PEUGEOT BOXER 1.9Ltr Diesel Engine Page 17


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1. The Boxer Diesel MOT.

The Boxer Diesel MOT

From the previous pages the DIY man could probably know what to look for in preparation for the MOT. Here I have prepared some ideas for the MOT. At the end you will find a check sheet which might help. If anyone finds any errors please let me know so I can correct them!

Many three year old diesel vehicles may need attention from their local garage to get through the MOT. It's possible many diesel owners are failing to realise how much is required to keep the engine and body up to MOT standards compared with the petrol engined vehicle.

Often diesels need professional attention to ensure they run correctly. Many owners do not realise that diesels need this special care.

Often a testing station is not able to take in a Motorhome, as in my case. Even though the Motorhome receives a car type MOT. He was unable to lift the ramp high enough so he could work underneath. This meant taking it to a commercial garage.

In a previous Motorhome magazine, a reader had mentioned that Post Office garages, who maintain Post office vehicles, are prepared to take in Motorhomes for testing. I ahve found them to be very professional in the standard of repair. This standard will have a cost!

Part of the test is the emission check. Always worse than the petrol engine. This requires checks of the smoke emissions from the exhaust, using high revs. If the garage suspects the vehicle is poorly maintained then it's possible the test will not be carried out. This is because the high revs could destroy a vehicles Cam belt if it hasn't been changed before it's recognised service period.

Tip: Run your vehicle in low gears before arrival at the testing station. This will blow out debris from the exhaust system which can cause an emission failure.

On a Motorhome this could be less than the mileage instructed on the handbook. Usually the hand book will indicate mileage or a time period. Even the time period should be reduced in the case of a Motorhome as often they spend a lot of time being idle. It is this idleness which causes a faster deterioration of the Cam belt.

If you have doubts on the life of the Cam belt have it changed before the MoT with a reputable garage.

Most motorists hate the MOT.  While the ordinary driver might think there's not much he can do before the MOT. It is not something to dread, but often it is the opportunity to catch things before they get out of hand. Which usually means being cheaper too.

As the MOT is an visual external examination it is the chance to do your own checking. See my list later on in this page and in my previous pages.

The MOT is good value for money. You have an expert vehicle mechanic with many years experience, who will check out the vehicle. This vehicle Technician, as they like to called these days, has to attend regular courses to ensure he is up to standard required of the Vehicle inspectorate. In fact because of the skills required and the dedication from the individual, it is now becoming an older mans work. These guys are retiring in a few years and it is expected there will be a shortage of skilled Technicians to do the work.

While out in Portugal last year we parked alongside a Government MoT centre, due to shortage of skilled Technicians in the town, the queue of vehicles was something to be seen! It is similar to Northern Ireland where the MoT's are done by Government workshops. A recent report has suggested it should be done similar to the Mainland as these service centres can't cope.

Any dodgy tests these days and the miscreant soon gets prosecuted and looses his licence to do further tests. As there is a lot of investment in test equipment to carry out this work, they are less likely to furtherance the loss of their license.

The professional examination will not only show up any defects but the tester will point out any defects that could be a problem in the near future.

Over the years the test has expanded to include many other features for safety reasons. The safety belt being one of them, and any rusting close to the belt retainer securing bolts can be a failure.

The official fee for the MOT is £53.75, £5 goes to the Government Inspectorate department for the test certificate. In 2009 has increased to £53.

It is not generally known that you are only entitled to one free test if you fail, and it must be returned the same day! Or longer if it is left at the garage for the failed work to be repaired.

The same day free test only covers:

  1. ABS warning.Bootlid.

  2. Brake pedal rubbers.
  3. Direction indicators and hazard warning.
  4. Doors, dropsides, loading doors, 
  5. Mirrors.
  6. rear reflectors.
  7. Registration plates.
  8. Seat Belts.
  9. Seats.
  10. Sharp edges.
  11. Steering wheel.
  12. Tailboard.
  13. Tailgate.
  14. VIN Number plate.
  15. Horn.
  16. Headlamp beam aim.
  17. Lamps all around.
  18. Exhaust emissions.
  19. Fuel filler cap.
  20. Wheels and tyres.
  21. Windscreen wipers.
  22. Windscreen washers.

      Often many garages will give a free test if you take it back to the same garage within a few days. This still requires a full test.

