Even if you are fairly sure that your vehicle is in good shape, it is hard to get rid of the pre-MOT test anxiety. MOT tests are designed to ensure that a vehicle is roadworthy in a bid to keep you and other road users safe. Some elements of the test are quite complex, but many of them are very simple and, as a result, really annoying if they fail.
While there is not much you can do to identify - or rectify - some elements of the MOT test, such as emissions, fully functioning fuel system and brakes, there are some quick fixes that you can do. Sorting the problem before you go will save time and money, as well as possible test failure. Before you head to the MOT test centre, check the following:
Failing your MOT test because of an old bulb is incredibly frustrating. Before you head to the garage, check that your headlights, front and rear sidelights, brake lights, rear fog lights, and number plate lights are fully functioning and not obscured. If any aren’t working, make sure that you replace them like for like.
Since 2013, it has been a requirement for a car to have three mirrors in order to pass its MOT test. Check that your interior rear-view mirror and two external wing mirrors are adjustable, unobscured and in good condition.
It is illegal to drive without a number plate, or with a number plate that cannot be easily read. Make sure yours is securely in place, crack-free and clean – with adequate lighting at the rear. If you need to replace your number plate, make sure that it meets format guidelines.
If your tyres are worn, your vehicle will be harder to control and have less traction on the road; you are also more likely to experience a blow-out. Look for bulges, cuts or excessive wear and if you notice anything, mention it to your mechanic before the MOT test to prevent an initial failure or advisory.
Your windscreen washer jets should be working and topped up.
Your windscreen must be free of obstruction so that the driver has a clear, uninterrupted view. Chips or cracks over 10mm in size within the area covered by your windscreen wipers will result in failure; if the damage is outside of the windscreen wiper zone, up to 40mm is acceptable.
For the above reason, you have to ensure that your windscreen wipers are in good condition. Check for cracks or sign of the rubber blades perishing; if you notice that they are not functioning as well as they could, you can save time and the inconvenience of an MOT failure or advisory by replacing your windscreen wipers yourself.
If you are in doubt, get in touch with your local garage for advice. For more tips and advice, follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or Twitter.