Located in Petaling Jaya, it was my first time entering TOC Automotive College last week. I was there to attend their Car Maintenance 101 (CM101) half day course. It's all about gaining some much needed basic knowledge on general car care through proper maintenance, repair techniques and safe driving. A heavy car user, clocking in 100km + daily, I felt these knowledge are of paramount importance as you'll never know when the ride might breakdown.
|Car Maintenance 101 (CM101) @ TOC Automotive College Malaysia|
TOC Automotive College Malaysia
Address: 10, Jalan 19/1, Seksyen 19,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Telephone: 603-79552811 ext 883
Established in 2004, by Ms Adelaine LK Foo, TOC Automotive College is the pioneer in professional automotive education that ensures mobility and employability. TOC's passion is what drives them to provide the best learning experience in automotive and motorsports education.
TOC is rated five-star by MyQuest 2012/13 by the Ministry of Education. It is also recognised as a five-star Malaysian Skills Certificate training provider by the ministry of Human Resource. What's really cool is the fact that TOC has been accorded premier status accreditation by Accreditation Services for International Colleges (ASIC), a recognition given to only five per cent of the world's automotive education institutions.
|Let the class begin!|
The Car Maintenance 101 half day course that I attended with other fellow bloggers that morning was broken into four sections; Under hood maintenance inspection, chassis system inspection, body electrical inspection and repairs, and engine electrical inspection and repairs. Pretty comprehensive for the average beginner, or even those who are new to their cars.
|Our instructor, En. Harun giving the safety briefing and course introduction|
The program, which costs RM200 per participant to register and undertake, was designed for those who wish to gain basic knowledge of car maintenance to keep the cars on the road safe, and in the long run save on costly car repairs and servicing through frequent general care.
Upon arrival at TOC Automotive College, we had a quick breakfast at their canteen, and immediately kick started the training. Introduction was done by En. Harun where he explained to us that in the end of the course, we would at least be competent enough to do the following below:
- Familiar with basic car servicing
- Able to inspect fluid levels
- Able to inspect wheels component / conditions (changing, tire pressure, and checking worn tires)
- Able to apply usage of basic tools
- Able to implement safe driving styles
#1 Chassis System Inspection
|Mr Jimson running us through how to use the pressure gauge meter|
Immediately after going through the theory with En. Harun, we were sent to TOC's huge training workshop to begin our practical activities. Our first stop / session was the Chassis System Inspection class, where Mr Jimson was at hand to guide us on how to do a tyre inspection, suspension system inspection and lots of tips thrown in to stay safe via doing routine checks.
|Let the lessons begin, fellow bloggers at the CM101 workshop|
It is very important for us, as car owners to be able to inspect and determine the condition of tyres. Not only will it reduce the cost of maintenance, but it may just save your lives and your loved ones. A quick brief by Mr Jimson on what to check, which entails the tyre pressure, tyre tread (TWI), tyre lug nut torque, wheel bearings, spare tyre condition and tyre wear pattern.
|Love your tyres, and they will serve you well|
As a practical activity, each of us were given the opportunity to change a flat tyre, from the initial jacking up of the vehicle, to the turning of the nuts and finally change the tyre before fixing it all back again. The tools given were the tyre wrench, vehicle jack, wheel chock, and safety hazard signages.
|Just me, checking under the car to ensure I fitted the vehicle jack correctly|
|Ensure your tyres are not worn out|
We must always do a check on all our tyres to ensure they are always in good condition with plenty of thread. Bald or near bald tyres should not be used as they are dangerous. Hydroplaning can be avoided if we take these precautions, to always inflate the tyres to the specified pressure as recommended by the manufacturer.
|A rather useful tool to check the groove, whether our tyres are too worn down (bald) or not|
|Fellow blogger, Chanwon loosening the nuts to replace the tyre|
An over or under inflated tyre is bad for the tyre life and fuel consumption. We were rather satisfied after the first practical as we picked up the ability to inspect wheels components and access conditions (gauge tyre pressure and wear & tear conditions as well as to change tyres.
#2 Engine Electrical System
|Our next lesson is taught by En. Mohd Amir|
Up next, we went through the Body Electrical System practical, starting with how to inspect and change a car battery. The battery post clamp and terminal has to be joint correctly during a jumpstart of a car. It's interesting to find out that we are suppose to connect the live (red) jumper of new battery to the old one. What I did not know is that the black jumper wire should't be attached to the negative terminal of old battery, but to the engine head instead.
|Explaining how to upkeep your car battery|
Most car batteries can be used up to 2 years depending on the upkeep. By checking when was the last time you bought your car battery, it will serve as a reference for you to determine when is the best time to change a new battery.
|Notice the black jumper cable attached to the engine, and not the negative terminal of the old battery|
Changing a car battery is something that most people will be able to do themselves, but choose to get others to do instead. The hardest part is to lift it out of the car once it has been disconnected due to its weight.
#3 Body Electrical System
|En. Harun is back to teach us, at the body electrical system practical|
It's important to always check the lights and alarm system, head light operation, clearance light, signal lights, courtesy lights, horn and vehicle warning indicator lights. We were also taught on the various type of bulbs, from the ordinary bulb to the halogen, HID bulb and many more.
|Type of bulbs|
|Fellow blogger, Ruby changing the front headlamp's bulb|
Replacing the front headlights' bulbs proved to be tougher than we though, even though it should be an easy 'hand in-bulb out-replace' procedure. I attribute it to the tight space and that very hard to dislodge clip holding unto the bulb holder. We learnt how to replace both the front and back light bulbs, which was an experience in itself.
|Fellow blogger, Chanwon unscrewing the back lamps to access the bulb holder|
#4. Under Hood Inspection
|Under the hood is where the magic happens|
It is important for the car owner to be able to determine the location and the name of important components under the car hood. Not only does this help the owner inspect their engine condition when require, but it can also prolong the life span of the engine if proper maintenance and inspection is constantly being conducted.
|Mr Ramesh showing us how it's done. Checking the engine oil level, and various under the hood stuff|
We learnt all about engine lubrications that morning. The engine oil serves as the 'blood' of the engine, where it not only acts as a lubricant for the engine but also serves as a cleaning agent, heat dissipation and also a "cushioning" effect. Ensuring the lubrication system is sufficient is paramount for the engine to work well without breaking down.
|In deep concentration|
|Thank you TOC Automotive College Malaysia|
It was an awesome half day out at TOC Automotive College Malaysia, where we really learn lots from the Car Maintenance 101 short course. After undergoing the basics, I really do feel I'm better equipped to handle any automotive related simple problems. Simple is the correct word here, as the course is really for beginners. TOC Automotive College Malaysia offers many other courses, so do check out their website at www.toc.edu.my for more info.