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MOT services we're working on: 10 September 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Changes to the MOT test, MOT testing service, News and updates

Man in front of MOT testing machine

Since my last update, the team have been really busy working on the feedback you’ve given us, following the changes that were made to the MOT in May 2018.

As always, your feedback is really useful in helping us identify where there might be issues and how we can make the service even better for you.

Improving security

In my last blog post, I let you know that we’re looking to improve the way security cards work, to make the system more secure and easier to use.

This includes:

  • making our password policy stronger
  • making our recovery security question and answers harder to guess
  • reducing the number of times you’ll need to enter your security card PIN each day
  • increasing our proactive monitoring of suspicious activities, to prevent fraudulent use of the security cards
  • switching off the ability for your browser to autofill your password and user ID

Making your passwords stronger

To begin with, we’re looking at how we can make sure the passwords you’re choosing are stronger by banning very common and easy to guess passwords. We’ll be introducing a maximum of 7 days that you can be without a card and log in with security questions. After 7 days, you will need to use your security card. We’re also be preventing the use of the same answer for both security questions.

Another thing we're doing is looking into ways we can securely reduce the number of times you need to enter your PIN every day, as we know this can be very time-consuming.

We’re working on a solution so that you will only need to log in with your security card once a day. The system will then remember your details, so you won’t need to re-enter your PIN unless something like your browser or device has changed since you first logged in.

We’re aiming to make most the changes live by 3 and 4 October, and we’ll let you know more soon.

Garage risk ratings

Something else we’ve been working on recently is garage risk ratings. I explained more about what we’re improving and why in my last update. We’ve nearly completed this work now, and we’ve been busy training our staff on how to carry out the new risk ratings in the past few months.

So, from later in the autumn if you have a site assessment, the way it’s carried out will be different.

How the new assessment will work

We’ll be focusing more on compliance and the test itself so our examiners will be carrying out more checks on recently tested vehicles. We’ll also be doing a shorter check on systems and processes in the garage, which will be called a site review.

The purpose of the site review is to ensure the vehicle testing station is following principles that promote good quality testing, we will focus on 4 areas:

  • basic compliance
  • management control and quality control
  • premises and equipment
  • people's training and their skills

Each area will be then marked as either:

  • satisfactory
  • improvement needed
  • unsatisfactory

The site review outcome will combine the result of the vehicle re-inspection (if carried out), previous disciplinary history of the testers and the authorised examiner and data captured from the testing service. This will then be displayed on the MOT testing service as a rating of red, amber or green.

You’ll be able to view the outcome of the site review of the testing service and see the areas where improvement might be needed.

Risk ratings for testers

As part of this work, we’re also looking at risk rating testers, using data from the testing service and disciplinary history. Testers will be able to see their rating in their profile. The testers rating is personal to them and will not be displayed to site managers or authorised examiner (AE). However, some AEs may choose to ask prospective employees to share it.

We’ll let you know more about the launch of this soon. As part of this, we’ll be creating a short guide to replace the current guide to risk reduction – which will focus on the things that are expected of a well-run MOT garage.

Making the manual clearer

Something you let us know in the comments, was that the wording of some defects wasn’t as clear as it could be. To help make it easier for you to identify the defects while you're testing, and make it clearer to the public, we’re making minor changes to some of the wording in the manual.

For example, previously, when testing the horn on a vehicle, you would need to choose the reason why it failed. We’ve now consolidated the reasons to make it clearer. So you’ll only need to choose the option that the ‘horn no longer meets requirements’.

We’ve made some of the manual clearer on how to check different things are working properly. Something you gave us a lot of feedback on was brake fluid. We’ve now provided you with clearer instructions on how to do this during a test.

We’ve also made it clearer which vehicles need the engine malfunction indicator lamp testing – by adding ‘from’ dates for different types of vehicles.

More defect descriptions

Over the past 4 months, you’ve given us lots of really great feedback on the new test, including the new categories.

