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    Modern MOT testing

    Today after being SORNd for two months while I did repairs I took my 25 year old car for a 'pre-MOT' test. My local test centre only does MOTs, does no repairs, and this is their USP. They have no axe to grind at all, they are not after any repair work and that is why they are so successful. People go there because they know there won't be any bias towards failing because the garage is looking for work.
    The car has 6 months MOT to run, and the last one must hold the record for the most wrong MOT ever done. I bought it with 11 months MOT on it. Both front tyres were worn down to the canvas, the headlamp beams were out, the exhaust was in two halves, the handbrake did nothing at all, the steering was all over the place, the front wheels wobbled, and the indicators and screen washer didn't work. The seller must have done an awful lot of work to break all the previously good parts and substitute rusted-up solid handbrake linkages for the good ones that passed. OK I am being sarcastic. I can only guess how they got an MOT because before a tester starts an MOT he must log his computer on to the MOT centre computer, wherever that is. The computer tells the tester the sequences of the tests and the results are either automatically uploaded to the computer centre for example the exhaust emissions and braking efficiencies or are manually entered, for example the headlamp beam. The various tests must be carried out within a certain period of time, preventing any work being done on the car while the test is being carried out. So the False MOT that came with the car must have been carried out on a genuine roadworthy car, putting the bad car's registration into the computer.
    I had done a lot of work on the car to bring it up to my standard, and thought I would get a new MOT so that I was satisfied it is in roadworthy condition. I asked them what happens if I put it in for an MOT, it fails, and it still has 6 months of the old MOT left. They said it must not be used on the road until the repairs are carried out: the new MOT test nullifies the existing one. So I asked if they could do the test, without plugging into the MOT centre computer, give me the results so I can go away and I'll have 6 months to finish the bits that need doing. Yes they can, and they call it a pre-MOT.
    What really impressed me was the amazing ramp that they have. They drive it onto pads on the ramp, do the usual inspections underneath with the obligatory sucking of air through clenched teeth and muttering, and then they do the steering joint and suspension testing. They hold a trigger gun which is wired to the ramp - presumably there is a computer involved somewhere - and when they pull the trigger on the gun the ramp pads under the car wheels jerk violently backwards and forwards, and traverse 30 degree arcs. This makes the cars steering twist very quickly from side to side and the tester can see any loose joints. The gun can also make the pads go backwards and forwards. It's quite wonderful to watch, the car is jerked about violently while these tests are going on. It's far more thorough than the old method where the tester holds a wheel and tries to move it up and down, full lock to full lock.
    The car needs one or two smallish things doing for a full MOT, nothing dramatic but I am happy that at least after working on it for 8 weeks all the work I did was good. I can use it on the road without a wheel falling off or drifting it into the bushes. £35 well spent. I wouldn't get such a thorough report from a garage for that money.

    I can hear the obvious question: why did you buy it when it was obviously an MOT failure?
    Answer: It is a 1991 Mercedes Benz 5 cylinder 2.5 litre manual diesel. You try finding one! It had been painted with grease underneath so I knew the only work that would need doing would be mechanical. 350,000 miles under its belt and it runs just fine. I reckon it will be a future classic, as are Mark 1 VW Golfs, especially the GTI.
    Last edited by gasgas; 13-01-2016, 18:08.
    If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Mark ch3 v24

    #2
    I asked them what happens if I put it in for an MOT, it fails, and it still has 6 months of the old MOT left. They said it must not be used on the road until the repairs are carried out: the new MOT test nullifies the existing one.

    Hi GasGas,

    Er ... my understanding is that your vehicle must have passed an MOT during the previous 12 months (or sometimes 13 months). A mid-term failure does not negate the previous test ... but the reasons for failing the latest test are on record for all to see. (Plod, man in a white coat, potential purchaser, po-faced neighbour).

    But if you fix what is wrong, you should have no worries about a wet-behind-the-ears PC using a computer generated crib-sheet to boost his brownie-points. I'm sure there are reasons for an MOT fail that are not illegal, but not so easy to think of them. Hmmm! Stone chip to windscreen? A door that cannot be opened from both sides?

