Our 10th Tech ar­ti­cle this year talks about cars with re­newed 10-year COE.


TECH I have de­cided to re­new my car’s cer­tifi­cate of en­ti­tle­ment (COE) for an­other 10 years. What are the most crit­i­cal me­chan­i­cal as­pects of the car I should fix to keep it run­ning well? Ex­tend­ing a car’s COE for an­other decade does in­deed save a sub­stan­tial amount of money com­pared with pur­chas­ing a new car.

The first thing to do is to set aside a bud­get to “re­new” cer­tain ma­jor com­po­nents.

Con­sider an en­gine over­haul if its mileage is more than 250,000km, it con­sumes more en­gine oil (one litre or more every 3000km) or there is blue smoke from the ex­haust. Change the en­gine mounts for less vi­bra­tion. While at it, re­place all belts and hoses – in­clud­ing cool­ing sys­tem pip­ing, power steer­ing and brake hoses, and every rub­ber or plas­tic tube that is part of the en­gine’s induction, emis­sions and fuel-in­jec­tion sys­tem.

If the ra­di­a­tor and wa­ter pump have never been re­placed be­fore or not re­cently, now would be a good time to do so. Never mind if none of the above is not leak­ing and still looks good. You might also need to have the gear­box re­placed or at least over­hauled. Man­ual trans­mis­sions are the most ro­bust and usu­ally re­quire only an oil change and maybe a bear­ing re­place­ment. But make sure the man­ual gear­box’s clutch and re­lease­bear­ing are re­newed.

Brake-pump and brake­cal­liper seals should also be re­placed. Brake discs (ro­tors) are items that wear with use.

For the sus­pen­sion, a com­plete new set of dampers and link­ages will re­ju­ve­nate the car’s ride and han­dling, not to men­tion on-road safety. Some mount­ings, such as those that hold the anti-roll bar, need only re­place­ment of their rub­ber bushes. Springs rarely need to be re­placed, but if the car sags on one side, change all four. What­ever the make and model of car, have it in­spected in de­tail by more than one work­shop, so that you have a clear idea of what parts need re­place­ment and how much it would cost. Keep to gen­uine and orig­i­nal parts as far as pos­si­ble.

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