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  • Magnum

    Journey With The Hiace

    By Magnum

    It's been little more than 4 years with my Hiace and it has done around 76,000kms so I thought its time I give you guys an update on it. Let me start the blog with the basics,  Mine is a Toyota Hiace KDH206, this variant of Hiace is fitted with a 1KD-FTV turbo engine with an all wheel drive system. The AWD system in the KDH series is pretty much full time, it runs on all four wheels normally and if any of the wheels experience a slippage, the vehicle stops sending power to that specific wheel.
    There is a noticeable difference between the AWD variant(KDH206) and RWD variant(KDH201). The KDH206 is around 100kg heavier and you could feel that through the steering when you drive one. In addition, the KDH206 feels far more planted at higher speeds and around corners than the RWD variant. However the downside is that the full time AWD system drinks bit more fuel than RWD version.  Cost of Maintenance In short the Hiace is not cheap run, I get fuel economy of around 6km/l in kandy and around 9-10km/l outstation, the RWD KDH201 would return around another extra 2km more per litre. Hiace is originally fitted with 195/80R15 8ply tyres and they cost around 22-23.5K per tyre from brands like Continental or Pirelli, while Maxxis tyre could be found for around 16k.
    The Hiace requires 0W-30 oil and a regular service which needs to be carried out every 5000km costs around 10K using Toyota oil, I was using Toyota oil filter as well, but now I have switched to VIC.
    ATF oil must be changed around every 40k kms, I change air filter and cabin filter every year. 
    It requires super diesel and this is an absolute must, if you regularly pump auto diesel you will pay more in repairs than what you saved by pumping auto diesel. The most likely issues you would get from pumping auto diesel are DPF, which costs around 70-80k to replace and injectors, which would set you back around 500k for all four. So far I had to change only a bush which costed around 50rs, apart from that I have not had any repairs. Performance The Hiace pulls pretty well for a vehicle which weighs 2 tonnes, the 1KD-FTV with a variable nozzle turbo produces 100kw at 3400RPM and 300nm of torque at 1200-3200rpm and it is connected to a 4 speed conventional automatic gearbox. Overtaking other vehicles with Hiace is pretty easy, you just have to put your foot down, the turbo will come to life and you would be gone. It is always on the right gear, there's no unnecessary downshifts or up shifts, the gearing ratios are perfectly synced with the power band of the engine although it is only a 4 speed gearbox in a world of 6 and 7 speed gearboxes.
    The Hiace properly comes to life on hill climbs with the help of low end power and variable nozzle turbo.
    Handling is fairly good for a van, it handles better than large SUVs. The KDH series has much less body roll compared to the previous LH series, but it isn't great as handling of a car. I notice the difference in handling when I drive the Hiace after driving our Bluebird which has front and rear independent suspension. Comfort It doesn't handle large potholes and bumps as good as a car, but it does manage to soften small potholes pretty well. The diesel engine noise is evident compared to a hybrid or petrol vehicle but the noise reduces when the vehicle gets to the third gear or at around 70+ km/h speed. The A/C is epic on the Hiace, it is one of the best cooling A/C I have come across, I rarely have to set the A/C temperature below 26 degree Celsius on auto mode and that is without the dual A/C. 
    There is plenty of space inside, 7 or 8 people could travel on long journeys with their legs stretched out and not crammed. The second row seat is the best place to be in, you get the dual A/C right in front of you, it is acoustic sweet spot and minimal sunlight enters the cabin. Practicality It is quite a practical vehicle if you are using it occasionally or for long journeys as it can seat 8 comfortably yet carry plenty of luggage(you could fit around 4-5 large travelling bag placed horizontally), it has got atleast double the amount of luggage space compared to a Noah/Esquire. However it is bit of waste of money if you are using it on daily basis as fuel bills are gone be crazy and parking these are not that easy within city limits. In addition, maneuvering these around narrow roads requires some skills especially roads with tight bends. Second hand value and parts Selling a KDH isn't difficult at all, if you maintain them right there will always be people willing it to buy it from you. There are plenty of body parts available but 1KD engine parts are bit difficult to find and even if you do find, it will be expensive Some used parts prices are: Pair of tail lights: 15k for older design and 30k for new design Pair of headlight: more than 100k without the HID unit Rear door: around 40k Fog lights: around 20k What I have done with my Hiace The Modellista body kit came with the van from Japan itself and I added the Modellista grill later on Original Toyota spoiler which came painted pearl white I tinted the fog lamps yellow with Nightbreaker bulbs in them I have also replaced the rear seats which are rotatable and come with a table as well I have done some electronic mods as well, Installed a transcend DrivePro 200  Carrozzeria tweeters with crossover and JBL component speakers with crossover(thanks to @TheFlyingFox) https://streamable.com/ujkce I was planning on installing FIAMM horns, but the JDM side of my brain took over and I went with Mitsuba Alpha https://streamable.com/nbipn Note: click on the links to access the videos My dad had the body kit removed for a short period of time and during that time I drove it through some muddy terrain. It did well.  
    • 25 comments
    • 660 views
  • Komisiripala