    I once had a Triumph Herald fail due to a rust hole in the rear inner wing.

    "It's not a testable item!" I squawked, shrilly.

    " It is when somebody has welded the body to the chassis!" the smarmy tester smirked.

    But best not to take my word for it, make your own enquiries. Google should know.

    602

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by w3526602 View Post
      I once had a Triumph Herald fail due to a rust hole in the rear inner wing.

      "It's not a testable item!" I squawked, shrilly.

      " It is when somebody has welded the body to the chassis!" the smarmy tester smirked.

      602
      That's brilliant. You can see his logic I suppose. They all needed new chassis outriggers I remember, specially when someone had painted underseal all over the place so the rust spread inside it.
      I once had a FX3 London Taxi. Jim will tell you all about them, he had loads of the funeral version. The brakes were rod operated. Can you imagine the number of linkages between the pedal and the brake shoes? Each one had a clevis pin which of course wore an oval in the operating rod holes. I managed to get some brakes by screwing up all the brake shoe adjusters till the wheels were just binding, at which point the brake pedal would just about not hit the floor. I took it for an MOT and the tester stroked his chin, sucked air in through his teeth and said "well I suppose most of it is OK but I have to think in an emergency stop, would the body stay attached to the chassis?" I replied that I didn't think it was capable of an emergency stop. He agreed. "In that case it's a pass".

      As for the 'get-a-new-mot-before-the-old-one-has-expired' scenario, I wouldn't mind betting that if you are running a car with a failure certificate applied to it, you will get a computerised letter from the DVLA, and worse if you are in an accident and the insurance company finds out. Not from you, of course, you would just give them the still-in-date one. I did ask the MOT guy and he said a failure invalidates the pre-existing one.
      If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Mark ch3 v24

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by gasgas View Post
        As for the 'get-a-new-mot-before-the-old-one-has-expired' scenario, I wouldn't mind betting that if you are running a car with a failure certificate applied to it, you will get a computerised letter from the DVLA, and worse if you are in an accident and the insurance company finds out. Not from you, of course, you would just give them the still-in-date one. I did ask the MOT guy and he said a failure invalidates the pre-existing one.
        Hi GasGas,

        Hi

        I done a Google - IS MOT STILL VALID IF CAR FAILS ANOTHER MOT.

        The following answer is from Autonetinsurance web-page.

        What if IF YOUR VEHICLE HAS FAILED IT'S MOT WHEN THE CERTIFICATE IS STILL LIVE?

        You may take your vehicle for its MOT test up to a month before your current certificate ends; the exact date will be on your MOT certificate. This had led to people questioning whether they can drive it after it has failed as they still have a valid certificate.

        The answer is that you can still drive your vehicle if it fails the test and its existing MOT certificate is still valid (i.e. if your test was before the expiry date). However the fact that your vehicle has failed its MOT means there are faults with the vehicle and if you do get stopped by the police you could be prosecuted if your vehicle is not roadworthy.

        Though you still have a valid certificate you could be breaking the law by using a vehicle with a known fault on the road, it is highly recommended to get the repairs fixed as soon as possible and not to drive the vehicle in the meantime.


        Of course, this is only advice, and their understanding of the law. Take it or leave it.

        The above says "You may take your vehicle for its MOT test up to a month before your current certificate ends. You can take it anytime, but you only get the advantage of up to 13 month certificate, if tested/passed during the final month of the old certificate.

        The insurers will find it difficult to refuse a third party claim because the vehicle is unroadworthy ... but they can come back and sue you for their losses.

