8 easy steps to help your car pass its NCT

Have you received an email from the NCT head office telling you your car is due for a test soon? Dreading your visit to the test centre? Well we may be able to ease your fears somewhat. There are some very simple tests that you can do on your car that will enable your car to pass certain examinations during its NCT. And the best thing is, you don’t have to be a car mechanic or even a car expert to carry them out. Here are 8 easy steps that will help you prepare your car. You may think this is just a polite task to carry out but it can play a part in your car passing the NCT. It is imperative that you can ensure all of the parts of your car can be tested. Mirrors, windows, windscreen, registration plates and tyres need to be checked for damage and cleaned so that they all easily pass their examinations.  You are also expected to declutter the boot and to make sure your tester can get to everything, so remove child seats etc. My main tip here is to make sure there is no damage to certain areas of the car. Your licence plates must be readable and undamaged. 2. Check your lights This may seem like an obvious pre-NCT check but you will be surprised how many people fail the NCT due to broken bulbs – or at the very least have their result delayed. Checking all lights is a two-man job so have your friend give you three minutes of his/her time.  Don’t forget to check indicator lights, brake lights, fog lights and parking lights. Also, measure your headlight alignment (against a wall) as this is an area you can fail on. 3. Check your fluids What do I mean by fluids? Oils, engine coolant and brake fluids must be checked 24-hours before your NCT. Don’t forget to also take a look at your power steering fluid and window wash. You’d again be surprised how many people forget to check these two. This isn’t as taxing as some make it sound. When you lift the hood of your car these fluid areas should be labelled. 4. Toot your horn Yes, make sure your horn is working. An NCT tester will fail you if you don’t have a functioning horn — it must be loud and clear. 5. Check your seat belts This is another very simple step. Make sure all of your seat belts are in working order. Don’t just check the belt, check the latch, which your belts set into, too. 6. Check your tyres Check all four of your tyres as well as the spare tyre in your boot. You should be looking out for the thread depth, ensuring they are at least 1.6mm deep. Also ensure you are checking for any wear or damage. Take a look at every angle of each tyre too, ensuring there is no bulging at any part of the tyre. They should also be fitted perfectly to the rim so run your hands around each fitting. Your tyres also need to be the right size in correlation to the car’s spec, so do check the manufacturer’s handbook. Do note that the tester needs to see your wheel nuts so remove your hubcaps. 7. Check your wipers Spray your windscreens and then turn your wipers on, making sure they clear the whole windscreen, giving the driver a clear view. If your wiper isn’t fully clearing the screen it maybe a case of having to buy new blades which is not that expensive. 8. Take a drive Yes, that is a tip ahead of your NCT. If you have checked all of the above then you shouldn’t have any minor worries. But make sure your engine is in perfect working order. Turn down your radio and listen to how your car is motoring. If you are worried about strange sounds, then it might be time to visit a mechanic for a pre-NCT test. You should also make sure your car isn’t dragging to one side, if it is, recheck your tyres. They need to be at the manufacturer’s guides in terms of inflation. Don’t forget your paperwork when attending the test! NCT testers won’t even look at your car without the correct paperwork which includes appropriate identification (bring your driver’s licence) and either the vehicle registration certificate or licensing certificate. You also need payment which is currently €55. Card payments are accepted. #Motor