1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

aftermarket xenons + MOT = ?? anyone hadany problems yet?

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Bean5, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Bean5
    Offline

    Bean5 kidney bean

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    as most of you will be aware there was rumors of the law changing to affect quite alot of things when having an MOT, for example Xenons/HID's,
    and that unless they were fitted with auto/self leveling + headlamp washer jets etc they wouldnt pass an mot. since i have had mine fitted (touch wood) iv not had a problem with them, but not yet been for my MOT, im always nervous when the police are around inase they pull me over and issue me with a VDRS.

    am i worrying about nothing? is this a load of bull?
    #1
  2. Ads

    Ads

    [Sep 23, 2014]

  3. quattrojames
    Offline

    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    13,893
    Likes Received:
    477
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    As long as they're well adjusted in a projector headlight (and not 12000k or something ludicrous) then I don't think you'd have any problems with the Police.

    MoT wise, the last update I read through this link:

    MOT testing manuals and guides

    Stated words to the effect of (referring to washers and self levelling systems) that if they're fitted they must work, but there is not necessarily an expectation for them to be fitted.

    I've not yet heard of anyone's car failing the test due to HID's alone.
    #2
  4. Bean5
    Offline

    Bean5 kidney bean

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    thanks james thats put me at ease a little, theyre only 6000k so nice and white with a fleck of blue-ish
    #3
  5. Viking
    Offline

    Viking Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    20
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    Beam pattern and colour are checked and that's all. But as said, if levelers and/or washers are fitted then they must work.
    #4
  6. Ste_Nova
    Offline

    Ste_Nova Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,225
    Likes Received:
    43
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    my s2000 passed with no levelers or washers :)
    #5
  7. Ian-83
    Offline

    Ian-83 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    As has been said if beam pattern is ok it will pass only self leveling and washers are checked if fitted.
    #6
  8. Bean5
    Offline

    Bean5 kidney bean

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    ah sweet! cheers chaps
    #7
  9. shady-ninja
    Offline

    shady-ninja Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    39
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    at long last some real people giving honest answers:thumbsup:
    #8
  10. amar06fbr
    Offline

    amar06fbr Vorsprung Durch Technik

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes Received:
    59
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    #9
  11. Ian-83
    Offline

    Ian-83 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 30, 2012]
    I am an mot tester as part of my job so anything like this I have a check and advise as it is.
    #10
  12. 666markyboy
    Offline

    666markyboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    32
    [Jul 1, 2012]
    the problems come when people fit them into none projector lights, as the beam pattern starts to bounce around all over the show.... fitted in a projector and adjusted correctly you will be fine
    #11
  13. marktdisport
    Offline

    marktdisport Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,195
    Likes Received:
    15
    [Jul 1, 2012]
    ^^agreed^^ its the non projection and not set up correctly lights that should be banned
    #12
  14. nick-falmouth
    Offline

    nick-falmouth New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    I might be able to help here.
    If you upgrade the headlight to the HID's, then they should be self levelling and have a washer system fitted. It's a police issue and possibly not required MOT wise (I'm really not sure MOT wise but will check.)
    If they don't dazzle you are unlikely to be stopped for them, but if they do, you might well get stopped and they will be checked to see if they conform. Either way, if you are stopped and they are checked and they don't conform, you can get a fine or VDRS depending on how hot the officer is and depending if he's on traffic or not.
    However.....
    The real issue comes if you are involved in a collision, and lets say a serious injury or fatal collision. The vehicle will be examined and the headlights checked. The insurance company becomes involved and they now have an illegal modification.
    If they are looking at a big payout, then they won't meet the claim or will haggle big time. This sounds petty until the person hit states they were dazzled and went off the road killing their passenger. The passenger was male, married with 2 young children.
    The claim then goes over £900,000 as they need to 'keep the wife and 2 kids' until school leaving age. Your insurance company settle out of court paying out 50% of the claim. The wife's barrister then goes civil and takes you personally to court for the remainder needed.... £450k plus costs.
    Finally, you find yourself charged with causing death by dangerous driving (the dangerous part being the condition of your vehicle) with a max term of 15 years in prison.

    The lights on my 2005 A3 Sport-back are rubbish. I'm not tempted however to upgrade to HID's!

    Not sure if this helps?
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
    #13
  15. mattyboyc
    Offline

    mattyboyc Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    21
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    Correct beam pattern = no dazzle= no problem, had mine mot'd a couple of months ago and as I have known the testers along time now I asked him about the headlights to be honest as long as the beam pattern and height were ok he wasen't interested in anything else.
    #14
  16. nick-falmouth
    Offline

    nick-falmouth New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    Appreciate what you're saying and I'm really not sure about MOT wise as I've stated.
    However, I am very sure about the police side of things.
    #15
  17. PetrolDave
    Offline

    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    82
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    The 2012 MOT Guidance notes (on the VOSA website) are very clear on this subject - to pass the MOT with HID lights NEITHER headlamp washers NOR self-levelling headlamps are required. BUT, if either of them are fitted they MUST work.

