So, the dreaded time approaches – your MOT is due and you are worried that your car might not pass.  Maybe there’s a funny noise or something doesn’t quite feel right and you think there might be a problem but not enough to take it a car repair garage or have a service.  What helps is understanding what the MOT checks and focuses on so here are some top tips to help you prepare for it and even get it through first time.

What the check entails

RS Engineering is a licensed MOT test centre in Reading, one of the garages people in the area use for their MOT.  We work from a standard checklist that tells us what to look at with each vehicle to be able to pass it.  Key areas include:

  • Registration plate and VIN number
  • Lights
  • Steering and suspension
  • Windscreen, wipers and washer
  • Horn
  • Seats and seat belts
  • Doors and mirrors
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Brakes
  • Fuel system
  • Exhaust and emissions

Tips to get the car through the MOT

Some problems are beyond the non-mechanic’s expertise to check before a MOT but there are a number of areas on that list that you can check to make sure you don’t fail for small things.

1 – Lights

One of the top reasons for failing a MOT is because one or more of the lights on your car aren’t working and this is the easiest thing to check.  Grab someone when it is dark and go through every light to get them to make sure it is working correctly – don’t forget that little light on the back registration plate as that counts too.

2 – Tyres

Making sure your tyres are in good condition is a good idea for road safety, regardless of whether your MOT is due.  If you know what you are looking for, ensure they are above the legal minimum or otherwise pop into your local garage and ask them to do a quick check.  That way you can be certain to replace them ahead of time if needed.

3 – Registration plate

We’ve mentioned the light above the registration plate on the back of the car but that’s not all – make sure the places are clean and easy to read, attached properly and if you have replaced the originals, that they are in an acceptable format.  Cute fonts are great on greeting cards but not on car reg plates!

4 – Windscreen wipers and washer

Make sure your wipers do a good job when called into action and ensure there is plenty of screen wash in the bottle on test day.  These are also areas that you can easily fail for but are easy to check.

5 – Give the car a once over

The day before the test, go over the car with a critical eye.  Are the mirrors in good condition?  Does your horn work?  Are the brakes responding properly and the handbrakes works as it should?  Think like a mechanic and try to spot any small problems that are easy to fix but can cause a fail.  Then you will be ready for the test as far as possible.

If in doubt, you can always have a service before the MOT to increase your chances of a first-time pass.