Home » My Ferrari Failed Its Annual Inspection And Made A Total Idiot Of Me

My Ferrari Failed Its Annual Inspection And Made A Total Idiot Of Me

Mot Ts2
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A lot of companies these days make you complete what is known as psychometric testing as part of an employment application process. These as usually done to make sure you’re a good fit for ‘our fast-paced work environment’ or some other such form of Linkedin doublespeak. What companies are actually doing is making sure you’re not a total lunatic who’s going to murder everyone in the building the first time someone steals your milk from the office fridge.

Here at The Autopian, we do something similar, only failing the test is considered essential. No one with any modicum of automotive sanity or a functioning brain gains paid employment inside The Autopian substation (actually a series of dangerously constructed, mildly radioactive tunnels hidden deep underneath Galpin Island). How else to explain Miss Mercedes’ airfield full of non-functioning Panzers? S. W. Gossin’s front yard full of non-functioning junkyard orphans? Torch’s back yard full of non-functioning oh you get the idea. Even the members of staff without permanent dirt under their fingernails are not immune. LA David is showing worrying signs of recidivism. Matt bought an old BMW with Apollo capsule miles and is keeping his fingers crossed it doesn’t blow up. And last week my old Ferrari failed its annual MOT test immediately rendering it non-roadworthy in the eyes of the UK Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (only not quite, and I was a spectacular idiot, but we’ll get to that).

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

What is a MOT test? Let me guide you my colonial cousins, through the thicket of British motoring bureaucracy. Every motor vehicle used by the public on the highway in the United Kingdom, with a few exceptions for things like farm equipment and military vehicles, is subject to an annual test of its roadworthiness and level of exhaust emissions – it’s basically analogous to state testing in the US for the states that have them.

Mot Tester
Photo: KwikFit/Newspress

It takes about half an hour, and is carried out by certified tester at an approved location with the required equipment (most garages offer an MOT service). A valid MOT certificate confirms the vehicle meets the minimum standards of safe operation and environment standards on the date the certificate was issued. It is part of the triad of things legally required to use a car (or bike, or commercial vehicle) on the road. The others are valid insurance (durrr) and Vehicle Excise Duty (colloquially known as road tax). You must have a valid MOT certificate to use or park your car on the road, so getting caught driving without any one of these things (or of course a driving license) will result in flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror and your collar being felt by His Majesty’s Constabulary.

What Gets Inspected

The MOT test got it’s name from the then Ministry of Transport, which originally introduced it as a voluntary road worthiness inspection in 1960, only originally applying to cars that were over ten years old. It basically just made sure the brakes, lights and steering of a car worked properly. The voluntary period ended in 1961 but because it was catching so many barely functioning death traps, in 1967 the age of cars being tested was lowered from ten years old to three. Over the years, the number of items the test covers has expanded considerably, but essentially it covers anything that has an impact on the safe operation of the vehicle, and its exhaust emissions. Listed below is what the MOT tester looks at, courtesy of our friends at F1 Autocentres:

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Under the DVSA (formerly VOSA) requirements, a MOT will test all these important items on your car to check that they meet the legal requirements:

  • Exhaust and emissions – the exhaust should be secure without any serious leaks and vehicle emissions should meet the necessary requirements, which are dependent on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.
  • Seat belts – all compulsory seat belts must be in place and are checked for security, operation and condition.
  • Steering – the steering wheel should be in an acceptable condition and securely attached to the steering shaft
  • Windscreen – this will be checked for all aspects affecting the driver’s view of the road; its condition, the wipers and the washers.
  • Bonnet catch – this will be tested to ensure that it securely latches in the closed position.
  • Horn – the horn should be operational and of a suitable volume to be heard by pedestrians and other vehicles.
  • Number plate – the registration plate should be present and secure, not faded, dirty or obscured. All letters must conform to the approved font design with the correct spacing between them.
  • Lights – all required lights are checked to ensure that they are operational, in a good condition and secure.
  • Brakes – their condition, efficiency, operation and performance will be tested to ensure that they meet the legal requirements.
  • Tyres and wheels – tyres must be the correct size, condition, type and must have the correct tread depth.
  • Mirrors – mirrors will be checked to make sure that they are secure and visible from the driver’s seat and that they are not distorted or damaged so as to impair the driver’s view to the rear.
  • Doors – both front doors must be operational and have the facility to be opened from inside and outside the vehicle.
  • Seats – the driver and passenger seats must be secure and all seat backs in a stable upright position.
  • Suspension – suspension is checked and must be of a satisfactory operational condition.
  • Fuel system – this should have no leaks and the fuel filler cap must fasten securely.
  • Body and structure – the car body must be free from damage and excess corrosions.

