Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
You probably won't believe I'm having to ask this, but...

I've just realised my MOT is due on Wednesday. In the past I have always used a mobile mechanic who takes the car, gets it tested, does the work, and returns it to me with a certificate, so all I know about the process is that I end up paying a load of money at the end.

This time, I don't want to use that mechanic, and I haven't a clue what the normal procedure is.

Do I take the car to a garage, get it tested, take it away to someone else (assuming there are problems) and then take it back for a retest?

Or does the testing garage do the work? - surely if that's the case then they can make up faults that I'd be none the wiser about.

And do I just turn up, or is it something that needs to be booked in advance?

Thanks to anyone who can be bothered to answer such an ignorant post.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - DavidHM
You don't have to book an MoT, but many MoT testing stations are booked up a while in advance.

I know a garage in Wales that charges £20 to do an MoT with a free retest. They have one guy who does nothing but MoTs all day and they have no time to do the work if it fails, so I would say they're pretty trustworthy. They're also booked up three weeks in advance.

The testing garage may do the work but it is legal I believe to use an un-MoTed car on the road for the purposes of taking it to have the work done.

As usual, a trusted mechanic is the best one to go for. It may be difficult to find a good one at such short notice, so it may be a case of needs must and you'll end up taking your car to Kwik Fit or similar. How honest they actually are depends on what your local branch is like.

Don't forget that there are a number of checks you can do yourself (for simple things like seat belts, lights, door handles, tread depth, tyre pressures and so on) so that you don't need to do a retest.

I think your car had an oil change fairly recently, but it may be worth warming the car up and giving it a bit of a thrash (say 10 miles' worth, with some driving in third gear) so that the engine is prepared for the emissions part of the test.

And remember, go in, sound confident, and have a read of www.ukmot.com/manual/1-1.htm
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
That's much appreciated, David - thank you.

Unfortunately your garage in Wales is just a little too far for me to travel! - but I'd better phone around pretty quickly to see if I can get it booked somewhere for Wed.

I do have another mechanic that I can trust fairly well to do any work, so that will probably be the best thing for me to do. Although I'd be perfectly happy with my local Kwik-Fit if it was something in their line of expertise.

Thanks for the suggestions - I'll do the checks you mentioned, (you're right about the oil change)and go for a bit of a drive.

I will also swot up on the link you posted, so that I can at least make some attempt to sound confident!
Cheers
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - DavidHM
The obvious place for you to go is your local Vauxhall Masterfit

Whitmore's of Chislehurst
Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6HB
Phone: 0208 302 0911 Fax: 0208 302 5665

or

Welcome to W J King (Garages) Ltd
97-101 Bromley Common, Bromley, Kent BR2 9RN
Phone: 020 8464 3456 Fax: 020 8290 9313

They may not be cheapest but I doubt they'll be too far behind Kwik Fit on price, you know that they have the expertise to do everything there and then.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - DavidHM
No edit button - just make sure it's done on the Masterfit side of the business.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
Hi HF - I asked our local guy about MOT's last year and he said he didn't do them himself but used a local garage who did. He would do a pre MOT inspection first to identify/fix any problems and thereby ensure you don't fail and have all the inconvenience of having to book and possibly pay for a retest.

He seems a very reasonable guy so why not give him a call or pop in and ask him on the way home tonight ?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
David - thanks again. I have, however, prior to reading this, been to see the local mechanic mentioned above by Volvoman, who, very luckily for me, has agreed to do it Wednesday morning.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Ben {P}
I live in bromley some of the time. Last time i took a car for MOT i went to a place in forrest hill. They used to have coupons in the local paper, with these the test cost £25. Also the vehile test centre,often have a voucher on the front of the local paper, they are honest, but i have found them rather picky in the past. It just depends how thorough you want the test to be.

Volvoman- who is your mehanic you use in this area?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Thanks for the tip Ben. I've seen the sort of vouchers you mention in the local paper too - although, having booked the car in, I think I'd better stick with it now, I'd be surprised if anyone else would fit me in that quickly. And this is local enough for me so that I don't have too much of a problem getting home with no wheels.

The mechanic V and I use is based in a tiny garage in Chislehurst Road, Orpington. (I believe it's called Chislehurst Road Garage, remarkably enough). It's so small you wouldn't notice it unless you knew it was there, but the man seems genuine and helpful, and has done a good job in the past.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Ben {P}
Thanks for the info. Keeps us posted regarding the MOT. By the way waht sort of car do you drive?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Thanks for the info. Keeps us posted regarding the MOT. By
the way waht sort of car do you drive?

