Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Preve Trip to Hat Yai, Thailand - Part 1

Last September 2014 we went for a three days family trip to Hat Yai, Thailand driving up from KL in our Proton Preve CFE.  We went to Jitra for overnight stay at my brother's place before resuming the trip to Hat Yai the following morning.  From Jitra to Hatyai is just over an hour trip including the border formalities.  A lot of us are not too familiar with what need to be done for the drive up north.  Here are the formalities that you have to go through:

  • Bring 2 x Photostat copy of your car registration paper.
  • 2 x Phostat copy of  the car owner's Malaysian IC
  • If the owner is not accompnying the car then before the trip the driver and the owner has to go to closest JPJ office to certify owners release letter stating that the owner is allowing the driver to drive the car to Thailand.
  • On the way to Bukit Kayu Hitam stop at one of the shop that sells Thailand car insurance.  Don't worry as there are many shops along the way advertising this service.  It will cost you RM16 for a week of car insurance.  Also ask them to fill in the entry immigration slip.  That will cost you another RM2  per person.
Thailand Car Insurance valid for one week
  •  Then after clearing Malaysia border post at Bukit Kayu Hitam proceed to Thailand border about 500 metres up.  Park your car at the big parking space on the left side of Thailand border post.  Don't just drive through!!!.  You will be chased back..ha ha.
Sadao, Thailand border post
  • Exited from your car and together with your occupants with passports in hand walk up to the immigration booth
  • After clearing your's and your occupants  immigration formalities (i.e stamping the passport) the owner and the driver of the car should now proceed to the car clearance booth which is nearby.  You need to visit two booths here.
  • At the first booth you have to produce your car registration, car owner's IC and Thailand car insurance papers that you just purchased at Bukit Kayu Hitam.  The officer will key in all your car and owner's detail into the computer.  If all are OK then the officer will print out for you the Thailand's Temporary Imported Car licence which are valid for 30 days.  Then the owner have to put signatures on the print out licence.
  • Then you have to just walk up to the second booth which is just beside the first booth for your Thailand's Temporary Imported Car licence to be stamped and approved.  No payment is required. All the paper works to bring your car to Thailand are now completed.
Thailand Temporary Car Importation licence valid for one month
  • Walk back to you car with all of your occupants.  Drive through the immigration booth.  Show the car importation documents to the inspecting officer at the entry gate.  Now you and your car may enter Thailand the Land of Smiles.
  • But don't forget on your return journey back to Malaysia you MUST hand in back the Thailand's Temporary Imported Car licence to the officer at one of the booth.  This is to confirmed that the car has exited Thailand. It is at different booth than the one that you stamped your passport.  If you don't do this,  then on your next journey back to Thailand you might have to pay a hefty fine.
Sadao town

To my surprise the roads in Thailand are very good.  It is wide and and of high standard.  Reminds me of European highways.  It is an enjoy to drive and the best of all unlike in Malaysia it is toll free.  But please don't exceed the speed limit, as you may end up in trouble in foreign land.  Please take note that the population in Thailand has minimal fluency in English and Malay.  You might ends up to resorting to a lot of sign language, hand waving and head nodding.  Enjoy your trip because we certainly enjoyed ours.

47,000 KM and Two years - Still loving it

47,000 km +

Almost  two years and past 47,000 km... I am still loving this Proton Preve CFE.  It brings the racing boy in whoever driving it especially in an old man like me.  What I love most is the acceleration (thanks to the soft turbo) and the stability (thanks to Lotus handling).  Driving up Bukit Lanjan from KL toward Sungai Buloh is pure exhilarating.  Overtaking rows and rows of car.  Driving mountain road amongst the clouds from Gua Musang to Cameron Highland through Lojing  is such a pleasure.  If I am in the mood I will drive up the Karak hill from Keramat to Awana just to enjoy the drive, cool air and nasi lemak.  This car never feel out of breath climbing those hills and taking the 'S' corners is such a pure breeze.

At Tasik Bera, Pahang with Sony RX100 Mark 1
Recently my younger sister met with accident  in her office Proton Waja.  She suffers multiple facial injury and skeletal damages that almost cost her life.  Safety aspects for me is major issues when getting a new car.  Preve with 4 air bags and solid structure and complemented with additional safety features such as EBD, ABS and ESC is top notch.  No wonder it is ANCAP 5 stars.

