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top tip

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top tip last won the day on September 2 2016

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  1. It is quite ironic that people in SL pay huge taxes for there vehicles (close to 400%) in certain cases and not get to enjoy driving their vehicle. I personally feel uncomfortable with these bullying thug of bus drivers and annoying crazy three wheelers. the discipline of these parties has to be addressed first of all as these are the people who are actively engaged in public transport and public means lives. they have to be utmost careful at the road but it is right opposite here in Sri Lanka. forget about travelling, getting on and off buses are basically a leap of life that one has to venture in their daily commute. and look at the amount of fatal accidents of recent times that was caused by these sadistic bus drivers. innocent lives were lost. they are actively engaged in bus races in order for them to see the fruits and leave other buses with nothing. the relevant authorities should implement systems where the earning are shared among buses if this menace continues as there is lack of respect for human lives coming from the bus drivers. Also what is comical is the fact that the person who drives a car and travels in a bus takes the same travel time if you neglect walking and transit times. now the car owners paid taxes when they bought there cars so if they can charge taxes they should equally know how to facilitate cars and should make necessary infrastructure developments to ensure a smooth flow of traffic but sadly this does not happen in this god forsaken country. instead this money is utilized for unproductive projects or to pay this countries never ending debt. Another under rated factor which i think is causing traffic in this country is that people with lack of necessary skills present, physically incapable and no common sense or knowledge are authorized driver's license. If a personal is not capable of formally obtaining a driver's license they would then resort to bribing the authorities who are greedily waiting. this is such a under rated fact that no one bothered to focus on. couch potatoes who remain stationary when the light turns green, posh ladies with lavish shades stalling the engine in there prestigious kei cars and senior citizens who cannot see beyond the bonnet are allowed to drive in this country. if someone travels to the a gulf country and apply for driver's license there it would be clear of what an ardent task the trials to obtain license there are. The local authorities should implement a higher standard in the issuing process of a drivers license but then no point of setting higher standards if the bribery is not eliminated. these along with other things are what should be focused if this country has to ensure a better flow of traffic.
  2. Well finding a decent F10 that has been well cared of is a difficult find. few months ago even i was after one but got tired with the way how our locals have treated them. If you want a good specimen then despite the age you will have to be willing to pay a premium for a well maintained one with low miles, mind you these are hard finds, also these cars are close to eight years old. then comes the matter of resale value because even if you buy a proper car with a service history, selling it is going to be a burden as you would have paid a higher than market price in the first place so with the age and mileage you will have to sell it at a considerable loss when compared to a market price car that was available during the time of purchase but then these specimens will be thoroughly abused though. Another thing that i found was either these cars are driven by drivers working for their bosses or buy the owners son. both these parties abuse the car ones the owner is not there, i inspected quite a few and they had strange rattling noises which is not common to a common rail engine. Built quality wise i found the W212 E-class to be more solid, F10 when parked in the sri lankan hot sun will have sticky door handle plastics and the window tints peeling off and problems with the rubber beading being out of shape. one thing we have to understand in the first place is these cars are much suited to the european conditions than srilankan. in fact i have inspected close to ten cars and found the sad state they were in. they were owned by people who should not have even touched euro vehicles. I think it is advisable to look for a euro that is less than five years old, or buy a mid-size Japanese sedan and drive to the sunset. because ive heard that maintaining a BMW is much costlier than a Merc.
  3. top tip

    BMW 520d

    yes there are quite a lot of bmw 520d (F10)'s out there but then finding one which has been used with proper care and maintenance is quite difficult. i myself has been head-hunting for one for the past four months and it turned out to be quite a difficult task. First the pricing of these doesn't make much sense as I've seen ones that where made in 2012 with around 60k mileage asking as low as 7.2 mln where as a 2013 which has three additional options such as power curtain, retractable mirror and so on, with similar mileage ask for more than 9.0 mln. ( just for 1 year difference in YoM and 3 options the difference is more that 2 Mln which is ridiculous actually) So yes the cars that are more than 5 years old would probably be sold on and would be with the third or fourth owner. So the company maintenance claim is in jeopardy. Also there are ones which are up for sale in car sales which i recommend is best avoided as these car sale scoundrels buy them from auctions in which the previous owner couldn't pay his lease so you can imagine the state of the car and do a detailing job to get the car to a gleaming condition while hiding all the underlying problems and ask for a slightly lower market price. I have my own personal experience in which 2015 bmw 520d i inspected at one of the auctions which was badly maintained with ribs appearing from the tyres which was subsequently bought and later found it on sale with tyres changed and detailing done. this was also sold close to near market value, so i feel sorry for the poor soul who bought this. Car sales are such a mafia, so try to buy one which is single owner and maintained by agents. Also keep in mind that these are cars that you cannot expect a return of investment like the srilankan people's cars such as axio, allion, premios and so on. Also i would need some expert clarification here, could the mileage be adjusted? as ive seen some cars with low miles but worn interiors and owners saying that they do not service the vehicle through the agents due to exuberant prices and popular myths plus they say that previous emission reports are missing as well so it is a blunder to buy a car like that because keep in mind that this is not a toyota which could be transformed with some basic TLC, repairing these kinds of abused bmws are going to be wallet busting. another matter is that since these are bmws the owner or specially their sons seem to give the car a run for the money so some cars that we are looking at may be given some harsh abuse. so overall yes there are quite a few cars out there currently but finding a proper one is a headache and mind you this is not a walk in the park decision.
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    Vehicle auctions/Tender

