June 5th, 2010 admin
Editor’s note: The post below is contributed from Anthony Goh, a regular Limsimi.com reader.
I am what you call a regular JB visitor – I go into JB every weekend with my wife but because both of us are Singaporeans without any relatives in JB, we are not very familiar around the “deeper” part of Johor Bahru. Our rigid routine every Friday night (or you can call it Saturday early morning at 0200hrs) is:
1) Go in from Woodlands
2) Once exit JB custom, go to the shell station to wash car and pump petrol
3) U-Turn and head back to Singapore
The routine suits us due to the low traffic and matches our schedule since we will usually catch a mid-night movie in SG before that. We dare not venture to far off since it is so late at night and we are a little afraid of the crime rate in JB.
After reading more on limsimi.com, we made a bold move to venture beyond the Shell station and one fine Sunday morning, I decided to drive in with my wife to Tebrau City (directions seem easy enough). We had the schedule planned out perfectly:
1) Go to Taman Sentosa Hawker Center for breakfast
2) Go to Aeon Tebrau City
3) Head back to Shell Station and pump petrol/ wash car
4) Head back to SG by 3pm to avoid the Sunday jam
As luck would had it, we did not even manage to hit Tebrau City on our eventful Sunday trip. After finishing our breakfast (nothing much there), my wife and I got into our car and I locked my car door immediately. On the way to Aeon Tebrau City as we drive along the Tebrau Highway, one motorcyclist honked at me and pointed to the bottom of my car.
KNS, the guy looks dodgy and we are in Johor Bahru – a scam to rob us in broad daylight? I decided to drive on and did not even make eye contact with the motorcyclist.
Shortly after, a very old Proton Saga (the roof of the car even had some rust) honked and pointed at the same place. I sensed something amiss and started to feel that my steering had become slightly heavier. This is unusual for my relatively new Hyundai Avante (weekend car somemore – low mileage and well maintained).
I stopped my car and parked at the side of the road to inspect – giving clear instructions to my wife not to step out. KNS, the front left wheel had punctured and on closer inspection, there was a glass sharpnel lodged right into the type, piercing through it. Damn SUAY and SIANZZ.
At least I know how to change tyre (standard SOP) - got the tyre changed to a space saver tyre within 30 mins and feeling quite proud of it. Asked my wife if she got mood to continue shopping and she just wanted to head back to Singapore – so LL we drove back. Thank goodness for differential steering; my car looks weird with 1 big wheel and 1 small wheel in front but at least, the difference in size are compensated by the car. Kudos to technology. But one the way back to SG, I was thinking to myself that sure kenna carrothead when I go back to Singapore because the car repairman will tell me to change the tyre rim or charge me high price for tyres.
I am not being skeptical or stero-typing but the impression that all people involved in the car business (car insurance agent, car salesman, car repairman or even car accessories fitter) are like knives, with carrots implanted in their eyes such that they think anyone whom patronise them can be chopped (essentially charging high price lar!). Not sure if any of the brothers reading this post will agree.
An option that came to mind is if I could change my tyre in Johor Bahru. I had read about car servicing in Johor Bahru and wondered if it would be half-price if I can change my tyres in Johor Bahru?
On the way back, I passed by 2 tyre shops – One called Continental and another is called Good Year. I decided to turn to Good Year but it was actually not opened yet. Guess my luck ran out but further down, there was a Michelin Tyre shop that was opened. Brand is famous enough so I decided to take a leap of faith and turned into the workshop.
The “say” of the boss of the Michelin workshop is exactly what I expected, kind of like sizing me up and I seem an easy target enough – Singapore weekend car owner (even the T-Shirt I am wearing is the brown Kaki Army T-Shirt). CARROTHEAD.
Asked me what happened and I told him front tyre punctured and asked if they can use any chemical to seal the hole. He took a look and told me NOT POSSIBLE. NEED TO CHANGE TYRE.
“How much?” I asked..
“Mm..” he paused for a while (deep in my mind, this kind of thing should be standard.. need to think meh?!)
“RM$235/tyre” he added.
I have no idea how much a tyre cost in Singapore but decided that it could be more expensive in Singapore, so I told him to proceed.
“One or both tyres” he asked.
He further explained the brand of my original tyre is Hankook Optimal, which has a different threading from Michelin. And both front tyres of a car must be identical to enable stable steering and fuel efficiency. So, if I am just purchasing 1 tyre, they will need to move both my rear tyres to the front and the front to the rear (with the new tyre).
Heart-pain but I decided to purchase 2 tyres and with a total price of RM$460 (he gave me RM$10 “discount”), the job is done in 30 minutes. I must say that they are quite professional about they way they service my car – balancing of the new tyres and checking the final air pressure on all my four tyres.
And then the trip back home.
On the way, I can’t help feeling that I had made a wasted trip to Johor Bahru but convince myself that I will continue to venture beyond the shell station one day.
And the the impression stays that all people involved in the car business (car insurance agent, car salesman, car repairman or even car accessories fitter) are like knives, with carrots implanted in their eyes such that they think anyone whom patronise them can be chopped (essentially charging high price lar!).. and in both Singapore and Johor Bahru.
Lawrence Gan: Better luck next time Anthony, and it is not common for anyone to puncture their tyres in Johor Bahru, twice!
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