How to Pass your MOT


Did you know that almost half of all MOT failures are for simple things that could have been checked and fixed before the test?

Spending some time checking over your vehicle before its MOT could mean the difference between a pass and a fail - so it's definitely worth doing! Our engineering experts have listed 10 checks that anyone can do to identify common faults that cause MOT failures.

If you’re happy to fix the problem yourself, you’ll find a huge range of essential car spares, supplies and replacement parts at Halfords. Can’t find the part you need? Call us or drop in to your nearest Halfords and we’ll be able to order it for you.

If you don’t have the tools or the time to fix your car, we can do it for you. We carry the UK’s largest range of spare parts and can replace parts from bulbs to wiper blades while you wait.

12 essential pre-MOT checks

To help you find common faults, our expert engineers have listed 10 essential pre-MOT checks that anyone should be able to perform. Work your way through each of the steps to identify faults, and then fix them. Spending a little time today could spare you the expense and inconvenience of an MOT failure.

Test the handbrake and ensure it works correctly. If you have to pull the lever a long way up or it clicks too many times the cable may need adjustment, so get this checked out before your MOT.

Check the seat belts for fraying, cuts, or other signs of damage. The front seats must be securely attached, and the backrests must lock in the upright position.

Check the steering wheel does not feel too loose. If it does this could indicate a wear in the linkage that could cause an MOT failure.

Lift the bonnet and check the brake fluid level. Press the brake pedal and make sure that it doesn't feel spongy. If it does, there may be air in the hydraulic system which will need to be removed by bleeding. Your brakes are a crucial part of keeping you safe, so if you’re worried, don’t work on them yourself, instead book a free brake check.

Check that your wing mirror and rear-view mirror are in good condition, and that you can adjust them if you need to. If they're broken or cracked, be sure to replace the mirror glass or the entire mirror.

There shouldn't be any cracks or chips in the windscreen within the driver's field of view. If you spot a crack, chip or split, get it fixed ASAP.

Check the windscreen washers and wiper blades work. Replace worn wiper blades and top up your screen wash if it's a bit low.

Check your horn works by giving it a beep.

Double check that your number plates are in good condition as a cracked one can mean a failure.

You’ll need two people for this one. Sit in the car’s cab and turn on your lights. Have someone walk around your vehicle and check everything, including headlights, brake lights, fog lights and indicators, is working OK. Your number plates and all lights must be clean and undamaged, so give them a good scrub if necessary. If any of your lights aren't working, replace the bulbs or check the wiring to make sure there aren't any loose connections. At Halfords, we stock a huge selection of bulbs for all makes and models and can even fit replacements while you wait.

Use a tread depth gauge to check how much tread there is on each tyre. The legal minimum is 1.6mm - although it's better to fit new tyres well before they reach this stage! Driving without enough tread isn’t just dangerous, it’s illegal – with a penalty 3-points for each tyre that’s under the limit.

Check the exhaust by starting the engine and holding a clean cloth over the tailpipe. You’ll be able to hear if the system is leaking.

Need some spares, supplies or replacement parts?

Spotted a problem and need some supplies? you’ll be able to find all the spares and replacement parts you need to keep your car running smoothly at Halfords. You can shop online or visit your local store where you can find the UK’s largest range of motoring products. We’re also able to perform a range of checks on your vehicle and fit replacement parts while you wait. At Halfords, we’ve got you covered for the journey ahead.