    Project R - December 15th 2012

    By Komisiripala

    eat. sleep. jdm. that about sums up my obsession over the last 3 months or so. what first started out as a casual remark by Charith Kulasiri, gradually became malignant. "you know, what if you did a type R conversion on this?" Ever since I got hold of the GSR teg, this idea has been clawing its way around my brain. Finally, I set about doing it, but to do what must be done to its finest detail is no easy task. My end goal, is to have a 4 door integra db8 type-R in concourse condition. i'll break it down systemwise as i proceed. my apologies for keeping this away from the AL forums for as long as i have, and i must say this is a conversation i wish to share and enjoy with like minded petrolheads. not the prii driving thel hinganno whose first queries are "wow how much did that cost?" or "now how much petrol does it do?" if you are the latter, read on in awe about how real tuners pump out over 200 HP from an engine the size of a mega bottle. or just go hug a panda. firstly, here's the base car: before i bought it. a GSR spec 1998 mint Honda Integra DB8.     so i riced it up. forgive me. we all have our moments. at least, after a snide remark from schiffer, i saw this was not the way to go. here it is after i did the interior and exterior.     now, the fun part. over the next few months or so i'll post what i've been up to with the: 1. engine 2. gearbox 3. ECU and tuning 4. intake/exhaust 5. cooling 6. suspension/handling 7. exterior detailing 8. interior detailing
    • 0 comments
    • 557 views
  • matroska

    [Civic 2018] A look at the interior

    By matroska

    The first thing that struck me when i sat down to drive this for the first time was the really low seating position - it did not take a lot of getting used to though. The height is of course adjustable and provides a much comfier driving position.  The passengers seat on the other hand though cannot be height adjusted. The rear seats too don't have the fabled "magic seats" functionality where you can fold up the seats to increase space in the rear - but you can fold the seats down to create a humongous amount of boot space - I do not quite remember the exact capacity but it's quite a lot. Due to the shape of the roof , while the rear seats are quite comfortable and have a decent amount of space for your legs you might feel a bit of head room is missing. But it won't really translate into a problem - unless you are from Marhsall Eriksen's family .  The SR grade (and the SE) for that matter comes with fabric seats  - and  the interior is black by default (for all grades) . So no "Baij Interiyal" advertisements on the classifieds for this model then.  The materials for the seats are quite "scruffy" and the interior is a dust magnet. The material used on the seats particularly are prone to attract a lot of dust and small particles of whatnot.      There are speakers on all four doors - something I noticed in other contemporary Hondas as well - the doors also have the same dust-attractive upholstery.   I told you there's only a repair kit - but the good news is there is a bit of space in the rear that can double up as storage space or a spare wheel well - so if you're paranoid about having only a repair kit, you can easily carry around a spare      The cockpit is contemporary Honda fare. The steering wheel itself is quite plush and has a nice feel to it - though the steering itself is light which I will talk about when i have an entry regarding handling. The usual controls are all there including the cruise control buttons and beneath the wheel you can find the paddle shifters (again paddle shifters + CVT is something i would talk about later) The control for the lane keep assistant is also in the steering wheel.    Mind you the Wiper control stalk is on the right and the headlight control stalk is on the left  - takes a bit of getting used to if you've previously driven JDM's only. The "Auto" mode in the Wiper means that it will enable the rain sensing wipers and depending on the amount of rain you get the speed will adjust as well. Nice touch but i personally feel it's a bit too dramatic. If i remember correctly the SE grade does not have rain sensing wipers.  This being the SR grade you do not get a push start you need a key - the Push start button is there only on the EX trim.        With the honda sensing package you get some features like proximity alerts, automatic breaking and lane departure warning. These can be turned on and off and the switches are located near the ignition on the right hand side along with the headlamp leveling switch.  The shifter console includes the parking brake (yes there's no separate lever for that), the brake hold button (so your foot can be taken off the brake in for example color lights) there is also a button to toggle the eco-mode as well as to turn on and off auto-braking. Between these two buttons you would find the adaptive damper  button on an EX-trim car.     There cubby hole is quite small and disappointing given the fact that this is not an alto- and there are no individual cup holders etc - there is a circular holder that can easily accommodate a bottle in the storage area below the slide-able arm rest. This storage area also has a usb port that can be used with the infotainment system. However it has to be said both the usb outlets in front are not in the most accessible places. The other usb slot is practically invisible and hidden by the armrest console along with the HDMI port and  Next to that is the 12V circular power outlet. Mind you there is another 12 V power outlet in the boot as well - handy when it comes to plug in your car vacuum.  There is also dual zone climate control - other than the dedicated climate control panel fan speed etc can be set via the touch screen.   
    • 9 comments
    • 735 views
  • kusumsiri

