7 March 2007

Do we, perhaps, need a few more motor vehicle inspections?

| johnboy
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Apologies for the quality on my camera phone at a distance, this was taken yesterday.

Yes, if you look closely you can see rope holding that battered door onto the car, young men were filling the car although not, notably, the front passenger seat.

Which to me raised the question:

Are we perhaps in need of more regular inspections of the cars on our roads?

And does a school’s duty of care run to not letting their students drive death traps home from college? (Seeing as the parents seem to have little care)

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Back in the days of Motor Registry inspections I used to have a blown bulb that I would put in the brake light just before the inspection. The inspector would start the inspection, notice the blown brake light, fail the car and completely not notice the various oil leaks (yes a British car). It was then a simply job to swap out the blown bulb and nip over to the authorised inspection station across the street to get the car passed.

JTK, I can totally sympathise with your wife’s shoddy mechanic complaints.

I’m sure mechanics just start drooling the moment I (early 20s chick in office attire) pull up with a complaint like “well I’ve got this funny noise”. Luckily enough, I’m normally able to follow it up with something like “because my throwout bearing is on it’s way out”, thanks to the crash courses in basic mechanics you get as a mini driver.

Having said that, for every dodgy mechanic there’s a good one who’ll break his back for you and not charge extra. I think they get a bit of a bad rap sometimes, thanks to generalisations and stereotypes.

God yeah, Mr_Shab. Nothing gets me hotter under the collar than thinking about the time my little brother wrote of my 1275 Clubman while I was o/s. But if he’d written off the Cooper we were planning to put that engine into, there would have been nothing left for the cops to find.

James-T-Kirk10:49 am 08 Mar 07

I seem to recall having regular inspections. – Yearly, in fact.

I also seem to recall driving a 1962 falcon wagon, and having a little ritual that we had to perform while waiting in the queue at Dickson motor registry.

In 1962, cars didn’t have seat belts. In the early 70’s the previous owner installed ‘sash’ belts (Not the nice, modern ‘lap-sash’ ones).

Our ritual was to unbolt the ‘sash’ belts (While waiting in the queue.) The funny bit was that the car would pass rego without belts – That’s how it was built, so it obeyed the rules. But if we left the belts in, the inspection failed, as the ‘sash’ belts were not up to the appropriate standard. Personally, in an accident, I would prefer to have a belt on, than go through the windscreen!

The other funny bit, was that they ALLWAYS complained that the FACTORY FITTED park brake handle was too small – Go figure!

God, I wish that the &&%$^$#%^%$ failed mechanics who were employed at the motor registry had a brain, and I for one was not unhappy with their demise.

So, where does this lead us? I’m glad you asked.

1) Dropping the cretins out of the motor registry inspection profession and into public service desk jobs (where they belonged) was a great move… It limits their ability to adversely affect the average member of the public.

2) Re-instating a regime of regular inspections, by qualified, enthusiastic, intelligent staff, who want to be there as a day job is mandatory. We need to ensure that there is an appropriate standard of staff to prevent the people who couldn’t get a job anywhere else ending up in the job.

3) These staff must to be adequately remunerated. You don’t get quality staff for $2.85 per hour!! Recover the costs for the remuneration from a user pays system – It’s not that hard (Not like the buses – 68 million out – 15 million in… Hmmm…)

4) Keep the people who make money from doing the repairs out of the picture.

I have a tragic story about the time when my lovely wife had 1 child in a stroller, and 1 child on her hip, while booking our falcon into the local “xxx Brakes, Tyres and Exhaust”. I was away on a training course at the time. She rang me in tears because they decided that there were faults with the Brakes, Tyres and Exhaust (go figure). To the tune of about $2500. Upon talking to the cretins in the company, I got her out of there before they did any of the work – Not before we had a copy of their ‘inspection report’ (Claim to make themselves rich from a young mum).

When I got back, I took the mater up with the Vehicle Inspection audit branch, where they measured the width of the disks on my car, and made remarks along the lines of ‘There’s nothing wrong with them’. Yes, granted, there was a small hole in the exhaust that was trivially patched (Not a complete system replacement as recommended). Hopefully, the auditors assisted the company with their ability to accurately diagnose work. As none of the work needed to be done…

Damn – I can’t stand shoddy mechanics!!!

Too right sheer – give me a ’69 Cooper S over…well…anything.

i could never understand why people bagged british cars.

outstanding engineering, incompetent management.

“Contradiction in terms, innit”

Clearly el, you’ve never thrown a 1275cc Cooper around a few tight bends.

“How about parking inspectors multitasking and issuing defect notices for dodgy cars?”

That’s part of their job now, but they rarely seem to do it (other than the very occaisional defect for really really really worn tyres). Most parkies couldn’t squeeze under a car in the carpark to check the balljoints and steering linkages, even if their life depended on it.

