Sorry Rgwm mate had a brain fart while scooting through the post.
General rule "if it's fitted, it must work" with demisters this is particular. There is much debate about this item being included where one tester scenario would be...
A car comes in for a test and has no demister to front or rear is equppied but not working, normally not a testable item. I agree....
However this becomes a problem on a cold day when the nominated tester can't actually safely inspect the front screen for damage and visual opacity due to misting up... A nominated tester is obliged to turn on heater/ demist controls and allow time to clear for visual checks while he resumes inspecting other testable items.
If it still hasn't cleared due to lack of equipment that was originally fitted, the tester has no recourse but to offer:
A. an advisory notice.
B. A failure notice on grounds of opacity not up to standards required for that YEAR / model and equipment fitted to that vehicle.
It does sound pedantic, I know and on a warm day, the nominated tester would probably not give it a second thought.... But two things come into play here that many vehicle owners often forget.
1. When a vehicle is booked in for annual MOT inspection, it is entirely a pass/ fail/ advisory inspection based on the vehicle's condition ON THAT DAY alone, it is no guarantee for a full year and that is what the nominated tester has to base his/her inspection on, condition offered on THAT PARTICULAR DAY.
On another related factoid: A nominated tester can actually fail a vehicle if the internal windscreen is in such a state where opacity is compromised for the very same reason as above... I.e a scenario of a heavy smoker who hasn't cleaned the windscreen!
Yes I know it sounds petty but many clients don't actually realise that a tester only has 45 minutes maximum to perform an MOT test and simply can't spend ten minutes of that cleaning the windscreen on the customer's behalf can he?
2. Although we strive to maintain exacting standards for each individual vehicle and customer alike, one nominated tester is not the same as the next, that is simply a human trait with descision making. We can offer them advice, train and test them exactly the same way, one examiner will see a failure another will advise and yet another will pass,. Thus up to the "discretion" of the nominated tester/ examiner.
With regards to the fire wall protection... This is in the engine bay only. pertaining to the reflective heat shielding that we see on vehicles made after 1995 in particular... Sound proofing is fitted to the inside of the vehicle and can be removed without any issue as long as wiring looms and areas that can snag trousers and feet while operating pedals are either moved or permanently covered and secured... I hope this clears up any confussion on my part
Please bear in mind that although VOSA provide full guide lines of the MOT proceedure in PDF and manual formats, it's never, ever black and white as stated in these manuals... There are lots of rules, regulations and above all, grey area's in between every single one of them due to the complexity of the vehicle's in question, diversity of the owner's modifications and standards and expertise of the nominated tester on the day
One lst thing that I forgot to mention about wheel arch liners... Again yes, they can be removed but both sides must be removed from the front wings, not just one and the same goes for the rear wings otherwise it is an automatic fail if just one side is fitted... Same principle with removal of brake disc stone guards where the scenario of one rotted away and removed yet the other remains is a failure.
Hope this helps
And yes, I am friendly