Tuesday, 23 August 2011

It is broke

Not completely, but just enough to fail the MOT.

Here in the UK cars of three years old and over have to be tested every year to ensure they are road worthy - the Ministry of Transport (MOT) test. In France the test is, I believe, every two years and I think I heard mutterings not so very long ago that there were plans to make the test bianuual here as well - and only for cars of four years or more. Be that as it may, the current rules are for cars to be tested on or before the third anniversary of their registration and annually thereafter. The test can be carried out up to a month before the old certificate expires with the new certificate running for twelve months from the expiry date. This, of course, means that if a car is tested early and fails, it can still be driven quite legally until the expiry of the old certificate, thereby giving time to get work done if the job can't be done there and then. The Old Bat, unfortunately, never thinks to get her car tested until the last knockings. This year it was just two days before the old certificate expired. And guess what? The car failed the test and couldn't be repaired immediately.

The problem was the internal repeater for the left turn indicator flashers or, to give it its technical name, the tell-tale. No problem, thought the mechanics at our local garage. We'll just replace the bulb. They rang an auto-electrician to find out how to remove the dashboard only to be told it was not a bulb but an LED and the job was one that could only be undertaken by a main agent. So the car failed the test.

On returning home, the Old Bat rang the only main agent for that marque listed in our telephone directory, a garage some 12 or 15 miles away. They would willingly fetch the car (but not until today and the certificate expired last Friday) and the job would take a week. The unit has to be sent away as it is not a job the garage can do. The cost - an estimated £250.And I bet that's before VAT is added to bring the bill to £300.

Reminds me of that old rhyme: For the want of a nail the shoe was lost. For the want of a shoe the horse was lost. For the want of a horse the kingdom was lost. Let's just hope it's not that bad.

1 comment:

Suldog said...

Where I live - Massachusetts, USA - we have "inspection" once a year. It's fairly routine, and only keeps the very worst of the vehicles from being on the road, but it's a pain to take time off from work (or to waste a Saturday morning) getting it done, and having to pay the fee for the privilege.