Car Ready For Its First MOT

How To Get Your Car Ready For Its First MOT

December 15, 2023

Taking your car for its first MOT can be a nerve-racking experience. You want your beloved vehicle to sail through with no issues but worrying that something might fail and need repairing can keep you up at night. The best way to avoid an MOT failure is to properly prepare your car beforehand. That way, you’ll drive to the MOT test centre with confidence, knowing you’ve done all you can to get your car up to the required standard. Here are the key things every car owner should check and address:

Inspect & Repair Any Mechanical Issues

If you’ve noticed any unusual noises, steering issues, sudden drops in oil or coolant, or even small changes in how your car drives lately, it’s important to get these potential mechanical problems checked out and repaired if serious. Minor faults may pass inspection, but it’s best to show up with your vehicle in sound working order to avoid any failures. Book your car into a garage or dealership to diagnose and fix any developing defects.

Top Up Vital Fluids & Replace Parts That Are Worn  

Over time, vital fluids like oil, coolant, brake fluid and screen wash can run low or empty, while components like the battery, air filters or spark plugs wear out. Check the dipstick levels for each fluid and top up as required – some garages will do a thorough fluids check as part of a pre-MOT service. Also, replace any parts that are past their ideal lifespan, especially those that could impact driveability or road handling. This preventative maintenance helps avoid minor issues turning into MOT failures.

Give Tyres & Lighting A Thorough Inspection

Two of the most common MOT failures relate to tyre tread depth and faulty exterior lighting. Check tyres carefully for any cracks, bulges in the walls or exposure of plies/cords, as these require immediate replacement. Tread must be at least 1.6mm across the middle three-quarters of the tyre, so measure depths with a gauge. Ensure all exterior lights like headlights, brake lights, fog lights, etc., are fully intact, clean and working. Replace bulbs that have blown. Properly functioning lighting is essential for safety.

Give Your Car A Thorough Clean Inside & Out

While cleaning your car thoroughly might seem purely cosmetic, it’s actually an important part of getting it ready to pass its MOT Birmingham. Examiners need to be able to inspect key components, so removing dirt and debris helps them complete all the required visible checks. Start with the exterior and give the whole body a comprehensive clean from top to bottom. Pay special attention to lights, mirrors and number plates to avoid any visibility-related MOT faults.

Move inside and thoroughly vacuum and wipe down the full interior. Clean windows again so the inspector can fully see out during the test drive stage. Wipe the dashboard and controls to remove dust and improve visibility of warning lights during engine checks. Finally, use a pressure washer or cleaning brush to give the underside and wheel arches a blast from built-up mud and road grime. This grants inspectors clear access when assessing for fluid leaks, corrosion and component condition under the car.

Getting your car serviced a month or so before its MOT due date can allow issues to be found and fixed early. Do your due diligence on the key components above, and you can feel reassured that your car is properly prepared for first-time MOT success.

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