WIth the MOT rules changing next month and becoming stricter, it pays to carry out some basic car maintenance yourself to ensure you don’t fail your annual inspection on something you could have prevented.
The Plymouth Herald recently offered some advice on what to keep an eye on as a driver to ensure you don’t have any nasty surprises when your MOT rolls around.
For those with diesel cars, it’s worth noting that if your car is fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and emits any smoke of any colour, it will automatically fail. Richard Hitchman, product development manager at Holt Lloyd International, recommends using a DPF cleaner as a regular preventative measure.
Diesel drivers also need to ensure that they keep their AdBlue – or diesel exhaust fluid – topped up. This turns harmful nitrogen oxide emissions into harmless water vapour and nitrogen.
Whatever car you drive, you need to ensure that its screenwash is topped up and that your washers deliver enough liquid to properly clean your windscreen, otherwise you’re in danger of failing your MOT.
Other areas to keep an eye on – and that it’s good practice to watch out for, regardless of whether your car is due its MOT – are the brake fluid and engine coolant. Brake fluid should be replaced every two years, while you should make sure you top your engine up with coolant/antifreeze as soon as a temperature warning light in your vehicle comes on.
The changes to the MOT rules could encourage more people to get comfortable with basic car maintenance tasks – especially those of the younger generation – after a survey found that those under 35 are least likely to know how to tackle basic car maintenance tasks.