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New UK MOT Car Test.
The UK MOT test for cars is being revised from January 2012, with a number of changes.
The UK MOT (Ministry of Transport) test for cars and other vehicles started in 1960 covering basic car systems such as brakes, steering and lights.
The test was broadened in 1977 to include more areas of the vehicle, including the car body structure.
Emmissions testing was introduced in 1996 including the 'cat test' to test catalytic converters on cars equipped with them (generally cars manufactured from 1992).
The MOT test became computerised in 2005, with MOT testing stations being linked up to a central database to access vehicle details, and log pass/ fail information. This also saw the introduction of computer printed MOT certificates and fail or advise sheets, replacing the traditional hand written certificate with the MOT testing stations pressed stamp in the bottom corner, and hand ticked and written pass/fail/advise sheet, often with a greasy thumb print!
The car MOT test generally covers the following items:
Body structure condition, Brakes (including parking brake), suspension, steering, driveshafts, wheels and tyres, wheel bearings, lights and reflectors, mirrors, seatbelts, numberplates, windscreen, front wipers and washers, horn, exhaust conditon and security, and exhaust emmissions.
At present a car neeeds to be tested at 3 years old and then every year afterwards. There was speculation that to bring the UK in line with Europe, changes may have been implemented so that MOT testing may have started when a car was 4 years old, with re-testing every 2 years however it now seems this change will not be happening.
The MOT test is set to change by January 2012 with the following POSSIBLE changes:
1) Dashboard Warning Lights
A car will fail an MOT tset if a dashboard warning light shows a problem such as Airbags, Electric Power Steering, Electonic stability sytem and additional restraint systems.
2) Electrical Wiring
The condition of a cars wiring will be inspected for damage (such as chaffing against the engine or through an ungrommeted hole etc), and it's security.
3) Car Battery Security
The battery will be checked for security. This should present few problems unless the wrong sized battery is fitted, the clamp is loose or corrosion has affected support or security of the battery.
4) Correctly fitted and legal aftermarket exhaust systems or exhaust components.
5) Number plates must comply with regulations.
6) If electronic parking braking system is fitted, controls must be present, working and not inappropriately modified or repaired.
7) Headlamp bulbs and unit incompatibilty and levelling devices.
The cars lighting system will be checked particularly for incorrect fitment of some aftermarket 'bright' bulb kits.
8) Security of rear doors- including correct functioning of central locking systems.
9) Management electronic control unit (ECU) modification.
It's not fuly understood how ECU systems will be checked as yet, but a car will in theory fail the MOT if it is found that it's ECU unit has been illegally modified or 'chipped'.