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Discussion Starter #1
I took the Meg to the Renault dealer as I knew it needed a new clutch start spring on warranty - looks like I paid the price!

The guy called to say it failed (telling ya, that felt like a kick in the nuts hearing that!) on the front brakes. The report said they were less than 1.5mm.

I asked how much & he came back with £110!
I nearly collapsed - surely you misread that mate? Nope, and with discount it's £90, and your £40 MOT cost on top of that.

Can I take it away to get done, that seems expensive?
Sure, but we'll charge you £29 for a partial re-test.

So I forked out £130 for my MOT, despite querying the cost & reason for the pads.

One of my bosses used to work for Renault & told me as far as he knew, pads can only fail if it's metal to metal OR a brake inbalance (sp?).
The guy at Park's said it was law they have to be over 1.5mm.

I understand I probably got completely shafted, but I really can't be without my car for any length of time - question is, who is correct regarding the pads?

And if it's parks who are wrong can I qery the cost (I'm guessing no)?

Cheers
 

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Tourerman
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Technically a car cannot be failed whatever the brake pad thickness is, if the brakes work correctly it should pass.

If you want to take it further there is an explanation how to on the MOT certificate.
 

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Hi there, I must admit, its a new one on me (I've been driving for 20 years), and have never heard of a minimum brake pad thickness in order to pass an mot. I always believed it was the braking efficiency that was checked (and mattered), which in turn would highlight metal to metal contact if the pads were shot.

I also think its a bit unfair for them to charge you for a partial re-test, you normally get 7 days from the refusal to issue an mot certificate for the remedial work to be carried out and a free re-test.

£90 also seems a lot for a pair of standard brake pads, although I suppose that included fitting (that's the same kind of money as my 2.9 Scorpio), they seem to have had you over a barrel (either take it away to shop around and pay more, or pay 'their' prices).

I'm sure someone else may be able to definitively tell you who is right or wrong, but if you feel badly treated, I would be inclined to write to the Dealer Principal of that outlet.

Paul:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was definitely over a barrel.

The line the guy used was I could leave it there for 10 days & get a free retest, or take it offsite & pay £29 for a re-test.
Considering the warranty job was prob only a couple quid (well, not including the shocking labour costs) - I really shot myself in the foot on going to Parks.

Very tempted to look further into this, if only because I completely didn't trust the neddy looking guy who I was dealing with.

Problem is, I have absolutely no car knowledge, so I always rely on learning from other, more knowledgeable folks!
 

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The line the guy used was I could leave it there for 10 days & get a free retest, or take it offsite & pay £29 for a re-test.
You see, that's where I can't see any logic - why would you leave it for 10 days (if nothing was going to happen, then the car would remain as it was at the time of testing)?

I definitely think you have been spun a yarn regarding that.

It sounds like they inserted a condition (which I think is non-existent) purely to pressurise you into getting the pads replaced there & then. Most people who own cars, need them, so being without your car for a period of time is a major inconvenience.

The difficulty of course is that none of this will have been put in writing...:rolleyes:

This sounds like one of those situations where you need to just chalk it down to experience and take your custom elsewhere - its happened to us all at some point (sadly).

It may well be worth posting a thread asking members in your locality who they would recommend for any future work.

Paul:)
 
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Technically a car cannot be failed whatever the brake pad thickness is, if the brakes work correctly it should pass.

If you want to take it further there is an explanation how to on the MOT certificate.
Quite right dave.......

Chalk it down to experience as the dealership could have offered a better discount on the price you've paid....
 

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Brake pads etc.,

Hi Brody Renault specify a minimum thickness of 6.0 mm including backing plate. As a brake pad wears it looses its ability to dissipate heat – thus reducing brake efficiency. Once the lining material reaches a certain thickness it is likely to suddenly break up – you wouldn’t that to happen when braking hard. MOT isn’t just about the vehicle meeting a certain criteria it also involves the tester making judgements regarding suitability and safety. In your instance I think the garage concerned were quite correct in assuming the brake pads needed replacing. If they had passed it and the brakes failed shortly afterwards I’m pretty sure you would have been peeved and probably got quite irate with them. Hope fully you can see there point of view. I think your repair cost were actually quite cheap because if the pads hadn’t been replaced and you continued on until the point where the pads wore out you could have ended up having to replace the discs as well. Overall I think you made the right decision because in the long run they have actually saved you money. I live in Northern Ireland (test centres over here are government run) and a few years ago a vehicle was returning from its successful MOT when the brakes failed at a set of traffic lights. A hydraulic hose failed causing total brake failure and a number of people were injured as a result. After a lot of hassle the case went to court and the judge ruled that as the component was easily viewable during the test the responsibility should rest with the last competent person to carry out the inspection. Guess what – the test centre was liable for all claims and legal costs (about £100,000). In the light of this I hope you understand why your vehicle failed and why the garage concerned were being cautious.
 

