Did you know, most cars fail their MOT due to minor issues that can be easily avoided by doing a few simple checks before your car goes in? Just follow our simple ten point checklist to ensure your vehicle has the best chance of passing.
Headlights and indicators
Are they all working? Check your headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights, indicators and number plates. If one of the bulbs are out head down to your nearest local garage or contact your manufacturer to source a replacement. For most models it is quite easy to replace the bulb yourself, your manufacturer handbook will provide a guide, however if you are unsure your local garage will fit it for you – It’s a quick job so won’t cost very much.
For this you will need someone else to help and stand at the rear of the car while you press the brake pedal. Do they light up? Do they turn off once your foot is released? Also don’t forget the additional brake strip light, if you have one. Alternatively, you could carefully reverse up to a reflective surface and check in your rear mirror.
Is it clean? Cars can fail due to the number plate being dirty or unclear to read. Just a quick wipe with a cloth could be the difference between a tick and a cross. Although none of this matters if the font and spacing of the letters doesn’t comply with legal requirements, so make sure your number plate is from a DVLA approved supplier.
Wheels and tyres
Do they meet the minimum legal tyre tread depth? 1.6mm is the legal limit, anything less than that will be marked as ‘fail’. If in doubt a technician at your local garage will be able to check for you and also advise on the correct replacement if need be. Alternatively you can check out our common MOT fails and how to avoid them.
Seats and seatbelts
Does the driver’s seat adjust forwards and backwards? Are all seatbelts in good, working order? Pull out the length of the seatbelts to inspect them for damage and tug hard to test they react as they should if you were to brake hard. This could not only mean the difference between a pass or fail, but also life or death.
Is there any damage? Any damage larger than 40mm or wider than 10mm in the area in front of the driver will cause a fail.
Do they wipe your screen clean? Any tears or holes in the wiper rubber will cause a fail. Find out how to replace a windscreen wiper with our simple to follow instructions.
Is the washer bottle topped up? If you don’t have any screen wash left, top it up with some water. Something as simple as this could mean the difference between a pass and fail.
Does it work? If not you will need to get it repaired or replaced.
Fuel and engine oil
Do you have enough of each? You could be turned away from an MOT without suitable levels as the tester will need to run the car to test it’s emission levels. If you are unsure about the type of oil that should be used, ask your manufacturer main dealer.
WARNING: Make sure your vehicle has had the chance to cool down fully before checking fluid levels and parts which could be hot to touch (e.g. bulbs)