Diesel vehicles face stricter emissions test in the changes to the 2018 MOT

New changes to the MOT test

It’s no secret that the incumbent UK government is very much in a pro-petrol mindset when it comes to motorists investing in new vehicles. And, while the benefits to the environment are obvious, wholesale adoption of petrol-only models is never going to become a reality, with diesel aficionados advocating the lower running costs, enduring performance, and stronger pulling power.

However, even those motorists firmly in the diesel camp will need to be aware that new guidelines relating to diesel emissions as part of the MOT are set to come into play this May. The changes, which are significantly stricter, essentially ‘lower the limits for diesel cars’.

Three-tier rating

Changes to the MOT in 2018 are best understood when looking at the new three-tier category rating of issues: Dangerous, Major, and Minor. The reclassification of issues into these categories ensures that it will be tougher than ever for older vehicles to pass, with any issues that fall into Dangerous and Major constituting an automatic fail.

So, where do emissions fall and how will this affect diesel vehicles?

“Visible smoke”

The new guidelines are clear on diesel emissions: if the “exhaust on a vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter emits visible smoke of any colour” it will be marked as having a Major defect and thus fail the test.

The diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a system designed to help remove soot and diesel particulate matter from the exhaust of your vehicle. In recent years, however, there has been controversy over owners removing the DPF altogether or tampering with the device in order to appear ‘cleaner’ when tested. As such, should there be any impropriety identified regarding the DPF during the MOT test, it will automatically fail.

Additional changes

The revised MOT test is one of the biggest shake-ups for analysing the roadworthiness of vehicles for 60 years. In addition to having to be compliant with the new emissions testing standards, the changes - which come into effect on May 20, 2018 - also include inspections on:

  • Reversing lights on vehicles first used from September 2009
  • Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from March 2018
  • Front fog lights on vehicles first used from March 2018
  • Rear drive shafts
  • Engine malfunction indicator lamp
  • Fluid leaks posing an environmental risk

What’s more, vehicles aged over 40 years will no longer have to be subject to an MOT test unless the model has been ‘substantially changed’ from its original state.

To find out more about the MOT 2018 changes, or to book your vehicle in for its annual check-up, contact the experienced team at Vanwise Group today. From our dealerships in Harlow and Maidstone, we’re proud to offer a complete array of aftersales services in addition to a vast selection of quality used commercial vehicles.