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Halloween MOT horror stories

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Horror stories

Ghoulish goings on can be expected at this time of year – and that’s just the people knocking on your door trick or treating!

Just when we think MOT testers out there have seen it all, something else comes into their garages to make them gasp.

Time to get your scare on with this latest collection of ghastly tales!

Frankenstein bolts

Bolts sticking out of motorcycle wheel

Cliff, from a test centre in Salisbury, sent this astonishing picture of really long bolts sticking out of the front brake of a Suzuki motorbike. Even Frankenstein would be proud of these!

The customer said, "the bolts fell out and it was all I could find to fit".

Which obviously doesn’t make it ok… He added that the customer actually rode the bike to the test centre!

If the bolts had fallen out, the brake caliper could have become detached from the bike and leaving it without a working front brake.

Twisted terror

Ttwisted brake pipe

Lee sent us this bizarre picture of a BMW 5 series brake pipe.  Someone had fitted a new flexi hose and managed to twist the brake pipe to such an extent that the brake wouldn’t work.

This could have serious consequences as there would be no braking to this particular wheel and could have caused the car to have an accident.

Suspension at stake

Wooden stake and cable repair

A wooden stake through the heart will kill a vampire, but Anthony’s garage found one supporting this suspension arm.

After Anthony’s garage spoke to the owner the day before, advising him to get his vehicle recovered, the owner decided to drive it to the garage anyway!  He’d niftily ‘strengthened’ the arm with a 2 by 1 bit of wood and some plastic string.

Anthony said, ‘He will not be driving it away in this condition.’

Quite.  If this had given way, parts of the suspension could be all over the road and could have caused an accident.

Witches brew

Lager can and filler in wheelarch repair

Witches are well known for mixing all kinds of things together for their potions. But Mike certainly wasn’t expecting this lager can and filler combo in a wheel arch.

It’s not the first time testers have seen this type of ‘repair’.  After all it’s metal, isn’t it, so it should be ok, right?

Er, no it won’t be ok.  The ‘repair’ to this wheelarch is a ridiculous example of what some people think they can do to their vehicles. Testers will find it!

You keep us safe!

Our thanks go to the 63,000 hard working MOT testers around the country helping to keep cars on our roads safe to drive.

If you’re an MOT tester, send some of your best (or worst!) cases to with some good quality ‘landscape’ pictures, an explanation of the issues and what problems the defects you spot can have on vehicle safety.

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  1. Comment by bill thompson posted on

    i have been testing cars and bikes for 50 years nothing suprises me as well people still try it on

  2. Comment by David Van Shagen posted on

    When DVSA take a closer look on MOT testing stations which failing cars for unexisting faults? I'm in industry from long time, and plenty of garages offering cheap MOT test, only to get extra income for failing, and offering "repair" for enormous price.

  3. Comment by Dan posted on

    If the vehicle had been given a dangerous notice during the Mot and is driven away before a repair had been completed, would this invalidate the insurance?

  4. Comment by Peter posted on

    Why are there so many illegal Number Plates on the Highways? These are willful defects & surely as such invalidate lnsurance. Can a Traffic Warden or a 'Parking Company' who monitor parking via survalliance issue tickets? What about Speed Cameras?
    Is only a matter of time?

  5. Comment by Ash Malik posted on

    Ash Malik, these days the majority of people have started accepting the mot testing procedure and criteria, it's only some minoritys who should start learning the safety aspects of mot test ! End of the day it is all to do with SAFETY! Dangerous ! Major! Minor and of course Adviseries !!!

    • Replies to Ash Malik>

      Comment by Raj posted on

      You will be surprised how many people still ask for a "Guaranteed pass" and when told there is no Such thing only to be greeted with my car's perfect and then when there is a fail they just don't realise how important it is to rectify the fault

      • Replies to Raj>

        Comment by Ashraf Malik posted on

        Hi Raj , you are right the percentage of those who want definitely pass has reduced, the more public has grown up towards the safety aspect of mot test , even though some are still accepting what you said . End of the day testing is about safety and not pleasing people what they want . I am not at all sorry to say that !

      • Replies to Raj>

        Comment by Ashraf Malik posted on

        Hi Raj , you are right but percentage of those who definitely want a pass is gown low . It is a matter of fair testing pass and fail . There is no room for a Guaranteed Pass in mot test .