Pictured below is a copy of the actual checklist the MOT tester uses:

Mot Inspection Checklist Vt29 Adrian’s Macbook Pro (2)

As you can see, some of these are pretty straightforward ‘is it working yes or no’ and some appear to be more open to interpretation. However the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency lays out very clearly how each item is assessed and what constitutes a pass or a fail, so in actual fact it’s quite black and white. Defects are classed as minor, major or dangerous. Major and dangerous defects result in an instant fail and mean your vehicle cannot be driven on the road until it is repaired, even if its previous MOT certificate is still valid. You would have to get it repaired at that test center, or get it recovered somewhere else. Driving a vehicle on the road without a valid MOT could potentially get you fined up to £1000, but if your car fails with a dangerous defect and you get caught driving it, that increases to £2500 and three penalty points on your license. Here’s a helpful explainer from the UK’s equivalent to Autozone, Halfords.

All My Christmases Came Early

Now the dodgier among you will no doubt be thinking there must be ways around this pinko-commie-Euro government interference in my constitutional right to drive a sketchy vehicle held together with pigeon shit welding and brake response measured in minutes. The UK doesn’t have a constitution like the US does, but in days gone past, well yeah, that was kind of possible.

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My bastard of a step-father certainly bluffed some of our family crates through an MOT with rockers full of old newspaper and filler, liberally covered up with underseal. No dodgy under-the-arches mechanic in the seventies and eighties worth his salt stayed in business without knowing a ‘friendly’ local tester who could sort out an iffy MOT on a handshake and a drink. The MOT certificate came off a pad, was filled in by hand and the only authentication was the garage stamp at the bottom. Back in the mid-nineties when my mates and I finally made friends with someone who could sort out a ‘ticket’ for our daily driver shitbox Fords it was like all our Christmases had come at once.

I can’t remember exactly what my Capri 2.8 injection failed on, but our guy told me to ‘get that sorted’ with a wink as he handed me the sacred document that meant I was legal again. These types of shenanigans ended in 2005 when a computerized MOT database system was introduced, making the whole thing a lot more secure and accountable. The old-style certificates are no longer issued, and the results are instantly updated, so the police can tell straight away if a vehicle is being driven illegally. The good thing about this is a vehicle’s MOT records are online for everyone to see, so if you’re thinking about buying a car in the UK you can check out its MOT history if you have the registration number.

Mot4
The old fashioned paper MOT certificate

Which was how I ended up with a major spanner in the works last week. My friend Lewis runs Takona, a small brand centered around raising mental health awareness through cars. They have regular Coffee and Cars meetups up and down the country, and the first of these was happening last Sunday morning. I thought this would be a perfect first 2024 outing for the Ferrari, so booked the MOT test for lunchtime on the Thursday before. I knew the MOT was rapidly approaching the top of my to-do list – but I didn’t foresee any problems because it passed last year without any issues. The trouble is an old Ferrari behaves a lot like me – moody and uncooperative when it’s cold and grey outside.

But it fired straight up after about four weeks hibernation, nothing new was leaking out underneath and the appropriate lights came on with the appropriate switches. Great. I drove the few minutes to the local garage (who had tested it for me last year) and after explaining to the tester about the dog-leg first gear and fly-off hand brake lest he end up backing through the roller shutter door, sat down to wait.

And it failed. In a rare display of recalcitrant Italian electronic misbehavior, the horn refused to work. Shocking I know. Major defect. Instant fail. Asshats.

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I wanted to use the car Sunday. That meant I had exactly a day and a half to get it sorted and re-tested so I would be legal to drive (or so I thought…). Panic ensued. Could I channel my inner David and pull of this herculean repair in time? How complicated could it be? I knew it couldn’t be something as simple as the fuse – a quick glance at the wiring diagram told me other things ran off the same fuse that I knew were working – namely the cigarette lighter and the stereo. Maybe the relay? Possibly I could pull the old switcheroo and take one out of something not required for the test. Several minutes of messing about in the gathering gloom outside confirmed it wasn’t the relay either. Next point of investigation, the horn button.

