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5 Reasons Cars Fail their MOT Test

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Yes, it’s that time of year again when your car has to have its latest MOT, and you’re dreading it.  What could go wrong this time?

Your vehicle’s MOT is supposedly a simple test to ensure your car is safe to drive on the road if it’s more than three years old, and it’s actually illegal not to have one.  But a whopping 40% of cars that are put in for their MOTs fail…

Two years ago, changes were made to the MOT test, which categorised areas of fault with cars, as well as introducing new checks and stricter rules for diesel car emissions.  This means that your MOT can now be categorised as dangerous, major, or minor.  And if you have a dangerous or major fault, your car will fail its test.

If you have any dashboard warning lights, or any concerns about the condition of your car, even before your MOT is due, take it to a garage, and get it checked out, as you could save yourself an expensive MOT failure.

  • Lights and Signals
    A frightening fifth of all cars that fail their MOT test is because they have an issue with their lights and/or signals – it could simply be a blown bulb, but it could be that the indicators don’t work correctly or that their number plate light has gone.  Cracks in the brake lights, as well as having a dirty number plate, can give you a big fat fail.
  • Suspension
    Okay, you’re not expected to be as expert as a mechanic when it comes to checking out your car before its MOT test, but if you’ve been hearing any dodgy noises whilst driving your vehicle, it could be that you’ve got a problem with your suspension.  According to the RAC, their biggest cause for callouts is usually due to something wrong with the suspension, like a leaky shock absorber or a snapped spring.
  • Brakes
    Can you believe that one in 10 cars fail the test because they have problems with their braking system?  Now that’s worrying when you think how important these little babies are!  Most of the issues are obvious – squealing or grinding sounds which indicate that your brake pads are running low. Perhaps when you brake, your wheels pull to one side? Have you got an issue with your handbrake – it may need adjusting?  Seriously, if you are concerned about anything to do with your brakes, get them checked out before your MOT test.
  • Tyres

Obviously, you should have your tyres checked regularly for your own safety, but for such a vital piece of car equipment, they are still a really common reason for failing an MOT test.  It’s usually the tread of the tyre that lets you down – a simple but effective test you can do yourself is to insert a coin – a 20p one is perfect, to see if the necessary 1.6mm is across the central three quarters, if you can see the outer band, your tyre tread is too low.  Look out for lumps and bumps in your types and that you have the correct type of tyre fitted.

  • Your View of the Road
    A surprising number of people drive their cars with something obscuring their view – these could include sat-navs, air fresheners, or car novelties, as well as cracks and chips in the windscreen.  And, ensure your windscreen is clean by regularly filling up your washer.  So, no nodding dogs allowed!

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