My Car is Named Bandenger

I have decided to name my new car Bandenger, which basically means bench.

The Nissan Teana is optimized for comfort. It is absolutely better than a bench, but just as the way I named my previous Goudaner, it is a pretty cheap, ugly, and normal name, with the wish that the car can have good luck – people in China, especially in villages, and in old time, like to name their kids by “ugly” names – something like under-promise, over delivery.

It has completed its first 1100 KM, and I sent it for the first maintenance. The second maintenance date will be June 25, 2010.

Bye Bye Goudaner

Tonight, Goudaner left his sweet home in the last 6 years in the night rain. Man is a kind of animal that loves cars. A good car is part of his life. I stayed in the car for a long time before my friend pick him up. The mileage is 79020 KM – in 6 years.

Bye bye Goudaner, and have a great life. I am very sure that you will be take care of very well.

Happy Birthday to Goudaner (6th Year)

Today is the 6th year anniversary of my little car – Goudaner.

I cannot believe it that I used the car for 6 years. I didn’t use it very much – just for commute from home to office. The meter only shows 78K km – 13 km per year. The statics shows I used the car less in the last 3 years than the previous 3 years.

When I celebrated the 3rd year anniversary for Goudaner (Happy Birthday to Goudaner (3rd Year)), I drove for 41K – in the last three years, I drove 32K km.

My Sadness

For a small car like Goudaner (FIAT Siena), 6 years seem to be pretty long time. Not only for the car, but also for the family. In the last 6 years, many things changed. The biggest change is the birth of Yifan. For a family like us, and especially for a naughty boy like Yifan, the safety features of Siena worries us. I don’t like Yifan to able to open the back door, and there is no child lock. Besides that, we need a generally safer car – maybe a mid-class car.

That means, I will inevitable come to a point to sell the car for a better one. That is the sad part of life.

I followed my readers’ suggestion to give my first new car a name – Goudaner. People say, when you have a name for the car, the car runs better, and has better luck, since you treat it as a friend, not just a car. That is absolutely true. In the 6 years, we have been together very well – we visited many places, and many memorable moments happened in the car, like the moment we drive on the Nanpu Bridge, moving to Pudong with the last few boxes of what we have in the back, like the moment we welcomed Yifan to his new home, few days after Yifan was born – it was a heavily rainy day…

I guess this is the last birthday Goudaner has in this home. I’d like to thank Goudaner for the wonderful change it brings to the family, and the nice service it provided. We are sad to see old things moved out of our home, just because everything is our materialized memory.

Happy Birthday to Goudaner (3rd Year)

This is the birthday of my car – I call it Goudaner.

In the last three years, or 1095 days, Goudaner did really well. It never broke down on the road, never made noises from the engine, never had any big problem that need my attention. The only thing I would think of as its own fault is, the background light of the dashboard broke once. The other fault are either mine (hit something) or other driver’s.

I am happy with the first car, and want to keep it as long as it still works.

Goudaner, 3 year ago

Many people suggested me to change car. It is common practice. Some of my friends who bought car later than I did have changed to another car. Well – It is the fever to try new things, and not satisfied with what they have. Others suggested me to change to a bigger, and (I believe they think the more important thing) expensive car is critical for the success of business – to show off the social status, power or something. I don’t think so. I am super happy abuot the car I have, and enjoy what I have instead of dreaming about what I don’t have.

Without Goudaner, living in Pudong can be very hard, but with it, it becomes a paradise.

P.S. I changed the electronic battery box. I didn’t drive too much in the last three years – only 41000 KM.

Happy Birthday to Goudaner (2nd Year)

March 15 again. Two years ago, at around 7:00 PM, I drove my car back home. I still remember the excitement to have the first car – I didn’t though to buy a car is as simple as buying any article at stores – just swipe the credit card and got the key to the new car.

There is a small story that I didn’t tell. When I first show the car, I found it perfect – the smell, the color, the inside decoration – everything. But there is a very small defect at the front of the car – a 1 cm long scratch. It barely noticed, but it is a scratch on a new car. I felt bad and told the dealer that I don’t want it. I want a completely new car, instead one with some scar on it.

The dealer was very reasonable, and agreed to return the car back to the warehouse. They said I can get back again after one week for another one. They did mean it. Just before they drive the car to the backyard, I felt although there is just several minutes, I don’t want them to drive “my” car away. You know, the feeling of the first ever car is interesting. I thought it is may be the feat of the car, and my feat that we meet. I know buying a car is all about luck. No one guarantees you that every car is exactly as durable and reliable as each other. I am afraid IF I get another one, I will regret that I didn’t pickup the first one I saw. It may happen.

So, that is the final decision. I happily drove the new car back home, and show the family about the car. I didn’t tell Wendy the scare for the first few weeks. We all love it. I made the good decision. In the last two years, Goudaner is reliable, and performs great. I enjoy driving it around. No one is perfect. So does a car. I tend to tolerate other’s imperfectness, just as many people tolerate mine.

First day on March 16, 2004

I gave the name Goudaner to it one week after we have it.