We’ve taken this into consideration and from 13 September 2018, we’ll be introducing some more defect descriptions. These include:

  • corroded brake hose ferrules including flexible brake hose excessively damaged, deteriorated, chafed, twisted or stretched
  • tyre valves seriously damaged or misaligned
  • headlamp alignment
  • shock absorbers bushes that excessively worn
  • suspension arms, rods, linkage that have ‘excessive wear or free play in suspension component’
  • transmissions for motorcycles - excessively tight transmission belt or chain

This won’t be a significant change to the test and should include most of the feedback you’ve given us since the changes in May.

I hope the changes we’ve made will make it quicker and easier for you during testing. If you have any more questions please let me know in the comments below, and we’ll try and get back to you.

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  1. Comment by Alan P posted on

    Been asked to test a fully modified rally car in the near future. Any chance of supplying a full list of what can be altered ie emissions, noise, abs, tcs, mil lights etc, as the manual only seems to mention brake servo, power steering and air bags. Or should I just guess?

    • Replies to Alan P>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Alan
      There is no definitive list, but rally cars are likely to have modifications to the:
      • body and structure
      • braking system, including servo, ABS, ESC
      • steering
      • suspension
      • SRS
      • seats
      • exhaust
      • tyres, wheels and TPMS

      But this is not a definitive list. All modified items must comply with the test standard in respect of security, condition, function, for example.

      There is no leeway on emissions limits for rally cars.

    • Replies to Alan P>

      Comment by myke posted on

      Hi Alan take a look at :- Matters of Testing > Hot Tips > When is a modified vehicle a rally car? for more info.

      • Replies to myke>

        Comment by Alan P posted on

        thanks for the reply myke, wasn't questioning what a rally car is - it was a list of modifications it could have and still pass an mot. Cheers

  2. Comment by Harry posted on

    My Premier Diesel smoke meter, as well as many other makes. Will also not accept a higher plate value reading than the default limit.
    The upgrade to my machine was £850.00, for that money I would of expected it to work.
    What I would like to know is, who got it wrong?
    Have all the machine manufactures got the upgrade wrong or was this the information supplied to them?

  3. Comment by Derek posted on

    The emissions standards have changed again within the manual. They now detail as below. This change is quite different. I am disappointed you change the manual without some notification or explanation. Or perhaps it's an error?

    For vehicles first used between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2013, the smoke limit will be:
    the level specified on the manufacturer's plate if available

    Some Mercedes show 3.2 on the manufactures plate within this date criteria. Does this now mean that I need to use 3.2 since you have changed the manual wording?

    I am now confused!

  4. Comment by paul posted on

    Trying to find (relative movement between components which should be fixed (steering linkage component) 2.1.3 /a/1 major in manual but cant find when entering results Anyone help ?

    • Replies to paul>

      Comment by Paul posted on

      Type 2.1.3 (a) (i) into the search box & you get seven RfR's for..
      A steering linkage component with: relative movement between components which should be fixed

  5. Comment by Mike posted on

    Before this last change to the computer system I cant remember using the search for RFRs now I seem to be using it regularly, it must have been tech wizards who put the items in categories this time and not people who know about the MOT test

  6. Comment by Andy Bunting posted on

    Hi why is a a low brake pad lining only an advisory, surly a minor should be a better option. Seeing that many owners take advisory’s with a pinch of salt.

  7. Comment by Gil posted on

    You cannot fail a motorcycle if fitted with a drive belt for being tight, a chain you can fail.

  8. Comment by mercedes posted on

    my crypton tester show 60 degrees for the diesel test not 80 i think your machine is wrong get it checked its always worth a phone call to the machine company just too check

  9. Comment by Elmucho ding dong posted on

    Why do we have to rev diesels for ages to get oil temp to 80c if we know it will pass at 60c, surely this will reduce alot of emissions.

    • Replies to Elmucho ding dong>

      Comment by Tony S posted on

      Fast Pass is 60 degrees, how do you know it will pass at 60 !?

      • Replies to Tony S>

        Comment by Elmucho ding dong posted on

        What im saying tony, is if at the end of the test we come to do the emmisions and the oil temp is above 60c, but below 80c. If its not smokey and looks like its going to pass, why should we have to sit there for a few minutes and rev the car to get oil to 80c to do emmisions (causing lots of pollution in the process). If we do it below 80c and it fails, then yeah, rev it up get it to 80c and try again.

