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Category ArchiveCNM Motors Posts

Does Your Vehicle Need a Tune-Up?

For most people, buying a vehicle is one of the biggest financial investments they’ll ever make. While it may happen several times during your lifetime, you probably don’t want to do it too frequently, unless you have a lot of extra cash hanging around.

Instead, you may choose to maintain the vehicle you have as long as possible. Or, you may opt to keep it a few years and trade it in for a newer model. Either way, cars can’t go forever without maintenance.

When Do You Need A Tune-Up

Following the appropriate preventative maintenance schedule will keep them running smoothly for longer time periods, though. In the past, the term “tune-up” was used to describe procedures done to service a vehicle, typically related to the engine and its components.

Warning signs that your vehicle is ready for repairs or maintenance

Unlike a child that can tell you when something’s wrong, cars don’t speak. They do have a language of their own, however, which can be useful to learn if you want to know how to make your vehicle last.
Here are 7 ways your vehicle may be asking you for a modern-day tune-up:

  1. Dashboard lights – Have you ever noticed the little lights on your dashboard? Some of them are warning signs of problems that you might not be aware of otherwise. Don’t ignore them. If you have a dashboard light that comes on and doesn’t turn back off, schedule an appointment at our partner auto repair shop for diagnosis as soon as possible.
  1. Stalling – When your vehicle stalls, it’s trying to tell you that something is wrong internally. It could be something such as fouled spark plugs or a clogged fuel filter – either way, take heed to the warning and take your vehicle in for service before you end up in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation.
  1. Difficulty starting – Your vehicle should start smoothly every single time. When it doesn’t, there’s a problem that’s worth looking into. It might mean battery service is in order, or it could be something more serious.
  1. Reduced fuel mileage – If it feels like you’re having to refuel your vehicle more than usual, you’re not getting the best gas mileage and it’s time to find out why. It could be due to improper tire pressure, but it could also be time for routine maintenance.
  1. Noisy or spongy brakes – Your vehicle’s brakes are an important component for helping you stop smoothly and safely. When they make noises or feel soft, they’re not operating as intended and could leave you in an unsafe situation. Take this as a warning sign and schedule brake service right away.
  1. Mystery noises – If your car starts sounding like a haunted house on Halloween, something’s up. Squealing from under the hood can indicate a worn belt, odd noises when turning the wheel could mean a power steering problem, and unusual tire sounds could be a sign of imbalance or a failing CV joint.
  1. Shifting issues – Vehicles with automatic transmissions are meant to shift smoothly and effortlessly. When shifting becomes difficult, however, or if it happens when it’s not supposed to, this could be a sign that the transmission needs some TLC.

So, there … you’ve started learning your car’s language and the ways in which it communicates that there is something wrong. There’s more to the language, however, and these are just a few signs that your vehicle needs extra attention. If you’re ever unsure whether service is necessary, check your owner’s manual or consult with your local auto repair shop.

Here’s our motto: fix small problems before they become big problems. It’ll save you money AND headaches down the road!

Car Battery Care

If you’re like most people, you rely on your vehicle for everyday use. Without even thinking about it, you hop in, turn the key or push the start button, and away you go. That is, as long as your car car battery however, you aren’t going anywhere, and it’s time to find out why. Corrosion can eat away at the battery cable parts until there is very little left.

How a car battery works

If you were a doctor trying to diagnose a patient’s illness, you’d need to know a lot about body parts and how they function. The same is true when it comes to cars. In order to know what’s working and what isn’t, it’s helpful to have a good working knowledge of a vehicle’s components, even if you’re not a professional auto mechanic.

Although there are many parts, let’s take a look at a few of the key components of a car battery:

  • Battery terminals and cables – these connect the battery itself to the vehicle’s electrical system.
  • Battery acid/paste – the chemical component of a car battery.
  • Positive and negative plates – sets of positive and negative plate blocks make up the battery cell and conduct energy.