Giving My Neighbors The Horn

After removing the prancing horse in the middle of the Momo with the aid of a couple of trim tools, I was able to earth out the spade connector to the metal steering wheel boss. No honk. This was starting to look more complicated and expensive by the minute. The steering wheel was going to have to come off, so I could look at the switch behind it. My suspicions that this was where the root of the problem lay arose partly because the indicators had stopped self-cancelling. Not a MOT failure, but enough to convince me something was amiss back there. But the steering wheel was held onto the column with a ring nut, which required a special socket to remove it. Because of course it fucking did. Having learned from my previous wrenching experience I rang Superformance straight away; just in the nick of time to make the post for the next day. At a cost of eighty three quid. Ouch.

Img 1909

Suitably tooled up Friday morning I struggled to get the socket onto the nut, and inadvertently earthed the spade connector against the inner boss of the steering wheel again. HOOOOONNNNK! You have got to be kidding me. Either HMS Queen Elizabeth was coming up my street or that was the dulcet mating call of a 1983 Ferrari Mondial QV. I took the socket off, and touched the connector to the inner boss again. HOOOOONNNNNNK!

This was both good and bad. Good, because it meant the fault wasn’t the horn compressor, a fault at the fuse box or something else that was no longer available and therefore expensive. Bad because what the hell? I reconnected the horn switch, pressed it back into the middle of the steering wheel. and pushed the button. Deafening silence. Bollocks. I pried the button off again, removed the connecter and earthed it. Nothing. Double bollocks. The steering wheel was definitely going to have to come off.

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After removing the ring nut the steering wheel was not budging. I needed a hub puller, which naturally I didn’t have. An hour later and twenty five pounds lighter, I had the steering wheel in my hands. Behind the wheel sat a round plastic donut on the steering column. This had a rotary contact for the live feed to the horn wiring, and two plastic tabs that clicked the indicator stalk as they rotated passed it, cancelling the indicators. It wasn’t sitting flat for some reason, so I pulled it off, cleaned up all the electrical contacts with cleaner, and gently pressed the brush contact backwards so the rotary contact piece would sit flat. After gingerly placing the steering wheel back on the column, I again earthed out the space contact to the horn switch. HOOOOONNNNNK. Connect the horn button to make sure before bolting it all back up. HOOOOOOONNNNNNK.

In Your Face, David

Mot1

Mot2
The Modnial’s MOT history screenshotted from the Gov.uk website

Perfect. Ring nut securing the steering wheel back in place, column trim screwed back on, horn button affixed back in the middle of the steering wheel. Let me just make sure. HOOOOOONNNNK. It’s bad enough for the neighbors when I start the bloody thing. Best not to make it worse with incessant honking. Toasting my success with a well-earned cup of coffee, I arranged to have the re-test done Friday afternoon, meaning I would be nice and legal for Sunday morning.

Mot5
Hahaha what kind of dickhead puts an Autopian sticker on a Ferrari?
Mot6
One of these cars is considerably faster than the other…..

Yep, all that rushing around, paying extra to get a specialist tool delivered overnight, running out to buy another tool, sweet-talking the nice MOT man into squeezing me in at the last moment on Friday afternoon when no doubt he was looking forward to getting down the pub, had all paid off. I had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. In your FACE David Tracy! Gaze upon my works and tremble! Coffee and Cars attended, Ferrari admired, pictures taken, doubles all ’round…

Except.

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Then at the beginning of this week it dawned on me I had been a colossal, monumental, heroically massive, total dipshit. On the Jason scale of dipshittery, well just call me Adrian Torchinsky. Dipshit Town had a new mayor. Me. Why? Because since 2018, cars over forty years old no longer require a valid MOT. It’s not something you have to apply for like Vehicle Excise Duty exemption. You just simply don’t need to get your car tested once it has had it’s fortieth birthday.

The Mondial turned forty last March. All that panic, stress and expense was unnecessary.

