Unhelpful Timings

The one downside of the whole “need a new car” thing is that I’d only recently sorted out all the MOT, Servicing, Tax, and Insurance Renewal for the current car.  Which is, to say the least, a bit annoying.

Thankfully, the MoT hadn’t needed too much work – simply realigning windscreen wipers and headlamps, no major stuff at all – but still it’s annoying to have done all the stuff for ensuring it’s mechanically OK, only to then have something unchecked go ker-fut.   (OK, *start* to go ker-fut!)

The insurance renewal is a bit more of a pain. I could make alterations, but I suspect that the massive difference in vehicle values might make it ridiculous.  So I might have to cancel the newly-renewed policy – I know what that will cost, and it’s doable.  And before I make a decision, I’ll find out what the costs will be, so I can properly evaluate the pros and cons.

Again, things could be far, far worse. It’s just annoying.

MOT Thoughts

Following on from getting the car’s MOT Test done this week, I had a look back on the history of my car’s MOT tests (that’s just a link to the service, not to my specific vehicle)  Something I find interesting on it all is the inconsistency of what’s reported as faults.

I’ve noticed it before – but even when using the same MOT Test Centre, they don’t seem to check the same things every year.

As an example – last year I had advisory warnings about corrosion to the rear doors, and to some suspension components. This year? Neither of those problems was mentioned at all – and I know I haven’t had any work done to sort them out!

It’s not just this test centre, either – the same was true when I was using the Kia dealership down in Milton Keynes, and I know was true with the Saab (an exhaust back box that was blowing one year and not the next, for example) and I thus assume for the Ford as well. (I didn’t really check/track then)

Obviously it’s meant more for looking at current serious faults that would make a vehicle dangerous – although in that case I don’t quite get why misaligned windscreen washers or headlights result in a failure rather than a “needs fixing” – but the lack of consistency on the historical ones just leaves me with a bit of a feeling of “This is all just subjective and/or guesswork, isn’t it?

An Expensive Time

This September-October period is always an expensive one for me.

The main thing is the car – because I got it in October , it means that this six weeks or so includes MoT (and any associated fixes), Service, Tax, and Insurance Renewal. This time it also included a visit to the local dealership to get the handbrake cables replaced (because KwikFit decided they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it, and some other load of old cock that they told me) as it wouldn’t have passed the MoT with them un-fixed.

The handbrake thing is one that’s been going on as long as I’ve had the car – every other MoT gets a warning about “handbrake too high” or “little reserve play/motion”, whoever’s fixing it does something, and it’s OK again – but it got a better-ish fix at KwikFit last year, and then got worse again recently.  So far the newly-replaced cables seem to have sorted everything though.

Anyway, the MoT was yesterday, and it passed fine.  It failed initially (but only for misaligned windscreen washer and misaligned headlights) but was then fine.  Not bad for a car with 220,000 on the clock!

The insurance renewal was mentioned elsewhere, as it was farcical, but is now fine – and I’ve managed to keep it at the same level as what I was paying for the last year, so happy day.

Alongside that (because God Knows, I’m shit at planning) it’s also been time to sort out my tenancy renewal on the new place – which has involved a small-ish raise in rent, although not as much as initially suggested.  And then I also ended up organising for a company to come and deal with the front garden and so on, because it’s a bombsite and needs dealing with (and I am emphatically not a gardener!)

So yeah, it’s all been a bit costly.  Utterly doable though (which is lovely, and still a good thing compared to ten years ago) and at least I know it’s now all organised, so the rest of the year isn’t too bad at all. Thankfully!


When the car got its MOT recently, one of the upcoming issues was that the handbrake was set too high, and not being particularly effective.  Not awful, not dangerous, but not great.

In fairness, it’s been similar since I got it. Every year at Service/MOT time the Kia place I used would fuck around with it a bit, but it was always high, and I just figured that’s how it was for that car. It’s never slipped or caused issues, so *shrug* what the hell, it’s fine.

Anyway, last week it stopped being fine. It was still working, but once released the handle would “bounce” back up enough to trigger the “brake still on” idiot light on the dashboard, and was showing all the signs that it now needed replacing. Like, soon.

So anyway, I rang up the KwikFit where I got it serviced and MOTd this time, booked it in (for yesterday) for the work, and that’s all fine. These things happen.

Once they’d looked at it, it turned out that it wasn’t ready to break (pardon the pun) but there was something in the run of the handbrake cable that had jammed, which they released and checked the entire thing (including a re-check of handbrake efficiency)  and all sorted. Additionally, it now doesn’t need to be set as high when engaging it. (I assume because I’m not fighting against whatever the jammed piece was doing)

And the price for this? Absolutely nothing.  I tried to pay, I wanted to – even if there weren’t any replacement parts, they’d spent workshop time on investigating, sorting, and re-testing – but nope, they insisted it was fine. OK, then – but they’re definitely getting any return business from me.