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Message posted by Bob61 on 16/3/2012 at 9:48pm
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Quote: Originally posted by saxo1 on 16/3/2012
Says here they must not be removed!
My car was MOT'd a couple of weeks ago and I know they didn't remove the tow ball cover because there was a hairline cobweb on it when the car went in and it was still there when the car came out...elementary my dear Watson
Message posted by wessex on 18/3/2012 at 12:19am
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Hi Rob. New member. I had a great time with my towing hitch. I paid a great deal for mine to be attached to my new Touran at Beadles Dartford. I had explained that I towed classic caravans, so I needed the hitch on my existing car. Flange type, with three separate balls, mounted on three differing pins. This gave me six couplings. The idiots fitted a swan neck, then, when I demanded they remove it and give me a refund, they tried to tell me that since November 2009, only the E.U. approved swan neck can be fitted and used ! Any other would be refused at the next m.o.t. They thought I would go away with my tail between my legs. They did eventually remove the hitch, but originally did not give me the crash bar, and when they removed the hitch, did not put it back ! My fitter went ape sh*t. Richard.
Message posted by royheath on 05/6/2012 at 8:47pm
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This inspection applies to: all types of towbar fitted to the rear of a vehicle. It does not include emergency towing eyes.
Tow ball covers must not be removed to facilitate inspection of the tow ball.
Some tow bars are ‘hidden’ behind an access panel in the bumper or bodywork. Unless requiring the use of tools or specialist equipment, these panels must be removed to facilitate the inspection of towbar components, as well as checking inside the luggage compartment, including lifting of loose fitting mats or carpet.
Retractable towbars should be tested in their ‘in-use’ position unless this requires the use of tools or specialist equipment.
If a tow ball or pin is not fitted at the time of test, e.g. because it is detachable, has been unbolted or otherwise removed, but the attachment brackets are still in place, these brackets should still be assessed unless they have been deliberately rendered unfit for further use.
There may be play in some detachable tow balls between the receiver socket and the tapered swan neck fitting, with up to 3mm movement measured at the ball end. Reason for Rejection 4a should only be used where play is greater than this.
Quick release mechanisms must not be operated, only visually assessed.
Wear in a pin, jaw or hook should be regarded as excessive if the thickness of the metal at any point is reduced by more than 25% of the original thickness. Pin locating holes should be rejected if they are worn or elongated by more than 25% of their original diameter. These criteria also apply to pins and brackets for any height adjustment or swivel devices.
For tow balls the amount of acceptable wear is considerably less. However, a tow ball should only be rejected if a visual assessment indicates that the tow ball is obviously excessively worn.
Many ‘bolt-on’ type tow balls have accessory devices sandwiched between the tow ball and its mounting flange. These are not to be considered as inappropriate modifications unless their fitment is clearly likely to adversely affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle/trailer combination.
Trailer electrical couplings are tested under Section 1.9.
Method of Inspection
1. Visually assess the towbar for wear and pull on the
towbar and/or its mountings to check for security,
corrosion, fractures or damage.
2. Check the towbar assembly is attached to the
vehicle structure using mountings, supports and
fixings of an appropriate size and type.
3. Check the presence and security of:
a. retaining devices e.g. nuts & bolts
b. locking devices e.g. split pins, ‘R’ pins.
Note: Some locking devices are not obvious. In such
cases, the vehicle presenter should be advised of any
evidence of disturbance or insecurity.
4. On detachable tow balls:
a. check for play between the tow ball arm and its
b. visually assess the condition of any quick
5. On height adjustable or swivelling towbars, check:
a. for presence, and security of locating or swivel
b. locating or swivel pins and brackets for
excessive play or wear
c. locating or swivel pin retaining devices for
presence and security.
6. Check the condition of the body and chassis in the
vicinity of the towbar mountings.
7. Check the towbar assembly for any inappropriate repair or modification.
Reason for rejection
1. A towbar component insecure, fractured or
• corroded, or
2. Towbar assembly is attached to the vehicle
structure using a mounting, support or fixing which
is obviously of an inappropriate size or type.
a. Retaining device missing or insecure
b. locking device missing, insecure, inadequate or
damaged to the extent that its operation is
a. Excessive play between a detachable tow ball
and its receiver socket
b. a quick release mechanism that does not
secure the tow ball arm as intended.
a. A locating or swivel pin missing or insecure
b. excessive play or wear in a locating or swivel
pin or bracket
c. a locating or swivel pin retaining device missing
6. Any deliberate modification, excessive corrosion,
damage, fracture or inadequate repair of a load
bearing structure or supporting panelling within
30cm of the towbar mountings, which affects its
strength to the extent that the security of
attachment of the towbar is significantly reduced.
7.A towbar assembly inappropriately repaired or modified such that it is likely to adversely affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle/trailer combination.
Issue Date: 01 January 2012
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