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Your MOT success rates


DavidB
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I must have put at least 100 cars in for MOTs and in my entire life have had -one- that has gone through, a late 80's Nissan 300ZX with rough bodywork.

I put my AX through the other day and it only had one fail in it's past and it failed. Is it just me being unlucky or is it a given that pretty much all cars over 10 years old fail MOTs?

 

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My 1994 Fiat Tipo passes about 50% of the time.  The Reliant (Regal MK6, 1961) has always passed since 2005 when I finally got it roadworthy after 13 years of ownership and stalled refurbishment.  It has only done about 4500 miles since 2005 and I no longer MOT it and only rarely take it out of our road.  The '88 Stellar that I owned from 2010 until 2017 had a similar pass rate to the Tipo but occasionally passed when I was expecting a failure.  I sometimes wonder whether the tester thinks 'if I fail this heap I'll have to fix the sodding thing' and lets it through with an advisory instead.

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I have a really good success rate with MOTs, mostly because I've got quite adept at looking at a car and deciding if it's too fucked for me to continue with.

I'm fairly sure I've only had 3 fails in my driving career and two of them were the 205. The other was my last 850 and even then only because it shat a brake hose on the brake tester.

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Seeing as my MOT tester is my father in law…

 

In all seriousness though, I’m very particular and go over the car myself before an MOT. The stress of fixing it when it’s usually winter is a big pain.

 

I think the last fail I had was 2018. I’ve definitely jinxed it now.

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I've found that if you find a tester who knows you are going to fix most things, and you are going to get him to do anything painfully fiddly, and you keep going back year after year, having done the advisories he mentioned the previous year. And you take the whole family fleet there, And if that garage is struggling to get staff, and has more work than they can deal with, you'll find that they will only fail you for things that absolutely are going to kill you. And they may not even write the advisories down. 

The place I go to, even lent me tools to compress mini front rubber cone suspension units so I could replace the knuckle joints.  And that was an advisory.  Which probably should have been a fail.  It failed on other things. 

 

 

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Minimal mot submission relative to car ownership- I usually avoid stuff with a short mot and as you all know, I’m not exactly a Kim Henson style long term owner.

highlights  include a then 20yo w124 estate that went straight through, a 96 Lincoln town car that did the same, the ex @Cavcraft light blue 205 that did the same and the @95 quid Peugeot 9-3 cab that did the same.

Worst was the Peugeot 504 family estate that I imported from jersey. The fail list was so long I’m sure the printer needed a new ink cartridge half way through. Painful!

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This is my favourite advisory I've ever had:

Screenshot_20220904-163147_Chrome.thumb.jpg.f6b69a478ee7dc23af4f5d2dcd30e7d8.jpg

The belt in question was the aux belt on my last 850, it had been shredding belts for as long as we'd owned it, it turns out that ECP kept sending out belts that were a good 30mm too short and the extra tension was causing them to break down really rather quickly. Iirc they're 8 rib belts and for about 70% of the circumference this one was down to 4 ribs and had long strands flapping around the bay.

It also left a big black spot spot on the floor of the testing bay that was still there the next time I went to that testing station 6 months later.

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I'm old now so leave my sheds with Johnno for service + MOT. Strange how many fails I get for number plate bulb blown* when they was fine when I dropped them off. Guess they're using my cars to pull their failure rate statistics towards the normal distribution.

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Not many fails and I've probably MoT'd more vehicles than normal car owners do. I do try my best to make sure a vehicle is ready for test, and really there's no excuse for fails like tyres being worn or insufficient washer bottle fluid. Have had a couple of odd failures, and testers trying it on (failed all 4 tyres on a Peugeot 406 for being worn, upon rechecking they had 3mm+ across each tyre, nothing to do with the place being a tyre sales place of course...) but usually it's a first time pass. 

Picking the right MoT place helps too - don't use the chains like Kwik-Fit or HiQ, find a good small independent garage and don't try to mess them around or obscure things. 

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How many cars fail spectacularly these days though? Might get the odd bulb or something you might miss but generally it’s minor stuff, that said if I submitted mine now it would fail, the EML is on and the washers don’t work. I’ll sort the EML out when it gets tested, it’s the post cat sensor. 

I know people that if it fails or gets even an advisory they take it as a personal affront. It’s literally just a test on that day, you could have a brake light go out on the test itself. Obviously when buying a car it impacts my decision but in fairness it’s all relative, rust and emissions failure put me off but again I know folk that expect a clean sweep every year on a £1000 car which isn’t realistic. 