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MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
3 months ago

In Maine I see lots of older Volvo 240s with Antique Plates. That means that they are exempt from inspection since they are over 25y/o, but they are also ONLY supposed to be driven to car shows, events and only during daylight hours. I’m pretty sure these salt-encrusted Volvos are not on their way to Cars and Coffee in February.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

But isn’t this what you car nuts do in Maine?! 😉

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

In Georgia we can get antique tags at 25 years. In 2015 I got an antique tag for my daily driver Miata just for the irony.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
3 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

Yeah, they will never pull you over for driving an Antique plate. I use to drive a rusted out Bronco with one everywhere and it was never an issue. About a year ago, I say a rusted out Chevy Celebrity cruising down 295 with one.

Since Covid, Inspection isn’t even probable cause to pull you over anymore as well. We should really just get rid of inspections. The police don’t want to enforce it, consumers don’t want it, it’s not proven to be any safer then say Minnesota which has similar weather and no inspections. But the dealership lobby will burn Augusta down before they allow that.

Turkina
Turkina
3 months ago

Comparing cars in New York (need inspection) and cars in Oregon (no inspection), I’m pretty sure I’d rather have inspections. The key is to have a working relationship with a good local mechanic. Bake them cookies or get the shop a gift card to Dunkin’ on a regular basis. Then you don’t get bent over a barrel every time inspection comes due and get told they can’t pass you unless you replace the turboencabulator relay and about $600 of other fixes that aren’t needed to pass. If my car passes emissions but the brakes have about 3 months left, my mechanic is going to pass me and tell me I either gotta do the brakes myself or make an appointment, but I am out the door with my car. Or if the brakes are shot, take your keys, get them fixed in the next couple days and bring it back.

Now Oregon… the evil tin worm does not stalk their roads. Suspension and other parts should last longer. But I have never seen such a bunch of derelict, dangerous conveyances. Tires where the wire cords are the source of traction, lacking front and rear bumpers and dragging the exhaust, steering is a suggestion while going down the I-5, and flashlights taped to the front fenders for use at night.

But yet, you cannot register a kei truck in Oregon.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
3 months ago

Sooo… my Renault 4’s yearly inspection is due on Jan. 23rd, and it actually does have sort of a temperamental horn. It does completelty stop working sometimes, normally not for too long – but how can I be sure it won’t stop working on inspection day? – but one thing it does a lot is barely working. It does work, but it’s such a faint toot that a bicycle bell would be more effective when it decides to barely work.

Here in Portugal we have a simple trick to get cars to pass inspection without fixing minor stuff beforehand, which is having your mechanic take it to “their” inspection centre, with the arrangement being that whatever the inspectors signal off the books is to be worked on by the mechanic right away. Some things they can’t really get around: anything related to brakes, suspension, steering, headlight alignment and emissions, if it fails, it fails – I believe this has to do with some of this testing being conducted with machines that log the testing results directly to the servers of our equivalent to the DMV.

Oh shit, emissions. I really need to sort out the vacuum leak in my carb. Fuck.

Last edited 3 months ago by Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago

In my state in the USA, if you fail, you get a fail sticker on your windshield (with a big red NO circle-and-slash symbol) which does allow you to still drive her while giving you 30 days to fix whatever’s wrong.

And a free reinspection. It’s a nice way of doing things.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Oh, that’s exactly how it works here in Portugal. You get either the green or the red “seal” depending on whether or not the car passes. For cars that don’t pass due to minor stuff there’s a 30 day period that the car is still road legal but can’t travel with passengers or cargo. In more extreme cases the car can immediately be considered a road hazard and can’t be driven back; the owner has to call a tow truck and send the car directly to a mechanic.

Reinspection isn’t free here, but close; it’s like €8. Regular inspection is €35. All in all, it’s not really that expensive to get a car inspected around here.

Last edited 3 months ago by Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
3 months ago

“…you can check out its MOT history if you have the registration number.”

I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks! I’ve now learned that my UK-market Volvo 66 GL was first registered on 17 Dec 1976 but has never had an MOT, which I assume really means it hasn’t had one since the electronic database was established. I don’t know how long it’s been in the US but I guess this means it left the UK before about 2005. Good to know.

It turns out my Austins both had histories of small-ish to worrying-ish issues before coming here but that’s really not surprising. They still do.

