For all your automotive needs in Colchester, Essex
from servicing, maintenance & repair
to tyres, brakes, clutches and MOT from skilled mechanics.
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MOT tests available until Midnight Monday - Friday
Winter is the worst time for your battery. Any weekness will cause loss of cranking power and ultimately end with failure. Don't get caught out this winter by a failing battery.
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88 Motors are here to look after you and your car!
88 Motors specialise in car MOT test, van MOT tests, motorcyle MOT tests and small commercial vehicle MOT tests, clutches, brakes, tyres, servicing, maintenance and general repairs for all makes and models of car, MPV, SUV, vans and other 4-wheeled vehicles. Whatever you need for your car let us know and we'll let you know an upfront price wherever possible. If, while working on your car we find other problems we will ALWAYS contact you to discuss them BEFORE we do any additional work so you don't get an unexpected large bill!
Did you know that up to 40% of cars fail the MOT test because of simple reasons like having no fluid in the screenwash? We're not joking! We have taken the time to write a set of tips to help your car pass the MOT Test first time by using just a few simple checks and tests. It can't guarantee your car will pass, but it will definitely ensure it doesn't fail for trivial reasons.
We are a registered MOT Testing Station and are available to MOT test your car between 8:30 - 17:00 Monday to Friday or 8:30 - 12:00 Saturday, but, unlike ANY other garage in Colchester we also do MOT tests after hours between 17:30 - 00:00 Monday to Friday so if your life is too busy to get your car MOT'd during the day WE CAN HELP! All night-time MOT tests come with a FREE oil and filter change to help with your car's maintenance needs. You can even book your MOT online right now. Click the button below or the one in the menu bar above to book your MOT online.
All cars, motorcycles, vans etc over 3 years old must pass a yearly MOT test by law to show they are roadworthy.
Here you can find out more about the regulation MOT test, including the five most common reasons why most vehicles fail it.
There’s also a helpful checklist to give your car the best chance of a pass, and so avoid the potential cost and hassle of a re-test.
(MOT is an abbreviation of 'Ministry Of Transport')
An MOT test involves numerous checks for your car. These range from the important functions likes brakes and fuel system, lights, mirrors, seatbelts to less important functions like windscreen wipers and exhaust system. It doesn’t test the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox.
How long does an MOT take?
An average MOT test takes 45 to 60 minutes, but there are a couple of things to take into consideration.
1. If your vehicle fails the test and repairs are required this will take longer. A test centre is not allowed to let you drive your car away if it has failed an MOT test until the problems are fixed, unless your existing MOT certificate is still valid, or you’re taking the car to have the faults fixed.
2. The test might take less than an hour if it passes easily, but even if there aren’t any repairs, this doesn't mean your vehicle will only have to be at the garage for an hour. We may require you to drop your vehicle off earlier than the booked test time and collect it when ready, especially during busy periods. This means you should be prepared to be without your vehicle for the day, but we do try to keep this to a minimum.
How much does an MOT cost?
The maximum cost of an MOT is set by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. It’s currently £54.85 for cars and motor caravans and £29.65 for motorbikes.
Top 5 reasons for failing the MOT test ?
Nearly two in five MOT tests are a fail first time, but often this is because of minor faults you could easily fix yourself beforehand.
(Research published by What Car? Magazine in April 2014)
* Screen wash not topped up. This basic task takes minutes, so don’t forget to check it before the test.
* The car was dirty or full of clutter. A dirty car can hide a multitude of sins and give the appearance that it's not well cared for. Wash the exterior, clear the mess from the boot and cabin and give the windows and mirrors a quick wipe. This allows the tester to 'see' the condition of the car and tells them you care about your car.
* A registration plate problem. For example, the plate used the incorrect font/spacing; it was dirty, damaged or missing altogether. If you have a personalised number plate, make sure it follows DVLA rules. Spacing must follow the correct format and letters/numbers must be the correct font.
* Windscreen / obstructing driver's view. Stickers on the windscreen are likely to fail the test. Make sure anything stuck to the windscreen like parking permits or phone/satnav sucker mounts are outside the wipers’ sweep area.
* EML (Engine Management Light) or other warning light on the dashboard. The MOT has included lit-up warning lights since 2012, so make sure you know what lit-up car warning lights mean and, if you have any make sure you sort out the underlying problem before the MOT.