In simple terms (we’ll avoid the scientific jargon here), a car battery works by taking chemical energy and converting it into electrical energy – that’s the kind needed to start your vehicle and power electrical components such as lights and the radio. The chemical reaction comes from the interaction between hydrogen, oxygen, lead, and sulfur.

What causes battery cable and terminal corrosion?

Corroded battery cables

If you remember from chemistry class, chemical reactions often result in the desired action or product. But, they can also lead to the formation of byproducts. In car batteries, we see that in the form of corrosion.

As your vehicle heats and cools, so does the battery. During this process, hydrogen gas is released through the battery’s vents and mixes with particles around the battery itself. This mixture builds up over time and is the corrosion we most often see on battery terminals or cables.

How to fix corroded battery terminals

Unfortunately, once corrosion occurs, it’s not going to go away on its own. Instead, it’s going to require some good, old-fashioned WORK! If the buildup is not too severe, the terminals can be cleaned as follows:

  1. Use a wire brush and battery cleaner. This is the ideal method as the battery cleaner works to break down the built-up particles and the wire brush scrubs them away.
  2. Use a baking soda-water mixture and a toothbrush. If you don’t mind a little extra scrubbing, this method can work just as well and can be done with everyday materials that most people have at home.

For both of these methods, the car’s engine should be off and the battery cables should be disconnected from the vehicle. If you have any questions at all about the process, or whether your terminals can even been cleaned, be sure to ask us!

Does a corroded battery need to be replaced?

Auto Repair Car Battery

Sometimes, a corroded battery cannot be sufficiently cleaned. Or, it has other issues that indicate it’s time for a replacement. When inspecting your battery, be sure to note the condition of the case itself. If it’s leaking or bloated (bulging), don’t bother with trying to clean the corroded terminals and cables. Instead, head to your car battery supplier and purchase a replacement. See here: គីរីរម្យ លក់​អាគុយ Kirrirum Battery Shop, Phnom Penh.

Beyond excessive corrosion and leaking or swelling of the battery case, here are a few other symptoms that indicate it’s time for a new battery instead of cleaning or repair of the old one:

  • Difficulty starting the vehicle – the engine crank is slow and the car has difficulty starting or won’t start at all.
  • Check engine light is on – this can occur for multiple reasons, but can also appear when the battery is weak and ready to call it quits.
  • Low battery fluid – look at the side of the battery. There is often a clear window through which you can see the battery fluid level. If it’s below the lead plates, talk to your mechanic about battery testing or replacement.
  • Age – if your battery is greater than three years old, it’s on borrowed time.

How to prevent battery corrosion

With many problems in life, the solution is often to prevent the problem in the first place. In the case of car batteries, it’s best to start fresh with a new battery. Then, you can implement the following corrosion prevention procedures:

  1. Use spray battery protector. Available at many auto parts stores, this product is meant to prevent buildup on battery terminals and cables. Follow the manufacturer’s application directions, but start with clean parts!
  2. Apply anti-corrosion gel. This product is directly applied to the terminals themselves, but not the connectors. It acts to prevent corrosion buildup, meaning less cleaning down the road and better battery performance!
  3. Install felt terminal protectors. This is a great option for the car owner who doesn’t want to handle gel or spray, which can sometimes be messy. The felt pieces are inexpensive and are directly installed on the terminals. They are typically saturated with a corrosion preventative that does not dry out or evaporate, providing long term battery corrosion protection.

8 ways to extend the life of your car battery

You’ve learned a little about how a car battery works, how its parts can become corroded, and how to prevent battery corrosion. Let’s wrap up with a few more tips on extending your battery’s life in general:

  1. Start with the right battery for your vehicle.
  2. Limit frequent, short-distance trips.
  3. Make sure the battery is properly secured.
  4. Turn off electrical accessories when the vehicle isn’t running.
  5. Keep the battery clean, including its case and terminals.
  6. Minimize exposure to temperature extremes.
  7. Perform regular checks on the battery’s voltage.
  8. Use the vehicle on a regular basis.

