What’s not covered by an MOT?
The vast majority of vehicles that are more than three years old are required to pass an MOT test every year to ensure that they are safe for use on the road. There can be some confusion as to exactly what parts of the vehicle are checked in an MOT and what areas are not covered.
If you want to ensure that your car passes its MOT first time, it can be a good idea to run through a checklist beforehand to confirm that everything works properly. However, you don’t want to be spending your time or hard-earned money on elements that won’t affect the outcome of an MOT.
When your car is MOT tested, the testing station is required to run through a series of standard checks to ensure that it meets with the safety and environmental legislative standards applicable in the UK. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the car is in the best possible condition or that it’s running as efficiently as it could be.
Some of the most significant areas of a vehicle that are not assessed in an MOT include the condition of the clutch, gearbox and engine (apart from the engine mountings). This is because they are not regarded as safety-critical.
The condition of the tyres fitted to your vehicle, together with the size, type and tread depth, are checked in an MOT, but any spare tyres are not.
The MOT will also exclude any examination of the condition of aftermarket accessories unless they fall within the main test components. For example, an aftermarket exhaust will be checked for condition and will affect the emissions components of the test.
If your car fails on any element of the MOT, spare parts and repairs are not covered by the test and remedial work will need to be carried out before the vehicle can be re-tested.
Differences between an MOT and a service
If you want to ensure that your car is running correctly and in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations then you will need to book a service. In contrast with the MOT which focuses on safety and emissions, a vehicle service ensures that the car is maintained in good working order in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
There is some overlap. A service will look at some aspects covered by the MOT, such as brakes, seat belts and tyres, but it will go far deeper and will include consumables such as engine oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid.
A full car service may also include a replacement fuel filter, air filter (if applicable) and spark or glow plugs to maintain the performance of the vehicle.
A service differs from an MOT in that it is designed to maximise the working life of the vehicle; without regular servicing, you may experience breakdowns or poor reliability and, in some circumstances, a failure to maintain the vehicle could cause long-term damage or invalidate your manufacturer's warranty.
An MOT test does not provide you with a guarantee as to the mechanical condition of a car and, whilst carrying out regular servicing is not required by law, it could end up saving you a great deal of money in the long-run. Why not contact us today to find out more.