All along, when my car had issues, I would send my car to a workshop and have the staff check and diagnose what is wrong. The price would be told to me and I would just pay up.
However, my car is quite an old car so sometimes spare parts are hard to come by. For example by car back wiper and the side mirrors which the usual mechanics do not stock the spare parts. For years, I had to drive my car with a faulty back wiper because the few mechanic shops that I go to were not able to provide the replacement wiper for my car model.
I did not know the existence of car spare parts supply store until I got involved in a car accident a few years ago.
It happened when I was ferrying my mom and we were going to the roundabout. Until today, I could not explain why I could not see the red car that was at the roundabout. I went straight and by the time I saw the car, I could not brake on time. I hit the car immediately.
It was a Malay lady in the car. I had no intention to drive away as I acknowledge it was my fault and I would never be able to live with my conscience if I had done so. So the both of us drove our car to one side as not to cause any traffic jam. The lady mentioned the red car actually belonged to her son. She had a very worried look on her face as she mentioned her son would be upset at the damage (I could see the car was heavily modified and equipped with sports rim and roaring engine).
As the lady is not familiar with the car, I gave her my number and asked her to get her son to contact me. I also took her number.
Of course I felt a little sad as well because I know I have to part with a lot of cash. Surely that kind of repair would cost above RM1000. Fortunately I still had a job during that time.
The next day, her son contacted me about the car. He told me to meet him at a car spare parts shop.
At the shop, he bought the car spare parts which came up to less than RM300. He selected a bare car boot. In a way, I had been fortunate because:
- the guy is a handy person who knows how to put his car together at a minimal price
- he felt I am being honest by being willing to own up so he did not want to make things difficult. He just wanted to fix his car asap
- at the car spare part shop, there was no collaboration as all prices are computerised and there are also many customers at the shop.
He also called me few days later to mention about some labor costs that is incurred as he needed to get the bumper installed and to spray paint his entire car. I had expected it to cost RM1000 and above but he scanned the bill and it was only about RM200 because he went to his buddy mechanic to get it done. I got his bank account number and immediately wired the money over to him. That was the end of our deal.
I was glad the guy was honest and that he knew a lot about cars that he could take/and willing to take on the repairs on his own with minimal costs.
So with this, I was introduced to the existence of a car spare part shop (kedai alat ganti kereta). From the shop, I managed to get the back wiper and side mirrors at very cheap and unbelievable price. The next year, I was unfortunate as both my side mirrors were banged at short period of time (once is by a passing motorbike).
I managed to get the side mirrors from the spare part shop, bought it and paid a mechanic to help me install it. I would usually bring my car around the shop and point to the shop assistant who would then be able to provide the correct spare part just by one look at my car.
Such car spare part shops also sell motor black oil and anything and everything that your car would need across all car models.
Note: However if your car is still under warranty, avoid replacing spare parts on your own without going through their authorised service repair shop as this may void your warranty.
One such shop selling car spare parts in Petaling Jaya:
Bay Brothers Auto Sdn Bhd
No 2, Seksyen 8/1, Jalan Sungai Jernih,
46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-79573573. Hotline: 019-3259354.
If you are not able to access to the place, you may try to source for car spare parts online eg for Proton cars*.