MoT test changes for 2012

Posted on December 19th, 2011 by Rob Marshall

MoT test changes for 2012The mandatory annual roadworthiness inspection, for every car over three years old, has always evolved as vehicles have become more sophisticated. Although testable items have been added as the years have progressed, some onlookers have argued that the programme has not been kept entirely up-to-date with the latest technologies that have been crammed into many recent models.

From next year, the situation is set to change and, from the 1st January 2012, the following items will be inspected:

1. Electronic Parking Brake – on many newer cars, the simple ratchet and pawl handbrake lever has been replaced by a simple button. Should any light be indicating a fault in the electronic mechanism, the car will fail.

2. Tyre Pressure Warning Lamps – VOSA is not clear on how these systems are checked and from which age of vehicles. If the system is disabled (which can be done on many cars with main dealer software), no fault in the system is indicated but does this still result in a failure? All VOSA advises is that the system must be operative on vehicles used after 1st January, 2012.

3. The illumination of an airbag or seat belt warning lamp, when the engine is running, as well as those for both electronic power steering and brake fluid levels, will merit a failure.

4. Although the function of the antilock-brake lamp sequence was subjected to previous testing, this aspect has been modernised to include the stability control functions and checks the wiring of both systems, the operating switches and the warning lamps.
5. The self-levelling and washing mechanisms on cars fitted with high-density gas discharge headlamps (‘Xenons’) must not be defective.

However, owners of older cars will also see stricter standards implemented, with the following items being subjected to testing:

6. An insecure battery or one that leaks will merit failure.

7. Any insecure or frayed wiring found by the inspector will fail the test.

8. 7-pin towing sockets will be checked for condition, 13-pin items will be treated to a full connectivity test.

9. If your car has an aftermarket Xenon/HID headlamp kit fitted, the system must have both a headlamp wash and self-levelling capabilities, although self-levelling suspension will suffice. However, certain high-performance cars have ‘barely any luggage space and stiff suspension’ and these appear to be exempt from needing self-levelling systems. I perceive this grey area being confusing for the average MoT Tester.

10. A speedometer that either does not obviously work (for example, if the gauge’s needle will foul on an obstruction)  or cannot be backlit will fail. Interestingly, the tester is unable to drive the car, to test the whether or not the speedometer operates.

11. Rear doors must open from the outside without difficulty.

12. Chafed or damaged fuel pipes will now result in a failure. Corroded fuel lines will still pass (if they are not leaking) but the owner has to be advised.

13.  Any ‘inappropriate’ repairs to tow bars will be rejected.

14.  If any car, used from 1992, is submitted for an MoT Test without a catalytic convertor, it will fail the MoT Test immediately, regardless of whether it passes the emissions test or not.

15.  Deterioration of the headlamp lens (common with some plastic-faced types) that affects the light output will become a reason for failure.

16.  Although excessive wear in suspension ball joints were a reason for failure, now any split protective rubber gaiters are included.

17.  The standard-fit steering lock will be tested.

18.  Power steering fluid level must be above the minimum stated. The tester can also fail the car, if there is excessive corrosion on the power steering system’s pipes.

19. On vehicles with electrically-assisted steering, the illumination of a dashboard lamp, which indicates a fault in the system, will cause a test failure.

20.  The brake fluid level warning lamp must operate.

21.  Drive-shaft support bearings will be checked for excessive wear.