Motorists ‘hold the key’ to MOT passes

19th September 2013

Motorists that carry out simple maintenance and checks on their vehicles are more likely to see their car pass an MOT with flying colours, according to a new survey.

Figures published by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) indicates that of the 8.1 million MOT failures in 2012, a significant proportion were caused by easy-to-spot problems, which could have been avoided if drivers had carried out simply checks.

Some of the issues that resulted in a failure included blown bulbs, worn tyres and issues with windscreen wipers and low fluid levels.

The organisation indicated that almost a fifth of these failures could have been avoided if motorists had informed garages of the problems beforehand, which could have been repaired before the annual vehicle test was carried out.

In a bid to better inform drivers of the simple checks and maintenance they can carry out before an MOT, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has highlighted the Minute or Two test, a ten-step list of areas and components that can be monitored and correctly easily.

The first two steps just require a quick check that all the bulbs on a vehicle are in working order, with headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights, indicators and brake lights all important to review.

Making sure the number plate is clean and legible is also important and the font must comply with legal requirements to pass an MOT test.

One of the most important steps on the ten-point list is the wheels and tyres, which are important for safety on the roads and should be checked regularly. Ensuring the tread depth is at a legal level and there is no damage to the vehicle tyres and wheels is a crucial aspect of car maintenance, with a failure to do so potentially leading to a failed MOT.

Seats and seatbelts should also be adjusted and checked to ensure they are in good working order, with a quick tug on seatbelts enough to assess their condition. The windscreen should also be checked for damage, while wipers should be able to perform the job they are designed to do, keeping the window clean. A washer bottle should also be filled before taking a vehicle for an MOT, as a lack of screenwash could lead to a fail.

Testing the horn is also important as if it does not work it will need to be replaced. Adding fuel and engine oil is a crucial element of car maintenance and motorists could be actually be refused an MOT without suitable levels of either.

Carrying out these simple checks takes very little time and could reduce the potential of an MOT failure significantly and ensure that a vehicle is in the best possible position to sail through the annual test.

Motorists that are not confident of checking their car themselves can book it in for an annual service ahead of an MOT. This will make sure these simple issues are repaired and increase the chance of a positive MOT result.

Posted by Danielle Barge