        602

        Comment


          #5
          I know all that, but I wanted to know if I could use the old MOT six months after failing, and the answer was no. I would accept the advice of the MOT tester over Google. I have tried something else before, at a different place. Can I bring it for an MOT two months before expiry and get thirteen months MOT? NO. You would get twelve months MOT. Once I tried to advertise a car with thirteen months MOT, in the local newspaper. The spotty operative on the other end of the phone refused to accept that a car can have thirteen months MOT and would not let me advertise it as such.
          If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Mark ch3 v24

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by gasgas View Post
            That's brilliant. You can see his logic I suppose. They all needed new chassis outriggers I remember, specially when someone had painted underseal all over the place so the rust spread inside it.
            I once had a FX3 London Taxi. Jim will tell you all about them, he had loads of the funeral version. The brakes were rod operated. Can you imagine the number of linkages between the pedal and the brake shoes? Each one had a clevis pin which of course wore an oval in the operating rod holes. I managed to get some brakes by screwing up all the brake shoe adjusters till the wheels were just binding, at which point the brake pedal would just about not hit the floor. I took it for an MOT and the tester stroked his chin, sucked air in through his teeth and said "well I suppose most of it is OK but I have to think in an emergency stop, would the body stay attached to the chassis?" I replied that I didn't think it was capable of an emergency stop. He agreed. "In that case it's a pass".
            .................................................. ................................
            A couple of things there gasgas.
            One concerns ths herald outriggers. Particularly the rear ones which needed replacingabot everu three years.
            As you probably know my Gentry has a Vitesse chassis which is essentially the same as a Herald Chassis.
            I replaced them when I built my Gentry in 1984. After well over 100,000 miles they are still as good as new! I am gobsmacked?????????????????????????
            As for my FL1 (FX3 in disguise), neither that or any of the other 8 FL1s we operated for over 100,000 miles each ever suffered excessive brake linkage wear or massive brake pedal travel, although we did replace a few swingletrees (no I have NOT made that up!).
            Of course we did replace a few brake drums, but long before excessive peadal travel was a problem.
            The main problem we found was getting them to stop in a stright line in an emergency after only a few miles after being carefully set up.
            Hitting the brakes hard could be terrifying!
            Jim.
            Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

            Comment


              #7
              Ah yes, Triumph Heralds. Lovely cars and a big improvement on the Standard models which came before. (Complete with rod brakes)

              It was common practice at one time for dealers to keep one good car which wasn't used for anything else but going through MOT tests with whatever plates on it the dealer wanted a test on, but I remember taking a Herald in and the tester said he would have to fail it because the out riggers were rotten. He said they weren't a part of the chassis so if they weren't there, he couldn't fail it. I took a hammer and chisel out of the boot and removed the out riggers before his very eyes. It passed.

              In some respects it makes sense for older classic cars not to be subjected to a modern MOT test. They don't have the electronics to plug the computer into for a start, and so many of the tests just cannot be carried out on an old car. Spokes can be broken on the rolling road and the strain put on the brakes by the rollers can rip the valve out of an inner tube if the tyre is under inflated. Headlamp aim is not easily adjustable on older cars and they were exempt that part of the test anyway. So long as the lights came on, you passed.

              The reason for the cut off date being 1960 is because the MOT test was introduced in 1960 and it originally covered brakes, lights and steering. All the other items which are tested now have been added since the test was introduced. The silly bit comes when you get a car which was registered in 1959 which is exempt, but an identical car produced a year later is not. It would make more sense if the exemption applied to cars DESIGNED before a certain date, But this is Government we are talking here, so common sense doesn't apply.

              Thankfully all my classics were registered before the cut off date so this is a bit of annual red tape which doesn't apply to me, but the restoration projects will get a voluntary test before going on the road, even though they don't need it legally, It's always as well to have another pair of eyes look at the job just to make sure.

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry to disagree Myke, but Herald and Vitesse rear outriggers control the toe in of the rear wheels and transfer ALL the thrust from the rear drive to the chassis.
                Jim.
                Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The outriggers I'm referring to were welded to the outside edge of the chassis and were only there to hang the sills on - which were not structural so they didn't need to be there. Anyway, removing them produced an MOT certificate at the time so all's well that ends well.

                  The above incident took place about 1976/77 and I haven't had anything much to do with them since, but there is a lay by on the A18 close to where I live, and I remember every time I pass it the time I replaced the head gasket on a Herald at the side of the road.

                  Adventures, adventures.......

