What parts are tested in an MOT?

What is tested in an MOT?

An MOT is an annual check that makes sure that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport, who originally created the test as a means to determine if a car is safe for road use. There is a list of standard tests and checks that are performed on every vehicle during this process.

Here, we are looking at what is checked during an MOT, and what you can do beforehand to prepare.

What parts are tested and inspected?

Nearly half of all faults found during an MOT could have been avoided by carrying out simple checks and maintenance beforehand, to make sure everything is in working order.

It should be noted that the test does not cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox.

The car parts tested include:

  • Boot/Tailgate
  • Towbar
  • Exhaust Emissions
  • Doors
  • Mirrors
  • Exhaust system
  • Horn
  • Brakes
  • Tyres, wheels and TPMS
  • Bonnet
  • Registration plates
  • Electrical wiring and battery
  • Lights
  • Wipers and washers
  • Steering and suspension
  • Seatbelts/SRS
  • Fuel system
  • Body/Vehicle structure/general items
  • Seats

           1. Body, vehicle structure and general items inspection

The body of the vehicle will be inspected to check that it is free from rust/excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. This check also makes sure that there are no sharp edges that are likely to cause injury.

          2. Towbars

Towbars are inspected to ensure secureness, condition and if there are any inappropriate repairs or modifications.

The MOT will also check that the 13 pin electrical socket is working correctly, the speedometer is in sufficient working order and that the engine mountings are secure.

          3. Fuel System

The fuel system is inspected to ensure that there are no leaks, that the pipes and hoses are secure and in good working condition and that the fuel cap fastens and seals securely.

          4. Exhaust and emissions

The vehicle will be inspected, depending on the age and fuel type of the vehicle, to ensure that it meets the rules for the exhaust emissions.

The MOT tester will refuse to test your vehicle if they think that the smoke test may damage the engine. You should tell them at the start of the MOT if you think this may happen.

The exhaust system will also be inspected to make sure that its secure and complete, that there are no missing catalysts and it is without serious leaks and not too noisy.

          5. Seatbelts

The vehicle will be inspected to ensure that the mandatory seatbelts are in place and suitable for the vehicle. They must also be in good working condition and are attached securely.

The malfunction indicator lamps (MILs) and dashboard warning lights are also checked to make sure the airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and seatbelt load limiters are in working condition.

          6. Seats

The seats are checked to ensure that they are securely fitted, can be adjusted and can be fixed into the upright position.

         7. Doors

The doors are checked to make sure the latch is secure in the closed position, that all the doors can open from inside and outside the vehicle and that the hinges and catches are in good working condition.

         8. Mirrors

The vehicle will be checked for the minimum number of mirrors. This check is to ensure their safety, condition and security. Indirect vision devices will also be inspected.

         9. Load security

The vehicle will be inspected to check that the boot or tailgate can be closed properly.

         10. Brakes

The brakes condition will be checked, including a check to see if there are any inappropriate repairs or modification.

The efficiency test is carried out to ensure their operation and performance, and the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC)  (where fitted) is also checked.

Dashboard warning lights are checked to ensure all of the above are in intended working condition, as well as the brake fluid warning lights.

         11. Tyres and wheel

Tyres and wheels will be inspected to check their condition, security, tyre size and type as well as tread depth. The spare wheels and tyres are not inspected.

        12. Registration plates

The registration plates are inspected to check for condition, colour, secure attachment and that the characters are correctly formed and spaced.

        13. Lights

The lights are inspected to ensure they are in good working condition, operate properly and whether they require cleaning, self levelling and security. They also check the headlamp aim and that the main beam warning light is in working order.

        14. Bonnet

The bonnet is inspected to insure it closes properly and securely.

        15. Windscreen

The windscreen is inspected to check for condition, including and cracks, and that it provides the driver a sufficient view of the road.

        16. Horn

The horn is checked to ensure it is in good working condition and suitable for the vehicle.

        17. Steering and suspension

These are checked to ensure their condition, that they are working sufficiently, and that there are no inappropriate repairs or modifications (including corrosion to power steering pipes or hoses).

The steering oil level will be checked, along with making sure that the steering lock mechanism is in good working order.

      18. Vehicle identification number (VIN)

The VIN will be registered on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. Your vehicle will be checked to ensure that the VIN is displayed, with an exception for multistage build vehicles (such as van conversions).

      19. Electrical

Visible electrical wiring and the vehicles battery will be inspected.

      20. Window wipers/washers

The condition and working order of the window wipers are checked. Any tears, fraying rubber or any other damage will indicate a need for you to replace your window wipers.

Windscreen wipers should be able to clear the windscreen effectively and clear the entire windshield.

For further information and guidance, you can check the gov.uk website.


Useful links:

To find out more about our fuel cards click here – https://www.cambriancards.com/fuel-cards

To learn more about our telematics devices click here – https://www.cambriancards.com/telematics