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As far as i am aware, brake pads of less than 1mm can fail the mot.
Mot inspections are only concerned that the items tested pass at that moment in time only, as soon as it leaves the test station, it could develop faults that may not pass again, (a bulb may blow etc) thats why there was the full retest system for vehicles that left the station for the more serious items that need to go back on the ramp or brake tester.:)
 

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Pads fail if they are below 1.5mm friction surface thickness.

To be honest,though,you have a job to actually see the pads or to be able to measure the pad lining thickness as your not allowed to remove the wheels as part of an MOT.Obviously some are easier to see than others,but you have to be able to physically measure the thickness to be able fail a car.

Heres an excellent site that contains details on the MOT testers handbook....

MOT UK car and vehicle MOT information equipment car servicing parts and spares - brake components
 

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Hi Lag - see what your getting at but surely at the end of the day it must be down to the testers judgement. You have stated a definite thickness regarding brake pads - could you let me know where that information is available (preferably in writing and from a verified source) cos maybe we are getting riped off here in Northern Ireland. Checking pad thickness is dead easy - ever heard of a torch and a small mirror. Also on many cars the pads can be viewed through the wheel.:confused:
 

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Well, I must admit now that I'm confused - I thought the mot was to determine the performance of safety-related items against pre-set standards, not to extrapolate for the future...

That is surely the grounds for issuing an mot but also giving advisory information about items which were close to borderline or would need attention soon?

Paul:)
 

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Hi Vel - I see where your coming from and if there were written standards against from which an examiner could work we could be more definitive as the what constitutes failure or a pass. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. Better still if we could examine our own cars to meet the standards set down. At this moment in time I am not aware of such standards set down by government. As there are so many different vehicles on the road it would be extremely difficult to provide a manual to cover each case. Any form of examination or test is going to be subjective as many cases will involve the judgement of an individual. It could be even as simple as how accurately a person could read a tyre tread depth gauge or if a slight leak was detected at a shock absorber (even if it was performing perfectly). Many people take seem to take the view that the MOT is a means of hitting the poor motorist where it hurts most(in the back pocket). In most cases it is only making us do what we ought to do - that is maintain our vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition. After hearing people quoting a minimum thickness (disc pad) at which a it cannot fail or pass - I'm asking again - is there anyone out there that can quote a reliable and verfied source for this information.:)
 

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If you follow the link I left you will find the MOT testing standards.There are no secrets as far as an MOT is concerned,anyone who is willing to pay VOSA can obtain the test bible which goes through the procedures and the failure guidelines.

The bible clearly states that brake pads which are under 1.5mm friction material depth fail a test.If you cannot see the pads,you can not fail a car.If you think the pads look low but you cannot physically measure the thickness,then you pass and advise.The new MOT computer system allows testers to print an advise sheet with the pass or fail paper work.If you want to have more of an idea of a cars condition,read the advise sheet!.
 

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Very good link LAG - sorry but there has been a bit of confusion on my part as I assumed that Northern Ireland and the UK mainland were using the same guidelines. The system in our part of the world and in the Republic of Ireland seem to operate to different standards than those in the UK. The system over here apparently comply with European Standards and are much tougher and are carried out by government funded and staffed agencies. No private companies are involved whatsoever. If your car fails you take it away have it fixed and then submit it again for retest. In the Replubic of Ireland tests are only carried out every 2 years but are extremely onerous. I think it's case of how each government within the EU interprets the laws and guidelines. There are people from Ireland who take their motor vehicles over to the mainland for testing as they know they can get away with a lot less. The computer systems used here are of german design and I am told their test can be quite vigorous.
 
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