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Taking your car for its MOT test needn’t be a stressful ordeal, in fact, as long as you look after your car and get it regularly serviced, you should not incur too many unforeseen problems. There are lots of things you can do to prepare your car for its MOT to make sure it stands the best chance of getting through without any hiccups.
If your car is due a service, it is a good idea to book one in at the same time as you take your MOT test, and if your car is approaching three years old and requires its first MOT certificate, it’s well worth booking the service a few weeks before so that any repairs can be covered by your warranty.
Follow the Trusted Dealers‘ simple guide below which could help to eliminate problems with your car before you take your MOT test, and more importantly, help you spot any serious problems before they become a hazard.
Check your tyres
Checking your tyres is a simple process which involves sticking a 10p piece into the tread. If you can see the milled edge of the coin then it’s too shallow and illegal. You should also check all of your tyres for any cuts or bulges and make sure that the tyre pressure is the correct pressure recommended by your manufacturer. You should be able to obtain the correct figures from your car handbook, the door inner or inside the fuel filler cap.
This is a simple exercise, just switch everything on and check for any blown bulbs. Ask a friend to watch whilst you test the headlights and brake lights, and don’t forget to check your fog lights too.
Check your windscreen
Examine your windscreen wiper blades to make sure they are not split or too worn out to clear the glass properly – replace them if necessary. Check the surface of your windscreen for any chips or cracks – anything larger than 10mm in the driver’s eye line could potentially cause an MOT test fail. A windscreen specialist can usually fix smaller screen flaws. Most insurance policies will cover the cost without affecting your no claims bonus, but always check this out first.
Check your brakes
To test the brake pads, make sure your car pulls up squarely when you apply the brakes, if it pulls to one side it will fail the MOT. The pedals should also feel firm, not soft and the car should not be able to travel far before the brakes begin to bite. Look under the bonnet to check your brake fluid is level and is between the maximum and minimum levels. Check that your hand brake moves freely and easily and is capable of holding your car securely on a hill.
Check your exhaust
A leaky exhaust is illegal and unsafe to drive with, therefore it is very important to check that your exhaust pipe is securely fastened to the car and isn’t excessively rusty. Start your car up and hold a rag over the tail pipe, then listen for sounds of leaks or blowing – if you think there are any problems, it is well worth contacting a garage to take a more detailed look in case it needs replacing.
Check your number plates
This may not seem like an obvious area to check but a cracked or broken number plate can cause an MOT test failure. Check that your number plates are securely fixed to the car at the front and back and that the correct colours have been used – white at the front and yellow at the back. The letters and digits on a number plate should also be correctly spaced – some personalised plates move letters closer together to spell out names which is in fact illegal and a fail at an MOT test.