What is involved in a car MOT?

What is involved in a car MOT?

mechanics undergoing MOT checksIs your car due an MOT? If so, you may be wondering what this important annual test actually involves. Read on to find out what is checked, what isn’t, and what you need to do if your car fails.

What is an MOT?

Before we look at what is involved in a car MOT, it’s important to be clear what an MOT is. All cars over three years old are legally required to undertake this test every year to demonstrate that they’re roadworthy. A series of checks will be carried out on your vehicle to make sure it meets the latest safety and environmental standards.

Many people dread their yearly MOT, but it’s not something that can be ignored. Not only does the law require you to submit your car for an MOT every year, but it’s vital for ensuring that it’s safe to drive.

What MOT checks will be carried out?

When you take your car for an MOT, your mechanic will perform a series of checks to ensure that it’s road safe and meets certain environmental standards. At Wyatt Auto Services, we provide same or next day MOTs in Barnsley for your convenience. Here’s what we’ll check during at MOT test on your car.


Your brakes are one of the most important components of your car in regards to safety. Therefore, they must operate properly to pass an MOT. The tester will make sure they decelerate the car effectively and that they’re correctly balanced. In other words, the car must stop in a straight line. The brake pedal mustn’t be excessively worn, and the handbrake must be able to hold the car securely.
Brake condition will be assessed, with the car’s discs, pads, and callipers all be assessed, as well as the pipes and cables.

Doors and openings

Your car’s doors must open and close, with the catches able to keep the doors securely closed. Front doors should open from both inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may require opening to allow the tester to carry out other MOT checks, such as rear seatbelts. Common faults include broken or damaged hinges and defective door releases.


During the MOT, the test will check the bodywork for sharp edges caused by corrosion or damage from an accident. Sharp edges to the bodywork aren’t permitted as they could potentially cause injury to pedestrians. Your car will also be checked for excessive corrosion. If found on components which are vital for safety, such as brakes, this may result in a fail.

mot checks being conducted by a mechanic in BarnsleyExhaust and emissions

Emissions are tested as part of your annual MOT. For fuel-powered cars, specialist equipment is connected to the exhaust. The legal limit depends on the vehicle’s age, with far stricter standards placed on newer cars. If visible smoke can be seen coming from the car’s tailpipe, this may result in an MOT fail. Excessive noise is a big no-no too. The MOT tester will also check that both the exhaust system and the fuel cap are attached securely so that there isn’t a risk of leaks.


During your car’s MOT, the test will assess both the condition and strength of the steering wheel. They’ll do this by pushing the steering in different directions, as well as inspecting it wear and tear or damage to its components. Keep in mind that if your vehicle’s steering has a locking device, this too will be tested, making sure that it only locks when the engine is turned off.

Cars which have power steering must have the minimum level of power steering fluid within the reservoir. The suspension will be checked too, with the components and shock absorbers assessed for excessive corrosion, fractures, and distortion.


One of the most common reasons for MOT failure is lights and lamps. This is surprising considering that problems with these components can usually be easily fixed prior to taking the vehicle to the garage for its test. All lights and lamps need to be working. This includes headlights, rear lights, fog lights, brake lights, hazard warning lights, indicators, and number plate lamps.

Other issues which might lead to an MOT fail are lights which are too bright or too low, and indicators which flash less than 60 times per minute. If you have any problems with your lights, don’t hesitate to contact Wyatt Auto Services. We’ll get your car booked in and the issue fixed before your MOT is carried out.

Tyres and wheels

With 10% of all MOT faults relating to tyres, it’s vital to ensure that yours are in adequate condition before taking the test. Tyres must be of a suitable speed and load rating for the car. Tread depth is important to consider too, with 1.6mm the legal limit. Tyres will also be examined for cuts bigger than 25mm, bulges, lumps, tears, cord exposure, and tread separation.

Windscreen, mirrors, and wipers

For your car to pass its MOT test, rear view and wing mirrors must be secure, as well as provide ample views to both the rear and side. Wipers must sweep wide enough to provide the driver with an acceptable view of the road.

The area of the car’s windscreen right in front of the driver must be free from damage bigger than 10mm. Outside of this area, there mustn’t be any damage bigger than 40mm.

Other checks

There are a number of other checks that a garage will carry out when performing your car’s MOT, including assessing the seats and seatbelts, horn, and the tow bar. The tester will also check that your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is clearly displayed and can be easily read. This number can usually be found either at the bottom of the windscreen, or on the metal panel underneath the bonnet.

If your car is due its annual MOT, it’s time to find a reputable local garage. At Wyatt Auto Services, we’ve been performing MOTs in Barnsley and the surrounding areas for many years. We have a fantastic reputation for quality and trust, making sure our customers come back to us time and time again.

Wyatt Auto Services is a registered company in England.

Registered Number: 6341675

VAT Number: 916070443

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