Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Car Can Run On 92ron....Can yours? A Revelation.

Guess what? I've recently been using regular 92ron petrol on my Subaru! Isn't that blasphemous using 'cheap' fuel on such a car? Well firstly the vehicle manual says that I can, hence I am. You see, an Impreza TS is an AWD NON-Turboed Impreza which does not need higher octane to run. The reason only reason why you need high octane most of the time is when your car runs a very high compression engine. Currently, such engines have a compression ratio of about 11:1 and above (The Impreza TS has a 10:1 compression ratio). This means cars like certain Porsche GT3s, VW's FSi engines and some Honda VTEC engines. Turbo cars have to run high octane due to the fact that when the turbo kicks in, you wouldn't want any premature detonation of fuel which would wreck the engine and the turbo. Most modern cars have an ECU with knock sensors to eliminate any pre-detonation issues. And if you have a carburettor in your car, all you need to do is go to a mechanic (who knows how to tune carbs) and get the distributor and carb set and you can safely run 92ron.

With my ride, I can feel a slight lack of power above 4,500rpm when I believe the ignition timing (which is ECU controlled) of the car retards slightly as it does not want to give its maximum due to the lower octane. But since we now pay so much for petrol I have been driving like a 'good' Muslim. So I change gears between 1,500rpm and 2,500rpm most of the time and keep the actual Schumi style driving for the weekends when I do pump 97ron petrol for a spin or two. I've calculated and I've found no extra consumption using this cheaper petrol. I can live with the slight lack of power as I can fill in 'power' when I need to.

I honestly can manage to save up to a few hundred Ringgit a year using 92ron most of the time. I usually have to spend an average of 50 liters of petrol a week. At RM2.621 I spend RM131.05. If I spend RM2.70 on 97ron I have to pay RM135.00. Now I see myself on average spending 45 out of 52 weeks on 92ron and the rest on 97 ron for thrills and outstation trips. That's RM5897.25 for 45 weeks INSTEAD of RM6075.00 for 45 weeks. That's RM177.75 worth of petrol savings compared to using 97ron. I get to enjoy this extra AND also the RM625.00 rebate which I will get when I renew the car's road tax. Somehow, I seem to be slightly less effected due to this.

For a slightly more in depth look at the myth of using cheaper petrol, visit the Ugly Chicken blog.My Pal Lee Meng over there will tell you more:

On another note, the change of driving style has actually enabled me to pump as much petrol as I did before the petrol hike. I've actually managed to clock an average of 12.0-12.5km per liter compared to a low 10-10.5km per liter before this. I've actually made an impreza safe petrol! Now if you'll excuse me, I am spending this new found savings on driving to the Audi Showroom at JAYA 33 today at above average speeds to have a look at the new Audi A4 1.8T. I'll eventually write some stuff on this car soon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What Everyone Needs is Quality of Life, Not QUANTITY of Life

Right, it’s almost July of 2008 and I have decided that it’s time I set the general populace straight. I have been having impromptu discussions with a few friends regarding the general Malaysian public on their sad, pathetic lives in general. We have basically decided that what the average Malaysian family in Peninsula Malaysia goes along this form of lifestyle that in general makes them into copies of most average families all over Malaysia. The gist of such a life is generally like this:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Enough of Petrol Increase Talk, Let's Talk About A Dull, Fast Car, the Mitsubishi 3000GT

All this talk about rising petrol prices has actually knocked everybody off balance. We are now hearing stories how families with a combined income of less than RM2,500.00 suffering and making all sorts of cost cutting. We hear stories of food prices rising due to increased transport costs. We hear people eating out less or eating less at fine dining restaurants and frequenting the mamak shop more. We are hearing a whole lot of complaints in which clearly shows that not one single person, whether rich or poor is basically happy with the way things are in Malaysia. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An Alternative Means of Saving Petrol

