You should be aware of what is and isn’t working on your car at all times for your safety and the safety of other road users. Taking the time to make simple checks can save yourself a bundle in potential repair costs. If you take your car to get its annual MOT, the chances are that there are multiple things that will be picked up by the garage that needs fixing, which could have been spotted and sorted before being seen by a mechanic.
In this blog, we are going to talk through some of the easy checks you can carry out at home and simple ways you can make alterations yourself. Here at FRM Automotive in Peterborough, we also keep our customer’s best interests at heart, which is why we are happy to give you advice about how to keep your vehicle in top condition.
Possibly the easiest part of the car to check before an MOT is the lights, although you may have to rope in a friend or family member to assist you. You need to check that all your lights are working, that they are clean and that they are all the correct colour. It is worth taking the time just to clean the covering so that all lights are clearly visible. Other simple checks like making sure that the lights don’t flicker and that they are all securely fitted are easy to carry out and fix. It is illegal to drive around with incorrect lighting on your car so you should be vigilant that they are all working properly
For reference, your rear lights should be red, your indicators and hazard lights should be yellow, and your headlights, sidelights and number plate lights should be white.
Speaking of number plates, there are other checks that you can easily carry out before your vehicle’s MOT that you may not know will affect whether you pass or not. A good amount of car owners may not think to pay much attention towards your number plate before an MOT, leading to it catching a lot of people out.
You need to ensure that your registration plate is securely fitted. This may just be a case of taking a screwdriver and tightening up the screws on the plate to make sure that it is as secure as possible. You also need to make sure that the see through covering on the plate does not have any major splits or cracks. Similarly to making sure that the number plate lights are working, checking the plate for cracks is important in ensuring it is fully visible.
Tyres are the biggest cause of MOT fails, so it is well worth completing some checks before sending your car to the garage. You need to check that you tyres are sufficiently inflated, so it is a good idea to refer to your car’s handbook to confirm your tyres’ required inflation levels.
You can also easily check the condition of your tyres, such as the tread depth and looking out for any uneven wear and tear, any bubbles or cracks. It is not legal to be driving around with an incorrect level of tread on your tyres, so this is a key point that needs to be checked regularly. If you would like a more comprehensive look at what to look out for with your tyres, you can head over to our How To Know If Your Tyres Need Replacing blog. The state of your tyres can be indicative of wider issues with the car, so even if you discover any irregularities that you can’t fix yourself, it is still good to make note of them so that they can be fixed early, before the car suffers any major damage.
There are a few points to mention when it comes to your vehicle’s windscreen. In terms of the windscreen glass itself, there needs to be no obstruction or damage to the glass any larger than 10mm on the driver’s side. Elsewhere on the windscreen, there can be no damage or obstruction larger than 40mm, or the vehicle will fail its MOT.
Your windscreen wipers also need to be able to wipe and clean your windscreen sufficiently, giving the driver a clear view of the road. It can be something as simple as replacing the rubber on the windscreen wipers that saves your car from failing its MOT.
Finally, you need to make sure that your screen wash is topped up. Something as seemingly minor as having an empty screen wash bottle on your car is not legal and can lead to an easy MOT failure, and it is perhaps the simplest to fix. To solve this, just fill the washer bottle up with screen wash solution or even just water.
Contact FRM Automotive
If you are based in the Peterborough area and require an MOT, look no further than FRM Automotive. Our MOT service is carried out by our team of top mechanics who have a wealth of experience and are always looking for the best ways to help our customers.