10001010
10001010
3 months ago

Surprise plot twist at the end, I love it.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
3 months ago

I feel like I live in paradise but also not really. Michigan has no inspections at all, but they are also give so much freedom that you see death traps rolling down the highway with a donut spare tire while its snowing and switching lanes. They probably have no insurance and because we are no-fault state, you are screwed if someone hits you, your insurance has to pay anyway, you already high rates will go higher, etc.

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

I also live in a state with no inspections. Some of the things I’ve seen going down the road make me question the wisdom in that decision. Just recently I’ve seen: an F-150 with a frame so broken that it flexed in the middle under braking so much that I expected it to break in half at any moment; a Dodge that I couldn’t even recognize because it was so damaged from rolling over what looked to be more than once; a Monte Carlo that was bent at a 30 degree angle with the passenger side seats rendered useless by the caved in bodywork; several crossovers with the rear suspension completely collapsed and many many nearly destroyed pickup trucks. It’s nice that I don’t have to worry about my old beaters failing on emissions but some people, especially in my redneck state, have no sense of self preservation or something.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rusty S Trusty
Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty S Trusty

I have annual inspections, and sure, I groan at having to go get them done once a year, but I try to remember what my old autoshop teacher once said, that it’s a bargain for what you get – a pro giving your vehicle a once over, esp for things you’d likely rarely check yourself.

A few years back, my Mustang failed…a tie rod going bad. Easy enough fix, but one I’d likely not have seen on my own as I don’t have a lift or even remove the wheels that often.

I’m (reasonably) contentious about my vehicles so I appreciate that, but there are plenty of drivers out who wouldn’t fix anything if someone didn’t make them.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jack Trade
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty S Trusty

Years ago, I lived in Savannah, GA, which has no vehicle inspection at all.

One year, we had to evacuate for Hurricane Floyd. We lived on a barrier island, so we HAD to leave. The local rock radio station had to leave as well, so they just put Rock You Like A Hurricane by the Scorpions on repeat and hit the bricks. People tried to escape to Atlanta, and the highway quickly turned into a parking lot. All those poorly maintained hoopties began falling to the wayside, and soon the interstate shoulders were littered with steaming hulks loaded with freaked out people and all the worldly goods they could cram into them.

Years later, I saw the first episode of The Walking Dead and had a flashback.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
3 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

Failing an inspection wouldn’t stop most of those cars being on the road.And you can’t give their drivers a ticket, because they don’t even have a license.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
3 months ago

I’m glad we don’t have MOT here. Or state inspections. Or emissions. I’ve never even touched the horn button on my Lancia.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago

It probably doesn’t work anyway

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
3 months ago

Most likely not, though my turn signals do self-cancel!

Neil Hall
Neil Hall
3 months ago

Surely in such an Italian car, it should be driven in true Italian fashion, using the horn every 5 minutes.

Dave
Dave
3 months ago

But now you have a working horn, useful on entirely too many occasions. And self-cancelling indicators, which are a lovely convenience and keep you from looking like an utter idiot as you cruise down the road with your indicator blinking incessantly. So not a complete waste of time / effort / money.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
3 months ago

I guess there are worse ways to find out your horn doesn’t work…

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

I’m a little surprised the MOT folks wouldn’t mention that the inspection wasn’t required.

And in the Discord we did offer you several solutions that did not require purchasing a new tool. 😉

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

When the exemption for older cars was being considered and eventually adopted several people in various UK car clubs said they intended to keep getting their cars inspected anyway just to have another set of eyes on things every now and then. Are enough people doing this (or, perhaps more to the point, still doing this now that a few years have passed) that the inspectors may reasonably have assumed you simply were being conscientious?

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

What happens if you inspect a 40-plus for that reason, and it fails? Would you still have to get it fixed before driving it again?

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

That’s fair.

However, if you fail a test that is not required, does it really matter? If you had remembered the 40-year rule after the fail but before going back to re-test, could you have gone on your merry way with no repercussions? Or would the unresolved failure draw negative attention?

