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Newbury Today Forum _ Newbury News _ Halfords Service Centre - has anyone used them?

Posted by: Sherlock May 17 2012, 07:26 AM

The car needs an MOT and service and I was wondering about using the Halfords Autocentre (formerly the Nationwide Autocentre) on Hambridge Road but there are some seriously dire reviews of Halfords Acentres on the web. Has anyone tried using ours and if so how did you get on?

Posted by: Timbo May 17 2012, 07:32 AM

Don't take your car anywhere near Halfords. Ever.
I use Millers personally. Around 50 an hour labour, and a good job, not one of those botched jobs, I wouldn't trust Halfords Autocentre to do an oil change let alone major mechanical work.

Posted by: Sherlock May 17 2012, 08:37 AM

Thanks for getting back to me Timbo. It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

I guess you haven't actually used them - has anyone else out there?

Posted by: Timbo May 17 2012, 08:43 AM

I agree Sherlock. But http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews197914.html reviews are enough to put anyone off..
Use Good Garage Scheme to find somewhere.

Posted by: Blake May 17 2012, 09:42 AM

I agree 100 per cent Halfords are total amateurs.

Chris Fiddler has never let me down.

Posted by: Jayjay May 17 2012, 11:36 AM

QUOTE (Blake @ May 17 2012, 10:42 AM) *
I agree 100 per cent Halfords are total amateurs.

Chris Fiddler has never let me down.


Second that. He has always done a good job on my cars.

Posted by: Roger T May 17 2012, 11:42 AM

He also has a humorous name, that made me giggle.

Posted by: andy1979uk May 17 2012, 11:46 AM

QUOTE (Roger T @ May 17 2012, 12:42 PM) *
He also has a humorous name, that made me giggle.



I always use Bryan Ford in Thatcham, always does a very thorough job.

Posted by: gel May 17 2012, 12:36 PM

Newbury Instant Motors down near NWN's offices are sound too, in Faraday Rd.

Posted by: Grumpy May 17 2012, 01:14 PM

Just a little tip, check your rear number plate lights before you take it for MOT.

I was charged an extra 15.00 by one local company to change this light bulb.

Posted by: Baffers100 May 17 2012, 01:31 PM

I really wouldn't bother with Halfords. If the guys in the service centres are anything like the kids in Halfords, they're just monkeys with slightly bigger than average pram wheels on their motor.

Newbury Instant Motors are really cheap on labour costs, though my other half and I would always find both of our cars would come back with failed bulbs (when 5 minutes before leaving it parked outside the garage they were working), so I wondered if this was a revenue scam.

I wouldn't touch Millers either. My parents had an awful experience there whcih lost them around 5k as they're a bunch of tyre kickers.

Headley Bodyshop (next to the Halfords service centre) are good, and although they're a body shop they do offer service and MOTs. I go to these guys for tyres (from blackcircle.com) and have never had any probs, so would feel happy getting my car serviced there.

Like you say though, there will always be somebody with a bad review.

Posted by: Biker1 May 17 2012, 01:31 PM

QUOTE (gel @ May 17 2012, 01:36 PM) *
Newbury Instant Motors down near NWN's offices are sound too, in Faraday Rd.

Do you mean Newbury Motors?
If so I agree, excellent!

Posted by: Timbo May 17 2012, 01:48 PM

QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 17 2012, 02:31 PM) *
I really wouldn't bother with Halfords. If the guys in the service centres are anything like the kids in Halfords, they're just monkeys with slightly bigger than average pram wheels on their motor.

Newbury Instant Motors are really cheap on labour costs, though my other half and I would always find both of our cars would come back with failed bulbs (when 5 minutes before leaving it parked outside the garage they were working), so I wondered if this was a revenue scam.

I wouldn't touch Millers either. My parents had an awful experience there whcih lost them around 5k as they're a bunch of tyre kickers.

Headley Bodyshop (next to the Halfords service centre) are good, and although they're a body shop they do offer service and MOTs. I go to these guys for tyres (from blackcircle.com) and have never had any probs, so would feel happy getting my car serviced there.

Like you say though, there will always be somebody with a bad review.


What happened at Millers? I found them on a recommendation on Good Garage Scheme and use them frequently now.

Posted by: Newbelly May 17 2012, 03:35 PM

I used Taylors a couple of times (when they were next to Speen petrol station) and they were good. I have also used Kwik Fit for an MOT and service and was pleasantly surprised - they have some good deals on prices. I know some of their branches have had a bad press, but my experience was good at Newbury.

