4 Common Reasons For Failing Your MOT

mot test centre york

Cruising through the countryside with the windows down on a hot summer night. The joy of your new car greeting you with that unique fresh-off-the-forecourt smell. When your favourite song comes on the radio after a tough day in the office. Car owners have plenty of moments like these to enjoy, but every journey has a few bumps along the way.


Each year, the compulsory MOT threatens the happy relationship we have with our vehicles. Past experiences of hefty bills and lengthy repairs may contribute to our anxiety, but in fact, most MOT pitfalls are entirely avoidable. To settle those pre-test jitters, here’s our 4 most common reasons for failing your test, and how to dodge them.


  1. Headlights, brake lights and indicators

 car lights mot

Over 2 million MOT fails were issued last year as a result of defective headlights, brake lights or indicators. The majority of these could have been avoided with just a few simple checks.


Before your MOT, inspect each light carefully (not forgetting the bulbs that illuminate your number plates) and replace any that are dim or broken. If a little DIY mechanics fills you with dread, any local garage worth their salt will have the job done in minutes.


  1. Tyre condition and pressures


The next biggest source of MOT migraines, causing 10% of all fails, are faults relating to tyres. In the UK, tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across ¾ of the tyre to meet test safety standards.


Whilst frequently checking your tyre pressures will minimise wear and maximise fuel economy, a quick inspection before your MOT can alert you to any potential tyre troubles. Using the rim of a 20p coin as a guide, check each tyre’s tread depth and replace if necessary.


  1. Mirrors, windscreen wipers and washers


Problems affecting ‘the Driver’s view of the road’ account for one third of all MOT fails. These include issues with internal and wing mirrors, and inadequate windscreen wipers. If your wipers aren’t clearing water from your windscreen effectively or are leaving smears, then new ones are essential.


Another trivial but all too common cause of failure is an empty washer fluid reservoir, so top up before the big day to ensure the test goes smoothly.


  1. Suspension and brakes


Cars are inevitably prone to wear and tear as they age. Keeping us safe and comfortable is no small task; it’s no wonder that our car’s suspension and brakes often deteriorate quickly. Unfortunately, replacing these parts is beyond the expertise of most owners.

However, being aware of potential problems and acting quickly when they arise can reduce costly repair bills. Knocking or clonking sounds when driving over bumps, or any decrease in braking performance, should be reported to a mechanic immediately.


At York Auto Centre, we love giving a car a clean bill of health and encourage drivers to steer clear of these common reasons for MOT failure. Before booking into our approved MOT test centre in York, be sure to complete a quick DIY inspection of your car, for the best chance of a hassle-free annual check-up and twelve more months of safe driving.













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