5 Common MOT Failures and How to Avoid Them
An MOT test is a mandatory annual inspection that assesses whether a vehicle meets the minimum safety and environmental standards set by the UK government. MOT tests are designed to ensure that vehicles on the road are safe, roadworthy, and meet the minimum emissions standards. Without a valid MOT certificate, drivers risk facing fines, penalty points, and even prosecution.
In this blog, we will discuss the five most common reasons why vehicles fail their MOT test, and offer some tips on how to avoid these failures. By understanding what can cause an MOT failure, you can take steps to maintain your vehicle and ensure that it is roadworthy and compliant with the latest regulations. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the common MOT failures and how to avoid them.
Lights and Signals Failure
One of the most common reasons why vehicles fail their MOT test is due to issues with lights and signals. This includes headlights, taillights, brake lights, indicators, and hazard warning lights. Faulty or broken lights can pose a serious safety risk on the road, so it's important to check and maintain them regularly.
To avoid an MOT failure due to lights and signals, you should regularly check that all lights are functioning properly. This can be done by turning on the lights while the car is parked and walking around to inspect them. If a bulb is broken or faulty, it should be replaced as soon as possible. In addition, you should also check that the lenses are clean and not cracked, as this can cause a reduction in the amount of light emitted.
Some common issues with lights and signals include blown bulbs, damaged lenses, and loose connections. These can usually be fixed by replacing the bulb, cleaning the lens, or tightening the connection. However, if there is an electrical fault or more serious issue with the wiring, it may require professional attention from a mechanic.
By regularly checking and maintaining lights and signals, you can help to prevent an MOT failure due to these issues. It's also important to note that not having functioning lights and signals can result in a fine or penalty points if caught by the police. Therefore, it's important to take lights and signals maintenance seriously to ensure not only a successful MOT test but also the safety of you and others on the road.
Brakes are a critical safety feature of any vehicle, and a failure to pass the brake section of an MOT test is a common reason why cars fail. Brakes must be in good condition to ensure that a vehicle can stop quickly and safely when required.
To avoid an MOT failure due to brake issues, you should regularly check and maintain your brakes. Signs that there may be a problem with your brakes include a spongy or soft brake pedal, grinding or squeaking noises, or a vibration when braking. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to get your brakes checked as soon as possible.
Regular maintenance of brakes includes checking the brake fluid levels, inspecting the brake pads and discs, and checking the brake lines for leaks or damage. Brake pads typically need to be replaced every 20,000-30,000 miles, while brake discs can last for up to 70,000 miles. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the driving conditions.
It's important to be mindful of how you use your brakes while driving. Avoid hard braking or slamming on the brakes, as this can cause unnecessary wear and tear. Instead, try to anticipate stops and brake gradually. This can not only help to prolong the life of your brakes but also make for a smoother and safer driving experience.
By regularly checking and maintaining your brakes, you can help to prevent an MOT failure due to brake issues. Not only is this important for ensuring that your vehicle is roadworthy, but it can also help to prevent accidents and keep you and other road users safe.
Suspension and Steering Failure
The suspension and steering system of a vehicle are responsible for ensuring a smooth and stable ride. Issues with these systems can cause problems with handling, stability, and overall safety, and are a common reason why vehicles fail their MOT test.
To avoid an MOT failure due to suspension and steering issues, it's important to regularly check and maintain these systems. Signs that there may be a problem include excessive noise or vibration while driving, uneven tire wear, or difficulty steering or handling the vehicle.
Regular maintenance of the suspension and steering system includes checking the shocks and struts for leaks or damage, inspecting the ball joints and control arms, and ensuring that the steering wheel is properly aligned. If you notice any issues or concerns, it's important to have a mechanic inspect and repair the system as soon as possible.
It's important to be mindful of how you drive and treat your vehicle. Avoid driving over potholes or rough terrain whenever possible, as this can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the suspension and steering system. Also, avoid overloading your vehicle with heavy items, as this can put additional strain on the system.
By regularly checking and maintaining your suspension and steering system, you can help to prevent an MOT failure due to these issues. Not only can this ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and compliant with the latest regulations, but it can also help to ensure a safe and comfortable driving experience.
Lights and Electrical Issues
Lights and electrical systems are essential for safe driving, and failures in these areas are also common reasons for MOT test failures. Issues with lights can include bulbs that are burnt out, cracked or damaged lenses, or improper alignment. Electrical system failures can include problems with the battery, alternator, starter, or other components.
To avoid an MOT failure due to lights and electrical issues, it's important to regularly check and maintain these systems. This can include checking the headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights to ensure that they are working properly and are properly aligned. If you notice any issues or concerns, it's important to have them repaired as soon as possible.
Regular maintenance of the electrical system includes checking the battery for corrosion and proper charge, inspecting the alternator and starter for any damage or wear, and checking the wiring and fuses for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any problems with these components, it's important to have them repaired or replaced by a qualified mechanic.
Avoid leaving lights or other accessories on when the vehicle is not in use, as this can drain the battery and lead to starting issues. Also, avoid overloading the electrical system with aftermarket accessories or modifications, as this can cause unnecessary strain and wear on the system.
By regularly checking and maintaining your lights and electrical system, you can help to prevent an MOT failure due to these issues. This not only ensures that your vehicle is compliant with regulations but also helps to ensure a safe and reliable driving experience.
Passing the MOT test is essential for keeping your vehicle roadworthy, safe, and compliant with regulations. While there are many reasons why a vehicle may fail its MOT test, there are also many steps that you can take to prevent this from happening.
Regular maintenance and inspections of key systems, including brakes, tires, suspension and steering, lights, and electrical components, can help to identify and address issues before they become more serious and result in an MOT failure. In addition, being mindful of how you drive and treat your vehicle can also help to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on these systems.
By staying proactive and taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your vehicle remains roadworthy and compliant with regulations. This not only helps to avoid an MOT failure but also helps to ensure a safe, reliable, and comfortable driving experience for you and your passengers.