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Car MOT Manual 2012 onwards






Lamps, Reflectors and Electrical Equipment - 1.8 All-Headlamps

Information
This inspection applies to all obligatory headlamps and any optional additional dipped beam headlamps.

The type of headlamp will determine whether the aim must be checked on main or dipped beam. See diagrams 1, 2 and 3, which include details appropriate to each headlamp type.
A flat top or other alternative headlamp dipped beam pattern not being one of the examples is acceptable providing all of the beam upper edge, including any peak is contained within the appropriate tolerance band.
These methods of inspection involve the use of beam checking equipment with a collecting lens.

Masks or converter kits may be fitted to right hand dip headlamps to temporarily alter the lamp for use in the UK by removing the beam kick-up to the right.
A headlamp altered in this way is not a reason for rejection, if:

a. the headlamp aim is not rejected for the reasons listed under diagram 1 except that the top of the beam image will be a straight line
b. the light output is not unduly reduced - not usually a problem with commercially produced kits
c. the mask or converter is securely attached.

Where drivers beam aim controls are fitted the beam aim should be tested without altering the control setting except where this would result in failure for beam aim being too low. In such cases the beam aim should be re-checked with the control set at its highest position.

When testing headlamps with complex lens systems i.e. those that have more than one lamp behind a single lens, it is essential that the headlamp aim test equipment is aligned exactly on the centre of the dipped beam pocket.
If when carrying out a normal test a clearly defined headlamp pattern cannot be seen, it will be necessary to move the vehicle closer to the test equipment. It is essential that the car headlamp and test equipment are as close together as possible, otherwise the whole of the beam pattern may not be visible.

Repairs must not be carried out during an MOT test however, minor adjustments to the headlamp aim are acceptable.
When adjusting European E beam headlamps they should be set in accordance with the type approval marking which is either close to the vehicle manufacturers plate or the headlamp. For vehicles without a marking, the downward aim should be set to:

1.3%, if the headlamp centre is not more than 850 mm from the ground
2.0%, if the headlamp centre is more than 850 mm from the ground
Method of Inspection
A. All Headlamps

Position the vehicle on the designated headlamp aim standing area.
Follow the headlamp tester manufacturers user manual instructions, and align the headlamp aim equipment with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.
Align the centre of the collecting lens with the centre of the headlamp under test.
Switch on the headlamps to the beam on which the headlamp is to be checked.

Note: When checking headlamp aim on vehicles with hydro-pneumatic suspension systems, it is necessary to have the engine idling.
Determine the appropriate headlamp beam image and its aim See diagrams 1, 2 and 3. Older vehicles approx. pre 1950 headlamps beam image may not conform to either Diagrams 1, 2 or 3. In such cases check:

dip beam headlamps are aimed so they do not dazzle, ie the beam image brightest part is aimed at least 0.5% below the horizontal or for headlamps which cannot be checked on dipped beam,
main beam headlamps are aimed so that the beam image centre is on or slightly below the horizontal.
Reason for Rejection
1. A headlamp which does not conform to diagrams 1, 2 or 3 that has a beam image which is aimed so that it dazzles other road users.

2. Projected beam image obviously incorrect, e.g. where the headlamp bulb is incorrectly fitted or the reflector is seriously corroded.

Lamps, Reflectors and Electrical Equipment - 1.8 European E Beam Headlamps

Information
European type Checked on dipped beam Characteristics:

a an asymmetric dipped beam pattern with: a distinctive horizontal cut-off on the right, and

a 15 degree wedge of light above the horizontal the Kick up towards the left
b a lens with one or more asymmetric stepped patterns moulded in the glass
c a lens may carry a European approval mark:
a circle containing an E and a number, or
a rectangle containing an e, and a number.


The European approval mark should incorporate a single or double-headed arrow.
A dip beam is denoted by either:

a capital letter C above a capital E
a capital letter C above an e.
Method of Inspection
B. European E Beam Headlamp

1. Check that any beam image kick up is to the nearside.

2. Check that for headlamps with centres not more than 850mm from the ground the image horizontal cut-off is between the 0.5% and 2% lines i.e. the red tolerance band.

3. Check that for headlamps with centres more than 850mm from the ground, the image horizontal cut-off is between 1.25% and 2.75% lines i.e. the blue tolerance band.

4. Check the beam image break point is between the 2% and 0% vertical lines.
Reason for Rejection
1. The beam image kick-up is to the offside.

2. For headlamps with centres not more than 850mm from the ground the beam image horizontal cut-off is not between the horizontal 0.5% and 2% lines i.e. the red tolerance band.

3. For headlamps with centres more than 850 mm from the ground, the beam image horizontal cut-off is not between the horizontal 1.25% and 2.75% lines i.e. the blue tolerance band.

4. The beam image break point is to the right of the 0% vertical line or to the left of the vertical 2% line.

Lamps, Reflectors and Electrical Equipment - 1.8 British American Type Main Beam

Information
British American type checked on main beam Characteristics:

a headlamps tested on main beam have a symmetrical main beam pattern with a central area of maximum intensity hot spot

b this type of lamp generally has a circular lens which may be marked with a figure 1 followed by an arrow indicating the direction of dip.
Method of Inspection
C. British American Type Main Beam

1. Check the height of the centre of the hot spot.

2. Check that for headlamps with centres not more than 850mm from the ground the hot spot centre is not below the horizontal 2% line.

3. Check that for headlamps whose centre is more than 850 mm from the ground, the hot spot centre is not below the horizontal 2.75% line.

4. Check that when dipped the brightest part of the image moves downwards.

5. Check the centre of the hot spot is between the vertical 0% line and the vertical 2% line.

1. The hot spot centre is above the horizontal 0% line.

2. For headlamps whose centre is not more than 850 mm from the ground the hot spot centre is below the horizontal 2% line.

3. For headlamps whose centre is more than 850 mm from the ground, the hot spot centre is below the horizontal 2.75% line.

4. When dipped the brightest part of the image does not move downwards.

5. The hot spot centre is to the right of the vertical 0
Reason for Rejection
1. The hot spot centre is above the horizontal 0% line.

2. For headlamps whose centre is not more than 850 mm from the ground the hot spot centre is below the horizontal 2% line.

3. For headlamps whose centre is more than 850 mm from the ground, the hot spot centre is below the horizontal 2.75% line.

4. When dipped the brightest part of the image does not move downwards.

5. The hot spot centre is to the right of the vertical 0% line, or to the left of the vertical 2% line.

Lamps, Reflectors and Electrical Equipment - 1.8 British American Type Dipped Beam

Information
British American type Checked on dipped beam

Characteristics:

a. an asymmetric dipped beam pattern which when correctly aimed has a flat topped area of high intensity extending above and parallel with the horizontal zero line on the nearside

b. a circular lens marked with the figure 2 which may also have an arrow showing the direction of dip.
Method of Inspection
D. British American Type Dipped Beam

1. Check that the upper edge of the hot spot is not above the horizontal 0% line.

2. Check that the upper edge of the hot spot is not below the horizontal 2.75% line.

3. Check that the right hand edge of the hot spot is between the vertical 0% line and the vertical 2% line.
Reason for Rejection
1. The upper edge of the hot spot is above the horizontal 0% line.

2. The upper edge of the hot spot is below the horizontal 2.75% line.

3. The right hand edge of the hot spot is to the right of the vertical 0% line or to the left of the vertical 2% line.
Headlamp Aim.1
Headlamp Aim.2
Headlamp Aim.3





Reproduced from the MOT Inspection Manual by kind permission of THE VEHICLE INSPECTORATE.
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