If you are feeling twitchy about your vehicle’s MOT and are worried that it might not pass – you aren’t alone.
Literally, hundreds of cars fail their MOTs each year in the UK, and according to the RAC, the main three most common reasons that vehicles fail are faults to do with lights, suspensions, and brakes.
However, you can do a few things to avoid that dreaded ‘failed’ certificate…
But what are MOTs?
MOTs are Ministry of Transport tests that are required to be taken every year if the vehicle is more than three years old from the date of its registration to check that its roadworthy.
You can find out whether your vehicle needs an MOT by going on the GOV.uk.tool website and entering your registration number and vehicle make to find your MOT and tax status.
If you drive your vehicle without a current MOT, it becomes illegal – so it’s a good idea to check!
These MOT tests are to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, so although they can be an expense, as well as a headache, particularly if there’s something that needs to be fixed, they are there to ensure you’re safe when driving.
The test itself doesn’t actually take long – about 45 minutes, and you can wait while the test is being done.
There are 21,000 test centres in the UK – most of them are independent and don’t service cars, so you’ll know they aren’t testing your car for a commercial incentive.
If you aren’t sure what the approved garage will be checking during the MOT, it’s worth asking us at Tyred and Exhausted for an MOT checklist before the test itself, as we’re experts in this area.
The MOT test
During the MOT, essential parts on your vehicle will be checked to ensure that they meet the legal standards, which will include lights, tyres, fluids, and the steering and suspension.
Steering checks include the strength and condition of the wheels, and they look for wear and tear in the steering components.
You’ll also find that shock absorbers will be checked for excessive corrosion and anything else that would be thought of as unsafe.
The test costs roughly around £55 for cars and campervans and £30 for motorbikes.
How to avoid failing
There are a couple of things you can do to try and avoid failing your MOT, and these include:
- Lights – a scary 30% of all MOT faults are due to lights and signals, so try positioning them correctly, ensuring they have no tints or anything obscuring them – they should light up with only one operation of the switch.
Get a friend to walk around the car while you turn each light on individually before you go for the MOT.
- Tyres – if you have the wrong tyres on, or if their tread isn’t within the legal tread depth limit, you’ll fail.
Try putting a 20p coin in the tread, and if you can see the outer ring of the coin, you’ll find your tyres need changing!
- Fluids – this includes steering fluid, water, and oil, all need to be topped up to at least the minimum level.
So, if you’ve got your vehicle’s MOT coming up, rather than just dread it and chance it to luck, follow our Tyred and Exhausted top tips, and you’ll breeze it!