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Common MOT Fails and How to Avoid Them

20th February 2017

Did you know you can fail your MOT test due to something as small and easily fixable as a broken light? In fact, the DVSA state that in 2014/15 50% of all failed MOTs could have been avoided! Avoid common MOT fails and make sure that your vehicle passes its next MOT test with some simple maintenance and checks.


Broken Lights

The most common reason for failing the MOT test is faults with lighting. This could include loose or broken bulbs, or lights which are not the correct colour. You can check your lights easily by turning them on and checking that they have switched on manually whilst the car is parked, and you can guard against loose bulbs by lightly tapping headlights to make sure they and the bulbs are securely fixed. If you want to check the bulbs more closely please ensure you are not touching halogen bulbs directly with your bare hands – this can cause premature burning out due to the residue your fingers leave behind, and you should instead wear gloves or use a cloth to do this.



Worn or Damaged Tyres

Another common, easily fixable MOT fail is worn or damaged tyres. Tyres that are damaged are highly dangerous on the road and will cause you to fail your MOT test. If you notice tears, cuts, lumps or bulges you must have your tyres inspected by a specialist immediately. In addition, tyres with tread lower than 1.6mm are illegal and you must have them replaced to pass your MOT test. Learn how you can check your tyre tread.



Windscreen Damage

It is vital that you have an unobstructed view of the road when driving, which is why you must ensure that your windscreen is free from damage. Any damage larger than 40mm on the windscreen, or 10mm directly in front of the driver, will cause you to fail your MOT test so you should have any necessary repairs undertaken before the MOT test. You must also ensure you have nothing on your dashboard that may be obscuring your view and check that your windscreen wipers are functioning correctly and are in good condition.



Empty Engine Fluids

You can fail your MOT test if the wiper fluid is lower than the ‘minimum’ mark on your windscreen wiper fluid container, so make sure you fill it up with the correct solution before your MOT test. In addition, you should also check that you have a sufficient amount of engine oil and fuel as you could be turned away from your test if there is not enough to successfully test your vehicle’s emissions levels.



Brake Problems

According to the DVSA, one in ten MOT fails are due to car brakes. You can ensure that your brakes remain in good condition by contacting a specialist if you notice any signs of concern such as strange noises, pulling to the side or if your brakes feel noticeably less effective. For peace of mind that your brakes are working correctly and will pass your MOT test, book a free brake check at your local Merityre Specialists.



Further Tips...

  • Clean your car before your MOT test as testers can refuse to carry out an MOT test on an excessively dirty car.
  • Ensure that you wipe your registration plates so that they are clearly visible.
  • Check that your horn emits a noise when pressed.
  • Make sure that there is no damage on the car exterior which may cause damage to other vehicles or pedestrians (this includes any sharp or jagged edges)

For further information on ensuring your vehicle will pass its next MOT test take a look at this helpful MOT checklist from Merityre Specialists.

Book your next MOT test online.