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I'll say mine from the past 10 years as a more accurate reflection of modern cars

My older Focus, clean pass for the 2 MOTs I've put it through, I expect the next one upcoming in a couple of months to go straight through as well. It's definitely a decent one and that's why I held onto it. 

The other Focus I've just got rid of failed its first and only MOT with me ... On ball joint boots which weren't split the last time I looked 🙄 typically

The Rover 45 failed on rot for the first MOT with me but was just a PRS the second year due to a sidelight bulb which decided to stop working at some point between the night before and the morning of the test 🙄

The horrible Micra thing I had - clean pass the 1st year, minor fail on headlamp lenses and a ball joint the second year

The Rover 400 failed the first with me on a small bulge in a tyre only, failed the second on a ball joint. So two years MOTs combined was a tyre and a ball joint, and it didn't actually need anything else in between other than servicing..I was so happy with that car :(

Beyond that I can't remember 🤣

But never had a massive MOT fail apart from a rotten MK4 Fiesta, probably 15 years ago now. But then I either look after my cars or don't have anything particularly shonky. 

So that's 1 "major" fail, (welding on the 45) - 5 relatively minor fails and 3 clean passes out of the 9 most recent MOTs I can think of. 

Havent put the Xsara Picasso through an MOT in my ownership yet but expect it to pass as well in a couple of months.  

 

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1 hour ago, HMC said:

Minimal mot submission relative to car ownership- I usually avoid stuff with a short mot and as you all know, I’m not exactly a Kim Henson style long term owner.

highlights  include a then 20yo w124 estate that went straight through, a 96 Lincoln town car that did the same, the ex @Cavcraft light blue 205 that did the same and the @95 quid Peugeot 9-3 cab that did the same.

Worst was the Peugeot 504 family estate that I imported from jersey. The fail list was so long I’m sure the printer needed a new ink cartridge half way through. Painful!

I remember that Peugeot 504, what happened to it ? 

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1 hour ago, HMC said:

I have a feeling that the “oil leak but not considered excessive” on the last mot will come back to haunt me on the Mulsanne turbo

F2732B13-7FD0-419E-B363-CB9EC92097BA.thumb.jpeg.7f36cfe829cb913f56d4877bffd0c7ce.jpeg

 

You went to the tip in a Bentley........................MY HERO !!!

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One MOT fail in 1995, Audi 90 quattro, they yanked on the bushes so much with a huge bar but I didn't know enough to call them out on it.

Couple of cars I sent for MOT I'd got to try being a trader, told garage not to fix, got a £300 bill for a £300 Renault 19 that sold for £150 and never tried that malarky again.

Skoda 136 in Kelso failed MOT in 2000 at Kwik Fit; it was a little crispy but what really did for it was when the bottom hose let go and dumped scalding water down the tester's back while he was checking the front bits...

Mostly the failure is me taking it for MOT at all, like my hearse where I just couldn't find a testing station to touch it.

If I've been running a car the way I normally run them it should pass an MOT at any time, at any place, without worries, or fail on something I was already aware of like low tyres, bad numberplate condition, or emissions being off.

But I still worry.

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When you have rusty old cars its a bit of a lottery from what I've seen in the family fleet. Of the 2 I've had done myself one was a complete shitshow on advisorys and a fail for a brake fluid leak so minor the level in the tank hadn't gone down (seep through a crush washer) but more recently my Volvo passed first time with only a handful of minor advisories. 

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If the garage know and trust you, you may find that advisories become verbal and/or "I'm going for a wazz and when I get back I'm going to look at your brake lights, here's a screwdriver and a new bulb". That said, I'd rather an honest fail where it matters. 

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70/30 in my favour I’d say. Run some shitters/classics on a budget since legal on the road no test stations have had my motors out of my eye and none thinks they’re getting the work if it fails. Don’t think I’ve missed a retest pass. 

A bit of lucks required for sure though knowing the regs (and being prepared to argue the point/change stations if they choose to be a prick) plus much prior prep goes a long way. 
Seeking fair and trusted testers who don’t mind you getting in the pit to see what you can’t in the curb also helps.  Don’t mind travelling for a ticket, been on my way on more than one long distance collection.

Had welding jobs off the last transit mot fail. Win win. Spent my Sunday welding up my mates cills whilst could of been fixing my own shit though he’s gonna scour the scrappies and fix her focus when it comes back so all good.  

