Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - Lounge Lizard
My Volvo 240 SE (1992) has just failed its MOT. I don't understand all the failure points and I would welcome any more expert help.

(1) Offside front position lamp(s) not in good working order (function impaired) [1.1.4a]

As far as I can see, both headlamps are working perfectly. They come on whenever the car is on, and Hi-beam comes on whenever selected from the stalk.

Is this something to do with only being 'on' in a 'sidelight' mode? Is there another 'on' level between 'sidelight' and 'full beam'? The car has no separate 'sidelights' and there are only 3 wires going to the bulb, 1 of which is earth (black - continuity with engine block) and the other 2 are (presumably) 'on' and 'high' respectively.

(2) Rear position lamp switch faulty [1.1.2]

Same as for (1) above, they seem to work fine (though are on all the time)

(3) Rear fog lamp not in good working order (not working) [1.1.6b]

My car does not (apparently) have a rear fog lamp; so what's this all about?

Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - RichardW
I expect they test the side lights with the ignition off. It sounds like the front O/S side lamp bulb is out (these Volvos with DRL have 5W/21W twin filament bulbs AFAIK), and he doesn't like the head light switch for some reason. It should give side lights, then dip, then flick to main beam.

All cars since 1980 have had to have at least 1 rear fog light fitted.....

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - Lounge Lizard
When I took the car into the garage (a national chain) I went into the waiting area to await being served. There were no staff behind the counter but there were 4 other people waiting with me. Not complaining, it was only 3 or 4 minutes.

I happened to glance through the glass-panelled door to the vehicle bay and noticed two incongruously well-dressed young females walking from a car (in the vehicle bay) up the stairs towards us in the waiting area. 'Fluffily dressed' would be a better description, pastelly-coloured woolen hats and 'designer' fleecey tops (or something).

They walked into the waiting area and started talking to the staff; who had now re-appeared en masse. For some reason I assumed them to be hair-dressers, or maybe designer-fashion retailers.

I thought no more of it, and walked out to my car at the behest of one of the members of staff who was dealing with my car. As I got to my car (in the car park) the staff member said to me (furtively) "D'ya know who that is?" Before I had chance to reply "!" he continued: "That's 'Niki' out of Girls Aloud!"

She had come in, with her mate, to get the brakes on her Audi TT fixed.

I was so excited that I walked off into town to buy a newspaper & a bottle of pop. By the time I got back, the girls were just driving off in their Audi TT, surrounded by fawning staff members. I was really disappointed that I didn't get chance to get a piccy on me camera phone or their autograph. Sort of.

The car had a private reg plate: BEC xxxxx. S'funny that, I thought she was called Niki.
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - George Porge
1 Headlmp bulb blown, or reflector losing its silvering. The side light bulb is in a different position to the Main / dipped beam bulb.

2 Reversing lights not working 2 x blown bulbs or gearbox switch faulty

3Your car will have a fog light fitted, blown bulb, broken wiring, switch.
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - Lounge Lizard
Thank you for the replies so far which are gratefully receiving my attention.

I have checked the rear end of my car very carefully and I have been unable to locate a fog-lamp!

There is definitely not one recessed into the rear bumper, I have checked very carefully!

Unless I receive further information or inspiration, I'm going to buy a separate 'bolt-on' fog-lamp and wire it up myself. £7.99 from Halfords or someone.
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - George Porge
Its built in the offside rear cluster
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - Dynamic Dave
You sure the fog light isn't incorperated in the rear light cluster?

Maybe it shares the same lens as the normal tail lights, but has a twin filament 5/21w bulb. 5w for the normal rear light, then when the fog(s) is/are turned on the 21w bulb takes over.
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - Hamsafar
Yes it is built into the cluster, I remember this being one of the most common cars to have them on at inappropriate times when there were more of them on the road, it is near the inside edge bottom corner IIRC.
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - pmh
The older 240s used to suffer from corrosion of the silvering on the sidelight reflectors, (generally due to water ingress). This makes the sidelights appear to be very different in brightness. If I recall correctly I overcame this by painting both refelctors with white paint to ensure eaqual brightness.

The side light set up is 21W filament for daylight running (Ignition on) or the 5W filament for sidelights ON. It is possible to put the bulbs in the wrong way round which could give similar problems, altho you should be alerted to this by Bulb failure warning indicator (if it hasnt been disabled at some point in the past).

pmh (was peter)

Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - stuartl
The best thing to do if you are unsure of why a car has failed the MOT is to ask the tester himself to explain the fault to you. If they are unwilling to spend a minute or two with you then take the car somewhere else next time!

Incidentally, I tried to post my trusted and recommended MOT/Service centre on here as suggested but the email address given by honest john didn't exist!!!
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - Cliff Pope
The Volvo fog lamp is incorporated into the light cluster. There are actually two, one each side, but not necessarily both connected.
AFAIK reversing lights are not an MOT test point.

I agree - get the tester to explain the points, preferably at the time. It will only take a few seconds at the time for him to point to the offending light, and hours to sort out afterwards arguing about what he meant.
Volvo 240 MOT failure: Please explain - Lounge Lizard
Thank you for the answers.

When I was given the MOT refusal I went through the list with the tester. There were 8 points of failure, plus 3 advisories. I did my best to do an appreciation of each point but I was in 'information overload' and was not 100% successful in getting my head round what was involved in correcting every individual point.

I have now corrected points (2) and (3) as in my original post. I don't expect BRers to 'run round after me' but I am grateful for being pointed in the right direction so I don't bark up the wrong tree.

Thanks to BRers comments, I was able to examine the rear light cluster and establish that there was indeed 2 connections to the rear position light: one was to the 'position light filament', the other was to the 'fog light filament'; plus there was a 'negative earth' structural contact. I had 12 volts to one contact but 0 volts to the other (with dashboard foglamp switch on, illuminated, and feeding & sending 12 volts). I corrected this by cutting the original wire (which had obviously broken somewhere) and running a new wire across the car. Result: fog lamp passed at MOT re-test. I was about to buy & fit a whole new fog-lamp!

Unfortunately, the car failed its MOT retest on 2 points (so I'll have to pay a full fee next time, sob!) but I'm down from 8 points and that counts as progress in my book.

Please could a BRer offer simililar advice; I have already discussed the matter with the tester and at a Volvo dealer but neither was sure exacly what to do.

Point 1
The offside headlamp consists of
(1) An outer housing
(2) An inner reflector dish
(3) A bulb holder that pokes through the inner reflector dish (with a bulb in it)
(4) A rubber pad thing that covers the back of the bulb holder (with cable through the centre)


What do I have to do to correct this? The kerbside headlamp is OK but I can't see any significant difference between them. For example, do I have to buy a new housing or a new reflector or something else?

Point 2
Windscreen washer provides insufficient washer liquid.

I'm not as worried about this because I think I know how to fix it: it's full of green slime which keeps blocking the jets. I've already tried to correct this by unblocking the jets and pipework which got it working. Unfortunately, another slug of slime came through during the re-test and blocked it again. I shall simply repeat the process but be a lot more thorough! Any comments would be welcome but I think this is a 'rubber gloves & elbow grease' job, systematically dismantle and thoroughly clean the whole system.

Ask Honest John

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