The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

How Much Rust Fails Mot

Ellen Grant
• Monday, 28 December, 2020
• 10 min read

The checks on vehicle structure are dependent on the original design and construction of the car, and whether certain parts are load bearing or not. Also, any area within 30 cm of a safety related item will also be checked, plus any part which is deemed to be playing a role in supporting the vehicle as a whole and which is corroded or damaged sufficiently to hinder the safe operation of steering, suspension or brakes.

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Excessive corrosion, damage or inadequately carried out repairs are likely to result in a fail. Good steel should be completely firm under pressure and ring cleanly when struck with the screwdriver handle, rotten metal will creak.

The tester will use this to test any areas where he suspects that filler or a similar product has been used to cover up corrosion. It has been marked with a yellow crayon, which is used by many testing stations to highlight a defect.

If the steel is damaged, either from an accident, an improper modification, or from fatigue, the car will fail. The bulkhead, as this can suffer damage and corrosion from blocked drain tubes, so closely examine steering or braking component mounting points.

The rack mountings and rubber brushes (where fitted) should be checked for security and deterioration. The power steering fluid must be above the minimum level marked on the reservoir.

The pipes and hoses must not be excessively corroded or damaged, and must not catch on any other part of the car. The power steering ram and its housing must not be damaged, and there must not be excessive play at the anchorage point.

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For electronic power steering, if the Malfunction Indicator Light illuminates on the dashboard to signify a problem with the EPS, then the car will fail. Check that there is adequate clearance between the chassis and any bump stops that are fitted.

If, due to weak springs, any part of the body touches the wheels when loaded, then the car will fail. Where the suspension or its mounting system, such as a subframe, meets the body (and within 30 cm of that point), look for any corrosion, distortion or fracturing which significantly reduces the original strength of that component.

Check front coil springs and their locating seats for cracking or corrosion. If the functioning of the spring is impaired, or if the end doesn't locate properly, the car will fail.

If their action is impaired in any way, the car will fail, and there should be no contact between the leaf and the body. The eye brush will fail for similar play due to deterioration.

All these parts and their mountings will be checked for missing fittings, wear, rust,and other damage. Like the suspension ball joint boots, if dirt can get in then the car will fail.

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Mounting pins and bushes will be checked for deterioration and excessive play. Any leak, which didn't affect the catalytic converter, would have to be fairly large in order to cause the car to fail.

Some exhaust boxes are factory fitted with a small hole drilled at the lowest point to allow accumulated water from condensation to drain away, and so will not cause a fail. The level of exhausted noise must not be louder than that normally expected for a similar car in 'average' condition.

The silencer tailpipe must be far enough away from the body to prevent fumes entering the interior. All supply and return pipes will be checked for damage, with and without the engine running.

The filler cap and neck will be examined for spilled seals or any other damage or deterioration that could result in a fuel leak. If the petrol pump and/or the fuel filler is visible to the tester they will be checked for leaks and security of mounting.

With the brake pedal down, check the calipers for signs of fluid loss. The hose shouldn't be kinked, must be attached to its mounts correctly, and mustn't touch the body or wheel.

The metal brake lines that run down the underside of the car will be checked for rust and damage, and that they are securely mounted to the body. However, as long as your brakes have been well maintained, and services at correct intervals, there should be a problem.

However, to help your car pass this part of the MOT, you should make sure it has a regular service and that worn spark plugs and dirty air filters are changed. If excessive black or blue smoke is emitted from your exhaust, then the car is likely to fail the test.

If you leave the car at the test station to be repaired, a partial re-test will be carried out and you will not be charged a re-test fee. If you take the car away then return it to be re-tested the next day and it then fails on any other item not on the list below, a re-test fee of up to half the amount set by Rosa for a full test may be charged to you, as long as the car is returned within ten working days.

Windscreen and/or washers horn indicators and hazard lights reflectors lights headlight aim VIN number exhaust emissions seats seatbelts door/boot lids mirrors ABS warning lights brake pedal rubbers steering wheel wheels and tires fuel filler car number plates This comprehensive MOT guide will cover off everything you need to know, including what gets checked in a test and what to do if your vehicle fails.