After two years the car has suffered minor scratches here and there on its paintwork which is expected considering KL drivers.  Alhamdulillah (praise to god) that I encountered only one minor accident when one Myvi (lady driver) decided to kiss my but while thumbing her handphone.  This ended up with Myvi's bonet slightly crumpled up and my Preve suffered a slight dent to the back side..since it is hardly noticeable so I just leave it there without any further treatment.
At Penarik, Terengganu with Sony RX100 Mark 1
Fuel Consumption
Fuel consumption??.  Honestly I don't really care.  For a 1.3 ton car with turbo unit you cannot expect it to be that frugal on fuel usage especially when you are enjoying your drive.  One full tank can get me from KL to Kota Bharu without refilling..just barely.  If you are overly concern about fuel economy just go and get some other car which serve you more.  If you are into driving pleasure on the budget than this car will lit you up.
At Cameron Highland with Sony RX100 Mark 1
 SC and Warranty
A lot has been mentioned about Proton service centre.  So far I always go to the Proton Setapak service centre.  It is fast and efficient and service with smiles.   I am totally satisfied with their service.

During these two years several major recalls and parts replacement done by Proton Setapak service centre:
  • Repainting of rusting  fuel tank holder
  • Replacing both front rotor disc brake due to warping problem that causes heavy vibration upon high speed braking.
  • Resealing of back 'C' window to stop air rushing sound at high speed
  • Re programming of ECU to improve car responsiveness at low speed
  • Recall on power windows coil.  No more glug glug sound
  • Recall on the radiator fan wire harness which could cause total fan failure.  this a MUST..it can cause fire hazard.
  • Recall on the engine mounting to solve engine vibration intrusion to the cabin after one and half year.  After this replacement the car is so quiet its like brand new car again.
All the recalls and services above were done free of charge as part of 5 year warranty coverage.  I always use the full synthetic engine oil as recommended by sc and keep to the service mileage diligently.

Both of my headlight bulb been replaced once after a year.  The first bulb cost me around RM30 done at tire shop.  The second bulb (OSRAM) only cost me RM16 done at Setapak SC.   Note that the original bulb is Philips.
At Cameron Highland with Sony RX100 Mark 1
I am not into 'accesorissing' my car.  Nothing has been added to the car to make it into more powerful or look powerful.  I am not into stickers highlighting falsely tuned by some japanese tuners, new mufflers or bumpers to make it look more macho and certainly I am not into rim and tire changing stuff as my stock Champiro is fine.  Also I am not into 'German sausage' thing.  The only modification added is variable camber (NOT chamber yo!!)  nut screw for both front wheels to solve the over 120KM steering wheel jittering.  This was done at goodyear MN and Rakan2 tire shop in Taman Melewati.

After two years and 47,000km I am glad to declare that I am totally satisfied with my Proton Preve CFE .

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Proton Preve CFE - Bosch GPS - it is a botched job

Sri Iskandar township in Tronoh came out blank
The Preve CFE comes with in car Bosch GPS.  It is part of the HU unit comprising of the radio and media entertainment system.

For information I also been a regular user of  GPS software on my hand phone.  On my old Nokia E73 the GPS software is Garmin XT while on my Galaxy Note is Papago M9, NDrive and Waze.

Comparing all these GPSs I must say that the Bosch GPS cameout very poorly and the best is still the Garmin XT on my old Nokia.

The bosch GPS comes with big limitation because it is using very old Malaysian map.  A lot of places came out blank on the GPS especially new roads and housing estate.   GPS is about having the latest map and good routing software.  Even though the map is stated as version 4 and dated Dec 2012 it is actually very very old map.  If you are a regular user of GPS you will instantly noticed it.

How I wish the Bosch GPS  systems is compatible with maps produced by MFM maps at http://www.malfreemaps.com/.  The maps produced by MFM is collaborated by other GPS users.  It is almost daily updated.  You cannot beat that.  Both Garmin and Papago users benefitted greatly from this.

Further more, the maps on the Bosch GPS is a a closed system and cannot be updated by users and have to be updated by the manufacturer.  This make me really wonder whether the fella who decide on this in-car GPS unit really review out the system properly from user's perspective.  To me the in-car Bosch GPS system is a botched up job as Proton has the opportunity to make Preve a more complete driving experience.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Such a great drive..it is addictive!!!

BAckground - Masjid University Petronas, Tronoh Perak.
Last Sunday we went for a two and half hour drive to Tronoh, Perak.  This time is to send my son back to his university after his short weekend in KL.  Normally he will be back to Tronoh using express bus.  But this time round we took the opportunity to test our Preve CFE for it's first long distance drive.  The mileage is now only at about 650 kilometer.

