Petronas, Shell, Mobil, Caltex, BP and Esso. Any driver or motorcycle rider must surely be acquainted with them. The latest fuel service station to join the Malaysian bandwagon supplying petrol or fuel to local consumers, must surely be PETRON.
From my limited knowledge as a driving school instructor, this company, it is said, originated from the Phillippines. It is also believed that this latest service station has the support of a local businessman who happens to be one of the sons of our former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohammed, playing a major role in its establishment.
Today’s article on the topic of service station is specifically intended to highlight the important role it plays in the lives of the Malaysian public as a whole. First and foremost, petrol service stations has been in existence since a long while ago. And I in fact believes we owe this establishment some appreciation for its yeoman service to us drivers. I am sure the majority of the Malaysian public, both drivers and riders as well, would like to convey or extend some form of appreciation to it.
What in reality is meant by ‘Petrol Service Stations’ in Malaysia? And what exactly does it contribute to the Malaysian driving and riding community as a whole? For easier reading purposes, I will be itemising its contents.
1. Providing petrol or fuel
The presence of petrol stations such as Petronas and Shell, for example is to first of all to supply us FUEL or PETROL. Most stations supply us grade RON 95 or 97 petrol at varying prices. It also supplies transport vehicles such as lorries, trailers and buses DIESEL and NGV.
We see petrol stations of various brands located at each and every corner of our towns yet little do we realise how lucky we actually are. In the place where I reside which is in Meru Road, Klang, there exists at least three or four well known petrol stations in the likes of PETRONAS, BP, PETRON, all clustered together.
How convenient it is for all of us, more especially to this writer. Syabas or well done to petrol companies for the provision of such excellent services to all of us.
2. Providing motoring oils and other lubricants for motorists
Fuel or petrol or diesel are not the only commodities which petrol service stations provide to the Malaysian public. Service stations supply motor or vehicles other motoring needs, such as battery water, engine or lubricating oils of all sorts and varieties.
Lubricating and transmissions oils are easily available in quart tins as well as litre containers. A motorist, be it drivers or motorcycle riders, need not suffer the inconvenienes of having to visit ‘spare-part shops’. You can actually get everything you need from service stations such as Shell and Esso nearby.
From service stations, the public can also obtain other items such as radiator wash, car batteries, starter cables, polishing materials and anything your car needs. The list is in fact endless.
3. Some petrol stations even provide car servicing services as well:
If one is busy working, and you do not posses the time to clean or keep your vehicle in tip-top condition, do not despair. As they say, the service-station nearby is always there. For a small fee of some RM8 to RM20, the service station will wash, service your engine and undercarriage as well.
Most however, even do a good job of vacuuming and cleaning up the interiors of your valued vehicle. All it needs, is that you provide some 2 or 3 hours for the servicing services stations to do the job well. Nevertheless such servicing services as referred to above are unfortunately surely but slowly disappearing from the market.
Due to labour shortage, escalating costs and water shortages, this special service to consumers, may very well come to a halt in the very near future. If that should happen, what a waste it would indeed be!
4. Car repair services by foreman and mechanics are usually available at service stations as well
If you should be travelling outstation or maybe going back home to your kampung or balik kampung as we Malaysians call it, and should you be unfortunate enough to sustain mechanical problems of any sort, feel convenient to drop in to any service stations all across the country any time to get some assistance. There definitely would be a friendly and helpful mechanic around who would be ever ready to render you some help.
I was once crossing the remote town of Batangkali near Genting Highlands, when he met with a major brake failure. And with no money in hand, except a credit card, can you imagine what sort of predicament I was in?
Would you believe or not a considerate foreman was good enough to agree repairing my brake system for me. Finally, the foreman’s young assistant had to follow me in my old jalopy, a Toyota DX, to Rawang town (30 miles away) to the Malayan Banking bank to withdraw money.
To the kind-heart mechanic, whose name I do not even know, thank you, sir. You certainly saved my day. This driving school instructor sure is indebted to you!
