I’m the proud owner of a new Wira 1.3 A/B bought in 2001, but manufactured in 2000. I got my car in just a week, oh my I’m so damn proud and happy, and after that, this is what happened.
Let me list it down, pretty clear and detailed. For your info, all these problems happened without any modifications done, and it is stock standard:-
1) There is a big gap between the car body and the rear bonnet on left side of the boot, which looks like it has gone through an accident previously when I first got the car.
2) A huge gap between the rear bumper and the car body!! Looks like a second hand car.. when I questioned the salesman he said no choice, this batch of the same models does have this problem.
3) The clip holding the brake pads was gone within a week and I didn't notice it until I heard some weird sound... I sent it to the appointed Proton service center, and he told me this is a WEAR & TEAR problem, and they would not bear this cost to repair it!!! I got it fixed by purchasing a used clip, which is rusty, but no choice from a local chop shop.
4) The temperature gauge meter went faulty and it works at times if you bang it hard on the dashboard.. luckily I got it changed before my guarantee period expires.
5) Next headache was within a month - the fuel gauge went up to MAX every time I started the engine, and it returned to normal after running it for a while, and dropped to the bottom when I'm driving, and I have to get it changed again, but this time my guarantee period had expired... Extremely disappointed.
6) After running for a year without any modifications done, both the front disc brakes have warped... and it shakes like mad when I make an emergency brake... This has caused me to grind both disc brakes due to cost factors, and change a good set of brake pads, since the original Proton brake pads cause lots of red dust... the problem still persists till I have to change even the brake pumps!!
7) The internal and external plastic parts are all mixed with recycled materials I presume, as it is normal that my bumpers without any paint will fade to a whitish colour in a matter of a year. The fittings below my seat and the door steps are all coming off, and I can't even install it back... and once I take out the plastic parts, it will never be the same again. All the clips are broken and I've had to purchase a new set to install it back. The side fender plastic parts are only available for the Aeroback model. The clips were broken when I first opened up the back door, and till today I still can't find any clips to fix it back, but have resorted to using some hard glue to stick it back, because it is not materialised to change it as it is still new.
8) The automatic window frame plastic holding the windows was broken when I had used it for not more than 10 times, as I seldom used the automatic window on the left side. I wonder how can this happen, and due to a small plastic part, I've changed the whole frame for RM70+... and then within a month, when I tried to open my car, the button where you used to close and open your car doors didn't pop up at all, and when I checked it out.. another plastic holding / clip, which is supposed to be attached to the motors to push up the button, was gone or broken!! I've had to resort to finding something to clip it back, but it comes out most of the time.. as I can't afford to change the whole set due to a small broken clip!!
To add insult to injury.. the door console clips are all coming off, and the same thing - I've had to use super glue again, but some of it can't be fixed, as the internal door console materials are so rigid that it is just like a normal carton box.
9) I'm also having electrical problems with my car within a year... the internal lights in the air conditioning switch don't function properly, and it dims and no light at all most of the time. I've had to bang at the side of the console in order to make it function.. and now all lights, including the LEDs and all the switches such as the air conditioning, double signal and other buttons are all dead.. now when I'm driving and trying to adjust the air conditioning, I've to search for it like mad...
10) Most of the light bulbs will burn, no matter whether it is the headlights, or especially the rear light bulbs. It is very common to see it on the road. Most Proton cars will have burned lights all over the car, especially the rear fender, which act as the third brake light... the LEDs inside will malfunction in a matter of not up to a year.. not sure what is the main problem of it.
11) When I purchased this car, PROTON claims it to be rust free, but after 2 years I found out that my right door body paint has rust judging from the popping up paint on the spot... for your info, I washed and polished my car every week without fail for those past 2 years, using good car shampoo with wax, and I never sent my car to be washed outside before.. how can this happen?
12) The rear booth spare tyre compartment was always filled with water, and I’ve to clean it up every month to make sure nothing rusts inside. I found this out when I’m parking under hot sun, but my windows seems to appear to have some moisture - that means there is water in your car!! Is Proton producing cars that not only carry passengers, but scoop up water into cars as well.. most mechanics will advise you to drill a small hole on the opening cap.
