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BigLittleCar Andrew Mickleburgh
Norwich, Norfolk, UK   GBR
1971 Morris Minor Traveller "Neville"
As a very new owner, I recently inherited my Fathers Traveller (1971), I thought I would run it by the MOT station even though it was not technically due. IT FAILED sad smiley
I was not happy to find that some of the previous works carried out on the car by Dads "qualified" mechanic were far from up to scratch, it failed on three areas of rot.
The areas were the nearside and offside component mounting (in front of the rear wheels and one front suspension mounting corroded.

Are these huge tasks? will I need to save lots of pennies? I cannot weld so I will need to find a trusted/competent person. The other items were minor such as washers, I can deal with those.

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0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
Hey, come on, you got value for money out of your MOT
You got an expert eye run over your motor on the cheap.

thumbs up

Ask the MOT tester for a quote
His work is likely to be up to spec
as he's going to put his job on the line
when he signs the certificate.

At a guess, you are looking at less than 500

A certificate will put that and more
on the value of you car.

BigLittleCar Andrew Mickleburgh
Norwich, Norfolk, UK   GBR
1971 Morris Minor Traveller "Neville"
Unfortunately the MOT tester decided that the thought of all that wood and his welder may not mix and so suggested that I find an expert, or hobby welder that specialized in the older cars!

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0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
Are you up to removing the wood in the relevant area?

If you remove relevant interior trim you can reduce the cost.

Have you joined your local classic car club?
I daresay they can recommend a welder.

levinas Dean Wales
BSE, Suffolk, UK   GBR
Shouldn't need to remove wood to repair, but removing trim as prep for repair would reduce costs. I agree £500 should cover it. The following bloke knows his way round Minors though he's a Rover enthusiast. He's got mine through the last 5 MOT's and rebuilt one from scratch for a customer. He's about 30 miles from Norwich.


BigLittleCar Andrew Mickleburgh
Norwich, Norfolk, UK   GBR
1971 Morris Minor Traveller "Neville"
Thanks Dean, and all respondents smiling smiley

I will be getting some quotes, but good call about stripping it out, that I can do especially if it saves money.

0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
If the tester says the welds
are too close to the wood
there's a good chance you
will need remove the wood
in that there neighbourhood

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w3526602 John Williams
Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK   GBR
Hi Andew,

Subject to little (as yet unknown) quirks in the rules, your Dad's car will become MOT exempt on May 20th. See my mail, dated today in my PLAYING WITH SEAT BELT thread.

But two important points ...

Even if MOT EXEMPT, your car must be roadworthy. But it must be roadworthy even if it does have an MOT. Driving an unroadworthy car can (and has) be regarded as Dangerous Driving. You will have to decide if your car is roadworthy ... presumably somebody thought it was until the MOT.

Your MOT failure is a matter of record. (Google DVLA MOT CHECK). That will be available to Plod and your insurance company. I do not know if your car's MOT history will be struck from the record when it becomes exempt.

Question ... if you go to buy a car, and the Vendor tells you it hasn't got an MOT, because it doesn't need one ... are you expected to search it's MOT history on the DVLA website? My 1959 Land Rover was last MOT'd in 1974 ... DVLA have no record of that, just a big blank. She covered less than 200 miles since passing that MOT, until I bought her in 2011, and has done about 1000 miles since I put her back on the road.

My son's Triumph Herald failed an MOT because it had a hole in the rear inner wing. "That's not an MOT-able item!" I protested. "Oh yes it is!", smirked the malevolent tester. "Somebody has welded the body to the chassis". So, to make the car roadworthy, I either had to weld the hole, or cut all the PO's welds. A "no brainer" I regret to say. There is a similar anomoly on Land Rover axles ... either weld the hole, or totally remove the rusty strengthening fillet. Unroadworthy is not the same as unsafe.


0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
2018 - 40 = 1978

Body condition and security

• The vehicle body must not insecure or displaced so as to constitute a risk of loss of control of the vehicle when driven, or a danger to other road users.
• There must be no dangerous sharp edges or projections caused by corrosion or damage

A vehicle can fail with respect to corrosion for:
• Excessive corrosion in a 'prescribed area' - within 30 cms of certain components, e.g. brakes, steering, suspension, seat belt mountings etc.

• Excessive corrosion in (I think that should read outside) a 'prescribed area' , but which is likely to adversely affect the vehicle's brakes or steering.

'Excessive corrosion' can mean a hole or a significantly weakened structure.


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0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
Whats the best way to pass an MOT?

