What is checked in an MOT?

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An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test, also known as an MOT inspection or MOT check, is a mandatory annual examination for vehicles in the United Kingdom to ensure they meet minimum safety and environmental standards. The purpose of the MOT test is to make sure vehicles on the road are safe for both the driver and other road users, as well as to reduce harmful emissions. Here is an overview of what is typically checked during an MOT test:

  1. Vehicle Identification: The examiner will check the vehicle’s registration number and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to ensure they match the records.
  2. Lights and Signals: The condition, alignment, and functionality of all lights and signals, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, indicators, hazard lights, and registration plate lights, will be inspected.
  3. Steering and Suspension: The examiner will check the steering system for excessive wear or play, as well as the suspension components for damage and corrosion.
  4. Brakes: The braking system will be thoroughly examined, including the condition of brake pads and discs, brake fluid levels, and the handbrake’s efficiency.
  5. Wheels and Tires: The condition and tread depth of the tires will be assessed. Tires must meet the minimum tread depth requirements, and they should be free from damage, bulges, and punctures. The condition of the wheels and wheel alignment is also checked.
  6. Seats and Seatbelts: The examiner will inspect the condition and security of seats and seatbelts, ensuring they are functioning correctly.
  7. Bodywork and Underbody: The vehicle’s bodywork, chassis, and underbody are examined for excessive corrosion or structural damage.
  8. Exhaust System: The exhaust system is checked for leaks, damage, and excessive noise. Emissions are also tested to ensure they are within legal limits.
  9. Fuel System: The fuel system, including fuel lines and tanks, is inspected for leaks and damage.
  10. Mirrors and Windscreen: The condition and visibility of mirrors and the windscreen are examined to ensure they meet safety standards.
  11. Horn: The horn must be in good working order and audible from a reasonable distance.
  12. Windscreen Wipers and Washers: Wipers and washers must be functional, and the condition of the wiper blades is checked.
  13. Vehicle Emissions: A vehicle emissions test is conducted to check that exhaust emissions are within permissible limits. The type of emissions test can vary depending on the vehicle’s age and fuel type.

It’s important to note that the exact requirements and standards for an MOT test can change over time, and there may be additional checks for specific types of vehicles (e.g., motorcycles, heavy goods vehicles). Failure to pass the MOT test can result in a vehicle being deemed unroadworthy until the necessary repairs or replacements are made, and a valid MOT certificate is obtained. It’s advisable to consult the latest guidelines and regulations from the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with current MOT requirements.

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