Posted by: dannyboy May 17 2012, 04:01 PM

It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

which is why threads like this are pointless.

Posted by: GMR May 17 2012, 04:06 PM

QUOTE (Sherlock @ May 17 2012, 08:26 AM) *
The car needs an MOT and service and I was wondering about using the Halfords Autocentre (formerly the Nationwide Autocentre) on Hambridge Road but there are some seriously dire reviews of Halfords Acentres on the web. Has anyone tried using ours and if so how did you get on?




My daughter has used it a few times in the past and she seemed quite happy.

Posted by: Berkshirelad May 17 2012, 04:21 PM

Halfrauds have a reputation for finding "necessary" work during an MoT that nets them more income.

Posted by: badger May 17 2012, 04:41 PM

Nationwide Auto were rubbish before, I had several problems with a service. Finding faults that weren't there sort of thing. If Halfords have taken over the operation and the same staff are in place, i can't think it will be much different. I'm also more inclined to support local traders at the moment rather than big companies.

Posted by: Biker1 May 17 2012, 04:44 PM

QUOTE (dannyboy @ May 17 2012, 05:01 PM) *
It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

which is why threads like this are pointless.

Do you not take any notice of on-line reviews then?

Posted by: dannyboy May 17 2012, 04:53 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 17 2012, 05:44 PM) *
Do you not take any notice of on-line reviews then?

You have to take them in context & read between the lines.

Often, ( a bit like that awful 4 in a bed ) places get chastised for the most trivial of things, and for things outside the places / service being reviewed's control.

Posted by: Andy Capp May 17 2012, 06:33 PM

QUOTE (dannyboy @ May 17 2012, 05:01 PM) *
It's difficult to know what to make of the web reviews - there will always be people who have negative experiences with any supplier and it's impossible to know whether posts are made by competitors. Same applies here, of course!

which is why threads like this are pointless.

It provides someone an opportunity to embarrass poor service, although it can't be verified of course!

Posted by: Exhausted May 17 2012, 08:12 PM

QUOTE (Sherlock @ May 17 2012, 08:26 AM) *
The car needs an MOT and service and I was wondering about using the Halfords Autocentre (formerly the Nationwide Autocentre) on Hambridge Road but there are some seriously dire reviews of Halfords Acentres on the web. Has anyone tried using ours and if so how did you get on?


If you only want an Mot why bother with a national when there are loads of local garages who offer cheaper mot's and free retests even if you take the car away for repairs. I had a numberplate light out and the garage I use charged 50p for the bulb and fitted free. Mot done.
There are strict rules about Mot testing and all garages should offer the same standard. Don't bother paying for a pre Mot inspection, just get it tested, Vat free, and hope it passes.

If you want to know what the Mot test actually tests on your car, there is plenty of information on the web.


Posted by: Sherlock May 18 2012, 05:53 AM

QUOTE (Exhausted @ May 17 2012, 09:12 PM) *
If you only want an Mot ...


I'd like it given a basic service as well. There was a day when I wouldn't dream of getting a garage to service my car but those were the days when cars had things like distributors and carburettors and it was pretty much vital to know how to change/fix everything.

Anyway, many thanks for your suggestions everyone. I'll let you know how I get on after I've chosen one of the options.

Incidentally, I've also used Kwik-Fit in the past and have been satisfied with them. One of problems with the chains, I think, is that they're often under a lot pressure from regional/area sales managers to sell things which are unnecessary. I'm tempted to switch to a local business because they rely on reputation and should be a safer bet. We shall see!

Posted by: Timbo May 18 2012, 07:24 AM

QUOTE (Sherlock @ May 18 2012, 06:53 AM) *
Incidentally, I've also used Kwik-Fit in the past and have been satisfied with them. One of problems with the chains, I think, is that they're often under a lot pressure from regional/area sales managers to sell things which are unnecessary. I'm tempted to switch to a local business because they rely on reputation and should be a safer bet. We shall see!


Oh dear. After having the mis fortune of going with a friend, who happened to know someone who worked there selling wheels, I'd never take my car anywhere near them. They are all the chavvy type, nearly all of them constantly smoking cannabis.

Posted by: dannyboy May 18 2012, 09:05 AM

QUOTE (Timbo @ May 18 2012, 08:24 AM) *
They are all the chavvy type, nearly all of them constantly smoking cannabis.

I am beginning to understand why you were a teacher now.

