Your Guide To MOT Centre Checks And Processes

An MOT test is a legal requirement to ensure that your vehicle meets the necessary road safety and environmental standards. As such, the current requirements are quite strict and whilst many cars fail, there are certain steps to take to help your car pass the MOT.

When your test is due, it’s important to find the nearest MOT test centre and with several branches across the south and southeast of England, Elite Garages have you covered. Here, we share some insights into the test and what our DVSA-approved examiners will check.

Expert Advice From A Leading UK MOT Centre

During an MOT, examiners will perform a visual inspection and a comprehensive series of checks around the vehicle. They look at the interior, exterior, under the bonnet and even underneath the vehicle for any potential issues. An MOT test assesses every working part of your vehicle from seatbelts and brakes to steering systems, exhausts and emissions. Here is a detailed breakdown of what an MOT test centre looks at.

Body, Vehicle Structure And Doors

During a visit to your nearest MOT centre, examiners inspect the body and structure of your to ensure there is no excessive corrosion or damage. If you have a tow bar, they also check it for security, overall condition and whether you’ve conducted inappropriate repairs or modifications. Examiners will also check engine mountings as well as the condition of the speedometer.

Another obvious but crucial MOT check is the condition of your doors. Here, they check whether should the front doors can open from the inside and out while the rear doors should at least open from the outside. They also check hinges and latches for security and condition as any faults could put you at risk in the event of an accident. If your doors are jammed and can’t open easily, you are putting yourself and your passengers at risk.

Fuel System And Exhaust Emissions

When visiting your nearest MOT test centre, examiners check for any signs of fuel leaks and the condition of pipes and hoses. Considering they will open the fuel cap for the MOT test, if it needs a separate key, make sure they have access to it.

In addition to the fuel system, an MOT centre also checks that the vehicle meets the requirements for the emissions test. To help reduce the amount of air pollution, your car should not exceed its emissions as stipulated by the manufacturer. High levels of CO2 pollution will have a detrimental impact on the environment which contributes greatly to global warming. Regardless of your views on this subject, it’s something to consider as it’s part of every MOT test.

Exhaust System

An MOT test centre will check that your entire exhaust system is secure, complete, with no serious leaks and not too noisy. Remember, exhausts making loud noises or rattling sounds could indicate that something is wrong and needs attention. It could be anything from an issue with your catalytic converter to something touching your exhaust pipe. The good news is that you can book a service at Elite Garages to fix any MOT faults.

Related: ‘What Are The Most Common Reasons For Failing An MOT?’

Seats And Seat Belts                              

As an experienced MOT centre, we know how important it is to check all the seat belts. Examiners will look at the type of seat belt, condition, operation and security as it’s vital for occupant safety. For that reason, they have to be fully operational and release when they should in the event of an accident.

The MOT test centre will check that all the seats are secure and whether they can adjust the driver’s seat accordingly. This also involves making sure that all the other seats can move into the upright position.

It’s an important check as your seats are there to keep you comfortable and secure in an upright driving position. If your seat doesn’t stay upright, it’s a serious safety concern as you will struggle to see through the windscreen properly.

Tyres And Tread Depth

As any MOT test centre will tell you, all checks are important but none more so than your tyres. Considering they are the only parts connecting your car to the road, it’s vital to pay close attention to them.

Examiners will check your tyres for security, tyre size and type but spare tyres are not included. They need to make sure your tyres have no cuts, bulges or tears. For maximum safety on the road, this is done on the inside and outside of the tyre.

An MOT centre also looks at your tyre tread depth to ensure they meet the minimum legal requirement of 1.6 mm. If they don’t, you must fit new tyres as soon as possible. Although you should ideally fit the same brand of tyres on the same side, if you don’t, your car will still pass the MOT as long as they all meet the tread depth requirements.



MOT Centre Top Tips:

For interest sake, although the minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6 mm, many tyre experts recommend changing your tyres when they reach 3 mm. Be smart and prepare your car properly for an MOT by performing a few simple checks of the horn, lights, brakes, tyre tread, mirrors, VIN number and don’t forget to clean your car.

Horn And Lights

Your nearest MOT test centre will test your horn to ensure it’s in full working condition and that it is a suitable type. It has to work properly as your horn is a vital component in case of an emergency. For example, if you see an accident about to happen or you might be involved in one, your horn can draw attention to and help prevent or reduce the impact of a road accident.

We don’t have to tell your that your headlights must be fully operational. Not only do they allow you to see at night or in adverse weather conditions but they also make it easier for others to see you.

An MOT centre will check their condition and that they all work properly, including HID and LED headlamps for cleaning, self-levelling and security. They also look at the aim of the headlight and main beam warning light. If your headlights are faulty, you could be putting yourself and others at risk without even realising.

Windscreen, Wipers And Washers

We recently wrote an article about windscreen wiper replacement and also forms part of an MOT test. Examiners at an MOT centre will check the condition of the windscreen to make sure the driver’s view of the road is unobscured.

They will test your windscreen wipers and washers to see whether they are working properly to give a clear view of the road. If your wipers and washers don’t work, your windscreen can become obstructed with dirt, dust or water which can make it difficult to see clearly and that can be extremely dangerous.

Text Reminders From Your Favourite Elite MOT Centre

If you’ve lost your MOT certificate or simply can’t recall your MOT date, use the tool by entering your registration number and vehicle make. This looks at your tax and MOT status in no time at all and you can request a new MOT certificate for free to replace the lost document.

To help our customers stay safe on the road, and never forget their MOT again, we’ve created the Elite Member’s Club. Signing up doesn’t cost anything and you’ll receive free text and email reminders along with any special offers before anyone else. If you need an MOT, book yours online now.

Finding An MOT Centre Near Me

It’s important to remember that an MOT test does not cover the mechanical condition of your car. The test does not include checking the condition of your engine, clutch or gearbox so you still need to book a car service. If you’re looking for an “MOT centre near me”, Elite Garages have branches across the UK. Here’s a list of our MOT test centres: