Almost half of all cars that fail to pass their MOT have minor faults to blame. These faults are easy to avoid thanks to some straightforward car maintenance that can be done at home. These simple snags are easy to fix and putting them right before taking your vehicle in for its annual MOT could help you pass first time and side-step any unnecessary garage costs.
To assist you, Ring Automotive, specialists in bulbs, wipers, battery care and tyre care, give their top tips on the simple things that can be done to ensure an MOT fail is avoided.
1. Lights and signaling – 17.8% failure rate
Problems with lamps, reflectors and electrics cause 4.5m cars to fail their MOT every year. Doing a quick bulb check before you take the vehicle to the garage could avoid a 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.
As far as headlamps are concerned, there are many options available, including upgrades to improve bulb product life or increase the amount of light emitted onto the road for safer driving. We recommend you always replace bulbs in pairs, to ensure the light output is equal from both headlights. 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.
2. Tyre condition – 7.5% failure rate
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.
It’s easy to check your tyre tread; it involves using a simple depth 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 no legal requirement for tyre pressure is present, 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.
3. Driver’s view of the road – 6.8% failure rate
Windscreen cracks and worn-out wipers are major causes for vehicles to fail an MOT. 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.
Ring Automotive’s Marketing Manager, Henry Bisson, says, “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. 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.”