If you want the best chances of your car passing its MOT, then there’s lots more you can do other than crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
Even without a working knowledge of what goes on underneath the bonnet, there are a few checks which any motorist can do to get their car in tip top shape before the MOT test.
One of the main reasons a car fails its MOT is because tyre tread depth is insufficient.
This is one of the easiest things to check by yourself and doesn’t require any special mechanical knowledge.
All you need is a 20p coin. Push the coin into the tyre tread at the point where it looks most shallow.
If you are unable to see the outer rim of the coin, then your tyres are fine and should pass the MOT.
If you can see some of the coin’s rims then you’ll have to do some extra checking.
The 20p test flags up tyre depths of less than 3mm, but the legal limit is 1.6mm.
Knowing your tyres are approaching the limit gives you the opportunity to shop around and get a good deal on replacements.
Rather than being forced into a snap decision when your car fails the MOT.
Lights and Signals
According to industry figures, 30% of MOT failures are down to lights and signals.
This section covers headlights, rear lights, brake lights and indicators.
Get into the car with a friend outside, and ask them to verify that your brake lights work when you apply pressure to the pedal.
And that the indicators work – both front and rear, when you want them to.
If bulbs are out, order replacements and change them yourself.
Take a look at YouTube for videos walking you through the process if you’re not sure what to do.
On some newer models replacing bulbs isn’t easy as the entire headlight or brake light is a sealed unit.
In those cases it might be easier to leave it to the professionals; but at least you can pre-warn them of the issue and it can be fixed before the test is carried out.
Almost 9% of cars fail their MOT in the “driver’s view” category.
This means that something is obstructing the view of the driver, usually an issue with the windscreen but also potentially the side and rear windows.
If you’ve had heavy tinted film applied to windows, this could be a MOT fail, as could large stickers or decals on your rear window.
You really shouldn’t have anything on the front windscreen at all, except something small like a parking permit.
6% of cars fail an MOT because of issues related to fuel.
The most common issues are leaks, so if you’ve noticed fuel leaking from the car onto your driveway or the street, get it fixed before the MOT checker appointment.
Your car’s locking fuel cap should also be working, so replace it if it has got broken.