Guide to eco

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Motoring -

WITH the ris­ing cost of liv­ing, af­ford­abil­ity takes a new turn as many mo­torists have now re­alised that spend­ing on things based on style and im­age is no longer con­doned.

Hence, many ma­ture Malaysians are down­grad­ing their mo­tor­ing op­tions and hav­ing new per­spec­tives of their au­to­mo­tive needs.

In this is­sue of Mo­tor­ing ,we ad­dress some of the steps and con­cerns in pur­chas­ing a car and what it takes to keep prices low.

Su­per big dis­counts

Auto ex­perts will warn about cheap buys. There are a few com­pa­nies des­per­ate to cle their old stock, hence of­feri dis­counts.

The prob­lem with this is the cars are usu­ally more th year old – some are even m than two years old.

Dis­counts can amount up RM10,000 but be wary, as th are a few things you need t check be­fore sign­ing on the dot­ted line. If the car has be parked for a long time, the might have flat spots for be static too long. Get the selle change them.

You should also check for bit­ten off rub­ber hoses in th en­gine bay, hard­ened door o win­dow seals and faded pain A wiring har­ness that has b dam­aged by rats can cost more than RM20,000 to

re­place. The big dis­count some­times does not off­set the resid­ual value of the car.

Check the used car mar­ket for the price of the car af­ter two years. Your dis­count will likely En y the

. r be­fore ac­cept­ing it. rrant t

Af­ford­able does not nec­es­sar­ily mean cheap

Some ex­perts will ad­vise you

er, use igher down­pay­ments. If you are not care­ful, you might also end up spend­ing more cash to get your sec­ond­hand ve­hi­cle run­ning smoothly.

In con­trast, new cars nowa­days are usu­ally of­fered with lower in­ter­est rates and down­pay­ments.

It is best to take a shorter loan of max­i­mum seven years be­cause modern cars re­quire more main­te­nance af­ter the fifth year and you will in­cur more costs if you are still serv­ing the loan.

Take main­te­nance into ac­count

Some cars might have a price tag that you can af­ford but the main­te­nance can eat into your sav­ings. Al­ways check the main­te­nance cost for each ve­hi­cle such as the cost for a nor­mal lu­bri­cant change and ma­jor ser­vice jobs that the car will have to un­dergo ev­ery 20,000km.

If the car com­pany of­fers a free main­te­nance pack­age, check care­fully for the things that are cov­ered. Some might cover spe­cific en­gine oil spec­i­fi­ca­tions, which re­quire shorter ser­vice in­ter­vals, while some might cover only the labour cost or lu­bri­ca­tion ser­vices.

There are a few that will cover every­thing sans tyres, wipers and other per­ish­able items.

Fuel con­sump­tion

This is a big is­sue since our fuel prices are floated now. Check re­views and car clubs about fuel con­sump­tion.

Nowa­days, the fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures given on the brochur

Malaysia has come up wi con­sump­tion reg­u­la­tion, those fig­ures might not be valid be­cause the ve­hi­cles might have been tested in a cold coun­try or the en­gine might be us­ing a dif­fer­ent fuel grade.

For MPVs, diesel of­fers lower fuel con­sump­tion and bet­ter per­for­mance. The down­side is that modern diesel en­gines pre­fer Euro5 fuel, which is avail­able at limited petrol sta­tions.

Don't lis­ten to ru­mours

Car clubs of­fer a wealth of in­for­ma­tion be­cause they own the very ve­hi­cles they talk about.

Most of the time, they know more than the me­dia and can ad­vise on the things to look out for, where to buy cheap parts, who to take care of the ve­hi­cles, and high­light fea­tures that even the car dealer never knew

If the car com­pany of­fers free main­te­nance pack­age, check care­fully for the things that are cov­ered.

ex­isted. They can even share which ser­vice cen­tre to go to.

When in doubt, look for fa­mil­iar brands

Not many peo­ple are re­ally into cars, so con­sider buy­ing the usual brands. The more com­mon the car on the road, the more likely peo­ple know how to fix it.

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