10 October 2006

A dent in my pocket!

Last Thursday (5 October), I started my day by sending my children to school. When I turn the car key, it could not start.. the battery went flat. I have sensed that something was wrong with my car. The engine did not kick off as smooth as usual. Since the car is only 1 year old and I just used it for 24,000 km, I could not have guess that the battery would knock off that fast.

I took my wife's car to send off the children to school. Came back to home to remove the battery ad took it along to the nearest tyre shop. Bought a new battery which cost me RM175-00. The mistake that I made was that I did not check my car warranty book. Actually, the batter comes with a 2 year warranty (when I thought the warranty was only for 1 year). Called my sale person to check whether I could claim for the cost of the replacement batter. She said I could not claim since I already have bought another batter. She said that I should have called her. What the heck, calling her in the morning at 6.45 am, I wold not have thought of that further more normally car battery come with 1 year warranty.

I also noticed that my front tyres have very thin threads as compared with the rear tyres. So I thought I will send the car to a tyre shop to rotate the tyres from front to back. On Friday (6 October), off I go to a Goodyear tyre dealer (since the original tyres are also Goodyear) and request them to rotate the tyre.

The four tyres were taken off and staff also inspected the brake pads. They notice that the rear brake pad on one wheel has worn off and requested me to change the brake pads. I agreed to the change of the brake pad but both brake pads of the rear wheel have to be changed. So brake pads cost me RM190-00. The staff also recommended me to change the tyres with thin threads since they noticed that the thread were unevenly worn off. At first I did not want to change the tyres because the tyres were still new (1 year old). Looking at the tyres again made me concern about safety, so I asked the price of the new tyre ..RM330-00 each. OK lah, change lah because of safety sake.. there goes RM660-00.

After the tyres were changed and balanced, the car have to undergo a tyre alignment test. Guess what, they told me that all the camber of all four (4) wheels were out. If I do not adjust the camber, then the tyres will wear out unevenly. The cost to recalibrate the camber for each wheel is RM90-00. There go another RM360-00.

By the time I get back my car, the whole bill cost be RM1,200-00. OK, paid the bill and drive the car back home. while driving, I noticed that the ABS warning light was switched on. Drove the car back to the shop and asked them why the ABS warning light was on. They mentioned that it is normal because the wheels were jacked up during the period of servicing and would set the ABS warning light on. The light will go off after some time of driving. The staff took the car for a spin but they could not get the ABS warning light off. Since Friday was Mid-Autumn festival and the staff was closing the shop to get home early to have dinner with their family, I agreed to come back the next day (Saturday) to allow them to check the wheels again.

On Saturday morning, I was again at the shop to get the ABS warning light off. The staff cleaned the pads and the sensor with air spray, checked the ABS connectors and wiring but still they could not find the fault. Since the ABS is part of the car's electronic system, they even jack in a electronic diagnostic tool to check the diagnose the problem. But their diagnostic tool could even communicate the car's electronic system. In the end, they gave up and requested me to come again on Tuesday (today 10 October) in the morning so that they can send the car to another place where they have proper diagnostic tool. OK lah, what to do, since the brakes are working but the ABS is not I still can drive the car. It is very annoying seeing the ABS warning light on at the dashboard.

Came back to office on Monday and asked for some time off in the morning so that I can send my car to the shop as early as possible and hoping to rectify the problem within 1 or 2 hours time. I was informed that any time off need to seek permission from the big boss. Huh, what a difficult task. Never mind lah, I would apply for emergency leave since I still have quite a number of days leave left.

So today (10 October) after sending my children to school, I was preparing myself to send the car to the shop again. However, I thought it would be a better choice to send the car to the Honda workshop where the mechanics would know the car better and would also have the proper equipment to diagnose the problem of the ABS. Furthermore, my car is also due for its 25,000 km service with about 700 km to go. So off I went to Old Klang Road, the Honda workshop for Roda BB.

Why did I go there instead of the normal Honda workshop at Cheras, Wegro? Because I have called my sale person and asked her to check with the staff of the workshop how long will it take to get the ABS problem solved. She came back and told me that it will take a while and further more they do not have the spare parts for ABS should there be a need to replace the part. For Roda BB, that's was the place where I sent my previous Honda City to for servicing. The service there was good and they really check the car thoroughly and provide good advise on the car of the car. Therefore, it would be a better choice to send the car all the way to Old Klang Road.

Off I go to Roda BB, I told the staff there my problem and also requested for the regular servicing of the car. When the mechanic finish the routine servicing of the car (lubricant change), the car was hooked up to a diagnostic tool which was then connected to a notebook. They ran a diagnostic check using the software at the notebook and they result was a faulty speed sensor on the right front wheel. The cost to replace the sensor.... RM500-00. OK, OK, I requested them to change the sensor. They told me that the will have to get the sensor part in which will arrive in the afternoon. I told them it's fine since they can get the part and fix the problem within the day. If I were to send my car to Wegro, the staff will definitely request me to leave the car at the workshop and to collect the car the next day.

Since the time taken to repair the car will be quite long I took a bus to Mid-Valley where I bought myself a cinema ticket to watch "Miami Vice". When the show ended I took my lunch where I received a call from the workshop at about 2.45 pm to advise me that the car is ready for my collection. Now that's what I call good service because they have earlier mention that the car could be ready by 5.00 pm.

Guess how much was the total bill... RM730-00, spare parts, lubricants, transmission fluid and cost of labour.

With all the cost added in, I have spent RM2,100-00 for the past few days on my car. Now that's a dent to my pocket. Running short of funds now and with the long Deepavali and Hari Raya holidays coming, I will be broke for the month (unless if they are paying the salary early this month!!)

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