Preparing for Your MOT

Although submitting your vehicle through an MOT may seem like a time consuming and expensive hassle, truth is, that without your MOT certificate, your vehicle simply isn’t roadworthy. As long as your vehicle is in good condition and it’s been regularly serviced and maintained to manufacturers specification, your vehicle should pass the MOT test.

The Directgov website explains, “your MOT certificate confirms that your vehicle, without dismantling it, met the minimum environmental and road safety standards required by law.”

In order to prevent your car from being off the road for any longer than the duration of the test – which is usually around 40 minutes – you can give your car a quick once over in order to check for any potential problems. This way, you can get them fixed before your vehicle enters its MOT. Please note that maintenance checks should be done on a regular basis, not just prior to the MOT test. So, what can you do in preparation for your vehicle’s MOT?

  • Give your car a quick clean and wash off any mud or dirt from around and underneath the vehicle. Not only does it look more professional when you bring a clean car into the MOT, but a tester can actually refuse to examine your vehicle if it’s really mucky. Your number plates should also be clean and legible. Quickly take it through the car wash prior to the test.
  • It’s best to empty the boot so that the vehicle isn’t carrying any excess weight. Any clutter could potentially hinder the test.
  • Test the brake pedals by pushing down on them with your feet. If they feel a little resilient and springy then you should get these checked out prior to your MOT. The brakes should have a firm bounce.
  • Pull the handbrake lever up and assess whether it’s as it should be. If you’re able to pull the handbrake lever too far or it feels a bit loose then cable may need adjusting.
  • To check the vehicle’s ABS, hold down the steering wheel and keep it help down while your turn the engine on. If the wheel pulls down and then returns to its normal position then your ABS is fine. You should also check that there are no abnormal or unusual movements in the steering wheel when you turn it.
  • If possible, ask someone to help you out and hold a cloth over the end of the exhaust while your start up the engine. If the engine stalls then this is good; it means there are no leaks within the exhaust system.
  • Look out for any large and noticeable cracks that may obstruct your vision of the road. Minor cracks are usually OK, but it’s best to get them sorted prior to your MOT.
  • Ask a friend to help you check all of the vehicle’s lights. Test the brake lights, indicators, headlights and number plate lights etc. If a light is blown or become broken then replace the bulb.
  • Keep an eye out for any tyre damage and objects that have become jammed in the tyre’s tread. If the tread is less than 1.6mm then you must replace your tyres immediately. Worn and uneven tyres are deemed unsafe and are a common factor to vehicle’s failing their MOT.
  • Check that the horn, ignition, wipers, washers and seat belts work.