Plasti Dip Your Car

Post by Mark

mafra1

Last week I decided I wanted some of my car parts foiled matt black. Foiling is a process where your car gets covered in a sticker like material, it’s an alternative to painting since its temporary. My FJ Cruiser had some grey colored parts which I wanted to turn black but I didn’t want to paint them incase I didn’t like the outcome. So I called a friend asking for a good foiling place and he instead recommended I get the parts Plasti Dipped at a place in Shuwaikh called Ma-Fra.

Plasti Dip falls somewhere in between painting and foiling since it has traits from both. You apply Plasti Dip to your car like paint (as in you spray it), but unlike paint, when you get bored you can peel Plasti Dip off like a sticker just as you would with foiling.

mafra

I passed by Ma-Fra on Thursday and got an appointment for Saturday morning. I had also gotten some new silver colored wheels for my car which I wanted to paint in bronze so I decided to get them Plasti Dipped as well. When dropping my car off at Ma-Fra on Saturday I found out they did detailing so had them go ahead and detail my car as well since I was planning on doing that anyway somewhere else.

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Plasti Dip is fairly durable as long as you don’t scratch it or peel it off. It’s supposed to last for at least three years although I’m not sure they’ll last that long on my wheels. So how did it turn out?

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I dropped my car off Saturday at 9AM and ended up picking up the car the next day at 2PM all painted and shiny. If it wasn’t for the detailing I would have been able to pick up the car on the same day, that’s whats to great about Plasti Dip, it’s fast to do. The parts I blacked out turned out great and blended really well with the rest of the black plastic parts on the car. The wheels also turned out better than I expected.

If you’re wondering how much it cost, I ended up paying KD150 for everything. Originally they wanted KD60 to paint the 9 different parts of my car black, KD50 to paint the wheels (KD10 per wheel) and another KD60 for the detailing. So I basically got a KD20 discount. They also sell cans of Plasti Dip for KD4 a pop if you’re interested to do the work yourself (it’s fairly easy but the masking process is a pain).

Ma-Fra is located in Shuwaikh behind Abyat, here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Q8 Taxi App

Post by Mark

q8taxi

Until Uber comes to Kuwait we’re kinda stuck with alternatives for now and the most recent one I found out about is the Q8 Taxi app. I haven’t ordered a cab with it yet since I haven’t had a need for one, but I have been playing with the app and noticed two interesting things about Q8 Taxi. The first is that there always seems to be a cab nearby. The second is that the taxis they use have working meters. The description under “Car Type” in the app is “Meter Taxi” but I thought that might just be a generic description so I called customer support to confirm their cabs actually use the meters and they confirmed to me that they do. If thats the case then this could be the best app to use until Uber becomes available.

If you’ve used the app before, let me know below of your experience. For those of you who are interested in downloading the app, it’s available for both iOS and Android. [Link]


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Have you seen this Mustang?

Post by Mark

mustang

It’s every parents’ worst nightmare to lose a child, and sometimes the only consolation is to preserve memories and keep mementos. Harry is a hot rod enthusiast, hence his nickname, Hot Rod Harry. He also has a passion for vans and motorcycles, as well as being the proud of owner of a 2011 Ford Mustang GT. As was his son, Dylon, who sadly passed away earlier this year. He was only 24. Dylon actually ended up selling his Mustang back in October 2012 to a dealership in North Carolina, and now Harry wants to buy it back.

According to the article the car was sold to a buyer here in Kuwait and the father is now looking for help in trying to find his sons car so he could buy it back. It’s a long shot but figured I’d try to help him by posting about it here. The vin number of the car is 1ZVBP8CF7B5156798. For more details check out the article [Here]

Thanks Ahmad


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Audi Garage

Post by Mark

audi

Can anyone recommend an Audi garage that isn’t the dealership. My brother is looking for a garage he can take his car to whenever he needs something fixed or maintained without having to pay dealership prices.


