Seal of approval – the MOT

With a pretty mint Defender TD5 we didn’t expect any problems at the annual MOT.

In Gibraltar, they are every two years, unless you have a commercial vehicle, and as ours is a van body, sadly it’s an annual MOT for us.

Last year, the inspector just glanced over it and said how impressed he was with the condition.

At the time of this year’s MOT it was around seven years old with less than 20,000 kms on the clock.

‘Fuck it,’ said Partner when he walked in and threw the keys on the table.

Failed on one oil seal on the front axle.

Now, had we been in Spain at the finca with our ramps life might have been easier. But catch 22, without the MOT we shouldn’t be driving in Spain, and we didn’t feel like having the vehicle impounded by the Guardia Civil. Plus we didn’t have four fancy tools that you needed (having looked at the manual). Plus brake pipe clamps. Tool bill mounting up a bit here.

See, this is why Simple Series are Superior.

Anyways, we bite the bullet and ring up the local main stealer. The ones who mis-sold us the vehicle in the first place. But that’s another story.

Luckily, we’ve always got on with the office staff and mechanics. And because we bought the vehicle there, it whizzed up on the system straight away. Now, rumour has it, that they have long waiting lists for repairs and servicing. We could take it in the following day for a looky by the mechanics.

We did. They checked out their stocks and discovered they had the required oil seals in stock – we’d decided to have both done, as a bit like master and slave cylinders, pretty obvious the other one would go soon. Might as well just have one expensive garage bill than two.

In we went the next day. Felt like VIP treatment. I held my breath for the bill. A hundred and thirty quid or so. Not so bad after all. Good job, fast and efficient, one mechanic changed both seals in two hours. Reading around it seems to take DIY people two hours to do one seal. It’s the first job we’ve paid for since we bought her. First time we have used a garage or a main stealer for years, but it was a good result.

Off we went to collect the coveted MOT. Cost of MOT – £40.