cars with minimal features – all this comes at a price that you’ll have to bear, but that’s why the C 200 gets nearly as many goodies as the C 250 does, and is a cause for concern for the comparable 320i and the 328i. Don’t forget, the C-Class is still in its CBU form. The CKD should make the same cars and their spec list a lot more affordable.

Verdict: Be it creature comforts, infotainment equipment or safety features, the C-Class has this one won. There is everything from crash-responsive pedal unit to full LED lighting. The 3-Series however has the necessary creature comforts and safety tech but it is nowhere near as well equipped as the equivalent C-Class.

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class And BMW 3-Series Rear Side View

Drivetrain & Performance:

As far as power goes the W205 C200 outputs 184hp and 300Nm of torque, which is similar horsepower ,but 30Nm of torque more than its direct rival the F30 320i’s 184hp and 270Nm.

The C250 however, churns out 211hp and 350Nm of torque, while the 328i pumps out 34hp more and similar amount of torque as its rival.

Verdict: The C-Class was clearly never made to be as athletic as the F30, and having driven a few of them already, it wouldn’t surprise us at all if the better drive and sheer performance goes to the BMW. Plus, we know typical BMW figures to be far more modest than they actually equate to on the road, as our full review of the 316i recently demonstrated.

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class And BMW 3-Series Rear View

Price

The new C200 Avantgarde is priced at RM285, 888 (RM44, 088 more than the 320i), while the C250 Exclusive will set you back RM314, 888 (RM21, 088 more than the 328i Luxury) – without insurance.

At this point, the measurements don’t quite add up because as mentioned, the BMWs have already begun their CKD operations, while the C-Class remains as CBU units for now, until their own locally assembly begins – we’re told that they’ll be up and delivering before Q2 next year.

Verdict: The fact remains that prices for the W205 C-Class will tumble by the time their CKD units hit showrooms, and if anything, their spec lists are only due to grow longer – if they change at all. By then, we should see the prices of the C 200 and the C 250 closely resemble that of the 320i, and 328i. We’ll let you do the math on which makes more value-for-money sense.

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class And BMW 3-Series Side View

Results: Who do we pick?

Overall, the fourth-generation C-Class is an impressive bit of kit when compared to its arch rival, the BMW 3 Series. Undeniably, the Bimmer was as impressive when it first made its debut, but given the years it has served in the market, it’s plainly natural for it to be outshined by the classy W205 C-Class – especially when it has the flagship S-Class to pinch goodies off of.

Not forgetting that the 3 Series is due a facelift, the C-Class looks to have this one won for now. Nevertheless, each cars will have their unique qualities about them: the 3 Series as the dynamic athletic, and the C-Class as the luxury-minded sedan.

The choice really is yours, at the end of every day.

Six Of The Most Affordable Cars In Malaysia – Welcoming The 2014 Perodua Axia

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Price is undoubtedly one of the most important factors when buying a new car – even more so if you’re a college student or a fresh graduate with the demand for a top car, but not the means (money) for one!

In general, cars today pack so much more creature comfort and safety features compared to much more expensive cars from a decade ago. To help those of you on a tight budget, we have compiled a list of six of most affordable brand-new cars that money can buy in Malaysia.

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2014 Perodua Axia Aiming To Sell 7,500 Units A Month, Gets 3,000 Orders In Five Days

By 2 months ago 0 comments

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This just in: when the all-new 2014 Perodua Axia goes on sale in a matter of weeks from now, Malaysia’s No.1 carmaker will be looking to sell a total of 7,500 units a month! And here to eventually replace the popular Perodua Viva as the most affordable car in the country, don’t be too surprised to actually see it happen.

From a starting price of RM24,900 (estimated) onwards, the all-new Perodua Axia (pronounced a-zee-a) will come to us in four prime variants: E, G, SE and Advanced, with manual and automatic variants offered between the G and SE.

