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 ...