All posts by James Perez

Suzuki @ work – free comprehensive checkup even for out-of-warranty Suzuki vehicles

Last week, I received an invitation to ‘Suzuki @ work,’ an after-sales service camp. My first question was: “I’ve heard of band camp and boot camp, but what exactly is a service camp?”

Suzuki Service Manager Rommel Cabanela humored me with an answer:

“A Suzuki service camp is like an assembly line where the vehicle passes through three stations or bays. Each bay has a team of qualified technicians and mechanics checking a specific portion of the check list.”

Oh, it’s a highly efficient setup for doing vehicle check ups…. nice.
Anyway, I’ve had my share of car check ups and I’m not about to be impressed easily. So I looked around further.

The service camp is a free 23 point check up for Suzuki vehicles. I noticed that they are quite strict about this — Suzuki personnel followed the 23 point check list to the letter.

“It’s essential that we don’t miss anything.” Cabanela adds.

In the first bay, the vehicle’s general condition is checked. The aircon, windows, mirrors, wipers, and all the lights are examined while the hand and foot brake are adjusted as well. An inspection of the under chassis – front and rear brakes, transmission – follows. In the second bay, wheel bearing, the condition of tires and power steering hoses and fluids are checked. At the last station, Suzuki engineers look under the hood and check engine performance with the use of Suzuki Diagnostic Tool (SDT). The condition of the belts, engine and engine oil, as well as ignition timing are examined at the last bay.

The whole process is documented in a service check-list that accompanies the vehicle through the three bays. Customers are given recommendations on specific areas of the unit that require servicing. And they get a 15 % discount on parts on their next visit.

The latest leg of Suzuki @ Work was held at Suzuki Auto Shaw, Mandaluyong last October 13 to 14. To get the latest Suzuki @ Work schedules, visit their website or call their customer care hotline 902 1001.

Scammer on the street – caught on video

Here’s a solid reason why you need a dash cam — you need to protect yourself from scammers on the streets.

I just saw a video taken in Taiwan where a street scammer jumped in front of a car, faked her injury, and clearly tried to get something from the driver. Unfortunately for her, the driver was lucky (or smart) enough to have a video camera running on his dashboard. He captured the entire scene which undeniably disproves any claims against him.

See more by watching this video uploaded by  on Youtube.

[youtube video=’r2n96DQgxAk’ width=’500′ height=’350′ vparams=’rel=0|border=0′]

My friend had a similar incident in the Philippines years ago. A street beggar claimed to have been “slightly hit” by my friend’s car along Ortigas Avenue. My friend vehemently denied the allegation and swore to fight this claim even if it takes years. I understand they eventually settled out of court.

I don’t know for sure if my friend was guilty or innocent. But I always had this feeling that something was not right about the whole incident… and I’m always afraid that something like that could also happen to me or anyone else in my family since we drive around every day.

So let this be a warning for motorists — there are scammers on the streets. Get a dash cam and keep it rolling. Who knows, in the future, it could save you from a lot of stress, court appearances, insurance fees, and settlement money.

Mitsubishi car prices in the Philippines as of Sept. 2012

Car sale: Our friends from Mitsubishi Motors sent us the latest price list (September 2012) for your reference. NOTE: Prices are subject to change without prior notice.


Lancer 1.6 GLX M/T

  • SRP: P705,000
  • CASH DISCOUNT: P47,000
  • ESP: P658,000
  • FREE ITEMS: Tint, Floormats, Seat Cover, EWD

Lancer 1.6 GLS CVT

  • SRP: P765,000
  • CASH DISCOUNT: P47,000
  • ESP: P718,000
  • FREE ITEMS: Tint, Floormats, Seat Cover, EWD

Lancer EX 1.6G GLX M/T (13 MY)

  • SRP: P825,000
  • CASH DISCOUNT: P47,000
  • ESP: P778,000
  • FREE ITEMS:  Tint, Floormats, Seat Cover, EWD

Lancer EX 1.6 GLX A/T (13 MY)

  • SRP: P855,000
  • CASH DISCOUNT: P27,000
  • ESP: P828,000
  • FREE ITEMS:  Tint, Floormats, Seat Cover, EWD

Lancer EX MX 1.6G A/T (13 MY)

  • SRP: P930,000
  • CASH DISCOUNT: P32,000
  • ESP: P898,000
  • FREE ITEMS:  Tint, Floormats, Seat Cover, EWD

Lancer EX 2.0 GTA CVT (13 MY)

  • SRP: P1,295,000
  • CASH DISCOUNT: P155,000
  • ESP: P1,140,000
  • FREE ITEMS: Tint, Floormats, Seat Cover, EWD

Lancer EX RALLIART (Standard)

  • SRP: P2,348,000
  • CASH DISCOUNT: P350,000
  • ESP: P1,998,000
  • FREE ITEMS: Tint, Floormats, EWD

Continue reading Mitsubishi car prices in the Philippines as of Sept. 2012

Charity. More fun in the Philippines — How owners of exotic cars helped Typhoon victims

When Undoy happened 3 years ago, people said it’s very unlikely to happen again. They were wrong. Granted it wasn’t actually a full-blown typhoon that hit us just a few weeks back, but the flooding and consequent damages are generally just as bad.

