Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Your car’s MOT test is expensive enough at £53.10, without adding in the cost of possible repairs, so learning to do even the simplest of pre MOT checks yourself will probably save you money. Even simple things like a worn wiper blade or blown brake light bulb will be expensive if your car fails on them and your mechanic decides to “help you out” by doing the work necessary to pass your vehicle and billing you for it. He will buy a wiper blade or bulb for you at trade price and then charge you more than you would pay at a spares shop, plus the labour costs to “fit” it and this could be anything from £25 - £100 plus per hour! If you keep your car serviced regularly, hopefully, it should pass on the under bonnet and under vehicle tests. So, whilst this list is not exhaustive, a few minutes spent doing your own simple checks may just alert you to any problems before your car is tested.

So here are 18 pre MOT checks you should try to carry out:

  1. Check the shock absorbers by bouncing the car in each corner. If it wobbles then you may need new ones.
  2. Check your wheels are not damaged and inspect the condition of your tyres – there should be no splits, cuts or bulges. At least 75% of the tread should be 1.6mm deep – this is the legal minimum, but in practice you would replace them before they got this bad. Check your tyre pressures.
  3. Look around your vehicle for any signs of serious rust deterioration – especially in important areas like suspension mountings and sills etc.
  4. Inspect all wiper blades for splits and any perishing or detaching.
  5. Check that all lights and indicators work (don’t forget your rear number plate light) and get someone to check your brake lights while you depress the brake pedal.
  6. Make sure the brake pedal rubber is in good condition.
  7. Make sure the car does not smoke excessively while running.
  8. Make sure your number plates (back and front) are securely fixed on, clean, not obscured by anything, or faded. The letters and numbers must be correctly formed and with the correct spacing. The vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must permanently fixed and clearly readable. You will often find it under the bonnet or on a door pillar.
  9. Check that all doors close properly and catches are in working order (both from inside the car and outside).
  10. Make sure that boot or tailgate catches are in working order.
  11. Inside the car, check that all your seat belts are in perfect working order (check the actual webbing and that they fasten properly).
  12. Check that your windscreen wipers and washers (rear as well if you have them) are in working order.
  13. Beep your horn to make sure it works.
  14. Check footbrake, steering wheel and handbrake for any excessive play.
  15. Look closely over your windscreen for chips and cracks.
  16. If you have axle stands and know how to safely use them you could put your car up and check underneath for any exhaust system problems and any fuel leaks.
  17. If you know how to, you could also check for play in the wheel bearings or suspension joints.
  18. Thoroughly clean the car inside and out (and underneath) – not only does it give a good impression, but a tester can refuse to test a dirty vehicle.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

facebegone.co.uk said...

For MOT's a good place to go is the local council run MOT centre, they don't do repairs so won't be interested in failing you to make cash!