    If the headlight alignment is OK and they pass the MOT test on alignment, then AFAIK the legality issue is that if you have HID bulbs but neither headlamp washers nor self-levelling headlamps then your vehicle does not conform to the Construction & Use Regulations - and hence may not be legal to use on the road.

    It seems totally insane to me that the MOT test has different criteria to the Construction & Use Regulations???
    #16
  18. bez101
    Offline

    bez101 Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,811
    Likes Received:
    502
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    this again for the 50th time
    as above from a teaster
    if washers are fitted they must work
    if hids are fitter aftermarket they can fail on beam and colour
    i had a VDRS the other week on a corsa (NOT MINE)
    took it to local mot station and got it stamped
    #17
  19. quattrojames
    Offline

    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    13,893
    Likes Received:
    477
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    I'm sure I answered this in post 2? :think:
    #18
  20. bez101
    Offline

    bez101 Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,811
    Likes Received:
    502
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    you did but no one on this forum seems to read the posts
    they read the OP post then just stright in
    #19
  21. PetrolDave
    Offline

    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    82
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    You did - but it seems that not everyone understood :think:

    Any opinion on the apparent discrepancy between the MOT and the C&U Regs?
    #20
  22. ben.w93
    Offline

    ben.w93 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    22
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    My old A3 went through its MOT with 6000Ks in back in January. No issue at all, they only tend to fail them when in reflector lights as opposed to projector. I have just picked up a set of 3000k. They look just like halogens.
    #21
  23. Artimus
    Offline

    Artimus Short Back

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,893
    Likes Received:
    368
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    ...and Insurance Co's view of the mod? would they approve of a declared professional quality fitment without Washers + Auto-Levelers?
    #22
  24. nick-falmouth
    Offline

    nick-falmouth New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    PetrolDave,
    You are quite correct. Con & Use regs are totally different to that of an MOT.
    This is all I'm pointing out and I'm not questioning who's car has gone through a MOT with HID lights fitted. The Con & Use Reg's are quite clear and it doesn't matter who fits the lights.
    Similar are window tints. Dozens go through a MOT with the front driver and passenger window allowing less than 70% required by law.
    Police will issue a ticket for them too.
    Without causing an issue, I'm pointing out the larger picture of what might happen given a collision.
    #23
  25. Viking
    Offline

    Viking Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    20
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    At the risk of getting warned by the mods (for "continuing a subject which has been done to death", on another forum), the contruction & use regs require [HIDs/xenon discharge/whatever name you choose to give them] with an output of more than 2000 Lumens to have headlight leveling and washers fitted, and as such they must work if fitted. If the lights have an output of less than 2000 Lumens then no washers or levelers are required, even from the factory. But if fitted then they must work.

    As for insurance purposes, not declaring them would possibly result in the scenario above.
    #24
  26. Ian-83
    Offline

    Ian-83 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jul 6, 2012]
    The people on here who have posted about the legal requirements are very correct. Why mot and legal side of things don't tie up is beyond me. Both should run parrallel to keep cars off the road that have been dangerously modified.
    #25
  27. PetrolDave
    Offline

    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    82
    [Jul 7, 2012]
    So how can we find out what the output is of aftermarket HID kits?

    None of the ones I've seen quote the output in lumens, they sell purely being HIDs and you choose based on the colour temperature.
    #26
  28. Viking
    Offline

    Viking Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    20
    [Jul 7, 2012]
    Ah, now that's the thing. For MOT purposes, the test station is not required to have the equipment to test light output, so they can't test for the 2000 Lumens. In that case they're obliged to take a logical view of the situation and if the car doesn't have washers and levelers fitted then they simply assume that it doesn't require them. If they are fitted then the assumption is that they're required, so they must work when tested.

    I presume the only people who can answer the question about individual lights and the output would be the light manufacturer.
    #27
  29. Ian-83
    Offline

    Ian-83 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jul 7, 2012]
    There must be a conversion somewhere to convert light from Kelvin to lumens. I think factory hid are about 5000 Kelvin.
    #28
  30. Viking
    Offline

    Viking Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    20
    [Jul 7, 2012]
    There's no correlation between the two. Kelvin measures 'warmth' or colour of light, while Lumens is a measure of brightness/intensity.
    #29
  31. aragorn
    Online

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15,583
    Likes Received:
    314
    [Jul 7, 2012]
    C&U regs dont allow HID's at all.

    However European type approval does allow HID's subject to certain conditions being met, and a car that meets said type approval will override the C&U regs, and thus be allowed on the UK roads.

