Another year

English: Cars waiting at the MOT test Centre i...
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On Monday I put my vehicle in for its annual MOT test. I have driven less than four thousand miles since my last MOT test in this vehicle so I expected it to sail through this time. Thankfully it did. It has been 14 months since I had the vehicle serviced at the same service station (they checked their records for me) and similarly I have not driven four thousand miles since then either, in fact the mileage on this vehicle is still less than 16 thousand miles after four years on the road! The guy at the station asked me when it was last serviced but I couldn’t remember because I look more to the mileage when thinking about servicing. Of course these places would have me servicing the vehicle once or twice a year irrespective of the mileage! According to the manufacturer, Peugeot, the maintenance interval is 12 thousand miles but nevertheless I have had it serviced twice since new at 6 thousand mile intervals, mainly for oil and filter changes. It is a diesel engine so it will be less prone to the same wear as a petrol engine would be but for peace of mind I like to change the oil more often. There is a minor oil leak, very minor really but I will be taking the vehicle back within the next month or two to have it checked out. So now I have another twelve months ‘free’ motoring! Not exactly free though is it? It will be free from requiring official documentation replacement that’s all. When I take my vehicle in for its MOT test I generally wait at the station until it is done, no so when it is having a service though for that takes much more time to complete. This time whilst waiting, a young woman came in asking if they could check her oil as she thought it had all drained out. Having driven from Liverpool some twenty or more miles away I said that her engine would have seized-up had she no oil at all in the sump. It turned out that in fact half of the oil had drained out, evidently through a loose oil filter. She told me that she never checks anything under the bonnet except maybe the water reservoir for her screen wash! I thought that these days it was a requirement to know what goes on under the bonnet as part of the driving test.

Shirley Anne


Author: Shirley Anne

Happy to be alive because of Jesus

3 thoughts on “Another year”

  1. Time was that I would frequently be under the bonnet of my car – checking the oil, adjusting the points, tinkering with the carburettor, cleaning the plugs. But as cars have become more reliable and more complicated, my enthusiasm for poking around the engine has waned. The screen wash needed topping up last week and I realized to my horror that I didn’t know where the operating lever was. It was only the second time I’d lifted the bonnet since buying the car last July!

    Angela xx

  2. If you open Fiona’s bonnet there is virtually nothing to see, all vital bits being concealed under plastic covers. Obviously Volvo don’t want you touching anything, in case you disturb some delicate setup. There’s supposed to be several computer systems beavering away somewhere, so I can understand why they’d discourage DIY tinkering. All I ever do – all I CAN do personally under the bonnet – is keep the washer fluid topped up, and I am happy to rely on an electronic message on my dashboard that my washer fluid is low. Then it’s five minutes with a bucket and jug until I’ve filled the pipe up to the top. There is no dipstick for oil: its level is measured electronically, and I have to specially call up the display to make a check. But it’s always full to the brim: the expensive synthetic oil Volvo uses never seems to get used up. No doubt I’d get a special message if anything were wrong.

    Clearly Volvo take the view that it’s best if the driver isn’t distracted with Too Much Information, and so dashboard displays are very minimal. Maybe it’s the same with all modern cars nowadays. No readouts, no worries. Well, it works for me. And such is the higher standard of electronics used, I think faith in them is largely justified.


  3. I can see that the advance of modern technology has left many of us without an excuse to do some tinkering. Of course, as you say, modern vehicles are far more reliable and don’t really need the tinkering. For someone who likes to tinker it must be disheartening. Personally I have never liked tinkering with cars, could it be something to do with an overly feminine attitude?

    Mr Winkler was a man
    Who tinkered often with his van,
    Each day he thought of something new
    That he could mend or fix or do.
    And then one day he went too far
    He tinkered with his brand new car,
    A loose connection he had caused
    Which left some petrol on the floor,
    A sudden spark, a mighty roar,
    Now Mr Winkler is no more.

    Copyright Shirley Anne 12 March 03

    Well I suppose new technology spares us from potential hazards

    Shirley Anne xxx

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