The new MOT inspection manual will come into effect on 20th May 2018 and will reflect substantial changes to the MOT test. The DVSA is asking test stations to leave feedback on the latest draft.
Head of MOT policy at DVSA Neil Barlow said “Although it won’t come into effect until 20th May 2018, I want to make sure you can start getting to know what’s in it and what’s changing. It’d be great to hear your feedback on it, so please let us know if there are any areas we can improve’’
Changes being made to meet the new EU roadworthiness directive include three new failure ratings – Dangerous, Miner and Major. There will also be a crackdown on cars producing ‘dirty emissions’.
Minor faults may still pass the test, but they will be flagged on the MOT certificate alongside advisory notes, whilst cars that have Major or Dangerous faults will automatically fail the test. A downside of this change is that it creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to which category a fault falls into. On the up side, it means that any vehicle that doesn’t meet the MOT requirements needs to be repaired before being driven away – keeping potentially dangerous cars off the road.
Emissions testing will also get tougher with changes that will lower the limits for diesel cars. Under the new rules, if the exhaust on a vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) emits visible smoke of any colour the car will be issues with a major fault. MOT testers will be required to check if the car’s DPF and if it is found to have been removed or tampered with the car will fail.
The smoke test limit for Euro 6 and some Euro 5 diesels is to be halved in May. The DVSA has said it is currently working with garage equipment manufacturers as the lowered limits will see changes to diesel smoke meter settings or software. The agency has said it will give test stations at least six months to “schedule this work in”.
MOT testers will also be required to scrutinise areas that have the potential to cause serious accidents more closely. They will be required to check steering systems as a steering box with heavy leak will result in a failure, as will reversing lights that don’t work or brake discs that are ‘significantly or obviously worn’.