The false start

In mid-September I started off bright and early for my car's SVA, which was due at 08:00 at Chelmsford (around 40 miles from home). Unfortunately it seems that a 40-mile thrash down the A12 is no way to treat a newly-rebuilt engine, and I lost oil pressure just outside Chelmsford. After Britannia Rescue got me home on the back of a transporter I took the engine to bits - and found absolutely nothing wrong! After stripping, checking and rebuilding the engine with a high-pressure pump everything worked perfectly again (I found out later - when it happened again - that the pressure relief valve on the oil pump had stuck, which could have been fixed in 10 minutes, had I known).

After this I booked another appointment, and arranged a trailer - I wasn't going to get caught again!


I was very fortunate in finding someone who was prepared to rent me a trailer for a couple of days, so I hitched it up and loaded my car on board.

This proved to be a big load for a little 1300cc Yaris, even though it was well within the car's towing limit. Still, I made it to Chelmsford after an uneventful (if slow) drive down the A12, arriving at the test centre at about 07:15 on the 6th October. After unloading, I sat and waited for the office to open.

Once I'd checked in I took my place in the queue and waited for the doors to open. The next 2 lanes were for heavy-goods wagons, and were full of large roaring vehicles for the duration of my test.

The car was subjected to a wide range of tests, including one for brake efficiency.

After this we went outside. The self-centering was checked, then the mirrors' view, and finally the noise levels.

After some discussions (see below), I was told that the car had passed and told to go and load the car on its trailer while he put the figures through the computer and drew up the Ministry Approval Certificate (MAC). Whoopee!

Problems found

A few problems were identified during the test:

Apart from these points, I only just passed the noise test - 99dB where the limit is 101dB - even though I thought my silencer was quite quiet!