For those new to motoring, an MOT test must be carried out every year on cars over three years old to ensure that the vehicle is safe to drive and that its emissions aren’t having a harmful impact on the environment. In 2018, the MOT test criteria were updated and further checks added to ensure you are safely maintaining your vehicle
Leading up to your MOT test, there are a few easy checks you can do yourself at home and maybe even save you some money!
1 . The Handbrake
Test your vehicle's handbrake and ensure it works correctly. If you have to pull the handbrake up higher than normal or it clicks too many times, the cable may be loose and need adjusting. If your vehicle has an electric handbrake, check that it still engages correctly and no error messages are being flagged when it is engaged.
2. Seat Belts
Check the seat belts for any signs of fraying, cuts, or any potential damage to the belt or their mounts. Also check that the belt feeds back into the mounts and that the buckles are secure.
3. The Steering Wheel
Check the steering wheel does not feel too loose. If it does this could indicate a wear in the linkage that could cause an MOT failure!
4. Your Brake Fluid
To check your brake fluid, first lift the bonnet and check the fluids level in the reservoir. Then jump in the car, press the brake pedal and make sure that it doesn't feel spongy. If it does, there may be air in the hydraulic system which will need to be removed by bleeding. Your brakes are a crucial part of keeping you safe, so if you’re worried and want them checked professionally, book yourself in for a health check with us.
5. Your Mirrors
Check that your wing mirror and rear-view mirror are in good condition, and that you can adjust them if you need to. If they're broken or cracked, be sure to replace the mirror glass or the entire mirror.
6. The Windscreen
Check your windscreen for any chips or cracks and get them repaired before your test
7. The Wiper Blades and Washer Jets
Engage your wipers and washers to make sure they spray an even amount of fluid on the screen and that the wipers aren't leaving any streaks on the screen. If low, be sure to top up your washer fluid prior to the MOT Test
8. The Horn
Press the horn to check that it is working (Might want to bring some headphones!)
9. Your Number Plates
Be sure to check your front and rear number plates for any cracks or damage and replace them if necessary. Also check that your rear number plate lights are working too!
10. Headlights, Tail Lights and Indicators
Although it is easier to check your lights with 2 people, you can do it by yourself. You can do the obvious checks yourself by engaging the lights and getting out of the car to check, but to test things like your brake lights and high beams, park your car close to a wall or garage door and watch for the wall to illuminate.
11. The Tyres
If you have one to hand, use a tread depth gauge to measure the tread on your tyres. If you don't, you can do a quick check to see how low your tyres are by looking at the tread wear blocks. These are little rectangular pieces of rubber that sit in the tread and are usually 2mm high. This helps provide you with a visual indicator that your tyres are low and need changing. Remember though that the legal limit is 1.6mm, but ideally you should be changing your tyres when they reach the tread wear blocks.
12. The Exhaust
Start your vehicle and hold a cloth or piece of cardboard over the tailpipe and listen for any leaks, normally described as a blowing sound.
We always recommend booking your MOT Test a couple of weeks prior to expiry, giving you ample time to have any issues rectified! Alternatively, give us a call now on 01689 664 769 to discuss your needs.