We all know that the MOT is a car roadworthiness test that most cars have to pass each year. If your car doesn’t have an MOT, you cannot drive it on a public road. And you don’t want to worry about getting pulled over by the police!
These days, the MOT test is quite strict and can fail on even “simple” faults like blown bulbs! Do you have an MOT test due soon? If so, you’re no doubt anxious about the outcome for your car.
The good news is you can do plenty of things to make sure that it passes. The following tips and tricks are ones that you can try at home. Here’s what you need to know:
Check your lights
As I mentioned a moment ago, MOTs can fail on something as simple as a blown bulb. That’s why it’s crucial you check the operation of all your exterior lights. Have an assistant confirm whether the lights are working or not as you try them.
You should also check all the warning lights on your dashboard are operational. Be sure to check the ABS and airbag warning lights extinguish after a few seconds.
Check your horn
Another quick test you should perform is to check the operation of your car’s horn. Again, it’s an MOT failure if it doesn’t work. Should yours do nothing when you press it, check the wiring to the horn is OK. You may need to get a garage to resolve the problem for you in some cases.
Check your seat belts
If your car has a broken seat belt buckle, it’ll fail the MOT. Make sure ALL belts and buckles work as intended, even the ones you seldom use.
Check your tyres
The legal tread limit is 1.8mm for tyres (from new, tyres have 8mm of tread). If your tyres are close to the limit, get them replaced immediately. The Autogrip P308 are a good replacement tyre if you’re on a limited budget.
Check your brakes
You can do a quick visual inspection of your brakes. The brake pads should have plenty of friction material on them. If all you see is a piece of metal, you need new pads!
The discs should have plenty of life left on them too. If there’s a big “lip” between the edge and face of the disc, you may also need new discs too.
Does your car emit a lot of smoke?
One car I used to own had to get scrapped because it failed the MOT due to excessive exhaust emissions. Is your car a little too smoky for your liking? If so, I recommend having a garage diagnose the source of the problem. Here’s a quick guide to what the source might be:
- White smoke = water mixing with oil. Possible cylinder head gasket failure;
- Black smoke = fuel mixture too rich. The engine is putting too much fuel into the cylinders due to faulty injectors. Consider getting a fuel system treatment to eliminate the problem;
- Blue smoke = burning oil. A possible head gasket failure, but could be down to other things like damaged valves or bearings.