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How To Ensure Your Car Is Roadworthy

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COVID-19 has undeniably impacted the UK car industry. With the government extending MOTs by six months that were due between the 30th March to the 31st July 2020, there are a lot of vehicles on the roads that possibly shouldn’t be. 

Garages are now open again. So if you’re in a bind with your car and you can’t fix it yourself, get booked in immediately. With MOTs ready to go, making sure your vehicle is roadworthy has never been more important. 

Simple faults can often be the reason why your car fails its MOT. However, there are some things you can do to make sure your vehicle safe. Here are our top tips:

Check your lights

Rear, fog, indicators, hazards and brakes all make up your car’s essential lights. As they are all visible, it is easy for you to check they are in working order. 

Blown bulbs aren’t impossible to fix. Checking your vehicle’s manual will give you all the information you need to see if you can replace them yourself. 

Don’t forget your dashboard. Turning your key in the ignition will show you straight away if there are any issues with your dash lights. 

Tyres

Your vehicle’s manual or handbook holds the answers to all of your car-related questions. Tyres have to be the right pressure for you to drive legally. So, check your manual. It will tell you the exact pressure they need to be.

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Tyre tread is also one to look out for. The legal limit is 1.6mm.

Vehicle body

Firstly, make sure your horn works. That is step one for passing your MOT without fault. 

Brakes

Before turning on your engine, test your brakes. If they feel spongey or give way easily, your brake pads may need replacing. 

When driving, if safe to do so, apply your brakes firmly to a stop. If you notice a slight pull to one side, you may need your vehicle’s alignment checked out. 

Steering Wheel

If your steering wheel feels loose in any way, a bearing may have become slack or broken. 

Handbrake

Simple test. 

  1. Press firmly on your foot pedal
  2. Release your handbrake
  3. Reapply your handbrake

If your handbrake lifts too high, it is no longer doing its job. Your vehicle needs to be secure and without risk of rolling on a hill when stationary.

Petrol Inlet

Look for damage to the seal around your petrol inlet, where you put the petrol hose. It will need replacing if the damage is too severe. 

Window wipers & mirrors

Your vision needs to be clear and unobstructed when you are driving. Check your window wipers for any breaks or tears. If they need replacing, check your car’s manual for advice to do it yourself. 

Likewise, all mirrors should be complete and intact. 

Windscreen

Cracks, chips and dents to your windscreen may be considered a hazard. You need to be able to see where you are going and also be able to drive safely.

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Seatbelts

Fraying seat belts are not going to look good in the eyes of an MOT tester. Check your belts thoroughly to make sure they are in good working order. They need to click and be ejected without force. 

Seatbelts could be your lifeline one day. Make sure they are safe and secure. 

Emissions

Harder for a novice to check, your car’s emissions are essential when it comes to your vehicle being roadworthy. 

If you notice blue smoke, your car may be burning oil. Valve seals, piston rings or turbochargers may need looking at. An engine coolant leak, on the other hand, may issue white smoke from your engine or exhaust. Don’t let that go unchecked! 

Vehicle structure

Check your car thoroughly for corrosion from rust, sharp edges, dents and damage to the paintwork. What may seem insignificant at first glance may cost you a successful MOT. 

Visible number plate

Keeping your car clean will make sure your number plate isn’t obstructed with dirt or mud. All plates have to reach the DVLA set requirements and be in good condition. 

Clean your car

Presenting your vehicle in a good clean condition inside and out will secure your MOT test. Your MOT may be refused by the tester if your car is full of clutter.

Making your car roadworthy doesn’t need to cause you stress. Follow our simple pointers to make your next MOT go smoothly. With so many checks you can do yourself, your car will be roadworthy in no time!

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