Common MOT Fails
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  • Common MOT Fails
  • 01 September 2021
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    Common MOT Fails

    Every single car in the UK that is 3 years or older NEEDS to have an MOT every year to ensure it's safe for our roads... so here's the most common things cars fail on and how they can be fixed!
Lights & Signals

Almost a fifth of cars that have failed on MOT, have failed due to an issue with their lights.

To check your lights before an MOT, turn them all on and have a quick walk around your car to check they are working, remember to also
check the indicators and brake lights. If lights aren't working it could be as simple as a blown bulb, which you will need to replace. 


It's not a surprise that this is the cause of a failed MOT for more than 1 in 10 cars, when the RAC has reported in 2017 6,500 breakdown call outs were due to potholes. 

To know if you have issues with your shock absorbers, make sure to listen to the noises that are made as you drive your car, especially when you are driving over any bumps. If it's making 'clunky' sounds, this could be sign there is something wrong. When you pull over, check to see if your car is level and that one side isn't higher than the other.


Nobody needs to explain to you how important these are, but yet again, it's reported that 1 in 10 cars fail because of them, which is a big number and a major concern! 

When pressing on your brakes, you should be listening out for squealing or even grinding noises, as this can be a sign that the brake pads are running low. You also need to make a note of if it pulls to one side if you brake.

If this happens, then the brake discs and pads will need to be inspected to ensure they are up to legal standards. 

Two things you will need to make a note of when inspecting:

  - Is the brake disc smooth?
  - How thick are the brake pads?

Handbrakes can be a cause for failing too. To test the handbrake, stop on a hill and apply it, if it holds the car, no adjustment is needed.


It doesn't matter how effective all the safety precautions on your car are, if the tyres aren't up to scratch with regulations. 

You should check your tyres regularly, and not just when you are due for your MOT. The tread on your tyres need to be 1.6mm accross all 3 central quaters.

To ensure that the treads on your tyres meet the legal requirement, use a 20p coin. To do this, all you need to do is insert the coin into the tread of a tyre, and if you can see the outerband, the tread is too low. 

You also need to to ensure there are no cut, lumps and bumps on your tyres.

Did you know that if you are driving with unsuitable tyres you can land yourself a fine of up to £2,500?

Drivers view of the road

It's important that a driver can see the road clearly in order to drive in a safe manner, and yet 7.2% of MOT failures are because the driver can't see the road clearly.

This can include anything that blocks the windscreen, such as air fresheners, or satnavs, or cracks/chips that are within the eyeline of the driver.

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