Are Vehicles From Malaysian Driving Schools Safe To Drive?

Puspakom Inspection

The public may not be aware but the Road Transport Department (R.T.D.) makes it compulsory for vehicles used for driving tuition purposes in its driving institution industry to be inspected once every six months.

Driving institutes vehicles like all other vehicles used in the transport sector, express buses, lorries, trailers, vans and school buses, all have to undergo stringent inspection procedures by the Puspakom authorities from time to time.

Driving institutes or driving schools’ vehicles, which cannot undergo the scheduled check ups will be penalized a sum of RM200. Prior permission has to be obtained from the relevant authorities should a vehicle be unable to make it for an inspection.

The question of a driving school vehicle not being sent for an inspection does not arise.

For your information, an inspection charge for an initial inspection exercise is RM50. If a vehicle should fail the above exercise, subsequent charges will be RM25.

If you are a registered driving school instructor like myself, who is in possession of a qualified certificate (S.M. 3 or Sijil Mengajar 3) to teach students and you own a vehicle belonging to institutes these days, one of the most problematic headache you will confront is the question of having to send your vehicle for inspection every 6 months to the Puspakom authorities.

Talking about inspections in Selangor alone, I understand that Puspakom has inspection centres at places such as Wangsa Maju, Kampung Jawa and also at Kampung Sungai Manggis, near Banting town.

Most of these inspection centres open as early as 8.00am It is reported to stay open until 6.00 or 7.00 pm in the evening. Some inspection centres are even opened until later in the evening.

Before talking more about inspection procedures a person has to undergo, permit me to inform you of the things a driving instructor or representative has to bring along to the Puspakom inspection centres mentioned earlier above.

Basically, you will have to make sure you bring along the documents mentioned below:-

i) Letter of authorization from the institute or driving school to which you are attached to. Without this letter the Puspakom authorities may likely disallow you to do your inspection.

ii) Bring along also your vehicle registration card. As the above document is normally kept by the institute or driving school, see to it that you get hold of this important document from your office a few days before the inspection exercise takes place.

iii) Lastly, bring along Puspakom’s previous last inspection report VRI.PIN 1/2007 with you too. A failure to bring along the above report might very well disqualify you for an intended scheduled inspection.

Having got all the above documents or letters that are required, what then are the steps or procedures that you have to make to your vehicle?

Some steps you’ll have to take to prepare your vehicle for an inspection exercise:

If you own a rather old vehicle like this instructor does, you are advised to send it for repairs by your personal mechanic. The things you’ll have to inspect are:-
i) ball joints
ii) brake conditions (front and back)
iii) do your alignment exercise
iv) balance your tyres
v) ensure all 4 tyres of your vehicle are in good condition
vi) have your vehicle serviced a few days before the inspection exercise, as the authorities will inspect your vehicle’s casis number and engine number too

Should you own a rather new car for driving instruction purposes, then obviously you’ll not be faced with too many problems at all. Some instructors own cars such as Viva or MyVi models. These people will have lesser headaches to solve, I think.

One last advice which I would like to give to readers, especially fellow instructors sending their vehicles for inspection is to ensure that amongst other things your vehicle has:-

a) A jack and other paraphernalia such as emergency triangles as well.
b) According to an experienced runner who has been in the field of inspecting vehicles for years, a Mr Ah Lai, 58, tyre pressures should ideally be lower, say 23 or 24 psi.

Whatever it is, 4 or 5 things about your vehicle should be in good order and they included your tyres, alignment, your engine and casis number which should easily be ascertained by the Puspakom authorities.

Rest assured your vehicle will then be able to pass the inspection test. Anyway should your vehicle fail to get through the initial test, do not despair. It’s not the end of the world. Come for another subsequent test.

Repair back whatever is wrong with your vehicle and send it in for another inspection. Well, it only costs RM25 anyway!

Assuming that your vehicle gets through its inspection exercise, you’ll then be given Puspakom’s disc for inspection done. This disc will then have to be pasted on to your vehicle’s front windscreen to prove to the authorities that is the police and R.T.D. or J.P.J. people that your vehicle has indeed undergone the required 6 monthly inspection exercise!

With it, no action will therefore be taken against you.

6 Things You Should Know About Your Car Tyre

So far, I have not not yet touched upon the topic of “tyres” at all. Famous tyre brands which are available in Malaysia include Bridgestone, Dunlop, Silverstone, Hankook, Firestone and many others.

Talking about tyres, motorists should be informed one important thing about tyres. Experts say, only the tyre surface the size of a closed palm, is constantly in touch with the road surface as a car moves along the highway.