In the last two years, it accompanied us from home to work, and go to nearby locations. We went to Hangzhou for twice, and Suzhou once. We also went to Chongming once. Went to Pudong airport and Hongqiao Airport several times. Besides that, Goudaner didn’t travel far from my home.

Recently many people are looking at cars and plan to buy one. I always say: “To own a house does not change the life too much – to own a car does”.

Happy Birthday to Goudaner.

Happy Birthday to Goudaner

March 15 is the day I brought my car Goudaner home one year ago. The blog entry of that day reminded me that I put 40.2L of gas (not oil, as pointed by readers) into my car. How excited I was! didn’t get used to the feeling that my own car is downstairs waiting for me that night. It was a strange feeling.

In the past 365 days, Goudaner changed my life a lot. This sweet partner also experienced a lot. It was scratched by drunk driver. Fortunately, it is the most serious accident we had. The car price dropped by 5000 RMB the second day I bought, and continued to drop to around 80K RMB after that – a 20% decrease. Meanwhile the gas price went up. The model FIAT Siena 1.5 HL is a nice one, and I enjoy the mannual shift very well, but Wendy obviously don’t like to too much. She changed her display name to “I Hate Nanpu Bridge” recently, because during rush hours, she was packed on the 3 kms of continous upslope. That is not easy for new drivers.

We have named the day Goudaner coming to our home as its birthday. Nina suggested me to give a name to the new car:

I don’t know whether there is enough of a car-owning culture yet in China to have developed the custom of pet names for cars. I think I’ve read that about 25% of Americans have named their cars and supposedly, cars that have names last longer and are more reliable, although presumably this is because the sort of people who name their cars usually take good care of them, rather than by magic.

It is a very nice advice. A name for the car gives me the feeling that it has life and feelings. It may feel the pain if we switch the shift unproperly or someone hurt it. It is no longer steel and rubber for me. It is just like a pet and part of my life :-)

Goudaner, one year ago. src

Happy birthday, Goudaner. You are one year old now and you brings a lot to Wendy and me.

Goudaner Scratched by Drunk Driver

Life is bitter, for my car. Around 7:00 PM, at the parking lot, a Hyundai Sonata backed to the parking lot. My car was stopped nearby and the Hyundai’s head scratched the rear of my car. Bang! I checked my car. It was not very badly hurt but my heart was hurt.

I went to the driver. I was surprised to see the driver seemed cannot understand what I said. Later, I found out that the driver, about 40 years old, was completely drunk. He even could not step out of the car. With his friends’ help, his friends have to support his hands so he could walk. The air suddenly was full of the smell of alcohol. I could not imagine how he managed to drive to the parking lot. The driver seems to be the big boss. There is a guy jump out and tell his boss that nothing happened. He will handle everything and sent his boss away. It is obvious that this guy don’t want others to know the driver was drunk. I guess he is the big boss’s executive assistant or some role like that.

The big boss was certainly not satisfied with what his assistant told him to do. He managed to come to my face and was very angry. “What is your name?” He pointed to my nose and asked. Haha. I guess he was more seriously drunk than I thought. His assistance finally managed to let his boss calm down and agree to hand over everything to his assistant.

After that, the driver and other people left. There is only me and the guy. The argument was boring and he finally only agree to pay me 300 RMB. Anyway. I don’t care about it, but I care so much that the boss dare to drive after so badly drunk.

I called 110 for the police. But it is a pity that every body disappeared before the slow police arrived. I told him, everybody had gone. He got it and went away too.

The “good citizen” inside me raise again and I called the police of Xujiahui and they gave me a number. I called and reported again. He recorded everything and suggest me to go to their office tomorrow morning and bring all my witness. Again, I was not happy with what I was told. I said, the driver is drunk. The car is there. They have to get back soon. It does not make sense to handle it tomorrow when the evidence of the drunk driver disappear. The police said they will investigate. One hour later, I called again, and he said, thanks for calling back, but we have nothing to do since the driver is not there. There are more drunk driver on the road of Shanghai than I thought, since the police is not as efficient as I thought.

Ironically, on the day of the first month of my new car (April 15, 2004), I scratched the car for the first time. The car went very well in the following five months without anything wrong, and today is exactly half year after I bought my car (March 15, 2004).

One Month for My Goudaner (Car)

The same day in the last month, I drove my first car home. I named it Goudaner. Today is its one month birthday. The odometer on the car goes to around 1600 KM already and I used about 3.5 cans of gasoline (140L). It is about 8L/100KM gasoline consumption. It is not bad in the traffic conditions in Shanghai.

In the last month, I was very happy with the car. The only thing is, I didn’t find much time to take care of it. I hate rain in Shanghai. After it rains, the car is covered with dirt and I have to wash it. Maybe it is due to the heavy construction in Shanghai.

This morning, for the first time, the right side of the car was scraped by the wall when I tried to pull the car into the parking lot. I was heart-broken about it. It is not a big matter and can be easily repaired. The dealer promised me to replace the front protection bar for me free of charge. What a coincidence. I have to be more careful to drive it in the future. :-(

Big Drop in Price of my Car

Bugs posted a piece of news under my entry Jian Shuo Got His Car. Obviously, it was not good news for me. The news said:

Starting from March 18, Palio, Siena, Palio Weekend’s price will decrease by 12%. Average price cut is 10,000 RMB….

