Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kereta Oh Kereta...!

Honest to goodness, I've had it up to here with this car. It's causing unnecessary stress and tension, not to mention a drain on the pocket. It has to go, and not a moment too soon.

Yesterday evening (Friday) around Maghrib, in the middle of a horrendous gridlock in Jalan Ampang, it conveniently died on Awwa, who was behind the wheels.

A concerned traffic cop went beyond his call of duty to keep an eye on a nervous Awwa as she waited for almost two hours, amidst madding traffic, for us to arrive.

Pak Abu managed to get it started after knocking around the engine for a while. After thanking the cop, who stayed on to help despite going off-duty hours earlier, we took off for home, relieved.

It was not to be. Five minutes into Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE), the engine conked out again. Smack in the middle of the expressway too, with speeding cars whizzing past on both sides.

Thankfully, a Good Samaritan in a beautifully modified Mini Minor cruised to a stop and helped push the Merc to the side of the road.

The Malay gentleman was kind enough to place a call to his own mechanic. Unfortunately, the chap was out of town.

The Good Samaritan seemed to know about cars, and tinkered around a bit, but even he couldn't bring the blighter back to life.

Poor Pak Abu was understandably upset for he had envisioned a cozy evening watching tennis, not stranded on an expressway with three exasperated women.

Daughter Ann suggested a call be placed to the highway patrol people so the car could be towed to the nearest toll plaza, for safety reasons, before deciding on the next course of action.

The highway patrol team arrived, but couldn't do much. Their job was only to ensure there was no obstruction on the emergency lane, and we were pretty much the culprits at the time. 

Soon, the team had to leave, to attend to the next distressed call. Another car had stalled, just 500 metres ahead. In fact, we could see it from where we were.

Whilst father and daughter commiserated over the misfortune, Mom took refuge in the cool comfort of Ann's air-conditioned Viva. [It was pretty warm ouside and I could feel a headache coming]. 

Ann contacted the insurers;  they promised to despatch a tow truck within the hour. It eventually arrived almost midnight and promptly got down to work, with Pak Abu playing 'mandore'.

Finally, homeward-bound way past midnight, and RM120 poorer too as we had to fork out the towing fee since the car is on third party insurance.

This morning (Saturday), the torque was towed to a workshop down the road from our residence and by noon it was back home. "Just a loose wire, all fixed now," said Pak Abu with confidence.

With everything back to normal (so we thought), we left for Putrajaya after Zohor to attend the wedding of a friend's daughter, glad the stressful episode was behind us.

Hardly five minutes out of the house, as we turned left into Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) at the traffic intersection near One Utama, the steel carcass went on the blink yet again.

To cut a long story short, a son was summoned to chauffeur Mum to Putrajaya whilst Pop (in silken blue long-sleeved batik 'kenduri attire') attended to the car.

It's now back at the workshop, till Monday, and I'm pretty upset because I need wheels to run errands over the weekend. 

What's going to happen to the marque next? Well, your guess is as good as mine although I can say with certainty that I'm through with second-hand cars. 

What I do know is that tomorrow (Sunday) there'll be a visit to Proton and Perodua's showrooms in Taman Tun to check out the range ...


zaitgha said...

Kak Puteri,

I pun tak berani beli second hand car, lagi2 since my dad dah tak me sapa2 yg nak guna 2nd hand car nih either sendry pandai abt cars or ada good reliable mechanic....if not kena cari yg baru lah....Mazda and Ford hve nice reasonably prices models....but i suka kalau u get the Polo he he....

mamasita said...

Yes a new one..dump away the unnecessary stress..buat sakit jantung buatper..bahaya pun yea..looking forward to ride in your new Proton for a lunch or tehtarik outing!!:))

Pak Idrus said...

My advice is to get a new car. Car are now not made to last. I actually never buy a car so far. I always buy car on Hire Purchase and see to it that I could afford to pay the monthly payment by taking the 9 years loan. All the time I never reach the Purchase part of the loan, thus all my car are on the 'Hire' part. That mean I never own a car. Every five or six years I would change car and continue to pay the hire purchase which is always the same like before. In doing this I always get to use a new car on 'Hire'.

Sorry to hear of you problem. Take care.

MA said...

Kak , do you have AAM? It's only RM 60 per year and you get free towing. Being a woman driver with zero knowledge on cars except isi minyak every week and check minyak hitam every now and then - they are my lifesavers...during the few times my car buat hal tengah2 jalan....

Aida Marie Mohamad said...