Petrol it seems is in the hearts and minds of everyone I meet. It is because of the extreme increase in this commodity that everyone seems to be either a good Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Atheist or whatever religion you are practising. Everywhere I drive people are slow, in fact they are so bloody slow in changing lanes the wife, my daughter and I were nearly involved in a 'slow' accident as a VW MPV (for those of you who don't know - GTI) signalled and switch lanes following a BMW 5 Series, did not look behind as I was half a car's length from the BMW and she just came in! The worse thing was she did not accelerate. She stayed in the middle of 2 lanes and ignored the desperate horns comming from me. I mean being a slow driver is a good thing in times like this, but not at the expense of other road users. I may decide to dispense with the niceties and become the road hog i once was if things stay like this. I mean, the other day a friend of mine was hogging the overtaking lane on the Federal Highway at 70km/h and no one flashed at him, no one beeped at him, no one raise a finger at him. This is a little pathetic. The increase has gotten to everyone's head.

As a motorhead I am in a way enjoying this increase as traffic has lessened. More people are taking public transport and more people are thinking of innovative ways of travel. There are really cheap people who resort converting their Perodua Kancil to run NGV. While it's a good thing, as NGV is dirt cheap. It also shows the world that these people aren't just frugal, but extremely cheap. This sort of people would be those that take those small chilli sauce packets you get from takeaways and fill up their sauce bottles at home. Yes, it shows you're frugal, but it confirms that you're outright cheap.

I've heard of people using the LRT more these days. Yes, I've recently heard from my wife that her staff who commutes to work using the LRT that more people are using it to work in the mornings. It confirms the fact that there are less cars on the road in the morning. However, the thing is whether you can tollerate smelly armpits, roving hands (if you're a pretty woman) and pickpockets among other things as the LRT can be jam packed in the mornings. I can bet you the ministers who suggest to you that a change in your lifestyle is necessary have not taking the LRT or a Bus to work before. These people are the ones who actually never walk the talk if you know what I mean.

I mean, Mr. Why Should I Step Down, I've Got Work To Do recently announced his 10% cut to his RM18,000+ entertainment allowance. I don't even have a salary of RM18,000.00 to begin with and this person has an allowance for entertainment that much. He gets an approximately RM20,000.00 salary on top of that. He also gets other allowances on top of that too. I suppose RM1,800.00 would make him tighten his belt, buy a Perodua Viva limousine instead of a Proton Perdana Limousine to cut costs and run it using NGV. (a Perodua Viva limo - now that's a thought).

So with all of these changes happening to the motoring public, what could be do about it aside from walking more, taking the LRT,Converting your car to run on NGV, driving like Mother Theresa or staying home? You could buy a horse. Yes, buying a horse is a good idea. How about riding to work? A thoroughbred race horse that is about to be pensioned is a good choice. It may be cheap to buy and maintain unless he's a winning horse whereby his sperm could make baby racehorses hence make its purchase price expensive. Find one who's always lost, learn horseback riding (as a horse carriage would be considered as a trailer and fall under the jurisdiction of the RTD and you then need to licence it.) and trot to work. I was thinking, if I lived in a apartment, I'd park the horse at the grassy patch near the entrance of the apartment and let it graze and eat grass there. Later at night, I'd bring that horse to my apartment carpark which I've converted into a stable. I think it's a foolproof plan if you're travelling alone. The costs would be very little and you'll be kind to the environment as the only greenhouse gas the transport (horse) will produce if some methane when it farts.

1. Horse - RM6,000.00 for a pensioned horse (maybe cheaper, maybe more..ask around)
2. Saddle - RM1,000.00
3. Wood and Hammer - For the stable at your apartment car park - RM500.00
4. Broom and dustpan - to scoop up poo - RM25.00
5. Feed - RM50 per bag or less if you let your horse graze at the nearest playground.

This could be you on the way to work.

Weekly costs? Very negligible. It'll trot to work at a leisurely 15-20km/h and if you work about 20km away, you'll be there in under an hour. But if you push it, it'll think that it's in a race and really go for it and you may reach work earlier. What if you want a new model or if it breaks its leg? Well, buy a gun and shoot it like the cowboys do.

