The MOT Test is changing on 20th May 2018 with defects categorised differently and stricter emissions testing for diesel vehicles being the headline changes that you should be aware of.
Instead of a system of fails and advisories, any faults found during the MOT Test will be ranked as Dangerous, Major and Minor. Cars with Dangerous and Major defects will automatically fail, whereas, Minor faults will be similar to advisories in the current system - they will be flagged to the car owner and recorded on their MOT certificate and online MOT record, but the car will still be allowed to pass the test.
An example outlined in a draft of the new MOT Inspection Manual says that a steering box leaking oil would be classed as a Minor fault. However, if the oil is leaking so bad that it's dripping, it would be upgraded to a Major fault, causing the car to fail its MOT. In this example, if the steering wheel itself were to be so loose that it was "likely to become detached", it would be given a Dangerous failure and the MOT certificate would flag this up with greater urgency to the car owner.
New rules are going to be implemented to crack down on 'dirty diesels' producing toxic emissions. As such, all cars fitted with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) will now be rigorously checked - in fact, if the car emits "visible smoke of any colour" during metered tests it will be issued with a Major fault causing it to automatically fail its MOT.
In addition, testers must check to see if DPFs have been removed or tampered with. If the "DPF canister has clearly been cut open and re-welded" and the owner cannot prove that this was done "for legitimate reasons such as filter cleaning" then the tester has to refuse to test the car.
Reverse lights will now be checked and steering will also be looked at. In addition to current checks for oil contamination and how securely they are attached to the wheel hubs, brake discs will also be inspected to see if they are "significantly or obviously worn."
Several additional components that must be checked during an MOT test have appeared in the draft MOT Inspection Manual including front fog lamps (fitted to vehicles first used from 1st March 2018) and daytime running lamps (fitted as original equipment on or after 1st March 2018). Noise suppression systems (including exhaust silencers and under-bonnet deadening material) and anti-theft devices have also been added.
Cars that won't need to worry about these changes are some classic cars (vehicles over 40 years old). They can qualify to be exempt from statutory MOT testing if they have been registered as a 'vehicle of historic interest' with the DVLA and not been excessively modified.
Here at Wilsons, we want to make sure that your car is safe to be on the road, so we send you a reminder email four weeks before your MOT is due and a text reminder two weeks before. If you haven't had your vehicle MOT tested with us before, you can set up a free MOT reminder from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) via email or text. The service is free and simple to apply online which you can start by clicking here.