5. Providing free services of air (pressure) and water to motorists
Many motorists may not be aware, service stations provide some very essential items which we Malaysian drivers and riders seem to take for granted. The items are non other than air and of course, water.
These items are provided by service stations for free! But unfortunately, how many of us drivers, really appreciate?
Has anyone of us ever taken the trouble to say ‘thank you’ to the service station personal or manager? Think about what I’m saying. Don’t you think it is about time we did something about our lackdasical attitude?
Before taking leave from this important topic of reference, yours sincerely would like to issue all of you readers a timely reminder. When using air or pressure dispensing equipment provided free of charge by service stations, make it a point to use the above items in a proper manner and with care. Don’t ever mishandle them wantonly.
Service stations spent quite a lot of money to upkeep the above equipment. Let us begin being fair to service-stations from now on!
6. Most service stations are in fact convenience stores as well.
In our country, most petrol stations act as a convenience store or a small supermarket as well. They sell almost anything you require. Newspapers, magazines, tin and packet drinks, even medicines too. You can get bread, biscuits, tidbits and as said earlier, spare parts and other motoring needs as well.
Do you know that some petrol stations even go to the extent of providing weary drivers hot drinks and refreshments such as Milo, Horlicks and Nescafe?
This is done especially during balik kampung season during festivals such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas time.
7. The provision of prayer rooms and toilet facilities, washroom as well.
Those of us who travel home to our kampungs or place of origin, must surely need prayer rooms, especially to cater for our Muslim brothers and sisters. Washroom, toilets and latrines are a sure find in petrol service stations all across the country.
This article highlights the important role played by petrol service stations in the lives of Malaysian drivers and motorcycle riders throughout our country. It is hoped that Malaysians will in the future had a better understanding of the role Malaysian Petrol service stations play!
Malaysian drivers, including myself, do not seem to know very much about tyres. We may know a few things such as alignment, balancing and pressures, but is it really enough?
As tyres represent such an important item of a vehicle and our lives may very well depend on them, I feel feel an article o it should be written.
But the problem that arises is, I’m only a driving instructor, not a mechanic, nor a shopkeeper dealing with tyres. Then, what do I do? To write an article on tyres, I therefore have to do researches and read on the subject of tyres itself.
In the process of doing the above, I read an article whereby a writer reiterated one important advice, which I feel should be shared amongst all my readers. He said and I quote, “tyres weaken and bulge”.
This can cause a tyre to blow up. When this happens, you’ll have to send your car into a repair shop. However, the blow out will put you in a hospital! Think about it carefully.
There are many important things which motorists should ideally know about tyres. In this article, I will break it up in sections. Hopefully, in doing so, readers will find it much easier to comprehend what is being written.
1. The significance of markings on the side walls of tyres
Most motorists, including myself, do not know what the small prints which appear on the walls of the tyre itself means. At least until now. Here are some of the abbreviations which you might possibly see on the sidewalls of tyres. Look at it carefully.
P- denotes tyres for passenger cars
LT- are tyres for light trucks
R- indicates radial ply tyres
T- indicates tyres that are for special trailers
235 – are numbers which indicates the width of the tyres in mm (millimeters)
After providing readers with the above information, it is hoped you will better understand some of the denominations which appear on the side walls of tyres from now on.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide you with all information. Information not quoted here, will have to be learnt up by yourself.
2. What are of the warning signs that say you need new tyres?
Generally, a motorist, with some experience, should be able to look for some tell tale signs which will denote to you that you need a set of new tyres for your vehicle. If one is unable to decipher the above, it is suggested that you seek the assistance of a mechanic.
Amongst some of the signs are:-
a. Your tyres look old or worn out. Tyres which are in such poor conditions, if it fails you, will bring about a catastrophe. Furthermore, it will leave you stranded as well.
b. If you are uncertain, always ask the advice of your usual mechanic.
Besides physical examination of your vehicle’s tyres, there exists also 5 things that can warn you that you possibly need new tyres for your vehicle.
