Different people buy cars for various reasons - for many a car is an extension of their self image - representing their lifestyle. Almost everyone I talk to has a dream car - one they aspire to even if they cannot afford it. However, there are also a lot of people for whom a car is just a machine useful to get from point A to point B. My dad happens to be one of them. He has been driving the same Proton Wira 1.3 manual transmission hatchback for more than 8 years now and asked him whether he wanted to update to a new car. He was not really keen.

He calls luxury cars, houses on wheels because with the price of some of the cars, you can actually buy a house.

He is really fond of the car and I am not surprised. The car has only done 127,800 Kms and recently had timing belt in the engine changes. He proudly mentioned that the car has not broken down even once and starts up immediately.

However, I was sure that the aging car was bound to have some problems and this was confirmed when I recently had it serviced at the local Proton Edar service centre near my house (SENAXIS Sdn Bhd). One of the tyres needed to be changed immediately as it was nearly bald. They also pointed out that several parts need to be replaced and even suggested that it be better to actually buy a new car. However, my dad was not having any of it - his reasoning was that the estimated total cost of the repairs was about RM1000 but to buy a new car would cost at least RM45000 for the Proton Persona 1.6 M version. This was because he does not want a small car and does not like the look of the Saga. I guess he does have certain preferences.

Anyway we decided to go ahead with the repairs and overall a total of 27 parts were replaced (big and small) and the overall damage came to RM1642.80 including tyre allignment (RM40), labour (RM250) and 6% tax (RM15).

The major parts included:

1. Insulator assys x2 = RM188.24
2. Rubber bump x 2 = RM151.56
3. Link control assy LH and RH = RM127.53 x 2
4. Shock absorbers assy RR, RH and LH = RM102.12 x2
5. Strut FR suspension LH and RH = RM185.07 x 2 (the costliest parts).

Other minor parts included rubber bumps, pads, tyre nuts, bushing coils, rubber stabilizers.

I know that official car service centres are more expensive but I choose to go there because I wanted genuine parts.

Do you think we could have got them cheaper elsewhere?

Anyway, I think we have extended the life of the old car for a few more years.