Your car will need to pass an MOT test once a year after it’s three years old. Here’s what you can do to maximise its chances of passing…
Test the Horn
If your car’s horn doesn’t work, or if it’s too quiet, it’ll fail the MOT test. In which case, give it a try beforehand. Is the response immediate and is the sound loud enough?
Check the Lights
If you want to pass the test, your vehicle’s lights will need to be working properly. Check on the front and rear lights. Are they bright enough and is there any sign of damage?
Inspect Oil Levels
Your car will need to possess an appropriate level of oil; emissions can’t be properly checked without it. Park your car on an even surface and open the bonnet. Inside, use the dipstick and wipe away any oil. Once it’s clean, put it back in the oil and then inspect it again – the amount should be somewhere between ‘min’ and ‘max’.
Take a Look at the Windscreen
Your car will fail the test if the windscreen is damaged or if visibility is obscured. Look for any scratches or marks. It also makes sense to give it a thorough clean; whilst ensuring that you’ve got enough liquid in your wash reservoir and that the wipers are working properly.
Consider Tyre Tread
The minimum amount of legal tread depth for a tyre in the UK is 1.6mm. Naturally, it’s highly advised that you have more than this when you’re on the road. To quickly check if you have enough tread, you can use the so-called ’20p test’. As the name implies, this involves using a 20p coin by inserting it into the groove of a tyre. If the outer ring of the coin isn’t visible, you’re good to go.
Are there Warning Lights?
If your car is showing a warning light, something is wrong with your vehicle; and you’ll fail the MOT test as a result. Use your vehicle handbook to determine what the light means and get it addressed before the test.
How are the Mirrors?
To pass the test, your vehicle’s obligatory mirrors must be intact. This means the interior and offside mirrors. Check yours for any sign of damage, such as cracks or marks that affect visibility. Give them a good clean, too.
Brake Fluid Levels
Just like oil, your brake fluid will need to be between ‘min and ‘max’. You’ll find it under your bonnet in the master cylinder. As with oil, use the dipstick and ensure the vehicle is on a flat surface before testing.
Keep Things Clean
You won’t fail the MOT test if your car is dirty. But it still makes sense to keep it clean. For a start, we’re still not out of the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, the person conducting your test shouldn’t have to wade through rubbish and grime. Finally, keeping your mirrors and number plate clean will make things easier for the garage.
The absolute best way to ensure that your vehicle sails through the MOT test is to keep on top of regular servicing and maintenance. If you look after your car, you’ll make long-term savings by avoiding excessive wear and tear.
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