Thursday, January 14, 2016

First Car Break Down of the Year

Today was an unexpected day off at home. I had full intention of using the spare car so that my car could go into the workshop to fix the air conditioner problem. However, when I wanted to head out, the spare car couldn't start - the steering lock could not budge. So I took my car instead and it was not meant to be.

orange bug circle shine
Have not seen this buddy in a long long time... I miss catching ladybirds in empty assam bottles

Not even halfway through my journey, something burst under my car bonnet and brownish water splashed onto my windscreen. I guided my car from the fast lane all the way across to the emergency lane through the morning rush hour traffic. Admittedly I had not been watching the temperature gauge. I should have done so the past 2 days when the air cond problem surface. My oversight.

As my car was insured, I called the Etiqa emergency help line and their response was fast. My call was answered by the third ring and the kind lady who answered was polite and helpful. She even called up later to follow up if everything was fine.

Etiqa matched my case with a tow truck company and sent an SMS with my case number, the driver's name, truck registration number and estimated time of arrival. Shortly later, Mr Lee (the tow truck driver) called to confirm my car details and location. He spoke good English and was patient with me while I was trying to describe my location. It did help a little that the KESAS Ronda guy who stopped to check on me told me which KM I was located at.

Mr Lee called again when he was about 5 minutes away to confirm which side of the road I was on. All in all, it was under an hour for the tow truck to arrive in the morning traffic. For the first time, I watched my car as it was being towed by a supertruck (as Mr Lee educated me later). It was interesting how efficient the supertruck was designed - from the mechanism to incline the back of the truck so that a pulley could be operated to drag my car up onto the truck, to the belts that was used to secure my car tyres to the truck.

I learned from Mr Lee that the other tow truck which we always see on roads are for cars with front wheels which could not move or were unable to release the brakes. However, in countries like Hong Kong, there were only such tow trucks because supertrucks were too big to go into their lanes. Also supertrucks were more expensive.

In our conversation, I found out that I could also call Etiqa for punctured tyres and jumpstarts. I did not know this. The company which Mr Lee worked for only did jobs from insurers and all their vehicles had inbuilt GPS for tracking their location. So I guess calling the insurers to arrange for emergency assistance was more dependable than accepting help from passing by tow trucks.

It was a short ride back home where dad took over the arrangements. In the end, my repair bill exceeded RM1,000. My car's radiator pipes, compressor and fans had to be changed and the air cond cleaned up.

A funny discovery when I got home and was cooling off on the couch was a tickly crawling sensation on my neck and when I pulled the creature out, it was an orange ladybird! The little bug crawled around my right palm continuously for about 5 minutes before finally giving up and settling on my nail (as the above photo). It brought memories back of my childhood days where we would catch ladybirds in the bushes outside our school while waiting for our parents to pick us.

Today, I am thankful for:

  1. being safe despite the car breakdown incident
  2. good service from Etiqa (I was trying to search for a feedback form to commend them but couldn't find any on their website)
  3. meeting a good-natured tow truck man (I was a little worried initially)
  4. an understanding boss who said ok to my emergency leave
  5. some alone time to think and watch the world and nature
  6. food blessings from mum who came back to drop lunch off to us

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