Posted by: Timbo May 18 2012, 10:12 AM

That's a bit harsh - I was stood there in front of them while they were smoking away. They were all doing it.. fine, do what you like at home or in private, but when you are at work I find that totally unacceptable. I hope you trust I am not the stereotyping kind of person, but I would not trust them doing my car.

I am actually very good friends with one of the mechanics at Millers, I trust his work explicitly, he always works on my car when I leave it there, and I've never had any problems. They fixed various on my maladies, often at discounted rates.
Which is why I am genuinely interested in the problem that a previous poster had at Millers, and unfortunately they have been unable to explain what the problem was..

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 12:52 PM

QUOTE (Timbo @ May 17 2012, 02:48 PM) *
What happened at Millers? I found them on a recommendation on Good Garage Scheme and use them frequently now.


My parents brought a carthere about 3 years ago The car went to Newbury motors as my parents went and picked up their second car after a service. My parents both know Chris (one of the mechaics and Newbury motors- they're both full of praise for this chap) and he looked over the car. The car basically needed a new engine (I'm not hugely mechanically minded so am light on the technical details, but they were sold a car not fit for purpose).

The 'rents got a second opinion from another garage, They also said that the car also needed major mechanical work.

Chris at Millers refused to do anything with the vehicle, carry out the work, take the vehicle back, or acknowledge that it wasn't sold honestly and thus the result was that my parents lost a couple thousand on it making the changes to get the vehicle in a useable state.

Their part ex was also on the forecourt for over 5000 more than what they got for it. I know garages generally add on a good margin, but 5k??? Absolute p!ss take.

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 12:55 PM

QUOTE (Timbo @ May 18 2012, 11:12 AM) *
That's a bit harsh - I was stood there in front of them while they were smoking away. They were all doing it.. fine, do what you like at home or in private, but when you are at work I find that totally unacceptable. I hope you trust I am not the stereotyping kind of person, but I would not trust them doing my car.

I am actually very good friends with one of the mechanics at Millers, I trust his work explicitly, he always works on my car when I leave it there, and I've never had any problems. They fixed various on my maladies, often at discounted rates.
Which is why I am genuinely interested in the problem that a previous poster had at Millers, and unfortunately they have been unable to explain what the problem was..


Not quite, I just don't live on the forum! Water under the bridge now anyway, they just don't get our custom, or recommendations.

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 01:08 PM

QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 01:55 PM) *
Not quite, I just don't live on the forum! Water under the bridge now anyway, they just don't get our custom, or recommendations.


In fairness, I don't think it was a mechincal, but the tyre kicker salesman.

Posted by: Timbo May 18 2012, 02:11 PM

QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 01:52 PM) *
My parents brought a carthere about 3 years ago The car went to Newbury motors as my parents went and picked up their second car after a service. My parents both know Chris (one of the mechaics and Newbury motors- they're both full of praise for this chap) and he looked over the car. The car basically needed a new engine (I'm not hugely mechanically minded so am light on the technical details, but they were sold a car not fit for purpose).

The 'rents got a second opinion from another garage, They also said that the car also needed major mechanical work.

Chris at Millers refused to do anything with the vehicle, carry out the work, take the vehicle back, or acknowledge that it wasn't sold honestly and thus the result was that my parents lost a couple thousand on it making the changes to get the vehicle in a useable state.

Their part ex was also on the forecourt for over 5000 more than what they got for it. I know garages generally add on a good margin, but 5k??? Absolute p!ss take.


You think 5k is a big margin?
I don't know Chris at Millers. I know Millers have cars outside for sale but I do not know if they are cars owned by Millers themselves. No-one I know (and I know the two guys who run Millers, Glen and Shaun) are called Chris..
Maybe it was an ex-employee.. I think most of the cars are well priced. They had a Passat, 07, 170bhp diesel, with full leather and sat nav, etc for 4750!

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 02:36 PM

QUOTE (Timbo @ May 18 2012, 03:11 PM) *
You think 5k is a big margin?
I don't know Chris at Millers. I know Millers have cars outside for sale but I do not know if they are cars owned by Millers themselves. No-one I know (and I know the two guys who run Millers, Glen and Shaun) are called Chris..
Maybe it was an ex-employee.. I think most of the cars are well priced. They had a Passat, 07, 170bhp diesel, with full leather and sat nav, etc for 4750!


Sorry it wasn't Chris at Millers, I can't remember the chaps name. I've got confused with Chris at Newbury Motors.

