As many of you have heard, the safeties are changing. We agree that it is about time. Many people do not realize that the standards for motor vehicle safety have not changed in almost 40 years however we feel we can all agree that the vehicles themselves have.
Many of the features that you find on the new vehicles are stepping stones, testing grounds if you will, to the inevitable autonomous vehicle. As these features are embraced by the public more features will be added, for instance, did you know that by 2022 most new vehicles will be required to have automatic emergency braking! thats a big stepping stone. All this is said for a reason, it is a partial explanation as to why stability control, ABS and air bag lights are now included in the safety check. So here is a quick Cole’s notes version of some of the major changes that require inspection for your vehicle to pass a safety. You can find the COMPLETE 611 inspection standard on the MTO site here.
- New requirements have been added to the powertrain system, including: accelerator pedal, throttle actuator, exhaust system, drive shaft, differential, clutch, clutch pedal, engine and transmission mounts, gear shifter/ selector and position indicator, drive belt pulley, electric and hybrid electric powertrain, gasoline and diesel fuel systems, and compressed natural gas and propane fuel systems.
- There are new ride height, bushing, and shock / strut requirements. There are also new requirements for air suspension components and suspension system travel.
- There are new requirements to measure and record the dimensions of brake components including drum, rotor and brake lining.
- There is a better distinction between various types of brake systems — the criteria are now more closely aligned with the specific requirements for each of the various system types. (e.g. vacuum assist, hydraulic assist, air assist).
- There are new requirements for Anti-lock Brake System (ABS).
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems are now required for light duty vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2011. The system must function as intended for those vehicles that require the system.
- Rack and pinion steering system requirements, including associated parts (boot, bellows, clamps) have been added in addition to those for recirculating ball type.
- New requirements for upper strut bearings, steering dampener, tilt/telescopic hardware, remote steering systems, hydraulic power steering system pump and associated components and minimum parts quality and maximum leakage requirements have been introduced.
- Steering lash requirements have been simplified.
Instruments and Auxiliary Equipment
- New requirements have been added for horn switch, speedometer, odometer, windshield wiper.
- Limits on coolant leakage from all heaters and fuel leakage from auxiliary heaters were added.
- Lighting requirements have been changed to incorporate the lighting equipment required by the federal safety standard at the time the vehicle was new.
- The revised section provides requirements for vehicle wiring.
- Requirements for the vehicle’s battery are provided. Battery, posts, connections, mounts, and covers must be tight and free from corrosion, deterioration, or evidence of burning. All equipment must be secure, comprised of OEM-quality components, and in good condition.
- Specific requirements have been introduced to deal with a loss of structural integrity of cab, cargo or passenger body, frame or sub-frame, tailgate, bumper, seats and seat belts due to specified weaknesses, deficiencies, damage, seizure, wear, loss of components or material or improper repair procedures.
- New requirement to inspect equipment, latches, handles, door openers, hinges and other devices attached to the vehicle. All equipment must be in good working condition, not be missing, nor present an unsafe or hazardous condition to individuals who may be exposed to the vehicle.
- New requirement to inspect the entire area of the windshield swept by either the driver’s or passenger’s side wiper, with limits specified.
- Window tint requirements are part of the new standard.
- Occupant protection systems required by federal law must now be tested for functionality via the vehicle telltale diagnostic lamp. The system check includes, when originally equipped, air bags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and side air bag curtains.
Tire and Wheel
- The new requirement fails a tire if any single point on a tire’s tread is below the minimum.
- The minimum required tread depth has increased.
- No mixing of radial with other tire construction types (such as bias ply) is permitted.
- The use of wheel spacers is now prohibited, although adaptors are permitted if they are in good mechanical condition.
- Clearer distinctions between various types of hitch systems with more complete criteria aligned with specific requirements for each hitch type.
- A section has been added to the Standard to capture the elements that should be inspected and recorded during a road test of the vehicle including: tell-tales, shock absorber functionality, odometer, steering, etc.
- An inspection report must be provided to the consumer, noting important information about the results of the inspection, including measurements for specified components (e.g. tire tread depth); and, any warning lamps that are illuminated. Licensees or Technicians can create their own report provided it meets all the requirements set out in section 9.1 of Regulation 601.