According to figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, 40% of cars and 50% of vans fail their MOT tests. The most common failures are more common than you think. Follow our advice on how to avoid MOT failures.
1. Lights & Signalling
Blown light bulbs. So simple and yet the single most common cause of MOT failures. The fix? Incredibly easy and cheap. Before your test, ask a friend to walk around the vehicle as you test all the lights. Front, read, indicators (including side repeaters), brake lights (including central repeaters) and front and back fog lights. Replace anything that doesn’t shine.
Roads are not always kind on a vehicle’s suspension so failures are more common than we realise. Unless you’re comfortable shimmying under the vehicle, there is little that can be done pre-test. We’d recommend booking an annual service prior to the MOT and let an expert inspect underneath.
Does the car pull to the left or right? Do the pedals feel a little like a sponge when pressure is applied? This may be a sign that the disc pads need replacing. The general rule of thumb is that brakes need some attention approximately every 50,000 miles. This can vary subject to whether you drive like Lewis Hamilton.
Tyres should be checked on a regular basis throughout the year, not just before an MOT. Check the pressure and use the 20p test to check your treads. Insert a 20p into the tread grooves on the tyre and if you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit.
5. View of the Road
Cracks are often hard to spot if minor but vehicles can fail if it’s deemed the driver does not have all round vision. Check windscreen washers to ensure clear visibility. Be mindful of windscreen-mounted phone holders, these need removing pre-test. Fill in any windscreen chips pre-test.
6. Fuel & Exhaust
Emissions are becoming an increasingly common cause of MOT test failure. Invest in a Pre-MOT fuel treatment pack to clean out the fuel system pre-test. If the vehicle hasn’t been driven in a while, it’s advisable to take it out for a long spin, get the revs up and warm the engine up.
The power steering fluid is tested during an MOT. Test the level of fluid and ensure its at the minimum level.
8. Seat belts & Airbags
Ensure seat belts aren’t twisted or knotted and check there is no airbag warning light (or missing airbag) on the dashboard.
9. Body & Structure
Repair any damage to the body. Wash the car regularly to stave off rust.
10. Registration Plates
Give the plates a good wipe so that they are legible from 20m away. Don’t give the inspector a chance to fail the vehicle because it’s filthy.
Complete a pre-MOT checklist before taking the vehicle to the MOT testing centre.
Have you spotted a part that will potentially fail? If you believe the vehicle is damaged and the repair costs will outweigh the value of the vehicle, why not consider selling it for salvage? Simply enter your details online and you’ll receive an offer within minutes.