MOT Workshop 35 – News, New Products and Services

• 4-2-2 Testing proposal still causing uncertainty
• Actia Muller Distributor Opporunities!
• Dial a ‘Miracle!’

• An awkward job made easy with the Laser Tools exhaust hanger removal tool
• Tax Back on Tools – How Refunds Direct is Securing Tax Windfalls for Mechanics
• Audi Scoops LED Innovation Award
• Branchflowers UK

4-2-2 Testing proposal still causing uncertainty

Decreased road safety is not the only by-product of Philip Hammond’s misguided proposal – the whole MOT industry has been left in limbo!

By Martin Shippey

What is going wrong?

Figures from VOSA indicate alarmingly high levels of MOT failure following initial MOT Tests. The numbers appear to be rising; the figures for private cars in the year 2009-2010, the latest available, are just over 40%, from 38.5% in 2007-2008. And every day, within this 40% of vehicles which have failed their Test, over 2,200 have at least one defect which MOT Testers judge renders the vehicle dangerous to drive.

Fuel prices are clearly causing significant pressure on household budgets, and it has been suggested that to save money, car owners are retaining their cars for longer, then making further savings by cutting back on servicing. Whatever the cause, enough money is clearly not being spent on car servicing and repair.

The wrong solution, at the wrong time

Those in the servicing industry are surely feeling the squeeze. Drivers do not usually have much of a choice about how far they must drive to the shops, schools, work, but the cost of driving to those places has risen both astronomically and quickly. So inevitably the money which might have been spent on servicing tyres, suspension, steering and lights, is now going into the coffers of the oil companies and HM Revenue and Customs.

The result? More dangerously under-serviced cars on the roads, coupled with service garages unwilling to spend money on equipment and training because of reduced revenues and the very uncertain business climate caused by the 4-2-2 dithering.

The MOT industry does not need this senseless dickering with a perfectly adequate and fit- for-purpose MOT!

We can understand how a government might wish to appear to be taking the interests of the motorist to heart, and generously conceding that perhaps the MOT Test is a little onerous; “We shall ease the burden a little – there! save £25 over a year! See how we feel your pain! That will be £25 extra every time you fill your tank by the way; thank you very much!”

Secretary of State for Transport, please note; if you want to give the electorate the impression that you’re saving them money, try to find a way of doing it which doesn’t throw an industry which has helped to give Great Britain the safest roads in the world into economic uncertainty.

Letter to the Minister

As editor of MOT Workshop Magazine, read by many thousands of MOT professionals, I decided that it wasn’t enough just to exhort readers to write to their MP – I should do something myself. So I wrote to Philip Hammond protesting that the 4-2-2 proposal just didn’t make sense, and not only that, if it was implemented, he would be responsible for the many deaths and injuries which would inevitably result.

I received a reply from Dr. Bob Moran, Senior Engineer, Roadworthiness, Department for Transport, who replied on Mr Hammond’s behalf, informing me that “We do intend to consult on the possible changes to the MOT test scheme…” [my italics] “… the aim will be to strike the right balance between vehicle safety and the burden imposed on motorists by MOT test requirements”.

The reply continues along the lines that there will be a “genuine consultation” and an “opportunity for anyone with an interest to participate in the debate…”

MOT professionals, you have been unequivocally informed, they want to work with the industry to get things right and your view will be taken into account!

In order for that to happen you must WRITE TO YOUR MP! (especially those in Runnymede and Weybridge!)

Find out who your MP is and give him your views on 4-2-2 Testing; complain that it will ruin your livelihood and cause the roads to be unsafe. Give genuine examples of vehicle defects discovered during the MOT.

The full text of the letter, which space here does not permit in full, is on our website (, along with DfT’s response, and how to find your MP.

The 4-2-2 Testing proposal, whereby the period of time before a car’s first MOT Test would be extended to four years, followed by Tests every two years thereafter, would not only clearly be a deadly mistake which could cost hundreds of lives and many thousands of serious injuries, every year if implemented, but is also currently creating financially damaging uncertainty for 20,000 MOT Testing garages, all of whom have invested in premises, equipment and training based on the current 3-1-1 requirement.

motw MOT Workshop Magazine

Actia Muller Distributor Opporunities!

Global garage equipment and ATL manufacturer, Actia Muller, is actively seeking additional regional distributors to expand their network for the sale of their new range of competitively priced, high quality equipment.

