If you drive a car that’s over three years old, then once a year, by law, you’ll have to put it in for a MOT test. Which, more often than not, ends up making a nasty dent in your bank account. But there are a few simple ways to save yourself some money.
Well, just follow this step-by-step guide and you could prevent your car from failing its MOT. And remember, if you’re driving a car without a valid MOT (unless driving to and from the test centre), you’re not covered by your car insurance as well as breaking the law.
NOTE: Remember to switch off your engine before looking under the bonnet.
In many cases, all you need do to rectify a fault is simply change a bulb.
• Headlights – check that low and high beam work
• Brake lights
• Side repeat lights
• Left and right, front and rear indicators
• Front number plate light
• Rear number plate light
• Driver’s side fog light
• Hazard and emergency lights
Check the following:
• Seatbelts must be free from tears or slices and all buckles and fastenings should work freely
• Seat runners and mountings should be rust-free, structurally sound and in good working order
• All interior mirrors should be free from cracks and fitted correctly (this applies to external mirrors, too)
Let’s start with doors, locks and handles:
• All doors should shut correctly, including the boot or tailgate
• Doors should also shut flush with the bodywork, be completely secure and free from rattles
External bodywork and chassis checks:
• Check the sills for rust and corrosion
• Check that any part of the chassis that is integral to your car’s structure is sound
• Also check that the bumpers are free from cracks or protruding edges
Engine bay and engine component checks:
• All fuel, brake and power steering and lines should be free from rust or leaking fluid.
Exhaust system, including CAT if required:
• All parts of the exhaust system, including the downpipe, manifold and rear silencer must be sealed
• There must be no rattles
• Maximum emission level is 14 – anything below this is acceptable
• All shock absorbers, mountings bushes and boots must be free from corrosion
• Dampers must be leak-free
• Your car’s steering should be smooth, including flow in the steering rack
• There should be no play in the steering rack
• All bolts, steering boots and joints in the rack must be in working order with no excessive play
Footbrake and handbrake:
• Footbrake and handbrake lines must be leak-free, in working order and not feel ‘spongy’
• Brake pipes should be in good working order, without leaks or any sign of perishing
• Cables to the handbrake must be fitted correctly without any overhanging cable
• Your car should not pull to the left or right when the brakes are applied
• Your tyres must have the minimum depth of tread, 1.6mm, two thirds of the way across
• No splits, bulges or illegal repairs, such as tyre wall repairs
• The above applies to your spare tyre, too
Windscreen and windscreen wipers:
• The windscreen should be free from cracks (stone chips are acceptable, though)
• All wipers and washers should be fitted correctly and be in good working order.