- Pre MOT Preparation and repairs
- Electrical Fault Finding
- Modifications and Upgrades
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*New items added in 2012 are highlighted yellow or organge. Some of these items, highlighted yellow, have been incorporated into the MOT Test since 1st January 2012, and while the others (which arehighlighted orange) were originally scheduled to be incorporated by May 2012, this was delayed until 20th March 2013. Whilst these items were inspected, if found defective a failure did not apply and they were ‘Advised’ only, and not recorded as a ‘Fail’ on the MOT computer. As of Wednesday 20th March 2013 these items, if defective, will result in an MOT failure.
It should be noted, however, that those motorists whose vehicles have recently been failed (prior to March 20th), and where the vehicle also had one of those ‘advisory’ items flagged up, on re-test, (on or after March 20th) unless that ‘advisory’ is repaired, the vehicle will now fail the MOT.
It is important, therefore, for motorists presenting vehicles for MOT retest, make sure that such previously ‘advisory’, but now ‘failure’ items are indeed properly repaired before presenting the vehicle for an MOT re-Test.
*As noted in ‘Matters of Testing’ 52, issued December 2011.
Note: Some items listed under this heading are repeated here for convenience, as they are warnings or function indicators of systems which are more fully described under their own headings.
For vehicles first used on or after 01 October 1937
The glass being cracked is not a reason for failure providing there is no possibility of misreading the speedometer, no possibility of the indicator needle being fouled or the cracked glass being a safety hazard.
Will be checked for:
Steering – Warning Indicators
An electronic steering lock malfunction lock warning must not be indicating a malfunction
Lights – function indicator
Supplementary Restraint Systems – Warning Indicator
Brakes – Warning indicators
Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Systems – Warning Indicator
ABS or ESC
Tyres – Warning Indicator
* Required on all vehicles first used on or after 1st August 1980.
NOTE: Revised Registration Plate Testing and Tow Bar Testing (see below) were effective from April 09.
see current Number Plate Regulationss table below.
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
For registered vehicles the registration plate must be:
Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1973 may have registration plates displaying white, grey or silver characters on a black background. A three-wheeled vehicle, which has a motorcycle derived front end, does not require a front number plate.
Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1973 may have registration plates displaying white, grey or silver characters on a black background. Three-dimensional characters are permitted to use grey edging in order to achieve the 3D effect on any age of vehicle. Quadricycles must be fitted with a front number plate.
MOT Registration Plate Specifications
|Relevant Dimension||Tricycles & quadricycles||All other vehicles|
(except for the figure 1 or letter I)
|Space between two characters in group||10mm||11mm|
|Vertical space between groups of characters||13mm||19mm|
|Horizontal space between groups of characters||30mm||33mm|
The VIN number* must be:
*Required on all vehicles first used on or after 1st August 1980.
Reason for Rejection:
2012 Notes: 1. Does not include emergency towing eyes. If a tow ball or pin is not fitted at the time of Test e.g. because it is detachable, has been unbolted or otherwise removed, but the attachment brackets are still in place these brackets and any trailer electrical socket should still be assessed unless the attachment brackets have been deliberately rendered unfit for further use.
2. 13-pin electric socket inspection and test for electrical function (specialist tool will be used) and check for inappropriate towbar repairs/modification will come into force when the appropriate legislation has been passed.
3. 7-pin sockets are not testable with an electrical tester as there is no standard wiring protocol.
Steering: Inside the car MOT checks
Steering wheel and steering column:
*Free play allowed depends on type of steering: 75mm for non-rack and pinion, 13mm for rack and pinion steering. Where there are several joints between the steering wheel and the rack, up to 48mm on a 380mm diameter wheel may be accepted.
Further information – reasons for failure:
1. Steering wheel weakened by modification, cracks, fractures, in a condition that hampers proper control or likely to injure the driver’s hands.
Note: Cracks or incompleteness of the covering skin of a steering wheel or hub, are not a reason for rejection.
2. a) an adjustable steering column will not lock in a fixed position
b) movement between the shaft and steering wheel
c) excessive radial movement (play) at the top of the steering column between the column and the shaft indicating a badly worn top bearing.
Note: Some vehicles have flexible top bearings for the steering column. With these more than average movement is acceptable.
d. insecurity at the steering column top mounting bracket.
3. Excessive steering shaft end float.
4. Insecurity, excessive play or deterioration of a flexible coupling or universal joint.
5. A retaining or locking device missing or insecure.
Under bonnet checks
This varies vehicle to vehicle; some of these items cannot be observed from under the bonnet on some makes and models.
Under vehicle checks:
All the steering joints are inspected by the Tester whilst the steering is loaded by turning the steering wheel from side to side, or by the use of approved wheel play detectors
Power steering systems are checked with the engine running (Power steering fluid level will be checked with engine off)
The security of attachment of the steering rack or steering box is checked both with respect to the tightness of nuts and bolts, and structural cracking or corrosion of the vehicle chassis where it is attached
Whilst the vehicle stands on special swivel plates the wheels are turned from lock to lock and checked for smoothness of operation and to ensure that the wheels and tyres do not foul either the structure of the vehicle or any brake pipes or hoses
With the wheels jacked the wheel bearings are checked
Steering rack gaiters and front outer constant velocity joint boots are examined
Ball joint dust covers inspected for not allowing ingress of dirt etc
Metal and/or rubber bushes are checked as are split pins, locking nuts and other locking or retaining devices which relate to steering components.
On some cars there will be rear wheel steering which is checked from beneath the car.
Checked for inappropriate repair or modification to steering linkage or power steering
Steering lock stop must be present if fitted as standard
No significant oil leak from the steering box
Power steering: checked for fluid level below minimum (where visible) pipes and hoses damaged, corroded or fouling; components fouling or misaligned on external power steering systems
Any drive shaft (not including the prop shaft) support bearing excessively worn or a coupling gaiter missing or no longer preventing ingress of dirt etc.
Pre 1906 vehicles can have a gong, bell or siren audible warning, provided they were designed before 1 January 1905 and constructed before 31 December 1905.
Reason for Rejection
Note: Inform the driver if the horn is insecure.
Or the horn is
Note: When operated, a two or more tone horn automatically produces a sound which alternates at regular intervals between fixed notes
If fitted to a vehicle first used on or after 1 August 1973, emits a sound which is
The headlamps are checked for alignment with a Beam Setter. The headlamp beam image will be a fail if it is clearly incorrect. After first aligning the equipment with the vehicle, the left and right headlamp beams are checked to ensure they are correctly set so as not to dazzle other road users.
All required lights are checked for:
With the exception of headlamps, all lamps must have at least 50% of the light source illuminating.
All lamps must be visible from a reasonable distance (not obscured by products on the light lens or source.
Side lights and headlamps
Stop lights, indicators and hazard lights*
Rear Fog lamps**
Registration Plate lamps (Class (v): incl. end outline marker lamps)
There must be two red 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.
Reasons for Failure:
Tailgates, bootlids etc.
All these items, including the tailboards and dropsides of trucks must be securable in the closed position.