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A Halfords MOT experience

Old 09-27-2018, 05:34 AM
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I’ve sent a message to DVSA asking how we check for contamination during test without removing the cap or using any test equipment, below is the response from a DVSA person

You would only fail for brake fluid contamination if you could clearly determine it was contaminated. This is considered unlikely, but is a requirement of the new roadworthiness directive so has to be included

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Old 09-27-2018, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ROB1980 View Post
I’ve sent a message to DVSA asking how we check for contamination during test without removing the cap or using any test equipment, below is the response from a DVSA person

You would only fail for brake fluid contamination if you could clearly determine it was contaminated. This is considered unlikely, but is a requirement of the new roadworthiness directive so has to be included

So do you concur that the only way you can prove contamination is if the brakes do not perform properly? Not by the look of the brake fluid, that you can't do without taking the cap off, or checking the moisture content again you cant without taking the cap off. I agree that you can look at the outside of the reservoir and it may seem dark, but that proves nothing.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:41 AM
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My interpretation of the test manual is that the colour of the fluid does not tell me if it is contaminated so if the brakes work as they should it’s a pass, if I get told different by DVSA or the manual gets updated with more details then things may be different but for now it’s a pass for me.

I had a car in at work years ago that the owner had topped up his brake fluid with hydraulic jack oil and the brake pedal went straight to the floor so obviously a problem but still visually without removing the reservoir cap the fluid looked ok so maybe a grey area and DVSA need to give us more info as really I’ve got no way of knowing for sure if fluid is contaminated
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:25 AM
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1.8 Brake fluid

Hydraulic brake fluid level checks are confined to transparent reservoirs, reservoir caps shouldn’t be removed.

On many vehicles, you won’t be able to see if the brake fluid is contaminated. You should only fail a vehicle if you can clearly see that the fluid is contaminated.



Going by the wording, its stating a visual inspection is required to fail it.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:35 AM
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But you can’t tell if it is contaminated just by looking at it from the outside of the reservoir, can’t fail it for the colour, can’t fail it if the fluid looks dirty/old
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mtunreal View Post

1.8 Brake fluid

Hydraulic brake fluid level checks are confined to transparent reservoirs, reservoir caps shouldn’t be removed.

On many vehicles, you won’t be able to see if the brake fluid is contaminated. You should only fail a vehicle if you can clearly see that the fluid is contaminated.



Going by the wording, its stating a visual inspection is required to fail it.
How do you get that? it contradicts it's self, the only way is to check the brakes are working.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:19 AM
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I'm getting pi**ed off with this rubbish, here's a fix that will cost you all of £2.99. As obviously if they can t see the brake fluid it can't possibly be contaminated.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-Blue-Reservoir-Tank-Cover-Spoon-Sock-For-Honda-Acura-Civic-Integra-Type-R-JDM/252632490100?fits=Model%3AS2000&epid=12007713919&h ash=item3ad211e074:g:QdcAAOSwGtRXzorg

Last edited by richmc; 09-28-2018 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:46 PM
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You are failing to recognise its two parts of the test. Checking contamination of the fluid through visual inspection is seperate to determining brake efficiency. Essential the blue dye in the ATE is a contaminant, and not an E marked product. The design of amber fluid colour is such to visually inspect degradation. Blue is motorsport use only. Just like it’s actually illegal to run non e marked brake pads on the road, which I suspect nearly everyone does. The test will show brake efficiency is good, despite the e Mark. If visual inspection of the fluid is possible, and a tester saw it was dark blue/ black, by that wording consistutes a fail despite brake efficiency.

Thats the summary from VOSA.

P.s the sock would work as a hack, but it’d look w**k
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:14 PM
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On an mot we don’t check if brake pads are e marked or road legal so even if we can clearly see they are race use only it’s still a pass, blue brake fluid isn’t contaminated, it’s just got something in it to give it the colour as you say, the blue fluid isn’t contaminated when new in the bottle and the same when in use

VOSA don’t exist anymore, it’s DVSA
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:55 AM
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From the only standards doc for the DOT specification that I could find with a quick search...
Fluid color. Brake fluid and hydraulic system mineral oil shall be of the color indicated:
DO3, DO4, and DO5.1 non SBBF -colorless to amber.
DO5 SBBF - purple.
Hydraulic system mineral oil - green.
Edit: Actually that is the ISO standard, but the DOT standards are pretty much in line from what I have read.

Last edited by mcrossley; 09-28-2018 at 03:00 AM.
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