Any car that’s over three years old must undergo an annual MOT to ensure that it is fit to be on the road. Typically, you will be required to pay for the actual service, as well as any repairs that are required, which can get quite costly if any serious problems are found. Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of this happening by carrying out some simple maintenance between MOTs.
Here you’ll find four tips that will help you to keep your car in the best condition all year round. By taking these on board you will give your car the best chance of passing its MOT, and will save some money in the process. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Make sure your tyres are roadworthy
If your car’s tyres are in poor condition, you’ll be putting yourself and other drivers at risk whenever you take to the road. Plus, your car will fail its MOT if its tyres are past their best. Therefore, it’s important to check the condition of your tyres at least once a month, and replace or inflate them when necessary.
It’s very easy to check the pressure of your car’s tyres. You should start by finding the correct pressure rating for your vehicle’s tyres in the owner’s manual. Once you know what kind of figure you’re looking for, you should remove the dust cap from one of your tyres, fix a reliable pressure gauge on to it, and take note of the number it gives you. Then, repeat this process until you’ve checked each one. If your tyres need extra air, you can inflate them quite easily using the facilities that many petrol stations provide.
Checking the tread of your tyres is also very important. If the depth of your tread is inadequate, not only will your car fail its MOT, but you could lose your licence and face a £10,000 fine. In the UK and Europe, the legal minimum is 1.6mm. To test your tread, Tyre Safe recommends using the 20p test, which involves placing a 20p into the main tread grooves of your tyres to see if the outer band is obscured. If it is, you’ll know that your tyres are safely above the legal limit.
However, if your tyres are damaged or their tread is inadequate, you must organise for them to be replaced as soon as possible. To save money, you can do this yourself, and Lookers’ guide to changing a car tyre will talk you through the process.
Check all of your lights are working
Faulty lights and signals are the biggest cause of failed MOTs, according to new figures released by the UK government. Therefore, they should be top of your list when it comes to carrying out your pre-MOT checks.
Your headlights, rear lights, fog lights, brake lights, indicators, and hazard lights will all need to be checked. You can check most of these yourself by switching them on and stepping out of your car to make sure they’re working correctly. Although, you will need someone to stand behind your car and check its brake lights while you press on the pedal.
If any of the bulbs aren’t working, they’re easy enough to replace. Just follow the advice in ThoughtCo.’s guide to replacing a headlight bulb and everything will be working again in no time!
Replace any worn wiper blades
As part of your MOT, a mechanic will make sure that your view of the road isn’t obstructed at all. This will involve checking that there aren’t any cracks in your windscreen, and that your wiper blades are in good condition. You should also ensure that there is plenty of windscreen washer fluid in your car.
Your windscreen wipers should be replaced every six to 12 months, according to The Windscreen Company. However, if they’re leaving streaks, making unusual noises, or looking worse for wear, you should look to change them sooner.
Clean your car inside and out
While it doesn’t need to be spotless to pass its MOT, a mechanic can refuse to inspect your car if it’s particularly cluttered and dirty. So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to give your car a wash and tidy before you take it to the garage. Doing so will give the impression that you take very good care of your car, and will help you to get off on the right foot.
And, there you have it: four maintenance tips that will help your car to pass its next MOT first time. Taking these on board will help you to become a safer driving, and save money in the process.