News Opinion

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Working it out: Testing time, but car just got straight A's

John Masterson

Published 29/06/2015 | 02:30

NCT centre
NCT centre

Each year I feel a particular affinity with school leavers who are sitting the Leaving Cert. As soon as I hear the exam build up I am reminded to book my NCT as it falls due each year bang in the middle of the exams. There are many similarities. You do your preparation. You turn up at the appointed place and present yourself. You don't sleep a wink the night before. There the similarities end. For the NCT you sit and read glossy magazines and put your brain to sleep while on the other side of the window you see your vehicle put through its paces. You are helpless. The questions are the same each time.

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I used not worry too much about the NCT until some years back I failed. It was a bit of a mystery to me as I had just had the car thoroughly checked. So I was little short of furious when I was told that it had flunked because of the headlight alignment. The NCT man told me about it in a fairly dogmatic, rude manner but I just sucked it up and fumed as I went back to the garage that had checked the car to tear strips off them.

The garage man was equally mystified and took out the mirrors etc to check the lights as I watched. He called me over. "There it is," and he showed me the lines that defined proper alignment and sure enough it was bang on.

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