Back in 1960, MOT tests were introduced, now every car has to pass its MOT before it is deemed ‘road legal’, making the test crucial to anybody who owns a car and plans on taking it on the road. The test can help to avoid potential car crashes and help to strengthen the safety of all road users including the driver.
A MOT test is performed annually, however cars under 3 years old will not require a MOT test until they have been on the road for a full 3 years. As before all new cars are allowed to drive off the forecourt, they go through a test known as a PDI, or Pre-Delivery Inspection.
A valid MOT certificate is a legal requirement and without it your vehicle cannot be driven on any UK road and on top of that, it’s impossible to renew your vehicle’s road tax – another legal requirement to drive on the roads. All of this factored in, it is crucial that you keep your vehicle in a healthy and safe condition as driving without a valid MOT certificate will result in a hefty penalty charge. Not only that, in the case of an accident, the insurance policy would be void and all expenses would have to be covered by the owner of the vehicle.
To ensure your car passes its MOT, all components must be in tip top working order.
Headlights and Indicators
During your car’s annual MOT test, its headlights and indicators will be under heavy scrutiny – If for some reason the vehicle’s headlights or indicators fail to work, or even show the wrong colour of light your car will immediately fail its MOT.
The cause of this could be something as simple as the bulb, it may have blown and be in need of replacement – this is generally a straightforward bulb replacement job done then and there. However, the problem could also be a fuse or wiring issue which isn’t something which can be dealt with straight away, the same also applies to a crack or smashed headlight or tail light.
Many people believe that a cracked or smashed headlight or tail light will always result in an MOT failure, this is not however the case. It would only fail if the crack or smash exposed the wrong colour light for the purpose, for example the passenger side tail light had been cracked over the brake light exposing white light instead of red, resulting in a fail.
Headlights are also checked for their direction, height and angle. This is done using a specially designed piece of equipment, therefore not so easy to check at home. However, if you feel as though the angle of your headlights could be slightly off, then just ask your local garage to check this and adjust it if necessary.
Issues with Tyres
Tyre depth is the most common factor for MOT failures, the legal limit in which your tyres tread depth has to be more than is 1.6mm. Your car will pass its MOT with a tread depth of 1.7mm however it will be advised that you replace that tyre within 2 months of the MOT date.
It unfortunately is not a well known fact that tyres are made of rubber and many different cords. If your tyre cords are visible through lack of tread depth or a tear to the tyre sidewall then your car will fail immediately as it is deemed unsafe to drive in this condition and you will be advised to change this tyre straight away.
A Torn/Split Windscreen Wiper Blade
Many of us have experienced an MOT fail after having checked everything as rigorously as possible – the reason for the fail? A simple fault in the wiper blade. There is a simple trick to check your wiper blades, this takes roughly 10 seconds per blade. All you have to do is lift your wiper arm away from the windscreen and run your finger or thumb along the wiper blade and feel for tears or splits. It really is as easy as that.
Why is it important to maintain windscreen wiper blades in good condition? If your wiper blade is torn or split it may not clear your windscreen effectively and could leave a streak across your sight lines resulting in an accident.
Inaccurate, Over-Full or Under-Full Oil Levels
The purpose of your car’s MOT check is to maintain a standard of condition that will help to prevent breakdowns and crashes. Oil lubricates and cools your engine – without enough good quality oil your engine will fail. Letting it get low or stale is also only asking for trouble, so regular oil checks should be routine for any motorist.
Torn Seats and Seatbelts
The Seats and Seatbelts section of the MOT is probably the most important part. The idea behind annually checking the condition of your vehicle is to ensure that your vehicle is up to a certain standard of safety. A tear in your vehicles seat belts could prove fatal in the event of an accident – making it a crucial element in the MOT test to check all seat belts for tears, rips and to ensure they function as they should.
Problems with the Horn
All cars are required to have a horn – it is mandatory. To pass MOT standards, vehicle horns have to be in 100% working condition, this means pressing both sides of the steering wheel to make sure there are no weak points in the switch or wiring which may prevent the horn from being sound. It also means checking that the volume is of a level which can be heard by pedestrians as well as fellow drivers.
The purpose of your cars registration plate is so that it can be identified by the police, other road users and also your mechanics. This is for police databases to identify lost, stolen and uninsured vehicles travelling on the UK roads and for other road users to identify vehicles in the event of an incident especially if insurance claims are required. All cars can also be identified by the unique chassis number, but that isn’t visible all the time and also is quite often difficult to see from a distance.
If your number plate is cracked, faded or even dirty to the point where it is unreadable, then you may get pulled over by the police who will make you aware that it is in fact illegal not to present a readable registration plate. So don’t let it get to that stage, always make sure that your registration is readable from both in front and from behind by ensuring that there is no sun fading on the lettering, the plate itself isn’t cracked and also that the car is kept in reasonably clean condition.
Book an MOT with Longmynd Service Station today.