Vehicle & Operator Services Agency / MOT Tests .

Be advised that any warning lights showing on your instrument cluster after Monday 18th March 2013 may cause your car to fail the UK MOT. Please note the proposed checks of tow bar electrcics has been dropped from the MOT

With Ministry Of Transport UK tests costs ever increasing (08/02/07 53.30) getting your car through the test first time becomes even most important. I thought I would therefore make a list of the things that need to be checked/inspected prior to booking your car in for test.
I started driving and owning vehicles before the MOT came into force, the cost has in creased as have the number of items checked, But I can honestly say none of my cars, old and new-er has never have failed an MOT inspection latest test 29th Jan 2009 . But I do make a point of going round the car and checking all the items I know to be on the MOT before the inspection.

In a number of cases Items such as brakes, they are checked on my normal service so having done the service myself I know they are satisfactory.
But it does still leave a lot the needs to be checked just prior to the test, light bulbs for instance are not going to give you warning but they will fail the car on the MOT if blown, that is why I carry a complete set of new bulbs in the car.

These two sheets the requirements for your MOT station Items checked
Note there are two lists one from January 2012 one applicable from April /May 2012

Please note the above is an official list of items to be checked
The list below is the list based on the requirements of previous MOT and the requirements as applied to the 'A' Class. New requirements have now been included by VOSA as shown in the list applicable by the dates shown at the top of each list.
The most noticeable difference is however not only the items now included but the Cost 50.+ albeit you may get it cheaper if you have your car serviced at the same time by some garages, either way in my opinion you pay!

Beware of garages looking for work from your MOT failure the MOT may be cheaper than some outlets but the cost of repairs to get your vehicle through the MOT may be high and in some cases may even break the Bank.
Engine faults can also cause MOT failure, see above lists.
To overcome some of the problems which might arise use diagnostics tools to indentify faults before submitting your vehicle for test .

*Lights Front ( All lights if fitted must function
Side/Parking lights
Dipped beam
Main beam

*Lights Rear
Stop/brake lights
High Visibility/fog O/Side only
Tail/rear lights
Number plate lights

* Main lights/headlights beam setting and light pattern.
Note All lamp lenses must be free of cracks
Rear lenses must not be faded. where clear lenses are fitted coloured bulbs must be fitted accordingly, Incidentally there's no need to throw/dispose of the bulb simply clean all the yellow off and keep and a spare for stop /reversing, High visibility, stop, light use.
Lighting beam st/checker

* Indicators
Front indicators, left & right
Repeater, indicator lights on wings.
Rear indicators left & right
Four-way flashers, Front, Rear and Repeaters
Flashers should flash at approx 80 beats per minute.

One point 'Justin', a fellow owner has quite rightly pointed out is the damaged external covering on the yellow bulbs, when fitting make sure they are undamaged see sample It can cost the price of an MOT remember garages are not going to replace this for you as a good will gesture they will almost certainly fail your car another good reason to carry a bulb set with you in the car You can replace this on site and still pick up you Pass certificate with a bit of good will on the part of the garage , apart from damaged bulbs these also fad just like the coloured lenses so check them before submitting you car for MOT.

* Number plates
Must be securely fitted,
Be unbroken with numbers and letters displayed which meet the laid down requirements, a plate with white background must displayed on the front, Yellow background on the rear. (UK)
In the case of the rear plate it must have a facility for illuminating with the normal car lighting.

*Windscreen Wipers
Function test
Check for soundness of the blades. (look for feathering edges at ends of blades)
Blades must clean the screen efficiently
(Rear blade & washer are not inspected)

*Front Windscreen washer test
Screen washer must work and contain fluid

Clean & free from cracks crazing that would in anyway obscure the drivers vision.

*External Mirrors
Free of cracks & damage
Securely fitted to the vehicle. (Interior not included in test)

*Seat Belts
Webbing must not be frayed, worn or damaged
All buckles including the centre rear seat must buckle and be secure,
Re-coil facility on belts must be efficient in operation
Anchorage points must be secure. If you have a child seat in your car it is advisable to take this out prior to depositing you car at the MOT station. If you have 'Isofix' available on your car then this is less important and the seat belt can be inspected independent of the fixing.

All seats must be secure

*Audible warning devise (Horn)
Must be working and efficient in operation

All brakes must be in good working order, and these days are tested on a rolling road.
The service(handbrake)should not have excessive movement before becoming fully operational
When applying the brakes hard the vehicle should remain square with all brakes working evenly
Metal pipe-work must be free of corrosion
Rubber hoses must be free of signs of perishing

Active Braking system, fitted as standard on the A class,
Test, switch on ignition ABS lamp must illuminate ,Start car ABS lamp must extinguish as alternator power becomes available.
The switch will be used by the garage to switch of the ABS prior to testing the brakes so ensure it is working or you car should fail.

