Sunday 1 September 2013

Keep up to speed with new MoT test with Haynes

Haynes Editorial Director Matthew Minter has warned that many motorists are not aware of the latest changes to MoTs, which could potentially cause an increase in number of cars that fail the tests every year.

The changes, which were introduced in March this year, include a number of new checks which relate to some of the safety-related systems on modern cars.

Matthew Minter, Editorial Director, Haynes Publishing says:
“It is extremely important that the MoT test stays up-to-date to ensure that the modern cars on our roads are in good condition, but I fear that many members of the public are not aware of these new changes and that could result in an increase in the number of failures.

“Around 40% of cars fail their MoTs at the first attempt and the amount of time and money wasted on a re-test can be extremely frustrating for a driver, especially when around half of those failures were due to problems that are very straightforward to resolve.”

Over 10 million cars fail their MoTs every year, and the most recent stats from VOSA (the government agency which administers the test) show that nearly half of all MoT failures could have been avoided by checking tyre condition and pressure, ensuring light bulbs were working, and maintaining mirrors, wipers and washers.

However the new changes mean that drivers should now check the correct operation of warning lights for systems such as airbags (SRS), stability control, electric parking brakes and electric power steering. Also included for the first time are checks to ensure the correct operation of the main beam tell-tale, the brake fluid warning light, trailer socket wiring (when applicable) and the operation of the steering lock.

Haynes Manuals have been helping motorists keep their cars roadworthy and perform all kinds of repairs for over 50 years, and many manuals are now available online. There are currently over 300 car and motorcycle manuals online worldwide with new titles added every month, so you can now access service and repair information on your PC, Mac, laptop or smart phone.

Matthew continues:
“Many test failures could be avoided if drivers did some simple checks on their car before taking it into the garage. Following these top tips could cut your chances of failing by half.”

1. Check the exterior lights
Nearly a third of all fails are due to exterior lighting or signalling faults. Checking the light bulbs before going for the MoT is easy to do. Replacement bulbs are cheap enough and you can change them yourself if you have the relevant Haynes Manual.

2. Check the instrument panel warning lights
Check that all the warning lights do what they're supposed to.  Usually this means coming on with the ignition and then going out after a few seconds, or when the engine is started.  Malfunction of warning lights related to ABS, airbags (SRS), brake fluid level, electric parking brakes, electric power steering and stability control systems will result in a fail, as will non-operation of the main beam tell-tale or the speedometer illumination.  Look in your Haynes Manual for details of these systems.

3. Check tyre pressures and condition
10% of MoT fails are due to tyre problems. Use a tread depth gauge to check the amount of tread remaining; the legal minimum is 1.6mm, although it is better to fit new tyres well before that depth is reached. Check that the tyre pressures are correct and that the tyres do not have cuts, bulges or other signs of damage.

4. Check and resolve any issues with ‘driver's view of the road’
The ‘driver's view of the road’ includes the windscreen, wipers and washers, and mirrors. Wiper blades should be replaced if they show signs of damage or if they have been in use for over a year.  Large chips in the windscreen in the driver’s field of view will result in failure, but small stone chips are okay.  Rear view mirrors must be adjustable and in good condition. Top up the screen wash reservoir and check for correct operation before going for your test.

5. Road test
Take the car for a drive and check that it pulls up in a straight line when the brakes are applied, that the steering does not pull to one side and that the handbrake will hold the car on a slope.  Sort out any obvious problems before presenting the car for test.

Haynes Manuals Online include all the content from the printed manuals with the additional benefits of a glossary of terms, searchable menus and quick links, the online car manuals also include ‘how‐to’ videos.

To view the range of printed and online manuals visit


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