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I was stupid enough to keep taking my Impreza to a Subaru dealer and got loads of MOT work needing done every year. 
Last two years it’s been to a small independent place and passed with no problems. Funny that.

( Before you think they’re probably a bit dodgy, they service the local police cars so I think they are pretty sound).

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10 hours ago, DavidB said:

I must have put at least 100 cars in for MOTs and in my entire life have had -one- that has gone through, a late 80's Nissan 300ZX with rough bodywork.

I put my AX through the other day and it only had one fail in it's past and it failed. Is it just me being unlucky or is it a given that pretty much all cars over 10 years old fail MOTs?

 

I'm sure your MR2 passed easily one Saturday morning.

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I've had a very good run tbh! 

Xantia - failed on emissions, the lovely @Arthur Foxhake de tuned it for me and it passed!

Blue Laguna - failed on the rear handbrake, where the electric motor only moved the cable a specific amount, over 160k miles. Fixed with a big hammer and wd40 to un seize the lever arm without fully stripping the calipers

406 would have failed and needed front suspension work, rear brakes, horn fixing, tyres and a seat belt replacing so it went bye bye before it ran out of test so I don't have to count that 😂

The Xsara failed on a rear sidelight last month too but he said he took it out and put it back in and it re passed (probably getting his pass/fail ratio healthy and that's fine by me) 

I've been very lucky I think having had nothing but middle aged French crap the last decade! 

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I've only had failures on emmisions and one skoda favorit that was rotten through.

Other then that even on old cars a visual check of all the bulbs, wipers, plates, shocks, springs, brake hoses and stuff normally just passes in my experience.

I was worried about emmisions on my 1994 petrol montego so I changed the oil, all filters and put fresh plugs in at the service book spec (0.85mm) then filled it with premium fuel. The tester said it was at euro 4 standard which ain't bad for a old O-series! 

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 I do OK, and for mostly the same reasons as others have identified. Since finding this guy, I've built up a bit of a relationship, advisories are rarely used except as back-covering (which is fine by me, it's not me who needs the license to make a living) and there's a good understanding of what would be an actual danger.

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I'd agree with @sierramanthat most modern stuff goes through with only service items required, emissions can be a bit trickier I suppose.

I'd also agree with @beko1987that French stuff usually defies the odds every mot time. For example both my Berlingo and Partner passed the mot and the horns broke within a week, well in fact my Berlingo horn broke as I left the mot centre. Even the EML and airbag light went off by themselves on the way there (and haven't come back on).

When I owned Fiat's and Ford's back in the 90's/00's it was always a huge gamble come mot time, both usually on rust but fiat's just seemed to fail on almost everything, really didn't like our roads back then hence so few survived from that era. 

Ford's were usually terminal rust or lower arms, rest seemed OK. 

Most jap cars I've had have gone straight through, same with German stuff aside from my ML which was always suspension stuff, usually every second mot. The roads round here are dreadful though and I think ECP shit didn't help. 

Vauxhall usually really good too, never seen a hint of rust on an 00's one underneath, although I'm told rusty subframes are a thing on them. 

Still shocks me how many people bin off a 7-8yr old car that needs £500 spent on it for the mot, almost always due to owner neglect in the first place and go and get another on pcp. I used to see it a lot with 3yr old cars when I worked in Ford, people part ex'ing for fuck all because it needed 4 tyres and service, maybe brakes and a lower arm. They'd always have the same excuse "the mot man said get rid of it now, it's going to cost you a fortune next time", on a 4yr old mk1 Focus ? That car is probably still going without a care in the world!!! 

I get it off you know nothing about cars but I always take mine to the same mot centre 15 miles away as their 100% fair, don't really do repairs unless it's tyres/exhausts and will always try to pass rather than try to fail. 

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Around a 80% pass rate but honestly can't remember the last time I was clear on advisories, less than a page and I'm happy!

I do sort these out though before the list gets bigger, there's always other stuff that comes in fresh for advisories. 

I have this notion that the tester can see the previous test easily and so therefore see what the fails/advisories were and to compare them against the newest test, is this correct? If you're seen to correct this then maybe the tester is a bit more lenient? Anyway the garage I go to has 2 testers, one who is firm but fair and have know him for years as been going for years and the newer one who would've failed one of mine if he could but couldn't because there is nothing the rules about it (seats not flip function on a 3 door) so for me it's Russian Roulette on who I get which perturbs me a bit

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