13) Reverse sensor was totally useless and not functioning properly when I collected my new car.. the Proton mechanic was unable to adjust it and said that is all we can do.. it will sound like an alarm, even if there is nothing behind your car..
The car engine is considered OK if you take good care of it, because it is from a Mitsubishi engine. The engine produces hard knocking sounds, even if I've replaced new good materials, and the timing would have to be tuned most of the time, and there are no RPM meter gauge in this 1.3 model.
The plastic quality was terrible and fragile, I suspect recycled materials were used to cut costs, and the plastic injection moulds were far over their life span... and need to be trimmed after being moulded out, judging from the sharp edges..
However, it is quite a good car to drive around, especially manouvering due to the Mitsubishi design, but I can't compare it with the Merz when you're making a "U" turn.
The design looks presentable, and its seats are quite comfortable, although my car model doesn't permit me to adjust the height of the seats, and most of its accessories have been taken out like the auto cruise, internal light dim adjustment, air bags, speed adjustment for the wipers, door console, rear automatic windows, seat height adjustments, cup holders, no closing compartments in between the 2 front seats, just a hole for you to stuff some rubbish and etc.
Conclusion - not a bad car for a middle income guy like me, but constantly having headaches to get it repaired. Take good care of it, especially the plastic parts and the electronics such as light bulbs, which need to be check regularly.
Advantage - it is easy to source original second hand parts at a cheap price from those half cut shops.
Even though this car was taken from Mitsubishi's technology, design and engine, it is the local manufacturer's quality control that makes it looks really bad... no strict quality control at all...
1) Service regularly, do not wait till the exact time to protect your engine life span as well as fuel consumption (especially changed spark plugs NGK “Y” type, air filter).
2) Check and tighten all screws, especially your fog lamp, but don’t tighten any engine screws, as it needs to have some flexibility…
3) Install grounding wire set to stabilized. It's all time faulty electronics system.
4) Install an air intake compressor for better performance and fuel consumption.
5) Check your exhaust manifold for cracks, but I suggest you better install a 4-2-1.
6) Change the timing belt on time, and make sure it is a full set, and if it is the 2nd time, better change the water pump together as well, and all the belts in one shot to save cost and problems (beware of imitation Mitsubishi sets which are quite a lot in the market), and if you feel it is time, change the coolant and service your car at the same time.
7) Change to a thicker power or spark plug cable.
8) Change all necessary oils at the same time (power steering oil, brake oil, gear oil).
9) If you need more power, you can change your flywheel to a 1.6 type, request the mechanic to grind it thinner for lighter and better performance (optional - not recommended for normal drivers).
10) Go for a tyre rotation, balancing and alignment every 3 months or 10,000km to make sure your tyres last longer, are in good condition, no leakages, absorbers in good condition, and rims as well, because they may have warped and may cause your absorbers to fail.
11) Wash your engine once a month, just spray, don’t flush too much water as it would slip into unwanted parts. Especially flush the radiator front and back, which might accumulate a lot of leaves, insects, rubbish and stuff to keep it fresh… Use car shampoo with wax to wash on those cables, especially the hose to the radiator to keep it from being getting hard after a while, and it would eventually crack, in short maintain those rubbers flexibility… (Beware don’t wash too often as it will rust some metal functioning parts, and please remember to cover the power / spark plug cable heads at the side of the engine with a plastic bag or else you’ll have problems starting your car).
12) Check on any abnormal noise, as it indicates something is wrong (i.e if you hear there is a loud air leaking sound in the engine compartment, maybe your exhaust manifold might have cracked and you can’t see that, because it is covered with an aluminium shield); this will cause your fuel consumption to increase and loud engine noise… lots of people don’t realize this!! Or when you crank start your car and there is a long “craaccck” sound, it means your starter needs to be cleaned…
13) If your car is a fuel injection type.. request a computer check after 2 or 3 services to make sure everything is functioning OK, as 1.3 models do not have RPMs, we won’t know that the fuel timing is OK or not… The computer is able to check any errors, and once they're found, one click on the computer will set it back to factory settings and will settle your problems.. but you do also need to get your fuel injection throttle cleaned up once in a while for better performance and fuel consumption.