The MOT test is a compulsory test that most cars in the United Kingdom have to pass every year. Exceptions to the rule are brand new cars, which don’t need testing for the first three years of their lives.
MOT tests ensure that the cars we drive on Britain’s roads are safe, roadworthy and conform to strict emissions rules. A lot of car owners dread the MOT test, because they fear their cars will fail on something that might be expensive to fix!
Are you worried about your car failing its next MOT test? If so, this handy guide will show you the basic things you can check on your car before it gets tested. Feel free to print it out for your reference!
There are three main things that your car could fail on here. They are the windscreen itself, the wiper blades and the washer system.
If your windscreen has large chips or cracks, it might need replacing. Some problems can get fixed by windscreen repair centres. They will cost less to resolve than buying brand new windscreens.
Wiper blades should be streak-free, intact and clear the windscreen of any rain or washer fluid. Changing wiper blades is a simple job that even the novice DIYer can tackle. There are plenty of places online that sell cheap replacement wiper blades.
You must make sure that both your external and interior lights are all present and correct! Go through all exterior lights, such as headlights, fog lights and tail lights. Replace any bulbs that are likely blown.
All the interior bulbs in your dashboard should also be working. That is especially so for safety systems, such as the brake fluid, ABS and traction control bulbs. If any bulbs stay on after you start the engine, it could show that there is a fault somewhere.
Make sure that you rectify the fault before you submit your car for its MOT test. Otherwise, it will be an automatic fail.
A visual inspection of your car’s tyres will show whether any might fail the MOT test. Examples of where tyres can cause your car to fail the test include:
- Tears, rips and bulges on the sidewall;
- Tread depth less than 1.6mm on the main surface area;
- Steel braids showing through any part.
John from Sunny Hill Motors recommends buying a tyre depth gauge from your local car accessory store. They only cost a few pounds and are essential for checking that your tyres are within the legal tread depth limits.
If you need replacement tyres, make sure that you check for prices online first. Online tyre traders are often cheaper than tyre fitting centres. The savings you make are often worth the time spent researching prices online.
You should make sure that there are no parts of your bodywork that are protruding. Such bodywork problems are likely to cause injury to pedestrians or other road users.
Another thing to look out for is rust. In some parts of your car, a lot of rust can cause your car to fail its MOT test. A quick visual check around your car and underneath (by the sills) will help you to identify any major problems.
Good luck with your MOT test!
Image via Flickr
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