>>

Will do. It's a 1992 Astra diesel 1.7. Not the image most people would be looking for maybe, but highly economical (or at least it has been so far - fingers crossed it still is tomorrow!)
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Ben {P}
Thanks for the tip Ben. I've seen the sort of vouchers
you mention in the local paper too - although, having booked
the car in, I think I'd better stick with it now,
I'd be surprised if anyone else would fit me in that
quickly. And this is local enough for me so that I
don't have too much of a problem getting home with no
wheels.
The mechanic V and I use is based in a tiny
garage in Chislehurst Road, Orpington. (I believe it's called Chislehurst Road
Garage, remarkably enough). It's so small you wouldn't notice it unless
you knew it was there, but the man seems genuine and
helpful, and has done a good job in the past.
HF

>>


Do you have any rough directions to this garage? I know of a Chislehurst road in Chislehurst, but not one in Orpington.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Ben - yes, definitely - I'll post it tomorrow though, this hour of day is not kind to me and I will likely make mistakes.

I think I might need to draw you a kind of map - which won't be easy on here! Although on second thoughts I can maybe just refer you to a page of the AA roadmap?

Offhand, you would need to drive down a 'Chislehurst Road' from, well would you believe it Chislehurst, to Orpington. That road suddenly changes to become known as Perry Hall Road. If you take a right turn off any of the junctions that join on to that road, and then turn left, you WILL find the garage.

However, since my directions are so bad, I'm quie willing to guide you up there if you don't mind following my Astra! LMK
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
Ben - Follow A208 through Chislehurst and Petts Wood towards Orpington. As you pass through Petts Wood the road name becomes Chislehurst Road. Follow this road over the railway bridge (which is just after the woods) and straight over the roundabout at Poverest Road (which is on your left). Follow the road around a left hand bend and down the hill, straight over a mini roundabout at Crofton Lane (on your right). At the bottom of the hill take the 3rd turning on the right (which is still called Chislehurst Road). Follow this road for about 1/2 mile past the green and Cricketers pub (both on your right) and the garage is about 200 yards ahead on your left.

The full address is:
Chislehurst Road Garage
42 Chislehurst Road, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0DJ.
Tel 01689-830201 and speak to Alan (the boss).

Have used the garage a few times and found them to be good and reasonable but, hey, what do I know about cars ? Good luck.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - v8man
In Eastbourne where I live we can take our cars to the Eastbourne Bus Company workshop. They cannot do the repairs so the MOT is unbiased. This may be worth checking out in your area.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - David Lacey
Driving to and from an MOT Test (or a repairing garage) without an MOT is ILLEGAL.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - David Lacey
OK........on 2nd thoughts, driving to an MOT station in a roadworthy car with a booked appointment with no MOT is OK.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - v8man
You don't know the car is roadworthy until it passes it's MOT! You must have a valid certificate of insurance though. Some years ago I was stopped by the police driving to a pre-arranged MOT and the officer was not up to speed on the law and I was booked. I had to take a day off work to attend court only for it to be thrown out!
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Blue {P}
Good luck with the MOT HF. Hope it doesn\'t need anything major doing, at least it sounds as though you\'ve got a good local mechanic, we normally watch ours being done and haven\'t been ripped off yet. I would recommend them but I think it would be abit far to drive just for an MOT! :-)


Blue
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Good luck with the MOT HF. Hope it doesn't need anything
major doing, at least it sounds as though you've got a
good local mechanic, we normally watch ours been done and haven't
been ripped off yet. I would recommend them but I think
it would be abit far to drive just for an MOT!
:-)


Thanks Blue! Yeah I think you are just a tad too far away at present!

Oh and watching the work being done would not be an option for me, they could tell me anything they wanted and I wouldn't know if it was true or not! So I've just got to trust them really. Mind you, I'm not expecting anything much needing doing, so if there is even I will be querying it.
HF

Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Mark (RLBS)
Having a bad day, Mr Lacey ?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Gen
How about, driving to one garage to get some new tyres stuck on, and then driving to another garage for a prearranged MOT? To add another complication, the garage taking it to to have MOT done is not a MOT test station but someone who does work and does MOT for you. Am I making sense? Just thinking in advance what I may be doing in the future...
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - David Lacey
lol - my day was OK but i dropped something heavy on my foot on Sunday and it still hurts!

