Prepare for your next MOT Test

March is the most common month for MOT tests – but the bad news is around 40% of vehicles fail their MOT first time around!

All vehicles over 3 years old require an MOT test annually and if you are caught driving without a valid MOT certificate you could be fined up to £1,000 and your car insurance might be invalid.

Don’t take the risk – book your next MOT test at Setyres and make sure that your vehicle is ready to pass with these simple checks:

Check Your Tyres

Tyres that do not meet legal requirements will cause your vehicle to fail your MOT test. If your tyres have tread lower than the legal minimum of 1.6mm or if they contain any signs of damage you are not only putting yourself at risk on the road, you will also fail your MOT test.

You should undertake the following checks every three weeks:

  • Check that you have sufficient tyre tread by placing a 20 pence coin in the grooves of your tyres and making sure that you can still see the outer band of the coin. If you can’t, your tyres might be illegal and it is time to have them replaced.
  • Visually inspect your tyres for signs of damage which could include punctures, cuts, lumps, bulges or cracks. If you do find any such damage you must visit a tyre specialist as soon as possible.
  • Take your vehicle to a local garage or service station and use the facilities to check that your tyre pressures are correct. Ensure that you fill or deflate them as necessary to match the pressures specified in your manufacturer handbook.

Make Sure You Can See

When driving it is vital that you have a clear view of the road ahead! Make sure you follow these tips to keep yourself safe and pass your MOT:

  • Remove anything on your windscreen or dashboard which may obstruct your view.
  • Get any windscreen damage repaired before the MOT test as damage larger than 40mm (or 10mm directly in front of the driver) can cause you to fail your MOT test.
  • Check that your windscreen wipers work effectively (so no water is left on the glass after each pass) and are in good condition (do not exhibit signs of damage such as tears or fraying).

Fill Up Engine Fluids

To keep your car healthy, you should regularly check your engine oil and coolant levels and ensure that they have not dropped under the minimum. We would also recommend checking the following before you take your vehicle for its MOT test:

  • An empty washer fluid container can fail an MOT test! This is one of the easiest things to check and remedy before your test, so check that the fluid sits comfortably between the maximum and minimum levels marked on your container.
  • Check that your engine oil is not below the minimum level and that you do not have an empty tank of fuel. Whilst this is not necessarily an MOT fail, an MOT tester can refuse to finish the test if they are unable to run the engine and successfully carry out the required emissions checks.

Check Your Lights

Broken light bulbs are also an MOT test fail that could easily be avoided! Make sure that you test all vehicle lights beforehand:

  • Simply switch on your indicators, headlights, full beams and hazard warning lights whilst the vehicle is parked and walk around your vehicle. This will give you the opportunity to check if you need to replace any bulbs.
  • You should also gently tap your lights to ensure that they are securely fitted.

Make Sure you Can Stop

Car brakes are another culprit behind failed MOT tests! If you have a problem with your brakes at any time – not only ahead of an MOT test – you must get them checked as soon as possible! Your brakes keep you safe on the road so never ignore any of the following signs:

  • Your vehicle pulls to the side when braking
  • Your brake pedal feels different to press
  • You hear strange noises such as squeaking or grinding whilst braking
  • The brake warning light illuminates on your dashboard
  • Your brakes feel noticeably less effective

If you do notice these signs, make an appointment for a free brake check as soon as possible!

Take a look at our full MOT checklist for more helpful tips on ensuring that your vehicle will pass its next MOT test!

Posted on: 01/03/2017

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