Common MOT Fails & How to Avoid Them

MOT tests resumed at the start of August 2020, so there has never been a better time to check whether your MOT is due. The Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown saw many of us stay indoors to stay safe, and as a result, our vehicles were left languishing on drives and streets for a particularly long period of time. With this in mind, ensuring your vehicle is still roadworthy and can safely get you from A to B now you are back on the road again is vital. 

Whether you’re booking in for a voluntarily MOT test or your mandatory MOT test is due, understanding what can fail an MOT will help you no-end. With this knowledge, you can complete simple maintenance work or request repairs to make sure that your vehicle passes its upcoming MOT test with flying colours. 

Here we talk you through the most common MOT failures and even offer tips on how to avoid them, so you can go into your MOT test with your eyes wide open.

1. Blown bulbs

The lighting and signalling capabilities of any vehicle are integral to upholding road safety. Without your lights and signals, how can you communicate with other road users, or even stay visible at night or in adverse weather conditions?

The biggest cause of MOT failure is lighting and signalling issues. Yet avoiding this fail is often as simple as changing a blown bulb. Before you head to your MOT test, check that all your lights and indicators work, not forgetting to check that all-important number plate light. Your lights and indicators should be clearly seen, so even if your bulbs are working, it may be worth giving your lenses a good clean too.

2. Worn brake pads

Your braking needs to be on-point, especially at this time of year when weather conditions make braking distances even longer. Grinding and squealing sounds when braking are tell-tale signs that you may be heading towards MOT failure. 

Your brake pads can also be visually inspected, although you may need to remove a wheel. The brake pads on most vehicle makes and models however can be observed through your wheel spokes. Your brake pads should be smooth and thick in appearance; if they’re not, it may be time for replacement.

In addition to your brake pads causing MOT failure, your handbrake may prevent a pass result. You can easily test your handbrake by parking on an incline and applying the handbrake. If it doesn’t hold the car, you may need to have it adjusted.

3. Poor suspension

Britain has a very big pot hole problem, and every time you drive over a pot hole, you’re giving way to troublesome suspension issues that could result in MOT failure. 

It can be difficult to identify suspension issues visually when looking under the vehicle, which means you’ll have to keep your ears open when driving to pinpoint any potential suspension problems. Does your car make clunking noises, especially when turning a corner or driving on uneven surfaces? 

Suspension problems can also show themselves when your car is stationary. If your vehicle feels like it sits too high or low in one corner, your suspension may be affecting a particular wheel. The entire vehicle may not sit level due to poor suspension too.

You can test your suspension rather easily by pushing down on each corner of your car. If it returns to its resting position after bouncing a couple of times, your suspension may not be in the best condition.

4. Low tyre tread

It’s so important to check the condition of your tyres on a regular basis. The pressure of your tyres and their tread depth is integral to road safety, so it should come as no surprise that low tyre tread constitutes an MOT fail. Low tyre tread can put you at risk of penalties with drivers fined up to £2,500 and given three points if caught – and that’s per tyre!

The 20p test is a simple way to check that the tread depth of your tyres is up to scratch. By law, your tyre treads should be at least 1.6mm deep. Place the 20p into the tread of your tyre at various points. If the outer band of the coin is visible, your tread is too low.

In addition to this, the condition of your tyre should be observed. Damage to the tyre wall – e.g. cuts and lumps – can be dangerous. Reduce your chances of experiencing a tyre blowout and an MOT fail by getting them fixed right away.

5. Obscured windscreen

As a driver, you must be able to see the road clearly at all times. An obscured view will land you an MOT fail, whether the view is blocked with your sat-nav or a larger than life car air freshener. Damage to the windscreen, including cracks and chips, at the driver’s eyeline may cause MOT failure too. These days, thanks to the latest windscreen repair technology, damage is pretty easy to fix so get chips and cracks repaired where possible.

Your windscreen wipers should work correctly and you should have adequate washer fluid to clean your windscreen to ensure visibility at all times.

Ready to book your MOT test?

As specialists in MOT testing, you can trust Collison Motoring Services to deliver your MOT test. We are an experienced, trusted and licensed Class 3 and Class 4 MOT testing station based in Waterlooville near Portsmouth, and use our expertise to test petrol and diesel vehicles to the highest standard.

Our MOT testing experts provide an honest and transparent service to save you the hassle of costly pre-tests. Our policy is to conduct small repairs at the end of the MOT test with your permission to help you achieve the pass result you need to get back on the road safely and legally. Did we mention we also retest for free!

If you’re ready to book in for your local Waterlooville MOT test contact us today for last minute availability and early bird bookings up to 30 days before your current MOT test certificate is due to expire.