Car - Strategy for Contrôle Technique

Our 2013 car is due its periodic technical inspection in March.

I received advice to find a mechanic who will check the car and take it to the inspection to help it pass but does this make sense to mustachians?

The cost of the inspection is 70 CHF (canton Geneva) and if it fails the 2nd inspection will be either 70 or 35 (not clear from the website).

Of course the cost of a mechanic will be > 70 CHF

On the other hand perhaps there is a credibility thing that if a mechanic takes the car to the inspection they are less likely to fail it on borderline faults so fewer spare parts, labour etc.

The car was checked and serviced in January, but not in Switzerland

I service my car (made 2009) by myself and also do the motor vehicle controls by myself so this is my experience on the whole process:

Firstly the tester who checks your car for the motor vehicle control mostly influences the outcome. If he has a bad day his tolerance will be smaller or bigger if he has a good day.

Basically all the parts which get checked by machines for example suspension, brakes and lights have to pass the tests for your vehicle to pass the inspection. All the other points of the checklist get checked by hand from the tester and so he for himself with his experience and knowhow decides if it’s okay or not.

If you send a mechanic he might be able to negotiate with the tester if there are some small faults but on the bigger ones he won’t be able to and you have to get it fixed anyway. Maybe others that have sent a mechanic before can more precisely tell their experience as I have never done that.

As a general advice, clean your car thoroughly inside and outside and also the engine (by hand) before the inspection. The testers always told me how my car looks brand new at the inspection but they don’t know that it is dirty 99% of the time :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:.

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Just did mine back in January (2nd time). First time it was when I imported my old car from Spain (Also no issues there)
How is your car?
I did it myself (Just drive, I have even forgot to clean it) I didn’t have any issue with.

So if the car is Ok, I will do it myself.

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Clean under the engine at the last minute or the day before.

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Thanks for the tips, makes a lot of sense to clean it , I probably wouldn’t have done it.

Do people have a view what “clean the engine” means? Does it mean open the hood and clean all visible oil and dust top down so there is a first impression thing?

Or does it mean mean drive the car to garage, put it over a pit, and clean under the engine?

The car is from 2013.

All wearable parts have been replaced in Jan.

Exception is that I have a slight wheel bearing noise at 100kmph that the non-Swiss mechanic told me wasn’t worth replacing. Likely the swiss inspector will see it differently - I guess the bearing will get checked by a machine so there is no benefit going to a garage in advance for that

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On the bottom of the car, it should be clear if the motor has leaks. When clean, it’s easy to understand if it is a leak or just dirty.

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It is true that this is expected but I personally do not really see any valid reason why a car should fail if the components (suspensions, brakes, lights etc) are working properly…

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In my opinion it does not make sense to let the mechanic drive the car for the inspection.

It your car is well maintained i would wash it, also engine and underbody (you can finde some washingstations in your area where this is possible, or just do it by hand with break disc cleaner). Then you should check all the obvious stuff.

  • wipers - torn on the ends?
  • lights - all ok incl reverse and number plate lights?
  • lights - try to check +- if the height is OK. You can do it with any wall when it is dark
  • seatbelts
  • tires
  • horn
  • is in your cockpit everything OK? You dont need even to try to pass the inspection if Airbag sign is always on.

PS: mechanics go often to inspection. So it is very likely that they do not only have friends there…:wink:

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Thanks to everyone for the tips. I did not go to a mechanic beforehand since the car had a service 3 months earlier. The car failed due to dim headlight bulb, it will cost me ~40CHF for the second inspection. I am quite relieved with this outcome

I went to a wash company to get the car cleaned inside and out, including underneath. I wiped down the top of the motor myself and changed to summer wheels before the inspection (I bought my winter wheels at Feu Vert in France and they have not been added to the car’s official “grey card”… I have been advised this could cause questions in the event of an insurance claim)

Suprised to hear that they let you fail and asked for a second inspection because of a bulb… normally for minor defects, there is the option to sign on the insepction report that you’ll fix the issue in the next couple of days and with that you don’t have to go through a re-inspection. I guess it depends on the inspectors mood. Maybe they also classify the headlights as major safety item.


Perhaps we are talking the same thing

I don’t have to do a full test again, I have a timeframe when I need to go by and show them the bulb is working without taking an appointment. I asked about the cost and he said I didn’t need to worry as I would get any invoice in the post. I just assumed the invoice would be the 40CHF cost - perhaps there will be no invoice

most likely, yes :+1:

The invoice for the 2nd inspection with changed bulb was 35 CHF

For info for anyone with Xenon headlights. Price in Migros for D1S bulb is 159 CHF for 2 for the premium Osram model (they only seem to stock premium model and only duo packs)

Online for a single, standard Osram D1S is much less eg Galaxus 45chf. Confirmed in the test that everything was in conformity