Covid-19: What do you do if your car breaks down during MCO?

Jerrica · Apr 10, 2020 10:00 AM

What do you do if your car breaks down

As we all hang on the edges of our seats awaiting the announcement if Movement Control Order would be extended yet again, we can only hope that none of our important appliances like our cars would require immediate repairs. But in the event that your car breaks down, all is not despair as the government has allowed workshops to remain open though at limited hours.

Since the beginning of MCO, many car companies have ordered their service centres to partially close and announced a confirmation that they will be extending car warranties and will continue to honour any rescheduled services.

Third-party workshops, however, do not fall under the rule of car companies. These workshops have been classified as a non-essential service by the National Service Council, which meant that they are allowed to open for business albeit at a minimum capacity.

But while service centres remain open, they do not allow for any walk-in customers which means no emergency cases are accepted. The good news is that the road side assistance from all major car companies will remain operational so if you find yourself stranded, you can still contact the towing services. Check for the roadside assistance contact numbers on your respective car manufacturer's website.

Third-party workshops, however, do not fall under the rule of car companies. The National Service Council allows these workshops to remain open during the MCO period but are only at minimum capacity, which means shorter working hours and limited staff. 

What to do if your car breaks down during MCO

Municipal councils have then stepped in and decreed a set number of operation hours of these workshops. Other than workshops, they have also announced that towing services are allowed to operate as well as spare parts centres. 

So, in the event you find yourself facing a car breakdown, you will still be able to find certain mechanics open to help within certain hours of the day depending on which area you are in.

Example of operation times that the respective municipal councils have allowed mechanics to open for business:

Council Operation hours
Petaling Jaya Council (MBPJ) 9am to 4pm
Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MBSJ) 9am to 4pm
Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) 9am to 4pm
Ampang Jaya Municipal Council  9am to 4pm
Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) 9am to 1pm
Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) 10am to 3pm

If would like to know about the opening times allowed for the workshops in your area as a precaution, feel free to call up your respective municipal council to enquire.

Unfortunately, though these independent workshops are allowed to operate, they can only carry limited amount of work. This is due to a few factors like workers choosing to respect MCO protocol to stay at home rather than work and the limited amount of time mechanics are allowed to work on a car. While spare parts stockists are allowed to open, logistics of these stockists are not, so parts availability is limited.

What to do if your car breaks down during MCO

Meanwhile, be sure to keep your car interior clean if you fall in the category of essential businesses and, if you’re not, here’s a guide to keep your car in tip top condition during MCO.



There isn’t a time in memory that doesn’t involve staring at cars. After discovering the excitement of watching Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Formula 1 became a major part of life. The love for cars and F1 ultimately led to a job with CAR Magazine. The untimely death of the magazine meant a hiatus from cars at lifestyle women’s magazine Marie Claire before another opportunity came knocking again.


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