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In the UK, the MOT testing centres are regulated and licensed by the Drivers and Vehicle Standards Agency also known as DVSA.
The decision of passing or failing each vehicle comes down to the discretion of the tester following the guidelines issued by the DVSA.
The main aspects checked under the MOT test are as follows:
- Seat belts & Seats
- Exhaust and emission system
- Steering wheel
- Number plates
- Tyres & wheels
- Fuel System
- Body and structure
If your car fails, its MOT won’t be renewed, because there is a serious mechanical failure that needs to be sorted out then so be it.
It is obviously better to have such issues remedied even if you were not previously aware of them than to continue driving on the road in a car that is not safe. However, far too many motorists see their car fail its MOT testing because of relatively minor problems that they could have sorted out beforehand.
Before you head to your recommended Elite Autocentre London for the best MOT in town, why not perform these basic checks yourself to make sure your car has every chance of passing its inspection without any issues?
1. Light Checks
When you don’t bother to confirm your car lights are working properly, you are almost inviting a problem with your MOT. It takes a couple of minutes to make sure that both headlights are working in their main beam, dipped and sidelight modes. Remember that all your car’s indicators should be operating properly too. Don’t forget the brake lights and the reversing lamp either. Your car’s fog light should also be operational when your car is inspected during its MOT.
2. Visibility Checks
There are a few things you should do in terms of driver visibility to help your car get a first-time pass during an MOT. Make sure the windscreen is devoid of cracks and chips anywhere close to the driver’s eye-line. Cracks that are growing will also need to be dealt with. Your mirrors should be in a usable state, too. Ones that are shattered, for example, must be replaced. Equally, you need adequate screen wash and functioning wipers to pass your MOT. If your screen is smeary after using the wipers, then take the necessary action.
3. Tyre Checks
You don’t need to have your wheels properly aligned to pass an MOT – although this is something worth having done regardless – but you will need to check your tyres are in good order. Inspect them all the way around the rim to make sure there are no balding patches. A simple tyre gauge will help you to ascertain how much life is left in each tyre before the legal tread depth is reached. There again, you should also look for signs of degradation on each tyre’s sidewall. Bulges are an indication that the rubber is coming apart and the tyre could blow. Even if it doesn’t immediately, your car will probably fail its MOT because of this issue.
4. External Checks
External checks should be part of your routine car checks anyway. Always, examine the body of your car to make sure that there is no rust or damage that might weaken the structure of the vehicle. Check the doors open smoothly to their full extent and shut securely as well. Your mirrors should be present and set to give you the widest possible view. Your number plate should be clean, easily legible, and firmly attached to the car.
5. Underneath the Car
You can use a torch to peek at the underneath of your car to make sure that there is no visible damage, no leakage and that no wiring is loose or dangling down. Also make sure that there is sufficient fuel for the MOT inspector to complete the test. If the vehicle runs out of fuel, the inspector will pause the test or even worse simply fail you.
6. Inside the Car
Your speedometer should be working well. Seats should be firmly fitted; seatbelts should be in working condition and the interior should be clean and clear of any sort of clutter. An inspector has all the rights to refuse to MOT your car if he/she feels that it is too dirty for them to want to get into it.
Other points that are checked and tested include any control devices that should be in good working condition. A detailed list of all the elements checked during the MOT test are available online. Most of these elements are easy to fix at home but just to be extra careful you can take your car for a full car service before your MOT is due so that any concerns can be fixed beforehand to ensure that you pass your MOT test the first around.