Rims of popular cars in Malaysia normally come in various sizes, such as 13 inches or 14 inches. Most popular tyres come in width measurements of 155, 165, 175 and 185. The bigger the number, it denotes the tyre is wider in size and therefore more costly. It is believed to be also more stable.

Available in the market, are “cross ply” and “radial ply” tyres. The types of tyres you choose for your vehicle is entirely up to you.

Initially, a motorist should know one about tyres. A motorist should ideally know 3 things about tyres- tyre pressure, alignment and tyre balancing.

A motorist should ideally check the above three important things from time to time. In doing so, a motorist will discover that he or she will face no problem at all with his driving.

The “Kancil” is reputed to be fixed with rather small tyres. Kancil tyres are said to be equipped with tyres that costs approximately RM110 – RM140 in the market today. Tyres of other cars are said to be more costly and they can range from RM150 – RM180.

Camry 2.4 cars are said to cost some RM500 per tyre. That’s a total of RM2,000 for all four tyres. As such, to own and drive an expensive vehicle can be quite a costly affair.

“Tyres” may appear to be a rather insignificant part of a vehicle. Many young and inexperienced drivers do not seem to know anything much about tyres. With this in mind, I will therefore envisage to write a short article especially on “tyres” and how one looks after them.

Some of the common problems that are confronted by vehicle owners, be it car owners or motorcycles, face many problems and they may be:-

1. Tyre wear:

As tyres nowadays are today mostly made of rubber, tyres thus undergo wear and tear. The “treads” or “patterns” found on a tyre will wear out or “deplete” as the vehicle moves along the road.

Normally, the “front” tyres of a vehicle, is said to wear out faster than the “rear” tyres. One reason fro this is the front portion of a vehicle is considered to be much heavier as compared to the “rear”. It should be kept in mind, that the engine, which represents the heaviest part of the car, is infact in front. Except maybe, the “Volkswagen” car where the engine happens to be at the back.

New tyres, if proper care is taken, with regards to correct pressures, balancing and alignment, should be able to last a driver, a travelling distance of at least 50,000 to 70,000 kilometers. In terms of time, a new tyre should be able to last a driver, a time period of at least 18 months to two years. Or may be even more.

What motorists are advised to do is to faithfully check the tyre pressures from time to time. Likewise, have balancing done periodically. Unbalanced tyres will cause a vehicle’s steering to vibrate or wobble. It may even cause a steering wheel to run to one side.

Poor alignment will also cause tyres to be worn out unevenly. If this should happen, tyres which are normally meant to last 2 years or so, will only last a few months. In the end, a driver will have to fork out large sums of money to purchase new tyres.
Tyre Wear

2. Tyres going out of shape:

Tyres should ideally be “round” or circular in shape. However, a possibility exists whereby, due to wear and tear and constant usage, tyres can sometimes go out of shape.

Certain sections of the tyre may begin to “bulge”. Such tyres are no longer completely circular or round as they should be. When this happens, tyres rotate unevenly. They infact “wobble”. When this happens to any of your 4 tyres, have a good tyre man check out the conditions of your tyre that is providing you with problems. Have the mis-shaped tyre replaced quickly to prevent further problems affecting you.

3. Tyres bulging at the walls:

At times, tyres do sometimes “bulge” or “swell” at the side of the tyre walls. This happens due to poor production techniques whilst at the factory. Sometimes, tyre walls undergo “bulging” due to incidences whereby the sides of the tyre undergo driving conditions such as the tyres hitting hard road curbs or dividers, thus causing the tyre walls to sustain damage.

Poor driving by drivers who are not careful as they negotiate sharp corners are normally cited as reasons why tyre walls erupt in bulges. As such, motorists should ensure that they adopt good driving techniques so as to make sure they do not harm their tyres, which in reality, can be rather costly.

4. The problem of air or pressure escaping from a tyre:

The problem of air or pressure escaping from a tyre can be one of the most irritating problems that can be experienced by a motorist. As I said, to discover that you have to keep on inflating your tyres once every 2 or 3 days is most annoying.

Normally, the air or pressure leaks out through the “air valve”. Faulty air valves, which costs less than RM5 a piece, are usually the culprit of the problem. As such, motorists are advised to have “air valves” either checked or replaced by your neighbourhood tyre man from time to time.

Air or pressure can also escape from holes caused by nails or foreign objects such as sharp metal objects or steel screws that sometimes get embedded either in the walls or the tyres itself, if this happens then air or pressure will come out through the holes in which the nails or foreign objects have embedded themselves.

To solve the above problem, visit your nearest tyre shop, have them check your tyres over to determine what is the cause of your problem. Holes will then have to patched up to prevent further leakages.

