What Happens During An MOT Test

MOT’s are something all car owners have to take their cars for at some point - and something that many often dread, but what exactly does an MOT test entail? An MOT or Ministry of Transport Test is a test of a car once it is three years old in the UK. This annual test is important to ensure a car meets road safety and environmental standards. There are at least a dozen checks that a qualified professional will do to make sure that your car is roadworthy. If your car fails the test you will be advised how to fix it and it must be tested again. Only cars that pass the MOT test are allowed on UK roads. Here are just some of the tests that your car must have for an MOT. 

Are your lights and reflectors fully working?



During an MOT, the front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate lights and rear reflectors will all be checked to see if they are fully working, correctly positioned and secure. They’ll also make sure these are not obscured in any way, light up with a single operation of the switch and also show the correct colour. Pairs of lights must be of the same colour, size and shape and the headlights should be below the horizontal.

Is your battery ok?




A car battery is the car’s life source so you will want to be reassured that it is working to its full capacity. A full MOT test at a reputable MOT test centre will check the battery to make sure it is secure, not showing signs of leaking electrolytes and that it manages to hold its charge. A test will also check that all electrical wiring is secure.

Are your tyres legal and safe?




Tyres are such an important part of the car so these will be checked thoroughly to make sure there are no problems. Both temperature and weather conditions can affect our tyres and pressure. Tyres can deform and this reduces their life, often causing their pressure to drop and sometimes the tyres to rip or crack. An MOT test will ensure that your tyres are healthy and if not, will let you know how to proceed. 10% of all MOT test fails are because of tyre issues.

Will your steering, suspension and brakes pass?




Your steering wheel will be assessed for strength and condition and checked for wear and damage. If it has a locking device, this will be checked to ensure it only locks when it is supposed to. If you have power steering, this will also be checked - testers will make sure that your vehicle has at least the minimum level of power steering fluid in the reservoir.

Your suspension will also be checked thoroughly - all components and shock absorbers will be tested for any distortion, any breaks or for excessive corrosion that could affect your vehicle.

Did you know that almost 10% of MOT fails are because of the brakes? During a test, the overall condition would be checked and a brake performance test will be carried out to test brake efficiency.

As would be expected, the exhaust and fuel and emissions will also be checked and the tester will make sure that all seatbelts are working correctly. The whole body of the car will be inspected to ensure they have no excessive corrosion or any sharp edges.

I hope this helps you to understand how an MOT works and why it is so important you get them done regularly when they are due. For a state of the art MOT test centre, visit Calmac Tyres for the best MOT’s
in Northampton. 

When is your next MOT due?

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9 comments

  1. I send my car in for a service and MOT every year and have never known what they actually get up to! Haha, now I know!

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  2. We're due an MOT soon, I always get so confused about what one entails as I don't drive it haha

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  3. I have to admit I didn't know what happened during an MOT I just popped it into the garage and let them get on with it. Interesting to know what is actually being done.

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  4. I'm actually taking my car for it's very first ever MOT next weekend, but thankfully I had a service a few weeks ago and know everything seems to be good so I'm not too worried x

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  5. I just take my car to my friends dads garage and he takes care of it for me as I really trust him. Thankfully my car passed its MOT this year! xxx

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    1. It's so important to find someone that you trust

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  6. When I finally pass my test, I'll have this to look forward to! The costs of driving can really add up but it's so important to maintain your car.

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  7. Luckily for me, I have a company car so I don't have to take my car for one, but it's still good to know all that goes into a MOT x

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