Upcoming changes to the car MOT test

You’ve probably heard about the upcoming changes to the MOT test, which will be put into place in January 2012. There are lots of elements of the test changing, so rather have additional surprises when your vehicle is tested, we’ve detailed what’s changing, when it will be put in place and how it will affect you in the future.

Why has the MOT test been changed?

The current MOT test was developed based on traditional cars with no high-tech electrics. These days, cars have complex features such as computer systems and safety features fitted as standard, which these new tests will take into account. At the moment, these elements aren’t tested, yet, they’re essential to the safe running of your vehicle. Also, the changes are occurring to standardise vehicle testing across Europe.

What happens if my vehicle doesn’t pass?

For three months after the new test is introduced, if your vehicle fails any of the new requirements, these will be marked as ‘advisories’, rather than a fail. This simply means you’ll have until the first MOT renewal date to have the fault remedied. After 1st April 2012, any faults on the MOT will be treated as they are now and must be fixed.

What will change in the MOT test?

There are lots of things changing in the new test. Here’s a roundup of the main areas being introduced or changing:

Warning lights – The correct function of all the main warning lights of your vehicle will all be tested. If they come on, then your vehicle will fail. We’d always recommend that if a warning light in your vehicle comes on, you should see to it as soon as you can to ensure your safety and reduce any damage to your car.

Steering and suspension – If you have a steering lock fitted as standard in your car, it will be tested. Missing or damaged dust covers allowing dirt to enter mechanisms will result in a fail and checks to the power steering will be carried out to ensure it is above the minimum level.

Lighting – These days, some vehicles have HID, or high intensity discharge, lamps. These must be properly fitted so as not to dazzle other vehicles, and where fitted must also have properly working wash systems.

Electrical wiring, sockets and battery – With the complex electrical circuits in cars, wiring and insulation will be checked and the battery must be secure and not leaking. If you’re set up for a caravan, then any 7-pin and 13-pin sockets, wiring and circuits will be checked for damage as well.

Supplementary restraints – If your car has missing or defective airbags which come as standard with the vehicle, it will now count as a fail. There will be additional checks on the seat belts and pre-tensioners as well.

Other checks – The speedometer, car doors, tow bar, fuel system and catalytic converter, electrical systems including parking brake and stability control will all be checked to ensure they’re all in proper working order.

These new checks ensure that the MOT test is far more thorough, so you know you and your family can be safe on the road.

If you have any questions about the changes to the MOT we haven’t covered here, or to book an MOT or service with us, give us a call on 0117 9730055.

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