The MoT

Before reaching the MoT station, take the vehicle for good run up the Motorway to warm it up, about half an hour. Run the engine in second gear for awhile to blast out and clear most of the diesel debris, which will cause emission problems  from the exhaust silencer boxes.  Most of us nurse our vehicles but these vans were built for the young driver who drive at maximum speed on motorways.

The smoke test involves taking the engine to maximum revs a number of times. If in poor condition this could break the cam belt. This type of test is not now used in 2009, as a computer analysis is used instead.

It is not generally known but the vehicle is tested to the standards when the vehicle came out of the factory, not what is expected of todays standard. This point is important as a lot of younger Technicians are not aware of this, and a lot of Motorhomes are of the older variety.

As the test is basically visual you can do a lot for yourself to ensure the vehicle passes the test.

One of the first checks one can do, before the test, would be to walk around the vehicle. Check for sharp edges. Now is the time to repair that cracked plastic around the mudguards.  Any of these could fail it. My test showed up a reapeater lamp on the side panel was defective. The tester allowed me to change it while he checked other items!

Have a look at the above, first part of this page, 'Free test covers' and make them your checks.

Ensure the seat belt webbing looks good and it retracts into it's holder easily. Does it buckle in correctly and holds?

When out in the rain last, were the wipers smearing? Another failure.

Turn on the lights, headlights, main and dipped. How often have you seen vehicles with only one headlamp. Don't be one of them.

Check the rear lights cluster. Get someone to press the brake pedal. One of mine was not working. The Technician allowed me to take off the lamp cover and clean the white film from around the lamp base which stopped it making proper contact.

Check the rear license number plate lamp. This is often missed.

Check the rear fog off side lamp. If you have two it's just the off side that's required.

Check the indicators are they all working. Front and rear.

If you have repeater lamps on the side of the body make sure these are working.

Check the tyres all around, any tyres that have been too long on the vehicle could have cracks. A sure failure. The tyre cracks fail more on Motorhomes than tread wear. How are the rims, ragged rims through pavement knocks, could fail.

Check the brakes. I always drag the brakes, pressing the foot brake with one foot on the throttle, when I do my fortnightly drive during the winter, to ensure the rust does not cause score marks and get too deeply engrained, on the front brake discs.

Check the exhaust pipes and silencers. Any blowing or rust cracks could fail.

Checking the previous pages, don't forget the gaiters on the drive shafts on the front wheels.

While there check the dual brake drive pipes to the wheels.   

Have a look at the fuel filler cap, a perished seal around the cap is a fail!

Don't forget the spare wheel, ensure it has the correct air pressure.

Arriving at the testing station the Technician will check the vehicle details and paper work. No VIN plate or what could be a changed plate could mean no test.

Security notes; A changed plate could be stolen vehicle. Changing the filler cap could be a good idea, as a recent report indicated that the 'Low life' are are stealing the fuel caps, matching a key to them and then returning to steal the vehicle!



My Own Check List for Vehicle MOT

Visual Checks:

1. Brake pedal rubbers.

2. Check the brakes.

3. Check Direction indicators and hazard warning lights. Front and rear.

4. Check the orange repeater lamps on the side panels.

5. Doors,

6. Mirrors.

7. Registration license plates front & rear.

8. Steering wheel for play.

9. Check and make a note of vehicle VIN Number plate.

10. Horn function.

11. Exhaust emissions. [Cannot be checked, but ensure the engine is hot]

12. Fuel filler cap, ensure sealer is not perished.

13. Wheels and tyres, including spare wheel. Check pressures.   Ragged wheel rims could fail.

14. Windscreen wipers. Ensure no smearing.

15. Check Windscreen washers for function.

16. Walk around the vehicle. Check for sharp edges.

17. Seats secure.

18. Seat Safety Belt, Ensure the webbing looks good, and it  retracts into holder. Also buckles in correctly and holds?

19. Turn on the lights, headlights, main and dipped.

20. Check the rear lights cluster. 

21. Check rear reflectors.

22. Check the rear license plate lamp.

23. Check the rear fog off side lamp. [Just the off side required]

24. Check orange repeater lamps on side of the body.

25. Check the exhaust pipes and silencers.

26. Check the front wheel gaiters on the drive shafts.

27. Check dual brake pipes to wheels front & back. 

28. Check for leaking dampers.



Ideas for this page have come from 'Car Mechanics' Magazine. Which produce articles on the MOT regularly.

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