These distributor-only products are attractively priced, and include Italian-engineered wheel balancers and tyre changers, fully automatic aircon servicing machines and laser wheel aligners. And unlike most other low-cost solutions, they offer the quality and support expected from a garage equipment supplier with more than 90 years under its belt.

“With customers constantly bombarded by offers for the latest cheap products, we are looking for distributors who share our passion for quality and innovation,” explains General Manager Simon Stone. “It’s a shame the old fashioned ethos of good equipment, good sales, good customer service has been lost to the box-in box-out culture of suppliers of Asian manufactured garage equipment. Our unique package of distributor-only equipment is aimed at bringing that level of service back to the industry.”

The range, which is only available to end users through approved Actia Muller distributors, offers a great opportunity for equipment and parts suppliers to provide their customers with robust products at lower than expected pricing. The Actia Muller distribution package includes the backup and support associated with an OEM equipment manufacturer, complete with training, warranty, helpdesk and demonstration assistance.

For further information, contact Actia Muller on 01686 611177.

motw MOT Workshop Magazine

Dial a ‘Miracle!’

Phone now for a FREE demonstration of Power-TEC’s Miracle System

Powertec Miracle 72 optThe Power-TEC Miracle System is a state of the art panel repair system that offers profitable, high quality, fast turnaround panel repair. Speed up the repair process, while increasing the element of labour within each repair job and reducing the need for panel replacement.

Their free information pack explains why Power-TEC’s Miracle System is now accepted as the most cost effective method of repairing both steel and aluminium panels and our practical demonstration DVD shows how easily it’s done.

And the insurers like it also: promoting repair instead of panel replacement supports the environmental policy of the major insurance companies. Miracle repair is seen as an excellent way for repairers to gain from performance related reward structures. It helps reduce average claim costs and repair times, whilst increasing profit for the repairer, due to a higher labour element within the job. The vehicle is returned to the policy holder quicker, without compromising the integrity of the vehicle or quality of repair.

Sound too good to be true? Well, seeing is believing! Contact Power-TEC today and arrange a free demonstration at your premises.

Call 01926 818195 and speak to Steve Bradbury or Sam Shearsby who will be delighted to send one of their fully fitted demonstration vans in your direction. Prepare to be amazed!

Further details at:

motw MOT Workshop Magazine

An awkward job made easy with the Laser Tools exhaust hanger removal tool

5158 Right optRemove exhaust components quickly and easily with this very handy tool (Laser part no: 5158), which enables fast, one-handed removal of exhaust brackets from rubber hangers. No more struggling with screwdrivers and skinned knuckles! A quick twist and it’s off.

The long handles will help to avoid hot exhausts and are foam-dipped to let you grip stiff rubber hangers. The adjustable pin angle helps when access is difficult and makes this tool suitable for a wide range of cars and light commercial vehicles.

The body is constructed of a strong riveted design made from selected steel.

You will wonder how you did without it.
Available at a retail price of around £25.00
More details from

motw MOT Workshop Magazine

Tax Back on Tools – How Refunds Direct is Securing Tax Windfalls for Mechanics

Market leading tax refund specialist Refunds Direct is celebrating securing tax refunds worth a total of £2.2 million for over 4600 auto technicians through its specialist Mechanics Tools Tax Refunds scheme.

With payouts averaging £470, technician’s tools and tool boxes are the source of the entitlement for employed mechanics, who may have bought equipment without considering the fact that they can claim up to 10% – 15% of the total value back.

Refunds Direct pioneered the specialist claim after a long battle with the tax office in 2005. Arranged on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, 98% of their claims are successful, providing welcome cash for thousands of auto technicians, ranging from employees of small independent garages to those working in fast-fit chains and large dealerships.

Since the launch of the scheme seven years ago, Refunds Direct claim to have built up a wealth of expert knowledge, compiling an in-house database of over 16,000 tools. The specialist software maximises claims by declaring which tools are an allowable expense under tax office legislation, ensuring all tools and equipment are accounted for.

Says Mike Oaten, Director of Refunds Direct: “Investing in tools over the years can add up to substantial tax refunds for mechanics who might have written off the outlay. Our specialist service makes it extremely easy to submit claims – and our 98% success rate speaks for itself.”

