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Beware the MOT, a story of 4 garages

I've just got my 1996 Espace MKII through the MOT but it could have gone very wrong.

As usual I left the MOT to the last minute and popped down my local garage in NW10 for the MOT, unfortunately the car failed on the steering rack and ties and was deemed dangerous (this was written on the advisory notes in caps).

Obviously I was concerned and asked the garage for a quote which came in at £750 inclusive of parts and labour (4 hours book). This was something I had to think about and went off to call a friend for advice.

We determined it was worth doing if we could do the work ourselves however the first thing to do was to get a alternative quote so off I went to another local garage recommended by a friend.

The second garage had one look at the car and said it should be scrapped because the cost of replacing the steering rack was too high for the age of the car and not great value. Also they could not do the work because it required special tools, however they recommended another garage who specialised in steering racks to I went off to see what they would say.

"Scrap the car" said the 3rd mechanic, "I've changed one of those steering racks before and I will never do it again. the Espace is one of the worst cars to change a rack on!"

You can imagine by this time I was getting very worried that my ageing Espace was destined for the crusher. But the rack specialist had a look at the car and said there was nothing wrong with it and it should have passed the MOT!

What next …

Off I go to garage number 4 (one I had used before and recommended by another friend) to put the car through a new MOT test and guess what it failed on a headlamp bulb!

So the moral of the story is always get a second opinion and if it's something specific like a steering rack see if you can find someone who know what they are talking about.

P.S. The next day the clutch cable snapped so I was back in the garage again :-)
Currently in my-blue-espace's garage:
Espace 2.0 (1996)
my-blue-espace is offline  
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