While a MOT can often be a bit inconvenient, it’s an essential part of being a driver. It ensures that your car is roadworthy and safe, helping to protect you, your passengers and those on the road. Once a car is registered as new, there are three years before it needs a MOT, and after that it’s a legal requirement to keep your vehicle on the road, with an expired MOT invalidating your insurance and potentially leading to a large fine. You can avoid this by ensuring you book your MOT in advance, as well as servicing to keep your car running at its best, but there are often quite minor reasons why a car might fail. Here are some things to look out for and fix before you take your car for its test.
- Bald tyres
Any tyres with a tread below 1.6mm will mean an automatic MOT failure. Tyres are important to the safety of your car because:
- They help you brake efficiently
- They absorb shocks from the road
- Well-maintained tyres help keep your car efficient
- Worn tyres can lead to poor steering
You should check your tyres regularly throughout the year, not just when your MOT is coming up, as well as checking you have the correct pressure for efficient performance.
- Faulty or poorly adjusted lights
When you drive after dark, your lights help you see and be seen, so it’s no surprise that faulty lights can cause you to fail your MOT. Regularly check your lights, from headlamps to indicators, and take them to a garage if they’re not lighting the road properly, as they may need to be adjusted.
- Towbar damage
Many drivers are surprised that their towbar is part of the MOT test, but it has been since 2009 when the laws changed to protect those on the road. That’s why towbars should be fitted by a professional, and regularly checked for damage, corrosion, or fractures.
- Unreadable registration plates
Registration plates need to be clearly visible for legal reasons, so a damaged number plate can cause you to fail your MOT. Even a faulty registration plate light can mean a failure, so check it along with your other lights.
- Inefficient windscreen wipers
Your windscreen wipers need to be able to properly clear your windscreen, so if yours smear or have damage such as tears, get them replaced before your MOT. A chip or crack on your windscreen that obscures your view can also cause a failure, so get it repaired as soon as possible.
- Mechanical issues
From fault brakes to noisy exhausts or dodgy suspension, if you ignore an issue with your car then it can come back to haunt you at MOT time. Don’t just assume that if your car seems to be driving OK that it’ll pass the test, take it in to a mechanic as soon as you hear knocks or feel bumps.
Lowes Garage are based at Unit 6 Venture Business Park, Weir Lane, Worcestershire, WR2 4AY, offering MOTs, servicing and much more. Book today by calling 01905 426 533 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.