There are plenty of things you can do to minimise your chances of an MOT fail. This guide will help you identify possible problems before your car’s big day.
Sitting in your car, check that the handbrake works correctly.
If you have to pull the lever a long way up – if it clicks too many times – the cable may need adjustment. While you’re here, check the seat belts for fraying, cuts or other signs of damage.
The front seats must be securely attached, and the backrests must lock in the upright position.
Then, check the steering wheel doesn’t feel too loose as this could indicate wear in the linkage.
You can also check the brake fluid level.
Press the brake pedal to make sure it doesn’t feel spongy. If it does, there may be air or moisture in the hydraulic system which will need to be looked at by a mechanic.
Make sure your wing mirrors and rear view mirror are in good condition, and that you can adjust them.
If they’re broken or cracked be sure to replace the mirror glass or the entire mirror.
Look through your windscreen – there shouldn’t be any cracks or chips within the driver’s
field of view.
Check your wiper blades and washers work – and top up your screen wash if it’s a bit low.
Also, check your horn works. (Beep horn)
While you’re doing this, double check that your number plates are in good condition – a cracked one can mean a failure.
Check that all of your car’s external lights are working properly (Ask someone to help you check the brake lights).
Your number plates and all lights must be clean and undamaged, so give them a good scrub if necessary. If any of your lights aren’t working, replace the bulbs.
Check your car tyres for damage.
Use a tread depth gauge or 20p coin to check the amount of tread remaining. If you can see the rim of the coin, you need to change your tyres. The legal minimum is 1.6mm – although it’s better to fit new tyres well before they reach this stage.
Check the exhaust by starting the engine and holding a clean cloth over the tailpipe.
The force of the exhaust should push your hand back and you will be able to hear if the system is leaking.
If you think that there’s a problem with your car, you can get a free check at any Halfords Autocentre where the expert technicians can look over your car and point out any issues that may arise during the MOT, and provide a no obligation quote for the work. If you’re comfortable with sorting it yourself, they have a huge range of car parts available to order and collect in your local store.