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.”

  6 Responses to “How to Pass the MOT”

  1. My car has been converted to camper van.It does not have a rear view mirror because the rear windscreen is blocked by the fixtures.It also has a rear windscreen wiper (witch works) but the washer has been disconnected.Is it OK for a MOT.

  2. As an IAM member since 2002 this should be common sense motoring, but if others are not a member of the Institute, they should consider joining.

  3. daily checks..lights wash/wipers,horn,.tyre pressures/condition..(for first week only..to assess if they are leaking .weekly check.after first week…check spare tyre as well, and check that you have the tools to change a wheel..and the key for your locking wheel nuts!!..the weekly check should preferably be on the same day of the weekand should include a walkround, and windows inspection as well as the normal daily checks..simples!!

  4. My understanding regarding mirrors is that you required to have at least two, but that there is no requirement for either of them to be interior. Many vehicles other than private cars do not have an interior one because there is no through vision, and likewise many private cars have no through vision when towing, or when fully loaded. Two exterior mirrors, both in good order (and correctly adjusted) is fine.

    Likewise many cars do not have rear screen washers. I think it likely that if a washer is present it must work, even it is of no practicable use on the particular vehicle, but that if no washer is present that is no problem. If that is the case then the options would appear to be either to reconnect it, or to remove the nozzle and replace it by a rubber blanking plug.

  5. Great read, thanks for the advice!

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