It was MOT test time again yesterday. I knew that I'd need a couple of new tyres and a four-wheel alignment to pass it, and since my car is 7 years old now, it wasn't a big surprise to find that a dose of car cancer had eaten away three sections of the exhaust too.

Similarly, it wasn't a big surprise to find that these relatively minor items were going to cost almost £500, as the Vauxhall Omega is considered a big car by UK standards and as such gives parts manufacturers a licence to print money. Incidentally, the same car (more or less) is sold as the Cadillac Catera in the USA, where it's considered a small car in the Cadillac range. I wonder how the prices for parts compare?

Anyway, what was a surprise was that a minor transmission whine which started on Saturday is likely to turn into a total gearbox failure before I get the car back home tonight, if the jumping starts and complete lack of forward movement at high RPM I experienced this morning is anything to go by. A quick web search indicates that a reconditioned 'box is going to cost £800 + fitting + VAT, which is in itself more than the car is worth. Or rather, it would be if I hadn't already spent so much money on the car this year.

It looks like I'll be back on the bus for a while until I decide what to do.

Update: Yup. Gearbox died on the way home, and the RAC man towed the car back.