If you choose, you can get the vehicle retested up to a month (minus a day) before it expires and keep the original renewal date. If you decide to take it to another garage to have the failed defects addressed then your car will still need to meet the minimum standards of road worthiness at all times or you can be fined.

If you’ve lost your MOT certificate you can simply use the GOV.UK tool to enter your registration number and vehicle make. To address this, authorities are considering plans to better integrate the MOT and vehicle recall systems, which could lead to vehicles failing the test if a recall fault hasn’t been fixed in the 12 months after its previous test.

Many vehicles fail an MOT for small issues which could easily been prevented before the test. It’s a good idea to prepare an MOT checklist a couple of weeks before the date of inspection to make sure your vehicle is in the best possible condition it can be, this will allow you to proactively fix the issues and avoid any inconvenient circumstances if the vehicle fails the test.

Brake condition is also assessed by examining the discs, pads and calipers, plus the relevant pipes and cables. Excessive corrosion on safety-related parts, such as the steering and brakes, is a no-no, while rust within 30 cm of these components may also result in a fail.

The tester will also check both the exhaust system and fuel filler cap are fixed securely to prevent possible leaks. Also, ‘novelty’ car horns that play multiple notes or tunes are not allowed.

The tester will ensure the steering wheel and column are in good condition and fixed properly, and that there isn’t excessive ‘free play’ in the system. The steering bearings are inspected for wear, while all bolts, clamps, gaiters and universal joints should also be checked.

The operation of power steering (fitted to virtually all modern cars) is tested with the engine running. Rims will also be examined for damage, including distortion or cracks, and the condition of the wheel bearings is assessed.

The spare wheel is not part of the MOT test, but it must be mounted securely if outside the car. Windows and mirrors Windshield damage is a common cause of MOT failure.

For this reason, many people believe they are a better place to get an MOT done as they do not have a vested interest in failing and charging for repairs. By which we meant here are only written testimonials expressing that people, from experience, have had better luck getting their car to pass its MOT at a council test center than at other garages.

The three most common reasons for MOT failures are faults with lights, suspension and brakes. This situation can only occur if you've had the car tested in the month leading up to the expiry date.

If your car fails its MOT, the garage or test center will inform you of any repairs needed. Depending on the number of faults and severity of the issues, the car may be repaired and then re-tested later in the same day.

This retest is free for a range of items, including wheels, tires, wipers, mirrors and doors. If the vehicle is retested 10 days after the original test, you'll be charged the full fee.

These indicate issues with the vehicle that haven't been deemed serious enough for it to fail, but will need addressing in the near future. If minor faults are ignored, there's a good chance your car may fail an upcoming MOT test.

An MOT test takes around 45 minutes, during which time the tester will check the road worthiness of your car, assessing all its electrical equipment, steering, tires (including tread depth, pressure and condition), and suspension. The test will also look at the brakes (including pedals and efficiency), seat belts and seats, exhaust and emissions, wipers and windshield, rear-view and wing mirrors, and your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

All its electrical equipment, steering, tires (including tread depth, pressure and condition), and suspension. Dangerous faults include having no functioning brake lights, or a steering wheel so loose that it’s likely to become detached.

You aren’t required to take along your old MOT certificate to the garage when getting your car tested, although you may wish do you so for peace of mind. The certificate will list out any defects detected in the three categories: dangerous, major and minor.

Along with road tax and insurance details, MOT test status of all vehicles is now kept on central databases, and these details are automatically passed onto the police’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition databases. This means police officers will be able to pull you over if their NPR technology registers that you’re driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate and you can even be caught by certain static roadside cameras, too.

If you fail to get your car tested by the expiration date of its MOT, you won’t be able to legally drive your vehicle on the road which would see you run the risk of a £1,000 fine. Driving without a valid MOT will also invalidate your insurance policy, which could also could see you fined and liable for hefty repair costs should you be involved in an accident or have your vehicle damaged in any way.

Along with road tax and insurance details, the MOT test status of all vehicles is now kept on central databases, and these details are automatically passed onto the police’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems. This means police officers will be able to pull you over if their NPR technology registers that you’re driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate and you can even be caught by certain static roadside cameras, too.

Driving without an MOT will immediately invalidate your insurance policy regardless of how long you have left on your premium. This could see you liable for hefty repair bills (or worse) if you’re involved in a collision on the roads.

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