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Drunk Driver Causes Wreck

Post by Mark

I’m assuming they were drunk, that or they were texting since both look the same from behind. [YouTube]

Thanks Salem

drunkj


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Get Your Car Washed Using an App

Post by Mark

ghaseel

“Ghaseel” is an app that allows you to order and pay for a car wash using your phone. The way it works is fairly simple, after signing up and filling your address, you proceed to order a car wash. You choose your date and time you want them to come and wash your car and then you’ll get a list of different companies that are available at your specified time. You choose the company and package you want and then check out and pay.

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It’s not a bad idea at all but there are a few things I think they can do to make it even better. Firstly the way the different carwash packages are featured is not very consistent. Some are written in Arabic, some English, some are very detailed information wise while others are very vague. It makes the app feel very amateurish. Secondly there is no rating system. So if you had a good or bad experience with one of the carwash companies there is no way of let other users know.

Still not a bad first attempt. The app is only available for iOS devices at the moment and is free to download from the App Store by searching for “Ghaseel” or by visiting their website [Here]


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Kuwait City in the Future

Post by Mark

kuwaitfuture

A reader was watching a Lexus car concept video and noticed something peculiar. The last scene of the video shows the concept car driving off into a futuristic city but on closer inspection, the city features buildings from Kuwait. If you enlarge the video full screen and look carefully you can spot Al Hamra Tower, Arraya Tower 1, Arraya Tower 2 and KIPCO Tower (there might be more). So it kinda looks like Kuwait City in the future, check out the video [Here]

Thanks Sulaiman


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A Tesla in Kuwait

Post by Mark

tesla1

Over the weekend I found out that Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah (the owner of Cinemagics), had purchased a Tesla electric car from the States Netherlands and had it shipped to Kuwait. So right away I gave him a call and asked him if he’d let me take it out for a spin and he agreed so I took it out yesterday morning.

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Before anyone comments about how useless a Tesla is in Kuwait because gas is so cheap, you need to understand that the Tesla is more than just an electric car, it’s not just about saving on fuel prices. The easiest way for me to explain it might be comparing it to the iPhone, what the iPhone did to the phone market the Tesla is trying to do for the car market. They’re reinventing what a car should be and thats what makes Tesla so great a company and Elon Musk a great innovator. One easy example is with the Tesla’s control panel. If you look at the picture above you’ll see a huge ass screen in the dashboard, that screen is the size of around two iPads stuck together. It’s a gorgeous high resolution display with a very clean very Apple like interface that allows you to control every aspect of the car as well as display a variety of information all at once. In the photo above for example I had my blog opened up in the web browser and taking up the whole screen but you could have it take up half the screen if you want with the other half displaying your radio or maybe the map. My point is if you read my car reviews from just this year alone you’ll notice one of my biggest complaints is how I felt the user interface in most of the cars I drove were so outdated and ugly. The Tesla on the other hand is doing it right.

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The first question I asked Nasser and the first question everyone asks him is how does the car get charged in Kuwait? Basically there are two ways, the first is using a regular power plug like the ones found inside your apartments. You just plug the car to a power outlet and it charges at a speed of 7KM an hour. The second way is to have an electrician install a multiphase power plug which will increase the speed of charging to 55KM an hour. On a full charge the car can last over 400KM which is more than four trips from Kuwait City down to the chalets in Bnaider and back. So for regular day to day use you probably only need to charge the car just once a week. That’s better mileage than what I can get out of a full tank of gas on my car. In any case Nasser installed a charging point outside his office building so he could charge it there if he wants to as well.