It depends on the car as to how big the margin is, relatively speaking. 5 year old BMW M3, 5k margin would be peanuts. But if the car has a book price of 2k, you wouldn't expect a 5k difference between the buy price and sell price! That said, it did sit on the forecourt for at least 2 months before the price had to be dropped!

Posted by: Exhausted May 18 2012, 04:36 PM

QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 03:36 PM) *
Sorry it wasn't Chris at Millers, I can't remember the chaps name. I've got confused with Chris at Newbury Motors.

It depends on the car as to how big the margin is, relatively speaking. 5 year old BMW M3, 5k margin would be peanuts. But if the car has a book price of 2k, you wouldn't expect a 5k difference between the buy price and sell price! That said, it did sit on the forecourt for at least 2 months before the price had to be dropped!


I would believe that you are confused about what really happened after the car was purchased and the mark up that you said was put on the car as the information you have provided sounds to me to be well short of the facts. You even managed to get the seller's name wrong.

Just for the record, would you be specific about the car that was purchased and how much they paid for it and what price they got for their trade in plus the make etc. To my mind, the figures do not add up.

When you are attempting to destroy a local traders reputation, either come up with the facts or delete your posts.

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 06:48 PM

QUOTE (Exhausted @ May 18 2012, 05:36 PM) *
I would believe that you are confused about what really happened after the car was purchased and the mark up that you said was put on the car as the information you have provided sounds to me to be well short of the facts. You even managed to get the seller's name wrong.

Just for the record, would you be specific about the car that was purchased and how much they paid for it and what price they got for their trade in plus the make etc. To my mind, the figures do not add up.

When you are attempting to destroy a local traders reputation, either come up with the facts or delete your posts.



It's not the car that was purchased that we were discussing- it the 5k Mark up on the part ex car that I was talking about. Not that it matters, but it was a R reg Toyota Rav 4 with over 75k miles on the clock. It was a basic version but had a weird body kit which made it far wider. The parents got 1500 part ex and it was sat on the forecourt for more than 5000. (The parents came away with a LandRover Defender which was a crock of the proverbial).

I'm not attempting to destroy their reputation. The OP was about the Halfords Auto Service centre, which lead to posters discussing other places they have used. In my opinion I would not use Miller's as I have been put off them by the experience of my parents. All posts here are subjective anyway as they're opinions. Perhaps Millers are quite good, and their reviews online seem to say they are very good, but because of what I have heard from my parents I am reluctant to try them, and cannot personally recommend them.

(btw- this was my parents who were buying/selling the car, not myself, so that should explain why I don't have all the facts recorded in chronological order. Also the event was many years ago, at least 5 I would say and my memory isn't photographic).

Posted by: Timbo May 18 2012, 06:56 PM

Fair enough Bafflers. Still I would hope you at least knew the name.. I can't really believe that you wouldn't remember the name. A few things don't add up either..
If your parents were given 1500 for a bodykitted Toyota soft roader and it was up for more than 5000, that would be a 3500 mark up. 5k markup would be 6500?

And OK - it's your choice at the end of the day but you said you wouldn't personally recommend them - you haven't tried them! I won't lie, they have their faults, they will sometimes do discounted labour for me but considering the amount I have spent with them, they can be stingy over small jobs like tyres or brakes. (eg they want over 70 to change 4 tyres)
That said, small jobs they would do free, such as headlight alignment.

Where I think they are worst is over their lack of calling back people. I appreciate things get busy but 70% of the time if you ask for a book in time or a part and price they say they will call you back, and will never actually call you back. You have to chase.
Which is fine for some people, sometimes it's just a bit annoying.

Other than that their workmanship is decent.

Posted by: On the edge May 18 2012, 06:59 PM

QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 07:48 PM) *
It's not the car that was purchased that we were discussing- it the 5k Mark up on the part ex car that I was talking about. Not that it matters, but it was a R reg Toyota Rav 4 with over 75k miles on the clock. It was a basic version but had a weird body kit which made it far wider. The parents got 1500 part ex and it was sat on the forecourt for more than 5000. (The parents came away with a LandRover Defender which was a crock of the proverbial).

I'm not attempting to destroy their reputation. The OP was about the Halfords Auto Service centre, which lead to posters discussing other places they have used. In my opinion I would not use Miller's as I have been put off them by the experience of my parents. All posts here are subjective anyway as they're opinions. Perhaps Millers are quite good, and their reviews online seem to say they are very good, but because of what I have heard from my parents I am reluctant to try them, and cannot personally recommend them.

