Buyer's Guide

Looking to buy a new car or simply want to be a better car owner? These tips may be able to help you out.

DIY Car Maintenance in 20 Minutes!

It’s no secret that most of us rely heavily on our monthly visits to the mechanic to maintain our cars. But on top of the professional maintenance, did you know that there are some easy car maintenance jobs you can do yourself to keep your car’s performance at its best? The good news? All it takes is 20 minutes! Time to roll up your sleeves and follow the checklist below!

  • Engine Oil
    Let car engine run for a while then turn off. Wipe dipstick clean and check oil level. Top up oil if it's low.
  • Radiator Coolant Level
    Only perform this check when the car is cool. Ensure gauge is always between the high and low marks and top up coolant if it's low.
  • Wiring, Hoses, and Pipes
    Look out for damaged, loose or disconnected wiring. If there are any, seek a mechanic’s help immediately.
  • Fan Belt
    Check for thin areas and change if necessary.
  • Automatic Transmission and Power Steering Fluid Levels
    Only top up with fluid specified by the car's manufacturer. If unsure, seek professional help.
  • Brake and Clutch Fluid Levels
    Ensure that the fluid reaches the ‘full’ line. If it’s below, top up with fluid.
  • Battery
    Make sure that the distilled water level is about 5mm above the plates. Check connections for corrosion and clean with a wire brush if necessary. Never smoke while doing this!
  • Windscreen Wipers and Washer Fluid
    Fill the container with clean water. Check the windscreen wipers and replace if necessary - very important for rainy season!
  • Tyres
    Check your tire pressure regularly to ensure it is at its optimal pressure.
  • Headlights
    Check that all lights are working, especially high beams, stop and reverse lights.
  • Inside Controls
    With car engine off, check brake pedal and gear for tightness and test the steering wheel. Seek a mechanic’s help if you find anything amiss.

All done? Now you’re all set to go and enjoy your ride!

Let The Good Wheels Roll

Wheels will take you to places you want to go but good wheels will bring you even further on your journey – and safely too! Here are some simple ways you can maintain your wheels so they can keep spinning for longer.

  • Tyre Rotation
    This is important as tyres wear out at different rates, each depending on the amount of weight it supports so rotate them at recommended intervals. Rotation helps extend the life and allows for more uniform tyre wear.
    It's important to rotate your tyres according to the correct rotation pattern as each and every tyre performs a different task. For clarification, you can always check your owner's manual or your local mechanic to ensure the right rotation pattern for your vehicle.
  • Rust or Dirt Cleaning
    Be sure to remove any rust or dirt from places where the wheels are attached to the vehicle, as it may loosen wheel nuts over time. While cleaning your car, use a scraper or wire brush later to remove all rust or dirt.
  • Wheel Alignment & Tyre Balance
    Make sure you periodically check your car for its wheel alignment and tyre balance. If you notice unusual tyre wear or that your vehicle is “swaying”, the alignment may need to be reset. If your vehicle vibrates on a smooth road, your wheels may be out of balance. Nothing a stop at the workshop can’t fix!
Stay Ever Ready for Anything

Have you gotten a flat tyre in the middle of the highway before? Or did your car battery decide to die on you one day? You can never predict when an emergency may happen but you can always stay a step ahead by equipping yourself for such moments.

  • Jack, Rag, & Spare Tyre
    Always keep a jack and spare tyre in the trunk. With the condition of some of our roads out there, you can never be sure about flats. Be sure to also check spare tyre for air regularly.
  • Flash Light & Batteries
    An extra light will come in handy to get to places where the sun doesn't shine - like under the seat or under the bonnet.
  • Reflective Triangles
    Comes in handy during a breakdown to alert other motorists on the road.
  • First Aid Kit
    This may be useful especially if you travel outstation regularly, in case of small injuries.
  • Jumper Cables
    In cases where your battery is running low or dead, a jump-start will get you back on track.
  • Car Tool Kit
    It’s always important to have the right tools at the right time. Purchase a kit from any hardware and always keep it in the boot of your car.

Owner's Manual
It's always a good idea to keep your car manual with you. They may come in handy when you need to look up simple details such as your car's tyre pressure.

Do you have all these items with you? Make a checklist of what else you need and get them today. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Car Purchase: Smart Questions to Ask

So you’re getting ready to buy a pre-owned car. It’s as easy as just buy and drive, right? Wrong! There are definitely a lot of things to consider before deciding on a pre-owned car to purchase. Don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of questions that you ask to make your decision making way easier:

  • How many miles are on the car?
  • Does the car have a manual or automatic transmission?
  • What modifications have been made to the car?
  • How often has the car been sent for service?
  • Is there a working security alarm system on the car?
  • Why is the owner selling the car?
  • Is the current owner the first owner?
  • Has the odometer ever been rolled back?
  • Has the car ever been in an accident, and if so, what were the damages?
  • Has the car ever been repainted?

