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Motors: Dr Dashboard and Sister Spanner treat your motoring ailments.

EACH week MotorMax medics Dr Dashboard and Sister Spanner treat your motoring ailments and provide help on a range of problems. Whatever you need to know, they're here to help.

Can I cut corners with my spare tyre?

Q MY car is due for an MOT soon but there are 101 things that need doing before it'll pass. One thing I'm not sure about, however, is whether the condition of the spare tyre is checked.

CARL WALTERS, Oldbury

Dr Dashboard says: NO, the conditionof the spare tyre isn't part of the MOTtest. But I wouldn't advise anybody driving without a spare in good condition. After all, if you get a flat, miles from home, it could cost you big-time.

PLEASE CLEAN UP MY CAR

Q MY car has just failed the emissions test for the third time. I've had various work done but I can't seem to find out what's wrong with it. Can you help?

SUZIE CARTER, Walsall

Sister Spanner says: IT'S difficult to say what's wrong without seeing the emissions read-out but the test is a very complex one.

Lots of things can cause high readings, so all I can suggest is that you get it checked out by a reputable garage and get them to talk through what the problem is.

RECORD OF A VEHICLE'S DODGY PAST

Q I'VE seen a car for sale and want to know if I can find out about any dodgy history it might have. Is this possible?

PAUL SUGDEN, Shropshire

Sister Spanner says: YOU can check a car's history to ensure it's not a former write-off, a finance bad debt or if it's ever been stolen.

The checks are provided over the phone for a fee by groups including HPI on 01722 422 422, AA/Experian Car Check on 0800 234 999 and What Car? History Check on 0845 601 0804.

You can put our MotorMax Medics to the test by submitting any problems you have with your own vehicle. Send an e-mail to SundayMercury@mrn.co.uk or write to MotorMax, Sunday Mercury, 28 Colmore Circus, Birmingham B4 6AZ.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 3, 2002
Words:349
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