That being said, I personally think natural challenges like these will happen more often than we think. More calamities will come and more people will need help. The good thing is, more and more people are actually willing to help… and they do it in different and creative ways.

Case in point, a local car club named TrackHos did something creative for charity late last year. The club is composed of people who own exotic and performance cars. We are talking about Philippine motorists driving Ferraris, Porshes, Lamborghinis, and GTRs. They wanted to get together, have fun, and raise funds for charity… so what did they do? Simple, they had their own car event — TrackHos Mile — an unlimited speed airport runway event. So one Sunday, they drove their exotic cars to Subic, shot a video, hanged out, raised funds, and donated all of the proceeds to the Philippines Red Cross in aid of the victims of Typhoon Sendong.

See more by watching this video uploaded by Trackhos on Youtube.

[youtube video=’6mA0URi4lfo’ width=’500′ height=’350′ vparams=’rel=0|border=0′]

My personal insight from this exercise is this: given the right motivation, people can come up with many creative ways to help. For example, during the recent “habagat calamity”, a hardware store owner I know lent his dump truck to ferry people across waist-deep flooded portions of the road,… and I saw teens swimming and dragging inflatable boats loaded with supplies to bring help to areas where even dump trucks can go through. The simple formula seems to be just to look at whatever you have, and maximize or repurpose them for a greater benefit.

Now its your turn… What do you think can you do?

Hyundai i30 — Batman does a car review?

I just saw the funniest car review video… and Batman was in it.

[youtube video=’XrDADkzgEjw’ width=’500′ height=’350′ vparams=’rel=0|border=0′]
Video uploaded by RECOMBU ( on Youtube.

In London, journalist Rory Reid was doing a car review video on the Hyundai i30 when Batman (i.e. actually a Toronto-based comedian wearing the Batman costume), interrupted and gave his own opinion on the Hyundai. “Batman” literally got into the car and did a test drive. Staying in character, “Batman” didn’t have much to say about the car but he did make a lot of side comments which came out quite funny.

I’m not sure if it was actually a Hyundai or a Batman movie marketing gimmick but it sure got me interested in the car.

During the funny discussions, Rory was able to unobtrusively highlight some key aspects about the Hyundai i30:

  1. 1.6 Liter 16Valve Diesel engine — Smooth and quiet drive — you barely can tell it’s running on a diesel engine
  2. Lot of room at the back and huge trunk
  3. Has Integrated Stop & Go (ISG) feature — the engine stops/starts while on a standstill or slowdown in traffic
  4. Acceleration: 0 to 60 in 11 secs.
  5. Nice wheels – comes with 16″ mags, GPS, voice control, other bells and whistles
  6. Fuel efficiency: 75 miles per gallon
  7. And it comes in Black

No “pogi points” for women — Do women with nicer cars become more attractive to men?

I’ve always had this idea that the type of car you drive effects how attractive you are to the opposite sex. For years we may have been referring to this simply as “pogi points” or “ganda points”.  But I never really got definitive proof that it’s actually true… until now.

Attribution link to photo: The Car Spy                      Attribution link to photo:

Some researchers in U.K. did an actual scientific study. They got a male model, a female model, several volunteers as subjects, and 2 cars. The first car is a silver Bentley Continental GT and the second car is a red Ford Fiesta ST. Of course the Bentley looked much more impressive than the Ford, but the intention was to establish a “neutral status”.  For the research, “neutral status” means a reasonably decent car that the “every day motorist” can afford to drive. The Bentley was considered their “high status”.

They took a picture of the male model posing beside (or inside) each car with the same posture, facial expression, and clothing.  They did the same for the female model. They then showed the male volunteers the 2 pictures of the female model and asked them to rate the girl in terms of attractiveness (from 1 to 10). Afterwhich, they asked the female volunteers to do the same for the male model pictures.


The findings indicate that the female subjects were affected but the males were not. Here’s the exact quote:

Results showed that the male target model was rated as significantly more attractive on a rating scale of 1-10 when presented to female participants in the high compared to the neutral status context. Males were not influenced by status manipulation, as there was no significant difference between attractiveness ratings for the female seated in the high compared to the neutral condition. It would appear that despite a noticeable increase in female ownership of prestige/luxury cars over recent years males, unlike females remain oblivious to such cues in matters pertaining to opposite-sex attraction.

Based on this study, I gathered some insights on how to become a bit more attractive while dating. For guys — buy, borrow, or rent a nice looking car. For girls — better to invest in things other than your car. Apparently, men don’t care less what women drive.

