Sep '1622

Top 5 Reasons of an Easily Missed MOT

The reminder rings on your phone and you know - before checking - what it will say. It’s not a reminder of your daughter’s birthday or your wedding anniversary, it’s a reminder of the dreaded MOT service. Somehow, these don’t seem to go so well for you, always leaving your wallet empty and your mind frazzled. Every year you are determined your car will pass the service but no, rendering you a slump in your car seat for having to pay for another. It’s not a test of your intelligence and it’s definitely not supposed to trick you, it’s simply a safety measure. It won’t swallow you up or run after you or set your car on fire. You will be ok if you follow our advice.

To help ease your nerves, and to better prepare you for an upcoming MOT, we have put together a checklist of all the things to AVOID and ensure your car is free from, BEFORE a MOT service. Preparation is the key if you don’t want to butcher your wallet. So, because the prep is crucial and because we know you’re on edge at the moment or will be when you’re about to have a MOT service, we have done the legwork for you. Below is a list of the top 5 reasons of an easily missed MOT.


1. Lights

One of the most common causes of a failed MOT is to do with lighting. And surprisingly enough, a car without lights is a car with no direction and unless you want to end up in a dark ditch you may want to check your lighting. To function properly, a car has several lights, 8 to be specific: headlights, sidelights, indicator lights, brake lights, number plate lights, reverse lights, rear fog lights and hazard lights. The sheer number of lights makes faulty lighting one of the easiest ways to fail a MOT.  This also means that lighting checks during a MOT are carried out rigorously and extremely strictly – there is no leeway, your lights must be operating well. After all, without properly functioning lights your car is a broken elevator – dropping impedingly to its doom.  So what to check?  Check ALL lights, every single one of them, you don’t want even one of them leaving you in the dark on MOT day.

Some lights are important, like the brake and indicator lights. In fact, they are very important but they don’t last a long time. They are a bit bipolar in the sense that they do not look like they are fused or faulty, in fact, they are mostly, even when fused and faulty, illuminated. However, what really happens is that the outer colour coating of these lights begin to wear and so after a while, the bulb shines white rather than pale yellow – this will cause a MOT fail. If this means, you have to park up on your driveway in the night or in your garage to be able to ascertain the colour of your lights, then do so.  


2.  Tyres

A car’s tyres are arguably the most significant apparatus of a car. Without the tyres, your car will not budge. But simply having tyres attached to your car is not enough. They must be the right size. By this we mean how inflated they are – legally the minimum tread depth of a tyre is 1.6mm in continuous motion for ¾ of the tyres width. So ensure that your tyre has a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth. If you’re struggling to determine this, ask for help from your local garage.

Your tyre must also be damage-free. Make sure your tyres have no splits in the tread or bulges or cuts in the sidewalls as this could cause a MOT fail. Size also matters, all the tyres of your car do not have to be the same size. However, the tyres on the same axle must be the same size.


3.  Windscreen

Now, your windscreen is your window to all your ambitions journeys – seriously, it gets you to your high flying job, your long weekend getaway with the family and to the crazy places you go to with only yours pals. So it must be clean and crack-free so that your vision is transparent, and you know what they say “If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else”. So check your windscreen for cracks and dents. Any dent deeper than 10mm will cause a MOT fail, especially be aware of anything that covers the drivers view – that means anything around the area of the windscreen parallel to the steering wheel.


4. Wipers

 Now car wipers are like camel lashes. They are not just long and beautiful (debatable) they have a function. They must clear the view of the eyes from all the sand that creates a cast over the camel’s eyes, obstructing them to see their horizons. In the same way, then, your car wipers must wipe away any dirt or weather related residue off your windscreen to ensure your vision is 100%. A way to check that they are functioning well is to lift the rubber up and look for any splits or cracks that may prevent them from wiping. Also, check that the wipers are tightly attached to the wiper arm. The last thing you want is your wipers to fly off and onto another vehicle whilst driving!


5. Cracked Number Plates

The last reason of a MOT fail that we have on our list is cracked number plates. Your number plates are your car’s identity so don’t snatch their identity from them, it’s their basic car right as it is what distinguishes your car from others. So check that your number plate is firmly attached to the back and front of your car. Also, check that they are not cracked or faded in any way possible – your car’s identity should be clearly visible and bright.

That may seem like a lot of info, but it’s not rocket science. And it’s definitely not like those purposeless equations you had to do at school. It is imperative that you understand the importance of a MOT. A faulty car is not safe. But we understand that your busy life with overtime at work, your whiny kids and all the other jobs you need to tick off,  make it hard to sit down and familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of MOT service and its regulations. Because of this, we have come up with a 5-line rhyme that will help you keep a mental checklist of what to check for before a MOT service.

So, if all else fails, remember:

  1. Check all lights
  2. Drive tyres right
  3. Clean that windscreen, prevent a fright
  4. Swipe wipers, to a height
  5. And scan your plate, till it’s bright!

So there you have it, a quick rundown of the 5 most common reasons of a failed MOT. You don’t have to be a genius or a wealthy person to face a MOT. All you need to do is keep a cool head and remember the rhyme! Write it down. Internalise it. And never fail a MOT again!

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