How to pass an MOT test
Wednesday 10th February 2021
Is your vehicle due its annual MOT test? Ensure your car has the best chance of passing with our top tips on how to pass an MOT.
8 things to check before your car’s MOT
One of the most common reasons for a vehicle to fail its MOT is due to incorrect tyres. There are multiple checks you can conduct on your tyres before an MOT test:
- Tread depth – ensure your tyre tread depth is above the legal minimum requirement (1.6mm). Learn more about how to check tyre tread depth.
- Tyre pressure – if your tyres are not inflated to the legal recommended level, this can affect your MOT result – so ensure your tyre pressure is correct.
- Spare tyre – don’t forget to check your spare tyre, too!
There are obligatory lights which need to be working correctly in order for your vehicle to pass its test. Check your front lights and rear-position lamps, ensuring that they’re working effectively in their positions, they’re not obstructed and in good condition.
Does your vehicle have enough oil? Without enough oil, the garage will not be able to test emission levels. Take a look under the bonnet, locate the dipstick and wipe off any excess oil to ensure you’re beginning with a clean dipstick. Dip the dipstick back in and remove – and you’ll be able to see the oil line, hopefully between ‘min’ and ‘max’. If not, it’s time to top up your oil – find out what oil your vehicle needs now.
4. Car dashboard lights
Have any warning lights appeared on your dashboard? If so, it’s important to get these checked and the fault identified prior to your MOT test. If not, this will be picked up in your MOT test and will result in a fail, so it’s best to sort this out beforehand.
For a vehicle to pass its MOT test, it must have obligatory mirrors intact – one interior and one offside mirror. These must be not be cracked, or severely impairing your view. There are three acceptable rear-view mirror positions according to the MOT manual:
- An exterior mirror or device that provides a view along the offside of the vehicle.
- An exterior mirror or device that provides a view along the nearside of the vehicle.
- An interior mirror or a device which provides a view to the rear of the vehicle.
6. Windscreen wipers
Do your wiper blades need replacing? If your wipers are smearing, squeaking, screeching or skipping, it’s likely that they’re in need of replacing – which is something you can do before your MOT test. It’s also important to check the windscreen itself for any chips, cracks or marks which impair visibility – as this likely to incur a fail on the MOT test.
Brakes are another common cause for MOT failure – so before your MOT test, check that your brakes (both footbrakes and handbrake) are working effectively. Learn how to tell if your brakes need replacing before your MOT test.
8. Test the horn
One of the easiest checks to make before your MOT test, checking that the horn works. If it doesn’t work, ensuring the fault is fixed before your MOT test can save you failing.