Follow these tips and you’ll find that a little preventative maintenance will go a long way in helping you get the most use out of your car battery.
Happy driving!

What should you do when your car overheats?

Have you ever been in the situation where your car overheats? It can be incredibly stressful – not only does it leave you stranded with a broken-down ride, it can also mean auto repairs in your future (which can put a dent in your wallet). CNM Motors is here to TRY to alleviate some of that stress – check out our tips on what you should do when your car overheats.

Why does your car overheat?

The first thing to do is to know ahead of time what causes your car to overheat. Basically, your car is working hard when it’s in motion and in order to get you where you need to go, things have to stay cool under the hood – specifically, inside the engine block. If you have a lack of coolant or a problem with one of the parts in your cooling system, then overheating is a real risk. Your best bet? Pay close attention to your car, stay on a routine auto service schedule, and check the coolant on a regular basis (especially in the summer).

4 steps to take when your car overheats

What should you do if your car overheats? Don’t panic, first of all – instead, follow these simple steps that we have laid out for you……

Step 1: Pull over and turn your car off.

Once you notice the temperature gauge climbing in your dash, pull over. You should never try to make it to your final destination when your car overheats; you risk doing expensive or irreparable damage to your car. Pull over and park in a safe spot and turn your car off to give it a chance to cool before you assess what’s going on under the hood.

Step 2: Pop the hood.

Once your car has cooled off and the temperature gauge has dropped back down, it’s time to pop the hood and see if you can figure out what’s going on. Check the coolant in the coolant reservoir tank; if it’s empty, you can try adding more. However, if you know you’ve been sticking to an auto service schedule and it should be full you need to look for a leak or a busted/damaged hose to see why it’s not reaching the engine block. Other possible issues that can cause overheating include blocked hoses and a broken water pump.

Step 3: Try re-starting your car.

Once you’ve given your vehicle a chance to cool off and have added some coolant to the tank if it’s needed, you can try re-starting your car. Let it idle for a few minutes to see if the temperature gauge starts to climb again before you attempt to get back on the road.

Step 4: Make an auto service appointment at our partner workshop

When you turn your car back on, assess the temperature gauge. If it stays on cool, you can try to get to your final destination. If it starts to immediately climb, you need to call a tow truck to bring you to a service center. However, either way you need to make an auto service appointment to let the mechanics pinpoint why your car overheated.

Want to make an appointment at CNM Motors today? Call 096 7007 434!

5 Possible Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

You might not be an auto mechanic, but even so, knowing the most common reasons for a car not starting might just help you make the best of the situation. Here are a few things to look for:

  1. Dead Battery This is by far the most common culprit, and often the easiest problem to solve. As long as the battery isn’t completely toast, you should be able to jump start it using jumper cables. (Tip: this is why you should have a set of jumper cables in each car you drive.) If you haven’t done this before, follow the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual or ask for help.
  2. Electrical Issues If jump starting your battery doesn’t work, the battery itself may be beyond its usable life and require replacement. Or, there could be a more serious problem with your vehicle’s electrical system. If no interior lights come on when you try to start your car, the issue is likely the battery. However, if dashboard lights come on but your car still won’t start, other electrical issues may be to blame. It’s time to contact CNM Motors and schedule a service at our partner workshop.
  3. Faulty Starter or Ignition Switch Once you’ve ruled out a dead battery, another possible culprit is a problem with the starter or ignition switch. These components work hand in hand with the battery to get your vehicle running. If they’re broken or malfunctioning, you may hear a clicking sound when you turn the key. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do about this in your driveway or beside the road. You’ll need to get your vehicle to our partner workshop to fix the problem.
  4. Clogged Fuel Filter If you had something inside your digestive tract blocking food from entering your system, it wouldn’t take long before you felt run down and out of energy. The same is true with your car. If the fuel filter becomes dirty or clogged, fuel won’t reach the engine, causing issues with starting, power, or acceleration. Here’s one area where preventative maintenance is key – most fuel filters should be changed every 10,000 – 15,000 miles, so don’t skip this important maintenance item!
  5. An Empty Gas Tank Maybe you thought you had enough gas left to get you to the station. As silly as it sounds, your car might not start simply because it’s out of gas! Fortunately, THIS one is an easy fix (as long as you’re not in the middle of nowhere).

