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10 Checks to do before your MOT Test

By 2nd July 2024 July 15th, 2024 News, Tips/ Advice
mot test checks

Once you have booked your MOT test it’s recommended you should have a fully qualified mechanic carry out an MOT test check on your vehicle. You can also do some of these basic checks yourself in advance of your test or as a routine safety inspection of your vehicle.

Here are some basic vehicle checks anyone can do:

  1. Tyres – The minimum depth of tyre tread is 1.6mm (across 75% of the tyre’s width and all around the tyre circumference). Don’t forget to check your tyre air pressure too. Your vehicle manual will give you the recommended pressure for your specific make and model. Any damage to tyres will also result in a test failure. While spare tyres are not tested during an MOT it is strongly recommended you ensure spare tyres are roadworthy and spare tyres mounted externally must be secured to the vehicle safely.
  2. Mirrors – Ensure your vehicle’s wing mirrors and rear view mirror are not broken.
  3. Horn – If your horn is not working it will result in an automatic MOT fail so to test it simply give your horn a quick beep.
  4. Lights – All vehicle lights must be safely secured, in good condition, and functional. To check your lights, you’ll need to get a helper, turn on the low and high beams and ensure they are both working then press the brake pedal to ensure brake lights illuminate. For your final lights check, turn your indicators on individually to ensure they are signalling front and back. At an MOT test the vehicle headlights will also be checked to ensure their aim is correct.
  5. Warning Lights – Have a mechanic fix any issues your dashboard warning lights are flagging up. It is important to get any warning lights checked immediately.
  6. Seatbelts – All seatbelts must be in good condition, any damage, tearing or fraying can result in test failure. Ensure each seatbelt clicks in securely to the buckle and is in good condition.
  7. Oil – To check your vehicle’s engine oil you should park your vehicle on a flat surface and allow the engine to fully cool. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean then re-insert it and remove it again, the oil should be between the minimum and maximum marking on the dipstick. If you need to top-up the oil level, refer to your vehicle manual to find out what type your vehicle requires.
  8. Brake Fluid – Again, park your vehicle on a flat surface and allow your engine to fully cool. Ensure the brake fluid is between the minimum and maximum lines shown on the side of the fluid container. The fluid should be a clear or amber colour. Again, if the brake fluid needs pped up refer to the vehicle manual for the correct fluid type before you purchase new fluid.
  9. Windscreen – If your windscreen has any chips or cracks that block the driver’s view it will result in an automatic test failure. If you spot any chips or cracks on your windscreen, you must get it repaired or replaced immediately.
  10. Windscreen wipers – Another very important check to do before your MOT test, ensure the windscreen wipers are in working order, don’t forget to check the back too if your car has rear window wipers. Check if the wiper blades need replacing, old or damaged blades can leave smears or marks on your windscreen that can obstruct your view. New blades can be purchased and fitted quickly in car auto parts shops. For your final windscreen check, open your bonnet and check the level of your screen wash. If the level is low, you can purchase screen wash in most shops and simply top it up to the maximum guide level.

It is also recommended you get your vehicle’s underbody washed before the test, this is known as an MOT wash, it helps the mechanic testing your vehicle to see everything they need correctly. It is also essential you arrive at least ten minutes before your allocated test time, if you are late to your test, you could be turned away and must rebook a new test.


If you’ve been in an accident, CRASH Services can take care of everything at no cost to you. Please speak to one of our specialists from our claims team today. Or call us now on 028 9066 0244.

CRASH Services can arrange vehicle recoverycollision investigation, organise repairs, provide a replacement vehicle, liaise with insurance companies and offer legal and medical assistance.

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