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14th December 2004

My SVA test had finally arrived.  I've had to wait until after 30th November, no one would insure me before I was 21!

The SVA had been booked for 8AM in Liverpool.  I was up at 5, as I wanted to give the car a little run around the local roads before hand to check that everything was ok.

Luckily the Libra behaved very well and we got to the SVA test station for 7:45.  My coolant plumbing worked very well and the temperature never budged over 80 all the way to the test.

The test went as follows:

  1. I had to drive the Libra into a part of the car park then stand a certain distance behind the car.  The examiner sat in the car and checked all the mirror angles.

  2. He then drove the car around the car park testing self centering and general fell of the car.

  3. He checked all instruments and warning lights worked correctly, and the demisting function.

  4. I drove the car into the workshop and onto the rollers to have the speedo checked for accuracy.

  5. The car was then weighed on each axle.

  6. The examiner checked the lights whilst I sat in the car and worked them.

  7. Emissions test.  As I had a reasonably new engine I had to have a full cat test.

  8. Headlamp alignment test.  (I was allowed to lower the lights slightly.)

  9. The brakes were tested on the rollers.  The examiner used a pressure gauge on his foot to take different readings at different pressures.

  10. I then had to drive the car over the pit.  I was there for ages whilst the examiner checked various bits underneath.  Occasionally I was given instructions, such as, "turn the wheel fully left", or "Go through all the gears".

  11. The next test was all the edges inside and out

  12. The examiner asked me to open the front and rear clam shells for him to have a good poke around inside of.

  13. I had to remove the door panels for him to see the 'E' marks on the door glass.  He also asked me to remove some of the padding so that he could see the steering column.

  14. I was then asked to drive back out into the car park to have a noise test carried out.

The examiner then went inside to process the weights and brake test data on the computer.  The test had taken around fours to complete.

He then came back from his office to tell me that I'd failed on a few (minor) points.  Grrrrrrr......

Overall he was very pleased and thought I'd done an excellent job, but I needed to sort the following points for a re-test on Monday:

  • Need drawings and letter from GTM about lower seatbelt mountings.
  • Need a letter from GTM to say that the small rear glass screen is safe/suitable. He wasn't convinced by the etching on it!
  • Side air intakes on rear clam, edges not 2.5mm. I should have put some trim on them, but I'd sanded them and thought they'd be ok, I should have known better.
  • The ultrasonic sensors (about the size of a pea) even though they were made from rubber, didn't have a 2.5mm radius.
  • The battery wires at the battery were not fastened down securely (all wiring needs to be secured every 12 inches), I'd left some slack as it's needed to get the wires easily on and off, but this is not acceptable!
  • 'Temporary obstruction at rear engine cover' which translates as: I'd put some rubber trim around the vent holes in the rear Perspex screen but didn't glue it down and he wasn't very impressed!

I'm disappointed that I've not passed first time, but with the SVA being such a grueling test I suppose it's not too bad.  At least I've not failed on anything major.

I've had a fax from GTM, which should hopefully cover the first two points.  The other things I should be able easily rectify over the weekend.

I've only been booked in for 30 minutes on Monday (20th December) so I think he's pretty confident that everything should be sorted.

Fingers crossed for Monday then!

Monday 20th December

I passed my SVA re test today!

The examiner spent all of about 5 minutes checking the silly little failures over and then came over to tell me what a lovely car the Libra is!

I've just been over to the Chester DVLA office, and filled all the forms in, but they said it was going to be the 10th January before they could come out and inspect the car!

They wont look at the car if I drive it their either. What I've arranged is for me to trailer it over to them on Wednesday. They said that should be ok, but..... they are not allowed to get on the trailer, and I'm not allowed to get the car off! Stupid rules..... It should be ok if the trailer is low enough, here's hoping!


Wednesday 22nd December

I hired a trailer today to take my Libra to be registered. All went well and it only took the inspector 5 minutes. He checked the VIN plate and had a look round at the car. He asked if the engine number was visible. I told it it was a bugger to see, but I'd jacked the car up last night and took some photos of it and he was happy enough with that. I'd taken a couple of mirrors for him and I'd even glued one to a long stick in case he wanted to see anything underneath but they weren't needed in the end.

I got a phone call at 3PM to say that all the paper work was ready to be collected!  I had some number plates made up straight away so I'm now officially on the roads!

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