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The Essential MOT Checklist

Are you ready to take your car to its annual MOT? If you’re not feeling very confident that your car will pass the test, here’s a checklist to help you get it ready. By preparing your car and making sure it’s in its best shape possible before the MOT, you’ll give it a good shot at passing the test! Here are the essential things to check before you take your vehicle to the MOT. 👍

Number Plate

To ensure that your car passes the MOT test, it's important that you don't overlook the seemingly small details such as the number plate. It's one of the easiest things to check before you take your car to the MOT.

For your vehicle to pass the test, the number plates should have the right colours. At the rear, it should be black and yellow. And at the front, it should be black and white. The numbers on the plate should be fully legible without any scrapes, cracks or fading. 

The number plate should also display the accurate registration format for your vehicle’s year. Another crucial thing to check is the font used on your number plate and the number plate itself needs to be in the appropriate size.

Car Lights and Indicators

In every MOT test, the headlights of your car will be tested so they should also be able to work properly and switch correctly from dipped beam to full beam. The lenses should be unmarked and be clear.

As for the indicators, they will also be checked at this stage. If there are any non-flashing bulbs then your car could fail the MOT. Your fog lamps, reversing lights, and even the number plate light will also be assessed. 

Brake Lights 

Cars that do not have properly functioning brake lights are not safe to drive because they will not be able to communicate effectively with other road users, especially with the vehicle behind them. The brake lights should be able to illuminate clearly whenever you step on the brake pedal. The examiner will test this during the MOT.

Your vehicle may or may not have a centrally mounted third brake light. Legally, your car doesn't need this. However, if it does have this third brake light then it has to work. Remember the basic rule: if it's there, then it has to properly function. 

Tyres

The MOT test is an assessment of how safe your car is that's why the tyres are also part of the evaluation. The tread depth of your car’s tyres is crucial in ensuring that your vehicle is safe to be driven on the road. 

If the tyres aren’t in good working condition, then your car could fail the MOT. Getting them fixed will cost you a significant amount of money, too, so don’t wait for your tyres to get in a worse condition before getting them repaired or replaced. 

Before you take your car for it's MOT, do check the tyres first. Make sure that your tyres do not go below the minimum average tread depth which is 1.6 mm. You can use a 20p coin to quickly check the tread depth of your tyres

If the tyres aren't looking great, then it might be time to get new ones. They're going to be a bit expensive but it's worth getting replacements before the MOT. Also, try to look for bulges or cracks on your tyres regularly, especially when going for a long drive. Those will make driving dangerous for you and other road users, even if you’re only driving at a slow speed. 

Windscreen Wipers 

The front wipers should be working well and they need to be able to clear out dirt from the windscreen effectively. The blades of the wipers shouldn't have any cracks or tears that would leave smears all over your windscreen during rainy conditions. 

While the rear wipers won't be tested, if your car does have one and it's not working properly, then you still need to get it fixed just in case the assessor checks it. It would also give you peace of mind that you’re prepared all parts of your car for the MOT. 

Screen Wash

The screen wash is another detail that could be easily missed when preparing for the MOT. Be sure the jets are aimed and pressured appropriately. Don’t go to the MOT with an empty screen wash tank because that’s the easiest way to fail the test. 

Seatbelts

We all know the importance of seatbelts while we’re on the road. It’s one of the things in your car that will be thoroughly checked during the MOT. The belts need to be able to extend and retract and are in good condition. They shouldn’t look like they’re about to be ripped apart. 

The clips should lock securely in the fastener. If you have an older car, then you need to check this part in particular because the seatbelt anchorage points might be damaged or corroded. Damage to the seatbelt can greatly affect its ability to keep you safe in the event of a collision. 

Fuel and Engine Oil

Make sure that your car has enough fuel in its tank so that the assessor can carry out the test properly. They will run your car for a few minutes when performing the emissions test. They will also move it around the workshop for various tests during the MOT.

Apart from fuel, you also need to ensure that the engine oil is sufficient. Check the vehicle’s dipstick to see the engine oil level and refill whenever necessary. In case your vehicle has low fluids, know that the assessor can refuse to perform the MOT

Takeaway

Now that you have a checklist to guide you in preparing your car for the MOT, the process will be much easier for you. Don’t forget to check the small details. Whenever you spot any damaged parts, take your car to a local garage so that they can be fixed or replaced before the MOT. 🚙

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