Dodgy MOT's - volvoman
A few years back I recall going to a local MOT tester and although my car had a couple of dodgy tyres and a small hole in the exhaust he passed the car. For the next year or two I returned to that garage thinking the he was the sort of guy who'd ask few questions. Was I stupid or what ???
If this guy was happy to pass failures what else was he happy to do or rather avoid doing to earn his fee ? It's quite frightening really and what's really bad is that I thought I was fortunate to have found this bloke!

I know things have changed since then - there are more roadside checks and I'd like to think MOT testers are far better monitored/regulated, however all this begs a question - what would you REALLY do if your MOT garage passed your car and you knew it should have failed on something costly if not dangerous (e.g. emissions) ?
Dodgy MOT's - joe
Volvoman, can I have his phone number please?
Dodgy MOT's - Clanger
Going back a bit as well, on the way to an MoT test at a garage I used regularly, the front flexy joint gave way on a roundabout a mile down the road. As the MoT was already booked, I apologised for the exhaust and explained that it had only just happened. After accompanying the tester around the car I expected a fail. Not only did he squirt some releasing agent on the clamps, he gave me a pass! He said it was nice to see the car in such good nick otherwise and I would be replacing the joint at once, wouldn't I.

The car - 1974 Citroen D Super ...

Stranger in a strange land
Dodgy MOT's - Doc
MOT garages are checked occasionally by "ghost customers" from the DVLA.
Any irregularities are severely dealt with.
Dodgy MOT's - Daz
In my experiences it pays to find someone 'in with an MOT station'. I used to have a mate who would do any major work but minor problems would pass on the 'that happened on the way back type thing'.

Having moved 130 miles from him several years ago I have come to the conclusion that most will find something that needs doing.

An example of which is I took my wifes Cavalier to the main dealer and was told I needed a brake pipe, CV joint and rear road springs. They quoted me £600 to which is said forget it.

Took it wait while u MOT place having had said repairs done for £60 and was told I needed a new suspension arm and two tyres which vauxhall claimed would need changing soon.

However, the additional £180 spent was still cheaper than the original Vauxhall quote and we still would have needed two new tyres soon!

BTW Dreading taking my Omega in next month!
Dodgy MOT\'s - OlafS
I bought my used VW Golf from an independant trader in Exeter. He did a full service, changed the cam belt etc. Took it for the MOT which it failed. They did the work necessary for it to pass, took it back and it failed on the rear suspension bushes, which the previous tester didn\'t pick up on.


Dodgy MOT's - umistim
M.O.T. garages are regularly checked by mystery shoppers from the ministry to try and maintain standards.
The ability to carry out a test, does legitimatly bring with it a great deal of additional work to the garage concerned and few would risk losing their M.O.T. facility just to please a few people.
It is not compulsory to have the repairs carried out by the garage that failed the vehicle and you have the right to take the work wherever you wish, which should mean that there is no advantage in in being harsh on borderline cases.
Dodgy MOT\'s - PhilW
Many years ago when I got my first job (salary £18 a week) and was carless my mum very generously rang me up to say she had bought me a red A40 Countryman for £100. Lovely condition, very shiny and just passed its MOT - I could pay her back later. Fantastic. Went home (100 miles by train) to get it, said I would be eternally grateful to mum and drove it back to my bed sit (£4 a week including all bills) On the way back it got dark, and started raining. Switched on lights and noticed nearside headlight pointing skywards. Decided to stop to investigate. Put my foot on brake as I pulled into layby, heel went through floor. Stopped, looked under carpet, pink fluffy dice great hole in floor under brake pedal and accellerater (carpet had held heel up while pressing accelerater). Got out, headlight hanging out and realised the frontwings were fibreglass things covering an empty expanse and held on by self tappers. Headlights were jammed in with nothing holding them in place. The whole car was a load of rust held together by the odd fibreglass bit. Got a mate to turn steering wheel later while I looked inside bonnet (steering was a bit stiff) - the whole steering rack moved across car.
If the carpet slipped while driving in the rain water shot up from road, through hole in floor and straight into my crotch.
Well, thought I (being very young and ignorant) it\'s got an MOT so it must be OK. Drove it around for about 6 months (ignoring all those who flashed me at night -why flash me - the headlights can\'t blind you they are pointing vertically) until one day when trying to start it the starter motor fell onto the road and I abandoned it - it may still be there, somewhere in Chorlton cum Hardy ---- but it will need a new MOT
Dodgy MOT's - weatherwitch
what would
you REALLY do if your MOT garage passed your car and
you knew it should have failed on something costly if not
dangerous (e.g. emissions) ?

If I was aware that there was a serious problem that the MOT somehow missed I'd get an inspector to view it. If it was something that made the car dangerous to drive or would cause it to crumple in a smash. It's not just your own life at risk but others if you deliberately drive a vehicle that you know to be unsafe. However if something like the emissions passed when it shouldn't, well computers make errors all the time don't they?

Now a bit different, when I test drove my first 340 Volvo (mid 90's) I thought that the brakes seemed bad. The place selling it, said they'd do them and MOT it which I then assumed was fine. When they delivered it I drove it and was not happy with the brakes so I took it to my own garage where I'd gone for years and got them to check it over. The guy had done a bodge job on the brakes (they were still illegal but since he'd MOT'd it) and my guys found other work too that should have failed. They wrote it all out for me, (cost me nothing!) I took it back to the original garage told them, mentioned those who check on MOTs (whose name fails me at the moment!), and all faults that he'd passed were now fixed and they did some other things too. (for what that was worth!)
Dodgy MOT's - Hugo {P}
Not really an MOT issue here but a story of a young lad hoodwinked by a snazzy looking Mk1 Fieasta XR2.

Steve bought this car from a back street garage and drov it around for a few months until the alternator packed up.

He then took it to another garage who took one look at the car and said "Oh yes we know this car alright!" They proceeded to tell him that it had been written off and a bodge job done on the repair.

His dad contacted the garage and threatened them with the Inland Revenue, Trading Standards etc. Result - dodgy garage took the car back for a FULL refund AND paid for the cost of the new alternator.

These are probably some of the characters that may get involved in dodgy MOTs.

Dodgy MOT's - GrumpyOldGit
A very long time ago I worked in a back-street garage. When we needed an MOT the owner would phone the bloke over the road and gave him the vehicle details. He'd say 'Is it alright?', to which the boss would always say 'Yes'.

'Come over in 15 minutes and the certificate will be ready.'

Very scary. I can't imagine this still goes on. Does it?
Dodgy MOT's - DL
Nope, I can't see it happening nowadays - copies of emission tests, which are dated and timed electronically, have to be retained and are inspected in case of appeal etc.

Which of course will get even better when MOT Tests become 'electronic' - which will be sooner rather than later....
Dodgy MOT's - nick
It does happen. Don't ask how I know!
Dodgy MOT's - M.M
This goes on a huge amount still with some of the "bomb site" dealers.

I do a lot of post purchase services and'd be amazed.

DL you must have moved too far up the posh end if you think the boys aren't still at it!

Dodgy MOT's - DL
Come on, spill the beans, you're anonymous!
Dodgy MOT's - No Do$h
By all means spill 'em, just don't name the brand....


Ask Honest John

Value my car