MOT checks

Things to remember before your MOT

Considering the privilege of getting behind the wheel costs UK drivers approximately £388 a month once finance or lease payments have been factored in, the last thing we want is to be hit with more unnecessary charges. And that is what most charges associated with MOT tests are — unnecessary. Whether it be forgetting to replace a bulb, or even something more simplistic like washing the car, these are both actions that could have been carried out sooner, with a significantly less damaging impact on the wallet. Therefore, here, with Ring Automotive, who sell numerous car tyre inflators, we examine the top things you need to consider before you find yourself rolling up once again to the front doors of the MOT centre for a re-test.

Tread

Tyres that have surpassed their lifespan, however, have yet to be replaced, are one of the most popular reasons why cars fail their MOT. In order to ensure safe driving, it is essential to have tyres that are maintained properly as neglecting them may result in your vehicle failing its MOT. The legal requirement for tyre tread on passenger vehicles up to eight seats is 1.6mm, but studies show that when the tread drops below 3mm, stopping distance begins to be significantly affected.

Measuring your tyres to ensure they comply with legal standards can be carried out quickly with the use of a tyre gauge. However, to ensure your tyres are both safe and helping cut down fuel consumption, drivers need to check the pressure as well. For a digital gauge that gives accurate readings on a large backlit screen, records the correct pressure and has an integrated LED light, Ring suggests the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre Pressure & Tread Depth Gauge. This is easy to store in the car and easy to use, wherever you are. Available nationwide, SSP £24.99.

Although there are no laws that exist in regard to tyre inflation, tyres that are under or over-inflated will cause the traction between the tyre and the road to reduce, making driving less safe whilst also decreasing fuel efficiency. For easy pressure top ups, try the Ring RAC635 Digital Car Tyre Inflator, with pre-set for accurate inflation. This industry-recognised inflator can inflate a 13” tyre from flat to 35PSI in under 3 minutes – making tops up quick and simple.

Lights

Four and a half million of the seven million cars which fail their MOT every year have done so because of issues with their electrics, lights, and reflectors. Doing a quick bulb check before you take the vehicle to the garage could avoid an MOT fail. Make sure you check all the exterior bulbs – this includes the side light, indicator, tail light and number plate lights. The registration plate lamp being out accounts for 4.5% of MOT fails.

Replacing your bulbs in pairs is something we highly recommend, as this will ensure the light output is equal from both headlights. In terms of headlamps, you can buy replacements that enhance the brightness to help guarantee you won’t fall foul of a fail. Ring stocks a range of bulbs, including long life versions, and for headlamps, try the new Xenon150 bulbs (nationwide – SSP £39.99), which put up to 150% more light on road without compromising on life.

Clear sight

Failing to clear your windscreen of snow on a winter morning is illegal and considered a major driving offence. Why? Because it significantly impacts your ability to view oncoming traffic or perhaps pedestrians. A strong level of visibility is crucial when behind the wheel of a car making it understandable why more than six per cent of vehicles fail MOT thanks to windscreen cracks or window wipers which have worn out. As wipers deteriorate gradually, drivers often don’t realise they are no longer clearing the windscreen effectively. Choosing and fitting the right blade can seem tricky, but Ring’s new range of Ultravision Wiper Blades (SSP £9.99 to £13.99) make blade selection easy. The unique, patent-pending clip fits 95% of the car parc, meaning that drivers just need to know the blade length for their vehicle to select the correct blade. The clip adapts to fit the seven most common wiper arms.

“Motorists could be making savings by carrying out basic checks and maintenance at home, but often they don’t realise that these minor faults could cause an MOT fail,” suggests Ring Automotive Marketing Manager Henry Bisson. What’s more, having well-maintained tyres, blades and lighting are driving safety essentials, so making sure they are regularly checked and replaced when necessary is critical.