Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - Engineer Andy

My aging (but still generally in good nick and well maintained) Mazda3 is due for its 12 year service and the MOT early in January (original registration date), and I have, up 'till last year had it serviced and MOTed at my local main dealer on the same day, almost always serviced first, then MOTed later in the day.

I'm happy to say that, thus far, it has always passed its MOT, although the service mechanic said last year that there was a chance that a wearing wheel bearing might result in a fail. Fortunately it didn't (though it was an 'advisory', only one of two recorded in its history), and I did have the part replaced as well as some work done on the brakes not long after.

I was wondering, given the age of the car (though it has only done about 63k miles), is there any worth in me bringing the annual service forward to early December, in case any potential MOT failures are discovered, hopefully giving me time to have them rectified before the later MOT date. Whilst I would generally trust my local main dealership, would they be tempted to 'bring up' 'potential MOT fails' to drum up business, rather than just report actual problems (as they did last year) and let the cards fall as they may.

For a car of this age, I wouldn't have thought that failed MOTs, even on minor items, makes much of a difference to the price it would receive (assuming any MOT fails were rectified and it passed) when I eventually sell/PX the car, given its probably worth in the region (private sale) of between £1250 - £2k.

Luckily (or unluckily, depending upon your viewpoint) I'm not working at the moment (I'm racking my brain to find a new career other than Building Services Engineering), so I don't really 'need' a car at the moment, but given its previous high reliability and my current situation (I'm doing OK financially, but wouldn't want to have to buy a replacement car unneccessarily), I'm looking to hang on to the car until it becomes to expensive to run.

Any thoughts on this subject would be welcome.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - RobJP

If you get a service and ask for a 'pre-MOT check' in December, then you'll have a good idea what (if any) work will be required for the MOT in January

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - Engineer Andy

If you get a service and ask for a 'pre-MOT check' in December, then you'll have a good idea what (if any) work will be required for the MOT in January

Back in the day when I owned a mid 90s Nissan Micra (first car, the Mazda is only my second over 20 years), my local dealership for that one did that, though I still had both the service and MOT done on the same day. Unfortunately it didn't prevent the car failing its MOT twice in the space of a week, when the first fault (bad corrsion on the bottom sill) was fixed (new patch welded on) but the rear left (I think) brake cylinder failed (the garage had said it was leaking and might fail the MOT).

Luckily, that was the only year it did fail, and it was when I was looking for a new car (my current one), but I spent best part of £400 on the service (MOTs were free as theey all were at the time for 2nd hand Nissans bought at main dalers) and two repairs, just to get £450 PX when I bought the Mazda3 at Motorpoint. Still, I wasn't complaining - 8 years of faithful (and value for money) service and I was already getting a new car (well, essentially new, only 15 miles on the clock showroom car) for £3.5k+ off the RRP, and £1.5k better than any broker could do at the time.

I'll have a word with my service agent tomorrow when I'm in town shopping to see if they can do a 'pre MOT check', though it might not be free as Nissan used to do - it doesn't help that they don't do the MOTs in the actual garage, but at one of their fellow group dealerships (a Pug dealer round the corner) so may not have all the necessary equipment on hand, although I'm less concerned about it failing emissions tests etc, more about corrosion and parts problems.

I can't say I've noticed any problems (odd noises, porblems with the drive, handling etc) since the last service and wheel bearing replacement/brake service back in last winter, and have only really done about 3k miles this year tops, most when I was working up until March, then once a fortnight for a 25 mile round trip to keep it in good nick (mainly the battery and brakes) and a good 750 - 1000 miles when holidaying in the South West.

I just want to be better safe than sorry, but not ripped off with claims of 'problems'.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - gordonbennet

Assuming you are living on your savings at the moment (not wishing to pry so please don't answer that) would it make sense, as you presumably have time and are nobody's fool with things hands on, to service the car yourself whilst the days are dry if a bit nippy and then just take it for MOT 28 days or so from due date.

