The MOT test ensures that automobiles, other light vehicles, private buses, and motor bicycles above a certain age are inspected at least once a year to verify that they meet roadworthiness and environmental requirements, contributing to the government's road safety policy. The examination is purely visual and does not need the removal of any elements of the vehicle. However, doors, trunk lids, and other access points will almost always need to be opened. While the actual MOT test for steering remains mostly identical, there are some minor modifications from the perspective of the MOT Tester.
If your steering wheel is excessively loose, it might signal a problem with the tie rods, ball bearings, or pitman's arm, which will influence your MOT test results. During the MOT test, the whole steering system will be inspected for function and security. All steering components will be examined for wear or damage by the MOT tester during MOT testing. The steering wheel must be safe and in good working order and must be connected to the steering column firmly.
• The steering column must be in good working order, with no excessive wear or float in the joints (usually universal joints).
• The steering rack or steering box must be firmly connected to the steering column.
• There must be no oil leaks in the steering rack, and it must have a rubber gaiter on either end to prevent fluid loss from within the rack.
• If a steering box is installed, its security and wear movement between the steering box and the drop arm will be examined.
• The rest of the steering system's links and joints will be examined for wear and movement. Top and bottom ball joints, track rod ends, steering arms and all other moveable components of the steering system will be examined.
• Because the suspension and steering systems are so closely linked, both will probably be examined simultaneously.
This examination applies to any steering mechanism. All tests involving steering movement must be performed with the engine running if power steering is installed. Free play can be examined by turning the steering wheel left and right as far as possible without moving the road wheels, with the road wheels on the ground pointing straight ahead. Check the amount of free play around the steering wheel's perimeter. Play induced by wear or maladjustment should not be confused with apparent play generated by the mechanism's design; this is caused by flexible joint deflection or spring compression in external power steering systems. The steering wheel free play limit is a general guideline (380mm). With bigger or smaller diameter steering wheels, lower or higher restrictions should be established. The steering wheel's rim moves for more than 75mm for non-rack, and pinion steering or 13mm for the rack and pinion steering might be a reason for rejection.
It is essential to check the three areas of the vehicle for steering system MOT inspection.
• The steering wheel must be in good working order.
• The steering wheel must be connected to the steering shaft firmly.
• The steering lock device must be present, functional, and properly engaged.
• The power steering warning lamp should not be turned on.
• The steering column's upper bearings are inspected for excessive wear.
• End float on the steering shaft must be kept to a minimum.
• All of the clamping bolts must be secure.
• All split pins and locking nuts must be securely fastened.
• The amount of free play in the steering wheel must be kept to a minimum.
• All universal joints and flexible couplings are inspected.
• The steering rack/box, as well as the mountings, are secure.
• Check for the play in the steering joints.
• Any other swivel joints that are connected to the steering system.
• While the steering is under stress, all steering joints will be examined.
• With the engine running, the power steering systems are examined.
• With the engine turned off, the power steering fluid is tested.
• The nuts/bolts on the steering rack/box are examined for tightness, and the chassis where it is mounted is evaluated for structural cracking or corrosion.
• The smoothness in wheels rotating is tested, as well as if they touch the car frame or any braking pipes or hoses.
• The wheel bearings are examined.
• Look at steering rack gaiters and constant velocity joint boots.
• Ball joint dust covers are examined to verify that dirt is not allowed to enter.
• The amount of power steering fluid must be higher than the minimum.
• Damaged, rusted, or fouling power steering pipes and hoses must be avoided.
• If an external power steering system is used, power steering components must not be fouled or misaligned.
Steering system examination is one of the vital components of MOT testing. The whole steering system will be evaluated for operation and security during the MOT test, and all steering components will be checked for wear or damage by the MOT Tester. It is essential to check inside the vehicle, under the hood and vehicle to meet roadworthiness.