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Don’t fail to PASS your MOT first time

Don’t fail to PASS your MOT first time

Do it once and do it right, and the business savings will see to themselves! 

As garages and MOT specialists begin to reopen, many of us will be looking to book our vehicles in for their check-up. But before doing so, it’s important to take stock of your vehicle as in an MOT, no stone is left unturned. This is more important now than ever, with less regular vehicle use and shorter journeys during lockdown.

Carrying out just 10 simple checks can ensure you spot a defect that could have easily been avoided. 

For Fleet Managers, ensuring drivers perform these quick checks for just 15 minutes can prevent the need for vehicle servicing and ultimately reduce downtime. Do it once and do it right, and the business savings will see to themselves! 

Making sure vehicles are roadworthy has been essential in facilitating the journeys of key workers who have remained on our roads. Now, as we transition to the wider population returning to work, it is vital that Fleet Managers play a key role in keeping employees mobile. Taking the time with drivers before first journeys is crucial for a frictionless restart to business and will enable employees to carry out their jobs safely and efficiently.  

Alphabet recommends these 10 simple checks:

  1. Walk around your vehicle to check your lights and indicators are all working as normal. Specific lights to check, include:
  • Front and rear
  • Headlights
  • Licence plate light
  • Hazard lights
  • Indicators
  • Brake lights
  1. Check your wheels and tyres to ensure they are still legal. There are two methods you can use when doing this:
  • If the tread wear indicator ridges are level with the surface of the tyre, the remaining tread is 1.6mm and it must be replaced.
  • Check your tyre tread using the 20p test - If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit.

If you find your tyres are near or under the legal limit (1.6mm), you will need to source replacement/s, before your MOT. Alphabet’s standard policy is to replace tyres at 2mm, removing any concern from drivers as to whether their tyres are roadworthy or not.

Whilst checking your tread depth, also check:

  • Damage to the tyres, such as cuts or bulges
  • Damage, including distortion or cracks, to the wheels and alloys
  • All four wheels are securely attached to the car, with no bolts missing.
  1. Be sure to carry out visual checks for warning lights to ensure they are not permanently illuminated.

If any of your warning lights have been coming on intermittently, it’s worth getting them checked out before booking your MOT.

  1. Repair any bodywork damages or corrosion before the MOT test.

Sharp edges on the bodywork are not permitted as they could cause injury.

  1. Check any damage to windows and mirrors.

Any damage wider than 10mm in the driver’s central view, will cause an MOT fail, as will any damage larger than 40mm in the whole of the swept area.

Another common defect that is often overlooked, is windscreen stickers or fittings, such as sat-nav devices. Any obstruction to your view as a driver is deemed dangerous and could cause an MOT failure.

  1. Make sure your wipers are able to keep your windscreen clean and there are no tears or holes in the wiper rubber.
     
  2. Ensure your screen wash is topped up before taking your car in for a test.
     
  3. Check your seats and seatbelts to make sure they are still safe and secure.
  • Are there any cuts or frays in the material?
  • Do they retract properly?
  • Do they clip and unclip without hassle?
  • Is the attachment to the floor or seat secure?
  • If you give them a good tug, do they lock as expected?
  1. If your vehicle has a tow bar fitted, check that it is secure and not damaged or corroded.
     
  2. Give a short blast of the horn to make sure it works.

Maintaining vehicle health for both petrol and diesel vehicles, as well as electric cars, during lockdown remains an important step for your future travel habits and these simple tips will help keep you on the move. There will likely be a backlog of vehicles requiring an MOT after the lockdown lifts and garages will experience a significant demand for servicing requirement. Fleet managers should encourage employees to follow these simple steps to help avoid vehicle downtime and any unnecessary delays when returning to work.