What is the Difference Between the MOT Test and Car Servicing?

Car maintenance is required if you wish your vehicle to function at its full capacity and have an extended life. Car servicing is an integral topic when we talk about maintaining your vehicle. Servicing refers to the in-depth inspection of your car by a mechanic based on the guidelines that are set out by the manufacturer. This process ensures that your car is functioning correctly and is safe to drive. It also significantly adds to the lifespan of the car by reducing the risk of a breakdown. A car service is quite different than the MOT test. The question is, how?

Unlike car servicing the MOT test is a legal requirement. Once your car is over three years old, it is compulsory to take the MOT test every 12 months. The test follows strict criteria set out by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The MOT test is to assess the roadworthiness of a car. To pass it, your car must meet the minimum required standards standardised by DVSA. If you fail the test, your car will not be eligible to be the road. If you are found driving a car without an MOT certificate, you can be fined up to £2500, or receive three penalty points on your license. In the worst case scenario, you can also be banned from driving altogether. Parts that are assessed during the MOT test are listed below.

Fuel System

The basic requirements to pass the MOT test are that there should be no leaks, the fuel cap should fasten correctly and seal securely. The inspector is expected to examine the entire fuel system for any potential leak sources. Check the fuel tank and signs of corrosion beforehand. If there is any leak, the vehicle will fail the MOT test. It is because the leak does not only present a fire risk, but it can also be dangerous for other people on the road. An incorrect fuel cap, bad condition of the fuel tank, or a corroded fuel pipe can also lead to failing the MOT test.

Exhaust System

Before taking your car for the MOT test, make sure that it is free of serious leaks or advanced corrosion. The system needs to be perfectly mounted as intended using mounts. The required number of silencers are crucial to pass the MOT test. Remember, the required number of silencers differ from model to model. There are certain things one needs to be careful about to successfully pass the MOT test. The exhaust system needs to be checked for advanced corrosion and loose exhaust mountings. These factors can lead to failure in the test. Missing silencer baffles can yield similar results.

Tyres and Wheels

The inspector will check if the wheels are in a fair condition and if there is any severe damage. Any advanced buckles can lead to failure. There are elaborate legal requirements that one needs to meet to successfully pass the MOT test. As of now, the minimum legal requirement of tread depth is 1.6mm. Other than this, the tyre sidewall should not have any severe damage. The spare tyres are not subject to the test. We advise you to get your tyres thoroughly checked by a professional to avoid failure due to a blunder that could have been easily rectified.


The braking system is subject to a detailed inspection. The condition of the physical components, as well as the braking efficiency, is assessed during the test. Everything will be checked, from the brake pedals to the braking distances. If your brake pads are excessively worn, leading to an increased braking distance, there are high chances of failure. Many times the brake fluid leaks and we are not aware of it. We advise you to get the hydraulic system checked before you go for the MOT test. Also, your hand brake needs to operate within MOT standards; if it doesn’t, it can again lead to failing.

Steering and Suspension

The inspection usually begins with the steering wheel; it must be in a reasonable condition. The steering needs to attach to the steering column securely . Again, the columns need to be in the right condition and so should be the joints. Any signs of excessive wear can get you in trouble. The steering rack needs to be free of any leaks. The top and bottom ball joints, track rod ends, steering arms, and every movable component of the steering system should be functioning properly. The suspension system and steering system are related. Hence, inspected at the same time. Therefore, the cover springs, shock absorbers, and all suspension links should be free of any excessive wear.


It is necessary that the lights are in good condition, safe, and secure. They must be functional at the time of your MOT test. The lights will also be checked in terms of operation and aim. The lights should work properly if you do not wish to fail the MOT test.

Seats and Seatbelts

The seats need to be firmly fixed to the car’s floor. You might fail the test due to simple blunders like loose or broken bolts. The driving seat will be inspected in terms of repositioning and if the seat backs into an upright position. Also, the seatbelts of your vehicle should be in adequate condition. Even fraying on the seat belts can lead to failing the MOT test. Remember, seatbelts are a crucial part of the safety system. Every driver needs to be aware and understand the importance of seatbelts apart from the MOT test. It can make a difference of life and death.

Windscreen, Washers, and Wipers

It is imperative for the driver’s line of sight to be clear of any obstructions. On than that, the windscreen must be clear of severe scratching or chips. Also, avoid torn wiper blades or blocked washer jets as they are common causes for failure in the MOT test.

Do you require MOT Willenhall services? If you do, visit our garage at Premier Tyres Plus

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