The MOT test is thorough and checks all the main safety components of a car. It is important to ensure that your car is as safe as possible to protect the driver and other road users. In this article, we will go through the different parts of your car that are checked during your MOT test and why they are checked.
- Axles, Wheels, and Tyres
- Battery, Lights and Electrical Wiring
- Body, Structure and Attachments
- Exhaust Emissions
- Exhaust System
- Fuel System
- Number Plates
- Visibility (wipers, windscreen, mirrors).
- Bonnet and Boot
- Dashboard Warning Lights
- Fluid Leaks
- Evidence that a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) has been tampered with
What Is Checked For On An MOT?
Axles, Wheels, and Tyres
The tyre’s condition, security, size and tread depth will be inspected. Please note that your spare tyre will not be checked during your MOT.
Battery, Lights and Electrical Wiring
All the electrics in your car will be checked to ensure there is no damaged wiring and the battery is not flat. All of your lights - front, rear, reversing, high beams - will be tested to ensure the bulbs work and that they are clean and visible.
Body, Structure and Attachments
The car’s body will be inspected to ensure that the car is free from corrosion or damage, and that there are no sharp edges that are likely to cause an injury.
The brakes are an essential part of your car safety, so they will be thoroughly checked. The mechanic will test their condition, operation, performance and the anti-lock braking system.
In the exhaust emissions test, the gases that your car releases through the exhaust. A probe is placed in the tailpipe which measures the amounts of four gases: oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. Then with a calculation, the mechanic will work out the measurement of the combustion efficiency of an engine.
The system itself is checked as well as the emissions it releases. The exhaust will be checked for leaks, to ensure it is secure and complete, and your catalytic converter hasn’t been stolen - which seems silly, but has been happening recently!
Your vehicle’s fuel system will be checked to ensure there are no leaks and that the pipes and hoses are secure and not damaged. The fuel cap will also be inspected to check that it fastens and seals securely. Please note that the mechanic will need the fuel cap key, so be sure to bring this with you to your MOT.
As the main function of your car horn is to alert other drivers of potential dangers or issues, it is essential that the horn is loud, clear, and fully operational.
Your registration plates are how your vehicle is identified. The plates will be checked to make sure the colour and condition are up to scratch, and that characters are correctly formatted and spaced, to ensure they can be read clearly and picked up by cameras.
We all know how important the seatbelts in our car are, so of course, they are part of the MOT test. They will be inspected to ensure they are in good condition and working order, that they are attached securely, and that they are the correct ones for the vehicle.
Your steering oil level will be checked, as will the steering lock mechanism. They will ensure that there have been no inappropriate modifications to the power steering pipes or hoses.
Visibility (wipers, windscreen, mirrors).
Your windscreen will be checked for damages and chips, as will your windscreen wipers. Your screen wash levels will be checked - always check this before an MOT because it is one of the easiest fixes and can save you serious time and money!
Bonnet and Boot
The bonnet and the boot will be checked to ensure they close properly and securely.
It is essential that your seats are able to be adjusted, and are securely fitted, with the seat backs fixed in an upright position.
Dashboard Warning Lights
Your dashboard will be inspected to make sure the airbags, seatbelts, DPF, and other warning lights are switched off, but work if they need to. Never take your car to an MOT with a warning light on - get it looked at before taking your car in for its MOT.
You need complete visibility whilst driving so be sure to remove any fluffy dice or novelty air fresheners that might earn you a failure on your MOT test!
Your car will be checked for leaks and contaminations of all kinds of fluids; coolant, Adblue, oils, lubricants - a leak is usually bad news, so this is checked for.
Evidence that a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) has been tampered with
Some diesel cars are fitted with DPFs - a device that filters nasty gases (those that are tested for during an emissions test) and keeps soot away from the environment. It is illegal to remove the DPF from your car, so the mechanics will check to ensure it is still there.
How Old Can My Tyres Be to Pass the MOT?
All non-commercial vehicles with 8 or more passenger seats will fail the MOT if their front tyres are more than 10 years old.
If you drive a bus, coach, minibus or goods vehicle that weighs more than 3,500kg, it is also now illegal to have front tyres fitted that are more than 10 years old.
For all other vehicles, there are no tyre age restrictions that can cause an MOT failure. However, we strongly recommend replacing your tyres every 4-6 years to ensure they are as safe as possible.
What Isn’t Checked On An MOT test?
There isn’t much that isn’t checked on an MOT test. However, the condition of the engine, the clutch and the gearbox are not checked as these are not considered a safety risk. It is important to know that an MOT is not to check your car’s general mechanical condition - it isn’t the same as a car service.
To really be sure your car is in the best condition, take your car for a service today - some garages offer discounts when you book in your MOT and service at the same time. To compare prices in your local area, just enter your reg plate and postcode and start saving money today!
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How Can I Prepare For My MOT?
There are a number of steps you can take to ensure the best possible chance of your car passing its MOT test. Conduct a pre-MOT check. Things like windscreen fluid and oil levels take little time and effort to check and correct if needs be, so you don’t want to find yourself failing on something that could have been solved with five minutes of your time before the test happens.
If you don’t have time to do it yourself, why not book a pre-MOT check with your full MOT? Plenty of our garages offer this service with prices starting as little as £10 - enter your reg plate and postcode to compare our prices.