    EU type approval typically requires washers and self levelling, as well as approved lamp units. There are some exceptions, for instance vehicles with very stiff suspension that arent likely to carry lots of weight (say a 2 seat sports car) can sometimes be approved without self levelling, as the suspension is stiff enough that they'll never end up pointing skywards anyway.

    The DoT released some guidelines a few years ago that said in their opinion, given that the addition of HID's does help improve night vision and improves road safety as a result, that retrofitting was ok, so long as you meet the same criteria as the EU type approval.

    This means that on a car like the A4, you need self levelling, washers, and type approved headlamps.

    As such, fittting proper S4 HID's, and adding the washers and levelling as required is fully complying with the regulations.

    Fitting an ebay H7 HID conversion kit into your halogen projector headlamp however, does not comply, as the headlamp unit isnt type approved.

    Now in reality, the chances of someone scrutinising things to that level is fairly slim, so you'll likely find that in most cases, adding levelling and washers will be enough to tick the boxes.

    Simply nailing a ebay kit into your standard halogen projector and not bothering with anything else however is somewhat risky, especially in a situation as described by nick-falmouth above.
    #30
  32. BahnStormer77
    Offline

    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    14
    [Jul 8, 2012]
    You can't get professionally fitted HID's without auto-levelling and washers: unless the road traffic act of 1989 has been revoked, it's very clearly and explicitly illegal to retrofit HID's without auto-levelling and without washers. Just because you can get it past an MOT tester, it doesn't mean it won't invalidate your insurance or have you held liable for anything related to your "illegal" vehicle.


    Vehicle testing manuals and guides
    http://www.motinfo.gov.uk/htdocs/m4_int.zip

    Download the MOT test guide: "Where HID or LED dipped beam headlamps are fitted, switch on the headlamps and check theoperation of any headlamp levelling and cleaning devices fitted."

    Reason for failure: "A headlamp levelling or cleaning device inoperative or otherwise obviously defective.".... and it remains illegal to have them not fitted.

    The only grey area that remains is that technically an MOT tester can interpret the MOT guidelines separately from the vehicle regulations and pass a car that has HID headlights and no washer or self leveller...

    TheAA are staying safe and just saying that the 2012 changes require you to have self-levelling and washers: MOT changes from 2012 | AA "
    Where HID or LED dipped beam headlamps are fitted the tester will switch on the headlamps and check the operation of any headlamp levelling and cleaning devices fitted.
    " clearly, they're wrong, because testers don't... but I think the AA have had their lawyers invovled in offering that advice ;)

    edit: There was a bit of a debate in 2010 and the DfT issued this to clarify their interpretation of the situation:

    http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/dft-information-sheets/aftermarket-hid-headlamps.pdf

    Which still contains this line from the 1989 road traffic act:
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
    #31
  33. Artimus
    Offline

    Artimus Short Back

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,893
    Likes Received:
    368
    [Jul 8, 2012]
    Not mine 'bok, mine came with factory installed HID's, levellers and washers... I was just asking for clarification. :)
    #32
  34. BahnStormer77
    Offline

    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    14
    [Jul 8, 2012]
    Mine too... but I also had a Golf Cabriolet runabout that I wanted to fit better headlights: thought I could jsut replace the headlights with E-marked projector style units, but was advised that I had to fit auto-levelling + washers to keep it insurance legal...

    I've stil got a motorbike that I'd LOVE to be able to fit HID's too, but it's not worth the stress of being held 100% liable for any fender benders...
    #33
  35. Viking
    Offline

    Viking Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    20
    [Jul 8, 2012]
    The MOT manual is very explicit, and you even quote it yourself. It says "A headlamp levelling or cleaning device inoperative or otherwise obviously defective.", but it does not say anything else about remaining illegal to have them not fitted. If you ask VOSA (who actually know their stuff) they'll tell you what I said earlier about the 2000 Lumens requirement.

    The DFT link also gets thrown up in just about every discussion about HIDs, and they even go as far as to say "In the departments view...". Meaning they are not actually quoting any law. They don't actually say it's illegal to fit them because they cannot. It'll need a Court case to decide what is and isn't illegal, and up to press it's never happened.

    As for the AA link, there's so much wrong with that text it doesn't even need discussion.
    #34
  36. Artimus
    Offline

    Artimus Short Back

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,893
    Likes Received:
    368
    [Jul 9, 2012]
    If European Law applies to the UK, this is very relevant to the topic:

    from Xenon Headlights and Driver Safety - Safer Motoring :undwech:
    #35
  37. BahnStormer77
    Offline

    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    14
    [Jul 9, 2012]
    The legatlity it very, very clear: Road Traffic Act 1989: I'll summarise because people are clearly having difficulty understanding it: It is completely illegal to retrofit HID lights without also having auto-levelling and a headlight washer system.

