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Must-Do Pre-MOT Checklist

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Guide | 0 comments

Getting ready for an MOT test? Worried that you might not pass at all?


Everybody has to go through MOTs at some point. This can be stressful enough and you don’t really want to add more to the pressure when you can take essential steps of information in ensuring that your vehicle will have the best chance at getting an impressive score.  


MOT test shouldn’t be a reason for your anxiety


To ensure that you will pass the MOT with flying colours, there are things you can do which will help ensure that your car is all set before taking it in. What you’re simply doing is giving it the best shot at getting a passing score the first time.


It would help too to get an understanding of the most common reason that vehicles fail the MOT. Among the top three reasons are issues concerning the suspension, brakes and the signalling or lights. With this in mind, it makes sense that you get things started here.


To make it easier for you to check whether or not your vehicle is ready for the MOT, we put together an important MOT checklist that will let you know exactly what to do and what things to check.



MOTs will not just look into the state of your brake in your vehicle. The handbrake is going to be tested too.



Among the most common issues that vehicles tend to get scored down for during MOTs are excessive air in the system as well as fluid leaks.


If you want to check for possible leaks on your vehicle, do it by checking how far your pedal can reach the floor. This is quite a simple pre-mot test but will help you determine whether some adjustments are needed. When checking, if it is easy enough for you to reach the floor or if the pedal just seems to keep going lower even without any additional pushing on your end, there may be a dangerous problem.


When pushing the pedal and you get some spongy sensation, especially when you try to add more pressure to it, this can be a case of excessive air in the system. To alleviate this minor issue, you can just go ahead and bleed the system.



You will want to test how reliable your brakes are. A good way to test your vehicle is to get it parked on a hill. You can do the same on a slight incline as well.


If the car doesn’t seem to feel secure when parked in this position, then there is likely a dangerous problem or faults.


You can also check the efficiency of your handbrake by fully engaging it and then checking if there are about six audible clicks you can hear as part of your pre-mot check.


Signalling/Lights— Electrics

This is seething you want to pay close attention to since there are just so many things that could possibly wrong and at fault with your car’s electronics!


Start by pre-mot checking all of the vehicle lights. This includes the fog beams, hazards, brake lights, low beam, and main beam. Be sure to watch out for the headlight beams and take note of where it actually lands. It’s crucial that the beam should land correctly where it is aimed.


Don’t forget to honk the horn too. See to it that it is more than audible and that it is working every time.


Pay attention to your wipers as well. They’re not just there as a mere afterthought. It’s important that they are properly and fully working and that they should be in excellent condition.


Suspension – Checks Potential Damage

Checking the shock absorbers of the vehicles is essential. Check for the point where the springs get inside the vehicle’s engine compartment. Make sure that it is stable, there aren’t any visible wear and that everything is intact.


Make sure to park the car on a flat surface too while making sure that you’re pushing down on every corner, doing this will help you get a good grasp as to whether or not the suspension is working or at fault. To see if it is, then the vehicle should successfully return back to its original position. There shouldn’t be any bounce in the process.


You will want to consider the current state of your tyres as well. Check for potential damages as this can be caused by shocks that are no longer in their optimal working condition.


Tyres and wheels

You want to pay close attention to the tyres and the wheels. There’s nothing more tragic and dangerous than failing to get the certificate of the MOT just because you failed to pay attention to the current state of your wheels and including your tyres.


Checking if the wheels and tyres are in a good shape should be easy enough to do. All you have to do is check for bulges, lamps, as well as tears along the sidewalls. Make sure that there’s nothing rushing through the rubber too to avoid unnecessary fails on the MOT testing.


Evaluate the pressure in the tyres as well and ensure that they are correct. You’ll also want to check if the tyres are in size just right for the vehicle. Consider the tread depth too as this is a vital element to the overall safety and roadworthiness of the vehicle. To ensure that you will pass the MOT, tread depth should be no lower than 1.6 mm and this should at least be the case for at least 75% of each tyre.


Remember to check if the wheel is sitting straight as well. Also, see to it that it doesn’t show signs of buckling.


Mirrors and windscreens

Is there a tiny chip on the windscreen?


Even the tiniest fracture on the windscreen as a result of something as inconsequential as driving over a pothole a few days ago can be a source for some massive headache if you do not get it fixed first before going to MOT. It will likely be the reason that you will eventually end up failing.


Passing the MOT testing means that the vehicle doesn’t have anything at all that will block your vision while you drive. So, even something as tiny as a corner fracture can be a cause for failure. Besides, even the tiniest chip on the windscreen can become a major problem when not sorted fast.  Problems like these have a tendency to escalate into something more serious if not given due attention. Also, getting it patched now while it is just but a tiny crack will only cost a fraction of the works and costs you’d have to cover eventually if you wait until it has become a full-blown crack before getting it fixed.


Don’t forget to check all the mirrors in the car too. See to it that they are intact, fit and secure. Make sure too, that you can clearly see with the rearview mirror.



Be on the lookout for any rust build-up along the body of the vehicle. Check if there are sharp edges that seem to protrude somewhere. Look out for general signs of wear and tear and including corrosion too.


Ignoring areas where there’s thinning and not paying attention to issues caused by some minor accidents you’ve been in can usually cost you a passing score. The same is true if you ignore those wear that are showing along the car’s sidehills.



Perhaps the most essential feature of the car, seatbelts are instrumental toward keeping you safe and protected in the event of a collision. See and checks if the seatbelt is still in the best shape and fit and that it doesn’t have frays, tears, and any noticeable signs of deterioration.


Make sure to plug the belts too and see to it that they works and are able to engage and disengage efficiently without any need for you to use excessive force every time.


Emissions and exhaust

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to check if there’s a leak in the car’s exhaust. All you have to do is get a rag and place it over the exhaust with the car running.


However, when it comes to the emission, you may have to secure the services of a specialist or expert to get an idea of where things stand. See to it that the car isn’t burning oil and that it doesn’t show signs of serious faults with the carburetor and the injection system.


Be on the lookout for black of blue smoke too and see to it that this gets properly sorted and service before the MOT test.


These may just seem like easy cleaning works and simple steps you can take but you’ll realize that doing them ahead of time can lead to considerable savings as a result.


We hope that you find this advice on the checklist incredibly helpful before setting out for your MOT. They’re quite simple but the difference they make between you passing and failing is more than worth the effort and finance.


This makes it easier for you to spot problems long before they become serious and costly and will also give you the chance to get them resolved ahead of time before your MOT and you can even get an MOT certificate done at a much cheaper rate too.