(btw- this was my parents who were buying/selling the car, not myself, so that should explain why I don't have all the facts recorded in chronological order. Also the event was many years ago, at least 5 I would say and my memory isn't photographic).



One man's meat and all that - my better half wouldn't go anywhere other than Miller's who for the past eight years have kept her running - and in spite of her best efforts, at quite reasonable rates. Mine is leased and they do all the 'admin' - so for MOTs, servicing and such like, have experienced Halfords and Gowrings. In both cases, they collect and bring back. Never had any issues - but I don't pay the bill directly! Must admit, even when its my money - always go for a car that's mainstream and cheap. Fords or VW - but suspect even that's subjective!!

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 07:02 PM

QUOTE (On the edge @ May 18 2012, 07:59 PM) *
One man's meat and all that - my better half wouldn't go anywhere other than Miller's who for the past eight years have kept her running - and in spite of her best efforts, at quite reasonable rates. Mine is leased and they do all the 'admin' - so for MOTs, servicing and such like, have experienced Halfords and Gowrings. In both cases, they collect and bring back. Never had any issues - but I don't pay the bill directly! Must admit, even when its my money - always go for a car that's mainstream and cheap. Fords or VW - but suspect even that's subjective!!


Well maybe I'll give them a go. I need a service soon but was contemplating taking the car back to the dealer. Hmm..

Posted by: gel May 18 2012, 07:09 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 17 2012, 02:31 PM) *
Do you mean Newbury Motors?
If so I agree, excellent!

That's their name:

Newbury Instant Motors Ltd.
London Road Industrial Estate , Faraday Road
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 2AD
01635 41105

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 07:18 PM

[quote name='Timbo' date='May 18 2012, 07:56 PM' post='61391']
Fair enough Bafflers. Still I would hope you at least knew the name.. I can't really believe that you wouldn't remember the name. A few things don't add up either..
If your parents were given 1500 for a bodykitted Toyota soft roader and it was up for more than 5000, that would be a 3500 mark up. 5k markup would be 6500?

And OK - it's your choice at the end of the day but you said you wouldn't personally recommend them - you haven't tried them! I won't lie, they have their faults, they will sometimes do discounted labour for me but considering the amount I have spent with them, they can be stingy over small jobs like tyres or brakes. (eg they want over 70 to change 4 tyres)
That said, small jobs they would do free, such as headlight alignment.

Where I think they are worst is over their lack of calling back people. I appreciate things get busy but 70% of the time if you ask for a book in time or a part and price they say they will call you back, and will never actually call you back. You have to chase.
Which is fine for some people, sometimes it's just a bit annoying.

Other than that their workmanship is decent.
[/quote

Yes apologies but like I said it wasn't my first had experience. I've just called my parents in the hope of a name, and all they could remember is that it was a guy with the surname "Miller" who they dealt with, and that he's a dark haired chap. Anyway was a while ago now so maybe things have changed.

Posted by: Biker1 May 18 2012, 09:57 PM

QUOTE (gel @ May 18 2012, 08:09 PM) *
That's their name:

Newbury Instant Motors Ltd.
London Road Industrial Estate , Faraday Road
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 2AD
01635 41105

Fair enough.
http://www.newburymotors.co.uk/ is who I was thinking of. Similar address??

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 10:04 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 18 2012, 10:57 PM) *
Fair enough.
http://www.newburymotors.co.uk/ is who I was thinking of. Similar address??


Biker1, Newbury Motors and Newbury Instant Motors are the same. I think they must have been called Newbury Instant Motors previously as a few people call them this.

Posted by: Biker1 May 18 2012, 10:38 PM

QUOTE (Baffers100 @ May 18 2012, 11:04 PM) *
Biker1, Newbury Motors and Newbury Instant Motors are the same. I think they must have been called Newbury Instant Motors previously as a few people call them this.

