UK: Diesels may need more care to pass first MoT test trade association warns

By just-auto.com editorial team | 18 November 2003

Diesel vehicles coming up to three years old may need professional attention to get through their first MOT test [the UK's mandatory annual safety and emissions inspection of vehicles three years and older], the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has warned.

More people than ever before have been using diesel vehicles in the last few years, as their popularity has grown but motorists may not realise how much attention diesel vehicles require in comparison to petrol-fuelled vehicles, the RMI said.

RMI head of MOT and technical operations, Ian Davis-Knight, said: "Diesel vehicles need constant professional attention to ensure they run properly. More diesels than ever before are going to be taking an MOT test in the next year, but many motorists may not realise that diesel cars need special care.

"To get through the MOT test, a diesel vehicle will need to have been maintained correctly."

Part of the examination for diesel vehicles will be an emission test. This will involve measuring the smoke emissions from the exhaust, while the engine is being revved up to its maximum governed speed.

According to Davis-Knight, this could damage a vehicle if it has not been well looked after: "This test will not harm an engine that has been serviced and maintained correctly. However, if this is not the case, and the camshaft drive belt has not been changed when required, there is a possibility that damage will be sustained. [The vehicle owner] will be asked about the service history of the engine and whether the camshaft drive belt has been changed.

"The tester will not carry out a test on the vehicle if assurances on these points are not received. If the belt has not been changed, it is advisable to have it checked and replaced as recommended by the manufacturer."