Pre-MOT checks – Do It Yourself
You’ve just used the MOT checker and your car’s MOT is about to expire – don’t panic. There’s some simple things to check yourself before booking your vehicle for an MOT.
If you have NO experience in car maintenance and would rather leave it all in the hands of the experts – do precisely that and book your car in for it’s MOT now.
Still here? good, that means you don’t mind taking a peek under your car’s bonnet and are prepared to check some basic MOT failure points before the test.
The Basics – no skill required
There are some things that practically anyone can check before taking a car for an MOT. It’s really annoying if your car fails an MOT because there’s no windscreen washer water or the horn is not working. Things to check that require virtually no mechanical skill
- Screen Wash is topped up and the jets are free to squirt
- The Horn is working
- The windscreen wipers are working and the rubber blades are free from damage
- Check the seat belts are all free of damage for example fraying
- Ensure the inertia device is working – pull firmly on the belt and check that it locks – and then releases when the pressure is removed
- Check the grip on the tyres is more than 1.6mm (about the thickness of a 20p). Some tyres have wear indicators to help perform this check. The grip should be proud of the wear indicators
- Take a look at the tyres on the front and back. Check they are the same style, preferably make and model.
- Does your car have a spare tyre? If so, it must be road legal
- Check your lights for cracks or obvious damage
- Test the headlights on all settings
- Test the indicators
- Test the brake lights
- Test the reversing light
- Test the registration plate light
- Bodywork – check that there are no sharp edges or anything else that could hurt a pedestrian
- Check you can open and close all doors from both inside and out
The expert MOT mechanics have machines dedicated to testing the effectiveness of your brakes. But, just like the list above, there’s no point failing the MOT on something you can check. A little bit of auto knowledge is required here, but not too much. You need to know where the brake fluid reservoir is …
- Check the level of brake fluid is between the minimum and maximum markers on the reservoir. If it’s too low, carefully top it up, or ask the garage to do that before they do the MOT
- Pull the handbrake on and check it does not click more than a few times … if it clicks half a dozen times or more before engaging the handbrake it needs adjusting
- To release the handbrake the button should not require excessive force
Steering, Exhaust and Shocks
Like the brakes, these can only really be tested by the MOT experts at the MOT test centre. You will often see people pressing down on each quarter corner of the car – lookign for excessive bounce, an indicator there’s a problem with a shock absorber. Personally, I’d leave these bits to the professionals
National Tyres and Autocare is the largest independent fast fit specialist in the UK. Our highly trained technicians are specialists in vehicle parts repair including tyres, exhausts, brakes, batteries, MOT testing and vehicle safety inspections. We have a network of over 200 branches throughout the UK.
Win a Supercar? Every week someone is guaranteed to win a BOTB Dream Car. In the past 19 years there have been over 400 winners, taking home over £23 million worth of prizes. Use your Spot the Ball skill for a chance to win The Best of the Best
End of Adverts
Enter your vehicle’s registration number to check if your car, bike or van has a valid MOT certificate. This service is FREE. The data is provided by the Vehicle Licence Enquiry service (.gov.uk)
Enter your vehicle’s registration number to check if your car, bike or van has a valid Vehicle Tax. This service is FREE. The data is provided by the Vehicle Licence Enquiry service (.gov.uk)
More Services from IsMyCar.co.uk
Visitors to the IsMyCar.co.uk website may be interested in the following motoring topics
- MOT – check your MOT status FREE
- MOT – get an up to date MOT history for any vehicle
- Vehicle Tax – Vehicle Tax check the status of your car’s road tax
- Car Tax – Car Tax Checker
- Road Tax – Check Road Tax here – FREE
- Untaxed Vehicles – Report an untaxed vehicle
- Insurance – Check Car Insurance Status – FREE for vehicle owner
- The new MOT rules (May 2018)
- Number plate cloning is on the increase – what to do if your car registration is cloned
- Pre-MOT checks. A few things to check yourself before booking your car’s MOT
- What are the most popular causes of MOT failure?
- Is my car STOLEN
- Is my car WRITTEN OFF – Category C (now S) or Category D (now N)