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MOT TEST INFORMATION
Extracts reproduced from the MOT Inspection Manual by kind permission of THE VEHICLE INSPECTORATE.

MOT INFORMATION LIGHTS STEERING HORN
BRAKES MIRRORS TYRES/WHEELS SEATS
DOORS REG.PLATES/VIN STRUCTURE FUEL SYSTEM
SEAT BELTS WINDSCREEN Click here for Northern Ireland Click here for current MOT prices
WIRING & BATTERY BONNET EMISSIONS  

MOT INFORMATION
Search MOT inspection manual:

The MOT is effectively the examination of a motor vehicle's safety-related systems components to ensure that they have not worn to an excessive level which would otherwise render the vehicle unsafe for use on the road.

It is possible for items to pass the MOT inspection and yet still be regarded as past their service life at a routine service.

Fortunately garages which do have a current MOT Testing permit and the necessary specialised training will not judge normal wear of a component as being an MOT 'failure', whereas a less experienced servicing mechanic would not appreciate the distinction.

By utilising the services of an MOT Testing Centre you are likely to save time and money and reduce the risk of Appeals to the Vehicle Inspectorate where you car may have been failed on the wrong grounds.

If your vehicle fails its MOT it may qualify for a FREE re-test. Click here to find out what qualifies a FREE retest

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BRAKES

Inside the car
Anti-lock braking system (if fitted) Warning lamp is checked for:
Function.
Sequence of operation. Footbrake
Reserve travel on the footbrake so that it does not go down to the floor
Pedal rubber not worn to excess
Correct operation of the servo assistance system.

Reserve brake
This could be a handbrake or a footbrake.
Checked for reserve travel so that it does not reach the stops on application.
The mountings will be checked for security and /or corrosion.

Under bonnet checks
Master cylinder and servo unit are checked for fluid leaks with the engine on and the brakes applied.
Servo unit will be checked to ensure it is operating correctly.
Visible metal or flexible brake pipes will be checked for corrosion, condition, breakages or leaks.

Electronic parking brake
Electronic parking brake controls are now included and must be present and not inappropriately repaired or modified - repair obviously likely to adversely affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle or modification that has seriously weakened the component.

(The ’inappropriately repaired or modified’ check is to be applied to a wide range of systems and components throughout the vehicle.)

The car will fail if an Electronic Parking Brake warning lamp is illuminated to indicate a malfunction.

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Under Vehicle checks
With an assistant applying load to the
footbrake:
Flexible brake pipes and any other metal brake pipes visible beneath the car are checked
Disks and drums checked for condition and contamination
Brake back plates and calliper securing
devices are checked for condition and security
Condition of the brake pads will be checked if visible
An assistant operates the handbrake while the condition of the linkages and/or
cables is checked.
On some vehicles there will be a brake compensating valve beneath the car which will need to be inspected for fluid leaks

Brake performance check
The performance of the front and rear brakes will be checked for efficiency and balance using specialised equipment.

Disc Brake Troubles
Drum Brake Troubles

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DOORS

Both front doors must be capable of being opened from the inside and outside and all doors must latch securely.

Tailgates, bootlids etc.

All these items, including the tailboards and dropsides of trucks must be capable of being secured in the closed position.

A rear door that cannot be opened from the outside using the relevant control is a new reason for failure.
Doors must be easy to open and close – hinges, catches and pillars will be inspected.


Bonnet
Bonnet must be able to be opened for inspection of engine bay and wiring looms etc

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EMISSIONS

These are checked using specialised equipment, the details of the check depending on the year that the vehicle was first used on the road. Excessive smoking is a reason for failure. Diesel emissions are checked by using a smoke meter.

A catalytic convertor fitted as original equipment but missing will be a reason for failure.

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FUEL SYSTEM

Any fuel leak will result in a fail. Checked under the bonnet and throughout the run of the fuel line from the fuel tank to the engine.
The fuel filler cap must fasten securely
The seal in the cap must not be torn, deteriorated or missing
No other defect should be present which could cause fuel to leak out.

Damaged or chafed fuel pipes will result in failure.

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HORN

Operation.
Control should be easily reached by the driver.
Volume must be sufficiently audible to pedestrians and other vehicles.
The tone should not consist of a sequential multi-tone.

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LIGHTS

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.

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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.

Lighting
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 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

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MIRRORS

Not all mirrors on all vehicles are subject to Test, depending on the age of the vehicle. Those mirrors which must be checked must be:

Secure
Visible from the drivers seat
Not distorted or damaged so as to seriously impair the drivers view to the rear.


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REGISTRATION PLATES AND VIN* (Vehicle Identification Number)

For registered vehicles the plate must be:

Present
Secure
Not faded, dirty or obscured
Be composed with correctly formed letters and spacing

The VIN number must be
Permanently displayed
Consistent · Legible.

* Required on all vehicles first used on or after 1st August 1980.


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SEAT BELTS

Most vehicles after 1965 must have seat belts, irrespective of that requirement, all seat belts fitted to any vehicle must be inspected for:

Security of seat belt mountings and locking stalks
Security and operation of the locking/release mechanism
Condition of webbing
Retraction of the belt (it is permissable to manually feed it in).

Notes:


1
For technical reasons the inertia locking mechanism is not checked.
2 On some vehicles the belt is attached to the seat, in which case the security of the seat to the vehicle would also constitute part of the seat belt check.