JumboG
JumboG
3 months ago

In my state you stop needing an inspection at 30 years old. However, they actually mean 31. I have a 76 Jeep CJ-7. So in 2006 I thought I was exempt. Nope, they wanted 1 more inspection out of me.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

In my state, that only happens if you register the car as an antique, but the mileage restriction on that is so limiting, and the inspection itself is so basic and easy to pass, I have no idea why anyone bothers. Frankly, if your car can’t pass our really basic inspections, it isn’t safe to back up to the end of your driveway

Mocamino
Mocamino
3 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Same here in Missouri. Getting the antique registration allows one to run year of manufacture plates, but limits the use to 1000 miles a year. You’re supposed to keep a mileage log, and the mileage limit doesn’t include trips to car shows or to repair facilities. The reality is nobody ever really checks it, soooo…..

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
3 months ago

Womp Womp… Next pint is on me you knucklehead.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

And 10 degrees warmer.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
3 months ago

In the UK we drink beer cold, like normal people. I don’t know where the “warm beer” thing is from, buts it’s not the UK I live in.

We’re a tiny island of terrified xenophobic nancies who spell words with too many letters, obsess about our entirely average weather, hamstring ourselves with a ridiculous class system and need help every time there’s a war on, but the beer is cold.

Buzz
Buzz
3 months ago

I’m not surprised Adrian didn’t notice the horn wasn’t working, there simply wasn’t any need to ever use it.

“It’s a bright red Ferrari and I’m behind the wheel. Why would anyone pay attention to anything else, darling?”

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
3 months ago

Well, if you see someone with a bumper sticker advising you to honk if you’re in a somewhat “delicate condition”, you’re set!

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago

I’m intrigued that the MOT inspection points are the same as my state’s (VA). I also pay a road tax.

Though interestingly, b/c of my UK-market Haynes manual, I know the MOT test for motorcycles is way more comprehensive than ours, which seems generally “if you were able to ride it here and it looks like a motorcycle should, you pass.”

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

“The Autopian substation (actually a series of dangerously constructed, mildly radioactive tunnels hidden deep underneath Galpin Island). How else to explain Miss Mercedes’ airfield full of non-functioning Panzers? S. W. Gossin’s front yard full of non-functioning junkyard orphans? Torch’s back yard full of non-functioning oh you get the idea.”

I dunno about all that but at least it explains the MOT trefoil.

“A lot of companies these days make you complete what is known as psychometric testing as part of an employment application process. These as usually done to make sure you’re a good fit for ‘our fast-paced work environment’ or some other such form of Linkedin doublespeak. What companies are actually doing is making sure you’re not a total lunatic who’s going to murder everyone in the building the first time someone steals your milk from the office fridge.”

The fact they can find people to make it through all that bullshit is proof positive any claims of a labor shortage is also bullshit.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I don’t work for a particular OEM because at my second interview, after I passed the first day of psychometric testing, I found out that they were a bunch of joyless dicks who did the same stupid things that I was hoping to leave behind.

After that disaster I did another five years before going back on the job market.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
3 months ago

I read the first couple of paragraphs and thought hang on isn’t the car 40 years old. Glad I read to the end of the article before firing the comments cannon.

Funnily enough the horn on my own, older than the Mondial, Ferrari also sometimes doesn’t work on a cold day. No idea why. I feel the whole car needs at least 8c of ambient temperature to be fully functioning.

Tondeleo Jones
Tondeleo Jones
3 months ago

I bought an MGF here in the states that came with a stack of MOTs. Many fails, but it had a clean ticket when it arrived here. P559 VFU.

Tondeleo Jones
Tondeleo Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Zero. But I’ve got a timing belt tee’d up. Pray for me.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
3 months ago

Boo the MOT, it’s denying the UK the sheer joy of iconic vehicles such as the Chicago Cutlass.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
3 months ago

Here in the US, we just fix that problem with a bumper sticker: “HORN BROKEN, WATCH FOR FINGER.”

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Or: Horn works. Watch for finger anyway.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

An Autopian sticker? There’s not a matching one on the other side?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Have you considered upgrading your membership?

Hamish48
Hamish48
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

origin: Groucho Marx’s resignation wire to a Hollywood club which had enrolled him

AssMatt
AssMatt
3 months ago

Mine didn’t turn 40 until November, so maybe the age difference explains how your horn’s voice descended; mine’s a pre-pubescent MEEEEEEEEEP that I doubt the neighbors can hear.

It’s registered as a “Collector Vehicle,” so it’s thankfully exempt from emissions testing.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
3 months ago

Out of curiosity, if they find a hard fail problem do they complete the inspection so you know of all the faults you would need to fix for the retest? Or is it a hard stop as soon as one of the major or dangerous ratings is recorded?

