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10 Pre-MOT Checks to Help Ensure Your Vehicle Passes

Added: 18 February 2020

MOT Testing Centre

The MOT process is part and parcel of a car that is older than three years old here in the UK. If your vehicle doesn’t have a valid MOT certificate, and has passed the necessary criteria, it is deemed as not being roadworthy and therefore can potentially cause an accident, harm on the road and invalidate your warranty or insurance that you may have on the vehicle. Would you believe that 40% of vehicles heading for their MOT fail at the first attempt? Some of the things can be prevented and by taking on some checks, you can avoid a retest and additional costs. Without further ado, here are 10 pre-MOT checks you can do to help ensure your vehicle passes. 

1. Lights

This can often be an easy check to do before you put your vehicle through an MOT and one you should be doing before taking your vehicle out on the road for long periods of time. Checking indicator, brake lights, fog lamps and your main headlights are all working and have bulbs fitted correctly. A small replacement can avoid you failing the MOT. 

2. Number plates

Private plates are increasingly popular, and having plates printed with specific spacing is also something of a trend. However, if your number plate isn’t aligned as it should be, your vehicle can face a failure on MOT and you can be fined up to £1000.

3. The tyres and wheels

You may want to take the time to look closely at the tyres on your car before the MOT. You can quickly look over them for any obvious damage, or seek some help from a professional tyre fitter. You will also want to check the tyre tread is at least 1.6mm. This may be one of the important factors on the MOT check list as almost 10% of cars fail on this alone. 

4. Seats and seat belts

A simple test to make can help you to avoid any issues in the future and that is to check that all seat belts can be adjusted, fastened and that seats are and can be moved into an upright position. 

5. Windscreen

An obvious one to check, and one you may or may not be aware of but any cracks or damage to the windscreen results in an automatic fail on your MOT. You may be able to get away with the odd crack but any damage over 40mm will result in an automatic fail. Besides, chips in the windscreen can go on to be more damaging as you leave them, so get them fixed as soon as possible. 

6. Wipers

Can you clear your windscreen of rain easily? If not, your wipers may be damaged or need replacing. Failure to do this can result in an MOT failure. 

7. Fluids

Most of us will know to check the fluid levels in our cars from time to time, but doing so before your MOT can help you to avoid a fail. Checking the levels of oil and coolant can allow you to make the top-ups if needed. Your vehicle will also fail if you don’t have any screen wash fluid. 

8. Horn

When was the last time you checked your horn? Simple but worth doing before your vehicle is in for MOT. 

9. Warning lights

Any warning lights on the display will result in a failure, so pay close attention to what the dashboard of your vehicle is telling you. It could be that your vehicle may need a service before it’s next MOT or even have certain aspects of it fixed. 

10. Suspension and brakes 

Brakes and suspension are another thing that a car can fail on with an MOT. Check the brakes daily and if you do hear any noises, grinding or anything feels off, consult your local garage to have them checked. 

Let’s hope this MOT checklist helps you to avoid any failures in the future.

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