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post #8 of (permalink) Old 27th April 2006
A former user
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OK but I would have to "sticky" it - er hum - excuse the interuption - back to the CAR horn & MOT - let us know how you get on and good luck with the MOT test..

Other Things to Check Before your MOT Test..

Steering Wheel Checks

Look over the steering wheel and column for any cracks and / or looseness

Move the steering wheel from side to side, and up and down. Make sure that it is not lose on the column.

Do the same check while steering the wheel from left to right.

Check and make sure there is not any unusual movement.

Windscreen and Mirrors

Check windscreen is free from any cracks or damage that would inhibit the drivers view of the road.

Small stone chips are acceptable but should be dealt with if they increase in size.


Check and make sure the driver and passenger doors at the front of the car open and close from inside and out and that the locks work correctly


Check the handbrake can only be activated in the correct manner both on and off. make sure that it only releases when the button is used and that cannot be knocked out of lock.

Listen and ensure you do not hear to many click or that the handbrake can be over pulled


Check that the footbrake when pressed does not slip to the floor.

Check that the footbrake doesnt feel spongy as this could indicate air in the hydraulics. Bleeding the system can cure this problem

Seat Belts

Check that the webbing on all belts including rear belts if present for excessive wear and tear, for example cuts and/or excessive fraying.

Check that all seat belts buckle and unbuckle correctly.

Check that the seat belts retract properly with ease.

Check all the seat belt mountings are secure and correctly attached.


Check that the front seats are securely attached and if backrests are present they must lock into their upright position.

Exterior Checks

These checks include those that can be done from the outside and under the bonnet.

Steering and Suspension

Get Somebody to turn the steering wheel a little while you observe the steeing gear. Check for excess play between the steering wheel and stearing gear


Check the brake fluid levels in the resevoir are between the upper and lower points.

Check that the resevoir is secure.

Check all brake pipes, the master cylinder and servo unit for any signs of leakage, looseness, corrosion.

Check both front brake hoses for any cracks or deterioration in the rubber.

Press the footbrake pedal firmly and check the hoses for any bulges, leaks or weakness under pressure.

Shock Absorbers

Press each corner of the car then let go. Check that the car rises then settles into its normal sitting position. If the car bounces repeatedly the shock absorber is defective and may need replacing.

Windscreen Washer and Wipers

Check that the washers and wipers work correctly and are not damaged or worn in anyway - replace any damaged wipers.

Electrical Components

Check that the horn operates correctly.

Check that the windscreen wipers operate correctly.

Press the brake pedal and check that the stoplights work correctly.

Check the operation of the rear fog lights, including the operation of the warning lights on the panel/switch.

Check that the indicators work correctly.

Check that other components such as stoplights and sidelights do not interfere with the operation of the indicators.

Check that the hazard lights work correctly.

Exhaust System

Get somebody to start the engine and put a rag over the exhaust tailpipe.

Check the whole length of the exhaust for leaks. repair or replace leaky or damaged parts.

Vehicle Identification

Check that number plates are in good condition, fully legible and secure.

Check that the plate numbers and letters are at the required spacing. The middle space should be twice the width of the spacing between the other letters and numbers.

Check the cars VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and /or homologation plate is present and legible.

Raised Car Checks

These are checks that require looking underneath the car while it is raised. Make sure that the steering can be turned and that the wheels are raised from the ground.

Braking System

Check brake pad wear and tear.

Check brake discs are not cracked, fractured or soiled and look for signs of general wear and tear.

Check that the brake pipes underneath the car are not split, bulging, corroded or loosely attached.

Check for leaks in the area of the brake calipers or on the brake back plates. Repair or replace any leaky parts.

Check that the brakes are operating correctly by slowly turning each wheel while someone presses the brake pedal.

Take the car for a drive - test the brakes and make sure that you do not vere off of a straightline.

Check the handbrake components for frayed or broken cables. also ensure that the cables are not excessively corroded.

Test the handbrake works and releases on all wheels correctly.

Suspension and wheel bearings

Check each of your 4 wheels in turn for freeplay or looseness in wheel bearings, Ball joints, suspension mountings, pivots and attachements by holding the wheel and shaking it vigorously. (hold the wheel with you right and left hand at north and south, and repeat test for east and west).

Steering Mechanism

Turn the steering wheel from full lock left to full lock right. Check that the wheel turns smoothly and that the tyres and/or wheels do not interfere with any other parts of the car

Check the rubber gaitors on both sides for splits, wear and/or looseness. Make sure they are attached securely with retaining clips.

If power steering is fitted to the car check for signs of damage or leakage from th ethe fluid hoses/connections and pipes.

Check for excessive stiffness or binding of the steering, missing split pin or locking device.

Check for excessive or severe corrosion of the body structure within 30centimetres of any steering component attachment point.

Springs and Shock absorbers

Check suspension struts for excessive corrosion or case damage.

Check for excessive fluid leakage>

Check for loose mounting points.

Forward drive Driveshafts

Check the constant velocity joint gaitors for damage and splits.

Check each drive shaft is straight and undamaged

Exhaust and Fuel Systems

Check that the exhaust system for any damaged, missing or loose components.

Check also for missing/loose mountings or retaining clips.

Check for excessive corrosion and/or rust.

Wheels and Tyres

Check sidewalls and tread of each tyre on the car.

Check for slices, bulges, tread separation, cuts, lumps or tears in the tyres.

Check for exposure of the tyre ply or cord due to wear or damage.

Check that the tyre bead is correctly seated on the wheel rim.

Check that the valve is sound and correctly seated.

Check that the wheel is not damaged or distorted in anyway.

Check that all car tyres are the same and are the correct size for the car.

Check that the tyre pressures are correct for the car.

Check that the tyre tread depth is within the standard allowed. It is a legal requirement that they are no less than 1.6 millimetres over at least 3 quarters of the tyres tread width surface.


Check over the condition of the entire structure of the car for signs of rust or corrosion in load bearing areas. The car will fail its mot test if corrosion has affected and reduced the thickness of a load bearing area. These areas can include chassis, braking system, pillars, steering, seat belt mountings, anchorages, side sills, cross members, pillars and suspension.

Check for damage and corrosion that exposes sharp and/or dangerous edges as this is likely to cause your car to fail its mot test.

Exhaust and Emissions Checks

Petrol Cars

To test your cars emissions properly you will require a gas analyser that measures the Carbon Monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC). If you are unable to borrow or hire try your local garage they may check your car for a small fee.If you would like to get a general idea you can do this check below, however this may not be a replacement for using an analyser.

Get the engine running at normal running temprature and make sure that the ignition system is in good tune.

Raise the engine speed to approx 2500 rpm and hold it for at least 20 secs. Allow the engine speed to return to idle and watch for smoke emission from your exhaust. If the idle speed is much to high or if dense blue or back smoke comes from the exhaust for more than say 5 secs the vehicle will probably fail.

Black smoke usually signifies unburnt fuel (dirty air cleaning element or maybe carburettor or fuel system fault)

Blue smoke usually signifies oil being burnt (engine wear)

Diesel Cars

Check for exhaust smoke density, this involves running the engine to its max upload speed several times and checking for excessive smoke. This could indicate a dirty air cleaning element.

Make sure that the timing belt is in good condition before testing your car in this way.
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