Doh!! huh.gif

Posted by: Andy Capp May 18 2012, 10:58 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ May 18 2012, 11:38 PM) *
Doh!! huh.gif

Amazing what they teach at uni these days! tongue.gif

Posted by: Baffers100 May 18 2012, 11:12 PM

QUOTE (Andy Capp @ May 18 2012, 11:58 PM) *
Amazing what they teach at uni these days! tongue.gif


ha ha ha! laugh.gif

Posted by: Strafin May 19 2012, 01:07 PM

http://www.halfordsautocentres.com/discountvouchers-offers?gad=CJvMia8DEgi3qw_Mxj7hQhjt0Zf9AyDLm4Yn

There is a 50% off voucher available if you did choose to go there

Posted by: Exhausted May 19 2012, 05:37 PM

QUOTE (Strafin @ May 19 2012, 02:07 PM) *
http://www.halfordsautocentres.com/discountvouchers-offers?gad=CJvMia8DEgi3qw_Mxj7hQhjt0Zf9AyDLm4Yn

There is a 50% off voucher available if you did choose to go there


Gives one a warm feeling.

Actually, no it doesn't, my view is that the saving will be made up in other ways, upselling springs to mind.

Cheap filters, cheap parts, cheap oil.

Posted by: Sherlock May 24 2012, 05:12 PM

In case anyone's interested I used Newbury Motors in the end and was very pleased that I did. I have no connection with them whatsoever and whoever it was who said that threads like this are pointless - you're wrong.

Posted by: Strafin Sep 1 2012, 07:00 PM

I had my car MOT'd at Halfords this week, it passed (and is 13 years old), they were really friendly, it was done in an hour AND only cost 25.

Posted by: Biker1 Nov 1 2012, 03:48 PM

Quote from Halfords Auto Centre for replacement of suspension bush - 245.14
Job done a Newbury Motors - 99.77
wink.gif

Posted by: Penelope Nov 1 2012, 04:34 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ Nov 1 2012, 03:48 PM) *
Quote from Halfords Auto Centre for replacement of suspension bush - 245.14
Job done a Newbury Motors - 99.77
wink.gif


Result.

Posted by: motormad Nov 1 2012, 04:56 PM

QUOTE (Strafin @ Sep 1 2012, 07:00 PM) *
I had my car MOT'd at Halfords this week, it passed (and is 13 years old), they were really friendly, it was done in an hour AND only cost 25.


Isn't that more to do with the fact there wasn't anything wrong with your car, than the garage? laugh.gif


Posted by: Andy Capp Nov 1 2012, 06:04 PM

How can garages afford to do MOTs for prices like 25 or 35?

Posted by: Strafin Nov 1 2012, 09:03 PM

The point I made with mine was that it passed (I hope because there was nothing wrong), but if they had charged a few more little jobs I probably wouldn't have questioned it. They were honest enough to make almost nothing instead, and have a happy potentially returning customer. And 25 for an hours work doesn't seem so low that it would break the bank for them, but probably they wont have much of a Christmas knees up either. That's why I tip a little sometimes.

Posted by: Timbo Nov 1 2012, 09:15 PM

QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Nov 1 2012, 06:04 PM) *
How can garages afford to do MOTs for prices like 25 or 35?

The price of 54.95 or whatever is the maximum price a garage can charge. Many people take this to be the actual price that an MOT is supposed to be - Where as it takes around 20-30 minutes and even at 30, garages still make a profit on this.

Posted by: Exhausted Nov 1 2012, 11:26 PM

QUOTE (Timbo @ Nov 1 2012, 09:15 PM) *
- Where as it takes around 20-30 minutes and even at 30, garages still make a profit on this.


If the garage is doing an MoT in that time then they are not doing the job correctly. I would suggest that it takes, with all the paperwork, closer to an hour. The MoT regulatory guys would be more than interested in MoT centres doing speed testing, they lay down the testing guidelines and what a test on a car must cover.

Posted by: Andy Capp Nov 2 2012, 12:45 AM

QUOTE (Exhausted @ Nov 1 2012, 11:26 PM) *
If the garage is doing an MoT in that time then they are not doing the job correctly. I would suggest that it takes, with all the paperwork, closer to an hour. The MoT regulatory guys would be more than interested in MoT centres doing speed testing, they lay down the testing guidelines and what a test on a car must cover.

It seems the average is 45 minutes, then there's paperwork. For MOTs, all I'd ever wish is that the observations are genuine; I wouldn't want a failure to 'pass'.

Posted by: motormad Nov 2 2012, 02:48 PM

QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Nov 2 2012, 12:45 AM) *
It seems the average is 45 minutes, then there's paperwork. For MOTs, all I'd ever wish is that the observations are genuine; I wouldn't want a failure to 'pass'.

That's true. To be fair, an MOT does only take about 25 minutes especially if the technician works on the car rather than dossing around with their mates.
45 minutes to account for getting the car in and out and the paperwork is about right.
But the actual "work" is half an hour at most.