Also, Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid told members of the media at a recent event that since the order books were opened (August 15th), the company has since received 3,000 bookings already: that’s a staggering 600 a day!

So far, we’ve pretty much uncovered the car in proper detail for you in our previous stories, which you can check out here:

Stay tuned for more new surrounding the all-new Perodua Axia as we get closer to its launch dates!

*Find out more about the car by visiting our special 2014 Perodua Axia info hub

2014 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (F36) Launched In Malaysia: 428i From RM390k

By 4 months ago 0 comments

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BMW Malaysia has just launched its all-new 2014 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (F36). Here to directly take on the 2014 Audi A5 Sportback (RM359,900), here’s how the four-door coupe Beemer gets on for prices:

  • BMW 428i Gran Coupe Sport Line: RM389,800 (without insurance)
  • M Sport Option: RM29,000
  • Vehicle Track and Recovery with Safety Upgrade: RM5,900

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Buyer’s Guide:

If you’re wondering how this differs from a similarly-proportioned BMW 3 Series GT, well, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is shorter in length, lower in height, and narrower in width overall. But don’t forget, this is still a coupe, so you can expect all the sloping roofline and frameless window arrangements. And like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Gran Coupe here has a one-piece liftgate for better boot access.

BMW 428i Gran Coupe:

  • Engine: 2.0-litre BMW TwinPower Turbo engine
  • Transmission: Eight-speed Steptronic Auto
  • Horsepower: 245 @ 5,000 – 6,500rpm
  • Torque: 350Nm @ 1,250 to 4,800rpm
  • 0-100km/h: 6.1 seconds
  • Top speed: 250km/h
  • Combined consumption: 6.6l/100km

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Exterior Styling:

On the outside, the four-door Gran Coupe features all the recognisable traits of a regular 4 Series, but for the slight increase in overall height by 12mm – the rest of the Coupe’s exterior dimensions appear exactly the same, but of course for the addition of two extra doors from the original Coupe.

Detailing is identical as well, with high-gloss black fitments here and there, nine-slat kidney grille, Air Breathers, frameless windows, 18-inch alloy wheels, and more. The only other difference to note is that the F36 has four pillars (A, B, C, D – like the F34 3 Series GT), while the F32 gets on with just three pillars.

But as always, how your car ends up looking, is highly dependent on your choice of options, in which case here, includes a BMW M Sport package as an option, while the Sport Line trim is standard. See more on this below.

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Interior Design:

Inside the all-new 4 Series Gran Coupe, you’ll find all the common fitments of a modern BMW, more so the recently-launched line of 4 Series variants (Coupe, Convertible). The immediately visible free-standing 8.8-inch LCD Control Display features has a split-screen function, and is equipped with BMW’s Navigation System Professional. To manage the system, BMW’s latest iDrive Touch Controller is seen ready in the center console.

The seats are you see them here are in an exclusive Ivory White, integrated within a black interior scheme – of course, all this is subject to change, depending on the BMW Line and package of your choice.

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SPACIOUSNESS: Where practicalities are concerned, the four-door coupe has a 2+1 rear seat arrangement with a 60:40 split-folding rear backrest: folded flat, this creates up to 1,300 litres in conjunction with the boot’s standalone 480 litres of space.

Speaking of the boot, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has a one-piece liftgate, which uniquely features a larger opening for better usability. And, there’s also BMW’s contactless opening and closing of the boot lid, which need only a foot swipe beneath the rear bumper to open the hatch.

Looking at BMW’s technical sheet, cabin space comparisons with the regular 4 Series Coupe reveals that the Gran Coupe has 27mm more headroom and 44mm more door-to-door space in the rear, but it loses out only in door-to-door width in the front by 18mm.

M SPORT PACKAGE: Taking things even further in the four-door 4 Series, you can opt for your 428i with an M Sport package, which as we know adds a few more M badges, an M-specific bodykit (aero pack), 18-inch M light-alloy wheels, and an M Sport suspension amongst many other M goodies. An Estorial Blue metallic and Carbon Black metallic paint finish is reserved just for this package.

