30 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Driving

1) Speed kills.
Most new vehicle drivers (either car or motorcycle) may not know, when you drive fast, things can happen very quickly.

I had the unfortunate experience of attending one of my friend’s funeral. He was the same age as me. He died in a car accident.

Here’s the sad part, he was a passenger, another person was driving the car. The car crashed along the Federal Highway. Both of them lost their lives.

2) A manual car is much cheaper to run compared to an auto car.

An automatic car fuel consumption is at least 30 percent higher compared to a manual car.

3) Have an auto assist membership.

By paying about RM150 a year, you can always call a tow truck if your car were to breakdown. You can call them as many times as you like.
Do you know how much it will cost you for a private tow truck? At least RM250 per tow!

4) Change the tyres.

If your car tyres have worn out, replace them quickly. Your car tyre surfaces which are in contact on the road is only the size of your closed palm.

2 things can happen with bald tyres, Oversteering and Understeering.

5) Pay the parking fee.

Especially if you are in the area of SS21. If you leave your car for 5 minutes without paying the parking fee, your car will be towed away!

You saved 60 cents, but end up paying RM300 to get your car back.

6) Keep the tyres well inflated.

Under inflated tyre will increase the rolling resistance, therefore reducing your fuel mileage. Pump up the tyres and you will see your gas mileage improves.

7) If you modify your car, it will cost money.

If you modify your car, for example, installing a new exhaust pipe and muffler, be prepared to pay more on your petrol. More power means more fuel is being burned.

8) Tint the glass at your own risk.

If you put tinting on your car, be prepared to get pull over by the police.

9) Check the timing belt.

The timing belt is a rubber with steel wire reinforced belt in your engine that has to be replaced every 60,000 km.

If the belt snapped, the pistons in the engine will strike the valves. It’s a major damage to the engine. The only way to repair is to replace the whole valve cover manifold. It’s expensive nonetheless.

10) Install expensive stereo at your own risk.

When you install an expensive stereo system in your car, it increases the chances of it being stolen.

11) Give way on the road.

It’s easier to just give your way to another driver. Not doing so will make you and the other driver angry. Why go through all the trouble.

12) Try not to park under large trees.
It’s tempting to park under big trees because of the shades.

Be careful though!

If there is a heavy thunder storm, a large branch or the whole tree might crash on your car. The insurance company will not cover you.

13) Don’t park your car in underground KL carpark during rainy season.

Flash flood is getting more common in KL. Flood damage is not claimable from the insurance company.

14) Watch your fuel gauge.

You vehicle will always tend to run out of fuel when you are in a hurry or at a remote area of town.

15) Your new car paint job will always get scratched.

It does not matter how careful you are with the new paint job, it is going to be scratched sooner or later.

16) Do not follow too close behind a large lorry.

A lorry in front might flick a piece of stone from the ground. If you drive into the stone, it will crack your windscreen.

17) A dirty air filter will increase your car fuel consumption.

Another simple tip to improve your fuel mileage.

18) When you are on the highway and if a trailer flashes you from the back, give way.

Due to its weight and momentum, it’s hard for the trailer to slow down. Give way or get a nasty shock from the trailer loud air horns.

19) If you buy a continental car, servicing will cost you an arm and a leg.

My friend’s brother bought a second hand Alfa Romeo. The first time he send his car for servicing, he ended up with a RM8000 bill!

20) The car with best resale value is a Proton Iswara.

For some reason, the humble Proton Iswara has a very good second hand value.

21) Driving on a hot afternoon after lunch is dangerous because you will tend to doze off.

I know because it happened to me a couple of times.

22) If you follow a car too close on a highway and when the driver in front slams on the brakes, be prepared to get sandwiched.

Even if you hit the emergency brakes on time, the driver at your back may not. Both the front and back of your car will “koyak”.

23) Talking on the handphone without hands free kit while driving is not a smart thing to do.

24) SMSing while driving is a dumb thing to do.

25) Always check your blind spot before you change lane.

You will be surprised how well hidden a vehicle will be in the blind spot.

26) Hitting a plastic cone at 80 km/h on the highway will break your car head lamp or puncture the radiator.

If you don’t believe me, go ahead and try it. The cone will always win.

27) You will hear funny noises from your car when you drive through water more than 1 feet deep.

This comes from experience. If you drive through flood water, you will start hearing funny squeaking sound in your car the next day.

28) Always top up your Touch & Go card.

