The ‘Minute Or Two’ MOT Check: Helping Your Car Pass its Next MOT

The dreaded MOT test is a reality every vehicle owner must face. None of us relish the idea of our beloved vehicles failing the test – it's both financially burdensome and tremendously inconvenient. Each year, approximately 1.5 million cars undergo the MOT test, and unfortunately, a significant portion of them end up failing. The surprising fact is that many of these failures could have been easily avoided with a handful of straightforward pre-MOT checks. In this blog, we'll walk you through essential steps to help your vehicle breeze through the MOT test without any unnecessary hiccups.

Before your car's next MOT test, there are some quick and easy checks you can perform to increase the chances of a successful outcome. Spending just a minute or two on these basic inspections can save you time, money, and potential stress down the road. Here's a step-by-step guide to the 'Minute or Two' MOT check:

1. Lights and Signals:

  • Turn on your car's ignition and check that all lights are functioning properly: headlights, brake lights, indicators, and hazard lights.
  • Confirm that the high and low beams are working as they should.

2. Windscreen and Mirrors:

  • Examine the windscreen for any significant cracks or damage. A small chip might be acceptable, but larger damage could lead to a failed MOT.
  • Ensure that the mirrors are securely attached and adjustable.

3. Number Plates:
Verify that both front and rear number plates are clean, legible, and free from cracks or significant damage.

4. Tyres:

  • Check the condition of your tyres, looking for any cuts, bulges, or excessive wear. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre.
  • Don't forget to check the spare tyre as well.

5. Fluid Levels:

  • Open the bonnet and check essential fluid levels: oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windscreen washer fluid.
  • If any levels are low, top them up before your MOT.

6. Horn:
Give your horn a quick honk to ensure it's in working condition.

7. Wipers:
Test your wipers for effectiveness. They should clean the windscreen adequately, and the rubber shouldn't be damaged.

8. Seatbelts:
Buckle up and ensure all seatbelts are functioning correctly and retract smoothly.

9. Fuel and Exhaust:

  • Make sure the fuel cap is secure and not damaged. An insecure cap could trigger an emissions fault.
  • Check the exhaust for excessive smoke or unusual noises.

10. Dashboard Lights:
Start your engine and check for any warning lights on the dashboard. Address any issues they indicate before your MOT.

11. Paperwork:
Locate your previous MOT certificate and ensure you have all relevant documentation ready for the test.


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Completing these quick checks can give you a better understanding of your car's condition and help prevent minor issues from turning into major problems. While the 'Minute or Two' MOT check isn't a substitute for professional vehicle maintenance, it can certainly contribute to a smoother and more successful MOT experience. If you do identify any concerns during your checks, it's advisable to consult a qualified mechanic for further inspection and repairs.