I am with you on the need for correct testing but some times they fail you on things that aren't actually affecting anything. A buddy of mine had a failure for "seized shock/lack of movement" or something like that - Basically that the shock wouldn't compress.
His shock was actually absolutely fine, he had fully adjustable coilovers on the hardest setting!

Needless to say another MOT garage passed it cleanly.. blink.gif

Posted by: On the edge Nov 2 2012, 05:27 PM

I don't know why we never had self assessments for MOTs - it works for Government Departments.

Posted by: Biker1 Nov 2 2012, 05:30 PM

QUOTE (On the edge @ Nov 2 2012, 07:27 PM) *
I don't know why we never had self assessments for MOTs - it works for Government Departments.

Think they should be on a sliding scale eg

up to 3 years - not required
up to 6 years - every 2 years
over 6 years - yearly

or similar

But then it is a money making operation isn't it?

Posted by: On the edge Nov 2 2012, 05:32 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ Nov 2 2012, 05:30 PM) *
Think they should be on a sliding scale eg

up to 3 years - not required
up to 6 years - every 2 years
over 6 years - yearly

or similar

But then it is a money making operation isn't it?


Yep!

Posted by: Exhausted Nov 2 2012, 08:24 PM

QUOTE (motormad @ Nov 2 2012, 02:48 PM) *
That's true. To be fair, an MOT does only take about 25 minutes especially if the technician works on the car rather than dossing around with their mates.
45 minutes to account for getting the car in and out and the paperwork is about right.
But the actual "work" is half an hour at most.

I am with you on the need for correct testing but some times they fail you on things that aren't actually affecting anything. A buddy of mine had a failure for "seized shock/lack of movement" or something like that - Basically that the shock wouldn't compress.
His shock was actually absolutely fine, he had fully adjustable coilovers on the hardest setting!

Needless to say another MOT garage passed it cleanly.. blink.gif


Here is an excerpt from the Vosa testers manual.Section 2.7. regarding shock absorbers. It's all here if you want confirmation.

http://www.transportoffice.gov.uk/crt/doitonline/bl/mottestingmanualsandguides/mottestingmanualsandguides.htm

At each corner of the vehicle, where practicable, push down (or pull down from beneath) and note the rebound of the body to determine if each shock absorber is producing a damping effect on the suspension.

Reason for rejection

A shock absorber which has negligible damping effect.

If your 'buddy' thought the test station was in error, then he should have reported it. For my money, if the tester couldn't push down the suspension he was correct to fail but the second garage should at least have passed and advised.
Are you sure that this isn't an urban myth and your buddy may have been feeding you duff stuff so that he could boast about his modifed and possibly dangerous Saxo.
By the way, just out of interest, what was the actual wording on the failure certificate.

Posted by: motormad Nov 2 2012, 09:02 PM

QUOTE (Exhausted @ Nov 2 2012, 08:24 PM) *
Here is an excerpt from the Vosa testers manual.Section 2.7. regarding shock absorbers. It's all here if you want confirmation.

http://www.transportoffice.gov.uk/crt/doitonline/bl/mottestingmanualsandguides/mottestingmanualsandguides.htm

At each corner of the vehicle, where practicable, push down (or pull down from beneath) and note the rebound of the body to determine if each shock absorber is producing a damping effect on the suspension.

Reason for rejection

A shock absorber which has negligible damping effect.

If your 'buddy' thought the test station was in error, then he should have reported it. For my money, if the tester couldn't push down the suspension he was correct to fail but the second garage should at least have passed and advised.
Are you sure that this isn't an urban myth and your buddy may have been feeding you duff stuff so that he could boast about his modifed and possibly dangerous Saxo.
By the way, just out of interest, what was the actual wording on the failure certificate.


I'm aware of the guide lines. And no, dampers which are leaky or have no rebound damping (eg all of the hydraulic oil has leaked out and the damper no longer supports the weight of the car) that has failed.
It was 8 months ago when my friends car was put forward for the MOT - I do not have the actual wording I'm afraid.. Nor does he live "local" so I'm not about to drive 280 miles to his house and ask him -

His car has some uprated suspension with what's known as a HLS (hydraulic lift system) on some custom valved dampers with custom springs, which means you can press a button to raise the nose for speedbumps. His car rolls quite low and to avoid bottoming out completely he has upped his damping (the custom valving) and changed the springs on it to those with a spring rate of something like 19kg/inch. Which if you do your research is very hard! (infact so hard that you can't move it by pressing down on the cars wings and is actually too hard for even young me!).