This 'Driving to an MOT' area is a very wishy-washy area - but if you drive an unroadworthy car on the road, you are technically breaking the law AND the conditions of your motor insurance.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Cliff Pope
You can drive a (roadworthy) car to a pre-booked MOT or to somewhere to have work done for an MOT. It says so on the standard MOT failure slip.
There are no restrictions on distance nor does the MOT or repair actually have to be carried out on the day you make the trip, eg if the MOter were going to keep the car and you were dropping it off early say.
A friend has successfully tested this driving 200 miles on a Sunday morning for a pre-booked MOT on Monday. The policeman did ring the MOTer at home to check, but was then satisfied.
(Why? he was buying an untaxed car on spec and wanted to get it home legally. You can take a car for an MOT at any time - no law to say it has to be due)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Having a bad day, Mr Lacey ?


Mark your posting times are getting more and more scarey!
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
In Eastbourne where I live we can take our cars to
the Eastbourne Bus Company workshop. They cannot do the repairs so
the MOT is unbiased. This may be worth checking out in
your area.


My local mechanic takes the car to a separate garage for the test - so I suppose this is similar to what you are suggesting. Anyway it's booked now, and at such short notice (I cannot keep the car off the road at all to seek alternative options) I think I'd best just stick with it and hope for the best!
Thanks
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
As for the wishy-washy unroadworthy business, am I right or wrong in thinking that, whether it passes or not, it will still be legal to drive until midnight tomorrow, since this is covered by the old MOT cert?

And a quick question for DavidHM - I will be doing my 10 mile drive later - and am just interested to know why going in 3rd gear for part of this will help?
Thanks
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - DavidHM
You'll get a bit of an 'Italian tune up' - run the engine for longer than you would at high speeds in a low gear to burn off any deposits that have built up. This should mean that your emissions of unburnt HCs will be lower, meaning that if your car is a marginal pass on emissions, it's more likely to be on the 'pass' than the 'fail' side.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Blimin' 'eck that was quick!

Thanks!
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
WOW - HF in 3rd gear !!!

Scary thought :-O

Seriously folks - you should all bear in mind that HF rarely if ever exceeds 25mph so I think there's about as much chance of her performing an Italian tune up as there is of me doing a handbrake turn.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
WOW - HF in 3rd gear !!!
Scary thought :-O
Seriously folks - you should all bear in mind that HF
rarely if ever exceeds 25mph so I think there's about as
much chance of her performing an Italian tune up as there
is of me doing a handbrake turn.


Grrrr - I made it to 50 on a drive to Swanley the other week.

Mind you, even me doing the Italian isn't as amusing as the thought of you on that motorbike, V.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
50 mph HF !!! Did you remember to change out of 2nd gear ? ;-)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Mark (RLBS)
She'll be in here in a minute saying "gears ?, its got gears ?"

Sorry HF, couldn't resist.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Oi!!! Oh and V knows the reason I sometimes can't even get out of 1st when travelling up his road ;)))
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
Ahh.. but you're never in 1st when you turn into my road !! :-)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - David Lacey
But if you drive to a 'pre-booked' MOT test with an obviously unroadworthy car, then you deserve all you get.

On the other hand, if the car is all up together, then I agree...the (MOT-less) journey should be allowed.

It is, as I said, a very grey area....one which I do not want to test!
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Well as far as I know, my car is (well I hope) very roadworthy, and once I drop it off I won't be driving it again till it's passed its test. (fingers and everything else crossed there).

Anyway, HF's version of the Italian job completed, quite enjoyed it actually with my driving music blasting loud enough to hide the fact that I was in 3rd gear most of the time. Even made it into 5th gear for the first time - quite proud of that ;)
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - bafta
HF. When you arrive at the MOT will you be exiting your vehicle through the boot in your time honoured fashion?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Bafta - ROFLMAO!!!!!!! But I think I'll probably climb out of the window instead ;)
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - bafta
HF. I'm sorry to be so dim but what does ROFLMAO mean? Is there a list of these abbreviations posted somewhere that we can refer to?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
what does ROFLMAO mean?


www.acronymfinder.com
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - bafta
Thanks DD. How silly of me not to realise. Incidentally, RADAR might qualify for acronym status but I hardly think ROFLMAO does.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
But you haven't got a 5th gear HF !!!



