Everyone dreads their car going into the garage for its annual MOT. A failure could mean a large unexpected bill and major inconvenience. Last year a massive 38.3% of cars failed their MOT. Was yours one of them?
There’s lots you can do to help prevent your car failing its MOT. Now, most of us aren’t car mechanics, so it’s impractical to check everything on our car, but there are some simple things we can check.
30% of faults last year were due to lighting. It’s easy to check your lights – turn them on and give them a gentle tap to check they are secure, work and the colours are correct. If you’ve got a blown bulb, you can either change the bulb yourself or some garages will change them for free.
The DVSA have released a series of short video guides to help you check your car.
17.2% of defects last year were due to brakes. Perhaps physically harder to check than other items, there are some simple signs that everything may not be quite right. If you notice any strange noises or squeaking coming from your brakes, or if you car pulls to one side when braking, you should go and get your brakes looked at as soon as possible.
You can check your brake fluid level under the bonnet and if it’s low, consult your car user’s manual for advice on how to top it up.
7.6% of MOT failures were due to tyres. These simple rules apply:
- Minimum of 1.6mm of tread required. You can easily check this by carefully running your finger along the tread grove to find the ‘bump’. The bump is 1.6mm and must not be flush with the outside of the groove.
- Check that tyre pressures are correct
- All tyres must be the same size
- No bulges, slices, cuts or damage
Driver’s view of the road
Fluffy dice, air fresheners, broken wipers and chipped windscreens caused 8.5% of defects last year. Perhaps the simplest failure to avoid, make sure you have nothing blocking your view of the road. If your wipers don’t wipe properly, get them replaced. If the windscreen has a large chip or crack, get it repaired or swapped for a new one. And don’t forget to remove the dangling Minion toy from the rear-view mirror!
Test your knowledge of the MOT with this fun quiz from the DVSA.
Full MOT failure statistics can be found here.