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MOT test to get tougher
The MOT test is get tougher for 2012 with more mandatory test items included in the latest group of changes to the vehicle roadworthiness assessment.
The move from the Department for Transport has added a number of items the test will now have to cover in order to reflect the growing complexity of modern vehicles.
With ESC electronic stability programmes now compulsory on all new vehicles in the EU, the changes to the test primarily surround electronic items commonly fitted to modern vehicles. This includes the testing of electronic parking brakes, electronic stability control, steering and suspension and lighting.
Checks of ABS anti-lock brakes will be extended to cover electronic stability control, with cars failing an MOT test if the electronic parking brake or stability control lights are illuminated. Testers will also now be looking for “inappropriately repaired or modified” items.
The new test will see a host of other warning lights checked for correct operation of the relevant systems, including the headlight main beam, power steering, brake fluid, air bag, tyre pressure monitoring system and seatbelt pre-tensioner warning lights.
Headlights will be checked with any products that modify lighting characteristics, with items on the lens or light source resulting in a failure of the test.
The new MOT will also include more mechanical checks. The correct functioning of the steering lock will be tested as will the state of the steering system’s dust covers. Missing, damaged or split gaiters allowing dirt into the steering ball joints will result in an MOT failure.
However, VOSA, the authority that regulates the MOT test, has indicated that ‘failures’ falling under the new items appended to the existing test will be treated as ‘advisories’ for the first three months of this year.
Motorists will then have until the next annual renewal to fix any faults.
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