Blood, sweat and oil.

Car cleaned and pre-MOT serviced. Basically, that means I’ve dipped the oil, topped it up as well as topping up the coolant and screen wash. I’ve also given the thing its yearly wash, because I suspect that if the car looks well cared for, they are less likely to look quite as hard at things.

The other big job I’ve done is rotate the tyres. “But the rotate every time you move it!” I hear you cry. Actually, rotating the tyres is something else. Essentially I moved the front wheels to the backs and vice versa. It’s a tiring job to change four wheels on a car! Especially when the mechanic who refitted both rear wheels a couple of weeks ago went a bit gung-ho with his Wayne’s-World air gun. Hopefully this will even out tyre wear, as the Volvo 850 is very kind to its rear tyres, but not quite so kind to the fronts. I had Pirelli branded tyres on the backs, but budget ones on the front. The problem I have found with budget tyres is that they wear out far too quickly – the rubber is nowhere near as durable as the big-name tyre company tyres. So rather than let the budget tyres run out in the next year, I’ve moved them to the back and let the quality rubber hit the road at the front. That should stave off the MOT advisory note I got every year about the previous tyres (Michelins) which actually managed a startling 50,000+ miles over seven years and were ‘almost worn out’ for the last three years because I do such a low mileage and they were on the back.

Exhaust and front wishbone related bills are still firm favourites for MOT fails. I’m wondering if I get considered a cash cow at times by garages? Still, I’ve looked quite closely behind the wheels this year so I know exactly what is there and what condition it looks in – it’s nice to be prepared.