Wednesday, April 25, 2012

User-Shaken: The Test Shed

This part of the series covers the running and visual tests performed at the user shaken centre.

Despite being the entirety of the official inspection the steps for this part of the test are few in number. In fact, they'll take something around ten minutes to complete.

Here's a breakdown of exactly how it will happen on test day:

Want to see this as a video? Stay tuned for a post in the next couple of weeks

NB: Only one person is allowed in the car during this test. If you have someone helping you, it may be okay for them to walk alongside.

  1. Armed with your completed and stamped paperwork, remove your wheel coverings (if you have any) and queue for the appropriate class of vehicle (ask if unsure). It can vary depending on the drive type (FF, 4WD etc).
  2. When you're next to enter the shed, a mechanic will approach your vehicle and perform some visual checks (with your help). We will publish the (simple) Japanese vocab needed for this step next week.
    1. He'll ask you to turn on your various front lights: low beam, high beam, indicators, fog lights, hazards, then check your wiper and spray, horn, and tap the wheels/nuts with a hammer. Then he'll want to see your paperwork.
    2. He'll then ask you to get out, stick his head inside the front and back of the car, and have you open the bonnet (hood). He won't physically touch the car, but he wants to see the serial number on the engine. You may have to move something out of the way, or remove a tab for him to get to this.
    3. Then he'll go round the back and have you flash all the lights again.
    4. If everything's alright, he'll send you towards the white line where you should wait to be beckoned by the next member of staff (this is done with a digital sign in some places using a simple red/green stop/go text)

The precise order of the following steps varies slightly, but the checks will always be the same.

  1. Co2 Probe.
    Someone will have you stop at a specific point, and then go around your vehicle and stick a probe up your exhaust. You may have to do this yourself. There will be an LCD display on the wall showing the progress of the test. It's complete when you see the sign displays a green/red circle/cross. There should be a person there who will tell you to go if you can't work it out.
    Before moving on, insert your check card - 自動車検査量票 (jidousha kensahyou) - into the machine to be stamped/registered (you do this after each test). It should have a barcode which is read by the machine, or will simple be punctured in older places.
  2. Side-slip and speedometer test.
    You'll be asked to stop your car on a specific point on some rollers. You'll be asked to shift into neutral. You'll then be shaken (as in shake, not 車検 you joker!) around a little. Then, in gear you'll need to accelerate to 40km/h and flash your headlights to indicate that you're there. The machine will check your actual speed to see how accurate your speedometer is.
  3. Breaks.
    You'll be asked first to apply the foot break, then the hand break. The rollers will test the resistance. Again, stick your card in the machine when it's done.
  4. Pit test.
    Drive onto a hole in the ground with a person in it. He'll shout up instructions. Turn the wheel, press the break, hand break, "I'm going to joggle your wheels around so let go of the steering wheel", turn the engine off, etc. Again, all this is covered in the Japanese car vocab section next week if you need it.
  5. If everything is alright, give all your paperwork to the person in the little cabin at the end and he'll make it official. If something's wrong, they'll tell you what and you need to go get it fixed. There will always be a garage or three nearby where you can pay for this. If it can be done quickly you can go back through the tunnel on the same day without another appointment.
  6. Go back to the office and give them your paperwork. They'll then award you with a little square sticker for your windscreen.

Job done. Piece of cake, eh?

Want this as a .pdf file? Well why didn't you say so? Here you are:

Shaken Guide:
1. The Shaken
2. User Shaken
3. Booking a User Shaken
4. Paperwork
5. Tunnel Test
6. Necessary Vocabulary

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