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Inspecting bonnet catches

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Slightly open bonnet

We’ve recently been made aware of a third party blog which is causing some confusion around bonnet inspection requirements. So we thought we’d clarify what these checks involve and what should result in a refusal.

Checks on the condition of bonnet retaining devices varies depending on the type of devices fitted. On some older vehicles, retaining devices such as the strap or ‘R’ pin types will be on top of the bonnet. However, for most vehicles all the checks are carried out during the under the bonnet inspection.

Under the bonnet

It’s important to check the parts of the retaining device fitted to the underside of the bonnet, as well as the catch(es) on the slam panel. If either part is excessively deteriorated, ineffective or insecure, then it should be failed.

Retaining catches

Once the under bonnet checks are complete, close the bonnet in the normal way, then check it is safely secured by pulling up on its front edge. On bonnets with 2 retaining catches, the tester should attempt to lift the bonnet on each side of the centre to check the effectiveness of both catches. If a retaining device doesn’t hold the bonnet safely and securely once it’s closed, it should be rejected, even if it is one of a pair.

Secondary bonnet catches

Secondary bonnet catches are not retaining devices and aren’t included in the inspection. If you notice that a secondary catch is defective, it’s best practice to advise the person who presented the vehicle.

Finally, remember that these checks don’t apply to the few vehicles with a bonnet which doesn’t obscure the drivers view through the windscreen when opened.

You can find the details for bonnet checks in Section 8.4 of the inspection manual.

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  1. Comment by Jason Sutherland posted on

    I haverecently had to replace my bonnet.. at the moment it is held down with a bongy hook inside the front grill. It is held down securely though and can not flip will it pass mot test

  2. Comment by m aykes posted on

    what about bonnets that swivel on front edge,wont pop up on driving but could on emergencey stop

  3. Comment by Pete posted on

    As far as I, m concerned if it's fitted to serve a purpose the same as the main catch then it should be part of the test. If 1 fails then the secondary comes into play.

  4. Comment by alan posted on

    it could be failed as unsafe to other road users after all when it flies up over the window the driver is blind

  5. Comment by shaun posted on

    I agree , if the manufacturer fits a secondary catch, theres obviously a reason, why SHOULDNT it be tested???!!!

  6. Comment by the mechanic posted on

    Divided opinions so to make it clear we enforce what they tell you and you do not have a say in whether it's right or wrong
    It's not dvsa that are wrong it's the mot tester who does not adhere to follow simple instructions

  7. Comment by Nkaka posted on

    As usual pen pusher making the motoring public unsafe by the stroke of a pen. The secondary catch serves a purpose and should be included for refusal,if it is defective.

    • Replies to Nkaka>

      Comment by Paul posted on

      It doesnt need to be checked because if the primary catch works then whats the point if the secondary doesnt? The bonnet isnt going to come open if it locked into its home position

      • Replies to Paul>

        Comment by ed posted on

        If you've ever driven a car @ 30 mph and had the bonnet fly open and wrap down over the roof unable to see anything in front of you would understand the importance of a properly working secondary catch ive experienced this and can confirm its very dangerous, Primary catches do indeed fail but cause no problem because the secondary catch works.

  8. Comment by BRIAN posted on

    I agree with BILL

  9. Comment by l r craven posted on

    why has the manufacture put it there then, the mot is SUPPOSED to be about safety, with decisions
    like this it makes you think the people making the decisions, are not fit for purpose, or do we just blame EU PLONKERS, L R CRAVEN

  10. Comment by baz657 posted on

    When the official VSI makes a special point about secondary catches, as it does with later Clios, is there any wonder why there has been confusion. There has been loads of discussions on this and other confusing topics on several forums.

    The problem is that at the moment the Matters of Testing blog will only be seen by less than 5% of testers, at least until the new system comes in where there will then be links to latest news items. They need to get this out as a special notice but they're hoping that with the lead time required most VTS's will already be off the ATOS steam driven machinery before it could be sent out.

    "Secondary bonnet catches are not retaining devices and aren’t included in the inspection. If you notice that a secondary catch is defective, it’s best practice to advise the person who presented the vehicle."

    Yet on 9th March on the same Matters of Testing blog you told us to do fewer advisories! Which one is it?

  11. Comment by Al posted on

    So I have wrongly been failing Renault clio's For what this post is calling "secondary" catches

  12. Comment by bill posted on

    I understand that the main bonnet catch should fasten secure , but I see many with safety catch stuck open! this is there for a reason so I think it should be part of the test . Remember the Clio catch , this would have prevented the bonnet flying open even if the main catch was supposed to be fastened! My opinion only.