    Dear members, I've been looking to upgrade my car and I have been head hunting through sites such as ######.lk, Autolanka, riyasewana, ###. But apart from these I have also found that certain chaps buy cars at a bargain price from auctions and tender notices, although they come setbacks. But I am not talking about the UN, police or army auctions where vehicles are driven there living lights out, but auctions where leasing firms advertise there ceased vehicles. Now is there a particular newspaper brand apart from hitad where these advertisements are published, also are there any specific websites? Please educate me as I have learned that you can save quite some money off your purchase but I am aware that bidding against the car sale mafia ain't gonna be easy and also cars can be a mine-field if you don't know what to look for as they could have underlying problems due to the fact that an owner who couldn't pay the lease properly would not have treated the car well. But please do educate me on this. BTW how about the harbour auction, you can get a vehicle with a very low mileage. Thank you.
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    Road To N'eliya

    1) the newly renovated and widened road to gampola from mavanella via hemmathagama is very convenient, if you push hard you can reach gampola from mavanella town within 30 mins. It saves close to 1:30 to 2:00 hour journey time when compared to the jam packed peradeniya route where traffic is snail paced from pilamatalawa onwards. Should not forget the rugged kadugannawa incline as well where struck behind a big lorry or a bus could mean a burden specially while playing cat and mouse with the cops on that sector. 2)Avissawella-ginigaththena-hatton-talawakele-Radella-nanu oya-nuwara Eliya is the drivers paradise, you could basically enjoy driving and unleash your cars for a run for the money in the twisty hill climb, why I like this road soo much is that it does not have single or double lines much so the cops have there work cut out and also the road is visible for a far distance so you could watch out for traffic before hand. Only drawback is that the road condition from karawanella to ginigaththena isn't the smoothest and requires some repairs but omg thinking of this road makes me overjoyed about driving. 3)yes there is route nawalapitiya-hapugastalawa (bad section)- kumbalalowa-thawalanthenna-ramboda-nuwaraeliya. A route to take if you are the kind of person who wants to escape into a calm environment where normal paved road isn't a bother and you want to enjoy a picturesque passing by scenery, specially with the kotmale reservoir in the vicinity where all the buzz and cops are non existent then this isn't a bad road, for a change I would actually recommend this. Specially given the season careful planning is crucial because where there is traffic there will be cops as well .
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    Engine Braking

    Engine braking is mainly used when travelling downhill, in sri lanka the ideal situation would be driving down from nuwara eliya or places like haputale-beragala. The main purpose of engine braking is to prevent your brakes from overheating because after a certain temperature brake pads starts to slip from the disc as well as the brake fluids start to overheat and components like washers get damaged. Also you can reduce excessive wear and tear of brake discs. With engine braking you could perform a much controlled drive downhill because together with some slight braking (blend braking) it does least harm to the vehicle but remember to keep the revs under around 3000. You could take advantage of the build of speed rather than letting the vehicle coast in neutral in order to do a controlled decent. This time would be ideal to make your A/C work at the maximum level because the engine is being mechanically revved without any throttle inputs. According to my experiences engine braking is most effective in a manual gear vehicle compared to automatic due to the clutch. The speed is directly fed to the engine without any losses in speed. Whereas automatic felt a bit light revving and had a coasting feel, this may be due to high gear ratios found in a four speed automatic. But on a traffic scenario I don't understand because anyway you have to exceed a certain speed on a given gear to induce a braking effect once you let go of the accelerator. Plus engine braking ain't effective for sudden braking, in simple it is something used to maintain speed.
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    Tips of Maintaining a Black Car

