MOT Vehicle Testing Station
motfail

Example of worn suspension components

Have you ever been confused as to why your car might have failed its MOT?
Many garages are very good at using car Jargon – I know that before I worked in the trade, I had no clue as to what garages were talking about!
I thought I would write this post as a way of helping to dispel some lack of understanding about one MOT failure that we see regularly when carrying out MOT’s and which to really confuse customers who are not in the know about how a car works.

The items discussed below are all an integral part of the MOT and  relate to the steering or suspension in your car;
Have you ever been told “Your bushes are worn”?
Whaaaat?                                                                                  What does that mean?!
The car has failed on the anti-roll bar bushes
What are they when they are at home?
So, you ask yourself – “How do I know that these things I have never heard of are in need of replacement? “ “More money I have to spend – how do I know that I am not being ripped off?
From my observations working here at Lakeside Garage, I have come to the conclusion that people on occasion really do not understand what is meant when terms such as ‘bushes’ or ‘lower arm suspension bushes’
Why should they? I certainly didn’t and it has taken me 4 years to gain some kind of understanding –
I am not a technician in any way!
Just remember  –  All parts are yours until you drive your car away from the premises
If  you are in any doubt as to whether any item needed changing – you need to insist that you are shown
the worn parts and if you want to take them away, make sure they are left in your car.
So what are ‘Bushes’?
Trying to keep it as simple as possible without insulting the intelligence of anyone – Bushes are a bit like the cartilage that you have say in a knee or a hip – they are made of rubber and are used in areas to act as padding between 2 bits of metal.
Being made of rubber, Bushes are subject to wear and tear and will become less effective over time
(like my poor battered knees!)
For example, Lower Suspension Arm Bushes can wear causing the wheel to move too much and therefore make steering difficult.
Other terms that you might hear could be Anti Roll Bar Bushes, Anti Roll Bar Drop links – the links connect the bar to the suspension. Lower and upper control arms connect the suspension to the chassis – All could be deemed as an MOT fail.
For those of you who are ‘techies’ I apologise for the simplistic explanation that I have given and for those
of us who are not, I hope that this has helped a little bit in giving an explanation without making you glaze over too much!