MOT Test: Some of us get a little worried during the MOT test because we often ignore aspects of our car, that were not present before. When was the last time you had that squeaky screen wiper checked? Or when was the last time you cleaned your car?
The yearly examination of your car is not only a legal requirement for cars that are more than three years old (and built after 1960), but it's also an important way of safeguarding your car’s road-worthiness. Research shows that motorists are spending nearly half a million pounds a year on pointless MOT failures, such as having a dirty car.
WORN BRAKE PADS
Do you hear a squealing noise every time you press your brake? Chances are that this is your brake pads coming to the end of their life. To pass the MOT, brake pads need to be at least 1.5mm thick. If you are uncertain, get them checked before the MOT test.
Check your tyres regularly, they’re important and not only could they affect the handling of a car, they could also result in a blow-out at high speed if they’re damaged or extremely worn. Although the legal limit is 1.6mm, it’s a good idea to change them before they reach this.
Having your headlights aimed in the wrong direction can mean they won’t do their job properly. If incorrect, they can also affect other road users, blinding them when you’re driving at night. Although some cars’ lights can be adjusted easily, if you suspect yours are aligned incorrectly or you see other cars flashing you when driving at night, ask the garage to check them before your MOT test.
WARNING LIGHTS ON DASHBOARD
Got an frustrating warning light on your dashboard that’s been lit up for some time now but never caused any evident problems? Now’s the time to get it fixed.
TOP UP THE SCREEN WASH
Filling up the screen wash can be done in less than a minute, yet it has been previously reported that more than 4,000 cars failed the MOT test after their owners forgot to top it up. While you’re underneath the bonnet filling up the screen wash, give the rest of the fluids a quick check to make sure they’re at the appropriate levels. They might not be part of the MOT, but they could save expensive bills.
NUMBER PLATE DAMAGED, DIRTY, INCORRECT FONT OR SPACING
Number plates have to comply with strict regulations so they can be easily read. Many drivers ‘improve’ the looks of their car by buying show plates that are illegal for use on the road, with unusual fonts or spacing to change the meaning of a personalised plate. Make sure your plates are clear, easy to read and free of cracks.