Just joking ;-)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
How likely is it that the cambelt will snap during the emissions test?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
The emissions test only involves sticking a sensor up the exhaust pipe for a few seconds so it's no more likely to break at that point than at any other. In fact it's probably less likely! Why are you worried about your cam belt ?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Darn it - cam belt's ok, but failed MOT. Something to do with a (forgive non-tech speak, I hadn't a clue what the mechanic meant) shaft on the driver's side being broken and all the grease being gone????? Gonna cost about £145 in all. Just what I needed.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
Give 'em a quick ring back and get the name of what the part is HF then you'll get some feedback.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
No V, best not disturb them. I think he referred to crank shaft, does that make any sense?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
HF - you're paying the bill remember so disturb away gal ! Have you already given them the go-ahead ?

Why not make sure it is the crank shaft then post a note here and/or in technical to see what people think of the cost?
Does the £145 include the MOT and our local garage's 'cut' for their work/time ? You need to find this out and post all the details if you want meaningful feedback from those here who know about such things.

BTW - May not be able to post again 'cos I'm already having problems accessing this thread. Tried to call you but line was busy (damned internet !) - don't have your e.mail address so can't even do that. See ya later & good luck !
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Yes V, I have already given the go-ahead - after all, I don't really have much choice do I? I'm pretty sure he said crank shaft, thinking back, because it's not a term I'm familiar with so if it is a part of the engine then I can't just have made it up, can I?

The £145 is all-inclusive, by the way.

I will call you back.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
HF, it sounds more likely that the mechanic was refering to the CV (Constant Velocity) rubber boot being split if grease is leaking from it. I also suspect if the grease has gone, then the CV joint will be knackered and also need replacing. £145 sounds about right.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Dave, now that you mention it, he did refer to a CV joint, and to something being split. God knows where I got the crank shaft term from. But many, many thanks, I'm glad the price sounds right!
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Dave - further to that, I've just searched the site but not really come up with anything. Just want to know, what is the CV rubber boot for, and what happens when it splits? - ie why is that an MOT failure when the car has been driving fine? Apologies for such gross ignorance.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
Hf, this is the only picture I could find at short notice.
www.detomaso.nu/~thomast/glr-2000/cv-joint.jpeg
Basically you've got 4 CV Joints on your car. Two on each side coupling the gearbox to the roadwheels, between each CV Joint is a driveshaft. The CV Joint is a universal joint that enables your wheels to rotate when you turn the steering wheel in any given direction. They are packed with grease and this is contained within a rubber boot. Through age the rubber boot perishes and the grease is expelled by centifugal force, leaving the joint to run dry. Eventually you'll hear a knocking noise when you go around corners. Also with all this greasde flying about, there is always the risk of it landing on the brakes!
If you get on the floor and look under the front of the car, hopefully things should become clearer.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Dave - many thanks again, it's much appreciated. And I am starting to understand! (will get on floor and take a look later).

At the risk of sounding even more dense, could this be the reason why my steering has seemed a little odd lately? It has felt like steering feels when the tyres aren't pumped up enough, even though my tyres are at the correct pressure.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Pedant
Just to clarify (or confuse) things further, the boots DD refers to are also known as gaiters.

HTH
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Cliff Pope
The emissions test only involves sticking a sensor up the exhaust
pipe for a few seconds so it's no more likely to
break at that point than at any other. In fact
it's probably less likely! Why are you worried about your
cam belt ?


If it's a diesel they have to be revved up to full speed. This can break a cambelt. See the disclaimers displayed in testing stations. The safe rule is NEVER MOT a diesel unless you know the age of the cambelt
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
Cliff - I'm no expert and I'm sure you know more about these things than I ever will but if it's so well known in the trade that this is a potential problem then surely it is very unlikely to happen during an MOT test.

Also many people (not HF I'll grant you !) frequently rev their cars excessively so again I don't really think anyone needs to be more worried about their cam-belt at MOT time as opposed to any other.

Whilst I've heard many people here 'talk' about cam belt failures I've never heard about one which occured during an MOT test - anecdotal evidence I know but there we are.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - RichardW
Cliff - I'm no expert and I'm sure you know more
about these things than I ever will but if it's so
well known in the trade that this is a potential problem
then surely it is very unlikely to happen during an MOT
test.

Likely to happen in a diesel MOT - they had to modify the emissions test procedure when it came in as they destroyed loads of engines. MOT man should ask if cambelt has been changed on schedule, and if not will point out that test may break it, or refuse to test.
Also many people (not HF I'll grant you !) frequently rev
their cars excessively so again I don't really think anyone
needs to be more worried about their cam-belt at MOT time
as opposed to any other.


