Tuesday, November 20, 2007

PLUS should have really done a better job

You know with all the road works going on in the PLUS North-South highway, traffic was pretty heavy. Yen and I were headed towards Ipoh on Saturday and to Penang the following day to attend her uni-mate's wedding dinner. We left KL around 1015hrs, traffic was very heavy north-bound. It was worst than the Chinese New Year crawl earlier this year. After 2 hours of driving, I only managed to make it to Sabak Bernam, which was when the car broke down.

I vividly recalled doing 80km/h and I was on the fast lane. Next thing I knew, I heard a clunk and I lost all drive. Bear in mind, this was a 3 lane highway that has been closed down to two due to the stupid road works that PLUS has suddenly decided to undertake. I managed to slowly coast the car to the far left of the lane and pulled to a complete stop.

The next thing I knew, cars were honking at me, even with my hazard lights on. PLUS did not facilitate for a car breakdown and there was literally no emergency lane. I was very much affraid to get down from my car, but I did not have a choice. I tried to crank the car but there was no drive at all. Everything was disabled. This is actually the first time I have experienced a snapped timing belt. I didn't know what it was. Off the top of my head, I was expecting a damaged fuel pump, a dead throttle body or a dead ECU. I walked towards the SOS phone on the PLUS highway and there was no answer from the phone. I kept on trying and there was no response.

Luckily, a tow truck passed by and asked whehter I wanted to be towed to the toll booth. I exited Sabak Bernam toll and I agreed with the tow truck operator to tow me to the nearest workshop. Just as I arrived there, the salesman who sold me the car called me and asked me to prepare for the car to be towed back to KL. They arranged for a tow truck from KL to drive all the way up to Tanjung Malim to tow my car back. Fortunately, all are under warranty.

That was really the longest day of my life. It took 2 hours before the tow truck arrived and we eventually reached KL at 1840hrs. Good thing was, the car dealer arranged a car for me to drive.

Thinking back at this whole incident, PLUS should have really done a better job. The highway operators did not respond to the SOS phone when I tried to use it at 1205hrs, there was no answer at all despite me trying the phone for a long time. Closing down the emergency lanes were really not equipped to handle a broken down car. I was that close to being hit by passing traffic.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

grand theft auto

You know, I came across a very interesting article sent in by a reader to the Star. In it the writer gave an account of his brand new Honda Accord being stolen. Talk about GTA (grand theft auto) in real life.

He was driving home from the Motorola bridge heading towards Shah Alam via Federal highway. At the set of lights, he made a turn and a car hit him from behind. He also went on to say that he wasa warned by his friends and colleagues about the choice of car he bought as it was an easy target for GTA wannabes. You see, all new cars, especially Hondas come with immobilizers. So our dumb car thief ain't that dumb. He would not risk getting caught red handed with the car dying on his after a kilometre or two.

Did you happen to hear about the thief who was so pissed at the immobilizer of a luxury car? He ended up stealing the car twice and both time he had to leave it by the side of the road because the damned car shut itself off. He had to steal it twice just to be sure. Talk about having too much times on his hands, or not the smartest thief in the world. Yes, immobilizers are a wonderful thing, however it can lead to furhter complications, like a bruised face for example.

So what's left for our dear car thief to do? The only way was to wait for your victim to get into his car, get him or her to drive along a deserted road and ever so gently, give the target car a nudge. That will be enough to get the driver to notice you and pull along side to get your details on the accident.

Of course, when you pull aside, you'd have your mates back in tow and when the victim notices that you are alone in the car, he or she would be confident enough to get out of the car to exchange details. This is when your mates come in, they either enter the car, if the keys are still in the ignition or grab the victim and beat him or her senseless and snatch the keys off their hands.

This was exactly what happened to the writer. He saw a lady in a tudung, getting out from the car behind. He instinctive thought it was a harmless lady and left the keys in the ignition. He got down to inspect his bumper and next thing he knew was that the car that hit him, carried Naza plates. He knew he was screwed from that moment. Just as he turned to look at his car, another Waja had stopped in front of his car, blocking it and two youths were already in his car, one on the driver's seat and the other to the left. The writer tried to pry the youth out of the car, but out of no where a punch came flying through the air, hitting him and dazing him a little.

Next thing he knew, there were at least 4 or 5 people around him. This was real life car mugging. You know, the government should really legalize guns here. In this age that we live in, you get mugged, robbed or shot, while minding your own business. Who'd risk going out at night? In the daytime, it's ain't that safe either.

So, a word of advice, if you do get involved in a minor accident, please don't bother getting down from your car. You'll either get mugged, robbed, a victim of GTA or if you are a girl abducted and raped. Just take down the details of the other car and drive straight to the police station. It's not worth losing your life over a small damage.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

more tail happy than I expected

It's been a week since I've owned the SXE10 and I'm beginning to love it more and more. It's a little more tail happy than I expected but it's all good. The ride is very stiff due to the TRD suspension that came with it. I took it to Ah Keong this morning and he had one of his workers look at it. The TRD suspension has a soft and hard setting for the damper. However, no high low. The car is riding a little too low for my liking.

I installed my previous alarm into the SXE10. When I had the Civic, I didn't use it as the car came with a Cobra alarm. The Altezza didn't come with any alarms, though it did have the standard alarm that is hooked up to the car horn. It took a few hours to get it installed.

Friday, November 02, 2007


After almost 2 years of driving the Civic, it was time to say goodbye to it and move on to another car. I've been searching for this one for a long time, the SXE10. One of Toyota's later FR cars.

It's a 210bhp 3S-GE engine. When I tested the car last week, it felt good. The engine was smooth, no shuddering and the car has been well kept. This car comes with TRD adjustables and it's a little more bumpy than the Civic's comfort suspension. Though hard cornering brings the tail out, it's quite easy to counter steer. Haven't had much time to actually play with the car. I'm still enjoying the car too much.