Preventative Maintenance Can Help

As you read the list above, you may have noticed that several of these issues could have been prevented. For example, batteries are not meant to last forever. Have your trusted mechanic inspect your vehicle’s battery regularly and replace it at the recommended intervals. Ignition or starter problems often have signs leading up to complete failure. Fuel filters are meant to be replaced regularly. And, as a safety precaution, don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank go below a ¼ of a tank.

Paying attention to your vehicle’s needs as you would do for your own child can help it last longer and keep YOU from getting stranded. Contact us to schedule your preventative maintenance today!

Expat Vehicle Registration Announcement

The Ministry of Public Works & Transport (MPWT) are constantly revising laws recently regarding foreign registered owners of cars in Cambodia.

When selling your registered vehicle to a new owner, the MPWT now requires you to go in-person to submit your passport & visa copy, and place your thumbprint onto the new registration forms, in order to successfully change ownership.

This will cause problems for cars that are registered to foreign owners who have since left the country, and are no longer able to attend the MPWT office to submit registration.

Selling a car registered to a foreigner who has since left the country, has now become an unknown, and will no doubt cause local buyers to question the purchase. Potentially making the sale very difficult.

We hope to bring you more information regarding this issue very soon….

Cambodian Driving License

A step-by step guide for expats applying for or renewing a Cambodian driving license in person. tep guide, on how-to apply for a driving license in Cambodia.

Due to the change in laws issued by the General Department Of Public Works and Transport, CNM Motors will no longer be offering the Cambodian driving license service. 
Below is a detailed description of how to apply for a new license by converting your international licenses or a simple renewal for all CNM Motors clients and followers.

New applications should take around one hour from start-to-finish. Renewals should take roughly 40 minutes. Both cost $30.00.

For applicants renewing an expired license; MPWT will charge 500 riel for everyday you are expired over 1 month.

ALL new or old applicants must attend in person with required documents, and complete a simple medical examination.

Aeon Mall 2 Sen Sok City, located here:
Situated on the 2nd floor. Near ABA and Acleda bank. 
Monday – Sunday. Closed 12pm – 1pm for lunch. 
General Department Of Public Works and Transport office, located here: https://goo.gl/maps/yAA7n5gRFqw 
Monday – Friday only. CLOSED 11:30am till 2:00pm for lunch.

Documents required: original passport + one copy, current valid visa + one copy, your original valid driving license from your home-country, 2 passport photos with white background, residence certificate specifically for driving licenses (which is provided from local Sangkat office – applicants should approach landlord for assistance with this).
For renewals; a residence certificate is not required. You will also have to submit your expired Cambodian license.

Unfortunately this department is no longer issuing Chinese expatriates Cambodian licenses without completing a driving test. 
If your license from your home-country does not contain English language at all, you must receive a translation from your embassy to submit along with your application. 
If you do not have an embassy in Cambodia, you can send to an embassy nearby for translation, or simply sit the test for the 10-year license (see here; https://www.facebook.com/cnmcambodia/posts/564135170590824)

All licenses for expats are valid for one year only.

Aeon Mall 2 Sen Sok City is the preferred location for expats to complete license conversions or renewals, as they offer a higher quality service, and speak very good English. Please inquire within once you have obtained all the required paperwork.

If completing your application at the General Department Of Public Works and Transport office, follow these steps below;

1. Once you arrive, enter using the last entrance (2nd on your right). To the left of the testing station is a group of buildings. Enter through the red door. This is the waiting area for people completing driving tests.

