Sunday, 30 October 2011

Thinking Prevention

Even a kapcai-grade car like the one I have been driving the last six years needs preventive maintenance.

And I have not really slacked in that department. Every 5,000 km I would take her in to be lovingly lubricated by the Hyundai service agent nearby.

Sometimes there would be parts that needed to be changed. Sometimes according to schedule like the filters and watchamacallems; sometimes when they just decide to expire on you, for instance the horn.

Yup, my car's horn with it's impertinent-sounding honk. In fact it wasn't the horn per se that was the problem but as the supervisor found out after some testing, it was the "honleelay". And I went "aaah... honleelay...", nodding my head.  Just a small electrical thingamajig, it turned out to be.

Then it dawned on me...

With a snap of my fingers I excited told my daughter who was with me at the time, "Actually it's the HORN RELAY!!".

And she went "aaah... the horn relay...", nodding her head as if to say yes... that figures.

The other thing that can unexpectedly die on you is the battery.

Well maybe that's not quite right. In actual fact you CAN EXPECT it to conk out anytime soon through observing a couple of signs.

For me I would notice a slight but perceptible delay in firing up when I start the engine. That serves as a warning for me to check the terminal connections (sometimes one or both can get loose) and/or to reserve some cash for a new battery if the present one is about 18 months old. I would then usually wait for it to die a natural death wherever it has been destined to do so, and then by hook or by crook get it's replacement installed.

The other sign is when the remote starts to misbehave even though it's own battery is alive and kicking. It would refuse to unlock the door. But when you try to unlock the door manually, it'll make such a racket sounding the alarm. And then it won't shut up by you pressing the remote switch. You'll have to locate the silencer button somewhere in the dashboard or in the bonnet, depending on the car, and fiddle with that with the key in the ignition. Sometimes the battery gets totally drained out at that point, so by hook or by crook you go get a new battery installed if it is about 18 months already. Otherwise you attach jumper cables to someone else's car and start your car that way.

Yes indeed, each car has it's own individual quirks. And it's mistress learns the signs of distress.

The recent ones were the tyres. The front ones seem to lose air pressure quite often and the steering wheel had started to shake when the car's going at about 100kph. The mechanic says they, the front tyres, have to go and the damage will be RM138 per tyre, but "no stock today". 

So off we went, hubby and I, to his favourite place where the boss always pays for his mamak teh tarik that he has next door.

"Ah Moy, all four of your tyres are spoilt - worn unevenly and bits of tear here and there - very dangerous" he said.

"Oii, where got Ah Moy,  Ah Soh lah... " I said, kneeling down and looking at the treads.

"Change to 165, better".

Hubby okayed it. They're narrower than the 175 tyres I've been using so logically there'll be less surface area subjected to wear and tear due to the car's apparently dodgy camber. It's a kapcai grade, can be expected.

As we were having teh tarik, he called hubby over and said "A lot of potholes langgar your Ah Moy's car. Three rims are bengkok. Change to alloy, better".

Hubby okayed again. Yeah, he really liked this boss mechanic.

He fixed on two models and asked me to select one. I chose something suitable for a warga emas.

"Alignment and balancing on the house, but must also change to matching wheel nuts, baru ngam.  I give you cheap".

Hubby okayed again. Me too okay.

While they were doing the alignment, he came and suggested changing the camber screws from the fixed version that came with the car to adjustable ones. "Better" he said "One pair only seventy ringgit".

And that was the final okay.

Rims, nuts, screws, tyres came to a whopping RM1,200 damages to wallet. "How to raya like this?", I jokingly complained.

"Ah Moy, NOW you can raya without worry".

He's probably right. It's a preventative cost, to avoid mishaps insha Allah, and hence for peace of mind.

So if you happen to spot a warga emas driving a kapcai-grade car that has new gold-coloured rims with new tyres, then smile broadly and give a frantic wave, because that warga emas might just be me...

And for all Muslims, here's wishing you a blessed Eidul Adha next week.


