Letters: We all have our problems

Letters: We all have our problems

This website’s financial situation is just ridiculous. Running solely out of my pocket, I am now proud to point out that we now have the largest English automotive website in the GCC (according to semi-accurate alexa.com), and yet, we hardly get call-backs from advertisers that we got in touch with. All those other corporation-owned car sites seem to be overflowing with ads and here we are, trying to prove that we even exist. I guess bullshit works in the sales business, as each of those other sites claim to be the “leading” one in the region, with no numbers to back it up. Perhaps I have to eventually follow the magazine people’s corporate model, of having more sales people than editorial staff, while making sure we don’t lose our credibility in the process of chasing money. But I’m not bankrupt yet, and I’ve just invested in Dhs 3000 worth of crap-grade video equipment to have some fun attempting video reviews. Should I even bother? On to the letters.

Boris says: Hi Mash, how r u? Just got info about global sales of autos. Hyundai Kia has reached the top 5 now. HKAGs sales have been increasing every month and Ford sales are going down every month. So I think it will soon happen that HKAG moves from 5th to 4th. Here’s a link: http://www.kia-world.net/index.php/2008/07/01/hyundai-kia-automotive-group-ranks-fifth-in-global-auto-sales/

True. Interesting to keep in mind. – MHC

Subhan says: Sir i have 2008 land cruiser vx-r limited…i have one problem which is when i load dvd in dvd navigation system it starts to work but when i run my car then its stopped not showing picture i listen only sound. Can u know any system how can i solve this problem i know its gcc rule but i want to close pbc system tell me about it what can i do?? thank u in advance.

As you said, it is a standard safety feature of all cars that can play TV/DVDs in the front screen. There is no way to disable it yourself, unless you take it to some stereo “specialist” shop, but they might cause more damage than good in most cases. – MHC

Royer says: Hi Mash….first of all I would like to appreciate your good work…indeed your site is good piece of work. I graduated from a nimble Honda City to Powerful Nissan Pathfinder…the good part is, road presence, better view, power and feeling of safety…and the bad after driving a City that had a CVT transmission….I hate the feeling of auto transmission, the sound/feel of gear upshifts and downshifts…seems engine is thinking when to change gears…on the other hand Honda City CVT was a no nonsense transmission.. you review of Pathfinder model is old…when I compare the new one with the 2006 model the interior is a total change with features like rear view camera…I am not sure about engine part only you can tell after a test ride…also the locking differentials that you have pointed on your earlier review…how come Patrol manages on sand without locking deferential as compared to other 4wds? Every morning while travelling from International City to Deira, I see lots of new Pathfinders …but to my utter surprise…I couldn’t find a grill guard or bull bar for the New Model Pathfinder…and if you want custom grill from Garages….all are quoting a pricing between 4-7k. Can you suggest me some Exterior Accessories shops…this would be of great help to lot of 4wd drivers also. Finally I have noticed from 0 to 1600 RPM the low end torque is less…the engine seems doing some work…but as soon as it crosses 2000 mark…there is huge increase in power…and the machine becomes zippy like sports car…it can go all the way till 185km in the speedo with 5 persons seated…where does this sudden change in attitude of vehicle comes from…will it be same when vehicle crosses 10k mark or Nissan has tuned Pathfinders in such way.

Congratulations on your new Pathfinder. I have to point out that there are almost no differences between the 2006 and the 2008, beyond small cosmetic changes and new options, like the rear-view camera. The Patrol comes standard with a rear locking diff, and has solid-axle suspension, which contribute to better off-road performance. I cannot help you with the bull-bar, as Nissan doesn’t offer one, and you will have to get one custom-made (and I suggest you do not buy a random one and tack it on, since it will look out of place). As for the engine, I noticed those characteristics too, and it would seem Nissan simply chose to tune it that way. – MHC

Taco says: Hi. After a lengthy car search, I finally bought a Merc, E240, 2004 with 20k on it. I also bought 2 yrs warranty from EMC Abu Dhabi. I like the car a lot, but unfortunately I find the engine to be underpowered. only 177 HP. I am seriously thinking of trading it for a more powerful E or even a BMW 5 series car. What places do you suggest I should start looking, and what do you think of the whole idea?

It is up to you of course. It seems you have already invested some money in the E240 with that warranty. But if you can manage it financially, it is better to get something like a 530i or an E350, or higher. I’d suggest going through the newspaper classifieds for private cars with service history, or buy a certified used car from one of the big new-car dealers (Automall, Al Tayer, etc) for peace of mind. Other “big” independent used car dealers, like the ones based in Al Aweer in Dubai, are too hard to trust, especially since I know for a fact that many there fix up and sell cancelled cars from USA. – MHC

Xander says: Hi MHC, i got a query on this maxguard / dupont teflon coating on cars. Do you think its worthwhile doing this and what are the advantages of doing this? Which co / place/ centre would you recommend for doing this .Also how would you rate 3M,V cool and Nano plux window tints. & Thanks a lot for the wonderful site…!

I am not familiar with that coating. I believe it only helps the paint to resist fading, and not deep scratches, if that is what you are asking. As for tint, just go for the cheapest one among the branded names. There is no magical solution to the heat issue, as I found out with the Dhs 2800 crystalline 3M tint on my BMW. – MHC

Hitesh says: Hi..i would like your suggestion and comments on MITSUBISHI PAJERO 3.8 versus TOYOTA PRADO 4.0. Just need a few details on the stability of both on road, handling, power, smoothness. thanks.

