MOT Testing: 7 car checks you should do ahead of an MOT

Author Name – Jack Underwood

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Before your car's MOT Check, there are a number of things that we recommend you check beforehand to give you the best opportunity of receiving a PASS on your MOT. By conducting these pre-MOT checks, this will give you the opportunity to address any potential issues before your MOT is due, saving you time and money.

If you are unsure of your MOT due date, please click the related article below. Here, you will be able to enter your vehicle registration number into the lookup tool and you will be able to find your MOT due date. We also offer an MOT Reminder service to ensure that you never forgot when your MOT check is due. It is vitally important that you remember your MOT date as it is illegal to drive without an MOT.

Related: MOT date checker

Car Check #1: Tyres

Before an MOT check, it important to check your tyres to ensure they are roadworthy and safe. Whether you have premium, mid-range or budget tyres on your vehicle, it is vitally important that you check your tyres, not before your MOT, but also carry out regular checks every week. When checking your tyres, you should look for any rips or bulges. You should also check your tyre tread depth to ensure that your tyres are roadworthy.

By law, your tyres must require 1.6mm across the central 3/4 of the tyre tread. We would recommend that if your tyres are below 3mm, that you book a tyre change at your local National Tyres and Autocare branch. We also offer a mobile tyre-fitting service. You can test your tyres at home by conducting the 20p test.

Car Check #2: Brakes

During the MOT check, there will be a brake efficiency test. During this test, your brake pads and discs will be tested to ensure they are not worn or pitted. If your brakes squeak then this could point to a more serious problem with the braking system. In the related article below, we tell you four tell-tale signs that your brake pads need changing. You should also test your car handbrake.

Related: Need a brake pad change?

Car Check #3: Wiper Blades

You need to ensure that your wiper blades are fit for purpose as these will be checked during your MOT test. You will fail your MOT if there is a crack of 10mm on the driver's side wiper blades. To ensure maximum levels of safety when driving, you need to ensure that nothing is affecting the visibility through the windscreen. At National, we offer a wiper blade replacement service. To purchase wiper blades online, please click on the related article below. Alternatively, if you want to change your wiper blades yourself then the following article will help talk you through the process of replacing wiper blades: How to fit wiper blades.

Related: Wiper blades

Car Check #4: Exhaust

During your MOT check, there is an exhaust emissions test if you own a diesel vehicle. Due to the emissions released into the atmosphere by diesel cars, certain limits have been introduced to prevent excessive harmful gases from being released. The following article tells you: How to reduce diesel emissions ahead of an MOT check. If when you are driving you notice smoke coming out of your exhaust, this could point to a number of issues. If your exhaust emissions are too high, this could point to a faulty catalytic converter.

Car Check #5: Headlights

If your car headlights are misaligned, this could result in an MOT failure. Please read the following article which will show you: How to align your car headlights ahead of an MOT check. It is important that you manually check all of the bulbs to ensure they are functioning correctly. 

Car Check #6: Oil

If order to pass the exhaust emissions test during an MOT check, there will need to be an adequate amount of oil in its engine. You should check your oil levels, as well as checking and topping up the engine coolant if needed. If is recommended that you change your engine oil every 3,000 miles. If you are wanting to change your engine oil yourself, please click on the related article below and we will talk you through the process of changing your oil.

Related: How to change engine oil

Car Check #7: Dashboard Warning Lights

If there are any warning lights on your dashboard, then it is important that these are checked as a matter of urgency. You can book a car diagnostic test at your local National Tyres and Autocare branch. By running a car diagnostic test on your vehicle, the branch staff will be able to diagnose if there are any serious issues. To book a diagnostic test, please click on the related article below.

Related: Car diagnostic test

Book an MOT check

You can book an MOT check online. Remember, if you need to find out when your MOT is due, please click here: When is my MOT due? or alternatively, you can sign up for our MOT Reminder Service.

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