Well. I just bought the car on March 15 and the model FIAT Siena 1.5 HL droped price by 5,100 RMB. It is so bad.

Anway, the bad mood didn’t last long after I see the car. It is still lovely and who can always predict everything? Many people suggested me to give the car a nick name. It is a good idea. I want to call it Goudaner 狗蛋儿 – something like small dog or even dog shit. Unlike the western tradition, people in counties will typically give a very cheap, ugly nick names to their child. It is said thus the child grow up better due the exteremely low expectation :-D. Goudaner is the most commently used names. I just want to give it a dirt cheap name and hope the car seldom break and last long.

FIAT Siena 1.5 HL Pictures

Yesterday, I drove my car home. I was too excited with the new car and didn’t upload pictures. This morning, I wake up half an hour earlier and rushed down to take pictures of the new car. Here you are.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Side look of the new car.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Back of the car.

© Jian Shuo Wang. The inner front view.

© Jian Shuo Wang. The back window.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Large back storage space.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Back window from inside.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Front cover and the FIAT Siena with FIAT logo.

© Jian Shuo Wang. FIAT logo at the front of the engine. It is not a famous logo in China. According to latest survey, only about 70,000 FIAT cars were sold in China so far. Among them, more than 20,000 are in Beijing.

© Jian Shuo Wang. CD and air condition bard.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Dashboard (the plastic cover is not removed yet)

© Jian Shuo Wang. End light.

© Jian Shuo Wang. The car from far way, parking at the parking lot of my residential area.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Car front face.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Inside the car.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Look at the paper on the top left corner of the car. A-S8001 is the temp license. It is valid for 30 days.

© Jian Shuo Wang. First picture with my new car at the night of March 15. This is the first picture with my own car.

I Got What I Paid For

I am very happy with the car so far. Any way, don’t compare it with expensive cars like Polo, Bora or Regal… I just got what I paid for.

Jian Shuo Got His Car

Breaking News: Jian Shuo Wang drove his first car home tonight.

It is one of my quickest decisions in my life. I rushed to the car dealer of Yong Da tonight and drove my FIAT Siena home. It is brand new, 99900 RMB in price. The model is Siena 1.5 HL. I will post pictures of the car tomorrow.

I put 130 RMB for the first can of oil today. The 93# oil is 3.27 RMB/L and I got 40.2L. Just to keep a record to see how much oil it consumes.

So far, so good.

Just Few Steps Away from My New Car

I am picking up the plan of buying a car in Shanghai again. I thought I have dropped the plan already when I started to seek for apartments in Puxi again. It is disappointing. I have to re-consider my plan. I visited some car stores. It seems my first car is only 100 meters away.

I started with Buick Sail. I only want to have the cheapest car as my first one to start with. Obviously, the Buick Sail at 78,000 RMB (9,390 USD) is the cheapest on the Shanghai market. I mean the cars with well known brand. I don’t consider cars like QQ.

Later, I found FIAT Palio and Siena is almost at the same price range as SAIL but looks much better. More importantly, it is bigger.

I checked the Internet (, regarding Siena. It sounds not bad. I want to have a test drive this week and maybe buy it within this week.

The reason I have to be rush to get a car is, I MAY re-consider to move to Pudong. Also, I can get a car plate in nearby areas if I am hurry. The door to get a non-Shanghai plate is closing soon. Last month, a car plate in Shanghai has risen to 40,000 RMB. That is more than 50% of the car price already. In contrast, a plate in Zhejiang is only 3500 RMB.

There are some limitations of foreign plate car – they cannot use the elevated high way in rush hours in working days. I don’t really care this limitation. This is a simple calculation.

Days of working day per year: 260 (days)

Times to use elevated high way per day: 2 (/day)

Years the high-price plate policy exists: 4 (years)

Price of the plate: 40,000 (RMB)

Cost of using elevated highway per times= 40,000 / (260 * 2 * 4) = 20 (RMB)

It means I have to pay 40 RMB per day for using the high way, which means it is among most expensive roads in the whole world.

Meanwhile, the road under the high way is typically less crowded. Sometimes it is faster to use the normal road than the elevated high ways. The elevated high way sometimes becomes the elevated parking lot. Why bother to pay the high price?

Control It or Encourage It

It is reported that the high price of a car plate has greatly changed the way people in Shanghai buying a car. KIA shipped a new model that is less than 10K RMB last year. However, people in Shanghai are less interested in it since the plate price is 3K+ already. Why not add a little percentage to buy better cars? KIA sold 5000+ cars in Beijing last year while sold only 1000- in Shanghai. That is the difference.

My personal view is, the high price plate policy will be abandoned in one year. The high price does not help on the transportation system too much while it hurt the automobile industry greatly. Shanghai is not Singapore. Shanghai has mess areas outside the outer ring. Without cheap cars, that areas can hard catch up.


I will go ahead to get a Siena if no strong reasons found in one week.


Image courtesy of Sina Auto. The dashboard of Siena