How to Check Your Lights: Think Practical Test
27 Mar 2017
As reliable as most Ford models are, MOT rules still apply. A conscientious driver will take the time to inspect his or her car prior to going for the MOT test, just in case some simple things can be done at home to ensure the car passes. One of those things is checking the lights.
Did you know that nearly 50% of all failed MOTs are the result of minor things such as non-working lights, insufficient tyre tread, and worn windscreen wipers? Even more importantly, the single largest number of failures is due to lighting and indicators not working. Approximately 30% of all MOT failures are directly related to lighting.
There is an easy way to check your lights – and get it right – prior to your next MOT test. The key is to think about your practical test. The same procedure used in that test can be applied to checking your lights. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to do it:
1. Check the Direction Indicators
The first thing to do is to check the direction indicators. This is a two-step process. First, turn on the hazard signals and then do a complete walk around to make sure all four are flashing. Then check the individual indicators by engaging your turn stalk to the left, then to the right. You may have to use your car key to turn the ignition switch to the 'on' position; you will not need to start the engine.
2. Check the Brake Lights
The simplest method of checking the bright lights is to depress the brake pedal and see what happens. A helper can observe from the outside. In the absence of a helper, you can back your car up to a large window or glass door and check the reflection in your mirror.
3. Check Headlights and Tail Lights
Checking the headlights and tail lights is as simple as turning them on and then walking around the car. You should be able to clearly see even on a bright, sunny day. If there is any question, you can always pull the car into the shade and check again. Additionally, you will want to make sure to check both the dipped and full beams. One could work while the other does not.
4. Check the Rear Fog Lights
The last thing to do is to check the rear fog lights. Turn them on just as you would under normal operating conditions, then exit the vehicle and do a visual inspection. Your headlights may need to be on dipped beam for fog lights to be active.
There is one more thing to remember for all your lights: lens condition. Lenses should be free of cracks; they should be the correct colour, and not excessively faded or worn. Headlamp reflectors also need to be free of corrosion, tarnish, and mist. Anything not in good working condition can be quickly and inexpensively replaced at home before your MOT test.