Do You Know The Top 10 MOT Failures and How to Prevent Them?

Do You Know The Top 10 MOT Failures and How to Prevent Them?

Even the most confident and certain drivers might be terrified of their yearly MOT, since no matter how brilliant you are, there's no assurance your car is in equally fantastic form.

In reality, according to figures from 2000/21, about 36% of vehicles failed their MOT on the first attempt, equating to nearly 7.8 million tests, with the average failure resulting from nearly three problems. Many of the faults that caused the failures are simple to repair and could have been fixed before the test.

We've compiled a brief guide that outlines the most common failures. Confirm the MOT status of your vehicle and the following will help you in how to avoid them:

1.     Lights and Signalling

Blown bulbs are the most common cause of failures, yet they're also one of the easiest and cheapest to fix. Ask a friend to assist you in checking all of the lights - front, rear, indicators (including side repeaters), brake lights (including centre repeaters) and front and back fog lights before the MOT test. You might also fail if your headlights had deflectors installed for driving in Europe that you failed to remove. When you arrive home, double-check that they've come off.

2.     Suspension

Britain's potholed, patchworked roads put our vehicle's suspension to the test and suspension problems are becoming more regular, with nearly 1 in 10 tests reporting suspension failures. There's not much you can do a pre-test to prevent a failure short of crawling beneath the car. Instead, check MOT history and schedule your yearly service for right before the MOT test and a trained technician can tell you.

3.     Brakes

Look for a spongey pedal feel and the car pulling to the left or right when braking as these are signs that the brake pads need to be replaced. Brakes should be replaced every 50,000 miles on average, but depending on your driving style, it may be sooner or later.

4.     Tyres

Because your tyres are the only portion of your vehicle that makes actual contact with the road, they should be inspected on a regular basis throughout the year to guarantee they're in excellent working order. Check the tread depth with a 20p piece across the whole width of the tyre and all the way around. Your tyres may be under the legal limit if the outside ring of the coin is visible. Look through the MOT history of your vehicle and if your vehicle is frequently failing on tyres then most likely there is more than a tyre replacement required.

5.     Driver's view of the road

Because being able to see all around is crucial, your car might fail the test if the windscreen is cracked or if you just leave a windscreen-mounted phone cradle in place for the test. Fill the reservoir with water and check that the pump is still operating properly. Remove any cradles or stickers and fill any windscreen chips with resin before they turn into cracks. At least one rear view mirror should be intact and changeable; new, stick-on mirror surfaces can be acquired for a low price.

6.     Emissions – particularly on diesel cars

These are becoming a more common cause of failure. It's grown so popular that 'Pre-MOT' fuel treatment kits are now available, which aid in the cleaning of the fuel system before to the test. It's also a good idea to take the car for a long pre-test drive at high rpm (such as on the highway) to warm up the engine and clear any cobwebs.

7.     Steering

Power steering fluid is one of the fluids that is evaluated during an MOT test; the quantity in the reservoir must be at least at the minimal level. Check it ahead of time and get it topped up if required.

8.     Seat belts and airbags

Seat belts must retract, therefore resolve any twisted or knotted belts and double-check that they are all securely fastened in place without detaching. A failure can also be caused by a missing airbag (or an airbag warning light on your dashboard) — warning lights that have turned on inadvertently can frequently be reset for a nominal price at a repair.

9.     Body and structure

You can't do much about rust (except wash the car frequently throughout the winter, when corrosive grit/salt might accumulate in the tyre arches), but any loose, sharp edges can cause a failure. As a result, any accident damage, such as loose bumpers, should be repaired as soon as possible.

10.  Registration plates

Your plates must be visible and readable. Therefore, your vehicle might fail only because it's filthy or the registration plate light bulb has blown! Check this when you're checking the rest of your lights, then clean the plates down with a damp cloth.

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