Unexpected expense is something we never welcome in life, whether it be a bus lane fine, a parking ticket, or a hefty service charge, they are things in life we can more than do without. However, there are certain things we can do to avoid them, particularly when it come to our MOT. Did you know half of all test fails are caused by minor faults, including lights bulbs, that could have so easily been resolved at home.
Here, with Ring Automotive, we fully understand your frustration, so we’ve put together our top three things to consider before you take you car to the garage and incur an unnecessary charge.
Lights and signalling
Lights and signalling relate to 17.8 per cent of fails each year here in the UK — that translates into a whopping 4.5m cars failing thanks to electrics, reflectors, and lights. 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.
As far as headlamps are concerned, there are many options available, including upgrades to imrpove 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.
Resulting in 446 accidents over a 12-month period in 2017, tyre maintenance cemented its place as the number one reason behind collisions in the UK, with faulty brakes coming in with 81 less. 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.
Determining an accurate tyre tread in the past may have been tricky, however simple depth gauges make the process incredibly simplistic nowadays. 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.
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, so although there is no legal requirements for tyre pressure, we would highly suggest ensuring they are at the optimum level. 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.
Being able to see when you’re behind the wheel is crucial, therefore it should come as no surprise 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.
Henry Bisson, the Marketing Manager at Ring Automotive suggests, “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.”