However, if you’ve got any other questions, don’t be shy and just ask. It’s always better to know more details than less!

Make Friends with Your Engine

When you first get to know someone, their first impression may be a little intimidating but the more you get to know them, the more familiar you are to their body cues and characteristics. This is just like your car engine. Some may find understanding it too technical at first but when you know what to look out for, you can definitely help detect underlying problems and prevent serious engine-related problems before it happens. Ready to be buddies with your engine? Keep a look out for some of these cues:

Engine Will Not Turn On When Attempting To Start
What this could mean:

  • Battery terminals are corroded
  • Battery terminals are corroded
  • Battery terminals are poorly connected
  • Faulty connections in starter circuit
  • Faulty starter solenoid
  • Faulty starter motor
  • Earth strap to engine either loose or corroded
  • Fuel tank empty (you'd be surprised!)
  • Battery problem
  • Air filter clogged
  • Poor cylinder compression
  • Timing belt broken
  • Ignition system damp or wiring fault
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Choke incorrectly adjusted
  • Fuel line fault or fuel pump


Noisy Starter Motor
What this could mean:

  • Starter motor mounting bolts loose
  • Internal damage to starter motor
  • Flywheel teeth damaged


Engine Starts, But Cuts Out Shortly After
What this could mean:

  • Ignition system wiring fault
  • Faulty fuel injectors
  • Uneven cylinder compression
  • Fuel line or fuel pump faulty
  • Choke mechanism faulty or incorrectly adjusted
  • Blocked carburetor jets


Uneven Engine Idle Speed
What this could mean:

  • Incorrect setting for idle speed
  • Air filter blocked
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Timing belt incorrectly adjusted
  • Faulty fuel injectors


Engine Misfires or Stalls
What this could mean:

  • Distributor car faulty
  • Faulty fuel lines, pump, injectors
  • Fuel filter clogged
  • Fuel tank vent blocked


Engine Runs On After Switching Off
What this could mean:

  • High carbon build up in engine
  • High engine operating temperature


Oil Pressure Warnings
What this could mean:

  • Low oil level or incorrect oil grade
  • Oil pressure sender unit faulty
  • Worn engine bearings
  • Faulty oil pump
  • Excessively high engine temperature
  • Oil relief valve defective


Car Myths – Debunked!
“Don’t cut your fingernails at night.”

“Walking under a ladder causes bad luck.”

We’ve heard our fair share of things to-do and avoid – else there would be consequences. However, have you asked yourself if these things are truths, or are they just myths? While we can’t debunk all the myths of the world, here are 2 very common car practices which could be doing more harm than good.

“Never leave your engine idle for longer than a few days”
Believe it or not, you can leave your car idle for up to two weeks, without affecting the engine. However, we recommend that you drive your car around at least once every two weeks - preferably on an hour long trip.

Forget about running the engine for five to ten minutes every day. Not only is this unnecessary, it could potentially cause damage. If an engine is switched on for less than ten minutes, moisture (which evaporates when the engine is run for a longer period) will condense to become droplets that can harm you car's oiling system.

“Always warm up your engine for five minutes before driving“
Now this can be an unnecessary step and a waste of time, especially when you're running late. You can just drive off after switching on the engine. Just be gentle on the accelerator when you begin your drive to give your car enough time to ‘wake up’. For computerized fuel-injected cars, all you need is 30 seconds to allow the engine to stabilise before driving off.

4 Steps to Check & Refill Engine Oil

Checking your engine oil may seem intimidating but it isn’t exactly rocket science. To make things easier for you, we’ve broken down the entire process into 4 easy steps so that you can be a pro at it in no time at all.

Step 1: Park your car, switch off the engine and let engine oil drip on the oil pan

Step 2: Locate and clean engine oil dipstick (refer to owner’s manual if you can’t find it). You will be able to see the markings for FULL and EMPTY. Reinsert and pull out to check the level.

Step 3: Check oil for colour and texture:
Thick, black oil - Definitely time to change! Get a mechanic to do this for you.
Light brown – Acceptable.
Watery, dark brown - Okay for a couple more trips, but schedule an appointment with the mechanic to change it soon.
Milky coffee colour – The engine oil and coolant are mixed together. Make a trip to the mechanic straight away.

Step 4: Top up engine oil if necessary. Pour in a little oil, let it flow down and check the level again with the dipstick. If it's still low, add a little at a time till it reaches the FULL level. Re-insert dipstick and replace cap when done.