When, How to Fix Your Bike in Vietnam
GIF source: giphy.com
If you’re a foreigner, this might be the first two-wheeled, motor-powered transport you’ve ever owned. As such, your approach to maintenance may be to just drive it around until you hear it make a weird sound.
While that’s not the best way to learn about the needs of your bike, a change in sound can be an important first signal that your bike needs attention from a professional, mechanic Duong Brooks said.
“It might be a bad engine. If the sound is really loud, it might be a piston”, he hypothesised. “Or you’re losing oil more quickly than normally.”
Image source: i.kinja-img.com
Brooks, the co-owner of Binh Thanh district motorbike garage DC Motorbikes, said excess or abnormal noise from a bike might mean a variety of things, most of them bad.
“The most important thing is … it may cost you a lot of money”, he said.
To avoid a costly and unplanned visit to the mechanic, Brooks said motorbike owners should hew to a schedule of routine mechanic visits to get basic repairs done. Find a mechanic you can trust near you and start developing that relationship. Brooks said most are knowledgeable and priced fairly.
And while you can’t avoid driving in the rain, you should take care of your bike if you plan on braving a downpour in a poncho on two wheels. Drive slow as the tires and road will have a thin layer of water between them reducing the grip of the rubber.
Image source: dantricdn.com
Also, avoid flooded roads. If rising waters from the road enter your exhaust, you may have a pricey repair on your hands.
Undeterred? Depending on how much water got into your bike and how badly it was damaged, the repair for this issue may go as high as VND2 million.
All things considered, let’s be frank: if you’re an inexperienced motorist, a first-timer on two wheels or someone with limited Vietnamese, you’re more than likely going to avoid the mechanic until absolutely forced to go. Maybe your bike just inexplicably shut off in an unfamiliar part of town.
What do you do in that situation?
If you’ve been in town for any more than a few weeks, you’ve likely see two motorbikes riding in tandem, with one pushing from behind with the driver’s foot on the other’s passenger foot pegs. One option is to summon a Grab to do the same for you.
But where do you go? What garage should you select?
Thankfully, the high saturation of motorbikes means a sua xe, or “bike repair shop”, is never far away. Ask for directions. If you’re in the city, you likely have your pick of garages.
Image source: spadaforaphoto.com
Great, but how do you tell the good ones from the bad ones?
Motorbikes are complex, but this issue need not be. Brooks said look for the telltale sign of many customers. A busy garage with plenty of bikes and business may be a safer bet than one with less business.
|Oil change||Every 1,000 km|
|Brakes||Every 3 months|
|Gear oil change||Every 2 km|
Banner Image source: spadaforaphoto.com