Avoiding MOT Failure

Electrical Equipment

Switch on the ignition and check the operation of the following electrical equipment.

Horn. Horn should be audible and work every time

Windscreen Washers and Wipers. Examine the wiper blades and make sure that they have a good edge with no splits, cracks, nibbles or rips in the blades. They should clear the winscreen leaving the windscreen clear and with good visibilty.

Side Lights & Headlights. Turn on and check operation of side lights. All side lights should function front and back and the registration plate must be illuminated. All lens must be secure. Check headlight alignment. This varies between vehicles but your beam must not be too high as to blind oncoming traffic and must point slightly towards the passengers side of the road, again to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. Internal Headlight reflectors must be clear and not discoloured.

Hazard lights. Check that all indicators flash when the hazard light button is depressed

Indicators. Ignition is usually needed. Check both sides, front and back. Indicators must have an internal indiction of operation ie on the dashboard.

Having a mirror or reflective surface behind the car can help in these checks, alternatively have a friend help you.

Brake lights: Make sure ALL your brake lights work when pedal is depressed and do not interfere with the working of indicators. (A bad earth will cause unusual combinations of incorrect and dull lighting)

Fog Lights. Check the operation and also the indicator on the instrument panel.

Instrument Panel. When turning on the ignition check the following on your instrument panel:

These are specific to manufacturer but usually the light illuminate for a period of time to show that the bulbs work and then extinguish after a period of time. Once lights go out they should stay unlit.

An insecure battery will be a reason for failure as will a battery that is leaking electrolyte.
Visible wiring that is insecure, inadequately supported or likely to cause a short will also result in a failure as will wires bared by damaged insulation.

Trailer/caravan electrical socket
There will be a basic security/damage check of 7-pin sockets, 13-pin sockets will be subject to a full electrical connectivity check and incorrectly connected or inoperative circuits will result in failure.

The car will fail if a speedometer is not fitted, is incomplete, inoperative, has a dial glass broken/missing or cannot be illuminated.

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