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What Exactly Does an MOT Test Entail of?

As always, I like to provide guidance and helpful advice on this blog across so many categories, so today’s post is covering off exactly what is going to checked out during your cars MOT.

Will your car pass its MOT? The run up to booking it in and then waiting to hear if it has passed or failed is always a worry!

Listed below are the main elements that are checked as part of the standard UK MOT test. Nearly half of all faults found during MOT checks could be avoided by carrying out simple maintenance, so it’s worthwhile checking items like lights, wiper blades and tyres beforehand.

After all, we all want our cars to pass and the expenses to be as low as possible…

Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment

Lights: They estimate around 30% of all MOT faults relate to lighting and signalling. To pass the MOT, your front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate lights and rear reflectors must do the following:

  • Be correctly positioned and secure
  • Not be obscured
  • Be in good condition
  • Show the correct colour
  • Not be adversely affected by the operation of any other light
  • Illuminate with a single operation of the switch
  • Pairs of lights must emit light of the same colour, size and shape.
  • Headlights angled to correct positio

Horn: The horn must emit a continuous uniform note and must be loud enough to be heard by another road user.

Battery: The battery must be secure and not show any signs of leaking electrolyte.

Electrical wiring: Wiring should be secure and must not be damaged to the point where it is likely to short circuit or become detached.

Before your MOT check, have someone walk around your vehicle to check each of the lights while you operate them from the driver’s seat.

Steering and suspension

Steering: As part of your MOT check, the tester will assess the strength and condition of the steering wheel by pushing the steering in various directions and inspecting for wear or damage to the steering components.

If your steering has a locking device, it’ll be tested to ensure it only locks when the engine is not running. Vehicles with power steering must have at least the minimum level of power steering fluid in the reservoir

Suspension: Suspension components and shock absorbers will be checked for excessive corrosion, distortion and fractures.

Brakes: 9.6% of MOT fails are due to brake issues. The overall condition of the brakes, pedals and levers are inspected, as well as any relevant warning lights.

A brake performance test will be carried out to test brake efficiency.

Tyres and road wheels

10% of all MOT faults are related to tyres. That said, tyres are one of the highest things we neglect when everyday driving, as we don’t really look at them (or see them when sat inside the car).

If you know your tyres are looking low, damaged or worse for wear before your MOT, it’s worthy to get these replaced your MOT. Remember, there are places like Iverson Car Tyres London branch you can visit and get a chance to choose from the wide variety of tyres they have to offer

The tyre must be of an appropriate speed and load rating for the vehicle. For example, Tread depth must not be below the legal limit of 1.6mm, and tyres will be examined for cuts in excess of 25mm, lumps, bulges, tears, exposure of the cord and tread separation.

For vehicles with run-flat tyres, the warning light must operate correctly.

Road wheels must be in good general condition. You can use a 20 pence coin to check that your tread depth is at least 1.6mm, which is a handy text to do before your MOT. Also check your tyre pressure and look for any signs of damage.

Seat belts and restraint systems

Each seat belt (including the attachment and adjustment fittings) will be checked for its security and condition.

Body, structure and general items

A general inspection of the body, chassis, engine mountings, seats, car bonnet, boot and doors will be made as part of your MOT checks. All components must be free from excessive corrosion and must not have any sharp edges that might cause injury.

Registration plates

A registration plate must be fitted at the front and rear. The plates must be secure and clearly legible to someone standing 20 metres away from the car.

The characters on the plate must be correctly formed and spaced and not likely to be misread.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Every vehicle must permanently display a legible VIN, either on a VIN plate secured to the vehicle, or stamped or etched on the body or chassis.

Extras:

Speedometer: A speedometer must be fitted, and the tester will check that it can be illuminated. It does not matter if the dial glass is cracked as long as the speed can be read.

Exhaust system: The exhaust system will be inspected to ensure it is secure and doesn’t leak. If your vehicle was originally fitted with a catalytic converter, it must still be present. The tester will make a visual check for excessive dense blue or black smoke emitted from the exhaust, which is a cause for MOT failure.

Driver’s view of the road: 6.6% of MOT fails are due to issues with the driver’s view of the road

Mirrors and wipers: Rear view mirrors and wing mirrors must be secure and provide adequate views to the rear and side. Wipers and washers must sweep a wide enough area to give the driver an adequate view of the road

Windscreen: In the area of the windscreen directly in front of the driver, there must not be any damage or obstruction to the view larger than 10mm. Outside this area (but within the swept area), there must not be any damage or other obstruction larger than 40mm.

Check before your test: Check that your screenwash is topped up, your wiper blades are in good working order and that there is no significant damage to your windscreen.

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