Most drivers have heard of an MOT and Service, but many people think they are one and the same, or are not too sure what the difference is between the two. There is also confusion over whether MOTs and servicing are compulsory and how frequently they should be completed. We hope this blog post clears a few things up for you.
MOT tests are very much a ‘here and now’ type test. During this compulsory safety annual check the vehicle must meet a bare minimum standard set by a governing body (DVSA – Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). The actual standards are relatively low, as long as your car meets the bare minimum at the time of the test, it is a pass. However, this check is not to be confused with a service. During a Mot we are not allowed to physically remove any components from your vehicle. So, for example, if there is a corroded brake pipe hidden under a heat shield, it is a pass. Or if the brake pads are excessively worn but cannot be seen due to the wheel trim, it is a pass. MOT tests are a brilliant way of ensuring cars meet a minimum safety requirement, however further checks are essential to ensure the health of your vehicle.
Unlike a MOT, an annual Okee service is a much more in-depth vehicle check. We are not looking for minimum standards but looking for any issues that are present, or that will likely crop up within the next 12 months, or before the next annual service. We carry out all the checks done on a MOT but with a lot more on top. Everything receives a close inspection during a service regardless of whether the component is hidden or obscured. This means that parts and components are removed to enable us to really see what is going on with your vehicle.
One major difference between MOTs and servicing is the ability to make adjustments and improvements to the vehicle during servicing. Something we are not allowed to do during MOTs. With a service we always replace the vehicle’s filters (air, fuel, pollen, oil) with quality OE parts and replace the oil with quality grade Shell lubricants, which have the right additives for your vehicle. In addition, the service is not limited to safety related components so we always check every function of your vehicle, for example; air conditioning, heating and ventilation, electric windows, central locking etc.
In summary MOT tests are a compulsory annual check that consist of relatively low standards set by the DVSA and as long as your vehicle meets the bare minimum at the time of test, it is a pass.
A service is not compulsory but vital to ensure the health of your vehicle. These checks ensure your vehicle is safe, and will remain safe, for the next 12 months or until the next service date. And, if you keep your vehicle serviced regularly there will be no nasty surprises come MOT day.
Ben Grave, Mark Lawson