5. Pump your tyres, including your spare tyre regularly:

Your vehicle’s tyres should be inflated correctly at regular intervals. Do not forget about your spare tyre, which is normally stored in your booth too. A spare tyre that is void of air or pressure, will be of little use when you sustain a punctured tyre.

Most vehicles usually adopt the 26 – 24 air pressure ratio, that is 26p.s.i or peund per square inch at the front and 24p.s.i, at the rear of the vehicle.

If you happen to own a vehicle whose air pressures is unknown to you, you are advised to look at the panel next to the drivers seat for the tyre air pressure specifications to assist you. Failing which, seek the assistance of a tyre shop to help you.

6. Balance your tyres periodically:

A balanced set of front tyres ensure good handling of the steering. It prevents the steering from wobbling unsteadily. On the whole, the steering becomes more stable. Besides that, it also prevents the steering “wavering” or running to one side, as we say in colloquial terms.

For information, it only costs less than RM10 to balance a set of tyres. A well balanced set of tyres provides one with effortless and superb handling of the steering.

Correct tyre pressures and tread depth (condition od tyres) represents an important criteria in the prevention of accidents. Some motorists are rather fond of exchanging their original tyres for bigger sized or better handling tyres after driving their new vehicles for a short while. Sometimes their original tyres are exchanged for newer brands of tyres which they fancy.

Tyres which are still good in condition, with at least 85%- 90% of tyre treads still infact, are available at some tyre shops for as low as 50%- 60% of their original price. It is as they say, a “purchase”, that is worth buying. Ask around renowned tyre shops in your area, who knows, you might be lucky enough to end up getting a good set of tyres at a reasonable fair price.

To end this article on tyres, I would like to inform all readers that should they be stopped by either the police or the JPJ authorities for using worn out tyres with poor treads, the Road Transport Act 1987, recommends that you be slapped with a RM 150 fine. The above offence is contained in Circular K.105MV(c/u).

And in the courts of law, under Section 119(2), you can thus be fined.

Autumnz Home & Car Bottle Warmer Review – Malaysian Daddy

Should you buy the Autumnz Home & Car Bottle Warmer?

At the time I’m writing this article, I have 2 daughters. My eldest daughter is 2 and a half years old. My younger daughter is 3 and a half months old.

My older daughter still drinks her formula milk, and with her, it is not much of a challenge.

When we go out, what my wife and I did was to bring along a hot water flask. We can mix the milk in her bottle and she can drink it anywhere without any fuss.

My younger daughter on the other hand is a bit challenging. She is still on breast milk and storing the milk in a thermos is not going to work.

What we did previously was to store a bottle of my wife’s milk in a bag, and when our baby is hungry, we will put the bottle in a cup of hot water.

As you can see, trying to get the right temperature for our baby’s consumption was not an easy task. The milk either ends up being too warm or not warm enough.

We had to keep drip testing the milk and it can become quite a mess….especially in our car.

So what’s the solution?

Getting a milk bottle warmer for our car.

Autumnz Baby Products

Autumnz Home & Car Bottle Warmer

Not too long ago, I bought a car milk bottle warmer from Autumnz. We are familiar with Autumnz product because my wife has been using their plastic breast milk storage bags.

What I like about Autumnz car warmer is the price.

I got if from Lazada Malaysia for only RM79 with free delivery.

I ordered it online and the package was delivered to my house within 3 days.

My Personal Experience

So, what is my experience with the car bottle warmer?

So far, we’ve used it on trips to the mall and trips to my in-laws place in Sri Damansara.

Operational wise, it is very straight forward. Just plug the car power converter into the cigarette lighter, set the desired temperature and pour some water into the warmer.

We are using NUK baby bottle and it fits perfectly in the warmer. I believe bottles from other brand such as Avent, Tommee, Tippee, MAM, Dr Browns etc will fit in the warmer without any problem.

The water in the warmer heats up quite fast and within 10 minutes, the milk temperature is just nice for my baby.

Useful Tip For Parents

Here’s a tip if you are planning to buy Autumnz Home & Car Bottle Warmer.

Although the warmer can be used in a car, try not using it while your car is moving.

Trust me, I did that and the water in the warmer WILL spill.

So it is best to stop your car, plug in the warmer, heat up the milk and feed your baby. When everything is done and your baby has been burped, continue on your journey.

Am I happy with the car bottle warmer from Autumnz?

For only RM79, it is a great deal. It does everything I wanted it to do.

My final conclusion is…YES, I am happy and I’ll highly recommend to every parents who are planning to buy a car bottle warmer.

Click on the link below to get one for your baby from Lazada Malaysia.

Order Autumnz Home & Car Bottle Warmer From Lazada

Written by Will Yap