My Toyota Avanza is eight and a half years old already. This workhorse of a car has been quite reliable. In all these years, it has developed only two major problems with the engine.
In 2006 when the car was still within its warranty period - less than 30,000 kilometres on the meter - the automatic gearbox started giving me problem. Whenever I hit a certain speed, a roar could be heard above the engine's sound. I took it to the Toyota service centre and after their mechanics ran some road tests on it, they changed me a new gearbox. FOC. Free of charge. But I nearly flipped over when they asked me to sign on some documents and I saw that the cost of the gearbox was something like RM28,000 (I think).
Then in 2009, the engine started shaking violently one day when I was on the road. As I was no-where near one of the Toyota service centres - and moreover, the car was way over its warranty period by now - I drove straight to an independent workshop. The mechanic identified the culprit as a faulty plug coil and replaced it with a similar item that was used by the Perodua Myvi.
About a year ago, I went to a mechanic and had the rear absorbers on the car changed, seeing that they were already about seven years old and susceptible to wear and tear. At about the same time, my wife and I were wondering why our ride in the car was not smooth. Whenever it went over an uneven part of the road, the rear of the car became very hard, bumpy and noisy.
I couldn't detect the problem and neither could this mechanic friend of mine. We knew that the noise was coming from the back of the car but the mechanic checked and couldn't find anything the matter with the absorbers.
So reluctantly, I decided to visit the Toyota service centre. Surely, they would have a better idea. Their mechanic tinkered and probed the car's suspension and told me that the third-party absorbers I was using was not compatible with the Avanza. I would have to change to their absorbers if I wanted to eliminate the problem. What to do, but to agree with their recommendation?
I was looking at the invoice just an hour ago and I was intrigued by their description of the car's problem and the solution. Here's what was written:
CONDITION: REAR PORTION KOK-KOK NOISE. REMEDY: REPLACEMENT PART - DONE. REMARKS: TEST REAR PORTION NO ABNORMAL KOK-KOK NOISE. ONLY U/CARRIAGE GOT OOK-OOK RUBBING NOISE.Kok-kok noise, ook-ook noise. Indeed. I guess the sounds were beyond normal description and so, this must be the only way to describe the funny noises that came from below the car!