MOTs and pre-flight checks

JoHome & Garden, In Focus, Lifestyle

Car engine

Cars. But first planes.

I took The Loud One to an airfield recently. I love getting to spend time with him on his non-preschool days. Figuring out what he likes, watching what he is interested in and listening to his observations of the world around him. He unknowingly encourages my own observations and it is these that have been taking up some brain space over the past few days.


Pilots (and aircrew where applicable) have strict pre-flight checks that they undertake before they venture into the sky. We could see them doing this when we visited. The purpose of this list is to ensure flight safety. It is thought to have been introduced by the Boeing company in the 1930s following an avoidable and sadly fatal accident.

So, what’s been playing on my mind about that? That we don’t undertake a pre-travel checklist before we set off in the car. If I am driving long distances then I do. I check the oil, the tyres, fuel levels and so on, but for short journeys (which all add up) I don’t. I know it might sound a little odd but for some reason this really bothers me. I really should, before turning the ignition on, have a quick check. Of course if my assumption that everything is ok turns out to be false then I can at least pull over. Not so easy to do that mid-flight. But even the checks that I make before a long journey or one that includes motorway travel do not seem to be actively encouraged across all motorists. It seems to me to be something that used to be focused upon but with the advent of cars whose engine is bolted down under a plate, and largely relies upon being plugged into a computer to be checked over, it seems that this has been lost.

Car engine

This is where having your car regularly checked by a professional is so important, as is ensuring that you carry out the legal requirement of getting a MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. This test is pretty simple, often quick, and always vital to ensure your safety and that of other road users. Without a valid MOT certificate you could face a hefty fine too, another incentive to make sure yours is up to date.

The best place to get a test done, in my humble opinion, is at a professional MOT centre. On hand to deal with MOTs day in and day out the engineers know what they are looking for and what advice to give. Additionally, with a quick check you can make sure that the centre has the correct certification to complete the test, that is, that they are an approved examiner. Lots of test centres now have the option to book online too, which makes life even easier.

MOTs in the Hertfordshire area can be booked from DAT tyres. If you don’t live there then DAT have a pretty comprehensive guide of what should be covered which might act as a handy checklist for you. In fact, perhaps that could become my ‘pre-trip’ check list too.

What checks do you make before setting off in the car? Am I alone in not undertaking them for short journeys?! Let me know!

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N.B. This is a sponsored post. For more information please see my disclosure page.