Report: As inflation erodes wallets, some Malaysians skimp on car maintenance, leading to road accidents

A mechanic repairs a car at his workshop in Kuala Lumpur on April 14, 2020. — Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

By Ashley Young

Thursday July 21, 2022 10:02 MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 – A growing number of Malaysian car owners have been skipping their vehicles for scheduled maintenance in a bid to save money, only to suffer problems down the road, the sun reported today.

The newspaper reported that some auto shops have seen an increase in the number of car owners who skimp on some maintenance services allegedly due to financial restrictions, but end up paying more because their vehicles break down on the road and have to be towed for repairs.

“The three types of maintenance we provide are normal, semi-minor and major. The cost estimate for normal maintenance is around RM250, which includes engine oil, oil filter and gas filling.

“For the semi-minor category, the fee is between RM300 and RM400, and includes brake oil and air filter changes. Major maintenance fees are between RM500 and RM600, and include extra brake oil, coolant, gearbox oil and oil filter changes,” Perodua Service Advisor Mohd Hafizonizam was quoted as saying.

Hafizonizam’s colleague, a 26-year-old Perodua service advisor named Faris Danish, told the newspaper that minor service such as engine oil change costs RM60, brake oil change and filter Fuel costs between RM80 and RM100, while major services like parts replacement cost between RM145 and RM160.

About half of Perodua car owners missed their maintenance schedule, which led to more vehicle breakdowns, the sun reported, adding that the trend was regardless of customers’ income level.

Perodua mechanics reportedly said that only about 50% of customers follow auto service recommendations.

According the sunan average of 280 cars were booked for Perodua’s monthly service in June, while 307 cars were serviced at the Petaling Jaya outlet in Selangor.

Pertubuhan Kebajikan Callman Semalaysia Vice President Ewan Radzuan told the newspaper that demand for towing operation services occurs when a car breaks down or a collision has occurred.

Road Safety Research Center at Universiti Putra Malaysia, Prof. Law Teik Hua says the sun that it pays to be diligent in following the recommended maintenance schedule to lengthen the overall life of the vehicle, which will also translate into long-term financial savings.

“It’s okay to reduce a vehicle’s maintenance needs, but people should never ignore components that affect safety such as brakes and tires,” he said.

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