Supplementary restraints
The vehicle will fail the test if any airbag fitted as original equipment is obviously missing or defective.

A seatbelt pre-tensioner fitted as original equipment but missing or that has obviously deployed will be a reason for failure.
Seatbelt load limiters that are missing where fitted as standard or folding webbing type limiters that have obviously deployed are also reasons for failure.

The vehicle will also fail if a Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) malfunction indicator lamp indicates a system malfunction.


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SEATS

The driver's and the front passenger's seats must be secure
All seat backs must be securable in the upright position.

It must be possible to secure the driver's seat fore and aft adjustment mechanism in two or three different positions. On electric seats the motors must move the seat fore and aft.


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STEERING

Inside the car checks
Steering wheel and steering column:
Steering wheel condition
The steering wheel must be securely attached to the steering shaft
The upper bearings of the steering
column are inspected for wear
The steering shaft is checked for excessive end float
Clamping bolts security
The split pins and locking nuts
The 'free play' in the steering
Flexible couplings and universal joints.

Under the bonnet checks
Vary according to the vehicle;
Some of these items cannot be observed from under the bonnet on some makes and models. However in all cases checks
will be made for:
The security of the steering rack or steering box and its mountings
Any discernible play in the steering joints
Swivel joints which form part of the steering system which can be readily inspected from under the bonnet will obviously be inspected.


Steering & suspension
The new test includes a check on the presence and correct function of the steering lock where fitted as standard.
Missing, or split/damaged dust covers on steering and suspension ball-joints will result in failure if they will allow dirt to enter the joint.

Power steering fluid level must be above the minimum level indicated on the reservoir.



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Whilst the vehicle stands on special Swivel plates the wheels are turned from lock to lock and checked to ensure that wheels and tyres do not foul of either the structure of the vehicle or any brake pipes or hoses.
Wheel bearings are checked.
Steering rack gaiters/front outer constant velocity joint boots are examined.
Metal and rubber bushes are checked as

Under vehicle checks
All the steering joints.
Power steering systems.
Security of attachment of the steering rack or steering box is checked both with respect to tightness of the nuts and bolts, and structural cracking or corrosion of the vehicle chassis where it is attached.
Also, split pins/locking nuts and other locking or retaining devices relate to steering components. Some cars have an element of rear wheel steering which is checked from beneath the car. The front suspension is checked, but also the rear for:
Excessive wear to Wheel bearings.
Condition of front drive shafts/CV joints.


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SUSPENSION

Under bonnet checks
Upper suspension joints
Any other suspension components which
can be inspected from beneath the bonnet

Under vehicle checks
Both the front and rear suspension are checked to ensure.
No split pins or nuts missing, no components broken or bent
Road springs function effectively, no excessive wear
Suspension joints function effectively, no excessive wear
Shock absorbers must not leak and must be secure (the vehicle will be 'bounced' by the Tester to check that they damp the springs adequately).

Suspension is checked for wear by the assistant applying loads in various ways with the wheels jacked up whilst the Tester observes the result from beneath the vehicle.

Electronic Stability Control
Checks of antilock brakes will be extended to include Electronic Stability Control if fitted. The tester will check for the presence and correct operation of the ESC malfunction warning light together with looking for obviously missing, excessively damaged or inappropriately repaired or modified components and electrical wiring, as well as an ESC switch missing, insecure or faulty.

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TYRES/WHEELS

Tyre condition
A failure with respect to tyre wear will result where:-
The grooves of the tread pattern are not at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising:
Central 3/4 of the breadth of tread
Entire outer circumference of the tyre.

Tyres must be correctly matched with regard to:
Type
Size
Structure
Location on the vehicle with respect to the axles.

Also examined:
General condition of tyre
Condition of valve

Tyres fail if they have serious cuts, bulges or other damage. The wear on the tyre is checked with a tyre tread depth gauge to ensure compliance. The tyres are examined to ensure that there is no fouling with any part of the vehicle.

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Note:
The condition of the spare tyre is not part of the MOT.

Wheel condition
Inspection to reveal:
Damage
Distortion
Cracks
Distorted bead rims
How securely attached to the vehicle
No wheel-nuts or studs missing

An externally fitted spare wheel or spare wheel carrier must not be so insecure that it is likely to fall off.

Tyre pressure monitoring systems
Tyre pressure monitoring systems fitted to vehicles first registered after 1 January 2012 must be working correctly and not indicating a malfunction.

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VEHICLE STRUCTURE

Body condition and security
The vehicle body must not insecure or displaced so as to constitute a risk of loss of control of the vehicle when driven, or a danger to other road users.
There must be no dangerous sharp edges or projections caused by corrosion
or damage

Corrosion
A vehicle can fail with respect to corrosion for:
Excessive corrosion in a 'prescribed area' - within 30 cms of certain components, e.g. brakes, steering, suspension, seat belt mountings etc.
Excessive corrosion in a 'prescribed area', but which is likely to adversely affect the vehicle's brakes or steering.

Note
'Excessive corrosion' can mean a hole or a significantly weakened structure.


Towbars
Inappropriate repair or modification to the towbar assembly will be a reason for failure if judged likely to affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle/trailer.


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WINDSCREEN

The inspection has to ascertain all items affecting the driver's view of the road: the condition of the windscreen, the wipers and washers.

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ELECTRICAL WIRING & BATTERY
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.


Speedometer
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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