Common Reasons for MOT Failures

Common Reasons For MOT Failures & How to Avoid Them

Every car in the UK that is older than three years must pass an annual MOT test to determine whether or not the vehicle is safe to drive on public roads. To ensure that you pass your upcoming MOT, we’ve taken a look at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) data to reveal the most common MOT failures.

Our Guildford MOT specialists have also included how you can avoid these with easy-to-do tips and tricks you can do yourself before heading off for your MOT test.

1. Brakes

On average, brakes need refreshing at about 50,000 miles, but it could be sooner depending on your driving style.

To identify issues with your brakes, listen out for squealing or grinding noises coming from your brakes. These are both signs that the pads are running low and will need replacing.

2. Tyres

As the only part of a car that comes into contact with the road, your tyres need to be checked regularly throughout the year. You can do this by using a 20p piece to check the tread depth across the full width of the tyre, as well as around it. If the outer band of the coin is visible, your tyres could be under the legal limit.

3. Suspension

Suspension issues can be hidden well, which makes them difficult to identify before having your MOT test completed. Listen to noises made by your car during everyday driving to identify when there could be an issue with the suspension. Does it make unusual sounds when cornering or passing over bumpy roads? These could be signs of a leaky shock absorber or even snapped spring.

You can also park your car and spend some time looking at the following:

  • Does the car sit level?
  • Is it too high or too low?
  • Does it return to its normal level when you push down on each corner, without bouncing up and down a few times?

4. Fuel & exhaust

Emissions are becoming a more common reason for MOT failure, particularly for diesel vehicles.

If you’re worried that your car will fail its MOT due to emission issues, you can purchase a ‘pre-MOT’ fuel treatment pack online which will help to clean out the fuel system. You could also give the car a long pre-test run at high revs (such as on a motorway), to warm up the engine.

5. Driver’s view of the road

The driver needs to see all around the car, so you will fail your MOT if the windscreen has a crack, or even if you leave a windscreen-mounted mobile phone holder in position for the test. Your windscreen washers must also work, as you need to be able to clean your screen in the context of the screen becoming so dirty that you can no longer see out of it.

To avoid failing your MOT test because of these reasons, ensure any cracks have been filled in with resin, and at least one rearview mirror is intact and adjustable. You can find replaceable, stick-on mirror surfaces online that are inexpensive.

6. Lights & signalling

According to RAC, nearly 1/5 of all cars fail their MOT because of an issue with their lights. This could be something as simple as a blown bulb that has not been replaced. So, before heading to your test, switch all your lights on and walk around your check to check they are all working correctly.

Don’t forget to check the indicators by switching on the hazard lights, and ask a friend to check your brake lights. If there’s no one nearby to help assist with this one, then reverse your car up to a wall so you can see if the brake lights have come on.

7. Steering

While most fluids are not usually checked during an MOT test, the power steering fluid is. This is the hydraulic fluid used in the steering system to create a link between the steering wheel and the front wheels. It decreases the amount of effort required to turn the wheels, so is essential to the functioning of your vehicle.

To pass an MOT test, the amount must be at the minimum level. So check this in advance and get it topped up if required.

8. Registration plate

Your front and rear registration plate must be visible and legible at all times, so your car could fail its MOT test just because the plate is dirty or the light that highlights it at night has broken and not been replaced beforehand. Before heading to your test, wipe down both plates and check the lights are working as they should.

If you would like to book your car or motorcycle in for an MOT, repairs or servicing, please do not hesitate to contact us at Pantech Auto Technicians today.