Most poeple do not rev their cars to the unloaded governed speed 3 to 6 times in succession and hold it there for a couple of seconds each time, but agree, if it's ready to go it could go at any time.
Whilst I've heard many people here 'talk' about cam belt failures
I've never heard about one which occured during an MOT test
- anecdotal evidence I know but there we are.

I have - BX diesel (not mine I hasten to add!) that had done about 450,000 miles....

Watching a diesel emissions test is not for the feint hearted if you have any mechanical knowhow!!!

HTH

Richard
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
Good answer Richard/Cliff and BTW, the garage did ask her how old the belt was so they did their bit.

Anyway, so far as the extreme revving's during the MOT is concerned, that doesn't sound half as bad for as HF doing a hill start :-)

She'll hit me when she pops round later !
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Is that a hill start with or without you in the car V? ;)))

Anyway, it's all done now, and the driving does feel a lot better. I can confirm that it was indeed the boot/gaiter, and that the CV joint itself was ok. The mechanic said he has also topped up all the fluid levels for me, so I can rest easy for another year - well, till the tax is due at the end of the month anyway :(

Many thanks to all for your help and advice, as always much appreciated.
HF

Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
I can confirm that it was indeed the boot/gaiter,
and that the CV joint itself was ok.


Was the earlier price quoted (£145) just for the boot/gaiter to be changed, or was that including a new CV Joint as well? If just the boot/gaiter, then my previous message about the price sounding about right was in fact wrong. A new GM boot/gaiter kit is around £10 to £15 and takes less than 1 hour to fit.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - DavidHM
Look at it this way:

MoT - £38 (?)
90 mins labour for taking it to the MoT and fixing it, etc - £70
Part - £25 with mark up over trade price

Total £133

Don't forget that £40 + VAT is a pretty cheap labour rate in London, which Orpington basically is, or at least it is when I get quoted :-)

So maybe the quote for HF is a little high but it's hardly astronomical.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
Look at it this way:
MoT - £38 (?)
90 mins labour for taking it to the MoT and fixing
it, etc - £70
Part - £25 with mark up over trade price
Total £133


Yes, just re-read HF's post where she said the £145 was inclusive of everything. So including the price of the MOT in with the bill still makes it high, but not as extortionate as I first thought.
Maybe when HF has finished tearing up the tarmac around Orpington in her now legal Astra, she could confirm?
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - volvoman
Agreed David - HF also paid for the convenience of the local man arranging everything.

BTW HF when I'm in the car you usually stall it on the hill - a case of not enough revs :-)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Gulp - oh hell, have I been ripped off? I'm confused now about what the guy really said about the CV joint - I'm pretty sure he said they just had to clean it up aand then it was fine. But all this stuff passes over my head somewhat, so I'm not confident that I've given you the right information here.

Is there any way I can see if it's a new one or not? I feel like a right mug at the moment.

And V - how can I not be doing enough revs when my foot's on the floor? And how come it only happens when you're there? ;)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
HF, stop worrying. If the car has passed the MOT, then the CV Joint is perfectly fine. As DavidHM pointed out, if the bill included the price of the MOT, then £145 doesn't sound too extortionate.
I know certain mechanics that can change a rubber boot in ¼ of an hour, but generally they don't bother going to the trouble of cleaning up the joint first. They just undo the bottom ball joint, uncouple the driveshaft from the CV Joint while everything is still in-situ, and simply slide off the old boot and slide on the new one. Fill it with grease and pop on the boot retaining clips, and finally do back up the ball joint. If your man has done a proper job he should have removed the CV Joint from the hub assembly and cleaned/inspected everything before greasing it all up and re-assembling. Not to mention cleaning up the wheel arch and backside of the wheel of all the grease that got flung out of the old split boot. Cleanup alone can take upto ½ hour.

So say for arguments sake:-
Labour 1½ hours, @ £50 per hour = £75
Parts = £25, (plus costs for sourcing them.)
MOT = £38?

£145 doesn't sound that extortionate.

Sorry if my earlier post misled you.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Dave - thanks. I think the mechanic must have done the thorough job you speak of, and done it properly.

What bothers me is that in previous jobs he has always been very cheap, and I'd thought he charged a much lower labour per hour rate than most. If I'm paying £50 per hour then I'm best off going back to the old mechanic, however much I'd prefer not to! - in previous MOTs, I don't think labour has ever been charged at more than maybe £20-£40, however much work has been done.