It is a pure joy to drive our Preve CFE. Hill climb is no problem.  With the maximum torque coming as early as 2000 rpm it is a smooth climb and overtaking.  Since the mileage is still below 1000 km I am observing the engine preservation limit of 120 km.  My son drove halfway and he is smiling all the way.  It is very hard to restraint this young man to the 120 km limit.  The handling and cornering is superb.  The road noise and engine noise and the road feel to the steering wheel is just right.  Making you really in tuned to the car.  Just cannot wait for the 1000 km service period.  My advice to those who never try to drive this Preve CFE...don try it..it is meth on wheel ..once tried you will be addicted.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yes 4G and Gadget man dream car

I am not sure about other car model but for sure at the price of  less than RM 70K (include discounts) this Proton Preve CFE is a gadget man's dream car.  There is quite a reading need to be done for all the switches and the setting for the car and  the audio unit.  Manuals are provided for both the car and the audio unit.  Yesterday was quite an embarrassing situation when I couldnt open the back passenger door for my friend.  I am still not sure how to do it when I am inside of the car...lol.

Also provided free with the Preve CFE is YES 4G Huddle (pix).  This a wireless broadband modem with the ability to connect to your devices such as phones, tablet or notebook through wi-fi.  If purchased on its own this modem will cost you around RM399 not including subscription.

I have no problem setting this up.  After slight confusion about SSID password which has the letter 0 and O and letter I and l the connection through wi-fi and to YES broadband went smoothly.  In 5 minutes all was running.  Fixed charger, in-car charger and in-car holder comes with the unit.

In my area the connection is either poor (RED Led) or good (Yellowish LED).  Using P1 speedtest managed to get speed of 4 mbps for download and 1.5 mbps for upload.  Actually the YES 4G is rated to maxout at 20 mbps.  In comparison to my unifi fixed broadband the speedtest reading is 6mbps for download and 4 mbps for upload.  My initial impression is that  the speed of this YES Huddle unit is quite good.

According to YES the battery need to be charged to about 2 hours for maximum charging and can be used for up to 5 hours on standalone. I have  yet to test this out.

One year subscription of RM60 monthly comes free with this package.  For the amount of RM60 per month this equates to 2GBit of data per month.  Since me and my wife already subscribed to Celcom broadband for my phone and for her laptop most probably this unit will end up with my daughter.  She already wink wink !!!.

Two golf bags - boot with space to spare

Today as always is my golf day with my golf kaki (buddies).  One of my golf kaki who happened to be  living in my taman (housing area)  took a hitch in my new Preve CFE to the golf course.    He was surprised as to the ride and acceleration of the Preve CFE.  The ride is typical continental car feeling to it  with a slight touch of sporty suspension.  Little bit on hard side compared to my old Honda Accord.

What is also nice is the boot space.  The 508 litre space can easily accomodate two golf sets.  I think if properly organised one more golf set can be squeezed in.

During the ride on the NKVE Plus highway with light traffic I managed to pushed the car little bit.  Bearing in mind that a proper break in need to be done for a new car so  I only pushed the speedo only to maxout at  120 kmh.  This is achieved in a breeze.  However I noticed that at 120 kmh there is slight vibration to the steering wheel.  So the wheel balancing need to be done in not too distance future.  Thus two things now outstanding with this car

  - The front wheel brake disk need to be replaced
  - The wheel balancing need to be done.

Keep my finger crossed for no more bugs.  I am really hoping that this car is par for the course and not a bogey item.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nausea (pening) - First drive of Proton Preve CFE

Since I will be having a golf session with my buddy tomorrow I went for a quick swing tune up to the golf driving range.  Loaded up the new Preve CFE with the half set and off to the range which is about 7 km from my house.  With a light traffic in between and a few traffic light.

What happened is that I ended up feeling nausea after driving this new Preve CFE.  It is either the sudden acceleration from the Preve CFE which I am yet to get used to or the new car smell or the CVT/ Turbo turbine wooing sound.  The CVT/Turbo turbine  wooing sound is quite prominent in the cabin.  I need to up the volume of the audio unit  to enjoy the music.  My guess is that all these need to get used to.  Only time will tell.

The handling and the torque...ooohh...OUT of this world. It is that good!!!.  Just a small tap on the accelerator and the car will sort of jump forward...(and your head move backward..maybe thats what make me pening)...the wooing sound kicks in adding up to the experience...make me feel like the king of the road..well..sort of.  This certainly a drivers car..for the one who really enjoy hard driving.