    Project Moggie - Disassemble Body Parts

    By kusumsiri

    Restoration work began. The idea is to work at home. Found a person to do the tinker work. I do the mechanical work and hoping to do the paint job as well in the future. Firstly removed the interior parts such as car seats. After that, the four doors were removed. Then front and back wings, bonnet & boot. Finally the differential and the engine were removed.  
    • 16 comments
    • 579 views
  • matroska

    [Civic 2018]First Impressions and the basics

    By matroska

    Here's  a write up on my Daily Driver - the new Civic 1 Litre Turbo - I've so far done just a bit over 1500 Km's and  since the engine was new didn't really push it to the max and I have not yet been able to do a really long trip  or a drive uphill to  BUT I will continue to update the blog based  on the experiences as well as services etc.  For a start I will touch the basics as well as all the cosmetic stuff and then get into the overall driving experience and later on the services etc. There is also a dedicated thread in the forum that is quite informative. But I hope this blog will also prove useful to someone.  First of all the basics.... In a nutshell the 2017 Civic is the 10th generation in the line up. The particular model I have, and is getting popular in SL  goes under the model code FK6 and has a P10A2 engine which has a measly 988cc but is turbocharged.
    The car is made in the UK (at Honda's Swindon Plant). I have heard that the agents now bring it down as well. (6.2M for the SR) 
    There are 3 grades for the 1L turbocharged civic. SE, SR and the EX.  The SE is the most basic model with the EX being the highest (the Tech pack is a further extension of the EX) There is roughly a 5,000 GBP (~ 1 Mil LKR) price difference between the SE and the EX. The SR on the other hand sits comfortably in the middle - it does not have stuff like adaptive damper system that comes on the EX. The Honda UK website lists down the differences of each grade under a section called 'Build your Honda' or something. If you're interested do have a look.  There are 7 colors available and the Rallye Red is the standard . Every other color will cost around 500 GBP more . There is also the  "Orange Line Pack" - which is basically an accessory kit that adds a touch of orange into everything - I've seen a few such cars in car sales in SL. Though I initially contemplated Sonic Grey, ended up with a Polished Metal Metallic specimen.  With the 2017 Budget a new tax structure was introduced and under the engine capacity based taxation  you'd be paying 17.5 m in taxes  (1,754,976 LKR  to be precise) for a brand new car with reasonable creature comforts and a bunch of bells and whistles which costs something between 4-5 mill based on the grade ( see above )   First Impressions  For me the new  Civic hatch  looks like someone started designing and spent too much time  doing a good job with the front and then ran out of time to design the posterior and hastily put an end to it. This explains the rather weird looking behind. The Sedan version I have to admit looks better. There's also waay too much plastic in the rear so much so that it looks like a joint venture between Honda and Arpico.  There's a bit of aggressive styling at the front. The car is quite wide and it has a solid ground hugging look to it.  As for the supposed vents you see at the front and the back - well those are fake. They're simply pieces of plastic made to look like vents.  And yes it does have fog lights. I like the factory fitted black 17" alloys. Note the SE comes with 16" Alloys as opposed to the 17" found in the SR.  Being a brand new car it came with a humongous bible-like user manual (thankfully in English) - along with the wheel lock nut as well as the tool kit and the tire  repair kit (glue and the inflator which by now we are used to)  If any of you intend to buy one from a regular car sale make sure they give you  your wheel lock nut.     
    • 9 comments
    • 965 views
 

