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What can fail an MOT

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  • 19-08-2021
What can fail an MOT

Your annual MOT must include a thorough inspection of your vehicle along with several tests on numerous different elements such as the seat belts, horns, headlights or fog lights, rear-view mirrors, steering wheels, suspension, body structure and many more aspects. 

You need to ensure you pass your MOT test each year, as if you fail to, you may no longer be able to drive a vehicle registered in England legally. It is not the best test to fail financially, as you may lose money when paying a big fine. Pay attention first time to all the details of your vehicle to ensure your car is in good condition to receive a valid pass.   

However, we must discuss the elements that can ultimately result in an MOT fail. These are some aspects that may lead to a fail:

Tyres

Brakes

Tyres are such an essential element of your vehicle, and therefore, when they are not in the best condition, they are a common cause of MOT failure. Professional services will ensure they check the tread depth and tyre pressure ad any spare tyres you have in your garages.    

The DVSA states that 10% of MOTs fail when it comes to brakes. However, if they do not fail, but your MOT inspector notices any legal wear and tear, you can expect to be issued advisories. All advice given on the report will entail the defect areas or repairs that you need to get fixed. 

Seatbelts

Lighting

If local professionals find that your seatbelts are frayed, cut or unable to clip properly into the belt holder, you could risk failing your MOT. The belt at each one of your seats is there to protect you and your passengers. If it fails this test, it is unsafe.

Nearly a 5th of all vehicles, according to the DVSA test centre, fail their MOTs vehicle registration due to numerous lighting issues. These could obstruct your vision when on the road, so it must be seen as soon as possible if this is an issue. MOT Check the registration plates light, as well as all lights inside the vehicle.    

Suspension

Visibility

Suspension issues are challenging to spot; however, if you or a professional at MOT services discovers any, do not ignore them as they can result in an MOT failure. Experts will thoroughly check your suspensions and pay close attention to any unusual clunking noises or emissions and ensure your vehicle is level when still. 

Anything that could obstruct your vision, such as fractures or breaks to the windscreen or windows, car air fresheners that have excessive accessories, ineffective Sat-Navs or windscreen wipers. These are all aspects that could fail at the end of a test.   

How to prevent the most common MOT fails

There are numerous common reasons for MOT failures; here are how you, as a driver, can prevent these issues:

Suspension   

In 2017, data displays that potholes had caused 6,500 breakdowns overseen by RAC. It's said that more than 1 in 10 MOTs is due to suspension issues. However, your car can hide suspension issues relatively well, so it is challenging to uncover these problems. You can often be forgiven if you miss any snapped spring or leaking shock absorber.  

Ensure you're always paying attention to the noises; if your car emits strange clunky sounds during everyday driving whilst you cross bumpy roads or turn corners, you may have suspension issues.    

If you notice such, it may be a great time to park and see if your car is sitting level. If it is too low or high in one corner, try pushing down on the bonnet of each side of your vehicle. Test to see it returns to its original level without aggressively bouncing up and down many times.

Suspension   

In 2017, data displays that potholes had caused 6,500 breakdowns overseen by RAC. It's said that more than 1 in 10 MOTs is due to suspension issues. However, your car can hide suspension issues relatively well, so it is challenging to uncover these problems. You can often be forgiven if you miss any snapped spring or leaking shock absorber. 

Ensure you're always paying attention to the noises; if your car emits strange clunky sounds during everyday driving whilst you cross bumpy roads or turn corners, you may have suspension issues.    

If you notice such, it may be a great time to park and see if your car is sitting level. If it is too low or high in one corner, try pushing down on the bonnet of each side of your vehicle. Test to see it returns to its original level without aggressively bouncing up and down many times.

Brakes 

 Brakes are one of the most significant aspects of the mechanism of your vehicle; however, experts state that issues with the braking system are often the reason why 1 in 10 cars fail an MOT. 

Look closely and listen for grinding or squealing noises coming from your brakes; these noises can be signs that your brake pads are running low. When you push down on your brakes, ensure your car stops in a straight line compared to pulling over to one side. Closely inspect the pads and discs on your brakes; in some cases, you need to remove the wheel to scour it. Alternatively, you can look through the spokes.  

Ensure the brake disc is smooth and assess the thickness of the brake pads. Stop your car and apply the handbrake efficiently. Many vehicles can often fail due to issues with the handbrake. If the handbrake is unable to hold the car properly, it may require adjusting.  

Tyres   

Your car can harness multiple safety systems; however, if your tyres aren't up to speed, you could put yourself, passengers and others on the road in danger. Ensure you constantly check on your tyres, not just before an MOT. Tyre issues are one of the most prominent causes of failure rate at annual MOT tests.    

The UK law demands you have 1.6mm of tread on your tyres across the central three quarters; you can use a 20p coin. Insert it and see if you can see the outer band; should you see it, this means your tread is far too low, and therefore you could risk a £2,500 fine. Try not to rely on the tread you can see; you can also feel inside your tyres. If you discover uneven wear and tear, it could be due to alignment issues or poor inflation.   

Whilst checking on your tyres, search cuts for any cuts or lumps; these can result in a dangerous blowout. It would be best if you strived to fix these immediately before an MOT. Ensure your tyres have been fitted or installed onto your car correctly, that all the sizes match at every axle and that they have suitable speed ratings.  

Driver's view of the road 

As the driver, your view of the road is one of the most important parts of safe driving; however, approximately 7.2% of MOT failures are due to the driver's view being obstructed. 

Such can include items blocking the windscreen like Sat-Navs, air fresheners, inefficient or stuck windscreen wiper blades or mobile cameras. It can also be because of chips and cracks in the driver's eye line. You must ensure your bonnet can be adequately closed for security when driving. 

If your bonnet could potentially pop open while driving and block your vision completely, you and others on the road will be in danger.  

What happens if your vehicle fails its MOT?

When your vehicle has failed its MOT, you will often be issued a VT30 certificate; this certificate states what exactly is causing your brand's car to fail the MOT.    

You may find discrete advisory notices on your certificate from your MOT tester. Often you can find these if parts or aspects of your vehicle or car's mechanisms are reaching failure. Your tester identified peculiarities on your car during their check, for example, exhaust system faults. Or perhaps, they may attach notes on non-testable items.


It is essential to note and understand that these items are advisory. Still, it is your responsibility as the driver and owner of the vehicle to keep a close eye on any defects detected that could negatively affect the car on the road.

The law now also states that if your vehicle has failed the MOT, you cannot drive it on the roads unless you take it to have defects fixed or attend any pre-arranged MOT appointment inspections or tests.  Once the car has failed the MOT test, the previous MOT is wiped.

The police will be almost immediately alerted. The driver is likely to receive a £2,500 fee fine and approximately three penalty points for continuing to drive a dangerous vehicle that could cause accidents on the road.  Should your vehicle fail its MOT test, you may be eligible for a retest free of charge. 

You can find more information online about MOT protocol. 


Are you looking for MOT Preparation in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire?  Contact our Jaguar specialist today.

We offer a complete range of Jaguar servicing for Peterborough and the surrounding areas including: Huntingdon, Stamford, Kettering, Northampton, Crowland, Market Deeping and Grantham.