As much of a PITA as these tests sound I do wish we had more of this in the states.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
3 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

No, no you don’t, especially in the businesses-and-corporations-are-superior-to-mere-citizens USA. Especially when inspection stations are operated by repair shops and car dealerships. It’s in their financial interest to fail cars and reap the financial rewards of having required repairs done. Doesn’t even matter if the shop that failed the car doesn’t do the repair, it just keeps the moneymaking system working.

It works somewhat better in some states where inspection stations are separate, government-run operations. There’s more hope of standardized handling of the test at all locations.

In any case, if auto dealers’ associations or individual auto dealerships and shops are political donors of any significance, then you can expect the inspection system to be as much an annual shakedown as it is any form of safety factor.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

I appreciate leaders looking for creative ways to balance having a lot of options so it’s more convenient (the private sector run approach) with ensuring fairness and standardized quality (the govt run approach).

In VA where I live, repair shops and dealers do the inspections, but the system isn’t overseen by a regulatory agency, it’s overseen by the state police.

So a shady operation faces knows it may face direct scrutiny from law enforcement. It’s a fair deterrent…perfect, no, but it’s an attempt at a reasonable solution to at least mitigate the unintended consequences inherent with this kind of mandate.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

It can get really convoluted. In NH, a number of years ago, the commander of the State Police retired and walked right into a new job as the service manager of a large auto dealership with no prior experience in that line of work save management experience in a state law enforcement agency and a history of being a car buff — but more the kind who pays other people to maintain his cars than wrench on them himself. The state police agency oversees the inspection stations, and political supporters of the DMV and state police get plenty of donations from the aforementioned large auto dealership and others like it.

In the end, many shops doing inspections often nitpick and fail anything they aren’t sure about because the state police encourage it. And the state police have political reasons to keep the auto dealers and service operations in business. That’s just the unfortunate state of politics and government funding — follow the money.

For reference, my definition of “nitpicking”: In NH, a cracked or broken lens on a taillight fails. I had a “failure” due to a “cracked” taillight which was invisible unless the light was illuminated and you put your eye up to within two inches of the lens to make out a scratch that was an eighth of an inch or less long.

Eighty dollars for a replacement taillight later, the new one picked up a bigger scuff from a shopping cart that would probably fail it again. Coincidentally, I moved away, though.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

For sure. I can totally imagine the shenanigans that can arise when the government outsource this function to firms with their own set of incentives.

But we also know what purely government operations can be like too – a different, if equally frustrating, experience…the lines, a likely eventual need to book appointments months in advance only to be told the day of that they’re backed up, nitpicking that’s based on pure zealotry, not monetary, considerations, etc.

I guess given that I see the public value of having inspections, I’m always interested in the government thinking creatively about ways to maximize that value while minimizing the very real costs to consumers.

Hamish48
Hamish48
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

in the province of British Columbia, Canada, the inspection sites do just and only that – you go elsewhere for repairs. It removes the practice of finding “defects” so that the inspecting shop can charge you to repair them.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Hamish48

California has “test-only” smog stations, and IIRC the DMV would specifically instruct you to go to one of those, and not a testing station attached to a mechanic.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

> So a shady operation

Are we talking about the inspectors or the state police here?

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
3 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

They continue to check everything on the list. No point fixing your horn if you car needs 3k of welding and a new engine.

Mike F.
Mike F.
3 months ago

Very nice. If you’re the new mayor of Dipshit Town, you probably took over for me, as this is certainly something I’d do.

Bill Amick
Bill Amick
3 months ago

Excellent recap! Not really a dipshit though. I’ve driven around with a horn that wouldn’t horn and it was precarious not to be able to honk at idiots coming into my lane.

AssMatt
AssMatt
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill Amick

The horn definitely comes in handy when driving a sled many pick-ups can’t see! It’s noteworthy that the piece isn’t a complaint about the need for a working horn. I’d bet he’d have fixed it anyway regardless of pass/fail status.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

Hilarious, definitely something I would have done.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

All that stress & expense…
Oof: massive facepalm!

My sympathies, Adrian. Ain’t mucking about with old cars a true joy?

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