* Steering All components of the steering must be free of play or substantial wear, this includes the steering column, and track rod ends, any play felt should be subject of at least inspection or the car may well fail the test. Movement of the steering wheel from left to right and vice versa will detect wear in the track rod ends.

*Exhaust System
Must be in good condition and free of leaks, including manifold
Must be securely attached to the vehicle

* Fuel System
The fuel system must be free of obviously leaks etc
The petrol tank must be fitted with a properly fitting fuel cap
The fuel tank must be in a sound condition
Metal pipe-work must be free of corrosion
Rubber hoses must be free of signs of perishing

All tyres including the spare if present on the vehicle should be in a sound condition
Their should be no damage (Cuts or Splits) to the walls of the tyre, slight scuffing caused by kerbing will not fail your car)
Tyre tread/pattern should not less than 1.6mm over two thirds of the width of the tyre tread
The tyre should not be showing signs of perishing.
Cross ply and radial tyres should not be mixed on the front of the vehicle
All tyres should be inflated to the specified pressures.

*Shock absorbers
Should be secure, bushes should be in a sound condition.
Free of leaks and be efficient in operation

*Drive shafts
Must be in a sound condition
Gaiters must not be split or perished.
Bushes must be in a sound unworn condition

*General inspection
A general inspection will be made of your vehicle to check for worn wheel bearings , worn bushes, on steering torsion bar, security of power-steering components etc, as well as to check for severe corrosion of the boxed chassis members.

*The body work of the car will be inspected to ensure that there are no projections such as damaged/rusted bodywork likely to cause injury to third parties in the event of an accident. All doors must close securely including the bonnet and boot lid

*Gas/exhaust Emissions test.
With the engine at normal running temperature (Oil Temp Minimum 80c) the emissions from the exhaust will be checked using a special gas detection equipment, vehicles they do not meet the standards laid down will fail the MOT.
This is the Report of results provided with the MOT certificate , you should receive one of these reports every time your vehicle is Ministry of transport tested.

Exhaust gas emissions can be affected by dirty air filter, and defective ECU which fail to provide the correct fuel mixture.
You will see that on mypage.57. I have fitted a Ecotek devise CB26P that when installed into the fuel/vacuum line of the car has been proved to reduce the exhaust gas emissions. If you have slight problems with your car running just above the level for these exhaust gases it may be worth trying one of these units before spending a minimum of 300 on a MAFS repair or close on 1300 pound on a new ECU/MAFS purchased from Mercedes-Benz, see mypage 38

MOT Testing 5/11/2015 This artical Oringinally posted by '' appeared in my local free news paper and makes good reading, warning of the problems being encountered by Garages undertaking MOT's on vehicles.

My advise above overcomes a number of these problems but owners need to be aware that in certain curcumstances MOT inspectors can fail the vehicle for the simplist of things including the interior condition of the vehicle.

Save yourself the cost of an MOT failure and ensure your vehicle is up to the mark before leaving it at the MOT test centre.

Cluttered-up cars failing MOT test.
Cluttered-up cars are causing thousands of MOT failures.
Some vehicles are are not passing the test as the screenwash is not topped up.
Test centres are failing vehicles because they have stickers on the windscreen that block the drivers view, while some drivers even turn up at test centres with no number plates.
Whatcar, said that of more than 285,000 MOT failures between August 2012 and August 2013, a total of 4,649 were because the screenwash had not been topped up.

In addition 2,852 tests failed as their cars were dirty or full of clutter and 1,055 failed because windscreen stickers obstructed the drivers view.
Also 114 were failed because they were not displaying number plates.

The survey also showed that 4% of the failures were on cars being presented for their first MOT
With an avarage MOT price of 45.00, the 10,753 vehicles that failed their first MOT amounted to 483,885 wasted by UK motorists.

Overall the most common reasons for the MOT failure were tyre tread depth being below the 1.6mm limit, brake pads being less than 1.5mm thick and headlamps being incorrectly adjusted. consumer editor Emma Butcher said "There are some really simple things that every motorist can do to help a three year old car to pass its first MOT test but it's amazing how many people don't do them.
Many people probably don't even realise that MOT testers can refuse to test your car if it's too dirty or full of clutter"
Although I'm confident that readers of this site do not fall into the above group it really is worth spending time going around your vehicle checking for minor defects, such as windscrren wiper blades, tyre tread depth, blown bulbs etc as well as other items listed above.

I understand that the testing of the towing ball and electronics has been dropped from the MOT,

However it is in your and other drivers interst to ensure you are displaying all lights and warning on the trailer or caravan being towed.

It's also interested to note that as of 1st October 2014 UK, you will not longer have to display a tax disc on your winscreen, just one obstuction less on your windscreen interior.
YOU DO however still have to tax your car, or complete the SORN requirements.

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