How will the new MOT changes affect you?


With the MOT test getting a major overhaul this May, Jack Evans takes a look at what it means for drivers.

The MOT test is getting a major revision on May 20, bringing in tougher measures against diesel cars through a variety of new defect categories. But what exactly will change, and how will it affect you?

One of the biggest edits to the MOT test is the way faults are classified. It’s now categorised into Dangerous, Major and Minor. Minor issues are recorded, and the owner advised to get them fixed – but the car will still pass its test. These faults will also be added to the car’s MOT certificate and online record. Anything resulting in a Dangerous or Major classification will mean an immediate fail.

A Minor issue would be a problem such as oil leaking from a steering box. However, this would escalate to a Major if the leak was so bad as to be dripping.

The crackdown on diesel car emissions is evident in the new test too. That means if your diesel car puts out any smoke whatsoever, it won’t pass its MOT examination.

Testers are also being told to do thorough checks of a car’s DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) to ensure they haven’t been tampered with – or removed entirely. The guidelines read that: ‘Any vehicles fitted with a DPF should be checked so that ‘no visible smoke is emitted from the exhaust during the metered check’.’

Some diesel drivers remove the filter to boost performance and increase miles-per-gallon, but since it regulates the exhaust gases produced by the engine, this isn’t the most ecological option.

It means that if a car was fitted with a DPF as standard, its removal would mean an instant MOT fail.

Since some drivers remove the internals of the DPF but keep the housing in place, testers are also being asked to check for tampering. That means that if there is any sign that the DPF has been disassembled and then welded back together, the car will fail the test.

Testers are also asked to check whether or not brake discs are worn or corroded, while they must also ensure that they are properly attached to the wheel hubs too. Another example of a Minor fault is if a brake hose is slightly damaged. However, if it is excessively damaged or twisted, it’ll mean a Major fault – and will cause the car to fail.

There have been calls for the Government to simplify the way the MOT test is conducted, with RAC spokesperson Simon Williams saying: “The new system creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to whether faults are ‘Dangerous’, ‘Major’ or ‘Minor’. This will surely be open to interpretation which may lead to greater inconsistency from one test centre to another. Motorists may also struggle to understand the difference between ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Major’ failures. The current system ensures that any vehicle with a fault that doesn’t meet the MOT requirements is repaired appropriately before being allowed back on the road.”

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