The following section is designed to give you an indication as to what items are tested during an MOT and how this is done. The list is only a brief summary of the actual procedures used and not all items apply to all cars. Also it should be noted that dis-assembly of any part of the vehicle is not allowed during an MOT test which means that hidden items such as faulty wheel cylinders cannot be seen or failed.
All lights are tested for OPERATION, CONDITION & SECURITY. SIDELIGHTS and HEADLIGHTS are:
• The correct type.
• Are correctly aimed (headlights).
• Operate dip & full beam (headlights).
STOP LIGHTS, INDICATORS & HAZARD LIGHTS :
• Must be of the correct type.
• Must not interact with each other's operation.
• Indicator tell tale or audible warning works.
REAR FOG LIGHTS.
• Must be fitted to the centre or offside of the vehicle.
• Tell tale must work.
• Must not interact with other lights.
• Must not be obscured.
• Must be red.
NUMBER PLATE LIGHTS.
• All original lights must be present and working.
• Two reflectors must be fitted fairly symmetrically be secure and not obscured.
• Stop lights,indicators and hazard lights must be fitted to vehicles used on or after 1st April 1986, but if fitted must be tested.
• Rear fog lights must be fitted to all vehicles used on or after 1st April 1980.
CHECKS UNDER THE BONNET.
• Upper Suspension Joints and any other suspension components which can be inspected from under the bonnet.
• Security of steering rack or box and mountings.
• Excessive play in steering rack or box.
• Play in steering joints.
• Any other parts of the steering system that can be seen from under the bonnet.
CHECKS UNDER THE VEHICLE.
• Front & Rear Suspension.
• No split pins, nuts etc missing.
• No bent or broken components.
• Condition of road springs.
• Condition of suspension joints for excessive play etc.
• Shock absorbers for leakage & security.
• Shock absorbers for damping action.
• Excessive play in rack/steering joints under load test
• Excessive lift/play in steering box.
• Power steering for leaks etc.
• Security of Rack/Box and mounting areas for corrosion or cracking.
• Wheels an tyres for fouling vehicle body/hoses etc on lock to lock.
• Condition of front and rear wheel bearings regarding play and noise.
• Steering rack gaiters for splits, leakage, security etc.
• Front outer C V boots for splits, leakage, security etc.
• Metal/Rubber bushes for excess play or wear.
• Locking or retaining devices.
• Front drive shafts and C V joints (if applicable).
STEERING INSIDE THE CAR.
• Steering wheel in good condition.
• Steering wheel securely attached to column.
• Upper column bearings/bush for excess play.
• Steering column for excess end float.
• Clamping bolts checked for security.
• Locking nuts and split pins.
• Free play in steering.
• Flexible couplings/universal joints for excess play.
INSIDE THE CAR.
• Antilock brake warning light (if fitted), is checked for operation and correct operating sequence
• Reserve travel on footbrake so that it does not reach the floor.
• Excess wear of brake pedal rubber.
• Correct operation of brake servo.
• Parking brake for reserve travel so that it does not reach it's end stop.
• Parking brake mountings for corrosion and security. UNDER THE BONNET.
• Master cylinder/servo checked for leaks under load
• Servo unit for correct operation.
• Visible metal brake pipes for damage, corrosion, leakage or breakages.
UNDER THE VEHICLE.
With load applied to footbrake.
All visible metal brake pipes for condition and corrosion.
Brake discs and drums checked for external condition and contamination.
Security and condition of backplates and caliper mounting devices.
Condition of brake pads (if visible).
Condition and operation of handbrake linkages and cables.
Leaks from brake compensator (if fitted).
BRAKE PERFORMANCE CHECK.
• The efficiency and balance of the front and rear
The reason for failure with respect to tyre wear is:
"The grooves of the tread pattern are not at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising:
• The central three-quarters of the breadth of tread around the entire outer circumference of the tyre".
• Tyres on any axle must be matched with regard to type, size and structure.
• Also general condition of tyres, condition of valves serious cuts, bulges or other damage.
Damage, distortion, cracks, distorted bead rim securely attached to vehicle, missing wheel nuts or studs.
• The security of any externally fitted spare wheel or spare wheel carrier.
Most vehicles after 1965 must have seatbelts Irrespective of this requirement all seat belts fitted to a vehicle are inspected for:
• Security of seatbelt mountings and locking stalks.
• Security and operation of locking/release mechanism.
• Condition of webbing.
• Operation of retraction mechanism.
Note: The inertia locking mechanism is not checked On some vehicles where the belt is attached to the seat the security of the seat to the vehicle would also be part of the seat belt check. With regard to the retraction mechanism it is allowed to manually feed the belt back in.
Chips or cracks in the windscreen directly in front of the driver, in the area swept by the wiper blades, are acceptable if they are less than 10mm in diameter. In the rest of the swept area up to 40mm damage is acceptable.
Official stickers (parking permits, tax disc etc) in the swept area in front of the driver will fail if they are more than 10mm in diameter (40mm elsewhere).
WASHERS AND WIPERS.
• Extent of area swept by wipers.
• Condition of wiper blades.
• Control is easily reached by driver.
• Loud enough.
• Cannot be multi tone sequential type.
• Part of the system missing will result in failure.
• Excessive deterioration.
• Support mountings are missing or broken.
• Excessive noise.
• This check is carried out using special equipment
• The exact details will depend on the age and model of the vehicle.
• Excessive smoke (visual check).
• Diesel smoke is tested using a smoke meter.
BODY CONDITION AND SECURITY.
The body must not be so insecure or displaced that it could cause the loss of control of the vehicle when driven or cause a danger to other road users.
Corrosion is a complicated and wide ranging topic. It can be used as a reason for failure in many of the previous sections. A brief explanation follows: A vehicle will fail for excessive corrosion in a 'prescribed area' ie within 30cms of various components such as brakes, steering, suspension, seat belt mounts etc. Also excessive corrosion not in a 'prescribed area' which is likely to adversely affect the vehicles steering or brakes. Excessive corrosion can mean a hole or significantly weakened structure.
• The front seats must be secure.
• All seat backs must be securable in the upright position.
Not all mirrors on all vehicles are subject to the test. This depends on the age of the vehicle but those which are must be:
• Visible from the drivers seat.
• Not distorted or damaged so as to seriously impair the driver's view of the rear.
• Any fuel leak or defect which will allow fuel to leak out will fail the test.
• Fuel filler cap must fasten securely and seal must be in place and in good condition.
REGISTRATION PLATES & VIN NUMBERS.
For any registered vehicle number plates must be:
• Not faded dirty or obscured.
• Be composed of correctly formed letters, correctly spaced.
VIN plates are required on all vehicles firstly used on or after 1st August 1980 and must be:
• Permanently displayed.