The things include:
Ideally a tyre tread shall not fall below 1/16 or 1.6mm. the best way to determine tyre tread is to use a tyre gauge.
ii. Tyre weak indicator bars
Many people are unaware, that there are tyre wear indicator bars on a tyre.
These bars run perpendicular to tread patterns of tyres. Look at it carefully on your tyres. It is certain that you will be able to spot them.
iii. Cracks in the side walls
Sometimes, the side walls of tyres end up in cracks and cuts. These are tell tale signs which can assist you to make a decision as to whether you need new tyres for your vehicle or otherwise.
iv. The presence of bulges and blisters on tyres
The constant usage of tyres will sometimes cause bulges and blisters on tyres. Bulges and blisters can cause blow up and it is dangerous.
v. There is too much vibration in the tyre
Some vibrations in tyres is a normal thing. If you should suddenly feel that your tyres vibrate, then something is wrong somewhere.
Amongst some of the reasons why tyres are said to vibrate are:
a. Tyres are unbalanced or misaligned
b. Your shock absorbers are weak or gone
c. There might be some problem regarding the internal structure of the tyre itself. High density vibration in a tyre will eventually destroy a tyre.
One other important thing which motorists should know about tyres is correct air pressures. Why is it important to use correct air pressures in your vehicle? Correct pressures bring the below benefits:-
1. It extends tyre life
2. Incorrect pressures or under inflation will increase fuel consumption
3. Over inflation will affect grip and braking performance of a vehicle.
4. Over inflation also cause harsh, uncomfortable ride.
Places to look for tables of tyre pressures for cars
If you wish to know more about tyre pressure for your vehicle, look for it in the
a. Glove compartment
b. Consult your vehicle handbook
c. Inside of your filler cap
d. The panel next to the driver’s seat
Are under inflated tyres dangerous?
In some countries like America for example, one can be fined for using under inflated tyres. Under inflated tyres reduce grip on road surfaces. The braking distances for vehicles to stop also increases. It is said, concerning is badly affected by poorly inflated tyres. And finally, fuel consumption increases with under inflation too.
How can tyres help to reduce consumption of a vehicle?
If one wishes to increase the fuel consumption of one’s car, here are a few tips to assist you:-
i. Look after your tyres well and rest assured, you will be rewarded with better consumption.
ii. It is said, fuel consumption increases by at least 10% if tyres are well looked after.
iii. Irregular tread wear increases a car’s rolling resistance, which indirectly increases fuel consumption of a vehicle.
iv. Incorrect balancing increases drag which also contributes largely to a heavier fuel consumption.
v. Under inflated tyres is said to increase fuel consumption by at least 10%.
vi. Using the air con, believe it or not, increases fuel consumption by some 10%.
vii. Driving with windows open increases drag which increases wind resistance, which will eventually lead to poorer fuel consumption.
viii. The way one drives or aggressive driving also contributes to increased fuel consumption.
ix. And finally, if you wish to achieve a better fuel consumption for your vehicle, don’t drive at all or better still, take the LRT or the bus.
And finally, have you ever considered why all tyres are black? This is because they have tyre black in them! Well, that’s all about tyres for the time being.
Penguatkuasaan Sistem Automatik ataupun A.E.S (Automated Enforcement System) telah dilaksanakan di negara kita.
Kalaunya pada masa sekarang, pesalah-pesalah trafik di Malaysia kini ditahan mahupun diberkas oleh para pegawai JPJ (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan), pihak polis ataupun pegawai-pegawai majlis-majlis tempatan, masanya telah tiba, tugas tersebut di atas diserahkan kepada suatu sistem penguatkuasaan yang canggih serta berkesan ini.
Sistem tersebut digelarkan “Automated Enforcement System” dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Lebih daripada 1000 Kamera canggih akan digunakan di seluruh pelusuk tanah air kita untuk mencapai tujuan tersebut di atas.
