Fun Fact: Your car should always be in a condition to pass its MOT test, rather than be quickly brought up to a passing condition on the day of the test. This is because the MOT test is a check of your vehicle’s roadworthiness – and legally, your car should always be roadworthy, or safe to use on the UK’s busy road network.
Let’s have a look at five ways to keep your car roadworthy and MOT-proof this winter, no matter if you are off to Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire to see what the world’s oldest model village looks like in the snow, or to Edinburgh in Scotland to see what the world looks like in the snow!
Read the Checklist
This is applicable at any time of year, but can be especially important in winter as even minor breakdowns can feel much worse in inclement conditions. If you know what the MOT inspector will be looking for, this can help you to be aware of which parts of your car you should be paying attention to all year round. The checklist is divided into six sections which are then easy enough to bear in mind as you examine your car and make sure it is in tip-top condition. Find the checklist online, here, ready to print or save to your favourite device.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Well, lights anyway! Your car has a whole host of lights, from headlights and brake lights to interior lights, dashboard lights and even warning lights – and all of these will be checked by the MOT inspector during your MOT test. Spend a good amount of time, every now and then, checking all the lights that you can think of, making sure that those that should be on, ignite properly, that those that shouldn’t be on (warning lights, for example!) are not on, but only because the car is in good shape, not because the light bulb has burned out! If lights aren’t working properly, check to make sure they are properly fitted – sometimes they can wiggle loose with the car’s vibrations as it moves. If your lights are faulty, don’t delay: get in touch with Broadway Autocentres for your MOT in Buckinghamshire.
Test the Brakes
Your brakes are the only thing between you and an accident in cases where an emergency stop is needed, so make sure that they are working properly before any trip, let alone long drives in winter! Your service brakes should be able to stop you very quickly without your car slewing off course, and they should also be able to stop your car slowly and gently, under regular road conditions. Your hand brake (sometimes also called the emergency or parking brake) should also fulfil these functions in the event of a service brake failure.
Manage Your Steering
Steering is the final component – along with lights and brakes – of the items included in the very first MOT checklist, all the way back in 1960, when the test was voluntary and only requested for vehicles (mainly delivery vans and the like) that were older than ten years old. These three items were chosen because, between them, they are responsible for keeping cars under control, able to stop, and ensuring that, firstly, the car is visible to other road users, and secondly, that the driver can clearly see the road on which they are driving. Your steering wheel should have minimal ‘play’ or looseness, and you should always feel that the car responds instantly to your turning of the steering wheel.
Finally, the best way to remain MOT-proof while on the roads is to invest a little time in your car. Regular checks, from a simple visual inspection all the way up to a more in-depth study, really can help. Apart from anything else, these checks help you to learn what your car looks like when everything is working well – any changes along with issues will be much easier for you to notice and bring to your mechanic’s attention.
These five simple steps are a great way to stay roadworthy and safe on the UK’s roads as you enjoy the best that Britain has to offer, no matter if you are planning to hike up to Arthur’s Seat or touring around Windsor, hoping for a glimpse of the royals.