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Saving money on your mot or vehicle inspection

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 22.09.2011

Saving Money On Your MOT or Vehicle Inspection

Most of us dread putting in our cars, vans or motorcycles in for an MOT test (often called a Vehicle Inspection or similar outside the UK). Not knowing whether it will easily pass, or require hundreds of pounds of work can make budgeting difficult.

To help reduce the costs of an MOT, there are some simple steps that any car driver should be able to take. By checking these items first, you can repair some yourself (far cheaper than paying a mechanic at ?70 to ?120 at a main dealer), or have time to shop around to get the best deal.

Here are some of the things you can easily check:

  • Ensure that all the lights are working. Check the headlights (dipped and main beam), rear lights, rear registration plate light, rear fog lamps, brake lights and indicator lights (front fog lamps do not have to work). A helper is handy to look round the car while you test the lights. Replacing the bulbs with standard or upgraded options is generally a simple job and is detailed in the vehicle handbook. Vehicles with HID bulbs fitted as standard often suggest returning to a main dealer for replacement due to the high voltages used, but as long as you ensure the lights are off (and leave them a few minutes for the capacitors to discharge) they are very similar to replacing any other car bulb.
  • Check the windscreen wipers all work – do they clear the screen effectively over the entire wiper area? Look at the wiper blades themselves – do they feel hard and brittle, or are there bits missing? If there are, you will need to replace either the rubber blade or the whole wiper. Replacing the whole wiper is simpler, especially as most cars now use quick clip systems. One thing to note is for the modern flat beam wiper blades, such as the Bosch Aerotwin or Viper VisionX, that you may need to bend the blade by hand so that it correctly matches the curve of your screen. Only the front wiper blades are checked for the MOT, but you may want to check rear blades and headlight blades at the same time.
  • Check your tyres for the correct pressure and wear. The tyres should be at the right pressure (often listed on the drivers door pillar), as should the spare. Check all the tyres for sufficient tread – there has to be at least 1.6mm, with no bald spots or obvious damage. If the tyres do need replacing, a few phone calls or web searches can often identify a supplier with a special offer for the tyres you need.
  • Check the windscreen for cracks or stone-chips. If there are any within the area the wiper blades cover, it’s likely to fail the MOT. If you have fully comprehensive insurance, you may be able to get this repaired for free, or you can pay for the service. Home repair kits are available, but can be tricky to get a good finish.
  • Check the oil, coolant and windscreen wash fluids are all topped up to the correct level – again check your handbook for details. While many garages will provide top-ups for free, some will charge even for screen wash. The screen wash has to be present as the washer jets are tested for the MOT. At the same time, you can check that the washer jets direct the washer fluid to the windscreen properly – a pin can be used to unblock washer nozzles and adjust the aim.
  • Are your mirrors all attached and whole? Depending on how they are damaged, it may be possible to replace only the mirror rather than the entire wing mirror unit.
  • Listen to the exhaust. On most cars, at tickover the exhaust should be very quiet – louder exhausts or a rumbling noise may indicate a hole in the exhaust. Phone or search online for a suitable replacement, as it could be much cheaper than using your MOT station. Some sports exhausts and performance cars make a rumbling noise all the time because they are meant to!
  • Can you easily read the front and rear registration plates, and are they properly fixed with no cracks? You will need proof of ownership and identity to get new plates made up. You can order number plates with different fonts, smaller sizes and slogans printed on them ,but these are all technically MOT fails.

While other mechanical items may still fail an MOT, by taking a few minutes to make these basic tests you can often save hundreds of pounds on your annual MOT.

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