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Old 14.12.2005, 16:00
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Testing a Car (MFK)

Dear All

I hope this will save some people the charge of taking the test again...

After five years and then every two your car is due a test. The Swiss are actually quite relaxed about the taking of the test and allow you to choose when you want to do it. If you do not respond to the first letter they send you an appointment which you can change to something more suitable as long as it is three days or more in advance. If you need to change it at more short notice don't! Simply fail to turn up. This costs nothing whereas if you contact them then you have to pay the charge... Assuming you deliberately do not turn up they will then send you a recorded delivery letter and then you must turn up or change the appointment three days in advance. Here they have proof of delivery and can enforce it, whereas upto this point you can play ignorant.

When you go to the test you do NOT need to have winter tyres on and if you have non-original wheels for your winter rubbers then put the originals back on otherwise you are liable to fail as I did.

The test itself is quite thorough but any reasonable condition car will pass and you can also have a garage check it beforehand for around CHF 300 if you are unsure. I do not quite understand the logic here as the test itself costs only CHF 60-120(Yep you guessed it varies by Canton!)

Women drivers have the best chance of having a questionable car passed especially if they take kids along with them (no joking here they do the test quicker!)

Even if you fail generally you get a list of things that need correcting and you only need to sign that you will do them in order to get a pass - getting stopped by the police having not made corrections does cost plenty though!!

Regards

Richard
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Old 20.06.2007, 21:13
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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The Swiss are actually quite relaxed about the taking of the test and allow you to choose when you want to do it. If you do not respond to the first letter they send you an appointment which you can change to something more suitable as long as it is three days or more in advance.
This may have changed. My first letter had a date on it 5 weeks after the 'invitation' is dated. Maybe this has something to do with the vehicle never having been inspected in 6 years!
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Old 20.06.2007, 21:26
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

My car is four years old this month & I received a letter to go have it checked beginning July. There was no option for the date. Seems this process must vary by canton as well?
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Old 20.06.2007, 21:42
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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Seems this process must vary by canton as well?
Sometimes I consider myself lucky all the cantons share the same timezone.
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Old 20.06.2007, 21:55
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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When you go to the test you do NOT need to have winter tyres on and if you have non-original wheels for your winter rubbers then put the originals back on otherwise you are liable to fail as I did.
You can pass the test with non-original wheels but you need to have a certificate that proves they are fine for your car. The place that services/fixes my car arranged said certificate for me & my car passed with the non-originals on.
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Old 21.06.2007, 07:39
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

same goes for anything non-standard like exhaust systems - you need the "permission" slip to be with you when you MFK. I've had non-standard wheels and exhaust on my car and it passed.
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Old 21.06.2007, 11:18
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

Just passed the mfk of my car . Thanks for all the information available on this forum.
The inspector dealing with my car was very happy with the cleanliness of the car (engine and exterior). I payed 120CHF to clean the engine/chassis and its worth every penny.
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Old 25.06.2007, 15:30
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

Greenhill put his finger on it when he mentioned cleanliness. I've been here long enough to have run a few vehicles through the MFK, and cleanliness is all-important, especially underneath! I now have the underside and engine cleaned by a garage before any test. My old Rover was a bit oil-weepy, and we (the sympathetic garage and I) steam-cleaned all the oil from the undersides before driving it DIRECTLY to the test. Passed! But any car that's even slightly mucky underneath is likely to fail.

Rust holes are also a no-no. An inspector once informed me "We don't have even small rust holes in Switzerland" and even though he had a twinkle in his eye when he said that, he was serious - it failed!

Mods are out as well, however innocuous. I fitted a replacement gizmo for the reversing light bulb on my small truck that also beeped quietly when reversing. The inspector told me "I find those a really good idea, but I have to tell you to remove it!" Again, that twinkle in his eye and he knew full well I wouldn't, but he passed it with that advice.

Richard S
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Old 25.06.2007, 15:42
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

They like the vehicle to be clean and they like you to be on time, which means turning up 20 mins or so before your appointment.

Remember Switzerland is a club therefore pay your club dues to the garage and play by club rules to pass.

Then you can continue to avail of club benefits and appreciate it

Welcome to Club Helvetica we hope you enjoy your time with us.
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Old 25.06.2007, 15:49
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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Mods are out as well, however innocuous. I fitted a replacement gizmo for the reversing light bulb on my small truck that also beeped quietly when reversing. The inspector told me "I find those a really good idea, but I have to tell you to remove it!" Again, that twinkle in his eye and he knew full well I wouldn't, but he passed it with that advice.
Does that mean if we fit reversing sensors on our car it may fail the test? We have had the call up to get our car tested, would you advise fitting the sensors AFTER the test?