    Maintaining black colour vehicles is like bathing in mud, it is very hard to keep the dust away and the dust here is very contrasting to the black paint as well. The moment you wash and start wiping the body you realise that your circular motion in wiping has left minor swirl marks. Best option is to get it covered after a wash and wax, but then again it collects dust from roads as well because you are driving at a snail pace in Colombo. Black is a best avoided color although it looks gleaming in a vehicle that has a lot of chrome.
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    Strange number plates

    Can someone help me out with identifying these strange number plates and how have they have been issued. FW-XXXX FP-XXXX FZ-XXXX EA-XXXX/EC-XXXX Also some rare old numbers like 28- 40- 69- 98/99-
  9. I've been planning to buy a German saloon car. I have narrowed down the spectrum to the BMW F10 (520D as it is commonly called) and the rival Mercedes Benz W212 E-class from the same time. I want to know the running costs of each model, and in case of failure a good place to repair a BMW as I already own a Mercedes I basically can get it done from the places I know. Also need to know the good and bad from each model and also fuel efficiency. As I know even the petrol version of the Mercedes W212 has a decent mileage but need expert knowledge on BMW 520Diesel.
  10. This is a partial statement first of all. What's your preferred type of fuel. If you are opting for petrol versions and concerned about fuel economy then stay away from both patrol and pajero as they are pretty thirsty. The Prado with either 3RZ or 2TR returns a decent mileage. Also the brand new imported versions of the pajero had the 6G72(3.0L) would be more economical by some distance compared to the JDM version which had 6G75 (3.8L) both V6. Not sure what engine you would get on the petrol Patrol version. If you are looking for a hardcore offroader and car like road handling then do go for the Patrol. Remember owing a Y60 with TD-42, It was a brute to say the least. I think the low body height reduced it's body roll. The pajero has quite some short comings as mentioned above but the diesel version with the 4M41 wouldn't be a bad option. On my personal opinion the Prado 120 styling gives the impression of a MPV. the version with the spare wheel placed under neath the vehicle really looks like one. It really does not tempt you to be driven hard and it feels like a vehicle for the morning school run. My choice would be to by a diesel Patrol with ZD30 although I am not sure how well it will hold up. If your looking for a reliable engine the do buy a patrol that has TD42 as it is a proven engine.but you will have to dig deep to find a sought after one.
  11. top tip

    Toyota from Wasanatrading

    I think as far as the smart key goes, it could be reprogrammed and sold for a hefty price, that could be a reason why you didn't get it. But the car having so called being called "brand new" by the car sale, you should have demanded for both the keys as a new programmed smart key could set back around 25k AFAIK. And how about the audio system, did it come with one or does it have a 2 din hole. Such a pity really.
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    Mercedes C 160

    Dear members please hold on before making this post an all out dispute. I owe a 1993 Mercedes Benz w124 which has got a 2.5L straight 5 engine mated to a 5 speed manual transmission which is rear wheel drive and has got hydraulic power steering, a 5-link rear suspension and strut type Front suspension with anti roll bar. So I know first hand what driving pleasure is as I've been owning it for the past ten years. It's just an over engineered car when compared to Japanese econobox that has some immature lighting on it. But sadly gone are the days where car manufacturers built cars that are really a pleasure to own. That goes to Mercedes benz as well. They were first in the industry to make many features a standard across the line. Of course having a reverse camera only spoils a good driver but they should have had it standard or some other kind of assistance like distronic or parktronic because what I feel is ironically the owner had to pay a high price tag for basic features.
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    Mercedes C 160

    Euro cars do come with reverse camera, for instance my friend has the Mercedes Benz w212 E300 Bluetec hybrid model which were built for the UK market and imported to sri lanka has one, in fact it has 360┬░ camera. Then I've seen similar feature on the new X5 Not sure whether it is factory fitted though, then again the older S-Class w221 itself had reverse camera and mind you this car started production in 2005. So they do get reverse camera. On my opinion it is a useful feature that car manufacturers should include in a car which is about 10mln. Specially if the rear visibility is low due to small windscreen. But one should not be overly reliant on these tech.
  14. top tip

    Mercedes C 160

    Wait so this means that it doesn't have factory fitted reversing camera. What a shame for paying such an awful lot of money for a basic car. Does the rival 3 series or A4 have that feature. It is a must I must say for a car like the C-class which has got a very small rear windscreen. Also heard that the C 160 has a manual transmission, how about the Engine; is it a down tuned version of the C180 or is it from a A-class?