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I only had the car for like an hour but all I really wanted to experience was what it was like driving an electric car and also better understand how the regenerative braking worked. The Tesla as you can imagine doesn’t make any sounds. Only when accelerating really hard can you hear a gentle electric whine like something from Star Trek but other than that it’s a completely silent car. The Tesla I drove is the P85D which is all wheel drive and has two motors with a combined power equivalent to 762HP. It’s really fast and it can hit 0-100KM/h in 3.1 seconds which is insane considering how understated the car looks and the fact it’s a 4-door family sedan. Regenerative braking was also very interesting to experience, it’s an energy recovering mechanism that allows the Tesla to recharge the batteries using the energy recovered while braking. Usually when you want to slow down with regular cars you take your foot off the gas pedal and then press the brakes. With the Tesla when you lift your foot off the gas the regenerative braking kicks in and starts slowing you down without you having to press the brakes. It feels like engine braking, like slowing down by downshifting in a regular car. If you want to use the brakes you can of course but using regenerative braking allows you to recover the energy and make your brake pads last longer. The interior of the car felt premium, lots of leather and suede. According to Nasser he didn’t have any issues with the AC during the summer which is another concern I had with the car.

The Tesla P85D starts at around KD31,000 without shipping to Kuwait which is actually not that expensive when you consider the technology and performance involved with the car. Getting it registered might be a bit of headache although it should be a bit easier now since there’s already a Tesla in Kuwait. When Nasser went to register the car they had the Tesla on the computer as a gasoline powered car so that caused delays. Overall it’s a pretty cool car and nobody should be worried about getting one in Kuwait.


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Citybus Not Getting Hybrids

Post by Mark

bus1

One of my readers sent me the picture above of a new Citybus thats currently on the road. What caught my attention was the fact it had solar panels on the roof and the message “735w solar cells” on the side. I thought Citybus might finally be getting some new hybrid buses, that is buses that run on fossil fuel and clean electric power. So I gave Citybus a call to find out if that was the case and it sadly turns out it wasn’t.

bus2

The bus pictured above is currently being weather tested for the local market and is by the Irish company Wright. It’s not a hybrid but a regular diesel vehicle. According to the person I spoke to, the solar panels are just there to recharge the bus batteries and is not for any energy saving purposes. Oh well that was a downer. I was hoping this was the first step in eradicating the horribly polluting buses currently on the roads. Looks like that’s not going to happen.


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Kuwait bans home delivery services to reduce traffic

Post by Mark

kuwaittraffic

Kuwait has suspended home delivery licences in a bid to reduce traffic in the crammed capital.

The Interior Ministry is preparing to regulate home delivery services because it requires too many vehicles to be on the roads, Kuwait Times said. [Source]

Here’s one more last funny article for the day but this time I’m also gonna share my friends rant below (who’s Kuwaiti by the way for those of you who want to tell him to get the fuck out).

Yes, Kuwait, keep chipping away at our quality of life instead of doing anything serious to remedy the dire situation of our roads.

Metro? Let’s keep delaying that indefinitely… Because, you know, talking about it since the 1970s has brought us that much closer to realizing it.

Public transportation reforms? Forget that, bus drivers seem to drive with contempt and face it, who would want to ride one of those dilapidated deathtraps?

New highways? With an average completion time of seven years for a stretch of a few short kilometers and haphazardly-marked diversions, you might as well do nothing at all.

License regulation? Please, with rampant nepotism and string-pulling guaranteeing that every untrained moron with a pulse gets one, I don’t believe shit. Just take it all out on the expats the way you normally do, government.

Funny as it is, I’m dreading going back to Kuwait almost purely because of the road situation. People seem to actively disregard the rules and do things their own way because they know that our hilariously inept police force isn’t going to do jack about it except pass unimplemented law after unimplemented law, we have over 1.5 million cars on a road network with a carrying capacity of around seven hundred thousand vehicles, round-the-clock traffic ensures that what should be a ten-minute trip takes at least an hour, there’s no emission control or any form of environmental regulation and my chances of being killed because of someone else’s idiocy are exacerbated to the nth degree.

For a country with the potential and resources to make something absolutely incredible of itself, it’s moments like this that make me want to facepalm until my face bleeds.

– Khaled

Update: According to the news article on the Ministry of Commerce website, the ban is temporary and only because the MOI are currently overburdened with requests [Source]. So it looks like Kuwait Times are making shit up. Also it looks like Arabian Business is now making shit up because their source (Kuwait Times) never mentioned anything about traffic being the reason for the ban.


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