Vehicle Emissions and the MOT
– future prospects
The Garage Equipment Association’s Chief Dave Garratt brings us bang up-to-date.
Since the introduction of Europe’s emission regulations and the inclusion of the 4-gas emission and smoke check into the UK MOT, the inner city carbon monoxide and black smoke problems of the 1970s have all but disappeared.
Therefore both the European regulations and the MOT emissions tests have been and continue to be deemed a great success. The frequently evolving regulations have also forced vehicle manufacturers to continuously introduce new technology as they strive to meet the latest requirements to ever reduce vehicle emissions. The last big push was known as Euro-5 and was introduced in September 2009.
So Vehicle Testing Stations saw the first so-called Euro 5 vehicles coming into the MOT during 2012. The next change will be Euro 6 and is set for vehicles manufactured from 2014, so these regulations will constantly challenge vehicle manufacturers who will continue to turn to technology for the answers.
Technical solutions and MOT difficulties
A solution introduced to help manufacturers meet Euro 5 was the use of stratified combustion in petrol engines; this caused a few problems for vehicle Test Stations in 2012 that were not running the latest emissions data in their gas analysers. The problem was due to the fact that such engines run at high lambda settings so they do not meet generic emission limits and without the relevant data will not pass the emissions Test.
Stratified combustion petrol engines also run with high oxygen levels in their exhaust gas, therefore the catalytic converter cannot reduce the nitrogen oxides (NOx). To get over this problem the nitrogen oxides are stored in a storage catalyst, which is regularly emptied of NOx by switching the engine to normal combustion, this removes the NOx by allowing the catalyst to work as a normal reduction catalyst.
Euro 5 also introduced more stringent Particulate Matter (PM) emission limits and set them at 0.005 grams per kilometre maximum, which has led to the introduction on diesel engines of the particulate trap.
Therefore since 2012 we have seen two emission-related components on vehicles that are not being tested during the MOT; these being the particulate trap and the nitrous oxide storage catalyst, so consequently we have no way of knowing that particulate and nitrogen oxide levels at the tail pipe remain acceptable as the vehicle ages.
Today’s Inner city pollution:
Both NOx and Particulate emissions would normally dissipate when in the open air, but in the city they can build-up, in fact most major cities across Europe are showing an increase in the amount of nitrous oxide and diesel particulate matter within their environments. Therefore environmentalists are growing more concerned, they are looking for the culprit and most are blaming the motor vehicle.
The next European regulation, Euro 6, will reduce the amount of NOx permitted from 0.180 to 0.080 grams per kilometre, but this will only reduce NOx on new vehicles, it will do nothing to find the existing vehicles with faulty storage catalysts and particulate traps. Therefore the European Commission have funded a number of projects to look at the feasibility of testing for both Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulates during the MOT with the view of finding a reliable and cost effective solution. This has led to a number of gas analyser manufacturers producing NOx and particulate meters.
So in the future we could see the introduction of two new tail pipe tests into the MOT.
Particulate matter and NOx meters are many years away from being introduced into the MOT, so today and for some time to come our MOT will need to continue using 4-gas analysers and smoke meters. So if you are looking to invest in new equipment, what should you look out for? Below I have listed a few questions to ask your equipment supplier and some tips to follow:
- Look at the possibility of purchasing a combination unit, most equipment manufacturers combine both the 4-gas and smoke meter into one unit, this reduces the cost of two separate meters by removing the need for two PCs, user interfaces and printers.
- Always ask the supplier to quote the price for supplying the annual vehicle data updates and the cost of calibration; it’s worth knowing these up-front!
- Check that the equipment is listed on the VOSA list of approved equipment, which can be found in the technical library at: www.gea.co.uk
- Always purchase from a GEA member, all of whom follow the GEA code of conduct, which can also be found on the GEA website.
For further information please contact the Garage Equipment Association on 01327 312616.
Brain Bee (Hickleys Ltd)
The Omni800 range of analysers is claimed to offer exceptional build quality, outstanding technology with intuitive and user friendly screens shots which, Hickleys say makes the Omni800 the best choice on the market. The Omni800 range of combined Gas & Smoke meters is available in standard cable configuration, Cable free Bluetooth technology or Modular Bluetooth which communicates with the existing Braketester computer thus reduces the cost. The Omni800 range can be further enhanced with battery backup measuring heads and RPM measurement direct from the OBD socket.
