What an experience I had today; with Mak, nonetheless! Something that I never came across but finally it happened – my car broke down on highway!!! As a car noob, this could be one of the worst nightmares; not to mentioned being a dainty androgynous as opposed to the usual alpha males – but hey; life is all about experiences!
Waiting anxiously for the PLUS patrol at kilometere 250.7 circa Sungai Perak R&R heading towards south; while we were both on the verge to PEE! It was 7.58 a.m. Luckily it was still morning and not that many vehicles were on the road.
As today is the last day of the school holidays (coupled with the Aidiladha holiday), I forecast that the highway should be congested with vehicles. So, in order to avoid that; I decided to push off from Jitra, Kedah circa 5 a.m. and to perform Subuh (Fajr) prayer at one of the highway’s R&Rs. Anyway, Mak decided on the eleventh hour that she wanted to join me back to Serendah as next week Kakak will be coming back from United Kingdom – so we would have to clean her house in Putrajaya before her arrival. So without any further ado; off we went!
Pulled by the PLUS patrol truck to Jelapang Toll. By this time, it was already approaching 10 a.m.
We performed Subuh (Fajr) Prayer at Sungai Dua R&R. As we passed by the Sungai Perak R&R circa 7.58 a.m.; we felt that the car had some ‘rattle’ as if like some of the compartments were hanging loose. My initial thought was that I probably rammed into something hard and the front part of my car could possibly now loosen or perhaps that the car’s front bonnet was not closed properly because Ayah did his usual ‘tentative checking’ of the car before we pushed off. We tried to ignore but the ‘rattle’ became more violent and vigorous. I told Mak that I want to pull the car over and checked what went wrong (although I am a noob but perhaps physical dysfunctions such as punctured tyres, etc are somewhat that I know, I am sure! LOL!) but Mak was hesitant.
The car gasket.
Nevertheless, I didn’t feel right so I stopped the car at kilometer 250.7 (that God for the sign we saw at the side of the road!) which was 1 kilometer away from Sungai Perak R&R and checked. An acrid smell was evident; so I scouted for the tyres. Hmmm…they were in good conditions. As noob as I could be, I didn’t bother to open the car’s front bonnet (even if I did, I wouldn’t know what to do with that!). Hence, I resort to restart my car.
On the first towing truck. We felt as if on a Double Decker bus!
Lo…behold!!! I COULDN’T START THE CAR anymore!!!!! Oh, My God, that was SHIT! Several times attempting but proved to no avail. Panics began to strike us! But of course we remained poised and started to think ways to solve this. My first instinct was to call the PERODUA Towing Assistant number that I saw on the piece glued upon my car’s front glass by the PERODUA staffs. OK, after talking to the staff; she assumed that the failure to start my car was possibly due to the battery gone kaput and their assistance could only arrive to us within one hour and a half all the way from Ipoh (after so many attempts trying to locate our scene as she claimed that computer could not locate our spot!). OK, that went shit, alright!
Mak. We were trying to divert our panic into a happy-go-lucky approach.
Mak suggested that we called the PLUS Hotline (PLUSline) 1800 88 0000. Alhamdulillah; within 20 minutes (but it felt ages!), a scouting car came with two patrol officers. They checked the front bonnet and the officer explained the possibility of that the cap of the Coolant Water was NOT TIGHTLY CLOSED, hence the water shot out from the valve and ruined the gasket! (Mak and I had the same thought possibly it was Ayah’s negligence but it wasn’t fair to blame him. He had the best interest in his heart for us). I am a self-confessed noob so I have no qualm on saying that I didn’t know that. The PLUS officer tried to cool it off and then poured water into the valve – but when he started the engine, the water forced to “shot out” from the valve; indicating that the gasket now was positively RUINED!
Encik Zul (the blue shirt) and Abang Along at Batu Gajah Toll. Both are shown great ethics and professionalism. Well done. I suggest for their services, y’all. The phone numbers are as per attached in this entry.
Now, this was where Mak and I both became stupefied :- The Plus officers could only pull our car until the Jelapang Toll and after that we were to be on our own; either we wanted to get the car fixed in Jelapang or find any towing truck to pull our car all the way to Serendah. The main dilemma was of course – THE COST. Alhamdulillah; the PLUS officers gave us 3 names to contact for the towing truck (DO NOT ASSOCIATE THEM WITH ANY MISCHIEF. WE WERE THE ONE PLEADING THEM TO SUGGEST ANY TOWING TRUCK. THE OFFICERS WERE NOTHING BUT SHOWN GREAT PROFESSIONALISM TO US) and I finally resorted for the second one who was willing to tow my car back to Serendah for RM650, instead of RM900 from the first towing truck I called (who sounded rather conniving and sly).
Our second towing truck. From Batu Gajah to Serendah!
So, from Jelapang Toll area, we were then whisked up to the 1st towing truck (Mak and I became so excited because we felt as if we were boarding a Double Decker bus! Haha!) by Encik Zul and then we stopped at Batu Gajah as we needed to change for a second towing truck that was smaller and easier to be maneuvered within the congested traffic jam! There, my car was hooked upon the 2nd towing truck by Abang Along; and off we went to Serendah!
HAZE! We couldn’t close the windows due to the non-functioning of the engine.
All the way, of course we attracted curious passers-by turning their heads upon us. But Mak and I were busy talking and chatting and laughing and tried to make the best of this worst situation. I guess in a way, it was a bless in disguise that ALLAH SWT destined this fiasco to happen – at least, I could now spend quality time talking to Mak. We couldn’t close our car windows because the engine was no more functioning so you could imagine that Mak and I had to bear the hazardous HAZE for 2-3 hours of the journey. AND not to mention that as we were approaching Bukit Beruntung exit, the rain started to fall down vigorously. So, we had no choice but to cover ourselves with clothes to protect us from the rain!! The funny thing was that SUDDENLY, A CAR CAME SPLASHING WATER AT US AS IT WENT CRUISING IN ITS FAST & FURIOUS MANNER IN THE EMERGENCY LANE!!! We were stupefied but managed to laugh about that! Hahhaa!
As we were approaching Bukit Beruntung, it was raining cats and dogs!
Alhamdulillah finally circa 4 p.m. and it was raining in Serendah, we finally arrived at Desa Anggerik. Can’t imagine we managed to pull this off. I could not help but feeling grateful because our little (mis) adventure was somewhat revolved around people who are good, professional and excellent interpersonal skills liaising with customers. Thanks to both of the PLUS officer covering the Jelapang-Sungai Perak highway; and of course to :-
- Encik Zul (019-5525198)
- Abang Along (010-5364738)
; for their professionalism. I strongly recommend these both towing trucks as not only they are genuine in their works; we could also see the ethical mannerism. I applause them for showcasing the professionalism as per in Islam and this also was a humble experience for Mak & I; that now we already fathomed the nitty-gritty and reality of the job scopes of a PLUS officer and those who are involved in the towing business – these are no easy tasks.
Mak trying to shield ourselves with the cloth and the rubber mat from the rain. What a humbling experience for both of us.
So tomorrow I plan to go to school first (despite the haze announcement that schools will be closed; teachers in Hulu Selangor are to present themselves no matter what – by the order of the Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah Hulu Selangor) and then try to settle the car. Hopefully, Ayah is having a safe trip driving here tonight. On whole, what an experience!
Safely arrived at Desa Anggerik, Serendah.