Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wear & Tear : The Real Hidden Cost?

You do know about it. OR

You do not want to know about it. OR

You know it but purposely delay the fix. OR

You know it but prefer to let it break for self satisfaction.

"If it aint broken, dont fix". A common phrase you use to hear and sometimes hold to yourself when it comes to your own car(s).

The last few months, i heard a story about a chap complaining about his stock family car wear and tear issues. I also heard story about another friend complaining after installing performance parts but did not perform to what he expected. I also heard about another story where this car owner did not service the car for a year, but just topping up the engine oil.

As an owner of a car which is more than 10 years old, i spent a lot of money on wear and tear parts. On top of the regular service datelines, there are definitely some little things which needs to be fixed. Being a daily driven car, the responsibility does not allow you to skip this process. Sometimes i wished i had a spare car or use the public transport to commute to work. To those that has a spare car, company car's, mommy's car or even a bike, u can reduce the wear and tear issues if you drive less.

Regardless what car you have and the age of the car, regular service is mandatory. It does not take so much of your time, this is the time you will know what to prepare if something is about to break when your mechanic checks your car.

Wear and tear issues are higher in Malaysia. Why is that? :
  1. You travel long distance to go back to your hometown or outstation for work. Anything more than 100km one way is far. Due to the smooth highways, u forgot about the number of hours your engine runs under the sun. (Increase mileage on engine)
  2. You feel so comfortable on the uneven and bumpy city roads that you forgotten that your shock absobers and springs are screaming in agony. (Dying bushes, shocks leaks, worn tyres)
  3. The significant of traffic jams in the town areas due to the number of cars puts pressure to your left leg and right leg. (Worn out clutch system, dying brake pads)
  4. Expansion and contraction from heat and rain thanks to green house climate issues. (Harden seals and gaskets, dying gearboxes, cracked extractors)
  5. Driving attitude. (If you dont step on it, ure not driving?)

To do the math, typically if you have a car which is still under bank repayments, is a must routine transaction every month for the next many years (unless its fully paid). On top of that, living in a big city with big highways, there is no way you can escape driving long distances and pushing your engine's health that results to wear and tear issues. Modification budget is another story.

Wear and tear hinders your car's performance. Before bolting new parts or even aftermarket products, think about the entire system and see if anything else is dying or breaking soon. If you service your car regularly and maintain to use genuine quality parts, i believe it will survive in the next 10 more years.

Modding your engine increases wear and tear?. When engine gets stronger and louder, you have more vibration, more heat and definitely more work for your engine. When you force things to go more than its standard operation level, the tolerance level starts to get thinner. The thinner it gets, the higher your engine wears out. Simple theory, the more you drive, the faster your tyres wear off. The more you brake, the more rubber it needs to bite the tarmac.

Dont get upset for nothing, take note of the things you have not changed or serviced lately. It can be anything from car battery to air-condition system or even your old audio system. Last but not least, your driving style is also a factor to the wear and tear issues.

It has never been a hidden cost to your personal budget. It is always hidden in your mind.