MOT Test of Tyres and Roadwheels condition | MOT tyres check | What is checked

Tyres and Roadwheels

MOT Test of Wheels and Tyres (5)

(Formerly MOT Test of Tyres and Roadwheels condition)

Wheels and tyres have been grouped together with axles and suspension in the May 2018 edition of the MOT Testing Manual.

To simplify the description of the MOT checks the wheels and tyres checks are described in this section and axles and suspension are now grouped together in the MOT Test of Suspension section.

Wheel bearings

The Tester will rock the wheels in turn while they are jacked clear of the ground, or use mechanical play detectors.

Each wheel will be checked for noise and roughness while being turned.

The following categories apply to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. A wheel bearing:
i. with excessive play
Major
ii. play so excessive it is likely to break up or directional control impaired
Dangerous
b. A wheel bearing:
i. excessively rough
Major
ii. likely to collapse
Dangerous

Wheels and tyres

Road wheel and hub

Here the key issues are:

  • damage
  • distortion
  • cracks
  • distorted bead rim
  • security of attachment to the vehicle
  • wheel nuts or studs missing

Wheel hub caps will not be removed.

The following categories apply to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. A wheel:
i. with a loose or missing wheel nut, bolt or stud
Major
ii. with more than one loose or missing wheel nut, bolt or stud
Dangerous
b. A spigot mounted wheel hub:
i. excessively worn or damaged
Major
ii. worn or damaged to the extent that wheel security is adversely affected
Dangerous

Road wheel condition

Only the road wheels fitted to the vehicle at the time of the inspection will be checked. If a defect on a spare wheel is noticed, the Tester should tell you about it.

The Tester will not remove wheel hub caps.

The following categories apply to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. Any fracture or welding defect on a wheel
Dangerous
b. A tyre retaining ring:
i. not correctly fitted
Major
ii. likely to come off
Dangerous
c. A wheel:
i. badly distorted or wear between wheel and hub at spigot mounting
Major
ii. distorted or worn to the extent the wheel or tyre is likely to become detached
Dangerous
d. A wheel and its fixings not compatible
Major

Tyres

The Tester will inspect that the tyres are suitable for the vehicle with repect to load and speed rating. The tyres must be suitable for use up to 70mph unless the vehicle is a ‘restricted speed vehicle’.

Tyres must be correctly matched with regard to:

  • type
  • size
  • structure
  1. type or structure but not both.

Tyres on the same axle must be of the same structure and size.

The general condition of the tyre is also examined:

Tyres fail if they have serious cuts, bulges or other damage.

Structure

Tyres of different types of structure, such as radial-ply and cross-ply, mustn’t be mixed on the same axle.

Steel and fabric radial-ply tyres are considered to be the same structure.

Run flat and conventional tyres can be mixed on the same axle, although this isn’t recommended.

The Tester will inspect the tyre for cuts and bulges. Any ply or cord which can be seen will result in a fail.

Tyre wear

The reason for failure with respect to tyre wear is:

“The grooves of the tread pattern are not at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising: the central three-quarters of the breadth of tread around the entire outer circumference of the tyre”.

The following vehicles first used on or after 3 January 1933 need 1.6mm tread depth:

  • passenger vehicles with a maximum of 8 passenger seats, excluding the driver’s seat
  • goods vehicles or dual-purpose vehicles not exceeding 3,500kg DGW
  • tricycles with an ULW more than 410kg and all quadricycles

The primary grooves of the tread pattern must be at least 1.6mm deep within the central three-quarters of the breadth of tread and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre (see diagram 1).

Either side of the central three-quarters of the tyre can be devoid of tread (‘bald’).

The wear on the tyre is checked with a tyre tread depth gauge to ensure compliance .

The tyres are examined to ensure that there is no fouling with any part of the vehicle.

Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)

The inspection of the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is for M1 vehicles first used on or after 1 January 2012.

The TPMS warning lamp can operate in many ways depending on the vehicle type. Rejection will only apply if it’s clear that the lamp indicates a system malfunction and not simply indicating that one or more of the tyre pressures is low.

Notes:

  1. Although under-inflation is not in itself a reason for failure (a tyre obviously under inflated is a ‘minor’ defect (5.2.3)), a brake test may be inadvisable because of possible damage, and it may also affect headlamp alignment. The condition of the spare tyre is not part of the MOT.

The following categories apply to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. A tyre:
i. load capacity or speed rating not in accordance with the minimum requirements
Major
ii. load capacity insufficient for axle presented weight
Dangerous
b. Tyres on the same axle or on twin wheels are different sizes
Major
c. Tyres on the same axle of different structure
Major
d. A tyre:
i. seriously damaged
Major
ii. cords visible or damaged
Dangerous
e. Tyre tread depth not in accordance with the requirements
Dangerous
f. A tyre fouling a part of the vehicle
Major
g. A recut tyre fitted to a vehicle not permitted to be fitted with recut tyres
Major
h. Tyre pressure monitoring system:
i. malfunctioning or tyre obviously under-inflated
Minor
ii. obviously inoperative
Major
i. A tyre not fitted in compliance with the manufacturer’s sidewall instruction
Major
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