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MOT equipment update

By autotech-nath on October 3, 2022

Much has been said about MOT-connected equipment but what is the latest news? Rob Marshall liaises with leading suppliers to discover what is happening behind the scenes.

As with many plans, COVID caused many of us to have a rethink. While the DVSA’s intentions for MOT equipment connectivity have not been dumped, things appear to have gone relatively quiet. With this year’s extraordinary summer entering its final phases, many garages, members of the public (and car magazines) are looking at lighting as the evenings draw in.

Naturally, modern car headlights have evolved considerably within the last 20 years. While new light sources have appeared, notably gas-discharge HID ‘xenon’ and, more recently, LED, the lenses and reflectors have also changed. The use of clear headlamp covers, instead of patterned glass lenses, has made it harder for MOT Testers to identify an obvious dip pattern on a traditional headlight beam tester’s target. We should also consider increasing concerns from the public about dazzling modern lights.

Connected Headlight Beam Testers are still some way off, although specifications changes for modern HID and LED lamps are close to being finalised.

ISN Garage Assist, a leading European supplier of test equipment, reports that this situation has been of increasing concern to the automotive aftermarket. Currently, the Garage Equipment Association (GEA) is leading a consultation that is working on a solution. This includes establishing a new Headlight Beam Tester (HBT ) specification that will work successfully with these latest technology headlamps.

While HBTs are included on the DVSA’s list of connected equipment, the means by which they work dictates that existing equipment would need to be replaced, rather than updated. The introductory date, therefore, has had to be postponed, until a new specification is agreed. Chris Pleass, a registered member of the GEA MOT Working Group, reveals that a new specification is close to being finalised and, thereafter, a roll-out time frame will be announced soon.

For now, therefore, there are no current HBTs on the market that meet these upcoming specifications. ISN Garage Assist reports that, as soon as the new specifications are confirmed, it will bring its new HBT to market, once they have been approved. Tecalemit UK also reassures garages that DVSA approvals for its three HBT model ranges remain valid. For now, sit tight and watch this space.

The ISN Garage Assist MOT Bay management service

ISN Garage Assist reports that MOT Test equipment, which has been maintained properly, should not need replacing after only five years have elapsed. It is, after all, a very long-term investment. The company underscores the value of its service coordination software, which reduces garage time spent on managing MOT bay compliance. It also permits viewing and reprinting certificates on-demand and checks the calibration status. Garages can also view their MOT equipment’s service history, prior work reports and future maintenance schedules. However, ISN Garage Assist service coordinators help further, by keeping track of calibration due dates and will call garages to schedule a visit. Advantages of this include preventing MOT bay downtime, while keeping the equipment fully compliant.

Aside from identifying any potential problems, regular service visits also include discussions about medium-term hardware replacements. ISN Garage Assist reports that its MOT specialists are up-to-date with all the regulations and technological developments, so its aftermarket garage customers will be kept informed of any necessary investment in new equipment. Where available, such new equipment is DVSA Connectivity Approved.

Insight from LKQ Euro Car Parts…

Peak MOT season – now in September thanks to the deferrals caused by the pandemic – is fast approaching, which means it’s time for garage owners to ensure that their equipment and service offering are up to scratch

Training

Each year, testing standards undergo vital changes that are put in place to aid safety and drive quality. If technicians aren’t up to date, they might overlook key details that could put both their customers and other drivers at risk.

To ensure testers are prepared and able to pass their assessment first time, LKQ Euro Car Parts offers IMI-approved MOT training. Technicians can complete both full annual CPD and routine refresher courses via the LKQ Academy, with classroom-based and online training programmes to cater for different learning preferences and styles.

Staying up to date with CPD training is about more than just ensuring that technicians are legally permitted to carry out tests. It also opens up opportunities to generate additional revenue.

If a fault or defect is identified during the MOT, explaining to customers why they would benefit from a particular service or part replacement is an effective way to generate additional business and give them confidence that the job is being done properly.

Equipment

LKQ Euro Car Parts supplies equipment from all of the leading MOT manufacturers, including Tecalemit, Liftmaster, Crypton, Bradbury, Hofmann Megaplan and John Bean. Its comprehensive range includes many accessories, such as electronic brake testers and sensors, with bespoke packages to suit the unique needs of every garage.

When it comes to MOT bays – the critical starting point for garages wanting to offer such services – one of the most cost- effective investments is an automated test lane (ATL).

These were first launched in 2005, and reduced the number of workshop operatives needed to conduct an MOT service to just one. Return on investment is high – and, opting for an ATL means garages are effectively future-proofing their MOT operation.

ATLs come fitted with connectivity software, meaning that all built-in testers and analysers can be easily upgraded so that they are always compliant with the latest testing standards. This is especially important as new technologies like ADAS continue to enter the market at pace, all with their own minimum operating standards.

To support garages with their investment, LKQ Euro Car Parts offers a variety of leasing options, allowing workshops to pay as they earn. For an MOT bay, the average five-year leasing payment works out at an equivalent of three tests per week – an easily achievable figure – making MOT servicing accessible to every garage.

For more information, visit www.omnipart.eurocarparts.com

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