Considerable savings to be had there, and you can see what the underside is like and whether you might want to think about spraying something about to inhibit the worse effects of the coming salt bath.

So long as you keep receipts for the parts most serious private buyers would be just as happy if you self serviced the car, indeed it would be most unusual to have a normal car dealer serviced as long as you have.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - SLO76
A Mazda 3 with 63,000 miles is barely even run in. Assuming it's bodily sound it should give reliable, cost effective service for years yet. I flogged a 2004 1.6 TS around 6mths ago that I'd been using as a runabout and loan car with 117,000 miles up and it drove perfectly, cost peanuts (rear pads only) to get through its last Mot and the current owner (who paid £650 for it) recently emailed me to tell me how delighted she is with it. In fact its previous owner who bought an Astra from me is talking about asking me to find another one as he finds the Astra too dull.

Edited by SLO76 on 17/11/2017 at 20:22

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - Galaxy

The VOSA (or whatever it's called now) regulations relating to MOT Testing state that, when a vehicle is brought in for a service and MOT, then the MOT should be carried out first before any additional work is carried out.

The reason for this, apparently, is that they want to see the actual sort of condition in which vehicles are being brought into testing premises.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - Engineer Andy

The VOSA (or whatever it's called now) regulations relating to MOT Testing state that, when a vehicle is brought in for a service and MOT, then the MOT should be carried out first before any additional work is carried out.

The reason for this, apparently, is that they want to see the actual sort of condition in which vehicles are being brought into testing premises.

How long ago was this change enacted? Up until now (including Dec last year when it was last serviced) mine have always, bar one occasion, been serviced first when both were on the same day.

From looking over the MOT histories (mainly to see if they were current or expired) of locals 'illegally parking', I noticed that, for some makes at least, one of the most common MOT fails was misdirected headlamp aimers, which could easily be fixed at the service if checked.

I do understand though the idea behind doing it first, as one of the main failures is baldy worn (often bald) tyres, which would go unnoticed if all cars were serviced and the tyres replaced before the MOT: someone could be driving for several months on dodgy, unsafe tyres, and it would be good to note the most common failures/problems so that the public can be educated about them.

What I'm amazed at is, for tyres especially, how across the board it is - it doesn't seem to make much of a difference as to the age, gender, wealth (i.e. implied by the car tested) or any other factor - people seem to forget to check their tyres regularly, even for the correct pressure, let alone tread depth or damage.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - Engineer Andy
A Mazda 3 with 63,000 miles is barely even run in. Assuming it's bodily sound it should give reliable, cost effective service for years yet. I flogged a 2004 1.6 TS around 6mths ago that I'd been using as a runabout and loan car with 117,000 miles up and it drove perfectly, cost peanuts (rear pads only) to get through its last Mot and the current owner (who paid £650 for it) recently emailed me to tell me how delighted she is with it. In fact its previous owner who bought an Astra from me is talking about asking me to find another one as he finds the Astra too dull.

One of my former companies ran one of those (mine's a TS2 saloon variant, Oct 2005 build) as a 'pool car' and had done roughly the same mileage and looked fine, apart from needing a new clutch (understandable), though, as you say, rust around the wheel arches can be an issue with the earlier build 3s. Mine still looks OK on that score other than the odd spot, though I will check again to be sure before the service/MOT.

Maybe I'm being a bit over-cautious. I must admit the car runs almost as sweet as it did on day 1, but obviously I can't check everything, and frankly I don't want to other than general items (I'm not one for getting my hands dirty looking under the hood!).

I may ask the dealer to clean the air intake valve and MAF sensor (or at least investigate the following small issue), as I did notice some hesitation/lurching when depressing the gas in low gear (not all the time), though things seem to have improved to a degree (though I'm not using it enought to really know) since I started filling up only with Shell V-Power and added (one dose left of four) some Redex to hopefully clean the injectors (onmy long holiday trip and after) to see if that was this issue.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - ifekas

My own car's annual service and MoT come around at the same time, but I do mine in the reverse order. Because one can have the MoT done nearly a month early, I do this first and as early as possible and deliberately choose a different garage to the main dealer; then have the car serviced at the main dealer.

