Car maintenanceTechnical

Time for the NCT … test day

I’m typing this as I sit here waiting for my turn in the NCT Centre.  I generally travel to the Mullingar as the NCT staff here understand that the cars they are testing are people’s pride and joy and they tend to treat them with respect.

Unfortunately it seems that everyone has cottoned onto this idea, as the queue today is quite long!  There are ten people waiting in the line ahead of me.

And also unfortunately, this centre is one of the centres with the car lifts made out of Lego … so no matter what happens today, the car will not be receiving a full NCT cert.  In my opinion, this is a ludicrous scenario that should be sorted out much faster than they seem to be currently doing.  The fact that everyone being tested will have to return for a “lift test”, as I’ve heard it called, means we’re going to have an even bigger queue when I return for the second part of my test.  (I asked the mechanic when they thought the lifts would be fixed as I handed the keys over – he said there is no date set as of yet!!!)  

Anyway, it’s nearly my turn.  The queue vanished as most of the people were finished tests … and all of them failed for reasons other than the lift test not being done.  It is interesting though that people don’t seem to argue with the NCT results when they fail.

Hooray – the next two people in the queue have passed … well, they passed the components of the test that could be done without putting the car on the ramp.  That’s better, Ireland.  (In my opinion, the NCT is a necessary evil.  I remember all too well the badly maintained cars on the road as I grew up.  They are all consigned to history now, thanks to mandatory road worthiness testing.  We should have brought this in long before its inception date in 2000.)

And … wow … the lady in front of me in the queue has just been handed her keys, with a fail.  What did she fail on?  No headlights at all working on the front of the car.  You have to be kidding me…how does she drive anywhere?  What’s worse is the fact that she said it’s only a headlight fail … she doesn’t seem to have an appreciation of just how important working headlights actually are!  This is exactly why the NCT is needed. 

Oops – rear suspension imbalance…


Finally my test is done … with a fail.  Hmm …. apparently my rear suspension has an imbalance of 33%.  I’m actually stunned at this, as the car seems to be handling perfectly fine to me.  I think I’ll reach out to  Alex to see what needs to be done this time, assuming that there is an issue.  I’m not so sure …   

UPDATE: Click here to see how the retest turned out.




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