Nissan Leaf at its boundaries

Nissan unveiled its first 100% electric production car in 2009 with the name Leaf on it. Since then, going through many improvements, the Leaf has captured a different niche in the automobile market. Even in Sri Lanka, due to its affordability which worth as its spatial practicability, the Nissan Leaf has been a major consumer choice. The powertrain with the 110 Horse Power electric motor is powered by a Lithium-ion battery which can be chosen among the 24kw and 30kw. Each battery provides 2 significantly different driving ranges, 200km and 250km respectively as its being claimed by Nissan. Practically these numbers vary significantly but for a daily city rider, the Nissan Leaf is a perfect choice. The car learns by itself the riding style of the driver. Then in the next full charge, it will show the possible traveling range according to those data. Simply, If you drive so aggressively for a few days, and then once you charged the car, it will show you a lower possible range. Anyway, these values also change in real time according to the way you accelerate. The good part is, if you are a daily city driver (short distance), then you might not need to charge the car every day because the battery doesn't get discharged when the car is stopped. Thus, in electric cars, the range is the most critical factor in production as well as when buying. That is a one reason the car became a controversy in both negatively and positively. The build quality of the car is quite good as a family car. It has plenty of leg room for both the front and rear seats with a great ride comfort. The sophisticated infotainment system is very detailed and straight forward. The electronic transmission nob adds a huge technological feeling to the cabin.  Being an electric car doesn't mean that it cannot go fast but it means the total opposite. Even in Nissan Leaf, the electric motor produces 280 Nm of torque which gives a thrilling acceleration. We actually tested the car for the 0 to 100kmph speed test. With some additional information, we published our 4th episode of Tarragon TV series. Watch it, enjoy, leave us your feedback and subscribe to our youtube channel for even better videos in future.  

TarragonTV

TarragonTV

 

2016/2017 Toyota Allion Vs Premio

The latest versions of Toyota Allion and Premio was released in mid-2016. The two models has come with significant design as well as technological improvements. This time, Toyota has blurred the boundaries of the design in both of the cars and given a one common overall design to the front and the back while specifying 2 different levels of detailing and trim. Despite that fact, the design this time is really impressive. Firstly, let's watch the video that we did as the comparison between the two cars.   The 2 cars have been built on the same chassis as the predecessors', the NZE-260. but in the exterior, the hood (bonnet), front fenders and the front and rear buffers have been redesigned with different levels of detailing. The front lamps are LED including the head lamp. Tail lights are a combination of both LED and conventional lighting. The ground clearance has also been increased a bit which is a better sign.  This time, there is no "G-Superior" in the Premio. Instead the "EX-Package" as the highest option level in the Premio and G-Plus in the Allion. In the video, there are those highest grades. The Premio that we took to has the New body colour which they call it as "Dark Red Mica Metallic" which is more Redish than the wine-red of the out going version (Different colour codes). The white is all the same and it is the Pearl-white (metallic white) in the video.  The 2 cars are equipped with more sophisticated technological aspects. Mainly the safety features like, High Beam Assist: Which will control the high beam (Head light) by it self. When driving at night, due to the HBA system we no more need to put the lights into Full or Dim. When a car is coming towards, the system automatically dims the light and immediately after its passed, the lights are put into full.  Lane Departure Assist: The system will give a warning if the driver is crossing between the lanes unsafely. The display in the dashboard displays the regarding information.  Pre-Safe Collision Assist: The car brakes by itself if the driver did not take necessary actions in the situation where a collision could happen. The system works under the speed of 50Km/h. It is the Same as the CTBA which came in Honda. Additionally with the ultra sonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers (buffers) the system detects if there are short collision objects even when the car is moving in a tight parking lot. The system boosts brake even the driver has applied brakes slightly which would not sufficient to stop the car. The on dash display visualizes how close you are to a collision object.  This time they have added the Engine Auto Stop function which turns off the engine when it is in idle in order to maximize the fuel efficiency. For an instance, when you are waiting for the green light, The Auto Stop will work until you take the foot off the brake pedal. Immediately after the brakes are released, the engine comes up and ready when your foot reaches the accelerator (no delay). 