2. Follow the arrow on the right side. Enter the room on the left side (if you come in through the main entrance on the other side, its opposite). This is the medical checkup room. Office staff will ask your height and weight, and give you a simple eye test. They will complete some forms for you. You need to give them 1 passport photo and 10,000 riel only.

3. Leave the way you entered. Walk straight ahead, past the Wing shop, and look for the Driving License Office on the left hand side. Go to the last window on the right, and give your form from the medical test, your old license (if renewing), 2 remaining passport photos, and your passport along with the copies.

4. They will request that you go inside, where your paperwork is checked and approved by 4 different people, and then given to a data entry member of staff, who will prepare your application whilst you sit outside and wait.

5. You will be called to get your paperwork, sign your name on the docs, then take it to the Wing kiosk outside and transfer the remaining 30,000 riel. Wing fee is 1,000 riel.

6. Return the form to the members of staff inside the glass room office. They will recheck it, then you wait while they print your new license. You need to sign a book confirming you have collected it. 
The new licenses are paper cards in a plastic sheath. These cards have U.V watermarks, and are extremely waterproof.

Good luck

Leaflet’s Coming Your Way

Import Tax Tables 2018 – S.U.V cars

Import Tax Tables – 2018 – SUV

Taxes Target Used Car Imports

The government is considering increasing taxes on used car imports, and encouraging auto companies to set up assembly plants in Cambodia.

Kun Nhem, director-general of the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), said at the Auto Show 2018 on Friday that higher taxes on used car imports would encourage more people to consider a new car, which would help the environment and be safer and more economical.

He did not say how big the tax increase could be.

“We don’t have a specific policy yet on adding taxes to used cars, but we are considering limiting old car imports,” he said.

“We will consider the date of manufacture of old cars.

“We won’t ban the import of used cars but for cars made before 2000 we will increase taxes to stop grey dealers from importing very old cars which impact the environment and affect consumers’ safety,” Mr Nhem said.

“Import taxes, VAT and special taxes for used cars are not changing.

“Old or used cars must pass technical inspections after paying taxes. The oldest cars are more frequently sent for technical inspections while new car inspections are conducted every two years,” he said.

Speaking to auto representatives from Porsche, Honda, Nissan, Isuzu, Ssangyong, Mitsubishi and Foton at the Auto Show, which concluded yesterday, Mr Nhem said the government was offering a 50 percent tax cut for manufacturers who assembled finished vehicles in the country.

He said that there were about 300 to 500 parts and components to assemble for one car.

“The cut of 50 percent in taxes is to support local people by giving them more work through manufacturing assembly, and to support and facilitate companies which assemble new cars in the country,” Mr Nhem said.

“Currently, for car imports across Asean there are zero taxes while the government is charging only the VAT and special taxes.”

Mr Nhem said Cambodia imported about 6,000 used and new cars per month. New cars were about 15 percent of total imports. Thus, he said the new car market would have more room and potential to grow.

“Most of the new authorised automobile dealers must work harder to raise consumer awareness of new cars,” said Mr Nhem, whose department gets about 40 percent of its total income from vehicle and machinery imports.

Michael Vetter, EuroCham’s automotive committee president and board member of the Cambodia Automotive Industry Federation, welcomed the government’s move.

He said that in the last three years, the automobile sector has risen rapidly which is a good sign for Cambodian people and its economy.

“Authorised dealers will not only distribute cars legally, but they also create jobs for Cambodian people and offer the right products to consumers,” Mr Vetter said.

“All authorised automobile dealers are complying with the law in Cambodia in terms of paying taxes to ensure the safety of customers.”

Shorn Phirom, business development manager of the Car4you Company, said the new car market would improve with the government considering a rise in import taxes on used cars.

“Now the government is giving priority to new cars rather than used cars,” Mr Phirom said.

Ngoun Keovattey, assistant to the CEO of Porsche, said her company and other authorised car dealers still had issues over competition from the grey market in terms of price and parallel imports.