  6. Comment by Steve Mason posted on

    Just taken a closer look at the motorcycle picture and that pinch bolt on the bottom of the strut doesn't look fully secure either.

    • Replies to Steve Mason>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Steve
      Thanks for pointing this out - it's good that the MOT garage was able sort this.

    • Replies to Steve Mason>

      Comment by Scott Neylon posted on

      I noticed that!

  7. Comment by Chris posted on

    Hi I'm a tester and tested a car the other day while doing the interior checks I saw 7-10 small zip lock bags of what looked like cocaine. I completed the test. But I'm wondering if I should of done something else, aborted the test etc. It failed anyway but coming back in for retest next week. Any advice is appreciated

    • Replies to Chris>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Chris
      You should contact the police on 101 if you spot something like this.

  8. Comment by Aaron mcfairlane posted on

    I always have my vehicle serviced and mot, d the same time, some occasions it as failed, i could never understand as to why it was never serviced first then mot later, any ideas?

    • Replies to Aaron mcfairlane>

      Comment by Andre posted on

      It has always been and still is "best practice" to carry out an MOT test on a vehicle first in order to highlight any defects that can then be rectified during the vehicles service. This gives the garage the opportunity to let the customer know any additional work required and give them a clear idea on any extra costs and extra time scales involved.

    • Replies to Aaron mcfairlane>

      Comment by Scott Neylon posted on

      What if it failed MOT on emissions or brake test, the customer might not be able to afford the repair work and MOT in one go.

    • Replies to Aaron mcfairlane>

      Comment by Raj posted on

      Also most garages like to do the MOT first as it is not as in depth as the service wheels off etc and it is surprising how many customer do not know the difference between a service and MOT

      • Replies to Raj>

        Comment by Ashraf Malik posted on

        Hi Raj that is a correct procedure actually, so there is no expense done twice !

  9. Comment by Michael Cowan. posted on

    When logging on to test a vehicle would it not be possible to include insurance status of the vehicle and being uninsured a reason to refuse to test.
    Just an idea with so many uninsured idiots around.
    Michael. COWA0017

    • Replies to Michael Cowan.>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Michael
      Thank you for your comment. We currently don’t have any plans to include the insurance status of a vehicle. Even if we did have access to link to the insurance database, it would take days to update and not necessarily be reliable.

  10. Comment by Don Stewart posted on

    Testers should have the power to take the vehicle off the road

    • Replies to Don Stewart>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Don
      If a car has failed its MOT with a dangerous fault, DVSA’s advice is that it should not be driven until the defect is repaired. This is because it’s dangerous to both the driver and other road users.
      Garages are unable to prevent owners from driving their cars away. But they will provide advice to the owner on what they should do to keep the car safe.

  11. Comment by John Horsley posted on

    Why can no one on . gov spell caliper correctly?

    • Replies to John Horsley>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi John
      Thanks for spotting - we've corrected it.

    • Replies to John Horsley>

      Comment by M. Price posted on

      Hi I would be more concerned over the fact that some MOT centres are unable to read or understand the MOT manual, on my last visit to a centre they failed my car for brake grab when questioning them they meant bind then told me that the word bind is no longer used. When I returned after doing some unnecessary work i found that they also had carried out the test incorrectly trying to test bind by hand and not on the brake tester which gives a correct reading and it was down to me to tell them how to test the car correctly. My car has a fail on it history when it should have.

  12. Comment by stevie m posted on

    i have been testing for many years now and am still amazed at the antics some vehicle owners get up to thinking they have made their vehicles safe. And as a biker myself all i can say to the fool who fitted those bolts is give it up pal become a pedestrian before you kill yourself or worse someone else. stevie.

  13. Comment by Big Reg posted on

    When "Anthony said, ‘He will not be driving it away in this condition.’" I wonder what authority he had to stop him?

    Please explain.

    • Replies to Big Reg>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      An MOT garage cannot stop anyone taking a vehicle away. However, the vehicle would not have been roadworthy so he would have been advised of this. This was merely a phrase he used.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Big Reg posted on

        Cheers Julia, thanks for your prompt reply.. just making sure I hadn't missed something new 🙂

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by John L posted on

        Hi John
        Yes, unroadworthy indeed and I’m sure that in that condition had the driver had a mishap along the way his insurance - if he had any- would have invalidated.
        Complete dangerous stupidity

  14. Comment by Roy Peverall posted on

    Nothing suprises me any more 50 years testing and still amazed