Once a car is three years old it needs to have its first MOT. An MOT stands for Ministry of Transport test and is required in order to ascertain that a vehicle meets certain minimum standards that will keep the driver and other road users safe and sound while driving. The authorities stress that this is a standard that all vehicles should meet all the time, it should not be thought of as a standard that is met only in order to pass the test before the vehicle is allowed to lapse into a poorer condition.
Many garages offer an MOT test, sometimes with a free retest in the event of a fail. It is best to book your vehicle in by phoning in advance, as testing centres can get very busy and you don’t want to be without your car for too long! If the service is also due, you can arrange to have your vehicle serviced as part of the process, so the mechanic can fix any minor issues that might prevent a pass before he or she begins the test.
The MOT Test
The MOT tester will begin by checking over the exterior of the vehicle. He or she will look for excessive corrosion, any sharp or jagged areas that might hurt someone, any illegal or unsafe modifications to areas like the tow-bar. The mirrors will be counted and the tester will make sure that the driver has a good view to the rear, when necessary.
The windscreens are checked for chips and damage that might obstruct the driver’s view. Windscreen wipers must be present and working correctly. The tyres are checked for excessive wear and strength – a blow-out at high speed on the motorway is not safe for anyone in the near vicinity. Finally the tester will make sure that the bonnet and boot latches are in good working order.
Inside the vehicle he or she will check the security and safety of the seats, the fit of the seatbelts and any wear and tear on the seatbelts, as well as ensuring that the warning lights are operational. The doors will be examined to make sure that they open and close properly (child locks in the back are fine) and that the hinges and catches all work well. The speedometer is also tested to ensure accuracy.
Under the hood the tester will check the integrity of the fuel system, making sure that there are no leaks and that the system is properly sealed. The engine mountings are examined for strength and stability. The exhaust is checked both physically to make sure that it is intact and in good condition and for emissions – these must be within an acceptable range.
The test will also check the registration plate to make sure it is legible and clear, and the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) must be visible.
The electrical system is tested, as are the brakes. The lights are checked, driving lights and brake lights, as well as the dimmer switch levels.
Here at BJ Banning our expert team of mechanics specialise in MOT testing, for unbiased advice and quality service on how to keep your car pristine get in touch today 0121 327 2741.