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What is Checked on an MOT Test?

It is a legal requirement that all vehicles over three years old must take an annual MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. Its purpose is to determine whether your vehicle is roadworthy, as well as ensuring they comply with environmental requirements. 

Below we explain exactly what’s get checked during an MOT and how your car can benefit too. To get your car ready for its MOT, take a look at our wide range of car accessories, which we are sure will lead your car to pass its MOT. 

Vehicle body and speedometer 

During your MOT test, your car will be inspected for any corrosion to the body, seats, doors, engine mountings, and the chassis. Plus, anything that could cause injury, like sharp edges, is also checked. 

The mechanic also examines the speedometer by checking it illuminates correctly, and that the speed can be read clearly while you’re driving. This ensures that the speed you’re reading matches the speed of your car, keeping you safe.  

Exhaust and emissions

Exhaust Smoke White

During your MOT test, the mechanic checks that your exhaust is operating correctly and isn’t showing any signs of leaking. Your car’s emission levels are also monitored to make sure that they fall within the legal limit. 

This is done by using a gas analyser probe which measures the smoke coming from the exhaust. If excessive or coloured smoke is being emitted this is a sign that your car may fail an MOT. 

Seat Belts

Seat Belt

All seatbelts, including child seat restraints, are inspected during an MOT to ensure they’re the correct length and working properly. The structural integrity is also assessed, and this is done by the mechanic lifting up folded seats. 

Tyres

Performance car parts and accessories

When a mechanic inspects the tyres during your car’s MOT, they’ll first check that the tread depth is at least 1.6mm. They will then examine if there’s any tears, cuts, exposure, or damage to the tyres too. 

Before your MOT test, it’s a good idea to check your tyres for any signs of wear and tear, to ensure your vehicle passes its MOT first time. 

Brakes

If you notice your car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes, you may have a problem. As part of the MOT, the mechanic will conduct checks on your brakes, the levers, and the pedals, as well as the warning lights. 

Leaking brake fluid is a frequent problem. So, this is another issue that’s checked during an MOT. 

Suspension and steering 

The mechanic will examine the condition of your car’s steering wheel, to make sure it’s secure. They do this by checking for any wear and tear, as well as manoeuvring it in a range of directions. If your car has power steering, then there must be an adequate level of power steering fluid within your car. 

Plus, the suspension system and shock absorbers are also checked for any corrosion or damage, as part of the MOT. To do this, the tester will jack up the wheels and inspect the system from below the car. 

Bulbs and electric wiring

Another vital area of your car that’s inspected during its MOT are the lights and bulbs. Front and rear lights, as well as the indicators, must be in good working order, along with being positioned correctly and securely. For instance, the main beam and dip beam should be at a certain height to avoid dazzling other drivers. 

Horn

Horn - Pass your mot first time

Your car horn must be examined to test it produces a note that’s loud enough to be heard by other drivers, but also that it isn’t too loud too. The note must be continuous and sound the same every time it’s pressed. Any other sounds other than a horn, like a siren, are illegal and will fail your car’s MOT.

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Knowing what is checked on an MOT makes it much easier to notice problems with your car. Our handy guide as to what each of the car warning lights mean on your dashboard, will also help you quickly spot any major issues while you’re driving.