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About a car's first MOT

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mattfox | 03:13 Thu 18th Feb 2010 | Motoring
15 Answers
My car has just turned 3 years old and so had its first MOT last week on 11th Feb. It has been sat on the drive for 6 weeks in pretty damp and icy/snowy conditions as I'm on crutches after breaking my ankle. I expected it to pass the MOT no problems but there was problems getting it started that morning, there was a grinding noise the whole way there and it failed the MOT because of the brakes. (I am not mechanically minded so just humour me!!)

I was told it was something to do with the pads and the rear brake drums and they quoted me £500+ (at which point I swore a little bit). No other work other than the drums was mentioned. They said it would be done the following day but phoned that afternoon to say that no work on the drums were needed as it had been cleaned up and it was just the brake pads and front discs but they now mentioned that 2 new rear tyres were needed @ £115 for them both.

At the time I didn't think much - I was just relieved it was less than the £500. I just thought to look at the paperwork today and the visual health check says nearside rear were a depth of 4, 4, and 4.5 (outer, middle and inner) and the offside rear was 4, 5 and 5. These are marked orange which I assume is advisory.

This tread meets the min legal requirements doesn't it? (I think it's 1.6). Shouldn't they have firstly told me that they needed doing and secondly, given me a choice of tyre? Lastly, is there any point phoning them a week later to "discuss" this?


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sounds like your tyres were replaced when there was still life in them .. any other faults should have been seen in the MOT and be marked up on the fail sheet.

1.6 is the limit yes .

As you agreed to have the tyres changed then basicly you authorised the work so no point in complaining after the fact . Sorry not what you want to hear.

i would chalk this up to...
03:28 Thu 18th Feb 2010
sounds like your tyres were replaced when there was still life in them .. any other faults should have been seen in the MOT and be marked up on the fail sheet.

1.6 is the limit yes .

As you agreed to have the tyres changed then basicly you authorised the work so no point in complaining after the fact . Sorry not what you want to hear.

i would chalk this up to a learning point and change your garage.

Also i would shop around for tyres those prices are not exactly cheep
" next time they need changing i mean"

i know your not mechanicaly minded , but i do suggest you get yourself a manual for your car " for the small price of a manual you could save hundreds of pounds" on garage bills
tyres were needed @ £115 for them both.

just re-read .. if thats both tyres for £115 not each then scrub my last comment on tyre prices
Question Author
Thanks for that.

Technically, I didn't agree to the tyres as they only told me about the brake problems (I have my Dad as a witness!), they only told me the tyres were changed when they phoned back to say the work had been done.

BUT I know that they will say they told me so it's their word against mine. And I know those tyres aren't that cheap - I have a friend that could have got them at trade and fitted them for me - which is further evidence that they didn't tell me about them before hand!

Next year I'll be checking it out myself with the help of friends before taking it to the garage.

Argh. I wish lessons to be learned didn't cost so much!!!

Thanks again S_C!
that being the case make sure you check prior to paying next year.

if you had done that you could have demanded your original tyres be placed back on the car and the charges for the tyres taken of the bill.

sorry but a week later im guessing they will either have sold on your old tyres or had them disposed of.

on the up side they didnt try to fiddle you on the drums . " wheels are not taken off a car for the MOT " so a safe way to quote " without checking " is to include drums in any quote . however they found your drums to be fine and treated you fairly there : )
Question Author
I'll be taking someone with me next time as the trouble is, even if someone tells me what to say/ask, I'll have no idea whether what the garage goes on to say is correct or porky pies.

They checked the brakes as I mentioned, when I got there, that the wheels had been making a noise on the way there.

I'm still going to give them a quick ring tomorrow - if I don't, nothing will happen. If I do phone, the worse thing is nothing will happen but something might.

Straws... clutching... I know :)
Question Author
And "sold on" just adds insult to injury! My perfectly acceptable tyres! :)
sorry but there is a trade in part warn tyres out there so many do resell part warn tyres. however this garage may not . i honestly would not know in this case.

any other faults seen on the tyres should have been noted on the MOT fail sheet.

failing to mark down faults that would make a car not pass an MOT is serious.

You can phone if you feel you must however im guessing nothing will be done.
as you say it is basicly your word against theirs , and it is a week later.

If you are planning on argueing your point , i would make sure i used a different garage next year simply because they will look all the harder for any chance to fail you next year and some parts of the MOT do go by the mechanic's discreation. wheel bearings for instance .
Question Author
Hmm.. failure sheet says
1) N/S front brake severe juddering 2) O/S front the same 3) N/S rear brake grabbing severely 4) O/S rear the same 5) N/S front brake disc excessively pitted 6) O/S front the same.

The advisory sheet says
1) Rear exaust has slight deterioration 2) Centre exaust the same

No mention of tyres...
i see your point , however it still leaves it as your word against theirs and a week later.

if they changed the tyres , do you think they would be above telling a lie and saying you asked for new tyres anyway ?

im looking on the black side of things here.

if your in a motoring organisation like the AA or RAC you could try contacting them for advice on this as they may know the legal presidance , something im not entirely sure on .

they may say its a bit late now i do not know. its just an idea
Question Author
Well, we'll try a phone call tomorrow.

Thinking back, when I picked up the car I asked the "salesman" what the rear tyres were down to and he shuffled some paper and just mumbled that the new tyres were needed to pass the MOT - me being not a very pushy person just left it at that. D'oh! I wished I'd pressed him further. Again, my word against theirs.

Watch this space for an update tomorrow! (Well, later on today as it's 3.21am!!)
sleep well mate .

life can throw things at you like this .. been there myself when i first started driving.

now i do most of the work on my car / bike myself and have a garage i do trust for the MOT and other work i either canot be bothered to do or am due to lack of facialities unable to do.

it really isnt that hard. maybe this will be a good point in your driving life and encourage you to learn more in this direction.
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Question Author
It's a 3 year warranty only on my 206.

Well, I just phoned the garage and they said they have another sheet of paper there (would they have said VOC? I might be making that up!) that says the rear tyres were at 1.6mm so needed to be done.

I asked where the figures came from on the paperwork I have and just said that it's the wrong one.

I've requested a copy to be sent...
Question Author

After my phone call this morning I sent an email asking for the sheet to be sent to me to keep with the MOT paperwork. The garage just phoned back to apologise, saying it was their mistake and that my tyres were perfectly fine! So tomorrow, as I can't drive for another week, they're sending someone to pick up the car, put the old ones back on and bring it back again along with a full refund for the tyres - I guess the owner of the other car gave the authorisation for the work but they ended up on mine.

Anyway, I'm glad I persued it!

And thanks for all the help - I have learned for next time too...
good to hear you had a possative result.

also good to hear your garage is honest and is looking after you .

well done

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