Checklist to help your car pass its MOT :
Note: An MOT certificate confirms your car met the minimum road safety and environmental standards required by law at the time of the test only. It doesn’t mean your car will remain roadworthy for the 12 months valid duration of the test certificate. You still need to ensure you maintain your car well, including regular servicing. Make sure you’re not caught out by any of the reasons for a fail shown above, then inspect your car against our suggestions below. If you find any problems in the following areas, you can fix some yourself to keep garage costs down.
* Lights and indicators: Front & rear. Headlights (main beam and dipped). Hazard lights and indicators. If any aren’t working, first check for blown bulbs and replace them.
* Brake lights: Ask another person to check the rear brake lights come on when you press the brake pedal or reverse up to a reflective surface like a shop window to see if your brake lights are working.
* Tyres: check all the tyres, including the spare have at least the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm, or they’ll be marked as an MOT ‘fail’. This can easily be done with a 20p coin – The rim of a 20p coin is 1.6mm. Check for any damage such as splits in the tread, bulges or cuts in the sidewalls. Also check the tyre pressure is correct – the car’s manual will list the right pressure and they might also be on the sidewall of the tyre itself - and increase it at a petrol station if necessary.
* The handbrake: check the tension in your handbrake. If it slides up and down without resistance and can’t be ratcheted to a set level, there’s likely to be a problem needing fixing by a professional mechanic. Ideally, it should firmly engage within three ratchet clicks.
* Seats and seatbelts: Check the driver’s seat adjusts forwards and backwards and inspect the full length of the seatbelt for any damage. Check all the seatbelts latch and fasten securely, and lock when you give them a sharp tug.
* Windscreen: Any chip damage wider than 10mm in the driver’s central view will be an MOT fail, but also any chip damage larger than 40mm in the whole of the swept area. A cracked windscreen will fail.
* Windscreen wipers: make sure your wipers clean your windscreen effectively and the washers have fluid in the bottle and squirt onto screen. Remember, any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can mean an MOT fail.
* Suspension: Check the shock absorbers by applying your weight to each corner of the car then quickly releasing it. The corner of the car should quickly return to its original position. If it bounces more than twice, this could mean the shock absorbers are faulty and need to be checked.
* Horn: Give a short blast of the horn – if it doesn’t work or isn’t loud enough to attract the attention of pedestrians or other motorists, get it repaired.
* Exhaust: Check for exhaust leaks by starting the engine in a well-ventilated space at normal temperature, then listen from the rear of the car for any unusual noises or abnormal smoke.
* Fuel and engine oil: Make sure your car is filled with enough fuel and oil – you can be turned away from the MOT if there isn’t enough to test your car’s emissions levels properly. It is advisable to have at least 1/4 tank of fuel.
If your car fails its MOT, we will give you a VT3O Certificate showing the reasons for the fail. In 2018, the MOT categories for fails and passes changed. If your car has a dangerous fault, you won’t be able to drive it away. We'll quote you for the work that needs doing and you're free to arrange additional quotes from other garages if you'd like, but you would need to arrange transportation to another garage, if required.
If your car has a major fault you may be able to drive away if it’s still roadworthy and your previous MOT hasn't expired yet. If your previous MOT has run out and the car is still roadworthy you can drive it to have the faults fixed and to a pre-booked MOT, so you should arrange this before collecting your car. If you drive a car without an MOT under any other circumstances, or drive a car with dangerous faults, you can be fined up to £2500 plus you could be banned from driving and get three points on your licence.
MOT retests: You need to fix all major and dangerous faults to make your car roadworthy and then arrange an MOT retest which your car must pass before you can drive it on the road again. If you leave your car with us for repair, you’ll be able to get a retest for free as long as this is done within 10 working days of failing the MOT. If you take your vehicle away for repairs and return it before the end of the next working day the test is normally free. Whether it’s free or not depends on which parts are retested. Please check with us. If you return within 10 working days for a partial retest, you’ll get charged a lower fee, but it won’t be free.
If your MOT has expired it’s illegal to drive your car on the road and you could be prosecuted for doing so. Driving without MOT also makes your insurance invalid. The only exception would be if you already had an MOT booked and were driving your car to the test.
If you’ve lost your MOT certificate there are two ways to get a replacement MOT test certificate. The first is free. Just go to the GOV.uk website where you can view, print and save any MOT certificate issued after 20 May 2018. All you need is the vehicle’s registration number and the 11-digit reference number, with no spaces, from your V5C, (logbook.) The second way costs £10. You can go to any MOT test centre and give them your vehicle’s registration number and the V5C reference number.
You need an MOT certificate to tax your vehicle and to change the vehicle’s tax class, such as getting free tax for a disabled driver.