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Top Gear Philippines


If the heat from the Philippine sun wasn’t a dead giveaway, we are deep in the throes of our country’s summer season. More than that, we are currently experiencing the mass exodus of people known as Holy Week. With all those vehicles clogging up our expressways and testing the patience of the drivers inside them, the question on our minds is: When is the best time to bring my car in for service—after or before Holy Week?

We at TGP believe that it is generally a good idea to bring your car to its casa for a check-up before the long break, and here are three reasons to back it up (and one reason why it may be better after).

1) It’s a long drive in extremely hot weather

Holy Week is notorious in the Philippines for falling just at the cusp of summer. Say goodbye to long days of relatively cool weather, and say hello to the unending inferno that is a reflection of the penance that Holy Week is supposed to embody in Catholics. Just being in a car in this weather is suffering enough. Just imagine how bad it gets under the hood.

With metal, gasoline, and fire spinning at ludicrous speed inside a metal casing, engines must be in tip-top shape to make sure they are ready to spend hours on the road in this heat. A quick oil change and check-up before any out-of-town jaunt would do wonders in making sure your car remains healthy, even if you yourself are on the edge of a heat stroke.

2) You’re generally with family

It’s one thing for your car to break down when you’re by yourself in Manila. It’s an entirely different story when said breakdown happens on the way to your dream beach getaway. Just imagine the stress with your kids in the back seat and your wife giving you an “I told you so” look. Couple that with reservations that have been made months in advance at a resort during peak season, and you can see why hopes and dreams have lived and died on the expressway on Holy Week.

3) It’s always better to be safe than sorry

Really, what’s the harm of having your car checked before going on a vacation? There’s less to think about, there’s less to worry over, and you and your family can just sit back, brave the traffic and (eventually) reach your destination. A quick check-up won’t cost much, since nothing is technically wrong with your car. As most doctors say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

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4) One big reason why bringing it after Holy Week may be a good idea

Obviously, if all the above reasons sound reasonable to you, same goes for the majority of the drivers on the road. So it’s likely that there would be a long queue as we, the procrastinators that we are, and every other person on the road realize that the Holy Week is coming up and rush to dealers to have our cars serviced. This may lead to long lines, and in the worst scenarios, leave you stranded on the holiday without having a car on hand.

The simple solution is to bring your car in a month or so before Holy Week. That way, you get to avoid the cramming done by most people. Another way is simply making sure that you schedule your car for service properly so you won’t be surprised by any long lines when you go to your dealer.

Just keep these tips in mind the next time you think about taking a long break.

Carlo Chungunco
Writer
A four-wheel, two-wheel and no-wheel enthusiast, Carlo believes RWD stands for "Right Wheel Drive" and that a petition should be started to save the manuals from their impending extinction.
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