I do this just in case the main dealer says the car needs x or y doing. If the MoT comes up with any advisories I have the option of getting quotes beforehand in the event that the main dealer charges are excessive.

I suppose it potentially means the car is more likely to fail the MoT first time, though so far this hasn't happened.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - RT

I always have my cars MoT's a month early at my trusted independent.

Servcing bears little relationship to the Mot, IMO - at least for properly maintaine cars.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - galileo

I always have my cars MoT's a month early at my trusted independent.

Servcing bears little relationship to the Mot, IMO - at least for properly maintaine cars.

I usually book my car in for a service at my local independent within the month before the MOT expiry. He then does the MOT at a discounted rate.

I don't see how this policy of 'MOT first and then service' is realistically enforceable unless VOSA have spies permanently lurking at every garage.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - FiestaOwner

"I was wondering, given the age of the car (though it has only done about 63k miles), is there any worth in me bringing the annual service forward to early December, in case any potential MOT failures are discovered, hopefully giving me time to have them rectified before the later MOT date. Whilst I would generally trust my local main dealership, would they be tempted to 'bring up' 'potential MOT fails' to drum up business, rather than just report actual problems (as they did last year) and let the cards fall as they may."

"Any thoughts on this subject would be welcome."

If you get your service done 1st you might be paying around £250 (depending if it's a major or minor one). The car may still fail the subsequent MOT on an issue which isn't economical to repair. Which would mean the money spent on the service was waisted.

Pretty sure a service doesn't check: exhaust emissions, braking efficiency on the rollers, headlight alignment.

I would get the MOT done 1st, but check the obvious things before presenting it (eg tyres (tread and pressures), lights, horn, wiper blades, fluid levels (especially windscreen washers, once saw an Audi fail an MOT for an empty washer bottle!). I'm sure you check these items regularly anyway.

Once it passes the MOT, I would then get the service done.

I did see you made a comment about cars failing for headlight aim. I've looked up relatives cars and seen them fail one year for being aimed too far to the right and failed the following year for being too far to the left. If the car's not been in an accident, the headlight aim shouldn't alter. I'm convinced some testers have difficulty working the beam setters.


Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - John F

"Any thoughts on this subject would be welcome."

Forget the 'service'. Waste of money in a car this old. If you have only done 6,000m since the last one, it won't need much attention. I would just check it over (light bulbs, corrosion), take the wheels off and grease the brake pipes then put it in for MoT 3 weeks before it expires leaving plenty of time to remedy any problems.

Servicing and MOTs done on the same day or not - Engineer Andy

Just a quick update - I've effectively 'checkien out' by having the service and MOT done on the same day, as before (service first), mainly because the delaership said it was 'personal preference' (they sadly don't do specific 'pre-MOT checks' to cover all the areas checked on the MOT, though some are as [as shown in last year's service as described above]) and because I've had varying opinions on this thread about the merits of having the service done before or after the MOT. The dealership did say that if I had it MOTed early, its a bit of a grey area legally to be driving round (unless patently dangerous) after failing an MOT whilst the previous one is still valid (date-wise).

Unfortunately for me, I HAVE to have use of the car over the Christmas - New Year period (visiting family and friends), and of course, what I forgot, was that around that time, much of the service/repair shops and probably the spare parts side of the busines is on holiday, meaning that any item requiring repair to either pass/re-pass an MOT (even if not dangerously unsafe and the car couldn't be driven) would have to wait until very near the actual due date of the MOT in the early new year anyway.

I'll see how the cards fall this time around, and, depending upon what happens, report back. Many thanks for the contriubutions - they may well be more suited if and when I get my next car, especially if I don't get one registered around the Christmas/New Year period (which it might, given there's normally quite a few discounts at that time).

 

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