9 Tips to pass the MoT test
The MoT is a regular test for your car compulsory by law and in order to get insurance. It also helps you finding out what’s wrong with your car and also increases the safety on the roads for everyone. Unless you are a connoisseur of cars your probably face this situation before doing the test wondering what might be the outcome and hence, the possible costs to get the car usable again. Here are some tips you can do before taking the car to the MoT and we hope they can see you some money too. You may not be able to test your car for every potential problem but there plenty of things you can easily check and get fixed before your MoT test. Simply filling up your windscreen wash could be the difference between a pass and a failure. 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.
Here's our top nine tips to help you pass first time.
1. Tidy up your car first
Make sure your car is reasonably clean. A tester can refuse to examine a car if it is filthy, particularly underneath. Make sure the boot is uncluttered and does not hinder the tester in any way.
2. Hunt for faulty bulbs
Check your all lights and indicators are working and replace any faulty bulbs:
- 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
Get someone to stand behind the car while you check your brake and rear lights. Check if your horn is working too.
3. Check for damage on the windscreen and the body
Make sure your number plates and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) are clean and readable for the tester. Cracks must be no larger than 40mm in the entire swept area of the screen. The central view of the driver, known as Zone A, is 29 cm wide (within the swept area and centred on the steering wheel) and any damage in this area must be no larger than 1 cm wide.
Have a close look to the 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
And don't forget the 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
4. Leaks on the exhaust system and emissions
Get someone to hold a cloth over the end of the exhaust while you start the engine. If there are no leaks in the exhaust system, the engine should stall after a few seconds. If the engine doesn't stall this indicates a leak which will need to be repaired. Remember to switch off your engine before looking under the bonnet.
All parts of the exhaust system, including the downpipe, manifold and rear silencer must be sealed; there must be no rattles and maximum emission level is 14 – anything below this is acceptable.
5. Inspect the 5 tyres of your cars: Thread and pressure
Tyre tread depth must be at least 1.6mm. Check tyres are inflated correctly with no damage to the sides. The spare tyre is not part of the test but it is advised that a correctly inflated and legal tyre /wheel should be carried. Tyres should have no splits, bulges or illegal repairs, such as tyre wall repairs and this includes your spare tyre, too
6. Check posible fluid leakages
Check under the bonnet to ensure that the brake fluid reservoir, windscreen washer bottle and engine oil reserves are topped up.
7. A visual inspection inside and outside the car
A general check around the vehicle should be made to ensure that the car's fuel cap is secure, mirrors are in good condition, wipers are not damaged or split and door handles, catches and locks work. Check the condition of your seat belts as any frays or tears may result in a failure. All wipers and washers should be fitted correctly and be in good working order too. Remember to check:
- The seatbelts must be free from tears or slices and all buckles and fastenings should work freely
- The seat runners and mountings should be rust-free, structurally sound and in good working order
- All the mirrors should be free from cracks and fitted correctly (this applies to internal and external mirrors)
8. Shock absorbers quick test
Bounce each corner of your car by leaning your weight against it. If it doesn't settle after one or two bounces the shock absorbers may need changing. All shock absorbers, mountings bushes and boots must be free from corrosion and dampers must be leak-free.
9. and finally, check the brakes
Check the handbrake and footbrake. If you have to pull the handbrake lever up too far, through lots of clicking, the cable probably needs adjusting. Check that the handbrake can't be released by simply tapping on the lever. Press the footbrake and check it doesn't feel spongy. If it does, there may be air in the hydraulic system which must be removed. Footbrake and handbrake lines must be leak-free, in working order and not feel ‘spongy’. The 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 and your car should not pull to the left or right when the brakes are applied.
Let’s get a successful MoT test going forward by following these tips and hopefully you can save some money too. Enjoy your ride !