Should I Service my Car Before MOT?

Friday, 16th October 2020

When booking a service and an MOT for your car, it’s best to complete the MOT first. This is because some of the faults identified during a service will also be flagged during an MOT, so getting the MOT done first will save you time and money.

However, this doesn’t mean you should forego the service altogether. Even if a car passes its MOT, a service can discover other faults early, meaning you can fix them before they turn into a much more costly problem further down the line. Not only that, but all of the basics such as changing the oils, topping up fluids and inspecting the condition of the brakes are necessary parts of a service that aren’t part of the MOT.

Click here to find out more about HiQ’s MOT & Services.

Unfortunately, we have discovered that young motorists in particular are putting themselves at risk by failing to take their cars in for annual services - because they either can’t afford the cost or are alien to the whole concept.

In the fast fit network’s recent survey about car maintenance habits, 34% of 500 drivers questioned opted against paying for a service, relying instead on their cars passing their MOTs in a penny saving measure.

And in another interesting statistic, 57% of those deciding against a service were drivers aged between 17 and 30, suggesting that the trend is rife in younger motorists.

The results arrive on the back of a similar claim by AA patrolman of the year Keith Miller, who said that car servicing is an alien concept to drivers of a certain age.

He said: "I think it´s a generational thing. Younger people are used to having obsolescence built into things. They use something until it breaks and then throw it away and buy a newer, better version. Servicing something is alien to them."

Can I Pass an MOT Without Car Servicing?

Your car can pass its MOT without being serviced, which is another reason why you should request your service is done after the MOT. However, if you choose to avoid servicing your car altogether, ultimately you won’t discover the minor issues before they’re major issues that may cost you a lot of money to fix.

HiQ’s fast fit manager Stuart Carr believes younger drivers aren’t thinking about the longer term financial impact. He said: “We don’t think that younger drivers necessarily appreciate the pitfalls of breaking down and the costs associated with this, and therefore don’t place as high a priority on regular car services.

“We are seeing a lot more vehicles arriving with major faults and minor faults that would have been picked up on a normal service.”

Why Passing an MOT Doesn’t Mean Your Car is Legal

Stuart also said that there was still a common misconception that passing an MOT test guaranteed road worthiness for the year, which was not necessarily the case.

The MOT certificate confirms that your vehicle at the time of its test met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It doesn’t mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate and isn’t a substitute for regular maintenance.

Stuart said: “Relying on the MOT has been how a lot of motorists have been judging their vehicle performance. But a test certificate relates only to the condition of the components examined at the time of test. It does not confirm the vehicle will remain roadworthy for the validity of the certificate.

“You can pass an MOT and be charged for a road traffic offence as soon as you leave the test station, the reason being that the MOT and Road Traffic Act cover different elements.”

How Often Should You Service Your Car?

You should have a full service of your car every 12 months or 12,000 miles, depending on which is sooner. If you’re a high mileage driver, you should also consider an interim service at the 6 month interval.

HiQ’s Car Services:

  • Full car service – a thorough inspection of your vehicle with a 53 point check covering everything from fuel filter to brake discs and pads. The full service includes visual checks of lights, wipers and driving controls, and physical checks to the wheels, exhaust, brakes, steering and suspension
  • Interim car service – recommended for high mileage drivers who want peace of mind between annual services. An interim service will cover a visual inspection of the vehicle and will prepare it for the rigours of the season ahead, and will also include oil and filter replacement
  • Oil & Filter – perfect for maintaining your cars performance between services
  • Warranty approved service - reduce your servicing costs without compromising your warranty - no matter what make or model vehicle you drive

Additional Services Include:

  • Platinum upgradean advanced formula engine and fuel system flush to prevent premature wear, reduce emissions and improve performance
  • Vehicle diagnostics – full diagnostic service for modern vehicles
  • Dent repairs – whether it’s a car park knock or a reversing dent, over the years it can be hard to keep your vehicle looking flawless
  • Air conditioning service – just like any other system in your car, the air-conditioning needs regular attention to make sure it’s working as efficiently as possible
  • Airbags - offer a full airbag and ABS fault finding and repair service, with our experts getting you back on the road in no time
  • Wheel alignment - tracking, or wheel alignment is not only important for good hold on the road, it also helps you get more miles out of your tyres
  • Alloy wheel repair - we offer a full repair and restoration service to return your wheels to their original condition and allow your vehicle to shine once more
  • AdBlue refill - if you're a diesel car driver your AdBlue tank will need to be topped up between services
  • Air conditioning recharge - vehicle manufacturers suggest that air-con systems are recharged with gas and lubricant every 2 years
  • TPMS Service - Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems monitor tyre pressure without the need of a gauge and advise motorists if their tyres are losing pressure
  • DPF Service - if you own a diesel car then you are likely to have a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Over time, these soot-removing filters become clogged, and should be cleaned periodically to avoid costly repairs
  • 4 Wheel laser alignment - our 4 Wheel Alignment service ensures optimum positioning and adjustment for your wheels to maximise handling performance and tyre life
  • Body Repair – if you've been involved in an unfortunate accident on the road our specialist technicians can have your vehicle back up and running in no time
  • Carbon Cleaning - maximise engine performance with our Carbon Cleaning service
  • Tyre storage facility – switching to winter tyres is a good idea when temperatures plummet, so store your tyres with us
  • Vehicle Remapping - engine remapping service carried out by trained technicians to help you get more performance from your car