Your MOT test is an annual safety check (for cars over three years old) that tests whether your car meets road safety standards. All the important internal components of your car will be checked, and in the end, your car will either pass or fail. Even with a pass-through, there could still be minor faults that you’ll need to fix immediately. Below, we explore simple things you can check beforehand to ensure a smooth test.
Before you book an MOT test online, one of the first things you’ll want to check is the lights. Lights can seem obvious, but any defects will lead to a fault on the test. There are plenty to check: headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights, fog lights, and indicators. Make sure you have someone to help you press the brake peddle while you check the brake lights.
Make sure the wheels and tyres are undamaged. The tread is one of the key things to look at – the minimum legal tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm, in a continuous band that wraps around the central three-quarters of the tyre. You will fail with anything less. If you suspect that there isn’t enough tread – or if there’s any other damage – then get them changed by a professional prior to the test.
You need two exterior mirrors to reveal the offside and the nearside of the car, plus an interior mirror showing the rear of the car. Make sure that none of these mirrors have cracks or defects that can obstruct your view.
Fuel and engine oil
Without appropriate levels of fuel and engine oil, you might get turned away from the MOT centre – both are required for the car’s emissions test. Solve this worry by topping up on both beforehand.
Seats and seatbelts
For a start, make sure that the seatbelts respond appropriately to being tugged or pulled – they shouldn’t give way. The driver’s seat should also be adjustable.
Give your plates a clean. If an MOT centre believes that the plates are illegible then it will count as a fault.
It can be worrying when your car goes for an MOT. You don’t want any surprising faults to fix. But by maintaining your car throughout the year, alongside some checks beforehand, you should be set for a smooth MOT.