Feb 282016
 

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has come up with some easy ways to increase your car’s chances of passing its MOT test. Many people don’t prepare their car for an MOT at all, when a set of simple checks could save you time, money and inconvenience.

Many cars fail the MOT on the basic items we’re about to highlight, leaving you rushing around attempting to fix them at late notice and possibly great expense.

Mark Lewis, IAM director of standards, says start on the outside:

  • Wash your car. This will allow you to see any damage, especially to wheels
  • Check tyres. Make sure there is no damage and there is there is a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre width and around the whole circumference of the tyre
  • Clean your windscreen so you can see any cracks
  • Make sure all lights are working and get someone to help with brake lights or look at a reflection in a shop window or garage door
  • Lift the wipers and check the feathered edge (the thin part of the blade that touches the screen) for any damage. Then wipe them with a damp cloth
  • Look under the car to see if there are any fluid leaks

Now let’s talk fluids!

  • Make sure all fluids under the bonnet are topped up – these areas are often marked in yellow
  • Make sure the windscreen washer nozzles are working and aim at the windscreen
  • Don’t forget about the rear wash-wipe if your car has one

Moving inside

  • Make sure the horn works
  • Does the parking brake hold the car?
  • Pull all the seat belts out the entire way and make sure they retract.
  • Unwind if necessary

Mark said: “These basic checks will help make your chances of passing an MOT much greater. So many fails are as a result of these issues.

“But what I have suggested should not just be a once-a-year activity – these are checks that should be part of a weekly routine to ensure your car is safe to be driven day in, day out.”

Jul 032008
 

car checksHaynes, renowned worldwide for its car manuals, is urging motorists to save money by checking their cars before an MOT test. Recently released figures from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) gained by the Institute of Advanced Motorists Trust, show that first-time MOT failure rates in the UK are higher than in other European countries. There was a 21.6 per cent MOT failure rate recorded in 2007, with more than 271,000 of those failures due to lighting faults – most of which can be cured without difficulty by someone with basic mechanical knowledge.

J Haynes, Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Haynes, said: “It takes very little time to check a car over before submitting it for an MOT test. Basic faults such as lights not working, worn wiper blades and insufficient tyre tread depth can easily be sorted out before the test. This is invariably cheaper than having your car fail the MOT test.”

Haynes manuals have a section detailing the checks you can do before your car’s MOT test. Haynes is the world’s leading publisher of automotive repair manuals and renowned for teaching millions of car owners how to carry out routine maintenance and repairs. Haynes publishes manuals for more than 500 cars and vans as well as useful glove box guides such as Your Car.

Below, we summarise some of the range of pre-MOT checks.

• From the driver’s seat, you can test the handbrake, footbrake, steering wheel and column for correct operation and excessive play.

• Still in the driver’s seat, check that the windscreen is free of cracks or damage.

• Now check that the door latches work and that all seat belts are in good condition and fasten properly.

• Moving to outside the car, check that the wiper blades are in good condition and that the lights and horn work.

• The wheels and tyres should be inspected thoroughly. Wheels should not be damaged and tyres must be free of cuts, tears, lumps or bulges. Check the tread depth – a minimum of 1.6mm over at least three-quarters of the tread width is the current legal requirement (though it’s best to fit new tyres well before the legal limit is reached).

• Finally, clean your car thoroughly inside and out and on the underside, if possible. The tester can refuse to examine a car which is filthy underneath.

Haynes manuals are available for 80 per cent of cars over three years old on UK roads. They contain many tips for saving fuel and show motorists how they can save money on garage bills by doing simple servicing and maintenance tasks themselves.

Haynes Manuals retail at £18.99 (hardback) – less than half a tank of fuel. They are available from www.haynes.co.uk or from all good automotive accessory retailers and bookshops including Halfords and Motor World.