        • Replies to Elmucho ding dong>

          Comment by Tony S posted on

          You don,t have to get it to 80 as fast pass is 60 degrees.
          Only have to get it to 80 if it fails.
          Hope that helps.

  10. Comment by Mike Williams posted on

    Citroen Belingo on a 2009 plate, Diesel Emission test, Default figure 1.5, manufactures plate 1.8. DSMwill not accept 1.8.
    Note that the words " whichever is lower" has been removed for vehicles after 2008 and 2014.

    • Replies to Mike Williams>

      Comment by craig posted on

      Phoned dvsa and told them machine would not accept a higher figure , they told me to contact Techalemit as might be a software error , Techalemit told me to use pre 2008 setting and adjust figure that way

  11. Comment by Alan P posted on

    One further question on heat shields - is it only fuel tank heat shields we are checking as in section 6.1.3 " fuel system" as there is no check for them in section 6.1.2 "exhaust system" therefore other heat shields missing away from the fuel tank ie catalytic converter shields etc are none testable?

    • Replies to Alan P>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Alan
      Heat shields are in Section 6.1.3 of the manual, which relates to fuel system. The failure states “Fire risk due to fuel tank shield or exhaust shield missing where fitted as original equipment”. Therefore any missing exhaust shield is included in this section where it results in a fire risk due to the impact on the fuel system, e.g. it is preventing excessive heat reaching a fuel pipe.

  12. Comment by Alan P posted on

    Regarding fuel tank / exhaust heat shield, if it was originally fitted but removed or missing, is this a definite failure or only a failure if "you" the tester thinks there is a fire risk

    • Replies to Alan P>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Alan

      Its not a definitive fail if missing, only if the tester thinks there is a fire risk, as follows:
      e. Fire risk due to fuel tank shield or exhaust shield missing where fitted as original equipment

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by mark posted on

        so why isnt there an advise or minor if the heat shield is missing and the tester thinks its ok

  13. Comment by mark posted on

    where do sign on the cert its not printing space anymore

    • Replies to mark>

      Comment by ian posted on

      you needto set the page up on your computer.

  14. Comment by BaldRick posted on

    Are left-hand dipped beam patterns acceptable ? Seems my only option is to manually advise that the kick-up is to the wrong side .

    • Replies to BaldRick>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on


      This is a complicated area. The main criteria is whether the headlamp is aimed so it's likely to cause dazzle.

      Therefore, in the case of a headlamp intended for driving on the right side of the road, the tester should assess:
      • whether any white light is showing in the zone formed by the 0% vertical and 0.5% horizontal lines
      • whether any beam image 'kick up' is visible on the screen

      If the above criteria is not met, then the headlamp fails for 4.1.2.a ‘The aim of a headlamp is not within limits laid down in the requirements.’
      If the above criteria is met, the tester should then consider whether the headlamp has been adjusted so far to the right that the kick-up would obviously be likely to dazzle other road users. If this is the case, the headlamp should be rejected for 4.1.2.c ‘Beam image obviously incorrect’

      It would not be correct to simply fail for ‘Beam image obviously incorrect’ as some European type headlamps have been type approved with a small kick-up so that it is suitable for either rule of the road if it is adjusted accordingly.

  15. Comment by Graham posted on

    Can we have the 50% rule back for sidelights please!! Ive asked before but no one has got back to me?

    • Replies to Graham>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Graham
      We’re constantly reviewing failure items and are considering introducing new/revised defect descriptions in the future.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by martin posted on

        Just most of the old ones back with some of the new ones that make sense would do nicely .

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Graham posted on

        If i have a corsa in, which has 3 sidelights on each side at the rear. If one out of 3 is not working on either side do i pass or fail??

        • Replies to Graham>

          Comment by dave posted on

          pass and advise 1 of 3 not working is less than 50% not working, if 2 of 3 not working then its a fail, but some corsa use a single filament bulb for side light and stop lamp so it may pass as position lamp as 2 are working but the stop lamp that side may not be

          • Replies to dave>

            Comment by Graham posted on

            Thing is tho dave they have removed the 50% rule on sidelights and im asking for them to put it back on. Its applies to most of the other lights so why not sidelights. After consulting the manual a few timnes i think the correct answer is it only needs 1 each side, so if 2/3 arnt working on one sid then i would still have to pass as the 1 mandatory one is working? Correct me if i am wrong dvsa?