Thanks
Nicky
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Old 13.02.2008, 08:10
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

[quote=RSargeant;76428]
Mods are out as well, however innocuous. I fitted a replacement gizmo for the reversing light bulb on my small truck that also beeped quietly when reversing. The inspector told me "I find those a really good idea, but I have to tell you to remove it!" Again, that twinkle in his eye and he knew full well I wouldn't, but he passed it with that advice.
I managed to get a Land rover 110 with a non standard engine through the MFK in Aargau but it cost 11000 chf and took 3 months. The biggest annoyance was the tow-bar as it was not suitably stamped for Switzerland (I took it to a company that manufactures tow-bars for trucks and they tested and stamped it for me. The second time around they highlighted exactly the same fault list as the previous MFK so I reluctantly sent the car back to the UK. For the record before the first test the car had passed an English MOT 1 week before with no faults at all. ash
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Old 28.05.2013, 10:51
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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Rust holes are also a no-no. An inspector once informed me "We don't have even small rust holes in Switzerland" and even though he had a twinkle in his eye when he said that, he was serious - it failS
I have some visible rust on my car. I do not think there are any holes however. I was told by a garage that I have to fix these fir MFK. I am not sure if he is right. Can visible rust fail the test?
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Old 09.04.2013, 16:30
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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You can pass the test with non-original wheels but you need to have a certificate that proves they are fine for your car. The place that services/fixes my car arranged said certificate for me & my car passed with the non-originals on.
quick question.

what if you have the certificate, but you did not report it to the strassenverkehrsamt will you still pass it or a definite fail?

I heard when you register it, it appears on the car's grey paper? is this correct?
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Old 13.08.2011, 21:54
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

How often you must to do the MFK? and what means for Export in advertisements?
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Old 13.08.2011, 22:14
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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How often you must to do the MFK? and what means for Export in advertisements?
about every 3 years between 4 - 10 years, then about every 2 years.
For export implies it will cost something to get through a CH MFK.
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Old 16.12.2011, 17:50
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

I've just had the pleasure of receiving my first invitation to take my car to have its MFK. The car is in good shape and regularly maintained by the main dealer, so I'm pretty confident it shouldn't have too much trouble passing. My view is that I won't pay for a pre-inspection service, but I will have the engine and underside cleaned.

Two questions:

1. Does anyone have a suggestion of where I can have the engine and underside cleaned reasonably inexpensively, near Basel? My initial thoughts were that one of the garages in Weil-am-Rhein might be my best bet. I know others have recommended 'Stop & Go' before, although I'm not sure if they offer this service or not.

2. What happens if I fail? Am I given a certain period of time in which to fix my car, during which I can still drive it? Or do I have to keep it off-the-road (aside from to/from the garage & test centre) until the repairs are completed?

I don't speak a word of German, but I may beg a Swiss-German friend to accompany me as I'm guessing this might help to facilitate the process.
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Old 16.12.2011, 18:20
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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I've just had the pleasure of receiving my first invitation to take my car to have its MFK. The car is in good shape and regularly maintained by the main dealer, so I'm pretty confident it shouldn't have too much trouble passing. My view is that I won't pay for a pre-inspection service, but I will have the engine and underside cleaned.

Two questions:

1. Does anyone have a suggestion of where I can have the engine and underside cleaned reasonably inexpensively, near Basel? My initial thoughts were that one of the garages in Weil-am-Rhein might be my best bet. I know others have recommended 'Stop & Go' before, although I'm not sure if they offer this service or not.

2. What happens if I fail? Am I given a certain period of time in which to fix my car, during which I can still drive it? Or do I have to keep it off-the-road (aside from to/from the garage & test centre) until the repairs are completed?

I don't speak a word of German, but I may beg a Swiss-German friend to accompany me as I'm guessing this might help to facilitate the process.
As to 2., yes, you have time to fix the problems.

You can ask a friend to come along but I've found that when they realize my Swiss-German isn't perfect they ban me to the waiting room and run the tests themselves ... much better for both of us!
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Old 16.12.2011, 22:21
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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I've just had the pleasure of receiving my first invitation to take my car to have its MFK. The car is in good shape and regularly maintained by the main dealer, so I'm pretty confident it shouldn't have too much trouble passing. My view is that I won't pay for a pre-inspection service, but I will have the engine and underside cleaned.

Two questions:

1. Does anyone have a suggestion of where I can have the engine and underside cleaned reasonably inexpensively, near Basel? My initial thoughts were that one of the garages in Weil-am-Rhein might be my best bet. I know others have recommended 'Stop & Go' before, although I'm not sure if they offer this service or not.

2. What happens if I fail? Am I given a certain period of time in which to fix my car, during which I can still drive it? Or do I have to keep it off-the-road (aside from to/from the garage & test centre) until the repairs are completed?

I don't speak a word of German, but I may beg a Swiss-German friend to accompany me as I'm guessing this might help to facilitate the process.
5 minutes at any jet wash place will sort out most minor oil drips.

If you fail one of the following will occur:-
1) You sign a paper to say you will fix a light and pass
2) Return within 3 weeks for a partial retest
3) A new appointment needs to be made for a another test
5) The vehicle cannot be ever driven again on a road in CH

Sign launguage goes along way, it's not very difficult.

Good luck, what sort of age / condition is your car? The test is no more difficult than a UK MOT, I have got really shitty cars through in CH much to my surprise.
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Old 17.12.2011, 10:27
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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Good luck, what sort of age / condition is your car? The test is no more difficult than a UK MOT, I have got really shitty cars through in CH much to my surprise.
The car is ten years old but it's in excellent condition - serviced by the main dealer according to schedule, all minor problems fixed when they occur, regularly washed and waxed, no leaks. I'd have no doubt about it getting through a UK MOT, but wasn't sure how the MFK compared.
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Old 16.12.2011, 22:37
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Re: Testing a Car (MFK)

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about every 3 years between 4 - 10 years, then about every 2 years.
Depends on the canton, here 3-10 years is the norm.

Tom
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