According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), almost half of the MOT fails could have been avoided if regular checks are carried out on basic procedures like replacing the tyres, wipers and lights.
Vehicles in the UK that are 3 years old and above must take their annual MOT test. The MOT test is a test that determines the roadworthiness of your vehicle and is different from the regular service that you book with a garage. It tests all the important aspects of your car: your car as a whole and its parts will be checked to make sure that they meet the legal standards.
In simple words, the MOT test was intended to check if your car is safe to drive and that it doesn’t have any serious issues that might cause problems.
So that you can pass your next MOT test and ensure the safety of your driving vehicle, we will share with you the most common failures that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has listed throughout the years. You might be surprised to know the failures are highly preventable if regular vehicle checks are done.
If you want your car to pass its next MOT test, these are the important things that you should check on your vehicle.
Check all your lights. This is where the majority of people fail. More than often, the failure is caused by omitting to replace a blown bulb. To prevent this from happening, simply switch all the lights in your vehicle on and walk around your car. Thoroughly check if they are working and in good condition.
Take a look at your dashboard. Are the indicator lights flashing? Aside from checking if your lights can turn off and on, check their current condition. Are the plastic headlight covers misty and dirty? If so you will need to clean it and make it clear.
Take a closer look at your lights. Check for any signs of cracks, flickering or dimming. Ask another person to step on the brake lights and check if they are working too.
Check your suspension. Road potholes are quite small but they have a large effect on your vehicle. They are actually capable of breaking down your car. No wonder suspension problems rank high as one of the most common causes of MOT failures.
If not thoroughly checked, you may not be able to spot any problems with suspension such as a snapped string or defective shock absorber at all. Try to pay attention to the noises that your vehicle makes whilst you are driving it, especially if you are making a turn or getting through a bumpy road.
If you can hear clunking noises, stop in a safe place and take a look at your car: is it sitting in a level position or not? Is one corner sitting too high or low?
If you can’t see any difference in sitting height, try to push down each corner and see if it returns to its normal level as soon as you let go of it. Does it go back up? If not, your suspension probably needs more thorough inspection by your local mechanic.
Check your brakes. We all know the importance of brakes and we don’t need to be reminded of it but surprisingly, it is still among the top reasons why cars fail their MOT. This is actually quite troubling because your braking system should be regularly checked for good performance, to make sure you and your family are kept safe.
If you step on the brake pedal, can you hear any weird grinding or squealing noises? If yes, it is a sign that your brake pads probably need replacement.
If you brake, does your vehicle stop in a straight manner or pull over to one side?
Don’t forget your handbrake too. To check if it is still working, try to stop on a hill then use the handbrake. Does it keep the car still? If not, you may have to adjust this too.
Check your tyres. Tyre issues are one of the main reasons for a failed MOT test. To begin your inspection, take a 20p coin and check out the tread depth of your tyres. You are legally required to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
If upon inspection you can already see the outer band, it means that your tread depth is too low and failure to replace them could mean getting 3 penalty points off your licence and getting fined, £2,500 per defective tyre.
Check the inflation and alignment of your tyres too. If it is uneven, go ahead and adjust it.
Visually inspect your tyres. Do they have any scratches, cuts or bumps? Any small damage could worsen and cause a tyre blowout in the future. You might want to fix that one immediately.
Do the tyres match sizes? Is their speed rating suitable?
Check out your windscreen, wipers, washers and mirrors. These things are important in giving you a clear view of the road.
Is there anything blocking your view (such as sat nav or air fresheners)? Are there any chips or cracks on the windscreen? Have your windscreen replaced as soon as possible.
Is your bonnet closed securely? Does it have the tendency to pop up and block your view? You need to repair this issue immediately.
How about your wipers? Are they smooth or do they have chips or cracks? Have you topped up the windscreen washer fluid? This is probably due for a replacement too.
Are your mirrors clean and clear? If not, it would be wise to clean the dirt and debris off.
Although these are the major reasons people fail the MOT test, there are other elements of your car that are inspected. If you want to make sure that your car will pass the MOT, have it thoroughly checked by the experts of Imperial Tyres. To book a service, give them a call on 01793 531990 today!