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MOT/Modification

New mandatory MOT test items

From 1 January 2012, the Department for Transport added several new test items to the annual MOT. The aim is to make test requirements consistent across Europe and to make sure the test reflects the electrical/electronic complexity of modern cars.The main changes are:

Electronic parking brake

Electronic parking brake controls are now included and must be present and not inappropriately repaired or modified. (The 'inappropriately repaired or modified' check is to be applied to a wide range of systems and components throughout the vehicle.) The car will fail if an Electronic Parking Brake warning lamp is illuminated to indicate a malfunction.

Electronic Stability Control

Checks of antilock brakes will be extended to include Electronic Stability Control if fitted.  The tester will check the ESC malfunction warning light, the ESC switch, missing, damaged or inappropriately repaired or modified components and electrical wiring.

Warning lights

As well as electronic parking brake and electronic stability control warning lights (where fitted), the MOT test will check the correct function of the following, where fitted:

  • Headlight main beam warning light
  • Electronic power steering warning light
  • Brake fluid level warning light
  • Seat belt pre-tensioner warning light

Steering & suspension

The new test includes a check on the presence and correct function of the steering lock where fitted as standard. Missing, or split/damaged dust covers on steering and suspension ball-joints will result in failure if they will allow dirt to enter the joint. Power steering fluid level must be above the minimum level indicated on the reservoir.

Lighting

Products on the lens or light source that reduce the light's intensity or change its colour are now a reason for failure - this applies to front/rear position lamps, registration plate lamps, stop lamps, rear fog and direction indicators.

Headlight requirements are updated to take account of the particular characteristics of High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. HID headlights can cause dazzle if they are dirty or aimed too high, so they are generally (if light output exceeds 2000 lumens) fitted in conjunction with headlamp cleaning and levelling systems.  Where HID or LED dipped beam headlamps are fitted the tester will switch on the headlamps and check the operation of any headlamp levelling and cleaning devices fitted.

The car will fail if a headlamp levelling or cleaning device is inoperative or otherwise obviously defective. If a headlamp bulb is not seated correctly the resulting beam pattern will be indistinct and this will result in a test fail.

Electrical wiring and battery

An insecure battery will be a reason for failure as will a battery that is leaking electrolyte. Visible wiring that is insecure, inadequately supported or likely to cause a short will also result in a failure as will wires with damaged insulation. 13-pin sockets will be subject to a full electrical connectivity check and incorrectly connected or inoperative circuits will result in failure.

Tyres

Tyre pressure monitoring systems fitted to vehicles first registered after 1 January 2012 must be working correctly and not indicating a malfunction.

Supplementary restraints

The vehicle will fail the test if any airbag fitted as original equipment is missing or defective. A seatbelt pre-tensioner fitted as original equipment but missing or that has obviously deployed will be a reason for failure. Seatbelt load limiters that are missing where fitted as standard or folding webbing type limiters that have obviously deployed are also reasons for failure. The vehicle will also fail if a Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) malfunction indicator lamp indicates a system malfunction.

Speedometer

The car will fail if a speedometer is not fitted, is incomplete, inoperative, has a dial glass broken/missing or cannot be illuminated.

Seats

It must be possible to secure the driver's seat fore and aft adjustment mechanism in two or three different positions. On electric seats the motors must move the seat fore and aft.

Doors

A rear door that cannot be opened from the outside using the relevant control is a new reason for failure. Doors must be easy to open and close - hinges, catches and pillars will be inspected.

Towbars

Inappropriate repair or modification to the towbar assembly will be a reason for failure if judged likely to affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle/trailer.

Exhaust

A catalytic convertor fitted as original equipment but missing will be a reason for failure.

Fuel system

Damaged or chafed fuel pipes will result in failure.

 

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