What can I say about modern electronics these days apart from a short lifespan. Today, nothing is really made to last. Just look at phones and flat panel televisions. They may be cheaper (but some cases not) but the quality is utter rubbish.
So 6 years down the road and my LCD touchscreen on my Lexus GS broke down. It's been quite a bad month for me considering that fact that I just had my windshield replaced last week and now this. Crap...
Had a chat with the Lexus dealer over the phone and this beautiful voice wanted me to go down for an assessment. Bet listening to that angelic voice would result in thousands! As I Googled this, I found some of our friends from the ClubLexus forums mentioned something like USD2,000~6,000 to rebuild at US dealers. No way in hell was I going to pay that kind of money but I expect the charges here to be anything from the 4-figure region.
So I gave Dr Max from Ele Best a call for a quote and appointment. From what I understood, he is a Chinese national who did his higher education here in Singapore and opened this brilliant enterprise specializing in GPS navigation and electrical retrofits for cars. He is particularly well known for BMW and Mercedes upgrades/retrofits as his office was filled with BMW and Mercedes gear shifters, LCD displays, stereos and steering wheels. It was like a Toys'R'Us for men!
Of course there were also lots of Fly Audio navigation units and some electronics and semiconductor reference books on the shelves. (This is the first time I have seen this in a workshop so yes, Dr Max is really Dr Max).
Well as expected, Dr Max didn't do the job himself as such simple jobs were probably the within the capability of his apprentice. However, Dr Max agreed to have my video on the move (not exactly legal) enabled since he was going to toy with the unit anyway. Interestingly, after I queried about navigation, Dr Max also mentioned that he could also have a navigation system installed on my GS. Awesome but no thanks. Maybe I would have done so earlier but my ride will only be with me for another 4 years. (All cars have a lifespan of 10 years in Singapore. Yes, hundreds of thousands for a car for only 10 years. This is not a typo!)
So 2 hours of waiting and S$600 was all it took and I left the workshop by 11.30am, just in time for lunch with my little girl. I suppose she was really bored waiting for the car to be fixed but she didn't complain. She's such a great kid... (OK, this has nothing to do with the article, my apologies...)
The verdict? Although nothing was revealed from Dr Max or his apprentice as all capabilities were kept confidential, I noticed that they had replaced the LCD Digitiser. That's the touchscreen glass that sits on top of the LCD panel like the glass on your iPhone. If you look at the picture on the bottom right, you can see that the surface of the replacement Digitiser is not quite as clear as the original. This is viewed with a touch more 'glare' on the display during the day but not noticeable in the night.
While I am quite sure that the Digitiser is not OEM material from Lexus, it sure works and is about the most cost effective replacement. Many Lexus owners have since come here for a similar fix. And not to mention, the fix comes with a 1 year warranty.
Ele Best rocks!
Here are the contact details for inquiries and appointments:
Mobile: +65 84149540
Ele Best Pte Ltd
1 Bukit Batok Cresent
#02-56, WCEGA Plaza