  16. Comment by Eddie posted on

    Can a retest be carried out in the workshop but not on the mot ramp if you are able to inspect all fails without injury or any unsafe working practice

    • Replies to Eddie>

      Comment by Graham posted on

      In the mot bay, yes. You dont have to put on mot ramp if you dont need to, eg lights , wipers. But not on another workshop ramp

  17. Comment by Mike Williams posted on

    TPMS warning lamp, how do we know if the system is malfunctioning, and not simply one of the tyre pressures is low. Just done a test on a car with the TPMS lamp on, to see what is wrong I checked the tyre pressures and set them all to 33 psi. TPMS Lamp still on. The dash menu show three tyres at 33 psi and one at 26 psi. Checked that tyre again, pressure was 33 psi. Therefore indicating a problem with the system (TPMS sender not working correctly on that tyre) checking the tyre pressures is not part of the MOT but to eliminate malfunction or inoperative have to check.

    • Replies to Mike Williams>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Mike

      The inspection manual does inform the users the TPMS system may operate in many ways. So you may need to refer to the operating instructions for the vehicle so you can better understand if the system is malfunctioning.

      From the checks carried out it is now clear (assuming the tyre in pressure gauge was not defective) the system had(s) a malfunction which is a minor deficiency under h(i).

      You don't necessarily need to go to these lengths to confirm malfunction, but should know how to use the system. Where there is doubt that the system is malfunctioning then the benefit of that doubt must be given and the deficiency should not be used.

  18. Comment by harry posted on

    Are MOT pre checks Mandatory or just best practice ?

  19. Comment by ricky aldridge posted on

    Brake lining(s) wear indicator illuminated should this still be a fail...if im testing a car and going to fail on this item i can, but if I look in the manual is not there . is this a error?

    • Replies to ricky aldridge>

      Comment by 1802gbr posted on

      its one of many errors that have been there since the draft of the manual and no doubt many people have notified dvsa but nowt been done. You can still find it as a rfr in brakes-mechanical components-brake pads /linings-then you will find warning lamp illuminated

  20. Comment by Glen posted on

    Pass it, as there is only a requirement for one to be working on each side.

    • Replies to Glen>

      Comment by Mike Williams posted on

      Glen, I asked the same question and here is the DVSA answer:
      Simon (DVSA)
      posted on
      on 14 September 2018
      Hi Mike
      Brake pad wear indicators illuminated has been removed, if pad warning indicators are illuminated they should not be failed under the linings rfr.
      If the wear indicator is illuminated you should not take this that the pads are worn to that extent and a fault is not present within that electrical system. ie wire has earthed

  21. Comment by Graham posted on

    Had a 2015 van in today, both the fog light and the reverse light were missing. The only fail i could find is inoperative, its not inoperative if its not there, its missing. I failed the van anyway on inoperative, but if like dvsa examiners, you follow the manual to the word this would be incorrect. Can you please look through light section and add fails for missing to them all please

  22. Comment by Neil posted on

    seems to me you are more concerned with password security than helping us testers by sorting out our concerns. I have not seen one complaint from testers about passwords but you are prioritising this.

  23. Comment by Stephen Ball posted on

    Please tell me, why are tyres only an advisory and not a minimum . I know which I'D prefer.

  24. Comment by con posted on

    can we have a reason for rejection back for park brake low effort /obviously not working correctly .
    the current fail for no effort is not good enough

  25. Comment by mark mitchell posted on

    brake pipes not clipped correctly is know a minor when it was a fail for years we need a list off these changes too keep up our we could land ourselves in trouble some help here is needed

  26. Comment by Richard B posted on

    The reverse light defect seems to have gone back to Minor from Major in the manual ??? ( it was minor in the draft) the reporting system still has it as a Major , somebody needs to check the manual after updates

    • Replies to Richard B>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Richard
      This item has been fixed and is due to be released in the next few days.