Thanks for answering though, I kind of feel a bit better now :(
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
HF,

Another way of looking at it is how much money in maintenance has the car cost you to keep on the road for the past year. Weigh this cost against replacing that vehicle, and you'll probably find it was a lot cheaper than having to replace it with a car that you don't know the history of, that say in two months time might end up costing you £500 to repair.
Better the devil you know, as they say.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Dave - maintenance in the last 8 months has been around £200-£250. But I DO agree it's better this way than something that I don't know the history of.

Just feeling a little bothered still about whether I was ripped off or not - but thanks for trying to set my mind at rest!
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - eMBe {P}
Gulp - oh hell, have I been ripped off? >>

I wouldn't say so. For an all-in price, I would have happily anything between £140 to £200, depending on exactly how long it actually took; and the hourly rate for the labour, and the price paid for the parts .
--
eM.Be. # Note: {P} means I am DECLARING that my profile can be viewed.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
eM.Be. I don't know exactly how long it took. Car was with them from start to finish maybe 5 hours or so, but any (or hardly any) amount of that could have been spent doing my car. I also have no idea of this mechanic's hourly labour charge - which is something I should really ask but feel a little awkward doing so.

Hmm, on a part worth max £15, I still feel I have been overcharged.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - J Bonington Jagworth
Probably too late now, but a reaction to the bill like: "£145 just for an MOT and bit of rubber?!" might have yielded a discount. Then again...

My friendly garage can usually source a choice of CV 'boots' - the standard one that has to go on from the engine end (cheap to buy but expensive to fit) and an extra-stretchy one that can be fitted from the wheel end, which is a lot easier. Ask for one of those next time, maybe!

In your case, the best way to look at it, IMHO, is that at least the joint itself was OK. Garages often talk about splits and grease losses that sound terminal, but in practice mean something less dramatic - they do like to scare you...
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Hi JBJ,

I know what you're saying - unfortunately, in my position and knowing nothing about cars, I could be quoted £1 or £1000 for a bit of rubber and I wouldn't know if it was reasonable or not!

When I got the quote, and came here to mention it, I didn't really know what the quote was for, and my less than adequate explanation misled people into thinking it was reasonable.

In future I really should try to take in more of what the mechanic is saying, but to me that's like anyone else trying to memorise a few lines of Japanese after only being told them once.

And I have no idea whether I have a standard or a stretchy 'boot'!

Anyway, as you say, too late this time. I think next time maybe I should don a false beard, wear men's clothes and try to talk very low, and see if I get a better result.
HF
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - J Bonington Jagworth
LOL, HF! The sad thing is that you\'re probably right. Haven\'t you got a big, hairy-bottomed friend you can take along? (No-one in particular in mind, I hasten to add!)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Dynamic Dave
And I have no idea whether I have a standard or
a stretchy 'boot'!


From memory, as it's been 3 yrs since I last fitted one. Vauxhall changed the material used from rubber (that cracked and perished frequently) to a plastic/polypropylene type material that was more durable and less prone to deterioration from the elements. However, as I said that was 3 yrs ago, so they may have changed the material used yet again by now.
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
JBJ - LOL! Next time I will definitely be taking a big hairy person with me, yes!
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - J Bonington Jagworth
Glad to hear it, HF. The censoring machinery round here is working overtime, it would appear. You can probably deduce what I wrote originally, but since then, the offending word has been replaced by asterisks, and now a synonym! Presumably the first was automatic and the second moderator intervention. Didn't mean to give you extra work, guys...
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Well despite two moderations, it lost none of its meaning, JBJ. Actually I find the latest version the most amusing so far ;)
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - Blue {P}
Pleased it wasn\'t too bad for you HF.

One CV boot isn\'t too bad, and it\'s good that it was noticed early, saving you a much bigger bill at a later date when you might not be expecting it.

If it\'s any consolation at all, my mate spent more than £900 keeping an Escort on the road that was only a year older than your Astra, so your\'s is doing well! :-) (Having said that his was a total wreck and he would have been better scrapping it)

Blue
Extraordinarily dumb MOT question - HF
Thanks Blue.

Actually that's exactly what I did with my old Renault, spent a mint trying to keep it on the road till I finally decided enough was enough. Could have bought quite a nice car with all the money I wasted on that!
 

Value my car