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Old 15.02.2020, 14:45
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MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

Just received the "invitation" to bring my car for its MFK test.

I know that it's possible to also have the MFK carried out by the TCS, and I am a TCS member.

I wondered whether any EFers had opted for the TCS route, and whether there is any consensus as to whether it's "better" to opt for the TCS test rather than simply to go to the Strassenverkehrsamt.

One of my Swiss friends said that they're grumpy buggers at the Strassenverkehrsamt, and she came away mildly terrorised after her last visit.
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Old 15.02.2020, 14:49
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

TCS is closer for me, so I go there if possible.

TCS tend to be more nit-pickers, however.

Tom
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Old 15.02.2020, 14:59
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

I've been to STVA Zürich, found it all pretty relaxed tbh, they had some points I had to fix which I expected and all were fair and done in 15 min from arriving. Fixed the points, went back for a recheck, they checked just those things and outside again within 10 minutes.

If your friend came away mildly terrorised, well.. with N=1 it could also just be that she is the problem
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Old 15.02.2020, 15:21
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

Worst problem I ever had at MFK was when some young guy complained about a aftermarket brake lever that had been on the bike longer than he had been on the planet.

Fortunately, I found the original German TUV and manufacturers papers, and took them to the head guy.

Guy looks at the papers, looks at me, looks back at the papers, looks back at me and asks "how old is this bike?"

I respond "32", he looks back at the papers, shakes his head in exasperation, stamps a form which he then hands to me and says "you're good".

Tom
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Old 15.02.2020, 15:51
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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If your friend came away mildly terrorised, well.. with N=1 it could also just be that she is the problem
Hmm, I think that may well have been the case!
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Old 15.02.2020, 15:54
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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TCS is closer for me, so I go there if possible.

TCS tend to be more nit-pickers, however.

Tom
Aha, interesting. Thanks for the input. I was wondering whether the TCS might be more easy-going, so it's good to know that this is not the case, in fact.
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Old 15.02.2020, 15:58
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

The other thing the guy bitched about was that it wouldn't idle after the test run.

I had closed the taps when I parked it, the the inspector didn't notice before he took it for a ride.

Tom
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Old 15.02.2020, 16:01
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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Aha, interesting. Thanks for the input. I was wondering whether the TCS might be more easy-going, so it's good to know that this is not the case, in fact.
I think the TCS people are that way as they need to show that they can do the job and don't want to lose the contract.

Tom
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Old 15.02.2020, 16:06
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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Just received the "invitation" to bring my car for its MFK test.

I know that it's possible to also have the MFK carried out by the TCS, and I am a TCS member.

I think once you get the letter it's too late to engage TCS.
As the others say, the MFK is nothing to be scared of, especially if you get the car serviced reguarly.
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Old 15.02.2020, 16:09
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

Maybe how strict the TCS is area dependent. I did have an MFK at the TCS in Bern once and the guy complained about the head lamp adjustment, but then took out a screwdriver and fixed it.

The advantage of the TCS is that you can also fix an appointment well in advance. I might do that in the future. That is, plan the car service and the TCS MFK test more or less together so the engine is clean etc. but without necessarily informing the garage that it should be prepared for an MFK.

The last couple of times, I, out of idleness, when the MFK appointment came up, simply asked the garage to prepare it and take it to the test. It was convenient but expensive. But now the car is getting old, it will happen more often.
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Old 15.02.2020, 16:14
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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I think once you get the letter it's too late to engage TCS.
My next invitation in April is from the STVA to do it at TCS, as were most of the last ones.

If I think it's iffy, I let the local mechanic take it in for me.

Last year at TCS, they mentioned that I should replace my drake disks before the next test, as I only had 0.2mm left above the limit (Boxster), and that I should remove the turn signals from the '81 RS125, as I will never be able to get them to work perfectly (6V crap).

Tom
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Old 15.02.2020, 18:22
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

I did my MFK at TSC in canton Zurich and they were highly professional and polite. I did appreciate the convenience of picking up my time and day (and being 5 minute away from where I live).
You can also book a pre-check at TCS if you are in doubt.
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Old 16.02.2020, 10:17
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

Fee for TCS members is only 30 SFr which is cheaper than the normal 56 SFr fee.
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Old 16.02.2020, 10:36
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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Worst problem I ever had at MFK was when some young guy complained about a aftermarket brake lever that had been on the bike longer than he had been on the planet.

Fortunately, I found the original German TUV and manufacturers papers, and took them to the head guy.

Guy looks at the papers, looks at me, looks back at the papers, looks back at me and asks "how old is this bike?"

I respond "32", he looks back at the papers, shakes his head in exasperation, stamps a form which he then hands to me and says "you're good".

Tom
Funny. They also gave me problems about breaks once with a bike. I don't remember the details but the second time the guy from my garage went in with the bike and explained it was bike specific - and got the okay.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:18
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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Fee for TCS members is only 30 SFr which is cheaper than the normal 56 SFr fee.
Isn't that only for the pre-test and not the official test?

Tom
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:28
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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Isn't that only for the pre-test and not the official test?

Tom

Could very well be. When I landed on the page it was written 30 SFr. But now when I selected Zurich in the dropdown combo box the price jumped to 60 SFr.
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:42
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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Isn't that only for the pre-test and not the official test?

Tom
They show the cheapest price of all Kantons unless a specific location is selected, the price for an MFK at TCS in Bern is 30,-
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Old 16.02.2020, 12:43
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

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I think once you get the letter it's too late to engage TCS.
Nope, even if you had the letter you can still make an appointment with the TCS, this will automatically cancel your appointment at the Cantonal MFK center.
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Old 16.02.2020, 13:04
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

I have done plenty of tests with high milage cars 250,000 km plus, I do my own minimal maintain & only once had an issue due to rust that needed welding, the car was 17 years old with 335,000 km at the time. All other times it passed with possibly me signing I would fix some minor item.
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Old 29.08.2021, 02:49
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Re: MFK at TCS vs MFK at Strassenverkehrsamt

Being a Swiss born Kiwi with an accent-less Swiss German i have a bit of home advantage when it comes to inspections.

The best way to describe how TCS and MFK differ are this:

MFK Stv. tends to be more general in their inspection of the vehicle, however they will tend to nitpick smaller stuff A LOT MORE than TCS (examples: cracked plastic interior, doors on older cars needing a little bit more force to close, etc)

MFK TCS are strict in the inspection of the required safety items in the car, such as suspension, brakes, rust etc. however they will not nitpick your little crack on the dash, or the heater that only runs on the first stage.

Personally i use TCS because they do what theyre supposed to, theyre strict on the actual stuff that is important to be strict on, but leave the rest alone.


That being said, take it with a grain of salt, as it tends to come down to the mood of the inspector on the day.

Big tip is to also dress accordingly

ive had more success in getting a car through while dressed in a hoodie with a baseball cap than if i was wearing a polo shirt and looked like i was late to a tennis match. If they believe you work on the car or suspect youre a mechanic, they usually let some small things go.

Ive had that on a smart car i took in after repairing the whole front right after an accident. while i know the mechanicals well enough i didnt do the job, but the inspector came up to me and asked if i had put the old pads back on after putting on the new disk, i nodded and said yeah, and then he mentioned the brakes were close to the 30% differential margin but said i should replace the pads when i get the chance and then stamped the paper and let me pass
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