Rivervale's 10 Pre-MOT Checks
Those of us with a vehicle of a certain age will know there is one time of year we can start to feel a little nervous about our cars wellbeing – MOT time!
There are around 600 different ways your vehicle could fail its annual MOT test and of all vehicles tested 40% do fail. Around 30% of failures relate to lighting in some way, 10% of failures are due to tyre related issues, 9.6% of failures relate to the brakes and 6.6% of cars fail their MOT due to issues relating to the drivers view of the road.
As you are not able to drive your car for your day to day tasks if it fails the MOT, losing a car for a few days could cause a massive inconvenience. It would be advisable to try and fix any problems before your MOT day, so, here is Rivervale’s guide to 10 pre-MOT checks you can do at home…
- Lights – These checks include the indicators, headlights and brake lights so you may need a friend to help you check they are all working. If you find a bulb needs replacing and are not confident to do it yourself, you can stop at your nearest Halfords where you can purchase a new bulb and pay from £5 to get it fitted.
- Number Plate – Your number plate must be clean and legible to pass so time to get the car washing sponge and bucket out!
- Tyres – The legal minimum limit for your tyre tread is 1.6 mm although it is generally recommended tyres are changes when the tread reaches 3mm. Making sure your tyres are legal before the MOT gives you more time to find the most appropriate tyres for your vehicle at the best price. If you are unsure how to test your tyre tread – you can buy a gauge from as little as 81p!
- Seats and Seatbelts – The driver’s seat must be able to move forwards and backwards to allow the driver to achieve the correct driving position where all the pedals can be reached. All seatbelts in the vehicle must be in good working order. To check this make sure you extend the seatbelt fully and look for any damage, also make sure you give a sharp tug on each belt to make sure it locks in the event of an accident.
- The Windscreen – Damage larger than 40mm will cause your vehicle to fail its MOT. Any damage in the drivers line of sight over 10 mm will also cause a fail. It is best to check your windscreen and get any chips or cracks repaired.
- Windscreen Wipers – They're vital for the weather here in Britain!, and will cause a fail if they are not clearing the screen properly. Check the blades are not damaged in any way and if these need replacing these can also be fitted at your local Halfords for £3!
- Screenwash – There is no way your windscreen can be cleared effectively unless you have windscreen wash in the bottle! You can buy this along with your weekly shop in the supermarket so there is no excuse to run out!
- Horn – It’s really rare for a driver to need their horn, but it needs to be in working order for an MOT. Give it a blast and if your horn isn’t working in your vehicle then a trip to the garage will be needed.
- Fuel and Engine Oil – Make sure both of these levels are topped up before your MOT. To complete emissions tests your engine will need to be running for a period of time. If you turn up for your MOT with a empty fuel tank you may be turned away.
- Warning Lights – As of March 2013 MOT testers will now check dashboard warning lights are working. You can check yours by ensuring all the lights are initially illuminated when you first turn on the engine.
Remember without your MOT you could be fined £1,000 so if you are likely to forget when your MOT is due there are free services that will send you a friendly reminder such as MOT Angel.
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15 June 2016
Written by Natalie Faughy