A Tale of Two MOT's - Guy Lacey aka Golf Geek
Thought this would amuse/intrigue/worry you all;

The same car goes in for an MOT at two garages a couple of days apart, one a main dealer and one a small family owned business.

MOT Failure 1:
1x 195/45/16 tyre (£60)
1x CV boot (£15 plus hour or so labour)
2x rear suspension beam bushes (@£50/ea and at least 4 hours labour)
1x loose rear box (cheap as chips)

MOT Failure 2:
1x CV boot (£15 plus hour or so labour)
1x loose wheel bearing (5 minutes or new bearing)

A possible couple of hundred pounds less for the same, necessary sheet of A5.

Guess which one I chose and which was carried out by the small, local, family owned firm?

Is this common?

Needless to say - the LPG powered show winner flew through the emissions!
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - Steve G
Not surprised.
Dealer 1 probably put a screwdriver thru the CV boot and loosened the rear box themselves.Also probably slackened some bolts on the rear suspension just to give the impression of worn bushes.
I found a local MOT station just one mile from me which only carries out the MOT ,not the work required to pass it.Their main business is Agricultral machinery repair so the MOT section is just a sideline.
The guy who does the MOT is semi-retired (Fred Dibnah lookalike).Never charges for headlamp levelling or Co adjustments and is a great guy to talk to about the motortrade -he has seen it all.
Main dealers/Fast fit ....avoid at all costs.
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - crazed
go somewhere where you are welcome to watch them do it

if they dont want you watching then go elsewhere
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - John Davis
It is a condition of the MOT franchise that the customer is allowed to watch the test being carried out. In fact, MOT bay/areas have to have a suitable area for the customer to observe the test but, most of us don't bother. I am sure that some of the unscrupulous operators take advantage of this in "tweeking" suspect components to their advantage.
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - peteJ

we wouldn't charge for a simple CO adjust on the models that you can do that on...

Other models could be unadjustable & opening a whole new story...
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - peter charnley
A few years ago I took a 7 year old Fiesta to a fast fit place. I f i could remember the name I would write it down. The estimate came to over £500. The guy told me they did not charge for parts. The estimate was scribbled down. I just knew it was a con. I took it a sall garage and had the one part that they both agreed on - front spring replaced. Saved £440. I wrote to the company, a national one and received a telephone call apology. Trading atandards said i needed a written estimate on headed notepaper for them to take it further. i think the fact my wife took the car in contributed.

Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - Graham
I'm not disagreeing with any of the above, but you are assuming that the dealers are trying to get the extra business.

What if the lesser one is incompetant and all the other things really need doing?

My family travel in our cars and I want them to be as mechanically sound as possible. It appears that main dealer servicing only checks things that are on the job card and can presumably miss to much. (Recently had problem with Skoda and it's brakes as I assumed that they were checked during servicing.) Of course an MOT doesn't mean that the car is safe either.

Oh for a decent mechanic who I can trust!!! - Hens teeth?
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - Brian
I had my car MOT'd at a main dealer: it sailed through.
Six weeks later (< 1,500 miles) it went to the same place for a service.

New front discs and pads.
New back shoes and cylinders and the drums skimmed.

The charitable conclusion is that the MOT is too superficial.
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - Guy Lacey aka Golf Geek
The main dealer was probably the more accurate of the two to be honest.

I was just amazed how a bit of shopping around could knock £3-400 off the price of acquiring a snotty piece of A5 paper that people religiously demand when buying a second hand car as some form of certificate of purchase-worthiness! (I know that isn't correct English!)

Of course, I will get the rear bushes replaced in hard as stone polyurethane numbers as soon as the Lacey Fund Manager allows!
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - Ben Chapman
What golf do you have- mk2? I would think about it before fitting poly bushes to the rear beam on a mk.2. Mk.2's rely on a bit of passive steer in the rear. With poly bushes things can get a bit twitchy, and they wear out quicker. Im going for VAG replacements when i attempt to do mine, despite having poly bushes just about everywhere else.

Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - Rita
Am I right in thinking that many, many years ago in the early years of the MOT being instituted there was a court case over a car that was bought with a full MOT certificate?

Soon after purchase the now owner found that the car was riddled with faults. The Judge in the case decided that the MOT certificate was effectively valid only for the day of issue as faults could develop at any time subsequent to the issue of the MOT and that it would difficult to assess those faults which were extant at the time of testing and those developing later. Time and toe-rags have problably altered case law on this judgement.

Which reminds me of the time my husband bought home a well-old sports car. He obviously saw himslf driving with a Cardew the Cad scarf and brylcreamed hair. On his arrival home he said what a good buy it was. It had a full MOT and he had bought it from a guy in work - office work, doncha know, no crooks there. Unfortunately, whilst driving home one of the headlights fell off on the motorway.

I suggested ever so gently that perhaps he had been taken for a ride. Not so, he exclaimed, I work with him, nice guy. Then why not, I cannily suggested, take it for another MOT. "For the sake of fourteen pounds you would have piece of mind and, by the way, where will you get another headlight and have you spotted the rust underneath, and why doesn't the passenger door open?"

Well, the car had another MOT. It failed on just about every count. Six o'clock the next money my husband was driving like a lunatic to the seller's house. Got his money back.

I forbore to gloat because I am a very, very, very nice sort of person.
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - Cockle
I believe that the MOT would be seen to be more valid if it was carried out at properly audited centres that were not allowed to carry out repairs. This would kill several birds with the one stone as you would know the tester wasn't trying to top up the work in a slack week, also you would have confidence in the quality of test.

All I have ever asked for is a fair test, after all, I & my family have to travel in my vehicle therefore I have no interest in getting a 'ticket' if the vehicle is not roadworthy.

On the other hand I object to paying for something that is not required. Several years back I had a failure on CO, headlamp alignment and 'noisy' rear bearings and got the 'You're lucky, sir. We can just fit you in this afternoon.' Previously would probably have fallen for it but had a mate who had a repair shop and owed me a favour or two and I was a bit skint so decided to call them in. Took the car back the following day for a retest and passed no problems, funny thing was my mate had had a look and decided there was nothing wrong, and he had been a tester in a previous job for about fifteen years so I tended to believe him. Never went back to that MOT tester.

I now get my tests done at the local BT workshop, they do tests for the public but don't take in outside repair work so they have no axe to grind. Costs the full amount but I get a fair test and my mate maintains that they have never failed anything that shouldn't have been, plus I often get the odd 'health warning' about something that it might be wise to check on thrown in.
Re: A Tale of Two MOT's - John Davis
It is a condition, by the Dept of Transport, when considering an MOT franchise application, that the applying garage company has a repair facility which the vehicle owner can choose to use if required. Also, another lift or pit is mandatory for use if the "official" MOT lift is temporarily out of action for repairs. However, in Leicester, the local bus Co have an MOT set up and do not do repairs (on private cars) so, this does not lead to the temptation to generate work for the general workshop. When the MOT requirement went from a 10 year old vehicle test to a 3 year old vehicle test, the DOT considered setting up government run MOT stations (as the arrangement for trucks) but, with the potential requirement for 22,000 stations, the plan was abandoned on grounds of cost. Generally, in my opinion, the motor trade/MOT arrangement works well because of the sanctions which the DOT can put on an MOT garage should they transgress but, I do know from personal experience, of garages losing their MOT franchise (sometimes innocently because of a careless tester) that the drop in revenue is hard to replace. This is not, of course, the loss of the test fee (which would not cover the costs of the labour and equipment) but the inevitable and neccessary workshop revenue from the repairs to faulty vehicles

Value my car