Your MOT test can be a fraught time as you wait to find out if your car has passed its MOT for another year, or if you are going to have to dip into your savings for expensive repairs – or if you’re going to end up deciding to purchase an even more expensive new car that will at least be exempt from MOT for the first three years of its life. But you can take some of the strain off by checking out your own car before the official test, making sure that everything is in good working order or having your mechanic make repairs, if need be, before the test is officially performed. 


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The lights in your car are extensive and it is probably for this reason that nearly twenty percent of MOT fails are due to issues with lighting and signalling. Check your lights: all of them! Start with the front and back lights, including brake lights, hazards and indicators, then move onto more niche lights like dashboard warning lights, the interior light and so on. This can be true if you have been driving for long hours and reach evening time on a scenic route like Scotland! Your lights working properly matter a lot during this hour of the day. If your car is due for MOT – you should not delay it; you can book your MOT online in Dundee by visiting Fife Autocentre today!


The car’s suspension is what keeps the car mounted evenly over the wheels – hanging above them, in a way – and problems with the suspension make up some thirteen percent of MOT failures. Suspension issues can be subtle and easy to miss at first, but if you pay attention to the way your car feels when you are driving, you will be better suited to picking up suspension issues when they begin. These can present as bouncing, a sensation of tilting when going around corners, an unusual squeaking when driving, and the car may even look as though it is sitting at an odd angle when it is parked – almost as though it is slouching.


The brakes are your invaluable aide when it comes to controlling your speed as well as stopping promptly and safely when you need to do so. For this reason, your brakes should always be in great condition, so it is perhaps something of a surprise to learn that a massive ten percent of MOT fails are due to issues with the brakes. Take your car to a quiet car park, and test the brakes in the days before your MOT test. Both the handbrake and service brakes should be able to perform a safe and rapid emergency stop, and the service brake should bring you to a gentle stop over a reasonable time and distance (this will depend on the speed you are driving at the time).


Your steering is your ability to steer and it is no surprise that steering was one of the first items (along with lights and brakes) to be on the initial MOT test all the way back in 1960. While you are testing your brakes, in that quiet empty car park, test out your steering too – turn sharply and see how well your car responds, and then drive (very slowly!) in a straight line, lifting your hands off the steering wheel for a moment, to see if the car pulls to one side or another. If it keeps going straight, then you probably have nothing to worry about. NB: this is a risky manoeuvre and should not be attempted unless you have a lot of empty space around you – and needless to say, should be done at a very low speed.


Your tyres are the only point of your car that touches the road and without your tyres being in great condition, it is unlikely that you will have a safe or comfortable ride. Check your tyres visually for signs of damage, ensure the treads are of an adequate depth, and always keep them inflated to within the recommended guidelines in the manufacturer’s specifications (found in the handbook).

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