TarragonTV

TarragonTV

 

Sri Lanka; Land of Paradise, Land of honking!!!

The first question when a tourist visit to Sri Lanka is, "why you guys are honking this much?". A question that I even don't know the answer. We Sri Lankans uses our car horn for every reason. If we see a friend; we honk, if we see an enemy; we honk, if we see a girl; we honk, if we want to overtake; we honk, we are rather than driving the car; we honk the horn. In my personal experience, near Orugodawatte Junction in the morning time we can hear more than 25 honks per minute. Following are some honking etiquettes that I presume too good to share. When is it appropriate to use your horn? Generally, you should only honk the horn when reasonably necessary to insure safe driving. For example, if your brakes have gone out, honk to alert other drivers. Use your horn to promote safe driving However, there are times when it is common and acceptable to use your horn when there’s no immediate threat of a crash. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between giving a quick “beep” and laying on your horn with an obnoxious “BEEEEEEEEEEP”. For example, if the driver in front of you at a red light is not paying attention when the light changes to green, wait at least 4 seconds and then give a light, quick tap on the horn. If another driver is driving too close to the lane line or almost hits you, it is appropriate to give a quick “beep” to let them know that they made a driving error and need to be more cautious. A quick honk of the horn can mean “Watch what you’re doing!” Don’t use your horn to vent frustration Your horn is not a way for you to tell another driver you don’t like their driving. If someone’s driving creates an ongoing danger, call the police. Never lay on your horn out of frustration with another driver. Many instances of road rage begin with aggressive horn honking. You never know another driver’s state of mind, the kind of day they’re having, or how they’ll react to your blaring horn. Your safety is the top priority, so be calm when driving. If you must honk your horn at someone, do it lightly. Also, do not yell, mouth words, or use hand gestures to show your anger. Don’t use your horn to ask “What’s Happening?” Do not honk at your friends because this could alarm other drivers. You may startle another driver into slamming on their brakes, aborting their turn, or performing some other dangerous maneuver. Your horn is not a way to say “Hey” as you drive past your friends. No, your horn cannot magically clear a traffic jam If you’re stuck in a traffic jam, don’t honk. It isn’t going to make the situation any better; in fact, it will make it worse for everyone around you. Unless you are in a parade or stuck in a parking garage after your favorite baseball team just won the World Series, you should never lay on your horn in traffic. Honking is sometimes against the law In some cities, honking your horn between certain hours is against the law. I don’t think anyone will miss the neighborhood carpool mom honking at 6:00 a.m. to get the kids outside. You don’t have to worry about breaking the law if you use your horn only when absolutely necessary. Not wanting to get out of the car and ring the doorbell is not grounds for using your horn. Honk if you’re … Honking does not always pertain to alerting other drivers. Honking has become a way of showing support. For example, some people honk when they drive past students having car wash fund raisers. In Detroit, a U.S. District Judge ruled that not allowing “honking for peace” in anti-war demonstrations would be against the First Amendment. The bottom line is to refrain from immediately reacting to a driver’s “wrong” move by laying on your horn or even giving a quick beep. People make mistakes and sometimes you need to just let it go rather than using your horn to vent. The simple rule: only use your horn when necessary. When practicing with your teen, watch how he or she reacts when other drivers make mistakes. Discuss why honking would or would not have been appropriate for each situation.   Thank you!   Danushka.

ProD

ProD



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