7 Tips To Get Your Car Through Its NCT
Over half of cars that go through the NCT fail the test. In the first six months of 2016, 52 percent of vehicles failed the test. That is almost half a million cars. Over 3,700 cars were categorised as a dangerous failure, although most cars fail for things that are not serious. In fact, it is often possible to prevent your car failing by doing some basic checks before your test. Here are our top tips to get your car through its NCT.
1. Check the Lights
One of the most common NCT failure reasons is faulty lights. This is also one of the simplest checks you can do. Make sure your car is running and then check every light – headlights, high beam, side lights, indicators (both sides, front and back), brake lights, fog lights, and the light on the rear number plate.
2. Check Fluids
Check your oil and engine coolant levels. If they are below the minimum level you should top them up before the test. Do the same with the brake and power steering fluid. Also, make sure there is water in your windscreen washers.
3. Check the Tyres
Check the tread of your tyres first. They should be at least 1.6mm so you will need to change them if they are not. If the tread is okay you should check for damage, particularly on the tyre wall. Don’t forget to check the spare too, if you have one. Finally, check the pressure in your tyres and adjust it if the tyre is not at the recommended level.
4. Get the Car Cleaned
Get the exterior of the car cleaned, including under the car. This makes the job of the tester less dirty, plus it makes it easier to carry out the various tests and checks. Make sure you clean out the inside of the car too, removing as much stuff as possible. Pay particular attention to the boot as it has to be empty.
5. Go for a Drive
Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your NCT so you are not late or under pressure. Also, make sure the car gets a good run for 20-30 minutes before you arrive at the test. This ensures the engine is up to operating temperature and running as efficiently as possible.
6. Bring Your Paperwork
Without the right paperwork, your car won’t even be tested, so check you have everything with you. You have to bring your Vehicle Registration Book, Registration Certificate, or Licensing Certificate. You also have to bring your driving license.
7. Remove Hubcaps
Your wheel nuts have to be visible when you arrive at the NCT. If yours are covered by hubcaps you will have to remove them before going.
None of these checks are complicated or require any mechanical knowledge. You might need help replacing a lightbulb or topping up your brake fluid, but even if you have to pay for that, it won’t cost much. Running through the checks, however, will save you money as well as the hassle of having to do a re-test.