  27. Comment by steven posted on

    I think that the new diesel limits (the one with in the in box ) are way to hard for older cars ,where i live there,s a lot older diesels, and some people can't afford to repair, of buy a new car it fails because of new limit's, it's just over the top,what was wrong with the old limits

  28. Comment by Tom posted on

    I use the search box to find several advisory items that are not on the main listings ; ie
    “Service Brake efficiency only just met”
    The problem is the search doesn’t help if you want to find that item again as it gives no indication of where you would normally find it.

  29. Comment by martin posted on

    If a halogen lamp is fitted with an HID kit it fails as "light source and lamp not compatible"
    As Halogen lamps are designed only to work correctly with Halogen bulbs where does a Halogen lamp fitted with an LED bulb stand as source and lamp are incompatible ?
    Is it the same as pre 20th May, provided there is a correct projected image pass and advise

    • Replies to martin>

      Comment by Graham posted on

      Had one of these the other day, led bulb with little pack, giving off a bad image. Its not in the manual so cant fail, but you would fail on headlamp aim rules if its not within limits. Save the drama, i just removed both and put standard bulbs in.

    • Replies to martin>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Martin

      Apologies for the delay in replying but we needed to check some information out before coming back to you.

      An LED bulb fitted to a halogen headlamp should be rejected for 4.1.4 (c) ‘Light source and lamp not compatible’, even if the headlamp aim is within limits laid down in the requirements.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by martin posted on

        Thank you for answering that question Julia it clears it up nicely.

  30. Comment by Russ posted on

    Neil, new site assessment looks better and less tick box sections, which will be better for us and DVSA staff. Glad to see that it's a re-inspection of a vehicle(possibly) rather than observed tests again, as the observed tests were really just watching procedure and seemed a waste of time to me for expierenced testers. Having the option to re-test a recently tested vehicle is a good thing in my opinion and all in all the new assessment looks a lot better.

  31. Comment by Adrian at Coastal. posted on

    why have brake fluid contamination as a rfr at all. you say if you can see it is contaminated, the fluid may look very black but the only way you can tell if it is contaminated is by testing it which we are not allowed to do!.

  32. Comment by Paul posted on

    Hello everyone,
    2007 Volkswagen Eos. ESP warning light does not illuminate when ignition switched on.
    Pressing the switch to disable/enable the ESP also has no effect. I'm pretty sure someone has "nobbled" the warning light!
    Would this fail due to the switch not operating as intended? Any thoughts appreciated

    • Replies to Paul>

      Comment by Paul posted on

      An ESP warning light not illuminating when the ignition is switched on in regards to an MOT is subjective regarding the RfR the tester could fail RfR Electronic stability control switch not functioning correctly 7.12 (d) or could advise Electronic stability control warning lamp not working..

      20 April 2018 Matters of testing blog... we'll still have advisories. These are very similar to minor defects but rather than a component already being defective, they indicate a component will become defective soon ..

      so Electronic stability control warning lamp not working can not 'indicate a component will become defective soon'

      Would it be correct to ignore the above advise & fail using RfR 7.12(c) Other ESC component missing or damaged Major, is this the one to use?

  33. Comment by Alan posted on

    Glad it's not just me finding all these constant 'tweaks' confusing .
    Can anyone confirm the new wording on MIL pass/fail criteria?
    If I have a diesel car post 1/7/2008 with a MIL indicating a fault is a fail.
    A car pre 1/7/2008 with a MIL indicating a fault is a pass/advise and so on with the petrol MIL new wording.??? Or perhaps I have misunderstood ?

  34. Comment by Graham posted on

    What about the 50% rule being applied to sidelights and end outline marker lights. At the moment if there are 3 sidelights each side (corsa) and one isnt working, do i pass or fail?

    • Replies to Graham>

      Comment by Jack Perry posted on

      First, there’s no such thing as a side light at the rear of a vehicle, they’re tail lights!
      If 1 doesn’t work (typically the top 1 which is also a stop lamp) in a Corsa pass and advice and obviously fail the stop lamp.
      Again advice either of the other 2 if 1 of them doesn’t work. If any 2 don’t work fail it!