An MOT test for your car might sound like just another annual task you need to do to fulfil legal requirements as a driver, but the MOT test can reveal car problems that you were unaware of and could potentially be dangerous.
If your MOT due date is approaching, here are a few basic vehicle checks that you can carry out yourself to avoid those annoying minor failure items.
Checks To Carry Out Before Getting An MOT
- Are the lights and indicators working properly?
Start your vehicle and put on all the lights, including the hazard warning indicators and check that all the bulbs are illuminated. Check especially the number plate ones, as people often miss these. Also switch between high and low beam headlights and if possible get someone to put their foot on the brakes so you can check the brake lights.
- Do the tyres have enough tread?
Tyre wear is a common MOT failure. Turn the steering to full lock, both ways, and check the inner section of the front tyres for wear, as you don’t always see this. Each tyre will have a wear indicator in between the treads to show if the minimum depth has been exceeded, or use the edge of a 20p coin and ensure the tread is above the raised outer edge of it.
- Are the windscreen wipers in a good condition?
Activate your windscreen cleaning via the stalk and check for any smearing or missed sections. Even a single line of remaining water can indicate they need changing. Also – fill the washer bottle, it’s your responsibility to fill it, not the examiner’s.
- Shake, rattle & roll!
A large proportion of the MOT failures are due to worn suspension components. We appreciate that it is difficult to check these yourself, but if you have noticed any knocking, rattles or undue handling, get these checked by a mechanic prior to the test as the examiner will find them.
- Is the engine oil at the correct level?
During the test, the examiner will need to rev your engine for a period of time to test the emissions. Before doing so, they will check the oil level and if it is low, they will stop the test and fail the vehicle. Do not overfill the oil above the max level on the dipstick, if you are unsure, have a mechanic do this for you.
- Warning Lights
When you switch on your ignition, an array of lights will appear. These lights need to go out once the engine is running, if they do not, then the vehicle will fail. However, the lights DO need to come on first – if they do not, then it will also fail! If you are unsure about any warning light, get a mechanic to check it over.
Unfortunately, we cannot cover every aspect in detail, but furthermore check if your car brakes work well, the handbrake works, the seatbelts click in OK and all the doors open from the inside (a rather common issue!).
We’d urge drivers due an MOT soon to book a slot timely. At ClickMechanic, we offer contactless MOTs with home collection and delivery. You can also book your MOT for only £25 when you book a service at the same time!