You don't have to be a savvy car mechanic to do simple MOT checks yourself. Some of the simplest things on cars can easily cause MOT to fail. Most concerns are more than likely right in front of you. For example, lights could appear quite insignificant, but their failure rate is the highest, yet they can be quite easy to change.
MOT checks are done annually, if you suspect something needs fixing, then repair it immediately. Avoid waiting until your next MOT test. If mechanical issues are not fixed straight away another issue could materialize from the first fault. Once a problem occurs no matter how little it is, it could escalate into something much bigger, which will undoubtedly will increase your bill.
Professional or unprofessional MOT checks
Some MOT checks can easily be completed by anyone regardless of having no mechanical experience. However, a number of checks may need to be done by a professional technician. If you are not mechanically savvy, then some problems will need to be rectified by a professional.
The pitfalls for the less mechanical minded persons would be checking and fixing the brake system, faulty steering wheels, emissions, welding, corroded body work, cylinders, suspensions etc. The important factor is to identify the easiest problems and then seeking immediate help if needed.
When an unprofessional person attempts to tackle the more complex issues on a car, more problems could be created. Most motorists usually ask their unqualified neighbour or the bloke down the road for help to save money. However, instead of saving money, it is likely the price tag of the original job could end up costing more due to mistakes.
Many years ago before cars became computerised machines, it was the norm to see the average person working on their car. Today, because of all the technicalities involved in making cars, this phenomenon is virtually unseen.
TIP: Always seek professional help if your car has any mechanical issues.
Effortless DIY MOT checks
Lighting and Indicators: Replace faulty bulbs as they occur including hazard lights, it is illegal to drive with a damaged light. The best way to check rear lights is to have someone stand behind the car, alternatively use a shop window at night. MOT checks include fog lights, indicators, hazard lights, brakes and number lights. In addition to checking their functions, keep them free of dirt and grime.
Windscreen and wiper blades: Replace any faulty windscreen wiper blades if there any holes or tears. All blades should be able to clean the windows efficiently and without creating more dirt or scratches. Double-check that the windscreen fluid is full, an empty container is a failed MOT.
Fuel and fluid levels: Fill up all fluids, including the engine oil and fuel. If there are inadequate fluid levels, you could be turned away.
Alloys and Tyres: The tread is very important; it needs to be more than 1.6 mm. Insert the head with a match stick into the tyre to determine if the tread is acceptable, check the sides and all around the tyre. Additionally, inspect the tyre walls and alloys for any damages, or gashes.
General: Keep the outside, interior and car boot clean, MOT checks can be refused if there are dirt and oil covering engine parts, underneath of the car or even masses of rubbish in the cabin or boot.
Check to see if the seat belts engage properly and double check for fraying material.
Check the exterior body work for any unusual signs of metal not connecting or doors not closing correctly. Anything like this is hazardous to other motorists and pedestrians.
Fuel leaks are an instant failure; it is a serious hazard to the public.
Horns need to be fully working, always give this a quick check too.
Are you aware of any other tips for getting your car through its MOT? Please leave your comments below.