Source: Br J Psychol. 2010 Feb;101(Pt 1):69-80. Epub 2009 Mar 19. Effect of manipulated prestige-car ownership on both sex attractiveness ratings. By Dunn MJ, Searle R., School of Health Sciences, Centre for Psychology, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK. [email protected]

carNAVi S500 – a full featured GPS Device priced below Php 10,000

In most cases, Google Maps can help you find your way around Metro Manila, but it’s definitely not as good as having a GPS device on your dashboard. I’ve always wanted one; but I purposely held off on buying one since I’m still waiting for the prices to go down. Now that the carNAVI is being sold for less than P10,000, I think it’s time for me to buy.

carNAVi S500

Photo Credit: all images in this post are by carNAVi Corp., used with permission. All rights reserved.

This month, carNAVI is launching its newest model in the S-series: the carNAVI S 500. It’s a slim 5-inch touchscreen device intended to be the best priced unit in its class.

Continue reading carNAVi S500 – a full featured GPS Device priced below Php 10,000

Kia car prices in the Philippines as of June 2012

Car sale: Our friends from Kia sent us the latest price list (June 2012) for your reference.

PICANTO 1.0L LX GAS MT Php 545,000.00
PICANTO 1.0L LX GAS AT Php 599,000.00
PICANTO 1.2L EX GAS MT Php 625,000.00
RIO 1.2L LX MT Php 598,000.00
RIO 1.4L EX MT Php 678,000.00
RIO 1.4L EX AT Php 718,000.00
RIO 1.4L EX AT HATCHBACK Php 838,000.00
SOUL 1.6 CVVT LX AT Php 899,000.00
SOUL 1.6L D-CVVT LX AT (6-SPEED) Php 919,000.00
CARENS 2.0L CRDI LX MT Php 899,000.00
CARENS 2.0L CRDI LX AT Php 949,000.00
CARNIVAL 2.9L CRDI LX MT SWB Php 1,150,000.00
CARNIVAL 2.9L CRDI LX AT LWB Php 1,450,000.00
CARNIVAL 2.9L CRDI EX AT SWB Php 1,210,000.00
CARNIVAL 2.9L CRDI EX AT LWB Php 1,550,000.00
SPORTAGE 2.0L 4X2 GAS AT Php 1,158,000.00
SPORTAGE 2.0L 4X4 GAS AT Php 1,258,000.00
SPORTAGE 2.4L 4X4 GAS AT EX DELUXE Php 1,698,000.00
SORENTO 2.2L 4X2 LX DIESEL AT (5str) Php 1,590,000.00
SORENTO 2.2L 4X2 EX DIESEL AT (7str) Php 1,790,000.00
SORENTO 2.4L 4X2  EX GAS AT (7str) Php 1,690,000.00
K2700 4X2 DORPSIDE MT Php 775,000.00
K2700 4X2 ALUMINIUM VAN MT Php 835,000.00
K2700 4X2 PANORAMIC W/ AC MT Php 895,000.00
K2700 4X4 DROPSIDE MT Php 835,000.00
K2700 4X4 ALUMINIUM VAN MT Php 900,000.00
K2700 4X4 DC DROPSIDE MT Php 915,000.00
K2700 4X4 DC PICK-UP W/ AC MT Php 935,000.00
K2700 4X4 PANORAMIC W/ AC MT Php 960,000.00

For inquiries and promos, please call CONNIE ORPILLA of KIA MOTORS PASIG at 0932-428-1845.

If you need a car loan, you can call our friends from BPI and Metrobank:

BPI: Janet Castro – 09175547628, 217-4337, 646-4033
METROBANK: Joy Guevara – 647-8023, 647-8025

Thoughts on restoring the Mitsubishi “box-type” Lancer — a non-expert car review

Just last week, some friends asked me if restoring the box type Lancer would be worth it. One friend was particularly interested in giving a car like this to his “first-time-driver” son for his college commute. It got me thinking about my very first car which I got almost 20 years ago. Here’s my non-expert take on this “almost-classic” car.

Mitsubishi Lancer box type

Photo Credit: By VolkswagenKing28 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

The first car I ever bought was a 1986 Mitsubishi Lancer SL with manual transmission. I got it in 1994. At that time, it was a popular car. It was boxy and it was cool. During that time, a brand new Lancer EL cost P300,000. The then-8-year-old box-type was selling for P150,000. Continue reading Thoughts on restoring the Mitsubishi “box-type” Lancer — a non-expert car review

Hyundai car prices in the Philippines as of June 2012

Car sale: Our friends from Hyundai sent us the latest price list (June 2012) for your reference.


  • 2.5 VGT GLS M/T-10str. — Php1,563,000
  • 2.5 VGT GLS A/T-10str.SWIVEL — Php1,733,000
  • 2.5 VGT GLS M/T-12 str. — Php1,603,000
  • 2.5 VGT GOLD A/T-10 str. — Php1,848,000
  • 2.5 GRAND STAREX LIMOUSINE — Php2,728,000


  • 2.5 GL M/T-10str — Php1,283,000
  • 2.5 GL M/T-12str — Php1,323,000
  • 2.5 GLS A/T-10str — Php1,453,000