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Sorry Mike, but because it was mostly the rear outriggers which corroded away I discounted the two further forward on each side (which should not have failed anyway in those days when the test only covered brakes, lights and steering and when I was an early-MOT tester.
                    Jim.
                    Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      And then there was the thing about hinges needing replacing because the driver's door was sagging. It was always only the driver's door because at the time, the tester was only allowed to enter or leave the vehicle through the driver's door. That was before seat belts became testable.

                      Who thought these rules up????

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Twolitre View Post
                        ........although we did replace a few swingletrees (no I have NOT made that up!)....
                        Ah. Is a swingletree the stirrup that the clevis pin fits into? I didn't know that, thanks for The Word For Today Jim.

                        I guess it wouldn't have taken much imagination to realise all I had to do was to get new clevis pins and ?swingletrees? and fit them to the rods.
                        If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Mark ch3 v24

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi,

                          Swingle tree? I call them whipple trees. I think the idea was originated so that when the horse changed whichever shoulder he was leading with, it did not affect how the traces pulled on the wagon. Most people might know them as compensators.

                          I was driving my son's Herald estate down the M4, when there was a wobble in the steering and a bonking underneath. Rapid stop on hard shoulder, walked back to see what had fallen off ... found a Triumph rear shock absorber, complete with it's top bracket. Anglo Saxon curses .... that's a body off job. Drove home circumspectly.

                          Following day, girded my loins, crawled underneath. Two rear shockers, firmly in place. :blank: But the radius arm had torn out of the outrigger. About this shocker .... do you believe in co-incidences? I mean ... what are the chances?

                          The 1960 MOT exemption cut-off for ALL vehicles, was an update on the 1940 Goods Vehicle Testing exemption, so that classic trucks could be taken to shows without having to undergo the full goods vehicle test (plating?). Goods vehicles over 30cwt NEVER had to pass an MOT (I'm being pedantic).

                          I think 1960 was chosen to harmonise with EU testing regulations. There are more changes in the pipe-line.

                          As for validity of an MOT after failing a later, premature, MOT .... as I said "Take it or leave it!" As far as I know, driving without an MOT is not endorsable, and fine is fairly small. Who is to say the vehicle is unroadworthy ..... unless YOU have a piece of paper to say it is.

                          602

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hi again,

                            Following my mail above, I done a Google, but had some difficulty copying it all. Whatever, the gist is below.

                            602



                            For the motorist the biggest change will be that cars with defects which render them ‘dangerous to drive’ could be banned from the road, although whether or not that will happen in Britain is as yet undecided. There will also be changes around how vehicles’ emissions are checked and regarding electronic components which have a safety related function, such as adaptive braking, cruise control and traction control.





                            The new EU rules are in the form of a Directive, so exactly how they will appear in the MOT Test can be decided by the British Government – and the Department for Transport, working with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will in due course be working out the details. Until that task is completed it won’t be possible to say exactly how motorists will be affected.

                            Historic vehicles and ‘substantial’ change

                            One aspect of the new EU rules is a change in the definition of an ‘Historic Vehicle’ which can be exempted from MOT Test. Whereas currently the British MOT exemption cut-off is 1960, the new EU rules apply the exemption when a vehicle is 30 years old – unless it has undergone “substantial change” from how it was when manufactured. Again, this could affect the owners of historic vehicles, depending on what the Department for Transport (DfT) define as a ‘substantial change’.

                            We understand that the DfT will be running a ‘workshop’ with interested parties to consult on issues surrounding the new EU rules on such Historic Vehicles.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              In about 1959 I think it was, my parents worked in Africa, and I was 9 years old. We came to England for 3 months leave and rented a country house. Dad bought an old car, I can't remember what, except that it had a nice big hole in the floor under the rear carpet. We used to post our sweet wrappers through the hole and then look out the back window to watch them fluttering about.
                              Then the Government announced the forthcoming arrival of MOTs. It was soon going to be time for us to return to Africa. My dad was a motor mechanic in the war and said 'well that's the end of that car then'. On our day of departure we drove the car to the docks, parked it, got on the boat and left for Africa. That was cheaper than trying to sell the car and go by train to the docks.
                              If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Mark ch3 v24

                              Comment

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