Lotus Elan

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION

PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:49 pm

We pay $35 a year (good actually, used to be a smaller amount twice a year) to have the car gone over. This is supposed to include emissions, exhaust soundness and noise, suspension looseness, brakes (wheels supposed to be removed), horn, wipers, washers...

In practice, the examination is generally limited to whether the lights work and the emissions are OK. My ancient Corolla has 245,000 miles on the original muffler, so it is understandably noisier than a new one. This perplexed the inspectors, who called in assistance. A foot over the exhaust pipe successfully pressurized the system, and a sticker was mine. I plan to junk the car, which is a handful on rough roads due to completely failed (but not inspected) shock absorbers, as soon as it gets to 250,000 some time this winter. It is otherwise in safe and roadworthy condition.

Matilda (Europa S2) is an antique and thus needs no emissions test. All other features as of date of manufacture do apply. But since the shop owner doesn't fit inside, I get to be the driver. This allows fudging of the emergency brake (which nonetheless does work, an apparent oddity in this car). Suspension, bearing, and service brake condition tests not performed (Gee guys, it's only 38 years old!)

I am thankful that the washer pump is well disguised on the wiper switch, because it usually does not work. Likewise, I was careful to fit a functional replacement for the missing backup light trigger.

Bottom line: There are laws, but your car need not be safe to pass the required inspection. Woe to thee if the emissions are out of spec, though! :)

UK buyer of U.S. Lotus, beware: If you think a registered U.S. Lotus will pass your MOT based on its active street status, you may be in for some surprises. The MOT is much more stringent than any U.S. inspection of which I am aware.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:43 am

Hello denicholls2, where do you live? Eric
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:56 am

I am not familiar with all the details of a complete MOT. I can tell you, as a licensed state vehicle inspector for the last 30 years, in this state, a properly inspected vehicle IS safe.

All vehicle systems must work correctly, and brakes, exhaust, suspension, steering and ti(y)res must be within spec. In addition, road testing is required.

And yes, 95% of the time, the emission tests are a money making racket.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:58 am

Thanks for that insight.
Pennsylvania and Ohio share a border. If two Elan owners two blocks apart in a border town license their cars legally, one has to jump through hoops, the other one, nothing,,, What do you guys in other states have to do to title your cars? Does contintental Europe have inspections on old cars?
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PostPost by: Otto » Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:06 am

Here in Dnemark we have MOT test every 2 years. For vintage cars (over 35) it is every 8 years.
I think we can top every country in silly carrules. ! Not because of the MOT test, but we are not allowed to do anything fun! For example, if you would like to power tune, you can only do it 20%.
We also can not use the three eared spinners....not official....i take the chance, and the fine i it should come to a dispute with the police.
Another grim issue is the tax system. It is the most expensive in the world!
If you buy a car (new car) for, lets say 20.000 doller, you have to pay 180% taxes. and then the price is 56.000 Doller.
We have special rules for vintage cars, and they are ok. But for new cars, its silly! there fore people are driving around in old bashed polluting 80'ies cars..... Ok not all... i am just so frustrated!
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:21 am

Hello Otto, you can't be TOO frustrated, you own an Elan +2 !
The three eared spinners became an issue in our country around 1968. Ralph Nader watched one too many James Bond movie and we ended up with Nader Nuts. Just a big nut holding the wheels on.
I have a set of three eared knockoffs but the ears are bent inwards... must have been an inbetween idea.
Do your inspectors dyno the engines when it comes to the 20% power increase?
And are you SURE you've got that new car tax right? Does anyone buy a new car in Denmark? Eric
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PostPost by: Otto » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:22 am

Nader nuts... ha ha :)
Yes unfortunally i have the taxes right, it have always been like this. Cars are very expensive i Denmark!
No they do not dyno the engine at the MOT, not right away. You can get away with a lot of hidden tuning, but we can not just drop another/bigger engine in the cars.
I really envy you guys, when i look at stuff like a Lotus Europa, fitted with an Alfa Romeo 3 litres V6. This setup would never pas the Mot here.

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PostPost by: DrEntropy » Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:48 pm

We lived in Pennsylvania (elancoupe knows us) and had to undergo the state inspections. Ohio was our "summer home" and the differences in average vehicle conditions was astounding. Now in Florida where "inspection" is unheard of. Funny bit is there are FAR fewer ratty autos here than one would expect. I've spent most of my adult life wrenching, have gone thru ASE certification, hold Porsche certs, blah-blah... it all boils down to personal responsibility: do you want to get where you're supposed to be next and expect to stop? Keep up the maintenance on your car. The inspections go to the LACK of responsibility on the part of the average driver, unfortunately. I would be in favor of a safety check system, simply to catch out any potential junk. It would be better for the US to have DRIVER inspections. A driver's license is thought of as a right of citizenship here. Any kid with twenty bucks and minimal motor skills can pass the exam. THAT's more a danger than the odd burnt out brakelight, IMO.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:29 am

Dr E, you've got several good points. The driver's license thing, it'd be interesting to see USA statistics on crashes caused by late model "safe" vehicles versus clunkers..... a lotta kids are driving dad or mom's car. A lotta people driving clunkers value their car as a way to get safely to and from wherever they need to go.
On inspections, are you saying the cars in your former summer home state (the nicest thing I've ever heard anyone say about Ohio) were in lousier condition than those in Pennsylvania?
I'm in favor of safety inspections too, it seems so odd that I live where there are NONE. I guess my brake(LIGHTS) better work and I need fenders, but that's it. It doesn't matter what age the car is either!
So far Otto has it the worst...
Greetings Japan... is there anyone out there?
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:33 pm

and now the environazies have killed the Corvette- :( -ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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