    People get away with it all the time as the MOT does NOT check the legality of the car - it assumes that the construction legality has already been met and it checks for wear and tear and that key sytems are still working, in the case of washers and auto-levelling, it only checks that they are not in an "obviously defective" state and they even state that in they can be assumed to be working is it is not possible to test them.

    The September 2011 MOT testers draft of the 2012 changes stated that the systems should be checked to be "present and working", but presumably some testers objected due to lack of facilities, not having any way of checking the levelling, not wanting their garage covered in washer suds, I'm not sure on the exact reasoning, but that has been reduced to "not obviously defective" in the January 2012 guides that are being put into practice, hence why people are still getting away with this mod that is technically illegal.

    Don't get me wrong: I think that they SHOULD be allowed to be used, assuming in the correct projector style headlights and properly aligned.... but I don't want people to read the last post and assume they'll be fine: HID's without auto-levelling and washers means that you have an illegally modified car, so if you end up in an accident, potentially not insured.

    If you have them fitted and end up in a pile-up, all you need is for one person to comment on the bright glare from the headlights and some lawyer will go sniffing around and try to blame you entirely for something that potentially isn't your fault at all simply because to the letter of the law, your vehicle is illegally modified: then it'll be particularly awkward as your insurance company is likely to use that as an excuse to wash their hands of you, not to mention the follow-on implications if there are serious injuries or God forbid, fatalities.

    Start a petition: I'll gladly sign up to say that they should be allowed (i.e. in projectors, but without auto-levelling/washers), but right now, they're not legal.
    #36
  38. Ste_Nova
    Offline

    Ste_Nova Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,225
    Likes Received:
    43
    [Jul 9, 2012]
    mine has no washers or leveling :) import ftw! :p
    #37
  39. PetrolDave
    Offline

    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    82
    [Jul 9, 2012]
    And that difference is the problem - there is an, incorrect, assumption in many people's minds that a car that passes the MOT must be legal. As this issue proves, that clearly is not a valid assumption.
    #38
  40. BahnStormer77
    Offline

    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    14
    [Jul 9, 2012]
    Ste - still not legal - just like if you have an accident in a US-spec Corvette without getting the brake lights changed to UK regulation - and there HAVE been claims around those where the Corvette owner was stationary and hit, but deemed at fault: the US-spec Corvette brake lights flash when braking and the UK regs say that the rear brake lights must all be constant, steady light - somebody rear-ended a corvette and claimed they were distracted by the flashing red brake lights (lame excuse IMO, but like it's already been said on this thread - it's up to the courts to enforce it) - I found that one when I was looking at getting a flashing brake light for my bike after somebody rear-ended me when I was completely stationary at a pedestrian crossing - other rider claimed full responsibility for the accident and has paid up, but I'd rather not have a repeat, so I was just looking for ways to make myself more visible when driving/riding, especially when braking...
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
    #39
  41. BahnStormer77
    Offline

    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    14
    [Jul 10, 2012]
    So in summary, Bean5, this debate will rage on for a while, but to answer your questions:

    the law: hasn't changed at all, retro fitting HID's without auto-levelling or washers remains 100% illegal and will invalidate your insurance.

    the MOT: wasn't rumours, the Sept11 draft of the MOT testing guides would have made all retro-fitted HID's (without auto-levelling and washers) an MOT fail. The Jan12 version that went into place only checks for obviously defective washers or auto levelling, so it will still pass a car, even if illegally modified.

    the police: (more accurately the traffic police) are highly unlikely to stop you if you're adjusted the beam pattern to ensure it is legal - most police (even the traffic ones) are decent people, applying a practical and sensible interpretation of the law and won't pull you over unless you're a danger or are likely to become a danger to other motorists. No I'm not a copper, although I do know a fair few (no I'm not a criminal, insurer or lawyer either ;) ).

    are you worrying needlessly: about what?
    being pulled over? yes, probably worrying needlessly - even if you are, you'll be asked to get a quick check done, most MOT testers will still pass the vehicle and you're back on the road straight away and although you'll waste a little bit of time, it's not a painful process - hell VDRS was setup in conjunction with the Human Rights Act, so you'll probably be given extra time if you tell them you're about to make a religious pilgrimage (when I was issued with a producer (not VDRS) they gave me an extra week 'cos I was on my way off on holiday the next morning!).
    about having an illegal car? probably not worrying enough - you'll most likely be fine until you have an accident and then if an insurance investigator points it out, you're not going to be insured (which then becomes a separate offence) and going to take all the blame for something that wasn't your fault because of a technciality in the law that means you have an illegally modified car.
    If it's a small fender bender, you'll almost certainly be fine, but a big claim with serious injuries and compensation claims and they'll go over your vehicle with a fine-toothed comb.
    #40

Share This Page