Common problems that cause a vehicle to fail include car tyres and brakes

In the UK every vehicle over three years old has to pass an MOT to allow it to be driven on public roads. The MOT test ensures the vehicle complies with road safety and environmental standards. Without it car owners are not allowed to apply for a tax disc.

Common problems that cause a vehicle to fail include car tyres and brakes. But what else does the MOT tester check? This article identifies the key areas that are looked at in a MOT test.

1. Brakes
Brakes are tested on a ‘roller brake tester’ to assess their condition, efficiency and performance. Check for signs of leaking brake fluid, loose brake pedals or brakes that lock up when applied, as these will all result in a fail.

2. Bodywork
Check for excessive corrosion, damage or any sharp edges on the car’s bodywork.

3. Mirrors and Doors
Make sure the doors open and close correctly, from the inside and the outside of the vehicle. Car locks need to work. Rear view and wing mirrors must be present and in good condition. A damaged wing mirror may result in a fail.

4. Car Tyres and Wheels
A car tyre must have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm. The car tyre needs to be the correct type for the vehicle and have no signs of damage or excessive wear. Consult a car tyres specialist such as Merityre to check this. It is important as a damaged tyre can cause a blow out. Check the wheel nuts and replace any that are missing. Spare tyres are not tested but there must be one present in the vehicle.

5. Exhaust System and Emissions
The exhaust system must not have holes or leaks caused by rust or damage. The car’s exhaust emissions will be tested to ensure it meets specific standards depending on the vehicle’s age and type.

6. Seats and seatbelts
It is compulsory for seatbelts to be fitted in the front and back of a car. They must be the correct type and in good, working condition. Car seats need to be secure in the upright position.

7. Vehicle Identification Number and Registration Plate
Every car used after the 1st August 1980 must have its vehicle identification number clearly displayed. The registration plate needs to be in the correct format, legible and in good condition.

8. Windscreen and Wipers
The windscreen cannot have any signs of damage and must have clear visibility. Windscreen wiper blades must show no signs of wear and work effectively. Make sure the windscreen washer contains fluid.

9. Lights and Indicators
All vehicle lights and indicators need to work correctly, including the hazard lights. Ask a friend or use a mirror to check the car’s brake and reverse lights are working. Check the brightness of the headlamps and that they are correctly dipped at the right angle.

10. brake pad factory Suspension, Steering and horn
Make sure the horn is the right type for the vehicle and works. If the steering wobbles then the vehicle’s wheels may require correct alignment. Car tyre pressure can also affect a vehicle’s handling. Test the vehicle’s suspension. It should not be too ‘spongy’ or too firm.

This checklist is intended as a guide to improve your cars chance of passing the MOT test. Car tyres, lights and brakes are common areas for a vehicle to fail. If in doubt about any of the areas covered, we recommend consulting your local garage before taking the MOT test.

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