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How do I test a binding brake?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Hot tips, Your questions answered

car wheel on roller brake tester machine

Back in August 2014, we limited the options for ‘item not tested’ on MOT comp to include only the mandatory measured items, eg brake performance, headlamp aim and emissions.

Since then, testers have been asking us what to do when they can’t test other items. This includes a binding brake preventing a proper examination of the wheel bearing.

In this case, there are two possible outcomes.

  1. If during a roller or plate brake test there is significant brake effort recorded even though the brake is not applied, the vehicle should fail for the binding brake. The condition of the wheel bearing can then be checked on retest.
  1. If the brake bind is not sufficient to justify a fail, then an advisory should be issued for the binding brake. It is not necessary to advise that the wheel bearing could not be tested.

So if ‘item not tested’ was still available and selected, it would’ve failed for the wheel bearing not being tested, even though no defect with the wheel bearing was identified.

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  1. Comment by David vann posted on

    What about 4 x 4 with brake binding, can find no RFR

    • Replies to David vann>

      Comment by Matters of Testing posted on

      Hi David,

      Brake bind is assessed during either the Roller Brake Test (RBT) or Plate Brake Test (PBT). If the vehicle is a 4 x 4 assuming this is permanent 4 x 4 the RBT test will not be suitable so it may be tested using the PBT.

      The appropriate failure for bind is found at section 3.7 for RBT it is RfR 1 and PBT it is RfR 2a.

      If the brake efficiency is assessed using a decelerometer no assessment of bind is made.

      Kind regards,

      • Replies to Matters of Testing>

        Comment by Tony posted on

        So the fact that you simply cannot turn the wheel when it is jacked up, and your experience tells you that the brake is binding, Blindingly obvious, it does not fail because you cannot test it in the rollers.

        • Replies to Tony>

          Comment by Tony S posted on

          Why is that we never get an answer to questions like this!!

        • Replies to Tony>

          Comment by Tony S posted on

          Why is it that we never get an answer to questions like this!!

  2. Comment by abbas posted on

    Hi very true computer progrmer should only be writing not suggesting they should leave it to NT to decide which method is safe to test .

  3. Comment by David baker posted on

    I would like to comment on the section about undertrays and engine covers.
    Like many testors have mentioned it does cover our back sides and the story of a Peugeot 205 with brake pipes the testor failed then the ministry said he was being heavy in his approach and the pipe failed three weeks later!!!
    What happened to the support?
    If we do our jobs correctly we still can't win!!
    And on refresher courses all I have heard is pass and advise.
    I will continue to advise in the future unless it's in writing from dvsa that I personally will not have a disciplinary in if I leave engine covers etc of the sheet.

  4. Comment by Paul posted on

    I was always led to belive by VOSA that the item not tested section was there but never meant for use by NT's anyway.

    • Replies to Paul>

      Comment by MEL. posted on

      Thats what Ive been told as well.

  5. Comment by Peter Haile posted on

    As item 2 indicates to advise on a slightly binding brake. Please can anyone let me know how to do this as the only option for binding brake is failure and there is no advise option. Or are we supposed to put a manual advise on this?

  6. Comment by Steve harris posted on

    Or just simply put a manual advisory stating wheel bearing not checked because of brake bind and get a receptionist with some vehicle knowledge who could advise customer of possibilities

    • Replies to Steve harris>

      Comment by andy posted on

      If a brake is slightly binding I always test drive to listen if there is any wheel bearing noise after all a road test can be part of the mot test

    • Replies to Steve harris>

      Comment by Bob posted on

      If a brake is binding there would be no way to check the bearing for roughness common sense it would be checked on a retest.

  7. Comment by John posted on

    Thats a good idea then we could advise it all not pested but here is the pass cert

  8. Comment by MEL. posted on

    It may not be necessary to advise on wheel bearing not checked but it makes it easier to deal with the customer who complains that a noisy bearing should have been found on the first test. Cover your back, advise.

  9. Comment by A I Paull posted on

    How hard is it to add to the section where you fail a brake for binding that testing of the wheel bearing at the time of test was not available. Comman sense, unfortunately dosen't apply here. Maybe they should employee mot testers to write these guild lines and not computer programmers. Comman sense and government departments are 2 things that just don't go together.
    Look at shock absorbers, no bounce test, look for fluid leak only, hmmmm, most cars now have gas shocks. yet another issue for discussion.

  10. Comment by MR KEVIN DOBBINS posted on

    why can we not have the item not tested back in place, as i am sure and many other testers thought was a good method.

  11. Comment by Dave posted on

    You say in (2) above that if the brake is binding but not enough to fail, then you should NOT advise on wheel bearing not checked. I would have thought that this is one situation where the advisory can protect a NT by recording the fact that the bearing could not be properly tested because of the binding brake.

    • Replies to Dave>

      Comment by Bob posted on

      If the brake is not binding enough to fail then surely you can rotate the wheel and check the bearing

  12. Comment by c.georgiou posted on

    discretion to loyal customer over cost should help solve this issue,no one is forcing you to charge?

    • Replies to c.georgiou>

      Comment by R Thomas posted on

      c.georgiou, discretion to loyal customer over cost should help solve this issue,no one is forcing you to charge?= so you are going to carry out a full test to this loyal customer that did not have you carry out the brake repair and is clearly an amiture that failed to check the wheel bearing after brake rectification work?

    • Replies to c.georgiou>

      Comment by robb posted on

      the Repairer should advise wether wheel bearing is noisey or rough in operation once bind on brake has been fixed ...and any additional remedial work required fixed before retest is booked no wasted retests ,,

    • Replies to c.georgiou>

      Comment by Wayne Swansea posted on

      That's fine. But the loss of a slot and another 40 mins for an unnecessary full test is the issue here.

  13. Comment by P GOODSPEED posted on


  14. Comment by Colin mulcahy posted on

    The above is still confusing and problematic. If a wheel cannot be rotated freely to assess the condition of the say front wheel bearing, we are not even to write an advisory that we cannot asses the condition of the wheel bearing but have detected a slight binding But on the roller brake tester the bind show is insignificant. Then we being put in a position of allowing a vehicle on the road with a possible faulty wheel bearing!
    I have on many occasions seen horrendous examples of wheel bearings in dangerous conditions whereby the driver has become noise accustomed!
    If we can't rotate a wheel to determine wheel bearing condition then we should be able to advise the said same fact! otherwise we are passing a vehicle for mot and not telling the customer we have not tested their front wheel bearing? Is that not holding information back from them?

  15. Comment by Les Nicol posted on

    So if the car comes back for retest and the fails because the wheel bearing is defective, The customer has to pay for another test as they are only entitled to one retest. Result one lost customer

    • Replies to Les Nicol>

      Comment by Bob posted on

      Then they should have had the car repaired at the same test centre