In the UK, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) test is a legal requirement for all vehicles aged three years or older. As an MOT tester or garage owner, you know that the MOT test is carried out to ensure that a vehicle meets the minimum safety and environmental standards set by the government.
To perform the MOT test, it is essential that garages have the necessary training and equipment to carry out these tests accurately and efficiently. So let’s briefly cover both the MOT Equipment and MOT Tools necessary to perform these duties.
MOT Testing Bay
The first and most essential piece of equipment required within any garage carrying out MOT testing is a designated MOT testing bay. This bay must be equipped with a roller brake tester, a headlamp tester, and an emissions analyser, among other things.
Roller Brake Tester / Decelerometers
A roller brake tester is used to check a vehicle’s braking performance. It measures the force applied by the brakes on each wheel and can detect any discrepancies between them. The roller brake tester is a critical tool in ensuring that a vehicle is safe to be on the road.
The alternative is a Decelerometer, where an RBT cannot be used these handheld electronic devices can be taken in a vehicle during a test drive and brake test, and they will test the braking efficiency by calculating the rate of deceleration.
Headlamp Beam Tester
Headlight testers are used to check the alignment and brightness of a vehicle’s headlights. It is essential to ensure that a driver has good visibility on the road and does not dazzle the other road users. A headlamp tester is an essential tool in ensuring that a vehicle meets the minimum safety standards required for the MOT test.
Emissions Analyser / Gas or Smoke Meters
An emissions analyser is used to test a vehicle’s exhaust emissions. It measures the number of harmful pollutants released by the vehicle, such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. The emissions analyser is an essential tool in ensuring that a vehicle meets the minimum environmental standards required for the MOT test.
Lift, Ramp or Inspection Pit
Lifts and ramps are used to raise a vehicle off the ground to allow access to the underside of the vehicle. They are essential for checking a vehicle’s suspension, steering, and brakes, as well as its chassis and bodywork. A garage must have the appropriate vehicle lift for the correct class of vehicle to ensure that it can carry out the necessary inspections required for the MOT test, or as an alternative an inspection pit may be used in place of a lift or ramp for the same purpose.
Diagnostic machines are used to identify any faults or issues with a vehicle’s electronic systems. This includes the engine management system, ABS system, and airbag system, among others. The diagnostic equipment is not essential for an MOT test, but it can be extremely helpful in determining issues, which may include emissions issues caused by engine management faults which could cause an MOT failure. We sell some of the leading makes of diagnostic machines including name brands such as Bosch and TOPDON UK diagnostics.
Approved and Connected MOT Equipment
UK Garages must have all of the appropriate UK MOT equipment to carry out the necessary inspections required for the MOT test accurately and efficiently. By having the correct MOT equipment as shown above, garages can ensure that the vehicles they test meet the minimum safety and environmental standards required by law.
The different classes of vehicles need different specialist MOT testing equipment, as defined and approved by the DVSA, and bear in mind that some of this equipment is already required to be connected directly to the DVSA, especially for new MOT bays or those that have changed hands.
Classes of MOT bay
You must make sure you have at least the minimum level for each vehicle class you’re approved to test.
All equipment must be kept in good working order and calibrated properly.
As well as the larger garage equipment required for MOT testing, the following MOT Tools are also used by MOT testing stations to make the MOT test fast and efficient.
What tools are needed for MOT?
The MOT Bay itself consists of a number of pieces of essential MOT Equipment, however, there are also a number of ancillary tools that are used by MOT test centres to make the MOT test fast and efficient.
Some of these tools include the following:
- MOT tool board (tool storage shadow panel boards)
- Tyre Depth Gauge
- Corrosion Assessment Tool (CAT), also known as the MOT hammer
- Lever and Pry bars
- Hand Lamps
- Brake Pipe Corrosion Tool
- Wire Brushes
- Turning radius plates
- Tapley or Bowmonk electronic brake efficiency test meters
- 13-pin Trailer Towing Socket tester
- MOT Notice Boards,
- Windscreen Damage Template
- Tyre Tread Width Gauge
- Brake Pedal Depressor
- MOT information posters
- MOT signs
Can an MOT tester use a hammer?
It’s a question we have been asked more than once! And yes is the answer, BUT only if it’s the correct sort of hammer… which is known as a CAT.
An MOT tester will have a small tool, listed above called a ‘Corrosion Assessment Tool’ or CAT for short, which is a VOSA-approved MOT test hammer approved for use by MOT testers.
The CAT is a small tool that is used to check for corrosion on the car’s surface. This hammer-shaped tool is used to check for signs of rust and corrosion on vehicle bodywork, including windows, bumpers, skirting and exhausts.
The head of this hammer is made out of a type of hard-wearing plastic which can be used only on suspect corroded and weakened areas of the vehicle. By using this type of MOT tool, you can avoid causing unnecessary damage to the surrounding surface adjacent to which you are using the Corrosion Assessment Tool (CAT).
Needless to say, a standard hammer cannot be used during an MOT test, and the tester cannot intentionally damage the chassis or vehicle bodywork, but only discover if there are hidden problems otherwise not seen to the naked eye, that may cause serious vehicle failure or danger in the coming year.
Help with MOT Connected Equipment
If you are setting up a new MOT Bay, upgrading your existing MOT Equipment or just need some additional MOT tools or MOT equipment, please give our friendly sales team a call at Concept Garage Equipment. We can advise on the best and most appropriate MOT equipment or Tools to purchase and will also advise if you don’t need connected equipment depending on your MOT Bay setup and circumstances.
We can offer you advice over the phone at 0113 469 0572, we have set up hundreds of MOT Bays across the UK and we have a huge range of MOT equipment and tools. All product prices include delivery as well as free advice on the best use of the MOT equipment.