An MOT test can be a nervous evaluation for a motorist, especially when it is thought that around 40% of cars fail their MOT every year in the UK.
If your car is three years old and up, the test is a yearly legal requirement to ensure all vehicles on the road are roadworthy.
Here are some checks that you can do yourself to prepare for your MOT. These tips will improve your chances of passing first time and avoiding the cost and hassle of a re-test.
Don’t Forget the Basics!
When preparing for your car’s test, walk around and sit inside and perform a visual inspection. Check and take into account the following things:
- Keys – Make sure you have all the keys for you car, including fuel cap, boot, doors,
- Beep the horn – It’s important to check this so it’s in working condition if and when you need it!
- Inspect the lights – When was the last time you changed the bulbs? Are they dim? Are they effective in the dark? Don’t forget to check the registration plate and brake lights!
- Check the front and black wiper blades – Are they leaving patchy or streaky spots?
- Windscreen – Be on the lookout for small cracks or anything that could impair your vision when driving
Roughly 23% of failed MOTs are due to defective tyres. When looking at your car tyres, take the following into consideration:
- Overall condition of tyres, including the sidewall.
- Tread depth.
- Tyre pressure.
- Signs of irregular wear.
- The spare tyre – this is often overlooked.
In the UK, the law states that the legal limit of tread on a tyre needs to be 1.6mm across 75% of the circumference of the tyre.
Testing the depth of the tread can be as simple as placing a 20p piece between the tread blocks. If you are able to see the outer rim of the coin then your tyres are illegal.
Check the Fluid Levels of your Car
If the washers do not work, or there is not enough fluid to test this, it can be enough to
fail an MOT. Make sure your car is topped up on the following:
- Wiper Blade Fluid
- Check that all the caps work and fit securely in place
What Happens if I fail my MOT?
Whether you pass or fail, always read the comments and notes made my the testers on the certificate. These can provide an indication of what needs fix in order to pass next time or things to look out for in the future.