Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

61 Ford Consul

One of our regular visitors for mot is this customised 61 Ford Consul

This particular vehicle never presents a problem on test as, although modified, the modifications have all been carried out to a high standard.

The vehicle is also well maintained and on the test ramp the underside is very clean so any problems will be visible.


The Vt32 Advisory notice.

Often when conducting an Mot the tester will notice an item that has deteriorated, but has not yet become bad enough to warrant a failure. In a few cases I’ve seen customers glance at the vt32 and immediately dispose of the advisory notice without consulting regarding  the necessary repairs.

There is a reason for issuing these notices and it’s not just to cover our backsides.

Two examples have arisen this week, in one case the handbrake had been advised (by me, in January) that the efficiency was only just passable, the vehicle returned to us this week to have the repairs carried out before taking the car away for a long weekend.

Checking in the roller brake tester the efficiency of the handbrake was down below 5%. A stripdown of the brakes revealed the brake shoes very badly worn and the braking surface of the drums severely corroded.

The second example could have had far more serious consequences, the vehicle had been tested elsewhere several months ago and the owner had been advised that a brake hose was deteriorated.

The brake hose split this week and resulted in a minor shunt, however the owner suggested that perhaps the tester had been overly lenient when the vehicle was tested and perhaps the test was in his words “dodgy”.

Did he complain at the time, or was he just pleased not to have another repair at the time ?

However he then asked us to blank off the relevant brake hose as he couldn’t afford to have the  repair done until the end of the month but needed the car for work!!

Fortunately he was able to come to an agreement with the boss and the repair was completed rather than allow the vehicle to continue on the road in that condition.


Fortunately the coming changes to the Mot certificate will prevent the vehicle owners from just binning the Vt32 on their way out of the testing station, so there will be a permanent reminder that work is required .

tyre pressure monitors

Its fine having all these monitoring systems on vehicles nowadays, but unless the driver pays attention to them they’re basically worthless Had  a late model mini in for Mot, and the tyre pressure warning light was glowing brightly on the dash. On  inspecting the tyres, one of the tyres was split on the sidewall for about 30% of its circumference.dangerous tyre

The fact that the tyre was of the runflat variety was no excuse for ignoring the warning signal, it could still have failed with disastrous consequences for the driver and other road users.

When the tyre was removed the inside was completely trashed, with the inner of the tyre breaking up and depositing as rubber crumbs inside.

Remove and replace a front strut

A quick and simple slideshow on removing a Vauxhall Zafira strut.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below is a powerpoint presentation of the above steps.

How to zafira strut

The law catches up

Many people seem to hear stories of dodgy mot tests and testing stations, I seem to remember an investigation on the BBC several years ago. Fortunately there aren’t many to give honest testing stations a bad name.

The advent of computerisation has also helped in tracking down the cheats too, and ensuring they get punished, such as the following

During the trial the jury saw video evidence showing cars leaving the test bay after between seven and 11 minutes, on average.

A test ought to take in the region of 35 – 45 minutes

over a four month period, 2,463 vehicles were given an MOT at Mr Hussain’s garage yet none failed

The garage owner was found guilty and sentenced to 6 mths imprisonment.

Further information at

One more bad apple out of the way.

A busy period

It’s been a rather busy period lately, not much time to update here, but not so busy that I couldn’t post some pictures of two more old ladies. This is a 1919 Swift,    

The engine bay is slightly different to a modern engine bay,

certainly simpler under the bonnet, even though it seems as cramped.

I don’t think it is the oldest vehicle I have tested, as I recall testing a 1912 Citroen some years back.

Then a couple of days later I had a  Rolls Royce in for test 

Such are the engineering standards used on these old vehicles, and the care and attention lavished on them that both passed the MoT without any need for repairs.

Excessive corrosion.

What is excessive corrosion ?

To see what Vosa consider excessive corrosion see and reference to presrribed areas.

· The load bearing parts of the vehicle to which the testable items defined in Sections 2, 3 and 5 of the Inspection Manual are mounted,
· any load bearing or supporting structure or supporting panelling within 30cm of the mounting location.

Sections 2,3 and 5 refer to steering and suspension, braking and seatbelts respectively.

Section 6 and Appendix C should also be studied to assess any corrosion in non prescribed areas.
Even with all this information available as testers we can still get it wrong though.

A couple of examples found on a Nissan Micra.

Seatbelt prescribed area.Seen from the underside the inner sill is holed within 30cm of the seatbelt mounting.

Suspension and seatbelt.

Again seen from the underside this corrosion is within 30cm of a suspension component mounting point and the rear seatbelt mounting point.

An example of where a tester has unfortunately got it wrong can be found at

This again refers to a Micra, I have had several discussions with my local Vehicle Examiner (ministry man) about Micra crossmembers, having seen several examples like this, in each case I have been told to pass and advise as it does not meet the fail criteria in the relevant sections in the testers manual.

I’ve heard others say “it’s dangerous to drive, what if the engine mount breaks away”.  Unfortunately nobody can predict the future. However, when I do come across a Micra like this I pass and advise but add that I consider it dangerous to drive. It seems silly that I cannot fail a dangerous item, but those are the rules that Vosa stipulate we have to abide by.

Road test

Mot testing isn’t all about  bread and butter and humdrum family cars, occasionally you get to test vehicles like this Porsche, as it was a 4×4 with a limited slip differential it could not be tested in our roller brake tester, and had to be road tested with a decelerometor  to test the brakes.porsche

Shame we have a nice level stretch of quiet road within 50 mtrs tho.

Another hose

Another brake hose in very poor condition, this time on the front passenger side.hoseThe vehicle in question was a 1993 low mileage (25,000 mls)  Renault Clio, had it failed on the road, the likely result would be the vehicle swerving into the path of oncoming traffic, not a good scenario.

Matters Of Testing

The newsletter/magazine produced by Vosa and sent to mot stations quarterly is available for the public to read online at
it contains information, news, views and horror stories from vosa and testing stations around the uk

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