Well it was like that last year mate! And you passed it then…

Barry Babister from MOT Juice throws some light on warning lights

Published:  28 June, 2018

How many warning lights does it take to create an MOT fail? Put simply, just one - but how many choices do we have?  
    
Looking through the revised testing manual it’s hard pick out these faults amongst so many changes. Let’s see if we can summarise them for you as a refresher on what fails, some new and some old. Below is a list of
major failures:

  •  ABS warning device MIL indicates a malfunction
  •  EBS warning device MIL indicates a malfunction
  •  Electronic parking brake MIL indicates a malfunction
  •  Brake pad or lining wear indicator illuminated
  •  EPS MIL indicating a system malfunction
  •  A towbar coupling indicator not working    
  •  An SRS MIL indicates a system malfunction
  •  ESC MIL indicates a system malfunction        
  •  Engine MIL inoperative or indicating a malfunction


Managing the process
These new fail items will create much more work for the workshop, but how to best manage this process?
At our garages, we have already refined our process for what will be an influx of fresh failures created by the additional fail items. Here are some thoughts on the repair process from our workshop team, but first a word of warning; ‘MIL lights will rarely be a simple cheap fix.’

Most of these warning lamps (MIL) will really only be the headline to the actual underlying fault. Yes we can sell a fault code read, which we offer as a read and report at £45, but without actually defining the true cause of the fault then a ‘fault code read and report’ does little more that the fail sheet.

A better solution is to upsell a proper diagnostic process that will allow the workshop to drill into the fault and present the customer with an estimate of repair options. Typically, we will charge one hour for this process, consisting of around 35 minutes of diagnostic process (which might include fault code read/record/clear, road test, and parts testing to gain an understanding of the route cause of the fail items) sufficient enough to give good guidance to front office for building a quotation.  

Often, we need to request further diagnostic time from the customer at this stage, as we need to work as far as possible to the route cause and the resolution of the fault and any associated underlying issues that are affecting the fault. It is better to take time to diagnose and quote correctly that to try and help a customer to a cheaper resolution that does not really address the fault.  
This is the stage that the job is pushed back at reception who are tasked with laying out the options to the customer, never forget; “its not your car!” So tell the customer what you have found and what it will cost to repair. The rest is their decision.
To download a factsheet on the new MOT fails click here.

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    Different sides of the coin
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    Quite simply if you have a profitable job the income from your work (where you spend your hours in the day) reduces when you’re not doing that work. You might be able to get away from the business for a week or two but longer than that will have you sweating, you’ll wonder if your techs are efficient without you in the building, concerned that your numbers are going south.
        
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    What’s the difference?
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    The MOT has gone through change over the past few years. There have been changes in the way the MOT tester and the MOT Centre Manager become eligible to operate a Vehicle Testing Station (VTS) through the qualifications that are available through various national and local training organisations,  through to the MOT tester having to manage their own Annual Training and the Annual Assessment.

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