A FEW weeks ago we published an article about dashcam ITV failures and since then I have been asked a lot about other problems that mean an ITV failure.
Of the approximately one million tests carried out each year in the north, almost a third of the cars fail on the first try. The most common reason is failure of lights, gauges, or other electrical components, followed by problems with suspension, brake systems, worn or damaged tires, body or chassis breakdown, reduced driver visibility, noise, exhaust emissions, fluid leaks, followed by steering, seat belts, vehicle identification and wheels. When it comes to defects, testers rank brakes and tires at the top of their list of areas of concern. Now, if you’re not mechanically minded, there are things you can’t check, but here are some that you can.
First things first: clean your car inside and out. Steam clean the underbody, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the tester if you show up with a dirty car. Trust me, a clean car helps. A tester will be particularly offended if he’s standing under the car trying to work his way through mud and dirt covered undercarriage. Take the time to click all the seat belts into their fixings so the tester can see that they work and make sure the passenger side door and rear view mirrors are fully functional. At the front of the car, check the position lights, high beams, low beams, turn signals and fog lights. At the rear, check the side lights, brake lights, turn signals, reverse lights, license plate lights, and rear fog lights. If any don’t work, replace them immediately.
The alignment of your lights is important, but without an alignment checker, you can only do a basic check. Position your vehicle about six feet from a garage door or wall, and when your high beams are on, the lights should be approximately level with the hood of the car and level and equidistant from each other. While we’re on power, make sure there are no warning lights on the dash and if there are, check your manual to find out what they are and take action; Check that Make sure all tires have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and check for cracks or bulges on the sidewalls. Check your wheels for buckles or kinks.
Regarding the suspension and brakes, there isn’t much normal Jo can do to check before the test, but check the brake fluid level and make sure the brake pedal is tight and check for any rattling noises from the suspension. It’s hard to check under the car without a ramp, but do the best you can, making sure the vehicle is on a level surface with the parking brake firmly on. Finally, if your exhaust is noisy, consider a new one before testing.
If all of the above are OK, you have a good chance of passing, but the test is long and difficult. Good luck.
PLUG-IN hybrid power comes to the new GSe versions of Vauxhall’s Hatchback and Estate family, with 222 hp available. Vauxhall has revealed the first cars to wear the new GSe sports brand with hot versions of the Astra five-door estate hatch and the Sports Tourer estate.
Both models will feature more powerful plug-in hybrid powertrains than the normal Astra lineup, along with some visual and performance tweaks. GSe (Grand Sport electric) is Vauxhall’s newest high-performance sub-brand, taking over from the VXR line of fashion vehicles.
The engine in the GSe models is essentially the same 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor system as used in the Hybrid 180 cars. However, total system output is up to 222bhp equivalent. Vauxhall has yet to reveal performance figures, but with its eight-speed automatic transmission (the only option), the Astra GSe should offer a 0-62mph time in the region of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of around 145. mph in the five-door hatch. form.
Fuel consumption is between 235.4 and 256.8 mpg depending on the specifications. Vauxhall hasn’t released details on the car’s electric-only range, but expect up to 40 miles. Since the battery is the same size as the regular Astra Hybrid 180, charging will take three hours and 30 minutes with the standard charger, but a 7kW charger will likely be offered as an option, bringing that down to one hour and 55 minutes.
GSe models will feel sportier thanks to a bespoke chassis setup, with a 10mm lowered ride height and recalibrated steering. The upgraded suspension will improve wheel and body control characteristics while improving comfort. The GSe treatment sees the Astra undergo a performance makeover, with exclusive design touches including 18-inch alloy wheels and Alcantara sport seats. There’s a new, more aggressive front bumper design, while the GSe badging completes the look. The brand’s Grandland SUV is also expected to receive the GSe treatment in time, following the Astra. The new Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe are ideal vehicles to launch Vauxhall’s new sports brand, offering sporty styling, enhanced driving performance and all the benefits of an electrified powertrain.
Pricing has yet to be revealed, but the five-door hatch is likely to start from just under £40,000, with the Sports Tourer estate going for an extra £1,200 when the cars go on sale later this year.
Deliveries will start in early 2023.
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