Price: (4 Gas: Smokemeter:) Omni 800 Combi £4,795.00 Omni 800 combi Blue £5,295.00 Omni 800 Combi Blue modular £4,795.00
Contact: Robin Huish
Tel: 01823 328530 Fax: 01823 259404
Distribution: Distribution and direct
Crypton claim their ‘VOSA approved’ 700 series Emission Analysers have a host of features. The unit consists of a cabinet housing the PC and printer and supports the 19” widescreen monitor. They claim the software makes emissions testing quick and easy. Available as combined, or stand-alone units, in either cabled or wireless versions the range can cater for any MOT workshop’s needs. The unit also comes with 3 years parts and labour warranty, and class leading extended care packages available.
Price: (4 Gas: Smokemeter:) From £4,000
Contact: Katherine Reeve
Tel: 07917 710508
Distribution: Authorised distribution outlets
GEMCO Equipment Ltd
GEMCO offer Bosch, Crypton and Omitec emissions equipment for MOT testing purposes. Combined gas & smoke analysers, stand alone gas analysers, smoke meters and the full range of accessories are all available from us. All emission analysers are maintained by our own team of over 100 engineers, and all inclusive three and five year packages are also available with or without a great lease deal on a term to suit your needs.
Price: (4 Gas: Smokemeter:) POA
Contact: Sales Department
Tel: 01604 828 600
Fax: 01604 633 159
Distribution: Direct & Distributors
JHM BUTT & COMPANY
JHM Butt & Company now offer the Premier Diagnostic Elite Micro EGA – ideal for smaller buildings where conventional machines would use too much space. They claim the new Elite Micro is innovative providing petrol and diesel MOT emissions testing and links wirelessly to the PC & peripherals in the Roller Brake Tester. Elite Micro is wall mounted with integral lead and hose storage, freeing up workshop floor space.
Available from April 2013, Elite Micro is supported by Premier Diagnostic’s nationwide engineering team.
PREMIER DIAGNOSTICS claim to be one, of only two BRITISH Manufacturers of VOSA approved MOT emission products, with its own field service /calibration team spread throughout UK for fast response to service issues. The Elite Combi is, they say, UK market leader for Petrol / Diesel engine emission testing with cableless smoke, fast warm up, user friendly controls plus many unique features as standard. The Elite Combi is part of a range of emission products from Car, Van, Truck, Bus, Coach to Heavy Plant, from Premier Diagnostics.
Price: (4 Gas: Smokemeter:) POA.
Contact: Clive Brown or Jill Gilkes
Tel: 01295 271985 ext 212 Fax: 01295 272474
Distribution: Contact above for Distributor details
Tecalemit Garage Equipment
The Tecalemit TGD/MDS is a modular combined emission tester incorporating a blue tooth smoke head. The PC, using a window operating system, comes housed in a ‘stylish’ cabinet which can also incorporate the brake tester software as an addition to the Tecalemit ATL. The Gas bench requires no warm up time, meaning you can start work immediately. The TGD/MDS is approved to Class 00 – two classes higher than required under current VOSA legalisation and is upgradable to measure NOx.
TEXA UK Limited
The MULTI PEGASO is built to house the gas analysers for petrol engines (GASBOX Autopower) and diesel engines (OPABOX Autopower) using bluetooth communication. It can be used to analyse emissions and verify compliance with legal requirements as well as to perform diagnostic operations (engine inefficiency, high fuel consumption, cold start, catalyser etc). Emission analysis would not be complete without measuring the RPM and temperature of the engine being tested. For this purpose, TEXA has developed the RC3 module, compatible with vehicles with petrol or diesel engines. Bluetooth wireless technology is used to send the data directly to the MULTI PEGASO, without requiring connection cables. The unit is VOSA approved for Category A (Class III, IV, V and VII).
Price: (4 Gas: Smokemeter:) For pricing contact your local distributor
Tel: 01282 606787 Fax: 01282 604240
Distribution: Through TEXA Distributors – See website for dealer list