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Routine Checks to help you pass a MOT

What is a MOT?

A MOT (Ministry of Transport) undertakes an inspection for the purpose of examining your vehicle’s roadworthiness, safety and emission levels. All UK registered vehicles older than 3 years of age, are mandatory by law to have an annual MOT.

Routine checks:

  • Under the bonnet

Open the bonnet to check the brake fluid reservoir and the oil filter is topped up to the required markings. Insufficient levels may be seen as unfit to conduct an emissions test as part of a MOT.

  • Check your brakes

Apply the foot brake and handbrake. When activated, it should hold your vehicle in a stationary position and the brake warning light should be displayed on the dashboard. Faults with the brakes such as low brake fluid levels can be signified if the handbrake warning light continues to illuminate red on the dashboard. 

  • Check your lights

Check all your lights; headlights, rear lights, indicators, brake lights and reversing light are illuminating and working correctly.  A useful guide would be to ask someone to walk around your vehicle externally or you can simply look into the reflection of a window. If you identify a blown bulb, change it before your MOT is due.

  • Warning lights

Your warning lights should illuminate when the ignition starts and switch off whilst driving. Warning lights that continue to illuminate can indicate a fault with your vehicle. Your car must have a fully operational speedometer in order to pass a MOT. A speedometre is a needle and calibrated dial that measures and records the speed of your vehicle.  

  • Tyres and wheels

Tyres should have a required tread depth of at least 1.6mm around the circumference of the central three-quarters of the pattern. A handy way of checking this is to insert a 20p coin into the groove. If the coin fits in place, then the tread depth is of the legal standard.