Can you avoid failing your MOT?
Two minute check could save motorists time and money
New figures released by VOSA, the government body that oversees MOT tests show that of the 8.1 million MOT failures last year a massive proportion were caused by easy-to-spot issues. It seems that motorists out there could avoid their car failing the MOT.
Almost a fifth of MOT failure items could be avoided if motorists notified their garage before the annual roadworthiness test is carried out. Simple-to-spot issues range from blown bulbs and worn tyres problems with windscreen wipers and low fluid levels. Manufacturer main dealers across the country have united to help eliminate simple failures by setting-out a simple series of checks for drivers. Every car-maker in the UK is participating with technicians at manufacturer main dealerships ready and able to assist customers who might be unsure about carrying out the checks themselves.
Taking just a ‘Minute Or Two’, the 10-step checklist takes vehicle owners through a series of quick-and-easy checks. By forewarning the dealership of any required work in advance of the MOT, motorists can give their vehicle the best chance of passing the test first time around. The objective of the Minute Or Two initiative is to reduce the number of easily-avoidable MOT failures by educating motorists. With these simple checks, motorists can ensure that they are in the best possible position to pass the test, saving themselves time as well as money on costs encountered with a failure. The full ‘Minute Or Two’ checklist can be viewed at passmymot.co.uk, where visitors can also watch a video on carrying out the check and use a Garage Finder tool to locate their nearest dealer.
The ten step checklist comprises of the following and really does take ‘a minute or two’. 1. Headlights and indicators; check that all of your car’s lights function properly, headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators. 2. Brake lights; Press the brake pedal and ask a friend to check that the rear brake lights come on including any supplementary brake strip light. Alternatively, carefully reverse up to a reflective surface (window, wall or garage door) and look behind to see for yourself. 3. Number plate; Make sure that the number plate is clean and legible even a quick wipe with a cloth can make a difference. The font and spacing of letters must also comply with legal requirements to be passed by the MOT station.4. Wheels and tyres; check that wheels and tyres are undamaged. The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm and any tyres with less than this will be marked as an MOT ‘fail’ (though it’s recommended that tyres are changed when tread reaches 3mm). If you’re in doubt about how much tread is left on a tyre, your local manufacturer main dealer can check for you. The dealer can also advise on the type of tyre that is right for your car if a replacement is required. 5. Seats and seatbelts; the driver’s seat should adjust forwards and backwards and all seatbelts should be in good, working order. Test movement of the seat and inspect the seatbelt’s full length for damage. Tug sharply on all seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed to if you have to brake severely. They save your life in a crash, but only if they work properly inspect the full length for damage and tug sharply on all the seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed if you have to brake severely. 6. Windscreen; Check the view out of the front of the car for damage any damage larger than 40mm will cause a ‘fail’, as will any damage wider than 10mm in the ‘swept’ area of the windscreen in front of the driver. 7. Windscreen wipers; Make sure your wipers are able to keep your windscreen clean, any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can be an MOT fail. 8. Screenwash; Top up the washer bottle before taking the car in for a test, something as simple as an empty container can cause an MOT fail. 9. Horn; Give a short blast of the horn, if it doesn’t work, your dealer will need to repair or replace it. 10. Fuel and engine oil; Make sure your car is filled with enough fuel and engine oil, you can be turned away from the MOT without suitable levels of either, both of which are required by the dealership when running the car to test its emissions levels. If you are unsure about the type of oil that should be used, ask your manufacturer main dealer.