My parents have always owned a car since I was very little, so family outings are always a breeze. But for all my other social and academic-related activities, I take public transport. So in a way, I am very familiar with car use, minus the hassle of maintaining one. I never appreciated cars – not in a ‘taken-for-granted’ kind of way, but rather, I don’t care less about designs, engine power, body work, tyres, rims, fuel efficiency, etc. Cars are just transportation tools. When I hop on a friend’s car, I don’t bother about the car make, model, or even the car colour.

But all this car-purchasing process has opened up another experience and gain new knowledge in my life.

Today, I am officially a car-slave.

We picked up the car at the Chevrolet Alpine Motors service centre at Sin Ming. It didn’t take long for me to notice a crack on the signal plastic cover on the left side mirror, for which they promised me a replacement during my next servicing appointment. Dex the sales exec had kindly sent the car for System 6 paint protection at Tuff Clad prior to our collection, so that saved us 3 hours.

Although the car is not supposed to come with fog lamps, it was installed, and Dex had no idea why. Ironic, because for the price you pay, the dealers often have no idea of the complete configuration details until the car reaches the owner. Dex also forewarned me that the brand of the sound system depends on batches. For ours, it’s not Blaupunkt.

Our first destination after driving out the car is to fix the solar film at Thermal Guard at MacPherson Road. When we returned an hour later after lunch, we were surprised that the car was ready.

Next stop: Autobacs off Upper Bukit Timah Road, to grab some accessories like cleaning cloth, leather and dashboard cleaning liquid, etc. I was contemplating changing the car horn – the Optra horn sounds like a toy car – but reckon we seldom horn anyway.

Final stop: AMK Hub to do grocery shopping.

I was quite happy with the performance of the car. In fact, the feel is similar to my dad’s Opel Astra-G, making me feeling very at ease.

I do notice one issue: during gradual acceleration after the gearbox switches to 2nd gear when the RPM is still low, there is a minor engine vibration which goes away only after further acceleration. If this persists, I’ll have to get the service centre to check.

And so the responsibility begins, for now I have to care for this $56000 asset, the single most expensive movable item I have ever owned.

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