Most MOT failures are down to the simplest of things. A blown bulb of worn windscreen wiper can mean the all the difference to headache free motoring. Such simple things can be avoided quite easily if we take the time to do a pre MOT inspection ourselves beforehand. Changing lightbulbs and windscreen wiper blades is well within the abilities of most of us yet in 2007, out of 2,106,946 MOT tests carried out 580,754 failed first time. Below is a chart of the most common MOT failures.

Component Total Item Failures
Lights 271,567
Tyres and Wheels 155,489
Drivers View or the road 120,095
Brakes 110,327
Steering & Suspension 99,798
Fuel & Emissions 23,634
Reg Plates & VIN 19,047
Seat Belts 11,271
Others 11,115
Bodywork & Structure 7,705
Road Wheels 5,746
Drive System 656
Driving Controls 183
Total: 836,633

Click here for a complete list of common MOT failures broken down by make,model and year of vehicles

As we can see the biggest reason for failure was lighting.
A blown bulb! How hard is it to change a bulb?

Tyres can be inspected easily to avoid the second biggest reason for failure. Cracked windscreens are again easily checked and most fully comprehensive insurances cover windscreen repair and replacement. If everyone checked these items before their MOT test in 2007 then 547,151 failures could have been avoided (thats over 65%).

Two more startling reasons where Reg Plates and Road Wheels. Standard Registration plates will not fail an MOT but customise your own and your in for trouble. Same goes for wheels. They must be the standard wheels for the car. The road holding, speedometer and gearing etc. are all designed around a specific sized wheel and changing this can cause MOT failures aswell as damage. Again both items are easily checked.

Some of the other reasons may get a little more technical but there is no reason why we cannot attempt them ourselves in an effort to save money and time off the road.

Below are the checks that you can make yourself before putting your vehicle through its MOT. You do have to do every check but we would suggest doing the tests that have the highest failure rates first ie bulbs etc.. The top 3 reason for MOT failures are the 3 easiest tests to carry out yourself.

Checks 1-6 can be carried out sat in the drivers seat
Checks 7-12 are carried out by inspection ot the outside of your vehicle
Checks 13-18 Need your wheels to be off the ground and free to rotate.
Checks 19 - 20 Are exhaust and emission checks

Internal Checks
1. Handbrake
2. Footbrake
3. Steering Wheel
4. Windscreen & Mirrors
5. Seat Belts
6. Doors

External Checks
7. Registration Plates & VIN (Vehicle Idenification Number)
8. Electrical Equipment
9. Brakes
10. Steering & Suspension
11. Shock Absorbers
12. Exhaust System
13. Steering Mechanism
14. Drive Shafts
15. Braking System
16. Fuel & Exhaust
17. Wheels & Tyres
18. Bodywork
19. Emissions - Petrol Engines
20. Emissions - Diesel

0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
Avoiding MOT Failures

A good tip for avoiding MOT failures is to take your car to an MOT station that does not do repairs. Many councils have their own MOT test centres for council vehicles but the law says that they must be open to the public. Using a council run MOT test centre means that they do not have an incentive to fail your car on the grounds that they can get work out of you. There is also no incentive to fail your car for faults that don't exist. You may miss out on a 'Cheap MOT deal' but general the pass rate will be a lot higher and the work needed a lot lower.

What about Safety?
The standards of MOT carried out by council MOT test centres is second to none. They are just as strict as any other - they just don't make things up to make more money.
Click here for a list of Council MOT test centres

w3526602 John Williams
Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK   GBR

How many of us have checked our lights before setting off for an MOT ... only to fail because one of those recently inspected lamps no longer works.

I have had a pass on a car despite an indicar lamp not working. The tester had seen it working as I drove into his yard.

I have also passed with head lamps, LH on main beam, RH on dip, and vice versa when clicked to dip.


0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
w3526602 John Williams
Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK   GBR
7. Registration Plates & VIN (Vehicle Idenification Number)


VIN plates did not exist before 1980.

Being unable to find the chassis number, on a pre-1980 car is not reason for it to fail an MOT.

Me? The first time I take a car for an MOT, I take the V5 Registration Document with me. Thereafter, I take the old MOT with me, as it has the chassis number written on it. Neither should be needed if the car has been MOT'd before, as the computer will have remembered the number that goes with the registration.

When I took my 1957 Land Rover S1 Bitza for it's first "computerised" MOT, the tester was unable to enter the chassis number (because he was doing it wrong), but he continued with the test. DVLA later wrote to me, and we sorted it out.


0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
You punting for the last of the "Ockard Boys" then 02

ferd 5.JPG    50.5 KB
ferd 5.JPG

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