Antara kesalahan-kesalahan yang lumrahnya dilakukan oleh pemandu-pemandu Malaysia sudah tentu termasuk:
i. Tidak mengendah lampu isyarat. Untuk kesalahan ini anda boleh dihukum di bawah Seksyen 119(2) Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1987. Dendanya RM 300.
ii. Melebihi had laju ataupun “speeding” yang melanggar peraturan Seksyen 40(1) APJ 1987. Kesalahan ini akan menggenakan anda sebanyak Rm 300 kompaun.
Kiranya anda diheret ke mahkamah pula, pemandu-pemandu boleh didenda RM 1000. Lessen anda pula boleh diendoskan ataupun digantung selama sebulan.
Perlu diumumkan bahawa pihak berkuasa tidak berdaya menggunakan daya tenaga manusia iaitu pegawai JPJ, polis ataupun lain-lain demi menangkap pesalah-pesalah trafik lagi. Oleh demikian, saya merasa sistem A.E.S yang akan dilancarkan tidak lama lagi adalah satu-satu tindakan yang wajar serta baik.
Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) berkata baru-baru ini, kamera-kamera yang diguna dalam sistem canggih ini dapat menangkap gambar-gambar jelas. Ia juga dikatakan dapat bekalan masa, tempat kejadian dan tarikh kesalahan itu terjadi. Ketiga-tiga butir ini penting untuk perjalanan satu-satu kes di mahkamah.
Sebelum sistem penguatkuasaan automatik dijalankan, JPJ telahpun menjalankan beberapa ujian di seluruh tempat di Malaysia. Baru-baru ini, di Putrajaya, ujian dijalankan dengan berjaya. Kamera-kamera A.E.S telah berjaya memberkas ramai pesalah yang melakukan kesalahan. Selain itu, JPJ menegaskan sistem tersebut di atas juga diujikaji di 10 tempat lain di Malaysia.
Sayugia diberitahu bahawa JPJ adalah hak milik sistem A.E.S, meskipun sistem ini dikendalikan dan direka oleh 2 buah swasta di Malaysia.
Menurut berita, pihak kerajaan tidak perlu mambuat apa-apa bayaran kepada pihak swasta. Selain itu, berita mengatakan, syarikat-syarikat yang bertanggungjawab mendirikan sistem ini hanya diberi sebahagian daripada bayaran-bayaran saman saja. Kadarnya, katanya, belum ditetapkan lagi.
Mengikut Pengarah Besar, Datuk Solah Mat Hassan, dipercayai sistem automatik yang baru ini dapat mengenalpasti pesalah-pesalah trafik. Dengan perlancaran sistem ini, pesalah-pesalah “degil” akan diberi saman dalam tempoh masa 2 minggu.
Suatu berita yang baik yang dapat diumumkan adalah sistem A.E.S ini dapat juga menangkap jenayah-jenayah lain yang kini berlaku di negara kita hari ini. Seperti pepatah Melayu berkata, “sambil menyelam, minum air”.
Lain maklumat-maklumat penting yang blog ini dapat membekalkan kepada pembaca-pembaca tentang sistem sudah tentu termasuk:
i. Terdapat 566 kamera menangkap had laju
ii. 265 kamera lampu isyarat
iii. 250 kamera “mobile” ataupun “bergerak”
A.E.S sudah dibukti sungguh berkesan di negara-negara asing umpamanya di Singapura, misalnya. Kini kita sampai ke suatu soalan penting berhubung dengan sistem penguatkuasaan ini. Untuk suatu-suatu sistem itu berjaya, ianya harus dilaksanakan dengan sungguh serta ketat.
Saman-saman yang dikeluarkan hendaklah dibayar ataupun diselesaikan.
Sekiranya, saman-saman yang ada tidak diendahkan pesalah-pesalah, maka hajat sistem penguatkuasaan automatik ini akan akhirnya gagal. Dengan demikian, usaha kerajaan melancarkan A.E.S akan menemui ajal. Perlancarannya sia-sia sahaja.
Harus diingat iaitu adalah mudah untuk meluluskan sesuatu undang-undang baru. Tetapi yang sukar adalah bolehkah kita melaksanakan undang-undang tersebut dengan baik ataupun sempurna? Itulah soalnya!