Sorry about your car. Yes, you need to get a new one. Go Perodua not Proton if you want less stress.

koolmokcikZ said...

being a free radical single and available [hehehe, buat iklan skit] i been doing just what Pak Idrus did - getting myself a brand new car after few years depending on how much I can get for the present one as down payment. Not a sound financial planning but that's the price i have to pay to avoid the stress.
And i am one sentimental patriotic mokcik ... it has to be the national car despite apa orang kata punG.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Zai - it's very true what you say. we both know nuts about cars. i tau isi minyak and drive aja. isi angin pun tak reti!

mamasita - insyaallah if i ever buy a brand new one, we can go ngeteh or ngopi in no time at all..

pak idrus - you make a lot of sense, pak, and i agree wholeheartedly.

ma - that's the one thing that had escaped us somehow, the AAM membership. Ann did say the same thing.

Aida & KoolM - I'm a fan of Myvi, actually (used to own one) but we kind of like the new Saga too. Let's see how today's visit to both the Perodua & Proton showrooms work out.

Wan Sharif said...

Most of my cars were second hand. Only 2 are bought new one in 1980 and the other in 1990.. last 5 cars are second hand and I made sure I either bought a good second/recondition car or spend few thousands making it the car roadworthy and tiptop. I remembered when I was living from hand to mouth I bought a Volvo 122.. 1967 for RM 300.. spend about 5 thousands within 18 months on and off.. and use it for 3 years.. repainted it before selling it for RM6000 :))).
I am also one of those who only know how to fill in petrol, change tires and drive .. but I regularly service the cars ;)).

Kama At-Tarawis said...

AyohWang - perhaps our mistake is that we hv not spent enough to make this car truly roadworthy.. when we first got it last year, we already spent 5k .. tapi nampaknya tak mencukupi. now i'm thinking, 5k can be used ad downpayment for a brand new car..

btw, it was nice meeting you at the kenduri yesterday. insyaallah next posting is about the memorable reunion with my primary school classmate at the kenduri.

Asri said...

a 'veteran' merc needs tender loving care.

get a recommendation from merc owners for the best mecahnic specialising in the model.

Shouldn't be too hard in KL

A Merc lasts forever if it is maintained well. A part replaced for RM500 will last 10 times as long as other cars' part bought for RM250.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

asri - that's precisely what the car lack, that much i acknowledge. pak abu is not the kind who pays much attention to wheels; he should not be driving a car that needs TLC. but what can i for me, the less complicated my life the better..

Typhoon Sue said...

pak idrus' way of doing things sounds great to me as well, except that, after I've paid off my car loan, I felt an immeasurable sense of pride that the car is wholly and totally MINE!! As much as I do want a new car (a Prius perhaps), I do not wish to have to pay the montly installment again. So, I'll stick with my 7 yr old hyundai for now. Maybe I'll change to a new one when this one turns 10.

As for the make, i swore off proton after my first car, a satria, conked out on me after 3 mths (brand new tau!). Manufacturing defect sampai kena buat top overhaul. Cabok sungguh! I had many other incidences after that, including clutch bersepai sampai spring2 semua tercabut.. and that was only in the 3rd year!

So, perhaps u should stay away from proton too. I heard perodua is not bad though. So, check it out-lah. My suggestion is, take a look at hyundai range as well, bcoz for a non-local make, this is the cheapest and it is value for money. the sedan range, ie:accent, elantra, sonata, is below 100K and I've had my accent for 7 yrs, and my problem so far had only been alarm rosak, auto-lock rosak, or reverse sensor rosak. All minor probs which usually affect superior cars as well. Engine, tip-top till now, alhamdulillah..

Typhoon Sue said...

oops, sori panjang pulak komen. this is what happens when u don't blog anymore. u tend to balas dendam whenever u comment on other ppl's blog...haha

Kama At-Tarawis said...

waaah sue, havent heard from you for eons! thanks for dropping by.. lovely to hv you back in the loop :D

i read with interest pak idrus' comment.. sounds interesting. hv to bincang with pak abu.. am glad you hv a relatively easy time with yr hyundai.. i hv heard of its reliability..

Adrenaline Junkie said...

May - if you want a good Merc workshop, I would recommend Autoform (they specialise in Mercs); but they are in Taman Shamelin which is too far from where you live. I used to send my old Merc (1982 model) to them. About AAM, I have been a member since I became single 22 years ago and they are very dependable - I call them to change tyre, bring a new battery to me at home, etc. Actually, I am a little better than most women drivers (heh..heh...advertising jugak) becoz I have learnt to change tyres but why dirty your hands changing tyres if AAM can do it for free? And...changing tyre for an SUV is hard work. In the recent accident, AAM sent a tow truck within 1/2 hour....worth joining.

Enoch said...

It's all wrong what you're writing.
metal building

Kama At-Tarawis said...

what the fish are you blabbering about enoch..