“We pay full taxes while the grey market pays less,” she said. “Import taxes are now 135 percent.”

She urged people to consider new cars from authorised dealers because they would get more benefit regarding costs, safety and maintenance compared with grey dealers.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.

10 Year Driving License

We all know that information regarding these sorts of things isn’t widely available to expats in Cambodia, so we work hard to try and source as much as possible to share within the expat community and CNM Motors’ network.

For those expats who do not wish to renew their driving license each and every year, or to those of you who have expired international licenses or even do not obtain a driving license at all -this service offers a simple solution to becoming a legal driver in Cambodia. These licenses are valid for 10 years.

You can book a medical, theory and practical exam at the Ministry of Transportation online through https://driverlicense.mpwt.gov.kh/login
To do this, you will need to upload scans of your passport, valid visa, and proof of residency/residence certificate from your local Sangkat (លិខិតនៃការស្នាក់នៅ/“lichet snadt noe”)
You will also be required to pay the 90,000r fee through a Wing or Ly Hour account. When you show up for your test, they will want a copy of your Wing receipt (though the online system issues you a QR code .pdf indicating you’ve paid, they also require to see the Wing receipt. If you pay by the phone app instead screenshots of the transaction receipt are accepted).

Some revision is required, as we know Cambodia has a unique driving system.
For revision, you can use the Driving Rules phone app. Links below.
– App Store (iOS): http://dr.mpwt.gov.kh/ios
– Play Store (Android): http://dr.mpwt.gov.kh/android
(FYI first few pages are in Khmer, but English is available shortly after)
In addition to the app, you can obtain a book and sample written exam at any driving school for 5000r only.  An English version of the book is apparently available at the driving school on Sotheros & Sihanouk Blvd; price unknown.

Once you have completed the online booking slot, and revised through the phone app/book, you may follow these steps;

1) When you go to the Department of Transport (located here; https://goo.gl/maps/KvAtRcsFQcx) head to the information window at the licensing office to get your paperwork. You will need originals of your documents for them to check against the scans. They will require 4 passport photos with white background.
2) Next go to take the medical test (pay 10,000r in cash at the medical check office, for which you will be given a receipt). The medical check office is at the rear of the compound, near the driving test area, past the vehicle inspection building.
3) After completing the medical test, you must now attempt the theory exam (located upstairs in the same building as the medical check). If you cannot understand some of the questions because the English is incomprehensible, then you can ask the examiner to explain it to you and they will help. If you fail the test, the cost for retesting is 20,000r, although this apparently cannot be completed on the same day.
The theory exam is a computerized test containing 40 questions in 30 minutes; available in English.
4) If you successfully pass the written test, you can now take the driving test.
If you show up around 1:00pm, you can pay $10 to use a practice car for 30 minutes on the course or 10,000r to use your own car. If you fail the driving test, then things become a little more complicated, as you cannot re-test on the same day. Ask a member of staff when the next available testing slot may be. To re-test show up by 9:00am, and they’ll give you a slot in the afternoon to take the test. If you show up in the afternoon, they’ll give you a slot for a different day. Retest fee is 30,000r.
The department also now allow an agent to come in the morning on your behalf (with your passport and money) to book the slot. So far there is not a way to sign up for a re-test slot online.
A translator is available for the actual driving test if required.
The driving tests must be completed in a ministry provided vehicle fit with dash-cams.
Corruption has been eliminated from all departments.
Tests are carried out on an artificial road within the Department of Transportation’s grounds.
During the test you will be required to complete two parking manoeuvres. Each available bay is very narrow, and tricky to complete. If you touch the boundaries on any one manoeuvre, it will be an immediate fail.

There can be up to 30+ people waiting to take the test on any one day, so please be prepared to wait your turn.

The practical driving test takes about 20 minutes, and licenses are issued and printed on the same day for successful participants.

Good luck to all