How can we avoid silly MOT failures

How can we avoid silly MOT failures

Advice and Tips // 14 April 2014

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The annual MOT can bring dread to many of us as many cars fail the test for a number of seemingly silly, or avoidable, reasons. Not only is an MOT certificate a legal requirement for cars more than 3 years old (and built after 1960), but it also a key factor in ensuring your car is roadworthy and safe to drive.

According to research by WhatCar we waste nearly half a million pound each year on MOT failures that could have easily been a pass for example, a dirty car. Here some examples below of trivial MOT failures that could have been avoided:

1. Dirty Car

Believe it or not, a dirty car can potentially  hide rust or bad body work and can result in an MOT failure alone. First impressions count so making sure that the car is clean and fully accessible will increase the chances of the MOT Tester to approaching the test with a more positive frame of mind.

2. Windscreen

The need to be able to see through the windscreen with a clear view goes without saying, however research has shown that lots of us clutter the general surrounding with air fresheners and stickers which can be distracting when driving. Keeping the area clear and the windscreen free of chips or cracks will help with the test itself

3. Number plates

Have to comply with strict regulations and this can be another failing on an MOT if this does not meet industry standards for e.g. the plate being the wrong colour or the spacing and font sizes not meeting the regulations.  Making sure your plates are clear, free of cracks and easy to read will help.

4. Screenwash

Make sure your screenwash is filled up – between August 2012 and August 2013 over 4,600 cars failed their MOT after owners had forgotten to top this up.

5. Warning lights

If you have warning lights flashing up on the dashboard make sure you get these checked prior to taking the car for an MOT – in 2012 these were just advisory’s on an MOT but from March 2013 they are now a failure.

6. Tyres

Below the minimum of 1.6mm legal tread limit are apparently one of the most common causes for failure in an MOT  – Keeping a check on these will help to identify any damaged or extremely worn tyres and could ultimately save you having a blowout at high speed.

7. Squeaky brakes

It’s a good idea to get theses checked prior to an MOT, brake pads need to be at least 1.5mm thick, they are consumable items and inexpensive so shouldn’t take too long to replace and might save you money in the long run.