Typically paying out within 12 weeks, to qualify, respondents need to have spent at least £1800 on their tools since 1997.

To request a claim pack or for further information, contact Refunds Direct via, telephone 0800 10 77 188 or text REFUND to 60777.

motw MOT Workshop Magazine

Audi Scoops LED Innovation Award

Reutlingen, Germany.

Picture1 optLeft to right: Michael Dick (Audi-CTO R&D), Dr. Wolfgang Porsche (Chairman Porsche), awardee Dr. Wolfgang Huhn (Audi), awardee Kamislav Fadel (Vice president R&D of Automotive Lighting), Dr. Hans Michel Piëch (Member of the Porsche board), Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn (CEO Volkswagen), Matthias Müller (CEO Porsche)

The most highly remunerated automotive technician prize in the world was awarded on the 7th June 2011 during the festive prize award ceremony at the Vienna University of Technology to Kamislav Fadel (VP R&D of Automotive Lighting) and to Dr. Wolfgang Huhn (AUDI AG) for the development and use of new LED lighting technology in automobiles.

The prize was awarded to the two winners in the presence of Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Dr. Hans Michel Piëch, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Matthias Müller and Khalid Qalam (Chief Technical and Marketing Officer of Automotive Lighting)

The “Professor Ferdinand Porsche Prize” is awarded every two years to engineers whose inventions affect the sustainable development of the automobile.

Substantial contribution

Picture3 optIn the year 2008, the two prize-winners and their teams made a substantial contribution to the first series application of LED lighting technology for the main headlamps of a motor vehicle.

The appearance of the Audi R8 was enhanced by Automotive Lighting’s all-LED headlamps in a significant way and signalled a leap in technology; for the first time all lighting functions, ie high beam, low beam, turn indicator, day-time running light and position light have all been completely executed using LED technology.

All light functions are effected by a total of 54 high-performance LEDs. With this development, Automotive Lighting again demonstrated its innovative leadership in lighting technology and provided an outlook on key aspects of future development: technology, design and energy consumption.

In his speech, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Geringer, head of the Institute for vehicle engines and automobile technology at the Vienna University of Technology, also chairman of the jury, explained the great importance of this development “…which marks a milestone in the application of advanced LED lighting for the automobile sector, because at the same time, three benefits are demonstrated; firstly, significant energy saving, secondly, a massive life time extension and thirdly, a wide design freedom for vehicle styling.”

Natural light

In his speech the CEO of Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG, Matthias Müller, emphasized the technological leap that has been accomplished through the work of both partners.

“Thanks to their persistent development work, it is possible today to obstruct light emitting diodes as a light source in series vehicles.” As compared to the established halogen and xenon headlights, the LED technology brings a much better illumination, enabling clear safety advantages during night drives. Significantly, the LED light sources are closer to natural daylight. The human eye recognises the street and the road edge in their natural colours at night and distinguishes contrasts considerably better – hazards are therefore identified earlier.

Energy saving

Matthias Müller also spoke on the energy saving properties of the LEDs:

“For the same light performance, an LED headlamp consumes only about half as much energy as conventional halogen headlamps. Therefore a reduction in consumption of up to 0.2 liters per 100 kilometres is achievable. In view of the high consumer awareness of the fuel consumption of vehicles, this saving should not be underestimated.”

Mr. Müller emphasized above all the new design features which have been implemented in automotive lighting design:

“The LEDs can be flexibly used as a tail-light, daytime running light or low-beam and high-beam. They also allow the design of unique lighting brands and brand signatures that give each car brand a high recognition value in the dark. One thing is certain: the LED will play a part in the future of vehicle design!”

motw MOT Workshop Magazine

Branchflowers UK

Garage and MOT Test Equipment Distributors

Branchflowers UK are the specialist suppliers of Garage and MOT Testing Equipment Covering all parts of the UK.

Branchflowers offer a comprehensive range of products from Top quality British and European manufacturers. ALL Branchflowers products are supplied directly from the manufacturer with a full manufacturer’s warranty.

Branchflowers can offer a full range of MOT ‘Automatic Test Lanes’ (ATLs) and upgrades to ‘One Person Test Lanes’ (OPTL) – Prices include assistance with planning, VOSA required layout plans, groundwork plans, delivery, commissioning and training.

Visit for more details

motw MOT Workshop Magazine

Related posts

Comment on this article