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The Malaysian traffic jam survival guide.

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The Malaysian traffic jam survival guide.

Us KL-ites and Klang Valley dwellers are no stranger to traffic jams. Sometimes it’s the typical rush hour crawl, but sometimes we get really unlucky and get stuck behind an accident that causes a 4-km jam on a major highway.

Either way, keeping your cool in these situations is important. While it’s a frustrating situation, and some of us might be tempted to zoom our way to freedom in the emergency lane (which is illegal, people), there are some things you can do to alleviate the boredom and frustration.


  1. Have a selection of cool tunes.

If the advertisement-laden radio isn’t helping to cool your frustrations, some of your favorite music will probably do the trick.

A lot of cars manufactured in the last five years come with all sorts of gadgets to enhance your driving experience. Gone are the cassette tape players and clunky radio dials – car stereos now feature technology such as USB connectivity, smartphone integration, touchscreen GPS and other fancy stuff like that.

If your car has it, use it! Load your phone up with your favorite songs and practice your chair dancing while you’re inching ahead on the road. It relieves a lot of stress – trust me.

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If your car isn’t equipped with the latest technology, worry not. You can either purchase your favorite artist/band’s CD, or use your car cup holders to amplify the sound of music playing from your smartphone.


  1. Be prepared with food and water.

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a jam before dinnertime and feeling your stomach practically eating itself from how hungry you are. Ever heard of the term “hangry”?

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We recommend keeping a supply of non-perishable food in the car for emergencies. That means things that won’t go bad quickly, like dried fruits, granola bars and chips. Not going bad quickly doesn’t mean last forever, so make sure to swap these out for fresh ones every once in awhile, more often if you park your car under the hot sun.

Another thing you want to keep on hand is a supply of clean drinking water, which should also be swapped out regularly. Of course, if you’re stuck in a jam that looks like it will take a long time to clear, you shouldn’t drink much, lest you be introduced to the other worst feeling to have when stuck in a jam – needing to go to toilet really, really badly.


  1. Have patience.

Being stuck in a traffic jam is really, really frustrating – we’ve all been there. You start thinking of all the better things you could be doing, like taking a nap or eating or pretty much anything other than being stuck in this traffic jam.

So before that frustration manifests itself in non-stop honking, take a deep breath.

Mercedes-Benz suggests adopting the power of positive thinking to get you through the jam. Instead of lingering on how late you’re going to be to work or how you’re going to miss your appointment, think of it as a way to get some extra time to yourself!

Unless you’re dealing with some really unreasonable people, chances are they will understand that getting stuck in traffic was an unavoidable situation and may let you reschedule.

You might also take the jam as an opportunity to learn while you wait – and no, I don’t mean by browsing on your phone. You can listen to podcasts, lectures, motivational speeches, audio books, or whatever strikes your fancy to pass the time. Take the opportunity to learn a new skill or help yourself become a better person; doing something productive might even make you feel a little good about having spent an hour (or more) in your car.


  1. Plan ahead.

This is especially important on long distance trips during holiday seasons like Raya or Chinese New Year – plan ahead! If you know it’s a 2 hour drive from KL to Malacca, do yourself a favor and leave well in advance so you won’t be weaving in and out of lanes in the hope of making it on time to your family reunion.

Navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps can tell you how long it will take to reach your destination, as well as inform you of any events along the way, such as roadworks or accidents that will slow down traffic.

Even if you’re just making the trip home from the office, if you will need to travel on major highways, it’s sometimes worth it to just give these apps a glance so you can plan to avoid the jam if possible.

Of course, if possible you should aim to avoid travelling during rush hour altogether.


  1. Maintain your vehicle.

You don’t want to be one of those unfortunate people causing the jam in the first place by stalling out in the middle of the highway during rush hour. It’s going to eat into your time, other people’s time, and will likely cost you a lot of money in towing and repair fees.

You can reduce the likelihood of this happening by regularly having your vehicle checked and serviced in what we in the automotive industry call preventative maintenance.

One of the common causes of vehicle failure, especially in the middle of rush hour traffic, is engine overheating. If your engine is overheats, it may start to detonate. Now don’t worry, we don’t mean this:

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Imagine the jam that would cause.

By detonate, we refer to the engine rattling, and pinging and losing power. Engine detonation is serious, as it can damage the rings, pistons and rod bearings, which will ruin your engine entirely.

There are several things that can cause engine overheating – from serious issues like a coolant leak to something as small as a defective radiator cap. Engine overheating could also be caused by infrequent engine oil changes that result in an under-lubricated engine.

Engine oil will solidify into sludge over time, which prevents it from being able to circulate within the engine and lubricate moving parts. This may result in increased friction as the pistons move, which produces excessive heat, besides wearing them down.

Additives within the engine oil that do things like protect against rust and flush impurities will also break down as they are used up, which is why it’s important to stick to your recommended oil change schedule.

Book an oil change service with the Maxx ‘N Go app to take care of that oil change at maximum convenience! You only pay for the oil – workmanship, delivery, standard service and even the oil filter are free.

You also get a free 15 point check up to spot issues that can cause breakdowns. If we find any problems that can’t be taken care of by our mobile technicians, we can help you with them at our service center.

Download the Maxx ‘N Go app via the App Store or Google Play store, or go to our website to learn more.