What Gets Checked On A Car MOT?
When you think about MOTs your mind instantly jumps to it being a chore. However, it is also an essential part of owning a car, and something that we cannot escape. The MOT can seem like a frustrating and complicated event, but it is actually pretty simple and takes hardly any time at all when compared to other car work. This guide is here to take you through everything you need to know about MOTs – from what they are and why they are important, all the way to the legality behind them and what gets checked out in the MOT process.
What is an MOT?
The MOT is an official safety test that every car must have annually – starting from the third anniversary of their registration. It is carried out at an MOT testing station, and you can find thousands of them across the country. If your car passes its MOT, you will be awarded a certificate that is valid for 12 months – proving your car is safe to be on the road.
If it fails, you will receive a document explaining why and the severity of the faults in your car. You will then have the chance to have the MOT again once the car is fixed, and this is usually at a discounted price. Most MOTs are priced at the legal cap of £55, but you will find that the majority of garages offer them at a much lower price – even as low as 50% off.
Why Get an MOT?
An MOT ensures that your car is listed as being safe and roadworthy. The certificate offers peace of mind, but also ensures that you are compliant with motor law. Additionally, if your car fails its MOT, you will have a list of issues and how severe they are so that you can get them fixed quickly and have the car re-tested. It’s a sensible choice and ensures that your vehicle is healthy and functioning correctly – making road travel a lot safer for everyone.
Is an MOT a Legal Requirement?
Yes, it is against the law to not have a valid MOT on your vehicle. If you are caught driving without one, you could face a fine of up to £2500 as well as points on your license and the risk of a driving ban. Considering the price of an MOT is well under £100, it’s worth getting the job done as opposed to risking a massive fine.
What Gets Checked During an MOT?
Here’s a look at the various areas of your vehicle that will be checked during an MOT. As you can see, the list is quite extensive.
Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment. For this, the following will be checked:
- 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
Horn – The following will be checked:
- Must provide one continuous note that is loud enough to be heard by another driver
Battery – The following will be checked:
- Must be secure and not show any signs of leaking electrolyte
Electrical wiring – The following will be checked:
- Should be secure and must not be damaged to the point where it is likely to short circuit or become detached
Towbar -If your vehicle has one, the following will be checked:
- Any electrical socket will be tested for its condition and that it correctly operates the trailer parking lights, brake lights, indicators, and rear fog lights
Steering and suspension – The following will be checked:
- 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
- If you have powered steering, you must have at least the minimum level of power steering fluid in the reservoir
- Suspension components and shock absorbers will be checked for excessive corrosion, distortion, and fractures
Brakes – The following will be checked:
- 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 – The following will be checked:
- 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
Seat belts – The following will be checked:
- Tested for security and overall condition.
Body and General – The following will be checked:
- General inspection of the body, chassis, engine mountings, seats, bonnet, boot and doors will be made. All components must be free from excessive corrosion and must not have any sharp edges that might cause injury
- Registration plates 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
- 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
- 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 and Emissions – The following will be checked:
- 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 use a gas analyser probe while the engine is running to test the smoke emitted from the exhaust. Emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons must fall within the legal limit
- Visual test for black smoke will also be undertaken.
View of the Road – The following will be checked:
- Rearview 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
- 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
What is Not Checked During an MOT
The following components are not checked during an MOT:
- The condition of the engine
- The condition of the clutch
- The condition of the gearbox
- Panels such as plastic sills or engine undertray
An MOT is one of the most important parts of car maintenance, and without one it is near impossible to determine the health of your vehicle and if anything needs to be repaired. Not to mention the legal requirement to have a valid MOT on your car at all times. They’re not expensive to have done, and if you are searching for a Car MOT Barnsley, Wombwell, we are just the people for you. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out.