Friday, June 17, 2016

MOT Time

Well the day has finally arrived... MOT day!! Eeeek!! It's a day that I'm both dreading and at the same time, uncontainably excited about! As the car is currently untaxed, it's been off the road and declared as SORN to save a few pennies while the engine work was being overhauled.

So although it runs, it's never actually been tested as it would be illegal to drive it on a public road without tax or MOT, unless you're going to or from a pre-booked MOT test centre. So before I can really start to worry about it passing the MOT test, it needs to get from my tiny drive to the MOT garage with an untested, untuned, brand new engine... wish me luck!!

Before I set off, I rang the garage to make sure it was still booked in and they were expecting me and after a few visual checks around the car, I sat there and turned the key and let the engine warm up a little. After removed the rag that covered the registration plate I checked everything again. Then I planned my route to the garage to avoid as many hills as possible but also sticking to main roads in case there was a problem and checked everything yet again. Yup! I was a bit nervous about this!!!!

Before I set off, I took a snap of the current mileage as a starting point for the new engine as I'll be needing to change the 'running in' oil for the regular 20W/50 once the engine was properly run in, which takes about 500 miles apparently.

After a while, I realised that I would just have to overcome the anxiety and set off, so I put it into first gear and gingerly rolled the car forward off the drive and onto the road... Hec... this was it, I was off and running. Thankfully the first part was relatively flat so I was able to test the brakes, which were as soft and spongy as I remembered them to be, so no problem there!!

Pushing the car along into second gear, everything seemed fine and dandy and slight feelings of achievement were starting to form. They were soon quashed however when I entered third gear and tried to push the car a little faster, which it clearly didn't want to do!! In fact on the flat, it really struggled to get upto 30 mph and on a hill, well it almost stopped even in first gear!! Clearly it was not at its best and would need some tuning, but for now the task was to get to the garage.

After an arduously slow journey of 25 minutes, the destination was mercifully in sight and ever better it was down hill from me, which seems to be the cars' new preferred type of road!! Turning into the yard of the garage, I gave a huge sigh of relief as I'd made it here!! It was a struggle and the car felt awful, but I'd made it and that felt good.

Handing the keys over, I left the car and went off to kill some time while the test took place. After an hour or so of dull, pointless aisle wandering and a sit in a cafe drinking mediocre supermarket coffee, I set off back to the garage as I'd had a call that it was all done and dusted. 'Any issues?' I asked, 'No' came the reply, it's passed without any problem at all!!

I may have punched the air slightly when the good news was received as it was a massive relief to hear. Finally the car was considered roadworthy again and once taxed, it would be free to roam the highways and byways of this great land once more. Now there's just the problem of driving it home again and getting it to run a little less like a bag of spanners falling down the stairs!

But despite that, despite the fact it's currently awful to drive, I'm claiming today as a 'win'. It's been a long and at times painful journey, but it was all worth it and I'm sure that after some tweaking and tuning, it will be a joy to drive once more.

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