What’s the difference between an MOT and a Service?

I’m going to try to explain this as succinctly as possible. In the simplest of terms, the MOT is a legal requirement and must be carried out on Cars and Vans at least once per year (once the vehicle is 3 years old) to ensure the vehicle is safe for the road. Without a valid MOT, your vehicle will not be able to be legally driven on the road, with the exception of taking it to and from an MOT test centre.

Servicing on the other hand is aimed at maintaining your vehicle, helping to ensure it operates at its optimum level. Vehicle manufacturers usually recommend servicing after a certain amount of miles (usually around 10,000) or after a certain period of time (usually 12 months). Timescales and mileage recommendations vary depending on the vehicle type and the individual manufacture. Servicing is increasingly important with modern vehicles to ensure miles per gallon efficiency remains strong, components don’t get clogged up, wear or damage prematurely – causing unnecessary expensive repair bills. Items that have a recommended service life can include engine oil & filter, air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, spark plugs (on petrols), cambelts/timing belts, air conditioning systems, brake fluid and so on. Whilst the vehicle is still in its warranty period it is important to carry out servicing to the schedule set by the manufacturer using parts and oils that meet manufacturer’s specification. You don’t however have to take your vehicle to a main dealer to keep the warranty valid due to the European Block Exemption Laws.

With quality servicing there will inevitably be some crossover with the requirements of an MOT and this will vary depending on the level of Service that is carried out.

Preparing for your MOT

Every car, van and light commercial vehicle that is over 3 years old requires an MOT. It can be a time of uncertainty, but there are some simple things that you can check yourself which ensures your vehicle won’t fail on silly things and also help to keep your vehicle performing well.

1) Tyres. Tyre pressures don’t come into an MOT test, but if you make a habit of keeping a check on your pressures you can also check them for wear. The legal limit for a tyre is a minimum of 1.6mm.

2) Washers and wipers. Make sure your windscreen washers work and the screenwash bottle is topped up. You would also make sure your wiper blades clear the screen and are free from damage and splits. The rear washers and wiper blade does not form part of the MOT, but it obviously helps the drivers vision so should be kept in a good order.

3) Fluid levels. Check to see if your brake fluid, power steering fluid and oil levels are correct. These don’t necessarily form part of the MOT, but will indicate if you may have a problem. The Oil level will need to be at least on the minimum for the MOT smoke test on a diesel.

4) Doors and seat belts. Passenger doors must be able to be opened and closed shut from the inside and outside. Seabelts must

5) Lights. Check all of your lights are working correctly and don’t forget the number plate lights on the rear. You can do this on your own, but you might need someone to check your brake lights while you press the brake pedal.

6) Warning Lights. Some dash warning lights, such as an Airbag or ABS light on will fail the MOT if they do not switch on with the ignition and off once the vehicle is running. If you have warning lights on your dash and are unsure if it is an MOT failure, call us or pop in and we’ll check with you.

7) Horn. Check the horn is working.

A good garage will call you to discuss failed items before carrying out expensive MOT repairs so you don’t have to worry about shocks.

Oldfields Garage Services in Leominster keeps most popular wiper blades, oils and bulbs in stock if you’d like to sort out any issues before your MOT don’t hesitate to contact us or pop your vehicle in.

For information on Servicing or the MOT for your vehicle visit www.oldfieldsgarage.co.uk to book online or call 01568 612436.

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