Hidden reasons for MOT failures and how to avoid them

Earlier this year, major changes to the MOT test regarding the way faults and problems are classified were made. Now, all vehicle faults will be recorded as either Minor, Major or Dangerous.

The main difference is a failed component will now be classified as major or dangerous depending on its condition. The new measures are intended to highlight to drivers the most urgent problems and the safety risks they pose.

Warranty Direct explains some of the unexpected reasons for MOT fails and how these could be prevented by regular, simple maintenance tasks.

Light it up

 revealed nearly 40% of class three and four vehicles (including cars and vans) failed MOTs in 2016.

Lighting and signalling defects were the most common reasons for MOT failures, . Electrical faults (which incorporate lighting and signalling issues) also made up nearly 20% of all Warranty Direct’s authorised claims.

Many smaller electrical faults can be avoided by owners carrying out consistent maintenance tasks more regularly between MOTs. For example, indicator, tail and brake lights can be fitted for as little as £5.00 each.

To pass an MOT, front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate lights and rear reflectors must be correctly positioned and secured, in a good condition, show the correct colour and not be obscured.

Checking your lightbulbs is easy to do. Give them a light tap to see if they are loose or damaged and check pairs of lights emit the same colour, size and shape.

Brakes and suspension

According to our data, the  were suspension faults, which accounted for 13% of tests where defects were found.

 were the third biggest reason for cars not passing MOTs across the UK, making up 10% of all failure rates. Despite the expense of such issues, avoiding paying out for repairs on brakes is one of the most dangerous decisions a car owner can make.

Experiencing a drift or pull when turning, or your car jerking when the road surface is uneven could mean the suspension shocks have worn out. One tyre wearing more or starting to bald on the same axis as the other is another indication of suspension issues.

If your car pulls to one side when you brake, this may suggest a problem that requires further attention before you take your MOT. Signs of excessive wear of brake pads or pitted brake discs could also mean your brakes need replacing.

Under pressure

According to Kwik Fit, , so it’s important to keep these maintained.

The UK legal minimum tread depth for a car is 1.6mm, so keep an eye on tyres and ensure they’re all the same level. If your tyres are inflated at the correct level, they will wear evenly and be safer and more .

Watch out for tears, bulges or other signs of damage to your tyres’ structure. Not only would this be classed as an immediate MOT fail, but it could increase your risk of a high-speed blowout or serious accident.

Keep it clean

Believe it or not, nearly  because their vehicles were too dirty and non-accessible to allow one to take place. So make sure you keep both the physical and cosmetic upkeep of your car in good health.

, 8.5% of all faults are related to a ‘driver’s’ view of the road’, including issues with mirrors, wipers and washers. You can avoid this with simple checks like making sure the windscreen wipers and washers work at all times.

Your rear-view mirror must be adjustable and in good condition and windscreen wiper blades should be replaced immediately if they show signs of damage.

This article was originally published on the .

Warranty Direct
An industry-leading provider of extended motor warranties and GAP Cover Insurance. Follow us for regular tweets on brand reliability and repair costs.

The Executivecondominium and Warranty Direct

Warranty Direct is a partner of The Executivecondominium, and provides warranty cover and GAP insurance.

This article comes direct from the Warranty Direct blog to provide advice and tips for our readers.

Warranty Direct
Warranty Direct
An industry-leading provider of extended motor warranties and GAP Cover Insurance. Follow us for regular tweets on brand reliability and repair costs.

More from Warranty Direct

10 tips for buying a used car

(sponsored) When buying a used car, there’s a lot to consider. Follow these 10 tips to make sure you pick the right second-hand car at the right price.

Hidden reasons for MOT failures and how to avoid them

(sponsored) Earlier this year, major changes to the MOT test regarding the way faults and problems are classified were made.

What to look for in a student car

(sponsored) For many young people, owning a car is a rite of passage. But selecting the right student car can be tricky.

All in a day’s work – breaking down the UK commute

(sponsored) For most people, the daily commute is an inevitable part of life. It can range from an easy two-minute walk to a gruelling two-hour journey.

Warranty Direct is an approved partner of The Executivecondominium, and this article is provided by Warranty Direct as part of that partnership.

The Executivecondominium does not provide or arrange warranty or insurance cover, and does not receive any payment or commission for any policy arranged by Warranty Direct.