Think about it. I am only suggesting BUT can't attempt it as I got a kid to ferry around most of the time. No, I not making any excuses. Really.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Of The Fuel Price Increase and RM2.00 Pasar Malam Ramly Burgers

RM2.70 per liter. Yup, Malaysians now pay that amount for 97ron petrol and life must go on. It was inenevitable, but the way it was announced by 'Mr Why should I step down, I've got work to do' was what actually got on my nerves a bit. Firstly, the press reported that the cabinet had agreed on a new fuel pricing scheme and subsidy scheme which will be implemented as soon as the cabinet confirms and decides it on Wednesday and in August things will be clearer.

The papers in their headlines, whether this was down to bad reporting stated that things will only change in August which clearly wasn't true. Of course, not reading the whole story and reading the headlines made some people (which I will not mention) roll their eyes and made their heads spin like Linda Blair in The Exorcist after reacting to the 'sudden' price increment in petrol and diesel prices. But this is a problem with the current administration. It likes making snap changes. I mean honestly, what's a couple of million Ringgit lost if the powers that be decided to announce today and implement in 48 hours? People would be happier instead of cursing and swearing at 'the person who made the announcement' while queuing for petrol close to midnight. The last 'snap' decision he made was stating that he did not know when the General Election would be the day before it was called. I suppose he thinks the general public are not smart people and is making fun of them. And obviously, the 'snap' decision caused his party to suffer badly in that last election. If you allow 48 hours, there'll be slightly less congestion as some may fill up their tanks 12 hours earlier and stay home instead of all rushing at the same time. It's as simple as that. It does not matter if you think Malaysians like to do things last minute, but hello, some of us don't.

On another note, why bloody bother banning the refueling of foreign cars for a ridiculously short span of time and then decide otherwise? Is anyone actually thinking when they made the decision in the first place? Why? To stop subsidised fuel from being used by foreigners? Amazing as it only took a few days for the Government to decide otherwise again. Why issue directives and change it in a split second? Are we Malaysians actually sure the people running our Government know what they are doing? Why are they so fickle-minded? Why do we have to ask so many questions about people who supposedly graduated from Oxford (or from Mordor it seems)? Doesn't the Goverment practise the 'Do it right the First Time' concept of work? What I do know most Government officers are doing is the 'Out At 4.45pm or earlier' style of management. Even if they were in the office, it has been proven by decisions and indecisions like this that their grey matter have in fact left the office much earlier than their bodies.

The queues at Petrol Stations were ridiculous. I myself was pretty lucky (or supposedly lucky) as I managed to find the NKVE Shell station heading towards Kuala Lumpur did not have a long and stress filled queue at 10.00pm. However, right after filling my car to the brim with cheap RM1.92 97ron, I looked behind as I drove off and found that the queue had already begun. Some stations had to close as their pumps ran dry. Some most probably falsely declared that their pumps had run dry and were just either too lazy to rake in the cash from last minute sales or just wanting to keep their underground tanks for the increment at midnight. Either way, lots of Malaysians were pretty pissed off that night. Pissed from the snap announcement and then pissed to bits due to waiting so long for petrol.

Of course this is inevitable. Petrol globally has hit ridiculous prices. Oil exploration costs (according to these oil-men) are rising as they are now drilling from smaller oil fields. China and India are experiencing an economic boom and they are now buying cars, motorcycles, planes, lorries, Louis Vuitton handbags and endangered species' furs like there's no tomorrow. When demand outstrips supply, things like this happens. I just hope that I still see a RM1.00 Ramly burger at the Pasar Malam after this.

I predict small car sales will be booming. Those rich people with money to spend would also be thinking of being economical. We'll see sales of the Mercedes C200 and E200 booming, E240 and above dropping as imagine that, Mr. Rich man gets Mercedes prestige, pays 1,800cc roadtax and is STILL given a RM652.00 rebate if he renews his roadtax the next few months. It's not only the poor who benefits. Which is why we need to be richer than what we are now, but still capitalise on the system.

I also predict when 'Mr Why should I step down, I've got work to do' writes his memoirs, it'll clearly state that he was doing what he believes was right, and that it was a global phenomenon that was beyond his control. That he inherited a system in that way and was trying to correct it. Excuses. What do you think most Malaysians would remember him for? Making the RM1.00 pasar malam Ramly burger cost RM2.00?