One test is to check that your lights are working properly. The Nominated Tester will be looking for the correct operation of your lights, their condition and that they are the correct colour.
The Nominated Tester will check side lights, headlights, stop lights, number plate lights, two rear reflectors and indicator lights. Hazard warning lights will be checked with the ignition on and off.
As well as checking their appearance, they will test that there is an audible or visual signal that can be seen or heard from the driver’s seat for the indicators, hazard warning lights and rear fog lamps.
The age of your vehicle determines whether you need certain lights or not. Hazard warning lights and side repeater lights are mandatory on vehicles registered from April 1st 1986. A rear fog light is required on vehicles registered from April 1st 1980 but will not be tested if fitted to an older vehicle.
Steering & Suspension
Another check is on steering and suspension. The Nominated Tester will start inside the vehicle by checking the condition and movement of the steering wheel and steering column.
They will then look under the vehicle and bonnet and check the condition and security of steering and suspension mountings and joints. They will be looking for corrosion and cracking and for any nuts and bolts that are loose or are missing a locking device where required.
Your vehicle will then be jacked up so that the Nominated Tester can check each wheel for excessive wear in steering and suspension joints and mounting.
The Nominated Tester will also make sure that shock absorbers are secure and are providing an acceptable level of dampening effect.
The brakes are checked from inside and outside the vehicle. Inside checks include making sure brake lights work and that the brake pedal has an anti-slip device in good condition. The brake pedal should not reach the floor and the handbrake should hold onto its ratchet when applied.
Outside the vehicle, the Nominated Tester will be checking for brake fluid leaks, as well as damage to the brake pipes and parking brake cables. Brake pads must have at least 1.5 mm of friction material wear left to pass the MOT.
The brakes will also be checked for efficiency with an approved brake testing system.
The Nominated Tester will check your tyres. They will check that treads on the tyres are at least 1.6mm deep across the central three-quarters of the tread width around the whole circumference of the tyre.
They will then check that tyres fitted on the same axle are the same size, type and structure, that there are no serious bulges or cuts on the tyres.
The Nominated Tester will be checking that the seat belts are mounted securely and that that the locking/release mechanism is working properly. The seat belts must not be excessively frayed or cut.
Your car must have rear seat belts if it was registered after April 1st 1987. If it was registered before that date then seat belts are not required to be fitted.
The general section includes a check on the windscreen. Any chip, crack or sticker contained within the prescribed area larger than 10mm will fail. Any chip crack or sticker within the swept area larger than 40mm will also cause the vehicle to fail.
Washers and wipers are checked to make sure they are in good condition and clear the windscreen.
The Nominated Tester will then check the function of the vehicle’s horn making sure that it is loud enough and emits a constant tone.
They will move on to the exhaust system to ensure that it is complete and in a good condition. The Nominated Tester will be checking that there are no major leaks and that the exhaust is not too noisy. Emissions checks are an important part of the MOT. The Nominated Tester will use a meter to check the amount of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons emitted by the car’s exhaust. If a catalytic converter is fitted, he/she will also be looking for the air/fuel ratio readings. Diesel engines are checked with different specialist equipment and need to be tested at very high engine speeds. The Nominated Tester should check that engine oil level and cam-belt are OK to cope with high test speeds.
Finally, the Nominated Tester will look at the physical state of the inside and outside of the vehicle. He/She will check the body of the vehicle as well as doors, boot lids, seats, mirrors and fuel caps. In particular, he/she will be looking for excessive corrosion or welding repairs that make the vehicle unsafe.
Registration plates must be clean, not faded and securely fixed. They should have numbers and letters that are correct in shape and that can be read from 20 metres.