Service vs MOT what is the difference?

When my car goes in the garage it looks the same when it comes out!! 

Servicing Ė I get my car MOT tested every year, isnít that enough?? 

An MOT is like going to the doctor for a check up, & doc makes sure your blood pressure & heart rate is reasonable, reflex's are ok you can eat drink & go to the toilet but in no way guarantee's you're fit enough to run a marathon. Where as a service is more about are you fit enough for a marathon? 

Servicing Ė whatís the different to the MOT 

An MOT is a basic safety test, where as servicing includes fluid levels & how long things like brakes will last not just do they work! Services (dependent on age, miles & manufacturers recommendations) may include replacing oil, filters plugs etc. The following pictures were taken from a recent service we did on a Citroen Picasso which was a new client for us and had not been serviced for 2 years as the owner didnít know the difference.

 Picasso Air Filter

Above is the old & new air filters, the white one is the new one the old one is black & very contaminated.  The effect of this is increased fuel consumption & reduction of power. Which would be a similar effect to running a marathon wearing a blocked up dust mask Ė your lungs would not get much oxygen! This is not checked on MOT they may advise to check if the vehicle fails on emissions!

Picasso Cabin Filter

The Cabin filter above works a similar way to the engineís air filter the difference being it cleans the air you breathe while sat in the car!! This is not checked on MOT

Paicasso Fuel Filter

As you can see the Fuel filter above is also very contaminated which can cause loss of power, fuel starvation, engine cut out in severe cases. It can also reduce fuel economy but once again This is not checked on MOT

Picasso Oil Filter

Again the condition of engine oil & filters is not part of an MOT however it is a big part of servicing & should be replaced every 6,000 to 18,000 depending on manufacturerís specifications & the standard of oil & filters used. Oil that is not changed often enough can cause premature engine wear excessive emissions & reduced fuel economy.   

What is an MOT all about? 
The MOT test carried out on cars and vans from 3 years old and every year from new on trucks and buses. The MOT is a very BASIC safety test to ensure all vehicles on the road are of a minimum standard. The MOT is about the condition of the vehicle at the time it is tested it is not a guarantee that a vehicle will be safe for the duration of the certificate. 

The most up to date certificates look like this - click here.

The validity of a vehicles MOT & history can be checked easily on this V.O.S.A. website


What is checked on an MOT? 

Condition and operation of lights, horn, washers & wipers. 
 Braking, steering & suspension systems. 
 Seatbelts condition, operation & security. 
 Wheels tyres & emissions. 
 Condition of body work. 

More in depth can be found in this V.O.S.A. booklet. ďYour car & the MOT