I haven’t driven either in years now. I’d say they are about the same in most aspects, especially since the new Pajero’s engine upgrade, and should be fine with either of them. – MHC

Asad Ali says: Hi Mashfique..I’m planning to buy myself a 2006 ford focus hatchback. I just wanted to what do you think of the car, i mean,how does it drive,how’s the a/c, mileage on a full tank etc. I’m not looking at the resale value as i know it’d b quite low when compared to a toyota or a nissan.I just want to know if its a reliable car and worth buying? Thanks in advance.

Weak engine, great ride and handling, not-very-strong a/c, fuel economy is about same as Civic but the Focus has a lot less power. Seems reliable. You can read more in the guide about problems. I also reviewed that version. – MHC

Tariq says: Hi, I am planning to buy Nissan Altima 2.5. I heard that there is some problem in it engine. Any suggestions? Regards, Tariq.

The older version had some issues. Cannot comment on the new one. More info in the guide. – MHC

Sachin says: Hello, your website contains very useful information under Car Buying section. However I have some suggestions for this website to utilize the content in more efficient direction. – There should be a mechanism which can give result based on the requirement of the end user. It will be more helpful when somebody wants to buy a new car but he is not able to take decision. You can prepare decision support system to guide end user.- Another suggestion is for Used car section. This section contains very good content in it. However it should be more user-friendly and have more clear Dos and Don’ts and also general checks for each type of car. Regards.

I already had those ideas of yours in mind. However, lack of manpower (just me really) means this is the best I can do for now. – MHC

Send in your comments through the contact page, including whether you even want video reviews, considering the ultra-high-budget Top Gear and some allegedly-cheapskate local shows own the market.

What do you think?



  1. You want to do video reviews huh? I wonder how many other auto sites do that in UAE… You could be the first if no one does it currently.

  2. Mash i think you definitely need more sales persons like you said in order to promote your site if you want the adds to flow..Im simply guessing those big sponsors got no idea how popular this site is..Honestly ive seen your online counter parts and they seem rubbish!! i dont like their reviews..they spend half the time talkin about their own philisophies prior to getting to the actual review,and their vehicle information seem to be off on most accounts, looks like they dont do their homework as much..I searched their site so as to give my feedback on their review but couldnt find one..I would’ve given them a piece of my 👿 lol.. mind!! 👿 👿

  3. wonder what happened to the website that declared war? :mrgreen:

  4. Author

    I’d hire sales people if I could sponsor them. My buddy does a bit of sales for me nowadays. I am waiting to reach a certain number of readers before I commit more resources to sales. Until then, I’ll continue to concentrate on doing this out of love for the topic instead of as a job. We’re actually going to get an ad next week, but we won’t be paid for it. A free “test” ad at our expense to prove our popularity, because our supplied traffic data isn’t enough.

  5. you mean the guys giving the ad will just see if posting an ad on this site will have any affect?

  6. Author

    Yep. The agency representing Hyundai. Incidentally, I only found out about the local launch of the Genesis after seeing ads on other local sites.

  7. i have read subhan’s letter regarding the DVD gettin off while car is moving….there are some specialist ppl who works with car computers who does the job of changing the setup…there is 1 guy is abu dhabi who does it for almost all models of merc bm and other japanese cars….

  8. it seems that your bmw’s body needs some official ads too. Just write drivearabia.com and put some ads of famous candy’s brands on it to keep large number of kids entre your site and then you might have good deals with those candy’s brands to post their ads in this web since its a kids-popular web .
    May be then if you did so, the reader will call you ”unkle mash” and ”old cb” for cb. 😆

  9. Author

    You guys should be sleeping. I don’t like road-side tuners and M&Ms. I have experiences with both.

  10. But by messing with the standard protocols within the computer, doesnt the warranty get affected?? cos i think with the nissans consult2 system they are able to go into a very detailed diagnosis within the system.Dont know what system toyota uses but im assuming they’ve got a similar type of diagnosis system..

  11. Author

    The DVD screen turning on and off is simply done by a sensor that detects where the car is in “Park” or moving under a certain speed. Disabling it is most likely easy, but it will certainly disable the warranty too, if something else goes wrong later.

  12. i dont know…why u people want to play the DVD while you are driving….man…in our roads we cant drive even if we concentrate in driving…there are alot of stupid drivers in the roads 😉

  13. Website is very good
    I believe you need some marketing in order to generate money
    Get some real statistics on how many people are visiting the website and then try to sell add space to car dealers, car service centers, etc

  14. Salam to all and Ramadaan Kareem. Mash I think you need sales people who go and blab about your company to other advertisement agents. Lets go and visit someday together I think.

  15. Author

    We’ve actually been pimping ourselves part-time to all the major ad agencies, depending on how free my free PR guy is. We’ve already learned a lot about how the local “system” works. Our stats are already with them, although why they continue to skip us for crappier sites, I’ll never know. Also, it takes 3 months to get paid after the ads have finished showing. We just got paid for our last proper ad that finished in May. In a bit of good news, we just booked an ad for next month. Let’s see how that goes, even if the money isn’t much.

  16. Lovely post. Please add my email address to your list and email me the updates if possible. I always like to read your blog and comment on it.

  17. Hi,
    Nice and informative web site.
    I am in Muscat Oman and if let me know if I can do anything for you Mashfique.


  18. Hi, you have a great site1 Just one comment on what “leading automotive portal” means.

    To know login to ww.starauto.com

    Thant is the right concept for the Gulf Market for buy and sale cars.

    Good Luck!!!

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