Driving conditions tend to take a high toll on vehicles in Laos but you can lessen repairs if you keep your car well maintained. Never let your petrol tank go below the empty line as this can bring up sediments in the bottom of your petrol tank that can cause the engine and spark plug to become clogged, meaning larger repairs later on. Keep an ear out for new sounds coming from your vehicle and have it checked. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and the cost of an inspection is usually always less than that of a repair! Also remember to check the air pressure in your tires. This can be done for you at any number of petrol stations in Laos (in Vientiane you can go to the Simeuang Shell Station or the Caltex on Lao Thai Road) absolutely free. You can also have your steering aligned at the bridgestone centre on Samsenthai Rd or the Maxxis Centre on the T2 Road.
If something does happen to your car, there is as yet no roadside assistance in Laos. In the event of such a problem many expatriates do not know who to call. One option is to call an English speaking mechanic. Some good ones are listed below. These mechanics will also make repairs, service your vehicle and even help you out finding a second hand car for sale.
Mr. Doug Handisides is an expatriate mechanic whose garage is in Huayhom Village, a little far from the Vientiane city centre. With advance notice he will happily send a staff member to collect your car from your home and give you a temporary replacement where possible. He can also try to be of assistance in the event of an emergency. Call 021 560 011, 020 2458979, 0205514842, 0205514843.
P & P Service Centre is run by Peter, an Australian expatriate, and his wife. His garage is located in Wattay Noi Tha village on the Mekong River side of the road to the airport in Vientiane. You can contact him on 021 212 736, 020 7714378, 020 55606478.
Lao Can-Am Auto Services Ltd, run by Canadian Mr. Mike Murphy, is located at 15 Phonxay Rd, near Dongpalan Rd, Vientiane. Call 021 4523 51, 020 5503 491.