Recent government statistics suggest that half of the faults found in MOT tests can be prevented by performing simple car maintenance.
The most common cause of failure is lighting and signalling issues, such as blown bulbs, which cause almost 19 per cent of all MOT failures. Suspension (13 per cent) and brake (10 per cent) problems are a close second and third.
Taking the time to periodically perform these safety checks saves you time and money when your car’s MOT is due.
1. Check your lights. Check to see that the headlights and brake lights work properly, and that the colours are correct and matching. If a bulb is burnt out, have it replaced. Inspect lights for loose or damaged parts.
2. Examine your tyres. Check for at least 1.6mm tread, that the tyre pressure is correct, and that none of the tyres have any visible signs of damage such as cuts and bulges. If you are unsure about what the appropriate pressure in your tyres should be, visit tyre-pressures.com.
3. Analyse your brakes. As you drive, listen for any strange noises as you brake and check to see if your car wants to pull to the side. If your car expresses either symptom, contact your local garage as soon as possible. Additionally, check to make sure your car’s brake fluid is topped up.
4. Test your windscreen wipers and washers. Confirm proper functionality and visibility.
5. Clear obstructions from your view of the road. Verify that the windscreen wipers and washers work, and that your dashboard and windscreen are free of obstructions. You will need to replace your windscreen wiper blades if they are damaged or more than 1 year old. And, if there are any chips or cracks in your windscreen, you will need to have it replaced as well. Remove distractions, such as sat navs, air fresheners and mobiles, from blocking your view.
Remember, you must get an MOT for your vehicle by the third anniversary of its registration, or if it’s over three years old, by the anniversary of its last MOT. If your car fails its MOT, it is illegal to be driven—unless it is being driven to be repaired or to an MOT.
Top tip: Go to your local council MOT centre to have your car’s MOT test. They are open to the public and only perform MOT tests, not repairs, so there is no added incentive to find extra problems. You can go to ukmot.com to find a centre.
Contact the insurance professionals at A-Plan today for more information on keeping your car safe.