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Driving Dynamics:

To tame the 2.0-litre BMW TwinPower engine available here, are two neat additions that bring to life the 4GC. For starters, you have the Adaptive M suspension (available as standard on both variants), which allows you to modify you damper settings to suite your current driving styles: choose to stiffen your ride for your exuberant getaways, or soften it all up to turn your car into a cosy cruiser.

Then you have BMW’s four unique driving modes, available via the Driving Experience Control feature: ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. Each of the modes represent various configurations of your car’s accelerator pedal, transmission as well as air-conditioning settings, and shape them up according to which settings you prefer at the time.

If you haven’t already been clued in to how this works, ECO PRO mode will, for example, save you up to 20% of fuel by reducing the A/C’s strength, taming the throttle response and optimising your transmission’s shift points to save you the most fuel. Likewise, shifting the car into Sport+ mode gets everything working for maximum attack, even switching the Dynamic Stability Control off in favour of Dynamic Traction Control.

 

 

Seven Rules of Owning a Car: Here’s A Quick Checklist

By 12 months ago 2 comments

 

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Owning a car sounds like an easy thing to do; you just get the keys to one, and drive it wherever, right? Wrong. There are loads of things to consider before you’re actually considered a responsible, safe and worthy owner of a car.

Here’s a quick guide for you to consider:

Knowing Your Road Rules:

While most drivers often study hard for their written driver’s license exam, it’s all often forgotten the moment they set a wheel out onto the road. Knowing what every road sign and white line is absolutely important to being a responsible driver, and to avoid getting a ticket for illegal driving manoeuvres like crossing over a double line.

Being financially stable

Before you even think about buying car, you need to know if you can really afford all the costs that go into owning one. After you’ve paid the price and have taken the keys to your new car, there are still plenty of costs to consider, like your car’s monthly instalment, regular maintenance services, insurance renewals, damage costs, broken parts that may need replacing, and all other things that come with owning a car. Anything could happen at any time with your car when you drive out on the road, so it’s always good to be financially prepared.

Knowing when to service your car

If you want your car to be properly functional and operable throughout the years, then be sure to keep track of all your servicing dates, and make sure to meet all your appointments. Once you know it’s time, head over to the mechanic and perform all the necessary checks and fixes. Delaying this can prove highly costly, so don’t procrastinate!

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Give it some TLC

Be sure to give your car all the ‘tender, loving, care’ that it needs: from a good wash every few weeks to a wax or a polish ever so often. Keep your car looking new and fresh at all times, and you’ll be rewarded with a car that looks great, and will maintain its resale value much better when or if you plan to sell your car after a few years.

Keeping track of your insurance, road tax and drivers’ license

These may have very little to do with the actual action of driving a car, and it can also be one of the most tedious to monitor as they’re often out of sight every time you drive. And, not only is driving with an expired license or road tax illegal, they’ll also warrant a nasty fine from the authorities if you’re caught without the proper documentation.

Keeping an eye on your oil and tyres

Be sure to check all the liquids in your car are okay, and always have an eye out for the condition of your tyres. Oils (engine, transmission, brake) are absolutely crucial to your cars operation, while making sure your tyres are properly inflated constantly and have a good amount of thread on them is just as important. Get some initial help from your local mechanic or someone who’s familiar with these issues to learn what and where to look for problems.

Knowing your priorities

Owning and driving a car is a major responsibility. As a driver, we’re often responsible for the lives of the passengers we carry, and those around us on the road as well – one bit of carelessness is enough to end the lives of many. So how do we manage this? By knowing your priorities.

Arriving at your destination safely and without endangering the lives of others should be on top of your list of priorities – miles ahead of arriving at a location quickly, or faster than someone else. Always do everything you can within your abilities to take the safest measures possible, and never be too confident about your abilities on the road – accidents often happen to the best of us, even when we think we’re perfectly in control.