MOT / Service

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MOT / Service

Postby nhaynes » Tue 01.03.2011, 21:17

I brought my latest Elan in September 2010. Some of you may have seen my postings after purchase and whilst looking. I gave the Elan an oil + filter change in December 2010 and since then I've probably done 200 miles max. My MOT is up on 21 April 2011, so I thought I'd request some wise words from Forum Members for the best way forward:

1. Does anyone know any good London (East) based MOT centres that are Elan experienced and that would do a genuine assessment and look after my car when putting on vehicle rolls, ramps etc.

2. I used to have my previous Elan serviced at Sinclaires of London, now Essex Motorsport. I've got a very good service history with the new Elan and am considering maintaining this by getting a professional service (say 1 in 3 years) and doing other more frequent service/repairs myself.
a) I seem to recall Sinclaires doing a combined Service/MOT. Does anyone have any experience whether this is cost effective?
b) Does anyone have any views on the best London based Service Centre? My limited judgement would be Essex Motorsport or Barry Ely.
c) Does anyone have any up to date Service costs for A, B and C services and cambelt changes.

3. I'm planning on getting the Elan up on ramps again once the weather becomes a little less inclement, then doing an MOT pre-check myself. I'm unaware of any potential MOT failures but I guess I may be surprised.
a) Has anyone taken this self assessment route and if so, what has been the success rate for a subsequent MOT test?
b) Are there any obvious MOT failure items that I should look out for? The obvious stuff like wheel bearings, lower wishbones etc are ok.

I look forward to hearing your views.
Thanks,
Neil.
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Re: MOT / Service

Postby Gazza » Mon 07.03.2011, 22:43

I've taken mine to Sinclaires for 10 years and would recommend them to anyone. Did use Barry Ely a few times but if he is in the same place you wouldn't want to leave your car there and it looks like a scrap yard! He knows his stuff but I would suggest a drive by before booking your car in.
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Re: MOT / Service

Postby MPx » Tue 08.03.2011, 21:34

I agree with Gazza. My experience is old now cos I moved West in 2007. But FWIW

Before I moved Barry looked after my Esprit for many years and my Sunbeam for the three years I had that. Both cars ran very very well under his maintenance regime - the Esprit better than anyone else has managed to make it go before or since. However, his yard is about as far from the sort of place that you'd want to leave your car as its possible to get. He's also not good at taking responsibility if something goes wrong, but as I said, in my experience he generally made everything as good as its ever been in my ownership. He's a genuine enthusiast and I typically spent an hour or so chatting when picking up the car, hearing his stories about racing his various Lotus etc. He's a 10-15 min walk up the Lee High Road from the Central Line Tube so was ideal when I worked in the City.

I used Sinclaires to do a paint job on the Carlton, to refurb the Elan wheels, and a couple of other things. They started as a repair/spray/bodywork place and added the mechanical side later. Then the Elise sport stuff started to take over and then I moved away. Wayne is great to deal with - tho he got very busy by 2006/7 which was less fun. All the poeple I met there seemed friendly and very competent which always gives confidence. Not so easy to get to/from on public transport.
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Re: MOT / Service

Postby nhaynes » Thu 31.03.2011, 21:20

I asked around a bit with a few guys at work (Ford) who have classic cars (an old Porsche 911, a TVR and an Elise). They recommended Laindon MOT Centre close to Basildon. Actually, Laindon is at the back of Ford's Dunton Engineering Centre so there are quite a few knowledgable chaps who take their cars there.

What I found was a thoroughly professional MOT Centre that I will definately use again. Brian, who MOT'd my Elan was methodical and also realistic about a 20 year old car. As we suspected, the brake efficiency was low compared to a modern car but passed the MOT requirement. In fact, the car passed everything which I was delighted about. Even the dreaded wishbones were fine! The guys at Laindon MOT, (Martin, Ray and Brian) don't mind if you watch during the hour long ordeal. They have a little booth with a glass front where you can watch all the test. I even went under the ramps with Brian when he was lifting the Elan to discuss the correct lifting points.

So, my message is, for those living in the South East that want a genuine MOT made with care and professionalism. Go to Laindon MOT and you won't be disappointed.
Thanks,
Neil.
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Re: MOT / Service

Postby wayne » Thu 31.03.2011, 21:41

nhaynes wrote: I even went under the ramps with Brian when he was lifting the Elan to discuss the correct lifting points.


I wonder how many members do this ...... I know in the last few weeks I have been Guilty several times watching people put the old girl on the ramps and doing exactly this :)

Good to see Im not alone.....

Luckily the MOT here providing the car looks clean normally consists of showing documents and turning on lights and a quick rev of the engine....

If unfortunate enough to have brakes tested normally getting the girlfriend to take the car back the following week does the trick :D

Although this will not help finding any problems with the car :oops:
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Re: MOT / Service

Postby Candles » Sat 08.08.2015, 06:35

I've just returned from 4 years overseas. On removing the Elan from its storage (ISO) container, I dropped in the old battery that had been on a conditioner for 4 years and it fired straight up! I was so shocked I hadn't even checked the fluids, so I shut it off, checked the oil/water then ran it again for a while before driving it out. The tyres had dropped to about 15psi, so after blowing them up, I drove it straight to Kwikfit where it passed an MOT first time! I'm still in shock!

With my car, the weakpoint has always been rear handbrake effort. It struggles to get the weight on the rear wheels with the MOT inspector in it. One guy let me do it and it was no problem, but otherwise I make sure the handbrake has been well exercised: I drove most of the way to the MOT station pumping the handbrake.
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Re: MOT / Service

Postby John_W » Sat 08.08.2015, 11:32

Candles,
Welcome home. And great to hear the Elan is still fit and ready. :burnout:

If you want to sort the handbrake once and for all, I can thoroughly recommend the PNM calipers and pads. They come with carrier brackets and are a straight swap with no need to change anything else.

John
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