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A Halfords MOT experience

Old 09-26-2018, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by richmc View Post
How can they tell brake fluid is contaminated, you need a moisture probe for that, and they shouldn't be taking the cap off? quick cure is get a pair of those sock thingies to put over your master reservoirs, I bet Halfords sell them!

As Nottm pointed out 11 is close to the limit, but the MOT is a snapshot so close or not it isn't a fail.

[COLOR=left=#222222]"I'm not sure about spending £55 with VOSA so i can insist Halfords refund me my fee :-)" True but it would show them up as a bunch of crooks, and if you were bothered you could get the cash back from Halfords through the small claims court.[/COLOR]
AFAICS they are basing the idea of contamination purely on the fact that the fluid is blue. On the side of the tin it says not to be used on road vehicles "due to non-conforming color". The spelling of color suggests to me that the non-conforming might be with U.S. regulations although the fluid is a German product. Some clarification would be useful if anyone here knows - i can't find any on google (surprise, surprise).

Rich - I wouldn't really say in a range of 9-13 notches that 11 is close to the limit - it's as far as it can possibly be from either the lower or upper limit. And i think you missed my attempt at humour on the question of the refund: the test was free :-)

Anyway, thanks for your input. I'm going to go to my local VOSA centre and then Halfords again today to see if they can provide some detail. As you may imagine, I wasn't in the best frame of mind when they failed the car yesterday.

Last edited by Bully9; 09-26-2018 at 05:25 AM. Reason: Follow Up
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:25 AM
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Edit: Actually i owe Halfords something of an apology. I spoke to the guy at VOSA and he was friendly and helpful but didn't really add anything tangible, so i went back to Halfords and spoke to the assistant i saw yesterday (the tester was off today). He apparently tracks a car and knew all about the blue racing brake fluid. Apparently you can still buy the same fluid but it's no longer blue. They've removed the colouring because it didn't conform to road standards which amounted to 'contamination'. A little over-zealous perhaps, but difficult to argue.

On the handbrake question, i showed him the screenshot and he said that it was an unusually long travel, saying that 6 or so clicks was normal. But he totally accepted the evidence and said to bring it with me when i returned the car for a retest. I asked him how much it would cost and he said it would be free. So quite a prod in the eye for me and any others who had taken a rather cynical view.

Right, time to jack up the car...
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by richmc View Post
How can they tell brake fluid is contaminated, you need a moisture probe for that, and they shouldn't be taking the cap off? quick cure is get a pair of those sock thingies to put over your master reservoirs, I bet Halfords sell them!

As Nottm pointed out 11 is close to the limit, but the MOT is a snapshot so close or not it isn't a fail.

[color=left=#222222]"I'm not sure about spending £55 with VOSA so i can insist Halfords refund me my fee :-)" True but it would show them up as a bunch of crooks, and if you were bothered you could get the cash back from Halfords through the small claims court.[/color]
Colour and it is observed. Amber is the only colour allowable, discolouration will be considered contamination. Hence why super blue has gone away from major sales.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:34 AM
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There is nothing in the mot manual that states what colour brake fluid has to be.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ROB1980 View Post
There is nothing in the mot manual that states what colour brake fluid has to be.
Believe Rob he knows what he's talking about! I had a skip through the brakes section of the MOT, there is no mention of colour. The only indication of possible contamination is poor tested brake performance, did they say the brakes performed poorly? if not then it's no fail.

As for the handbrake, as I said almost is NOT a fail, what if he said he was going to fail it because he thought an indicator bulb was about to blow?

I did get the irony of not paying for the MOT, just proves that you do indeed get what you pay for.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bully9 View Post

So quite a prod in the eye for me and any others who had taken a rather cynical view.
Difficult to get a prod in the eye, when you have the wool pulled over them!

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Old 09-27-2018, 02:10 AM
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We can speculate but that brake fluid warrants changing and the handbrake probably warrants an adjustment too

We should all maintain these cars properly

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Old 09-27-2018, 04:18 AM
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True it doesn't dictate colour, but 99% of fluid is amber (and this is what 99% of testers will be used to and know). If the colour of the fluid is observable in the reservoir, which in this case it is and would be blue, the tester would fail it. It would look contaminated. Under the new guidelines for the 2018 test, brake fluid contamination is checked.
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:28 AM
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You can’t fail it because it looks contaminated, it has to be contaminated to fail which without being able to remove the cap and test you can’t be sure so assuming the brakes work as they should then blue fluid is not a fail
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by richmc View Post
Difficult to get a prod in the eye, when you have the wool pulled over them!
Nice one. However, my point is: it wasn't :-)

ATE TYPE 200 Brake Fluid not Super Blue - Unfortunately due to EU & US law brake fluid can no longer be supplied in blue. This ATE Type 200 is the same spec as the "Super Blue" but amber in colour to meet the new rules.

More here

This is pretty much what the guy told me. Whether the colouring additive amounts to 'contamination' could be argued either way. I'm not saying Rob or anyone else here is wrong - or right for that matter - just that the fail i got was not gratuitous as i first suspected.
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