The MOT test centre in question (no I don't know the name) probably didn''t understand the concept of this (probably works on Saxo's all day!) and failed him. He went to a main dealer and they passed it the next day without question..

And please, stop with the whole "Citroen Saxo" crap and making assumptions. As we know it just makes you look like an ***. I don't wish to brag or have to bother facing more questions because you don't believe me, but let's just say his car costs 52,000 brand new. (his is a 2008 model). I just thought I would say that sometimes MOT testers don't always get it right sad.gif

Posted by: Andy Capp Nov 2 2012, 10:56 PM

QUOTE (motormad @ Nov 2 2012, 09:02 PM) *
The MOT test centre in question (no I don't know the name) probably didn''t understand the concept of this (probably works on Saxo's all day!) and failed him. He went to a main dealer and they passed it the next day without question..

After your mate realised he was a twonk and released some tension? tongue.gif

My nipper has put coilovers on and it is wrecked the ride of a perfectly good car. Mind you it didn't cost over 50k. I'd expect a car worth more than 50k to be be good out of the box!

Posted by: motormad Nov 2 2012, 11:04 PM

It wasn't bad Andy from what he tells me. He's just the kind with far too much money but a passion for modding up cars. smile.gif
I think it's just for the looks and customisation factor that he's done what he has done. A nice job to be honest! tongue.gif

Normally the cheap coilovers can ruin it but if you do it properly (or buy the expensive ones) you are good. My disabled mother says my car is more comfortable than her big 4 by 4! So I guess that says something tongue.gif

Posted by: motormad Nov 2 2012, 11:07 PM

Oops double post :S

Posted by: Andy Capp Nov 2 2012, 11:10 PM

For 50k, I'd expect it to look good out of the box too! tongue.gif

I think lowering is OK, but you need to mod the wheel arches, otherwise it looks like the suspension has collapsed. Well that's what I tell my little'un anyway! tongue.gif

Posted by: blackdog Nov 3 2012, 06:07 AM

QUOTE (motormad @ Nov 2 2012, 09:02 PM) *
Nor does he live "local" so I'm not about to drive 280 miles to his house and ask him -


Ever thought of getting a phone?

Posted by: dannyboy Nov 3 2012, 12:58 PM

QUOTE (motormad @ Nov 2 2012, 11:04 PM) *
My disabled mother says my car is more comfortable than her big 4 by 4! So I guess that says something tongue.gif

Mums always know when to say the right thing to their boys.

Posted by: On the edge Nov 3 2012, 02:28 PM

QUOTE (dannyboy @ Nov 3 2012, 12:58 PM) *
Mums always know when to say the right thing to their boys.


You haven't met mine. laugh.gif

Posted by: Exhausted Nov 3 2012, 03:49 PM

QUOTE (motormad @ Nov 2 2012, 11:04 PM) *
I think it's just for the looks and customisation factor that he's done what he has done.


That's all it can be, for looks, as that type of suspension must make a very expensive car drive like a wheelbarrow.

MOT testers can no longer write up their own failure items on the certificate. They are all selected from the computer driven 'reasons for rejection' and there is no failure item for a seized shock absorber according to my 'buddy'. He's a Vosa tester so no urban myth there.

Posted by: Biker1 Nov 3 2012, 04:21 PM

Something that I find strange is that apparently you don't have to have a working speedometer to pass the MOT!

Posted by: Exhausted Nov 3 2012, 09:38 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ Nov 3 2012, 04:21 PM) *
Something that I find strange is that apparently you don't have to have a working speedometer to pass the MOT!


Neither do you need any tread on your spare wheel.

Posted by: On the edge Nov 3 2012, 09:49 PM

QUOTE (Biker1 @ Nov 3 2012, 04:21 PM) *
Something that I find strange is that apparently you don't have to have a working speedometer to pass the MOT!


Its down to the origins of the MOT; which was simply to make sure the vehicle was mechanically sound. The speedo plays no part in that of course. Similarly, the tread on a 'spare' - which is simply not part of the operational mechanics unless it is actually fitted.

If the speedo did become part of the test, then it could be seen as a measuring instrument. The present levels of accuracy would need to be substantially increased and consequently the cost.

Perhaps in these safety conscious days the test could be reshaped to include such obvious things. Particularly with modern electronics, speedo accuracy need not be dependent on mechanics and so not as expensive?

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