Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tribute to Axela

Last November marks our 3rd anniversary together. How time flies.

Although her fuel consumption is higher compared some of her peers, it was not as bad as most thought it is. With the car weighing around 1.2 tonnes, heavier than her Korean or Japanese peers, 11.3km/l is considered more than acceptable especially when it is compensated that with superb handling during high speeds and at bends. 180km/h and the three passengers did not even realise it. That's how stable she is.

Underpowered she may be from the get go but she gets me places and gives me the needed power when required. No complaints from me on this aspect.

She posed no major problems all these while except for warped front brake discs which resulted in the car jerking when braking during high speed. I would not have known if I had not been to Sepang. That was thankfully settled by the warranty program so it cost me nothing.

I had to replace the front windscreen, cracked twice in the first year, caused by flying objects while on the road. I had to fork out approximately 15% of the total cost each time while the rest of it, was covered by the insurance. That however was beyond Axela's control.

Wear and tear wise, her Bridgestone tyres lasted 3 years, clocking 70,000 km. That is considered way above expectation. They also wore out evenly which means the alignment is still ok. I had them replaced with the exact same model, the most I spend on her, because not only it lasts, it performed really well, wet or dry, proven with many on the road incidents.

Just changed her battery today, a similar case of performing beyond expectation. It gave signs a few months back but only recently she started to give me warnings. When to JB with makcik today and had it replaced with a similar flooded cell, 65% cheaper compared to local prices. Decided against a dry cell not only because it is cheaper but also because unlike dry cell batteries that will stop working without warning, flooded cell will give you signs of its condition when you crank the engine up.

The rear brake pads was replaced after around 2 1/2 years. Good thing too since after that the brake dust on the wheels reduced dramatically. Made me wonder why Mazda did not supply that brake pads instead in the first time round.

Her front headlight bulbs blew recently, one after the other, a really minor cost.

Her body also proved its worth for being heavy. Once a rider hit her left side near the tail light. It was quite a hard knock that the car jolted a little from a stationary position. I stopped the rider, a probationer with a pillion, to the side and both of them had no blood on their face. As it was dark and I can't see anything broken, I let them off. It was only when I reached home under the bright carpark lights that I noticed a line of dent. Considering the impact, damage is minor.

Then there was the Gunung Pulai incident where an Ah Pek's bike fell on the driver's door. Again, considering the impact, the dent left by it is considered a blessing.

Her bodykit took the most beatings and amazingly still not broken albeit scratches here and there.

Once I hit the front skirting against a divider, thinking it broke judging by the sound of it but it only got misaligned and I just need to nudge it back to its original place.

I also hit a divider on the sides, jolting the car, and still nothing is broken.

Then there was the time when the right side of the rear bumper came off after a friend who is not familiar with how deceivingly low Axela is tried to park her. Again, I just need to push everything back in place and it looks like nothing happened. The bodykits are worth every penny spent.

With all the above and trips to Terengganu, twice up Genting and once to Sepang covered, she has been really good to me. Hopefully it will be Penang or maybe even Thailand the next time round.

Thanks Axela.

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