Wan Sharif said...

Like that preventive measure thingy.;)
What has got into RA ..everything ok aje...
Sampai habis beribu ringgit..
Kes sayang bini lah kot?;)

mamasita said...

hehehe..honleelay?? hehehe

Now you can sing the Stylistics song..You make me feel brand new..:DD

Zendra-Maria said...

Ayoh Wang, ntah sayang bini ke sayang kereta... :))

Zendra-Maria said...

hey mamasita, I used to like that song... nanti I cari kat mp3raid... hehehe

Oldstock said...

Sampai Kak Zen kata keta dia gred kapcai... sedih bebudak yang pakai kapcai tau.... ;-)

Oldstock said...

Oops typo... kita nak kata `sampai hati'

Zendra-Maria said...

Oldstock, harap2 bebudak yang pakai kapcai janganlah berkecil hati kerana Kak Zen ni pun berjiwa kapcai, tapi tidaklah merempit. Berpandu dengan penuh hormat kepada kereta2 besar berkuasa kuda, berbanding kereta kak Zen nih yang hanya berkuasa kuching :))

Al-Manar said...

If I see one approacing Almanar I will roll an empty drum to stop it! It will not be just a broad smile.

Zendra-Maria said...

My, my Pakcik... no need to roll an empty drum... if you see us approaching Al-Manar, it is definitely to drop by and pay our respects to an outstanding couple.

Red Alfa said...

Testing android

hobbit1964 said...

Zen, it's nice to find that your'e writing again. I believe you had a hiatus a while back. I think a number of other bloggers I once followed have also stopped in their tracks.
I resonate with this piece as I too have had bullet holes shot in my wallet and at times the slugs have contaced my rear end.
But the car is like a spouse, and it reciprocates quite well to TLC.
Have fun with the kapcai car, as long as you are not a minah rempit grade driver :P

Zendra-Maria said...

Hello there Capt Jeff, fancy seeing you here :) Yes, I admit I have not been consistent with the blogging this past year, and I hope to be more productive come the new one. I think the brain juices flow better when blogging rather than that thing called facebooking... but lately a lot more wringing required to induce even a trickle. As for the car, at her age it refuses to be "rempit"ed, but likes to be coaxed lovinglyly into action, like an ageing Nuri heli... hehehe

hobbit1964 said...

Au Contraire, Miss Zen, the hiatus can be taken as a sabbatical and indeed if it isn't just me, there is a new style I perceive, where your posts are inflective and depart from prose to infringe on poetry.
Facebooking can never be a surrogate to propper blogging, which is reflected in the quality of reading you get from the two. It is obvious that facebook is to blogging what mp3 is to proper audio cd playback on Meridian Boothroyd Stuarts. One is for timely updates while the other pleads for a deeper search and finesse of production, depending of the manner of blog you intend to produce.
And thanks again, for the comparison to my first love, the Nuri. Yes, I am flying a sophisticated French lady now, the Eucrocopter 225, buy while I may admire her refinements, I remain smitten by the rolling, rocking soul of the Nuri.
Stay wth your labours of love. It is showing its sheen.

Zendra-Maria said...

Dear Capt. Jeff, it embarasses me greatly when anyone analyses my so-called "writings" which do not amount to anything but simple diary entries and are are hardly labours of love but more so laborious updates. Are you really commenting about mine and not someone elses? :)

hobbit1964 said...

Ma'am, I am not dyslexic. It is your blog I am referring to. If I were dyslexic and mixing up what I read, my means of earning my paycheck is under threat!!

Call it what you may, but proper penmanship is to be appreciated, I feel, especially after the press has revealed how my own former ministry has the worst standard of English on its website.

Makes you wonder who has the splinter poking his eye...

Trust me, I do blog-hop, and honestly, you too must concede that some are rather difficult to read on all fronts. Stop being embarassed. Keep the engine running!!

In fact, having read Red's remarks on Steadyaku and tracing his blog, I wonder why he doesn't nurture his blog. It had a good beginning.