Avoiding MOT Failure


All required lights are checked for:
• Operation.
• Condition.
• Security.

Side lights and headlamps:
• Acceptable make/model.
• Dip and aim must be within specified perameters Stop lights, indicators and hazard lights*
• Acceptable make/model
• Lights,indicators and hazard lights must not interfere with each other whilst in operation.
• Indicators, stop lights and hazard warning lights function. Rear fog lamps**
• Must be fitted to the centre or offside of the vehicle.
• Tell-tale must work.
• Must not be affected by other lamps and not be obscured.
• Must be red.

Number plate lamps

All original lamps must be fitted and working.

Rear reflectors
There must be two reflectors fitted reasonably symmetrically, securely attached and not obscured.
* Must be fitted to all vehicles first used on or after 1st April 1986, but if fitted, must be tested.
** Must be fitted to all vehicles first used on or after 1st April 1980.

Products on the lens or light source that obviously reduce the light’s intensity or change its colour will become a reason for failure – applies to front/rear position lamps, registration plate lamps, stop lamps, rear fog and direction indicators,
Headlight requirements are updated to take account of the particular characteristics of High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps.

HID headlights
HID headlights can cause dazzle if they are dirty or aimed too high, so they are generally (if light output exceeds 2000 lumens) fitted in conjunction with headlamp cleaning and levelling systems. Where HID or LED dipped beam headlamps are fitted the tester will switch on the headlamps and check the operation of any headlamp levelling and cleaning devices fitted.
The car will fail if a headlamp levelling or cleaning device is inoperative or otherwise obviously defective.
If a headlamp bulb is not seated correctly the resulting beam pattern will be indistinct and this will result in a test fail.

Warning lights
As well as electronic parking brake and electronic stability control warning lights (where fitted) the MOT test will also include checks for the correct function of the following, where fitted;
• Headlight main beam warning light
• Electronic power steering warning light
• Brake fluid level warning light
• Seat belt pre-tensioner warning light

High Level Brake Lights
Most high level stop lamps are classed as ‘additional stop lamps’ – they are usually set in a rear window or a spoiler and are fitted with LEDs or multiple bulbs. If the lamp is connected, at least one LED or bulb should light up when the brake pedal is depressed.

More Information

High Level Lights >>

Electrical & Wiring >>

American Vehicles >>

MOT Manual >>

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