29) Always have some spare change in your car to pay for parking.

30) Know where you park your car.

When you park your car in a shopping mall, i.e One Utama, KLCC or Midvalley, write down where your car is located on the parking ticket for easy reference.

‘Written by Will Yap

If you want to add what you wish you knew when you started driving, feel free to add in the comment section below.

By | 2012-09-22T10:49:58+08:00 August 20th, 2009|Driving In Malaysia|19 Comments

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  1. P V Rao March 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Safety first…speed next. A good driver not only saves himself but also saves others.

    • Cikgu Yap March 7, 2010 at 11:22 pm - Reply

      Good advice Mr Rao. Glad that the article you referred is of assistance to you.

  2. mahesh April 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    For a beginner like my son and me it is an eye-opener.

    • Cikgu Yap April 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      Glad you and your son have found the article of much use.

  3. Azharudin Yub May 8, 2010 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Good tips from you, cikgu yap

    • Cikgu Yap May 9, 2010 at 8:33 am - Reply

      Thank you. The credit should go to my son, Wil Yap. He’s the one that wrote this wonderful piece.

  4. U Ling Kee May 20, 2010 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your inspired sharing of experience. As I learned from you that Proton Iswara is the best to buy, what modle would you recommend to buy. I plan to buy a car. Your suggestion is much appreciated.

    • Cikgu Yap May 22, 2010 at 4:27 am - Reply

      Personally, if you can afford it, Toyota Vios would be a good buy.

  5. Soong Chang October 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    You have useful and practical things to share with us. Many thanks to you, Will Yap. Have a good day driving.

    • Cikgu Yap October 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      I’m glad that article has been useful for you.

  6. Pradyumna Prabhu October 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Very good tips from you …………especially for teenagers who break the rules.

    • Cikgu Yap October 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment.

  7. Sara November 20, 2010 at 2:59 am - Reply

    Thanks for the article. I especially like the first advice. I just got my driving license yesterday and i must say that i always feel pressured to not drive at a speed I’m comfortable at (which is not very fast for a beginner like me). Being a passenger with a 17-year experience, I have been a regular witness to complaints about other cars (especially cars in front) driving to slowly. Usually it is a family member who drives, so it upsets me even further to hear them complaining about other drivers because it simply reminds me that if they can get angry by such a small matter, other drivers can as easily get annoyed too! Driving with the ‘L’ sticker to me seems easier now because it is an excuse to drive more slowly. I guess now i just have to keep reminding myself that my safety is more important. Isn’t it a sad thing that a lot of drivers are not considerate? Drivers should ask themselves “what if it was my sibling or child learning to drive?”. Maybe then they would be more thoughtful.

    Also, i just remembered a few things that happened in my driving lessons. Usually the situations ended with me asking my driving instructor if this is the proper way of driving and he would answer with a no. You see, when we would drive along the test route he would teach me the best habits of good driving. But when the lessons were over, and we weren’t revising the test routes, the bad habits started to emerge. Long story short, I didn’t (and still don’t) like these bad habits that are so commonly exercised by drivers here. I happen to know from reading and watching materials online that these habits are not common in countries where accidents rates are low. In my opinion, the difference in the driving habits is a contributing factor to the difference in the accidents rates.

    If it isn’t too much of an imposition, could you write a blog post about these minor yet important differences? For example, overtaking from the left lane and driving continuously at the rightest lane on a highway. I think it could make us better drivers and make our roads safer.

    Thank you. =) Regards, Sara

    • Cikgu Yap November 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      Glad the blog and the advices given are useful for you. Will try to write upon your suggestion later on.

  8. Ahmad February 8, 2011 at 3:45 am - Reply

    thank you
    tn\he golden rule is to drive slowly when you are beginner

  9. Beatriz A. Keizer March 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    you are very helpful , i thank you this !!! More power and God bless!

  10. Sankar Kumar Dutta April 14, 2011 at 3:47 am - Reply

    Thank you Mr Will Yap for the wonderful article you posted. All the 30 things are not simple tips. These are very important not only to beginners but also to experienced ones.

    Thanks to Mr Cikgu Yap too for his nice answers.

    With regards,

    S.K. Dutta

  11. gadis Semalu May 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I’m a new driver.
    First time driving??
    Haha, very nervous ;p

    But, the info here are very useful.
    Thanks (^_^)

  12. michelle May 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    thanks Mr. Yap! this is such a good help!

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