We need a regular inspection system (ie. like the NSW system – with yearly mechanic check) as there are now far too many deathtraps getting around the ACT. An extra $25 a year for an inspection is miniscule compared the other running costs for a car.

And on a more sensible note, if you can’t afford to buy tyres or keep a vehicle maintained and roadworthy you shouldn’t own a car.

English automotive excellence

Contradiction in terms, innit?

I hear you Bonfire. My family owns four minis (not including those we’re still restoring) and they’re better maintained than a lot of rubbish 1990s Commodores etc I see on the roads.

threeze hits the nail on the head.

in one car club i belong to, im the only member who actually drives his around town.

the rest keep it in the garage or take it to car shows only. they have historic rego.

i own two of that particular model, and i am restoring one of them (still registered and runs), but the ‘driver’ is maintained mechanically. its over 30 years old but still dusts modern cars.

of course it doesnt have abs, airbags, efi etc – but i would hate to be maintaining a 2006 car in 2036. efi – not so hard, abs ? airbags ? dark arts…

not to mention all that plastic – which im not sure will age so well. lots of modern car crumple zones have LOTS of plastic in their bumpers.

i doubt its designed with a 30 year life span.

neanderthalsis4:17 pm 07 Mar 07

Meconium, I’d like to say it’s a Bently Azure or a new Aston Martin Vanquish, but alas it is not.

you can have an old car without it being a rust bucket, it’s called maintenance.

English automotive excellence neanderthalsis? Most pommy cars you see here are luxury models… so what is it then, an MG, Jaguar, Rover, Mini, Land Rover, Aston Martin or a Bentley? 😛

>> as opposed to buying a brand new car every 5 years justbands ?


VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt3:30 pm 07 Mar 07

Some people drive 25 year old Ford Lasers because they are cool.

Seriously, plenty of people drive cars like that because they want personal transport as cheaply as possible.

In NSW you need an inspection every year to register a car. The mechanic does it and I always time it with normal servicing. It costs about $25 for the certificate. They check tyres, brakes, emmisions, seat belts, lights, tow bar etc. It is not a silly idea at all for a mechanic to sign off and say your car is safe annually.

my stanley steamer uses renewable fuel.

neanderthalsis3:00 pm 07 Mar 07

People (be they Greens, Bogans or plebs) driving aging rust buckets with bald tyres are just examples of Darwinian natural selection at work. They will no doubt be weeded out proving once and for all that Volvo drivers are the superior species on our roads. (No I don’t drive a Volvo or a rust bucket, just a sensible, fine example of English automotive excellence)

as opposed to buying a brand new car every 5 years justbands ?

mmm that’s market savvy.

if greenies were really serious about protecting forests, they would pick up a .303

but posturing for a tv camera is less dangerous

> Funny the number of ‘greens’ you see driving around the inner north with propaganda stickers all over their ageing rust buckets, spewing smoke out the back.

Yes. Although they’re not really “Greens”. They’re the types who will protest against a road going through OUR CAPITAL CITY forever & a day, yet would never take the time or make the effort to care about the destruction of an entire old growth forest no more than one hour from here.

I suspect, however, that a lack of maintenance can be indicative of a certain type of boneheadedness.

More regulation isn’t the answer. A less protected domestic car industry, including a freeing up of imports, is. If you could afford a Jap import that would be less than 5 yrs old you wouldn’t be driving a 20 year old Laser.

And have you seen the car prang stats? They’re not the result of poor mechanical reliability but of bone headed driving by poorly trained punters on rubbish roads.

Funny the number of ‘greens’ you see driving around the inner north with propaganda stickers all over their ageing rust buckets, spewing smoke out the back.

Annual inspections are needed.

annual inspections are sensible.

keeps dangerous shitheaps off the roads.

and means at least once a year brakes etc are actually checked.

barking toad12:56 pm 07 Mar 07

Not a fan of inspections. My last car would have been condemned 5 years ago if that was the case. Finally recently stopped by an observant constable.

While he didn’t seem convinced about the belching exhaust being the cause of gorebal warming, he suspected it might fail an emissions test. There was also the minor matter of the steel belt showing on the bald tyre. And the smashed headlight.

we’ll get along fine then Thumper!
What would be more dangerous….a crap laser/323 or a turboed skyline/wrx etc, in the hands of a p-plater?

I drove a similar car that probably warranted a defect notice (not as bad as the one pictured though), but I went 3 years without ever being checked.

I wouldn’t like to see a yearly MOT like in the UK, but more regular checks would be good. How about parking inspectors multitasking and issuing defect notices for dodgy cars?

2 door LJ ?

GTR optional

genuine XU1 dreamable

just watch what you say about HK’s Thumper……

It isn’t right, any self respecting teen will have a torana.

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